Life with the Wild Things

Just another mom of 2 boys in a house full of energy!

Stages of Motherhood – Part 4 November 2, 2011

And then you transition from Preschool Mommy to Kindergarten Mommy.

The average person would think Preschool Mommy and Kindergarten Mommy are the same, but the rest of us know this isn’t so.

Kindergarten Mommy now has homework and class projects.  It’s the transition from singing the ABCs to knowing the ABCs.  It’s that foundation for reading.  With reading comes knowledge.  With knowledge they can take over the world!

It’s a very scary thought!

There are still tantrums, but Thing 1 is learning to tell you more about what he is feeling and what he needs and what he wants.  He can’t tell the difference between needs and wants, but his vocabulary is growing so much.

Of course, remember this is all about him.  No one is going to ask you what you are feeling, what you need, or what you want.  Remember that ended the day you peed on the stick and the + sign came up.

You are now trying to balance the homework and after school activities.  Oh yes…the activities…because kids that have a sport, music, or other passion don’t do the bad things in high school.  (Personal note here: That better be the case or I have wasted a lot of precious time waiting for practices, games, and swim meets to end!!!)

So the activities…what will Thing 1 do?  My Thing 1 played football at this age but then realized that was outside where it is cold or hot…heaven forbid.  So we found tae kwon do.  I must say depending on the sport it can help at home.  Tae Kwon Do has taught us both discipline.  I learned that even with a self diagnosed case of Adult ADHD (my doctor friends just leave that alone I am vicariously living my doc dreams through you) I can actual sit for an hour.  Thing 1 learned that Mommy can actual sit still for an hour.  Oh no, that isn’t it.  He learned discipline and ways to control his own ADHD.  Thing 2 learned that he would rather participate with Thing 1 than wait for him to get out of class.  I am sure there is another lesson in there somewhere.

Of course after an attempt at football by Thing 1, Thing 2 could not be out done.  Thing 2 took up soccer and tae kwon do.  Because hey if mom can balance one activity for the first kid, what is two activities at 5 years old for the second one??!!

So, you have the homework and the afternoon activities and your work.  Now that Thing 1 is in Kindergarten and learning to read and getting home later because of activities, Thing 1 starts to point out McDonald’s and Chic-Fil-A, etc on the way home.  Why can’t we stop there?  Comes the whine from the backseat.  How do you respond with Because Mommy’s hips can’t take another night of fried fast food!  We live 30 minutes out-of-town.  On the quick way home we pass approximately 15 drive thrus 4 nights a week.  By the time I get home I can’t remember if that is whine or WINE.

You finally get home, finish the school work, and then its time for flash cards, sight words, reading a bed time story and practice writing your name, oh no, Thing 1’s name.

By 8 something you finally pull up the covers to do the nightly tuck in.  Then the dance for 15 minutes of no more water, no more potty, no more getting out of bed.  At this point you are missing the crib and those other sleepless nights.

Sometime after 10 PM with the school uniforms washed and the remnants of the day washed off of you, you fall into an unmade bed.  Peace…

Then it starts over.

But the best part of the Kindergarten Mommy is when Thing 1 is learning to write and says How do I spell I love Mom?  And then you remember this Stage, too, is well worth Motherhood.  Because no matter how tired, how drained, how wiped out you are, seeing I LOVE YOU MOM in 5-year-old hand writing melts you.


Stages of Motherhood – Part 3 October 17, 2011

The next phase is the Preschool Mommy.  You finally made it through the Terrible Twos just to find out that someone forgot to mention the phase continues into the threes.  Now it is time for new milestones.  Preschool and Potty Training!  Oh Yes!  The fun is really beginning.  Everyone has advice on how to get Thing 1 to go to the potty.  Since I have boys, I have no idea how you moms of girls get them to use the potty.  But my favorite suggestion is the Cheerios in the toilet.  The little boys try to pee on the Cheerios.  And we are potty trained!  Well, it wasn’t that easy.  But it wasn’t too bad.  The advantages…no more diapers and pull ups.  The disadvantages…you now have to stop at every bathroom you pass so Thing 1 can check it out.  That 30 minute shopping trip now takes an hour.

Now that potty training is complete, it’s time to start preschool.  They would not take Thing 1 until you could check that box that said Potty Trained.  But, you did it.  It’s as much your accomplishment as his.  So it is off to preschool.  Even if you have been sending Thing 1 to daycare since you finished maternity leave, preschool is a little different.  Oh my gosh and the choices.  You have to get Thing 1 into a great daycare so that he is ready for KIndergarten so that he excels in elementary school and then blows throw high school and finally gets into the college of his choice so he can have the career of your…oops…his dreams.  Or at least that is what everyone makes you feel like when Thing 1 is born.  Get in to the best preschool to lay the foundation.

You go to interviews with preschools.  You are on waiting lists for preschools.  It is more stressful than that horrible class at 8:00 in college that your advisor said you have to ace or you aren’t graduating.  Finally, you are in…oops….Thing 1 is in.  August rolls around and it is time for the first day.  My Thing 1 went to a learning center from birth to 4.  So for him it was a matter of changing from the baby building to the preschool building.  Luckily my Thing 1 had gotten into 2 amazing schools…preschool at a great learning center and then a parochial kindergarten.  That meant he paved the way for Thing 2 to get accepted into the preschool program at Thing 1’s parochial school.  Yes!  Much less work to get Thing 2 in.  But…oh no…this means Thing 2 had to have the dreaded FIRST DAY.  Depending on your preschool, you are purchasing the first uniform, first school supplies, all the first.  You are documenting everything about this special day.  Thing 1 gets to school that first day and…  I want to leave with mommy.  Then you are pulled in two directions.  You want Thing 1 to love preschool, but you are secretly smiling that Thing 1 still needs mommy.


With preschool well underway, you start to see ABC and 123 in your dreams.  You sing wheels on the bus as you go through your day.  It’s like you are going to preschool again.  But…what is better than the thought of cookies and kool-aid at 2 PM.  Oh if your grown up life could be like your child’s day…maybe you wouldn’t be so stressed.

By the time preschool ends you are still so amazed at how much THing 1 has changed.  All the new words they know, the conversations they have, the friends they make…it really is a great time.


Stages of Motherhood – Part 2 October 12, 2011

The next stage is the Toddler Mom.  Up until now you could contain Thing 1, but now Thing 1 is mobile!

Oh yes, Thing 1 is on the move.  And you better get to a gym because now you are going to be moving more than you ever have before.  But, it will be fun.  Thing 1 is becoming more independent.  This is when the realty that Thing 1 will leave you one day hits…or at least it hit me.  That’s when I realized…I better have a life that doesn’t revolve around baby.

Now you have traded bottles for sippy cups, high chairs for booster seats, rear facing baby seats for forward facing.  Lots of changes…

Then the babbling starts and that leads to talking.  And it is so sweet Ma Ma, Da Da…that is when you realize that 1. you better watch your language, 2. you better watch how you talk about others.

There is nothing funny (to other mothers) or humiliating (to you) than when your precious little Thing 1 babbles babbles babbles and then says S!@#.  Oh yes!  Those of us it has happened to give you a little sympathetic smile, then giggle all the way to the car leaving Wal-Mart because we remember it happening to us.   My advice, if Thing 2 says the ugly word in public, turn to Thing 1 and say I can’t believe you taught him that.  My Thing 1 has taken the fall many a time for that!  He is catching on that he is helping mom out of an embarrassing situation and I believe he will expect payment for that soon.

Or…how about when your adorable Thing 1 looks at someone and starts babbling, but the only clear words Thing 1 says sounds like….mama said your mean, or have bad hair, or what ever ugly comment you made in anger and wish you could take back for saying in front of Thing 1.  If you have a Thing 1 and 2, that is a hard one to blame on Thing 1 when Thing 2 says it.

So that covers the mobility and talking.  The big milestones.

It’s time for Thing 1 to move to the toddler bed or twin bed or whatever bed you move him to, just out of the crib.  You tuck cutie pie into the big kid bed, read fifteen stories, read Goodnight Moon for the 1 millionth time, snuggle Thing 1, say the good night prayers, finish the 1 1/2 hour bed time routine of trying to get Thing 1 to stay in the big kid bed all night.  You finally get to fall into your bed and sometime around midnight… you realize some how there are hands and feet in your face and back.  It takes another hour to realize that Thing 1 is mobile and can now make it to your bed any time he wants.  Oh yes!  Thing 1 can’t get from the living room to kitchen without knocking over everything on the coffee table and end table, but he can operate in stealth mode at midnight.

And even as you snuggle in close to Thing 1 because you know he won’t do this forever…you think about how tired you are going to be at work tomorrow…and sore from the knees in the back!


Kids and ordering from a website July 27, 2011

Filed under: Family,Support Group Meetings,The boys — jdkihlken @ 7:48 PM
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Tonight JT begged…please please please let me use my Toys R Us gift cards from my birthday.  Please Mommy Please.  Ok.  But we can’t drive out to Toys R Us tonight.  Mommy, can’t we order from the web?  Ok.  I guess we can.

We sit down at my computer to look through all the toys in our price range.  Oh my gosh!  The list never ends.  After 30 minutes of explaining to a 5-year-old how much money he has to spend we finally agree on a toy.  JT jumps out of the seat and runs to play while I finish the transaction.

20 minutes later… JT looks at my computer screen.  Where is the box, Mommy?  Oh NOOOOO!!!  This is not going to end well.  JT, the box will come in a few days.  UPS will deliver it to our house.  WHAT!!!!  Oh no that is not good enough, he yells.  After 20 more minutes of ranting he calms down and we can continue with our night.

30 minutes later….JT comes in the kitchen where I am finally finishing the kitchen chores and dreading the rest of the Mommy chores for the night.  Mommy, I am not happy.  I gave Toys R Us a lot of money.  That box should be here by now.  JT, it will be a few more days.  Mommy, I gave them all the money I have.  They should bring my package NOW.

This night is not going at all as I had planned….I think it is time for a little therapy or I need to form my Mommy Support Group….

Hello, My name is Jen and my child demands instantaneous results.

Hello, Jen….we understand.


Living in a house full of testosterone May 31, 2011

Filed under: Support Group Meetings — jdkihlken @ 10:13 PM
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I am so lucky to be the only female living in a house full of males.  I wasn’t always alone.  For 13 years I had my loyal boxer, Sassy.  But, unfortunately this year Sassy left me alone in a hosue full of testosterone.  I grew up in a house full of women.  My grandmother was the matriarch of our family.  My mother was the oldest of 7 kids (4 of them girls).  I am the oldest of 12 grandchildren (7 of them girls).  Life was always mom, me, Becky and later we added Judy (that is a story for another time).  When my dad remarried, I inherited 4 sister and 1 brother (don’t take pity on him, he is fine with all the additions of brother in laws and nephews).

Do you see a pattern?  Needless to say, we did not have a lot of “guy things” going on.  Over the past 8 years, since our oldest son was born, my eyes have been opened to the way of boys.  And with Tommy running between two cities for the next few months, I get to endure all of the boy ways alone.  I know I am the envy of all who know me!

Which brings me to this afternoons adventure…

It was a wonderful day.  Emily started babysitting today…which means life gets easier for me!  She had the boys clean up before I made it home from work.  Everyone was so excited to see mom when she got home.  Oh what joy!  I cooked a wonderful meal, we played a little, all was right with the world.

Then we decide to go outside to clean up the backyard and clean out my car.  The boys are playing and having fun.  Then the way of boys kicks in…

  • First, there are the endless jokes about the bird poop all over the back patio from the next in our outside light.  The boys are rolling on the ground laughing so hard as they watch me scrub the patio to remove the poop.
  • Second, while riding bikes and scooters in the front yard, JT claims he has to go inside to change shorts.  the conversation is a little something like this: Mom: Why do you have to change? JT: My shorts are wet. Mom: Why? JT: I don’t know. Mom: How do you not know why your shorts are wet? JT: Nevermind, I think their dry now.  A few minutes later, in the garage, I move a bag of fertilizer.  Hummm…why is it all wet?  why is the sidewalk chalk on the floor wet?  why does the table have water dripping from it?  OH NO!  That isn’t water…JT!!!!!  Mom: JT, did you pee here? JT: I don’t remember. Mom: What?  How can you not remember?  JT: I mean I didn’t remember I had to go.  Mom: insert huge moan here.
  • Third, Xander is in the tub tonight while I am reading The Red Pyramid (great book highly recommend it) to him.  He is ready to get out.  I have 2 pages left to finish the chapter.  I am saying just wait, he is saying I want out.  I keep reading and don’t hand him the towel.  Ha!  I got him there.  Think again.  He picks up two bath toys that squirt water.  Only if they are empty they blow air that comes out sounding like a fart.  I don’t pay attention and keep reading out loud to him.  He then proceeds to make the noises louder and says oh excuse me mom didn’t see you there.  Ha ha.  He knows that this will eventually annoy me.  He is right.  I hand him the towel and say stop farting!

I go back to my original thought.  Where is the support group for moms…just moms.  Not my child has this, my husband has that, but just moms who have kids!

Hello, My name is Jen and I ran out of wine!


First Day May 30, 2011

Filed under: Support Group Meetings — jdkihlken @ 11:34 AM
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Wow.  I am actually going to try this out.  I hope it works.

Why would I write a blog?  I am the person who always tells others that the rest of us aren’t interested in what is happening in their life because we have our own problems.

Then I realized…the stories I tell in the break room at work, at karate and swim lessons for the boys, and to my Facebook friends are actually funny.  A lot of moms relate to my stories.

So…I am starting this is a therapy session for moms.  There are support groups for everything.  Parents of kids with all kind of problems have support groups.  Parents find these outlets to be helpful in coping with the issues at hand.  Well, maybe we all need a support group.  Some place we go and say…

Hello, my name is Jen…I am the mother of two boys.  I need help figuring out if I have completely screwed up my kids.

Then the other moms in the group say…Hello, Jen…you are in the right place.

WOW.  The relief.  How wonderful.  Finally I found people who understand!

I was always that organized, pulled together gal.  The one that had everything everyone needed.  At work I could talk on the phone, write a violation letter, recite regulatory requirements by heart to someone standing in my office door and drink a latter all at once.  The envy of others.

Now…I can’t remember if I put socks on the kids and where my purse is.  Thank God my 8 year old is always wanting my iPhone.  He can lay his hands on my purse is less than 10 seconds of me saying where did mom leave her purse?

Welcome to the support group for moms.


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