Posts Filed Under Kids

A First Time for Everything

posted by Momo Fali on October 21, 2014

This post was inspired by Netflix. Come see what we’re watching.

My kids, both born premature, started their life journeys by consistently missing milestones. Crawling, walking, talking (though, I can attest they have both caught up markedly in that regard), running, jumping – pretty much every chart in their baby books was left untouched until months after a child would typically have it filled.

Needless to say, these breakthroughs have been a huge deal around here. A daughter who didn’t crawl until her first birthday or a son who didn’t speak until he was nearly four years old was cause for long-awaited celebration. They weren’t (and in some cases, still aren’t) just milestones; they are rather enormous landmarks. I’ve been tempted to erect monuments.

Now that they’re 12 and 15, the milestones are less about their existence and more about fun. For instance, my son was recently able to join us on the 93 mph Millennium Force roller coaster at Cedar Point. His next goal is to be tall enough to ride Top Thrill Dragster which goes 120 mph and launches you 420 feet in the air. Don’t judge me because I verified with his cardiologist, TWICE, that it was okay for him to ride them. They are  intense, but we love them and when he was finally 48″ at age 12, he loved some of the big coasters too.

With Halloween on the horizon, we’ve started enjoying the experience of watching scary movies with our daughter. Poltergeist didn’t faze her. Probably because she only knows Craig T. Nelson from “Parenthood” and she doesn’t have any concept of The National Anthem playing on the television at 1:30am, then going static for the  night. *shudder* The TV always had to be turned off before the static started! Always!

Of course, the milestone I’m most looking forward to is when my daughter will do the dishes without being told, or when my son learns to keep the shower curtain liner inside the bathtub. Those moments will be GREAT! Some I’m less than thrilled about, like my daughter going off to college. Gulp. That one is going to be rough. Like sandpaper on a rug-burn rough.

One thing is for certain, these are the things that make memories. You don’t remember the fifth time your kid rode a bike, but you’ll never forget the first.

Dear Teacher

posted by Momo Fali on September 29, 2014

Dear Teacher,

I regret to inform you that the test you requested be signed and returned was accidentally placed in the trash. When I went to retrieve it, I found it covered with coffee grounds, paper towels that were used to clean poop out of a puppy cage and a note which reads, “Are those mouse droppings inside this cabinet, because I WILL DIE!!”

trash

I am assuming you would rather it remain in the garbage, but please advise.

Best regards,

Momo

There’s No Crying at Old Navy!

posted by Momo Fali on June 30, 2014

If I hadn’t been there myself I wouldn’t have believed it. My son made a stranger cry today.

My 12 year old with special needs, who struggles desperately with decision making, had a melt-down in the patriotic shirt section of Old Navy today. We spent 15 minutes going back and forth between the shirts and the register because he couldn’t pick the one he liked. Because we’re trying to get him to focus on this much-needed skill I told him that he had to make a final decision and couldn’t change his mind again – it was that shirt or NO shirt.

Of course, by the time we got to the front of the store he had decided he wanted a different one. Again.

So I took the shirt back and told him he wasn’t getting anything and that’s when the melt-down began. He doesn’t throw traditional tantrums with kicking and screaming, but with tears and thoughtful manipulation. He stood in front of the check out line with sweet, silent tears then said, “Please, mom! I will sacrifice myself for that shirt!”

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imagine those eyes, filled with tears

By the time we got in line, his face was red and splotchy and his shirt was dotted with tears. Did I mention the line was LONG. It looked like Black Friday and we were sandwiched between people in the front and back and the racks of impulse purchases on the sides. Well played, Old Navy. Well played.

My son continued his pleas and I continued to say that he was not getting a shirt, that he has to work on decision making because if he can’t make a choice about a t-shirt, how can I trust him to make big decisions later in life, to which he replied, “I WILL make big decisions! I will be a good driver and I won’t do drugs!”

Then I got tapped on my shoulder. I turned around to see the woman behind us crying. With heartfelt sympathy for the 12 year old she probably thought was 6, she said, “He’s making me so upset.”

I nodded and said, “I know. This is hard, but I’m trying to set a precedent here.”

Then my son looked at her with his sad, tear-filled eyes and said, “Sometimes kids have a hard life.”

As we neared the register we stood next to a bin full of miscellaneous things like dog antlers, plastic Slinkies, and Beanie Babies; to one of which my son became quite attached. Since he couldn’t get the shirt he asked if he could get the Beanie Baby instead. Because I’m the meanest mom ever, I said no. The woman behind us continued to cry.

And, wouldn’t you know, that lady who was moved to tears by my kids dramatic display ended up buying him the Beanie Baby? As she handed it to him she said, “Here you go. Now maybe your life won’t be so hard.”

Though in the end he got his way and that was not what I wanted, part of me was moved by her gesture and how she was touched by this little boy and his sadness.

But, really? Couldn’t she have bought him one of those shirts?

How to Meet His Gaze: Grow Fur

posted by Momo Fali on June 9, 2014

Every Sunday at church I reach for him during the sign of peace. As I simultaneously shake his hand and lean over to kiss the top of his head I remind him to look people in the eye when he says, “Peace be with you.” It’s not necessarily something that comes naturally to him.

There are times, of course, when he will sit and stare intently at my face as we discuss the day’s events. Some evenings he will sit on my lap and I’ll tell him stories and he’ll look at me so closely that I can count his freckles.

But, more often than not, when replying to someone he quickly glances away as he says, “Thanks” or “Bye.” Eye contact is not his strong suit.

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Well, with humans anyway.