mandyholbert

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

Hugs make the world go ’round October 3, 2012

Filed under: children,family,humor,Kendra,Max,parenting — mandyholbert @ 8:01 pm
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Well, maybe not this kind of hug.  I think more sincere hugs actually make the world go ’round.

The kids were arguing so badly in my back seat.  I yelled, threatened, swerved, and otherwise acted like a complete fool to try to get them to stop.  I find bickering children very distracting.

Then I had a moment of genius.  I remembered one of the most dreaded punishments inflicted on me as a child.  The old sit-on-the-couch-and-hug-each-other, used by my parents when Nickie and I annoyed them too badly by arguing.

I remember sitting on the couch with my arms wrapped around her and I was completely miserable.  There was probably no one on Earth I would have wanted to hug less than her.  Sitting there embracing my twerp of a sister who whined so much that it got us in trouble just like she always did made me want to do anything in the world to be able to get up and play – including getting along with her if necessary.

So, I made the kids hug each other.

I snapped a picture.

 

Look how unhappy they were.  It was perfect.

I made them stay like that long enough for them to get the point.

They got along very well for the rest of the evening.

Maybe we should implement this practice in the real world.  Especially during election season.  It might be really helpful for President Obama and Mitt Romney to sit on the couch and hug for a spell…

…at least it would make for much more uplifting commercials.

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Mommy is Sorry, Max July 30, 2012

Lakewood Camping Resort is like its own little city.  They have everything you could possibly need while on vacation – stores, restaurants, coffee shop, mail service, laundromat, and tons of fun things to do – pools, slides, sports, mini golf, boating, and, of course, the beach.  Once inside, you can get around by walking or riding a bicycle, but most people opt to rent a golf cart.  It makes lugging coolers and chairs to the beach much easier.  Plus, driving a golf cart around for a week is just plain fun.

2007_0801SouthCarolina0009

2007_0801SouthCarolina0009 (Photo credit: j-rod89)

We rented one for the week.  The golf carts are electric, so they don’t go too fast, and the campground has the necessary rules governing the use of them, so overall, even though there are hundreds of them driving around, it’s pretty safe.

I guess that’s why I didn’t consider the possibility of someone getting hurt.  I should have learned my lesson when we went last year, and Ronnie managed to back into my shins not once, but twice.  I’m surprised my bruised shins didn’t make more of an impression on me, but this year, I had forgotten about accidents, and I wasn’t careful at all.

Max and Kendra on the golf cart waiting to ride from our campsite to the beach.

Max and Kendra were sitting on the back seat, and I backed the golf cart out of our campsite.  I halfway noticed as I looked over my shoulder to back up that Max was lying down instead of sitting properly, so I told him to straighten up.  I didn’t, however, wait for him to sit up as I instructed, and when I put the golf cart from reverse to forward, I threw him off.  He screamed and rolled on the pavement.

I jumped off and ran to him, looking around to see who all had noticed what a bad mom I was that morning.  I checked him out, and he seemed okay, but he wouldn’t stop wailing – I think he was more mad at me than anything else.  He was making the most of this opportunity to get back at me for throwing him off.  He really made quite the scene, so I told him to go back in the camper.

Even though I was embarrassed and mad at myself, when it finally sank in that I had thrown my five-year-old son off a moving vehicle onto hot asphalt while he was wearing only swimming trunks, I started feeling really, really bad.  I couldn’t shake it off.  I apologized to him so many times.  I asked him if he was mad.  I begged him to forgive me.  I told him it was an accident.  I just couldn’t shake it off all day long.

Finally, that evening, all four of us decided to go for a golf cart ride around the campground.  Max joked a few times as we drove around and told random people how his mom threw him off the golf cart.  Funny boy.  We were laughing and having a great time, really making up for my earlier incident of bad parenting.  We even played some music and sang together.  It was really fun.

All of a sudden, Ronnie, who had his feet propped up on the dash, hit the switch with his foot and the golf cart stopped in the middle of the road.  I panicked just a little and jerked to a start without checking on the kids who were sitting on the back seat…

…well, I thought they were both sitting.  Max was actually standing up, and when I started the golf cart – yep, you guessed it – I threw him off again.  Does road rash scar?  I sure hope not…

Scène from the Police Academy Stunt Show

Scène from the Police Academy Stunt Show (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Driving Victory April 14, 2012

Filed under: Arguments,family,humor,parenting — mandyholbert @ 7:55 pm
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I’m not the world’s best driver; I’ll readily admit that.  I usually consider the yellow lines more of a suggestion than a rule.  The speed limit is more advice than the law.  I’m more of a creative kind of driver.

My husband, on the other hand, is a total show-off.  He can drive down a curvy hill in the dark at full speed all while in reverse.  He can squeeze through the tightest spots that make me cringe because I think we’re sure to lose a side-view mirror.  Ronnie is the complete opposite of me – he is a very talented driver.

And it drives me crazy.

When we went to eat the other night at our favorite Mexican restaurant, there were no available parking slots.  There was, however, a space between the dumpster and another car that someone could feasibly park in if they were willing to back in the very tight spot.

I was driving.  Ronnie told me to park there, so I did what I always do.  I told him to steer and I closed my eyes and operated the pedals.  Once we were through the hairy part, I took the wheel back and finished backing in.  There was a concrete retaining wall back there.

Ronnie sometimes overreacts when I’m driving.  I don’t understand why.  Anyways, as I was finishing backing in, he all of a sudden looks over at me with bugged out eyes and snapped, “There’s a wall back there!  Stop!”

So, I naturally went a little farther and then stopped.

We got out, and here’s what we saw:

He swore I hit the wall.  I was sure I didn’t.  Well, actually, I was pretty sure I probably did, but I didn’t want to admit that I should have stopped when he told me to with his goofy bugged out eyes.  He could have told me more politely.  Like, “Dear, please stop reversing as there is a wall back there that I wouldn’t want to inconvenience you in any way.”  That would have been much nicer.

We had to get on our hands and knees to determine whether I hit it.  And HA! I didn’t hit it!

See that tiny gap?  That was talent if I ever saw it!  It was enough room for me to slide a piece of paper between my car and the wall, which I happily did as my symbol of victory.

Don’t tell my husband, but I honestly had absolutely no idea that the wall was even back there.  I don’t know how in the world I didn’t hit it, but the point is that I didn’t!  As far as I’m concerned, I couldn’t have maneuvered more precisely if I tried!

Who’s the good driver now?!

 

Confession: I Have Littered March 20, 2012

Max has been bad lately.  The kind of bad that makes eye contact with me from across a crowded room and pointedly looks away when I motion for him to come to me.  The kind of bad that may finally give in and do what I say but only after an exasperated grunt with arms folded across his chest.  Oh, man.  He’s just been getting on my nerves.

This morning was just a continuation of a weekend of disobedience.  He antagonized Kendra relentlessly on the way to drop her off at school.  Finally, the days of repeating myself, yelling, pleading, negotiating, reasoning, ignoring, and punishing caught up with me.  When they argued while I was trying to drive, I blew my top.

I yelled at them and tried to keep my car between the lines.  It was something to the effect of how they need to listen to me and stop being bad and I’m trying to drive the car and blah, blah, blah…

Well, the “blah, blah, blah” is apparently all my son heard, because as soon as I stopped yelling to take a breath and collect myself, he reached over and pinched Kendra.

She screamed.  My blood pressure was through the roof.

I did something impulsive – something drastic.  I told Max to give me his special fart-in-a-can putty that he had just gotten at a birthday party we attended over the weekend.  He had been itching to play with it.  He was taking it with him to entertain him for the day.  I told him to give it to me.  I rolled down the passenger window, and I threw that fart putty right out.

Silence.

And then…

He started crying.  “Oh, no you don’t,” I said.  “If anyone should be crying, it should be me.  I’m the one who has a little boy who won’t listen to me.  You don’t cry, or I’ll throw something else out the window.”

Well, he stopped.

The rest of the ride to school was very quiet.  After Kendra got out of the car, Max and I had a talk.

“Max, what’s wrong with you?  Why are you sitting back there making that face?”

“Because I’m sad.”

“Why are you sad?”

“Because you threw my toy out the window.”

“That’s right.  That made you feel sad.  You know what?  That’s just how I feel when you don’t listen to me.  I feel sad just like that,” I told him.

I think I got through to him.  I saw him make the connection.

I’m just so thankful no one witnessed my creative parenting this morning, especially a police officer.  If he didn’t get me for reckless driving, surely I would have gotten pulled over for littering.

And I can imagine the scene that would have ensued.  Kendra would have immediately started wailing and begging the officer not to take her mother to jail.  And Max, well, I think Max would have sat back there with a smug look on his face.

A look that said Officer, please forgive my mother.  I’m not sure what gets into her sometimes.  Go easy on her.  Oh, and would you mind kindly retrieving my fart putty from the ditch over there?  Carry on.