A glimpse into our family – the good, the bad, and, of course, the funny

Mount Maximus February 29, 2012

Max’s range of talents is impressive.  Perhaps his most unusual (and certainly most undesirable) is his ability to vomit on command.

He does this at the most inopportune times (now that I consider it, though, any time is rather inopportune for this).  I can usually see it coming.  I’ve learned when we go to restaurants to watch for the nuances in his expressions that let me know he’s about to blow.

And blow he does!  It’s not simply spitting food discreetly into a napkin – he spews.  He explodes.  He erupts.

The worst time I can recall out of the years of this happening in almost every eating establishment we have visited as a family was at Blue Sky Cafe, our very favorite local restaurant where the waitresses don’t even have to ask what we want to eat when we go.

It was a pretty crowded evening, and the setting is cozy anyway.  We enjoyed our dinner with no incident.  The kids behaved and no one spilled anything, argued, cried, choked, or broke any dishes (not that any of those things have ever happened when our nice little family eats out).  We tipped our favorite waitress and got up to leave.

Ronnie decided to carry Max out.  He grabbed him around the waist and playfully swung him through the air as he scooted out of our tight table.  It was just like a slow-motion reply as I saw what happened.  I saw “the look” on Max’s face just a split-second too late.

Max started projectile vomiting as soon as Ronnie picked him up, and because Ronnie was swinging him through the air, the vomit arched through the air with momentum.  It was like one of those photographs that captures water in motion.  A perfect arch of orangy-colored nastiness stuck in mid-air.  If only it could have stayed stuck.  Of course, inevitably, it had to land.

Oh dear.  This is still so embarrassing to think about.  Those poor people who were innocently sitting there enjoying conversation over dinner.  I guess I really don’t need to explain what happened.

We sent our waitress flowers the next day.

We really liked the restaurant, after all.  We wanted to be welcomed there again.

You know, we get some strange looks from people when we eat out and we scold our son at the table.  I know people think we’re odd when they overhear my vehement whispers, “Maxwell Trenton, don’t you dare choke!  Don’t you even think about choking.  Do. Not. Throw. Up.”

What can I say?  He can totally control it (just ask him).  And I can’t afford flowers for every waitress in town.

If you hear us out in public threatening our four-year-old about choking, now you understand why.


A Portrait of Max (as a two-year-old) February 28, 2012

Filed under: humor,parenting — mandyholbert @ 6:34 am
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Mothering a two-year-old boy can be hazardous to your health – at least it is for me sometimes. Let’s see, I’m sitting here right now with a sore nose (it only bled a little bit).

My son is a wild child. A lot of people say that about their boys, but mine is king of the wild children. Don’t get me wrong, though; my son does not need medication; he is not hyperactive; he is not even hyper. He is full of life, always up for adventure, and already a risk taker. He is an explorer, a prankster, and sometimes a menace. But he has a heart of gold.

He usually does naughty things, but not terribly bad things. Just mischief. Rather innocent, really, and usually quite funny. Imagine my horror Friday night when I arrived at my mom’s house after a long week of work only to find my son in real trouble. He had taken a marker and drawn, purposefully, on each chair of the kitchen table. This wasn’t mere scribbles. He decorated the chairs with dark green ink.

]I could hear my mom’s pseudo-scolding, so I ran in the kitchen to find Max looking at her feigning innocence. I swooped in and swept him away to the bedroom, where I carried out the parental duty of spanking (which was not really what I had planned for my Friday night).

Later, during dinner, Max came running to me crying that Kendra had hit him in the eye. Kendra followed right behind promising it was an accident. I asked Max if it was indeed an accident and he said yes, though he would not stop his overly-dramatic wails of pain.

Sometimes, I try different (okay, stupid) parenting methods. For some reason, I was thinking in my head that if I told Max to hit Kendra in the eye, he would not want to do it since it was an accident that he got hit. So, (it had been a long week, in my pathetic defense), I told Max to hit Kendra in the eye.

The boy didn’t hesitate. He slugged Kendra square in the eye.

Well, on the bright side, Max didn’t cry any more.

The look on Kendra’s face made me wish an Acme anvil would fall from the sky and squash me, taking me through the floors of the house, the layers of the earth, until I finally burned away in the magma-filled center. Oh, it was bad.

I ran after her and begged for forgiveness. Then I begged her to slug me in the eye. Ridiculous, I know. And, of course, this child would never dream of hurting someone like that (note to self: Kendra and Max are, indeed, different). I hugged her and kissed her and cuddled her and promised her I would never do something so stupid again, and she forgave me.

Oh, Max is always full of surprises.

Like I said before, he really does have a heart of gold. He apologized to Kendra. And this morning, when he lunged at me with all his weight and head-butted me squarely in the nose, he immediately said he was sorry and told me he would make it all better. He planted a tender, sweet little kiss on my nose, and cuddled up beside me and went to sleep.

He may be mischievous, and sometimes challenging, but I wouldn’t change my son for anything in the world.



Would you like nuts with that? February 27, 2012

It all started with a typical communication breakdown.  We were on our way into McDonald’s for a nutritious dinner.  Max said he needed to use the bathroom really bad.  So, I told Ronnie to take Max to the restroom and that I would take Kendra, and then we would order our food.  Easy enough.
I subconsciously noticed that Ronnie and Max were standing admiring the Happy Meal toy display as Kendra and I entered the restroom.  But, when we emerged they were nowhere to be seen, so we girls went to order up some food while the boys finished taking care of business.  I ordered, got the food, poured the drinks, set everything up at the table, and still there was no sign of the boys.  Hmmm…
Several minutes later, I heard Ronnie laughing, and I looked up to see him carrying Maxwell.  Max was wearing these strange red pants that I had never seen before and Ronnie was laughing his head off.  What is he wearing?  I was puzzled.
Turns out, Ronnie did not take Max to the restroom when Max had to go really bad.  Instead, they looked at the Happy Meal toy display, and Max took a leak in his pants right there.  Ronnie rushed him to the restroom, too late of course, and had to figure out a quick fix.  I would have simply said no sit-down dinner for us and gone through the drive-thru.  Ronnie, on the other hand, used his creative parenting skills and made an unusual, though somewhat effective, pair of pants out of his shirt.
Seems he put Max’s legs through the arms of his long-sleeved shirt then tied a knot at the waist.  The result was something I would imagine old dancing drunk men to have worn in ancient Russia.  Maybe kind of Fiddler-on-the-Roof-ish.  If I were a rich man,Ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba deedle deedle dum…Anyways, there was my son sporting his new dry pants and my husband giggling his brains out.  Time to eat.
Well, as if that weren’t enough for one outing, Max somehow managed to pour about half his bottle of chocolate milk on his shirt-pants.  At least the wetness wasn’t a bodily fluid, I guess.  I blotted him off best I could, and laughed it off since that seemed to be the thing to do for the night.
He ate his food, then sat happily playing with his Happy Meal toy – a talking Alvin, the head chipmunk of the famous rodent trio.  For whatever reason, Max looked at the toy, pushed the button, and when the toy said, “Hello, Gorgeous!” Max said in delight, “It’s baby Jesus!!”  Don’t ask me!  We laughed again.
Everyone wanted dessert, so I went to the counter still chuckling about baby Jesus.  I ordered our sundaes, and the young fellow put them on a tray along with spoons.  I looked at him and simply asked, “Do you have nuts?”  He turned around to get the chopped peanuts, but couldn’t hide his amusement at all, and when he handed them to me he was openly laughing.  Well!  Excuse me!  I didn’t know we were in elementary school.  I laughed along with him and went back to the table.
Max made a few more jokes while eating some ice cream, the funniest of which was his naming the nuts “little seeds”.  We finished up and were getting ready to leave.  Max, poor boy, tried to get up from the table holding the rest of his chocolate milk, and somehow managed to pour it on his head and fill his hood with it.  At this point, what do you do?
Ronnie quickly grabbed my purse.  Now, in the ten years we’ve been together, he has never, ever held my purse.  Tonight, though, he grabbed it up with gusto.  I think he even swung his hips a little as he walked.  He would have put lipstick on if it would have sealed the deal that I had to carry that little bundle of mischief out to the Jeep.
I scooped Max up, trying to hold him in a position that would keep his shirt-pants on and still keep me from being covered in chocolate milk.  It was awkward, but I thought I was doing a good job.  The McDonald’s employees gave me some really memorable looks when I passed by, but I attributed it to the shirt-pants.
Only when I got outside did I realize that Max’s “seeds” were exposed.
Oops!  What do you do?  We just laughed some more and drove on home.


Max’s Third Birthday February 26, 2012

Filed under: humor,parenting — mandyholbert @ 10:18 am
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For weeks we have been pumping Max up about turning three. We have talked about what a big boy he will be as a three-year-old. We talked about cake, a party, and presents. The usual things that drive kids crazy with anticipation.
Not Max. He actually said, “I don’t want no stinkin’ cake, I don’t want no stinkin’ party, and I don’t want no stinkin’ presents!”
Since he was so adamant in his proclamations, we decided to forgo the traditional birthday party and just take him to dinner and to the store to pick out a toy. Since I’m working full-time now, I was really relieved because planning a party is a lot of work. So now Max would be happy and I would be happy. Great!
The morning of his birthday came, and I woke him up and sang to him. We really made a big deal out of it. Then I got him ready and took him to my mom’s house so I could go to work. There was not mention of a cake, party, or presents because he didn’t want any of that “stinkin'” stuff.
When I walked out the door, he called me back for one more hug and kiss. How sweet. Then, as nonchalantly as ever, he looked at me and said, “Don’t forget to go pick up my Cars cake.” I swear he even shrugged a little bit as he said it, as if we had been planning this for weeks and he had hand-picked his cake from the bakery catalog and knew exactly what it looked like.
My mind immediately started racing (that little booger got me again!). I stopped by the bakery on the way to work and begged them to have a cake ready by that afternoon. I went to work (and, incidentally got audited – no stress there!), called the family to meet us at Chick-fi-A for a birthday party that evening, spent my lunch break ordering balloons and buying presents, finished my day at work, went back to pick up the balloons and cake, then met everyone at the restaurant. Whew! What a day!
The party went well. Max had a great time. He loved opening his presents and he loved the balloons. Then, when it was time to blow out the number three candle, I put him in front of his cake so we could sing to him.
Happy Birthday to you
I lit the candle. He blew it out.
Happy Birthday to you
I lit it again. He blew it out.
Happy Birthday to Maxwell.
I lit it again and told him to wait for the end of the song.
He blew it out.
Birthday to you.
When we finished, he told us, “Sing me that song again, and I will blow out my candle again.”
One more time everyone!
When the candle was reduced to a mere puddle of wax on the cake, I scraped it off and started serving. I told Max, “Here’s your cake, little buddy.” I couldn’t wait to watch him savor the cake that had been the source of so much effort and stress and $20 on my part.
He looked at me. He looked at the cake. He looked back at me and made a matter-of-fact Mom-you-know-I-don’t-eat-cake kind of face, waved his hands like he was brushing me off, shook his head (at my ignorance, I presume), and said, “Oh, no. That cake is too gross for me.” Then he walked away.
I stared after him, speechless. I nearly dropped the knife I was holding.
He got me again!!


And Kendra February 25, 2012

Filed under: humor,Kendra,parenting — mandyholbert @ 6:54 am
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This one gives a pretty good picture of Kendra and of how the kids typically interact.

Jack and Jill

I don’t know why Kendra wanted to dress up Sunday afternoon to go outside and play, but she did.  She had on a frilly skirt with a matching shirt, dangly earrings, bracelets almost up to her elbows, make-up, and a funky hairstyle.  She looked adorably funky, which is her usual style of choice.  She was playing in the backyard with Max, and Ronnie and I were out front.  Everything seemed to be going well.  Until…

Kendra came running around front looking exactly like a wet cat, a fancy wet cat.  Max trailed closely behind her with a look of concern on his face.  Kendra was soaked – from the top of her pretty hairstyle all the way down to her tiered skirt.

“What happened?” I asked, though I already had a pretty good idea in my mind after noticing Max’s conspicuously dry clothing.

“Max just poured a whole cup of water on me!” she yelled quite indignantly.  Max remained uncharacteristically silent.

“Why did he do that?” I asked.

“I don’t know!  I asked him to get me a drink of water and he poured it all over me!”  Boy, was she mad.

“Why would he do that?  What exactly did you say to him?”  For some reason, I had a hunch that there had to be more to the story.

Kendra answered a little sheepishly.  “I asked him to fetch me a pail of water.”

I looked at Max, still standing silently with a faux-angelic look on his face.

“Max, what does ‘fetch a pail of water’ mean?”

He shrugged his shoulders and them made a motion of throwing a bucket of water all over Kendra.

I had to laugh.  He may not have known exactly what “fetch a pail of water” meant, but something tells me he knew it didn’t mean to throw water all over his dolled-up sister.

I gently suggested to Kendra that perhaps she should be a little less poetic when she requests things from her brother.  They are too funny!


Introducing Max

Filed under: humor,Max,parenting — mandyholbert @ 1:55 am
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I thought I’d repost a few old stories about the kids for anyone who hasn’t properly met them yet.  Here is one of my favorite Max incidents:

I am still breathing heavy and my heart is still pounding from my latest adventure with my son.  If my hands stop shaking enough, I’ll be able to write this down before I forget the intense emotion I just experienced.  Warning: this story is not for the faint of heart.
It all started this morning when Ronnie caught our cat Sparkles (don’t let the name fool you) with a baby rabbit pinned to the ground.  Ronnie rescued the bunny from the claws of our feline huntress and brought it to show to Max and me.  Well, being the loving, caring mother that I am, I didn’t want Kendra to miss out on the baby just because she was at school, so I put it in a plastic storage bin with some leaves and carrots and set it in the laundry room.  What a cute little thing it was looking at us with those big, round eyes.  Adorable.
Well, we all went on about our business, and mine happened to include leaving the house for about an hour.  I thought that innocent little babe would be fine just resting after the near-death experience with Sparkles, so I left it in the laundry room.  Imagine my horror when I returned home only to find the rabbit was gone!  That little beast was loose in my house!  It could have peed or pooped or nibbled on anything!
The first thing Max did was check on the cake I had cooling on a rack.  “Mom!  The bunny ate your cake!!”  I ran over to look, and of course it wasn’t true – he just couldn’t resist the chance to tease me.  I started frantically looking through the house, scared to death that when I put my face on the floor to check under the furniture, the little monster would pounce at me and bite my nose.  I actually had thoughts in my head of myself running through the house, arms flailing, with a baby rabbit latched on to the end of my nose.  I told Max to help me look and to call me if he found it.  “MOM!!” he promptly yelled.  “Did you find it already??”  I gushed – very relieved.  “No,” he chuckled.  UGH!!
I honestly considered for a moment who I should call to help me.  Ronnie was at the dentist and probably wouldn’t share my opinion that this was an emergency.  The fire department probably wouldn’t either.  My dad came last year and saved me when there was a snake in my yard…Nope.  A BR does not compare to a snake.  This was a mission I would have to accomplish with just myself and my highly amused two-year-old.
Well, I finally spotted the critter under my bed, so I closed the closet and bathroom doors and sat Max on a stool in my bedroom door to guard the only exit while I ran outside to get some heavy-duty commercial-grade cow-hide work gloves.  Then, once I had donned my protective gear, I entered the BR (that’s Baby Rabbit, of course) Zone.  I told Max to scare him out so I could catch him, and that resulted in one of the most comical scenes I have ever played a part in.
Let me just say, I don’t really like animals that much (in case you couldn’t tell), but I try hard not to show it around my kids because I don’t want to influence their feelings towards animals.  I failed today.  I screamed my head off and actually ran away from a baby rabbit at one point – in my own bedroom at that.  Max was screaming.  I was shrieking.  We were both laughing hysterically, and the poor rabbit was so scared that it was literally trying to jump through the walls.
My mind, in the midst of the chaos, thought about the time when I was a little girl that a lizard got into our house and my mom sucked it up with the vacuum cleaner hose.  I thought about the time a tree frog got into the house and my mom screamed that it was on my head (it wasn’t).  I thought about a good friend of mine who had a snake loose in her walls somewhere, and how a BR paled in comparison. I thought about how stupid I was acting and how ashamed I would be for anyone to see me running and screaming like I had a Tasmanian devil in my bedroom instead of a traumatized infant bunny.
None of it helped.  Max and I laughed and screamed and yelled until the rabbit apparently was just exhausted.  I cornered it, picked it up (thus, the reason for the gloves), and put it back in the storage bin for Kendra to see.  This time, though, I put a screen on the top to prevent further escapes.
Max is now in his bed for his afternoon nap.  And here I sit.  Rather embarrassed.  Feeling silly.  And wondering if that nappy little creature really did pee in my house somewhere.
We’re taking the kids to the zoo tomorrow.  I may need to consider some medication before that trip.