How to Tell Your Child Goodbye

This week I have had to face one of the most terrifying things in my life… telling my son goodbye. I found out a couple of months ago that I had a tumor nestled in between my heart and lung, surrounded by major blood vessels.

Breath a sigh of relief… it does not appear to be cancerous. However, the circumstances have left no option but to remove it. Because of the tough spot that it is in it will require a strenuous open chest procedure and there is the possibility that I could lose all or part of one of my lungs. The procedure is not easy breezy. The recovery is long and painful. I’ve had to prepare myself for the worst. I’ve had to worry about it being so close to my heart and so entwined with major veins. The surgery is tomorrow morning. And what if the worst happens???

Now, you may be wondering what this has to do with a blog about kids. Well, today I told my son goodbye. And I wanted to share this experience with you. Because today I would have wanted a guide on how to do this. How to tell my son that he would not see me again and how I could make sure he didn’t suffer.

I didn’t tell him bye with words. I didn’t want to frighten him. Besides, chances are, I will be just fine. But when faced with a situation like this I realized that I did not have all of my stuff in order. I wrote up a will and gave instructions on what medical decisions to make if I wasn’t able to. I also wrote love letters.

I’m not scared of dying. I’m afraid for my loved ones. The last thing I want is for them to suffer. And, as much as I don’t want to face it, life is short and unplanned. Anything can happen any day… it doesn’t matter if it happens tomorrow when I go under, or next week in a car wreck, or 50 years from now.

I wanted to comfort those closest to me and to chose words that could help get them through the grieving process. I cried and sobbed as I put my thoughts to words. It was horrible.

The emotions going through me were excruciating. Just the thought of my son having to go through life without me was too much to bear.

So, how did I tell my son goodbye? I didn’t.

I wrote my son a letter.

I told him I loved him. I told him how proud I was of him. I told him all of the things that he could do. I told him to become who he wants to be. I told him that I would love him to the end of days. I just wanted him to be happy.

I wrote about things he wanted. I recorded the milestones that he passed and at what ages. I wrote about how he refused to be born so they had to do a c-section. I shared funny and sentimental memories that we shared together. I wrote about trips we took.

I told him I loved him over and over again.

I never told him goodbye.

Because he is my son. There is never going to be a goodbye. I will always be his and he will always be mine.

And, now, if something should happen to me, he will have that letter to read and remember me by. He will know that he is the most important person that has ever lived (IMO). He will know that he is my special person. He will know that I loved him.

Yes, it did break every piece of my heart to write.

Saying goodbye to my child, without really saying goodbye, is probably the hardest thing that I have ever done.

And, if I stay alive until I’m 100, he will never have to know about this letter. It’ll be our little secret.

Because, if I’m alive until I’m 100, I will tell him everyday how special and loved he is.

I will make sure he knows.

The Lemonade Stand Cherade

Lemonade StandHave you ever seen those cute kids on television that have set up lemonade stands in their front yard to sell the cool beverage to passersby on a hot summer day? Or better yet, in real life?

Those darn cartoons I’m sure are to blame, but for some reason BoogerFace has been begging and pleading for us to build a lemonade stand so that he can “make dollars.”

How sweet it is to think of my cute little man selling his wares to the few people nice enough to stop and give him the joy of selling his own creations. A few things had me concerned about the whole thing though.

We live in the country. The speed limit is 55 mph going down our road that does not stay very busy. It’s hard to imagine that a random person driving by at 55 is going to slam on breaks at the site of a glass of cool lemonade made by a 6-year old. Let’s be honest… McDonald’s is 3 miles away. And they have that awesome lemonade strawberry slushy thing.

Another thing to consider… it’s 70 degrees outside. It’s more probable that someone would slam on their brakes if they were dying of thirst and it was 95 out. And they had somehow missed the gas stations and fast food businesses just down the road.

That leaves the couple of neighbors that might feel sympathetic for the sweet little enthusiastic younging impatiently awaiting his first customer.

Yeah… so…

Idea!!! How would I go about getting lots of customers to come out of their way to get a glass of freshly squeezed lemonade from my easily discouraged hyperactive child?

A yard sale, of course!

It doesn’t matter if you live way out of town, if you have a yard sale in my area, they will come. Especially with the right Craig’s List ad and brightly colored yard sale posters posted on the stop signs. Yes, they will come.

And when they arrive at this yard sale, they will have cash. Most people don’t carry around cash anymore when they can simply whip out their credit card. But when you go to a yard sale, you have to come prepared. People don’t take credit, debit, or checks at these things. You need the green stuff.

They will arrive in my yard to peruse through my unwanted belongings and they will be hot and thirsty from the walking and crazy shopping. Then, they notice this little boy sitting at a table selling glasses of lemonade and homemade cookies. They can see the excitement in his eyes and the expectant smile on his face. And they will give in.

Well, at least that is my hope.

Because I have a boy that is crazy right now to make some moolah at his own little lemonade stand. And, by golly, maybe it will teach him some work ethic 🙂

Glow Stick “Easter Egg” Hunt

Glow Sticks

In continuance with the glow stick fun that we’ve been having, I came up with a creative twist to the classical Easter egg hunt.

Glow sticks can be found at most dollar stores or bulk online at retailers, such as Amazon. Gather as many as you would like, but I think between 5-10 would be perfect.

One person goes into a room and shuts the door while the other person hides all of the glow sticks. Turn off all the lights and choose the hiding spots for your sticks. The neat thing about this activity is that it can be tailored to suit younger ages as well. You can make this game easy by placing them on top of furniture or out in the open. The child will see the glow and easily locate all of the sticks. Make it harder by hiding them under blankets, rugs, or chairs.

This game almost reminds me of an Easter egg hunt… but with glow sticks in the dark. And since most kids love egg hunts, they will probably like this little twist on it as well.

Have fun hiding!

The Water War Continues

Remember me writing about the water fights that are constantly going on in my house? Well, apparently the stakes have been raised… to ice…

I’m sitting in bed surfing the net and watching reruns of The Big Bang Theory, when the house starts shaking with the stampeding of Mr. Gameboy’s feet. Oh, no, he’s retreating from some form of attack on BoogerFace.

He runs into the bedroom and slams the door, locking in. He’s panting, grinning, and giggling… this can’t be good.

“Whatcha doing?” I ask him casually.

“Haha, I got him. I poured a cup of ice and water over his head in the bathtub!”

I shake my head, “Mean daddy!”

Fastforward 30 minutes… BoogerFace is in his pajamas, ready for bedtime. Mr. Gameboy is in the shower. Payback time.

“Ok, Booger, let’s pour some ice on daddy!”

BoogerFace laughs in excitement and we race to the kitchen to prepare for invasion. He grabs a cup, but I have bigger ideas for the mean daddy.

I find an empty gallon bucket and dump a bunch of ice in it, followed by water. BoogerFace is in shock, but soon joins in the scheme.

On second thought, one bucket is not enough… Mr. Gameboy needs some serious payback for picking on my sweet little baby. He will be sorry…

After filling the second bucket, we head into the steamy bathroom, and pull up the step ladder, blocking the shower door from being opened.

Mr. Gameboy hears us, and laughs, fully expecting a cup of ice to the face.

Imagine his squeal when he sees a BUCKET of ice cold water being tossed over the shower stall…

And the bellow of outrage of a second bucket being poured over his head…

Yes, revenge is sweet, sweet, sweet.

And, so, the water war continues.

I hope I can remember to lock the bathroom door from now on…

Glowing Bath Water

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Image credited to Julia Galdo

Need a new twist at bath time? We tried this and it was awesome! Get some glow sticks, fill the tub, and turn out the lights… instant fun!

What was good about this? BoogerFace’s eyes lit up with excitement and that made my day. I was the best mommy in the world for about 5 minutes there…

What went wrong? He got scared of the dark (even with the glow). After a few minutes he wanted to make necklaces and bracelets out of the glow stick instead of playing with them in the water…

What can I say? My son is a diva.

Water Fights

Imagine this: sitting on the back deck with your significant other at dusk, enjoying the cooling of the evening. Exchanging witty banter back and forth. Out comes a sweet little 6-year old boy, looking innocent. Too innocent.

At this point you meet his gaze and your eyes sweep downward to his hands, or lack there of. They are behind his back. This is not good.

The sweet innocence on his face transforms with a devious grin and narrowed eyes.

Slow motion. The arms draw around to his front. Gripped in his little fist is the orange and yellow barrel of a water gun. Not a little water gun, but one that he has to use two hands to simultaneously pump and shoot.

This is the scene that I was facing the other night.

“You better not!” I squealed.

My husband, faster on the uptake with more battle experience under his belt in water game warfare, jumped to his feet and grabbed the water pistol that was sitting on the patio table.

“No, my cellphone!” I pocketed the device before it could get wet.

Just in time… the stream of water hit my arm and splattered across my chest.

Mr. Gameboy (the sexy husband protecting my honor) pulled the trigger and pumped the barrell rapidly, soaking BoogerFace’s shirt and pants. Water dripped from his brow.

And this is how it started… the fully-clothed water gun fight.

Credited to MorgueFile.com

Credited to MorgueFile.com

One thing that I have learned living with these two boys is that I have to be prepared at all times for things like this.

This is not the only time, nor will it be the last I’m sure. Sometimes it’s not a water gun. Sometimes it’s the water hose. Or water balloons. Or the water from the bathtub. Or a cup of ice. Or a pair of dirty underwear…

And who would I be not to mention the random wrestling matches as well? Mr. Gameboy and BoogerFace will pounce on one another, trying to use both tact and the art of surprise to overthrow the other. I become the referee… or the tag-team partner… or the wrestling mat…

This is my life!

Get Your Child To Eat More!

If your child is like mine, dinner time is always a fight! He doesn’t want to try this vegetable or that meat. He doesn’t want cheese on it. There’s a grain of pepper on the egg. The hotdog is too brown. The mac ‘n cheese is too cheddar-y. The blueberries are too cold (“Can we microwave it?” he will ask). This has butter on it. This has salt on it. This doesn’t have salt on it.

To which I always reply, “Eat three more bites or…”

Cue the random whining.

Let me introduce an idea I stumbled upon on Real Simple. Using dice as a vegetable counter… to get your child to eat more…

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The idea is that the child can roll the dice and take their chances. The number the dice shows is how many more bites they must take. This is genius.

And, so, I tried it. And it WORKED! Like, seriously, worked. My son was excited that he could roll the dice and have the chance of only having to eat one more bite. He rolled a three. And, to my amazement, he ate all three bites without complaining!

That is an accomplishment for me. I felt like the best, smartest, most pretty mommy in the whole world.

Repeated exposure and a fun, healthy atmosphere seems to do wonders. A child has to decide whether or not they are going to eat, but parents can decide what to put in front of them. Even if they don’t eat something the first, third, or seventh time, the eighth time might be the charm.

I have to constantly remind my son that his taste buds change all the time, and sometimes he’ll try something that he “doesn’t” like and find that it is actually tasty to him now. Consistency has worn down his stubbornness.

One last thing… always have fun! Make it an activity. Get them involved in helping. Chose fun colors, or make it a “theme” night. My son gets to pick out what we are eating one night a week, and he has to accept that the other nights are mommy’s choice. By eating what I chose, he gets the privilege of having whatever he wants every once and a while. A win/win.

Enjoy!