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Mistress Mary, Quite Contrary... - Karen's Musings
Random Rambling
Mistress Mary, Quite Contrary...

...How does your garden grow?

Sometimes I wonder if people really know what I'm up against in my house. I mean, really? The J-man is a fun-loving, special little boy. He's growing into an extraordinary individual. He has wonderful opinions and a fantastic outlook on life. I adore him. Really.


(There's always a "but" right? You knew there was one coming, didn't you?)

He is Mr. Contrary these days. Allow me to illustrate:

Exhibit One:

Every Sunday I make pancakes for breakfast, because I am the world's best Mommy. (Okay, some Sundays I make waffles, but we all have our flaws, right?) Further evidence of my World's Best Mommy status is that I specifically make the J-man a smiley-face or Mickey Mouse pancake using chocolate chips. I mean, really? I am awesome.

These days, J has words that he's supposed to practice every weekend - "sight words" they're called, or "wow words" as he calls them. They're words that he's supposed to learn to know on sight, rather than having to sound them out. Words like: "the", "I", "you", "go", "my", "and", "or", and so on. The first week we had the words to practice on the weekend, I thought it would be neat to do something special. So I made three little silver dollar pancakes and spelled out "t-h-e" on the pancakes with chocolate chips.

We called J up to the table to tell him his breakfast was ready and showed him his pancakes.

"What's that?"
"That's one of your Wow Words!"
"Which one is it?"
"It says, 'the'"
"Well, why didn't you do 'go' or 'my' or 'you' or ...?"

And my dear, sweet angel of a child spent the next 20 minutes critiquing my choice of wow words. Twenty. Minutes. No joke.

Exhibit Two:

For Purim, the kids wear costumes. J is old enough to have some input into what his costume should be now, so I asked him what he'd like to be. After a couple of ideas, he decided he'd like to be Batman. I spent some time searching around for the perfect costume, and finally found it:



He put on the costume, and said, "How come you didn't get me Iron Man?" What? Are you Kidding Me? This kid asked for Batman. I thought I was being the cool mom for getting him Batman. Finally I convinced him that he had asked to be Batman and this was a good thing. Seth got ready to go to synagogue and explained to him that since he was wearing all black, he needed to be sure to hold Abba's hand the entire way there because cars wouldn't be able to see him in the dark. I sent J with a flashlight also to make him more conspicuous.

And so, on the way to synagogue, J turned to Seth and said (are you ready for this?): "Abba, if I were Iron Man, I'd be Red and Gold and then the cars could see me so they wouldn't hit me!"


Exhibit Three:

This morning, after breakfast, J asked if I would let him watch some Berenstain Bears on TV before it was time to go to school. Actually, he came downstairs and said, "Berenstain Bears! Patch!" and what he meant to say was "Mommy can I please watch some Berenstain Bears on TV and will you please get me my patch?" Once we cleared that up, I put on some Berenstain Bears. I had just pressed play on the remote, and it hadn't even started playing yet, when J turned to me and said:

"Why didn't you put on Transformers??"


15 comments or Leave a comment
From: atimesif Date: March 19th, 2009 08:19 am (UTC) (Link)
Same garden here. My kids have been impossible for the past couple of weeks.

I decided that it's spring fever and to try to look at the big picture (in other words, everything you wrote BEFORE the "BUT"!)
Remember that the J-man WILL grow out of it, it's just a phase.
But meanwhile, hang in there!!!!

And yes, you are the most awesome Moms I know! It's the main reason I read your journal - you're so inspiring to me as a mother. Don't ever change!
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: March 19th, 2009 12:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm not patient enough, that's for sure, but seriously? How many moms would write "The" on a pancake?

(you'll be happy to know, last week, I did "my" and he said that was a GOOD word to pick)
hannahsarah From: hannahsarah Date: March 19th, 2009 09:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Ah yes, he's 5 now, right? (or darn close to it).

Dinner time at my house goes something like this.

Rivka: What's for dinner?
Me: What do you want?
Rivka: Something different.
Me: You know what's in the refrigerator. Go look. When you figure it out let me know.
Rivka: I don't want anything in there!
Me: This is what we have. I am not going to the store right now.
Rivka: I want candy.
Me: No. How about a hot dog.
Rivka: Eeeeeeeeeeew! I HATE hot dogs, they're DISGUSTING!
Me: Ok, go brush your teeth and get your jammies on.
Rivka: Fine. I'll eat a hot dog, but then I want candy.
Me: No candy.
Rivka: *Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.*

Have you guessed what her teachers use for motivation at school?
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: March 19th, 2009 12:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have to say, I'd find it pretty darned unacceptable if a teacher was using candy as motivation at school. Seriously.
hannahsarah From: hannahsarah Date: March 19th, 2009 03:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is a Chabad school. They are notorious for it. When it's not candy, it's cupcakes or donuts.

I got so fed up with her coming home all wound up and hyper, that I went to OhNuts.com and ordered several bags of sugarfree candies for her. I sent a bag to each of her teachers, with a note that she is NOT to get the regular treats with the other kids. She gets her "special candy". I also sent a letter to the administrator. Now, I just need to have a talk with the lunch room assistants who like to hand out candy as a reward for bentching.

Still, she's getting a first rate education there, and loves her teachers and friends. I'm happy that candy is the worst of my problems, and that the school is working with me on it.

caryabend From: caryabend Date: March 19th, 2009 12:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Tell her that if she keeps eating candy that her teeth will fall out.
hannahsarah From: hannahsarah Date: March 19th, 2009 03:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
LOL! YOu are so mean! Besides, it's too late. She's already friends with first graders who are losing their teeth, and she thinks it's "pretty cool".
caryabend From: caryabend Date: March 19th, 2009 04:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Heh. You want mean? Out of the earshot of any children, when a friend's child asked whether losing teeth/growing new teeth would hurt, another friend said, "tell him that he should wait until his adult fingers come in!"
journeytoernie From: journeytoernie Date: March 19th, 2009 12:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
you ARE aweosme. and anyone who says different deserves a punch in the face ;)

well i must admit, your wow word was pretty standard. go would have been much more fun ;)

wow. that sounds like my kids....except they're not verbal enough to be contrary to that extreme ;) he wears the patch?
leahmiriam From: leahmiriam Date: March 19th, 2009 12:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
You are, by all accounts, one of the best mothers out there. Not just for your mad culinary creations but for all you do for all four of those kids. There are days when I am dragging, things aren't getting done (and I have just the one, so far) and I think about you, what your day looks like. You somehow manage to get three babies up and fed, a five year old to school every day, to work, and a lot of the other tasks that make your home run. I know Seth is MR AWESOME and does a lot to contribute as well..but you..well, you're kind of my hero.

From: spirit_o_fire Date: March 19th, 2009 02:54 pm (UTC) (Link)

The Essence of Adorable

Julien looks excellent! Nice costume. It's wonderful to see that your family is doing well and is healthy.

I think I know about 5 sets of parents with kids all around Julien's age and they too are dealing with the "I am Mr. Contrary!" attitude. It's amusing from a distance, but I can see how it stops being cute quick. Hopefully it will pass reasonable fast.

I hope that you, Seth and the kids are well!
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: March 19th, 2009 03:04 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: The Essence of Adorable

I think it would have been amusing except for the pancakes. Man, I was so proud of my pancakes, and he took all of my fun away!

Anyway, all is well here in Chez Cohen, we're just a wild and crazy bunch!
From: spirit_o_fire Date: March 19th, 2009 03:16 pm (UTC) (Link)


You should be proud. I have seen how you dote on Julien and I'm sure you dote on all your kids and Seth equally. BTW, I must say that you are a SuperWife, too. You took on the kids to let Seth go to Farpoint. It was great to see him there. Though I will admit that it would have been even better to see you and the family there,too.

Proof that you are SuperMom:

1. You make pancakes/waffles every Sunday!


3. You do cool things with the chips!

I hope Julien learns to appreciate that in you soon.
ailsaek From: ailsaek Date: March 19th, 2009 03:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh man, I remember that stage! Yes, yes, I was eager for you to learn to talk. Now just shut up, OK?
zsero From: zsero Date: March 19th, 2009 11:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hmmm, I wonder....

Suppose you were to ask him what he wants, then wait a while and ask him what he really wants. One day he'll ask why you're asking, and that gives you the opening to say "well, five minutes ago you wanted X, but before I make/do it I want to make sure you'll still want it when I'm done". Not that this will directly resolve the problem, but it might get the idea into his head, and start him on a path to resolving it.
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