Geek. Pirate. Mom

The Life and Times of Whitney Drake

Posts tagged 'oldest kidlet'

Everyday magic.

This weekend, TheBoy and I went to Days of the Wolf, a Teen Wolf convention. But that isn’t what that post is about.  (I’ll post about that on Wed)

We surprised the Kidlets with a trip to Disneyland and a stay last night in a hotel. (We haven’t left yet, right now we’re waiting for breakfast to get her)

After we left Denny’s for dinner, the Little Kidlet realized he forgot his current favorite stuffed animal at home. The tears began.

But it was already late and we knew it would take at least Ann hour to go home get Carrots and drive back. So TheBoy tried to distract the Little Kidlet. “What’s your favorite: bacon or fries?”

“Bacon and fries.”

This went on, along with quiet sobs of, “I want Carrots,” all the way back to the hotel room.

The Kidlets got out their Nooks, and the Oldest Kidlet started to draw something.  After a few minutes, he held it up. “I drew Carrots!”  And true enough, he’d drawn the brown bunny. “This way you can look at his picture when you miss him.”


The crying stopped as the Little Kidlet looked at it. “Thank you.”

It was one of those moments where it felt like we’ve done everything right.

(True story, I’m posting this from my phone to avoid paying for the internet for only two hours of usage. And when I was part way through this post, TheBoy informed me he was probably going to pay for it anyways.  Just my luck.)

Kidlets and Conversations About Parallel Universes

Earlier this week, as we walked from our car to the elementary school, the Oldest Kidlet asked me something interesting. And no, it had nothing to do with the Titanic.

He asked what my life would be like if TheBoy and I hadn’t had them (the Kidlets). And I know that was never an option. We wanted children too much.

The moment after, I thought about what life was like before them. Having the freedom to walk around naked. Getting to sleep in on the weekend. Staying up all night playing video games. Impromptu trips to Las Vegas. Midnight showings of movies. Being able to make dates without checking with anyone first.

It was a fun life, and I’m sure that in whatever parallel universe exists where TheBoy and I decided not to have kids, we’re probably traveling around the world and eating up a storm. Good for AU!us. It’s just not the life I want, or ever wanted, really.

Even with the sleepless nights, the midnight trips to the ER (because kids rarely get violently ill at convenient hours), the broken arm, learning to travel with an epi-pen and constant paranoia about whether or not something’s made with allergens, realizing I’ll seldom have control of my television, and the endless discussions about the Titanic* – I would never give any of that up just for a few more hours of sleep or traveling the world whenever I feel like it.

So I squeezed his hand, grateful that at age 8 he still wants to hold my hand, and smiled. “I have no idea, kiddo. It’s hard to think of any life without you two.”

He squeezed my hand in return, and smiled a dazzling smile that looks so much like his father’s.

Then he paused, and looked up at me again. “So, Mommy. Do you think that if the Titanic’s hull had been made out of-” And it was back to life as usual.

*He has been in a Titanic phase for the last three months. I am not kidding when I say that at least 75% of his conversations are about the Titanic or some other cruise ship, but mostly the Titanic. He has built about 30 different versions of it using LEGO, DUPLO and even cardboard boxes. And the sneaky kid keeps sneaking onto my Netflix profile to watch documentaries about the Titanic.

Like a girl.

I try my hardest to teach my boys that toys aren’t gendered, neither are TV shows or other interests.

But I’m still battling their peers, so there are a lot of follow-up conversations. Yesterday, I was working with the Little Kidlet on his homework and the Oldest Kidlet was going on about something.

I honestly don’t remember what, but it was probably movie related- they’d been watching promos on a new DVD. I do remember is that he’d been pouring himself orange juice when he shook his head, and seriously said. “But that’s a girl thing.”

The Little Kidlet gasped.

I froze, and turned around. “Sweetie. I have to tell you that I’m not mad at you.” Because he was already flinching, because I must have been giving him the death glare. “But it does hurt when I hear you say that something is just for boys or just for girls. Because very few things are just for boys or girls- and even then, they’re usually health related. If you wanted to take ballet, and someone said it was just for girls, I’d probably get in their face and set them straight. If either of you had been a girl and said you wanted to go into space or be a physicist, I would do the same if anyone said you couldn’t. If it’s what makes you happy, and it isn’t hurting anyone- it doesn’t matter if you’re a boy or a girl. Capisce?”

He looked at me, sort of pleased and afraid. “You’d do that?”

“Of course, baby.” I might seem meek, but my mom made sure that few people told me I couldn’t do something. I’m going to follow in her footsteps. Fear me. “I’m your mom, it’s my job to try to make sure that you have a happy life, and that mean people back off. Until you’re old enough to handle it, anyways.”

He blinked. “You and the girls I know are pretty scary. I have no idea why people say that doing something ‘like a girl’ is a bad thing.” And then he walked off.

For the record, some of the girls he know are absolutely terrifying. 7 years old, and not afraid of the world at all- one’s a bit of a tomboy (but wears a Harajuku Mini hoodie), the other is all glamour girl (and can tell you everything about Star Wars and Batman). They’re pretty awesome.

So I guess I’m not too worried about the Oldest Kidlet. He makes comments like this when he isn’t thinking, and then the minute he stops to consider it, follows up with something incredibly insightful. We’ll keep fighting against society’s idea that women are somehow weak. But I think that so far as my kids are concerned, they’ll at least understand that isn’t true.

(And through all of this? The Little Kidlet just gaped, because he knew the second his brother said that first comment, I was not going to be happy. I’ve heard him tell classmates at recess that they can play Marvel heroes with him, and that he knows a few girl characters they could be, but it’s okay if they play as a guy if they want to.)

In which I know it all.

Once upon a time, three years ago, to be precise. The Oldest Kidlet was in preschool and was obsessed with pirates. He dressed like a pirate for Halloween (in a costume sewn by yours truly). When asked how he knew as much as he did, he told his friends that I’d taught him. Because I know everything about pirates.

That was the year I bought my thigh high boots. I also have a piece of cursed Aztec gold from POTC as a keychain on my key ring.

Within a week, the kids at the preschool were convinced that I was a pirate. Not a pirate expert, but secretly a pirate. They’d ask if I had a sword. I do! They’d ask if I had a compass. I do. They were disappointed I didn’t have a monkey or a ship. I told them that it was a tough market to keep a crew and a tall ship. It sounded important enough that they didn’t ask about the ship anymore.

So today, I was volunteering in the Little Kidlet’s kindergarten class. His teacher was reading to the kids, table by table- so I was keeping an eye on the other tables. That’s when I heard this from LK’s table. “Who would win in a fight,” said one little boy. “A werewolf or a whale shark.” A second little boy considered this. “Can werewolves swim?” My son, bless him, shook his head. “Whale sharks are big, but they aren’t mean. My brother knows all about them. You could ask my mom about werewolves. She knows about them, too.” The entire table turned to look at me. But nobody came over to ask.

Until I had LK at my table so that we could go over flashcards, and as we finished, he started to get a serious look on his face. “Can werewolves swim?” (I should point out that he addressed me the way that his teacher introduces me – because when I’m there, I’m technically not ‘Mom’.)

“Can all people swim?”

“No,” he said. “Some people don’t know how.”

“Then I’m guessing some werewolves can swim, some can’t.”

“Who would win?”

I leaned over. “I’m guessing the werewolf. Unless it didn’t have a boat and had to swim out to find the whale shark. It’d probably be too tired to do much of anything.”

“I’m going to tell them that.” He sad down in his seat. “My mom said that werewolves are like people, so some can swim and some can’t. I told you she knows things.”

“How does she know them?”

“I dunno.”

How long do you think until they’ve decided that either I am a werewolf or that I’m married to one?

Happy Thanksgiving!

And a Happy Birthday to the Oldest Kidlet, who has amused us all with the ways he’s responded to Happy Birthday.

When I said it to him, he was still in bed, playing the new Legend of Zelda game on his 3DS. He looked at me, somewhat sleepily. “Happy Birthday to you,” he said.

“Babe, that’s not how that works. It’s just your birthday.”

“Oh, right.”

Then when my mom said it about 15 minutes later, he said, “Oh yeah.”

And 10 minutes after that when my dad said it, Oldest Kidlet looked up and said, “Why did you kiss me?”

Then last but not least, when TheBoy woke up and said it to him, he said “Happy Birthday…. to me.” Yes, he almost said the exact same thing he said to me, but caught himself. Ridiculous kid.

Last night, we prepared the turkey. We’re in Florida right now, staying with my parents. (Thieves beware, the only reason I’m posting this now is that we live with my in-laws, and they’re home. I live in the house that’s never empty) But since my mom’s a vegetarian, and my dad isn’t- we realized it’d be pretty silly to leave a ton of turkey leftovers. There’s only so much turkey one man can eat. We also made mashed potatoes last night.

Today we’ll be doing a pork tenderloin, sweet potatoes, stuffing- and pulling out yesterday’s leftovers. My mom’s having shrimp and mahi mahi. Should be delicious. I’m also trying to make a mushroom gravy so that everyone can have it.

But it’s a great trip so far. I get to cook in my mom’s brand new kitchen (as in, they hooked up the stove on Tuesday), and do what my mom and I do best- goof off in the kitchen together.

Here’s to hoping that you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving (for those in the States – I wish anyone else a happy Thursday).

What are you enjoying today?

Everyone Hail to to the Pumpkin Song

(I’m 90% sure I’ve already used ‘This is Halloween’ as a post title)

I really don’t have much to say, other than I’m in the midst of a lot of things. With Halloween on Thursday, I’ve got character parades to prepare for and a class Halloween Party to supervise.

I love the way that the elementary school handles the costume parade. In order to walk in it, the students have to bring a book that relates to their costume- they mention going to the public library or school library if they can’t find a book. Two years back, the Oldest Kidlet brought a book on Pirates (we have a plethora of those). Last year, he brought a Spider-man comic book. This year, he’s taking a book for Thor: The Dark World. Little Kidlet is bringing a child’s illustrated encyclopedia of Marvel Superheroes. I really should have anticipated it being harder to find Captain America since his movie isn’t coming out soon.

But I really do like the idea- it gets kids reading, and that’s always a good thing.

And one of the few things I promised LK’s teacher was that I’d always volunteer during the kindergarten class parties.

We went to a Halloween Party last weekend, and I have to share my two favorite Avengers. The original plan was for TheBoy and I to dress up, but I couldn’t figure out Loki’s horns, so I didn’t go for it. I wore my Abaddon costume instead. And TheBoy was going to dress as Tony Stark (using ThinkGeek’s shirt), but it didn’t get here in time. In typical fashion, the Little Kidlet went home early (he’s not much of a party animal) and we had to tear his big brother away.

The Kidlets

So far as the rest of the week goes, we’re going to carve pumpkins today… so I’m sure I’ll have more pictures of the week.

What are your plans for Halloween? Any traditions?

Seriously? Bad ideas: Clothes edition

It’s not uncommon for someone to show up at the door trying to sell something. The meat guy who wants to unload steaks (I could barely keep a straight face while typing that, sorry). The meal delivery guy or CSA representative looking to sign up people while they’re in the neighborhood.

Or apparently some landscaper looking to use up the rest of the lawn stuff they mixed up for someone else’s yard.

Which is who came to the door yesterday. We had the front door open a crack and the kids informed me that someone was there (our doorbell is broken). So I went over, looked at the guy and glared.

Look of Death glared. Derek Hale School of Brooding Werewolf Glare.

i-love-hot-moms Because he was wearing the shirt on the left.

And while I’m a big fan of novelty tees (I’m wearing my M*A*S*H shirt today, and I do actually own a shirt with 867-5309 on it), there’s a little thing called common sense.

If you’re trying to convince a total stranger to fork over money so you can put crap on their lawn, wouldn’t you try to wear a shirt that might not offend them?

Anyways, Lawn!Guy was sufficiently cowed by my Look of Death and didn’t seem to surprised when I said, “Not interested” and slammed the front door on him.

As soon as I shut the door, the Oldest Kidlet asked why he was wearing a shirt that said “I <3 Hot Moms." So I explained that sometimes hot is a synonym for attractive.

Oldest Kidlet paused, then looked up at me. I braced myself for some ridiculous comment. But he just looked thoughtful. "But why would he wear that? Doesn't he know that looks aren't everything?"

And just like that, everything was better. Because even though that jerk didn't realize how stupid his clothing choice was- my 7 year old gets it. So I’ve done something right.

Tuesdays, man.

I know that the Hitchhiker’s Guide quote is about not being able to get the hang of Thursdays, but Tuesdays are killer around here.

This morning, TheBoy and I got into a fight. He’s my soulmate, but occasionally, he can be an asshole. On occasion, I can be an dick. It’s a fact. (I’m sure my mom is livid I’m swearing, but it’s true) Not really related to the argument, but his car wouldn’t start so he was home for a bit of the morning. Also, the fight ended and we’ve moved beyond it, so that’s all you get about the fight.

Because I knew TheBoy was waiting for AAA to show up and he hadn’t had any coffee, I swung by the Starbucks near us to pick up a cup for him (and a chai and croissant for me). Obviously, I wasn’t in the best of moods, and the middle-aged woman ahead of me turned. “Oh, you should smile. You’ll look so much prettier if you do.”

And I admit, I saw red when she said it. And I sort of mentally pulled a Mrs White:


But don’t worry! I didn’t actually do anything. I just gave her the Look of Doom, smiled politely to the two Sheriff’s Deputies that were watching our conversation and grabbed my drinks.

The day has recovered. It took 3 things. Bohemian Rhapsody played on Sirius radio. I bought Tempura shrimp for lunch. And I found out that one of my favorite characters will be back as they were in previous seasons for Supernatural. Oh, 4 things. I introduced TheBoy to Teen Wolf.

Now, TheBoy’s car. I have no idea what’s wrong with it (haven’t heard back from the shop yet), but the Kidlets are worrying that we’ll need to get a new car (unlikely). Why? The Oldest Kidlet is very much attached to the Zelda decal on his back window.

Of course, explaining that I could just get him one at the next convention I went to led to an in depth description of what comic book conventions are, and having to justify why we haven’t brought them yet. The idea that you walk around even more than you do at Disneyland made it okay. That’s a comparison they easily understand.

But they did make me promise to take them to one when they’re older.


This is the end.

The End of Summer, that is.

But Whitney, you ask. How could it possibly be the end of summer? Well, the Kidlets start school this week, so… end of summer.

To commemorate it, we got a hotel room down in Anaheim, and spent the weekend there.

It was a relaxed weekend. The Oldest Kidlet (and by extension TheBoy) spent most of Saturday at the pool, while the Little Kidlet spent most of the vacation glued to my side. He’s actually still glued to my side. It seems like every couple hours he’s finding a reason to burrow in under my arm and curl up next to me. Part wolf, or something.

We did go to Disneyland (mostly California Adventure) on Sunday, and spent a good long while at the Wilderness Explorer’s Redwood Challenge Trail. If you have kids 12 and under, I recommend it. They give the kids a map to “earn badges” – there are 6 challenges (running, climbing, going into dark caves) and if you complete it, you scratch off something on the map to reveal the badges. When you get all 6, you get a Wilderness Explorer sticker. Which was more than enough to motivate the kids to try everything- though I had to go in the cave for LK. No weird visions of the Force, it was a little disappointing.

This summer, though. This summer was pretty awesome. The Kidlets learned to swim. I discovered that the Little Kidlet likes to curl up in my bed in the morning, like a little wolf (I have wolves on the brain, so sue me). We played with LEGO, passed a bunch of levels of Angry Birds, and watched The Hobbit together.

I do think I’m going to miss this summer.


Memorial Day always seems to be the first weekend of summer, even though the Oldest Kidlet still has a couple weeks left of his school year.

And ours was packed. There was a graduation party for Brother-in-law’s girlfriend. TheBoy and I went to a Dodgers game. And yesterday, the boys went across the street and ran through the sprinklers with a neighbor.

While I was talking with my neighbor, we started to talk about how kids don’t play the way you used to. (Yes, I know, I was talking with someone. I’m proud of me, too) And it’s true. When I was a kid, it was totally normal to shove your kids outside so that they could run around the neighborhood as a pack. My sister and I weren’t all that old and we’d ride around in front of our house (we lived in a condo development where there was an oval sidewalk with a big grassy area- so we would just ride in an oval for hours). By the time we were in fourth and fifth grade, we were spending all our time in the alley playing with the other kids (including the bicycle rodeo where we tried to knock over a GIANT pylon). Even when I was in high school and was the oldest kid in our new neighborhood, we had giant water fights.

You don’t see it all that often these days, though. When the neighbor showed up at the door to ask if the Oldest Kidlet could come over and play, I did a double take. People make play dates now (how I loathe the term) instead of just asking if kids can come over. It’s all structured and boring. This were little kids running through a sprinkler and then shooting each other with a water gun.

And it was fantastic, watching the kids play the way that I used to- and both of the boys are excited at the prospect of a summer filled with days like that.

So here’s to the lazy days of summer!

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