He Does Not Bend, I Am Fine With That

He was planned. I mean we didn't have ovulation kits and a schedule of when to get down but we did have the discussion that went something like this.

"We really should have another baby for our firstborn to play with, shouldn't we?"

I think this was after we had watched Barney for the 15th time in a row and our firstborn still wanted us to play with him.

"Yeah, we really should."

And that was that.

We had baby number two. A second son. Perfect. Now they'll play with each other and grow up their brother's keeper forever.

Oh life, if only it was that simple.  Well, the having a play mate and being each other's keeper has worked but that perfect part? Ha!

My first pregnancy was what the books said it would be. I went from not being able to finish a 6 inch sub, eat 3 inches for lunch and save the rest for dinner, to hearing myself order a fish filet meal, 6 piece nuggets and an apple pie and eating it all in 5 minutes. Yeah, other than eating like crazy and gaining 50 lbs and watching my belly grow each month, that was pregnancy.

Pregnancy number two though? I remember it like it wasn't in 2000 and 2001. I felt sick the whole time! I was picking up some Japanese take out for my co-workers in month 5 and next thing you know I'm on the ground with scraped knees and what not. Huh? And my belly would not stop moving ever! He was having a party in there or something. That should have been my clue but maybe I was too busy watching Barney again.  Labor was supposed to scheduled but my amniotic fluid wasn't ready so the birthday was rescheled for 7 days later. 4 days after that I shot up in my bed in the middle of the night and had a scene straight from a Hollywood movie play out. Full blown labor. Crying and carrying on all the way to the babysitter's house at 1:30 AM, continuing on the hospital looking exactly like the women on a Baby Story that I secretly would tell to shut up with all the moaning and crying! Ha!  He was born at 4 AM and all I could do after is lay there in shock wondering what just happened to me.

Second time Mom's have this motherhood thing in the bag. We know what diapers work well now and what to do since we have experience now.  I was prepared I tell you. I wasn't gonna spend a dime on formula. I was gonna get the top of the line double breast pump and be a one woman factory. Ha! What's that line about making plans so God can laugh? Yeah, that. I put the kid on the right one so he could get his feeding on and I kid you not, hours after being born, this kid over rode me and found his way to my left one! Huh?  What part of the game is this? That should have been my light bulb moment but alas it passed me right on by.

That was the beginning of our relationship, this wonderful kid of mine and I.  Our mother son complicated tango.

Breastfeeding lasted maybe a month because he started reacting to my milk. He was put on medicated formula that cost a grip. Sigh. That should have been another light bulb moment but maybe I had watched too much Barney. Yeah, lets blame it on the purple guy or the rain. Lets just blame it on something.

When he approached age 2 and actually started verbalizing his thoughts I finllay realized the most important thing there was to realize.  This kid refused to bend! He was who he was.

This dawned on me the day the kid just wouldn't do something I was asking him to do. I can't even remember what it was since he was 2 but whatever it was, I was saying go left and he was going right or I was saying black and he was saying white, I was saying up and he was saying down.  I felt like such a failure! I was reduced to tears and the ex-hisband found me on the living room floor contemplating therapy. I was at my wits end.  I had decided to leave work and be a full time stay at home Mom too by this point and I was drowning fast. I had 2 sons under 4 and was going under quick.  I needed a life jacket quick.

So I took a deep breath the next day and reevaluated my situation.

My Mother raised 4 kids and was still sane.  I could do this.

So I started observing him and realized that I needed a new approach.  With my first son, I could instruct and instructions were followed with no questions.  My second son did not work that way.  I needed to go with the flow with him and simply follow his lead.

Once I did this, we had peace.

With parenting and in life in general, I choose to live pretty simply.  My number 1 goal is to live in peace.  I ask myself constantly what I need to do to achieve peace and do just that.  If the kids act less unruly if they are fed by 7 then by all means I feed them by 7.  If wearing green for 4 days in a row is how my kid gets down and gives me less grief then by all means, lets stock up on green t-shirts. You get the picture.  There are just some battles I don't have the energy to fight. 

He doesn't eat just anything. He has to examine everything and nothing is entering his esophagus if he doesn't want it. NOTHING!  I learned this after being thrown up on one too many times.  And this kid's will power? Amazing! When he knows something, he knows it and that's that. We can sit at the table staring each other down for 5 hours straight or get thrown up on. Pick one.

He goes through food stages. He'll go for months eating one food then wake up and just be over it.  Just 2 weeks ago I saw him eating a banana. Since when did he like bananas? I bought a bunch a few days ago that are still sitting here so maybe that phase is over with already. Sigh. Or maybe since I made a big deal that he liked bananas now, he suddenly doesn't like them anymore.  The struggle!

He refused to eat at school once he started school and I had to have a conference with the Principal and lunch room ladies - they called me in.  They decided to make him a turkey sandwich daily with no mayo. Just 2 pieces of bread and some turkey meat. Add mayo and clean up throw up. Pick one. They learned that he wasn't gonna bend with a quickness.  Now that I think about it, I don't think that boy even eats turkey sandwiches anymore.

He's 12 now and still won't bend.  I'm not trying to bend him either.

These kids show up as who they are. I know this for sure.

The other day I was at my wits end yelling at him again for something I asked him to do once again.

His reaction took me aback and I took a deep breath again and remembered how he's not gonna bend.  I remembered what happened when he was 2 and decided I needed to do that again.  I asked him what I needed to do to make this work?  His older brother has learned how we can live in harmony and I need little brother to get there before my sanity leaves me.

He saw I was being serious and we had a talk.

"It's just that you don't ask me to do things Mama, you always yell at me."


Isn't that what I'm supposed to do? Aren't Parents supposed to yell to get things done? Didn't Cain and Able's Daddy yell at them?

"What do you suggest I do?" I asked him.

Call me a new-age parent, a punk, whatever. Pick one. But I'm about peace and what I need to do to get there.

"You could just ask me and not yell. When you yell you make me feel bad."


Really, what he should have said is that he shuts down because I see it and he learned that from me.

I get it.

So we shook on it.We agreed that I will resort to yelling only after the 2nd time of asking.

I have refrianed from yelling and simply look him in the eye and ask now.

I am getting results too.

This is my blog and this is working for me. 

This is not for everyone.

I have heard about how much I baby him and how I am not preparing him for the real world. How I need to let him starve and break him.  I have heard it all.

With parenting, you have to do what is right for you.  Years from now, he can be on a therapist couch telling him/her that I should have forced him to eat beef and that would have made him a better human being and not on his/her couch. Shrugs.

This is working for us right now.  This is our arena and we are in it and learning as we go along. We will continue to make mistakes and learn from them.

I have recently learned about arenas and how those not in the arena with you have no rights to what is happening there.

Pick what is working for you in your arena and I won't say a word.

That is all.


  1. Great Read. Don't let him read this until he's an adult, if you can help it.


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