Category Archives: XBoy


When exactly did “gift bags” at birthday parties become vogue? I was first introduced to the concept November 2002 when XBoy was invited to his favorite play-date’s First Birthday Party. The grandmother had put together quite the little swag bag, complete with candy, a Hot Wheels car, and some other do-das little boy-like in nature. I just figured it was an anomaly as the boy’s grandmother was a bit of a Martha Stewart.

It was a couple years later that I realized I was the stingy whore-mom on the proverbial play-date block. Not that anyone used those words specifically, to my face, but well, you know how nazi-moms can be when one doesn’t goosestep in cadence with the rest.

Since then, I’ve dutifully put together gift bags that may or may not included the cupcake our little guest had licked the icing off of, a handful of pennies, and an abandoned Happy Meal toy, all stuffed in a mateless sock and tied off with some butcher string. Hey, I never said I planned ahead for these things, just that I was able to send a gift bag home with the little whiners who may, or may not have, peed all over the toilet seat and disposed of a booger on the light switch panel (yes, really).

I went against the norm on XBoy’s 7th birthday party this past December. Per XBoy, he wanted a bowling party. The local bowling alley has quite a racket going with this idea. Two to three lanes are reserved for two bowling rounds; pizza and soda is prepared; plates and cups are provided. All a parent has to do is bring dessert, if they so desire. All for a mere $140.

My son did notice that I had not prepared treat bags and asked me about it. I told him that I thought a couple hours of bowling, pizza, soda and cake was more than enough.

 A couple weeks later, XBoy was invited to a birthday/bowling party. I received confirmation that I was a tight-wad when XBoy’s gift bag contained nothing other than a collectible diecast 1:25 scale NASCAR car (granted, dad worked for a company that probably got them as a promotional item – but still). What the hell?

Sometime between 1980 and 2002, party protocols have changed and I want to know what and who instigated this ridiculousness which is basically an incentive for attending a party. Have parents become so busy or preoccupied with their lives that the only way they’ll let little Johnny attend a birthday party is if he gets something in return other than a frosting stained shirt and a tummy-ache at midnight? It’s not right, and I’m not going to take it anymore! No gift bags for your sugar-buzzed, yard apes from this moment forward! Who’s with me?!


XBoy begged us to let him join the wrestling club at school. We were both very reluctant as his interest in sport activities wanes considerably when he finds out that there’s actual WORK involved. Soccer games were purely opportunities to be outside and chase his buds around. As for that black and white ball we yelled from the sidelines to go after: uh…what black and white ball?

We tried tae kwon do and it frustrated him that he actually had to do other things besides kick the punching bag. The instructor wasn’t much help either as he talked completely over the kids’ heads and if they didn’t get what he was saying? Tough tutus.

I attended the initial wrestling sign-up meeting to find out more and since they only charged if your child wished to compete in a meet, I figured, what the heck.

I took him to his first practice as well. I may has well been 10 feet tall, purple, and with an enormous horn emerging out of my forehead. I was the only Mom. Not only was I the only Mom, I also was the only person lugging about an infant carrier with a pink-encased humanoid as Mr. DD had to work late.

He worked up quite a sweat that first night with lots of running and drills. It was not his smartest choice in wearing a long-sleeved t-shirt and sweats.

Mr. DD had the privilege of taking him to his next practice. He said that towards the end, they paired the boys up and XBoy was quickly handed his own butt to him on a platter. When he came home, he told us he didn’t want to compete in the tourney coming up that weekend.

Saturday morning was when we were informed about my dad’s accident and didn’t make an attempt to get XBoy to the meet. It wasn’t until we announced that we would stop by the hospital first and then to the tourney did he get upset. Suddenly, he wants to compete! Arrrgh.

He made it to the subsequent practices and this time told us that he wanted to compete in the next meet. We acquired some used wrestling shoes, encased him in the school’s singlet, and off we went.

XBoy last exactly 13 seconds in his first match.

By his 4th match, he actually scored a couple of points for one escape (don’t worry if you have no idea how greco wrestling scores since I am only repeating what my husband told me – I am COMPLETELY clueless). Not bad considering his 3rd match left him in tears.

So he’s not a natural. We knew that and have absolutely no grand expectations from XBoy in this endeavor. He’s learning something he desperately lacks: physical control. If he doesn’t want to compete? That’s fine, too, but he will continue going to practice until the coaches tell us that XBoy is too much of a pain in the ass (hey, it could happen), or when the season is over.

He may be the worst wrestler in the school, but we hope by the end of the season he finds himself in a match with another uncoordinated boy who happens to the be the worst on HIS team and XBoy actually wins a match…but I ain’t going to hold my breath.


Mr. DD is making supper and XBoy is playing with ZGirl. This is one of many yet to come posts pounded out in a hurry.

The other day, I pulled a mint out of my pocket and popped it in my mouth. XBoy asked me if it’s a kind he might like or if it’s “hot” (spearmint). I said he could try it if he wants, but yes it might seem “hot”.

He told me no thanks and that he prefers gum. Nicorette gum.

*double take*

“Do you mean peppermint,” I asked.

“No,” he said, “nicorette.”

I tried to keep my tone calm because I know if I start to freak out, he’ll sense that he might be in trouble and clam up.

“Where have you heard of nicorrete? On TV? School or daycare?”

“TV,” he replies, pauses, and then adds, “and day care.”

“Did one of the kids bring nicorette gum to day care?”


“Did he ask you if you wanted a piece?”


“Did you take one?”

“Nah. It was cinnamon and I don’t like that kind.”

After a couple more questions I found out who the kids were and made a note to mention it to the Director. The boys are in the 10 year old range and one has been in a lot of trouble and in fact his parents were asked to find another care provider for him.

You know that if you talk to kids about drugs, you cover alcohol, cigarettes, pot, etc. Would you have ever thought that you needed to talk to the kids in your life about goddamn gum?! It certainly never occurred to me.


In a joint effort, we are working with the school in trying to improve XBoy’s behavior at school. Whether his attitude is a reflection of ZGirl’sarrival; a change in classrooms (I think K to 1st is major and so is 8th to 9th); or something more biological, we continue to search for answers.

One of the other factors I believe DOES in fact play into how he’s doing this year is an inexperienced teacher.

The other day, his report had these comments noted on it:

XBoy was agressive today – said many “put downs” to others and was distructive to meterials

XBoy did have good focus on his math Quiz but then crumpeled it up and tried to throw it away.

Except for me changing his name to XBoy, this is verbatim.

Sure it bothered me that he was having a particular bad day, but I’m way more irritated by his teacher’s spelling. This is the woman teaching 19 children in a private school? Who next year will teach 17-20 more? And the year after that, ad nauseum?

I’m no spelling bee champion (ask any one who has to read my tweets), but that? Four words misspelled? I’m discouraged, to say the least.

(Time for me to hit the spell check…

….. I misspelled “misspelled”. Ugh)


Here’s a note I posted on facebook during my “hiatus”:

I sent out 11 invites to XBoy’s birthday party coming this Saturday at the bowling alley. I’ve received one (1) phone call.

RSVP basically means “please respond”.

It does not mean, “please respond, if you feel like. I mean, if it’s not an inconvenience to YOU and all, but just, you know, if you have a minute or two to spare…”

I’m paying for your kid to bowl, to eat pizza and to serve treats, not to mention baby sit. Show some fucking courtesy.

I did end up getting three (3) calls in total. Guess how many kids showed up? 11. That’s ELEVEN 5, 6 & 7 YEAR OLD BOYS!!

I was the cake deliverer so I had ZGirl with me. Mr. DD was supposed to boy-wrangle. He pitched a fit that I wasn’t help him organize the boys by putting their names into the system even though I was busy dealing with the baby.

Finally, one of the other dads stepped in and took that part over. While I am helping him get the names of all the boys and separate them into three groups, Mr. DD comes back from getting every one shoes and asks, “Who’s watching ZGirl?”

I can’t believe he didn’t notice the dozen of bowling balls within my grasp that I could have easily lobbed at his head. By the time we got the boys actually bowling, I was on the verge of committing suicide by impaling myself on the bowling-name-adder-thingamajig.

To top it off, my husband thought it was in poor taste when I suggested we get a pitcher of beer. What a party-pooper.

Here, have fun doing your own virtual bowling. Make sure you put your score in comments. There might be a prize in store for you. Maybe not, but you never know, now do you? I’m crazy like that.


A letter came home with XBoy about a collection for his teacher’s Christmas/Birthday present.

I put $5.00 into an envelope – after I asked XBoy if he wanted to contribute – and put that into his backpack.

“Do you think $5.00 is enough?” asked Mr. DD.

“It’s plenty.”

“Well, she’s doing those reports and giving XBoy extra time,” he responds.

“I am NOT tipping his teacher for doing her job. So what if she has to spend extra time with XBoy? Parents shouldn’t have to slip her a $20 to make sure each of her students get the attention they require to succeed.”

“Damn. You’re crabby!” Mr. DD points out.

I confirm his astute observation by telling him to piss off.


(FYI: this post will probably take a while to “load” due to the sheer number of photos within)

Seven years ago, my son gave me something no other person could have. He made me a Mother.

When I started blogging, he was on the long side of three. By my rough estimate, I have been blogging for half his life.

Here’s my 4th Birthday dedication, his birth story.

The 5th Birthday dedication was my first and only attempt at an online slide show. I’m pleasantly surprised to see that the link still works.

And last year, when he turned six, his Birthday was an inkling of things to come: his rebellious nature; my early pregnancy with ZGirl. 

Now I just want to share some of my favorite baby/toddler pictures of him. I marvel at how he’s changed and I catch glimpses of the toddler child still within, and even of the young man he too soon will be.

12 days new 3 weeks12902-max-asleep-5343302-flexing-muscles-84242402-onsie-on-head200206-in-highchair-i0802-bubbles-on-the-lawn92902-waving10502-lil-spook111602-mad-max12503-making-faces21703-toybox-n-book3303-bathtime52603-sunning-a72703-in-his-bandana


I have made a handful of references to the size of my son’s noggin. He gets it from his father’s side of the family as there have been multiple comments from my own family and friends about my own pin-headedness. Yes, at the time, they were referring to the size of my head and not what was in it.

It would seem that ZGirl’s own head is quite magnificent in its mass as well.

Both children demonstrated this weekend that their craniums have their own individual gravitational pull with dire consequences.

While out dining this weekend, the waitress had just delivered the table’s drink order. She turned away with the empty drink tray and smacked XBoy, who was returning from the salad bar, soundly on the cheek with the edge of the tray. Of course the waitress was very apologetic and concerned even though it was neither of their faults. XBoy held back tears but I could tell he was in a lot of pain. Now, a couple days later, while there is no bruise he claims the spot is still tender to the touch. I’m just thankful it wasn’t his eye, or his nose, or thank-the-lord, his teeth.

ZGirl is working on that whole hand/eye/mouth coordination business with little success. She reached for the plastic ring that rattles from my mother, snagged it, and then… I think it would be much easier to describe what happened by what was heard:

*rattle, rattle….rattlerattlerattle, rattle*



Hard, plastic rattle? Meet soft, delicate skin of baby’s forehead.

As a result? Her first boo-boo, a bruise the size of a pencil’s eraser.

It’s only the beginning. In the picture below, XBoy had TWO.

XBoy 8mos
XBoy 8mos
ZGirl’s bruise didn’t show in the photo, but I’m posting it any way because she’s just so damn cute.
ZGirl 4mos
ZGirl 4mos


A one-eyed Iron Man, which came about during the school party when another kid handed out eye-patches. Notice the collar? I actually rigged his costume with a tap-light where the white circle is, which glowed from behind the fabric. It was pretty cool, if I do say so myself.
A one-eyed Iron Man (don't ask)
A one-eyed Iron Man (don

I’m too practical (cheap) to get a costume for a baby. One, a costume would only be worn for an hour or two; and two, it’s dark. Instead, she got to wear this all day at day care. Maybe next year, I’ll go as the two-headed woman.


I’ve been under a buttload of stress right now. Buttload is quantifiable. Really.

With that stress I have been absolutely wretched to be around. More wretched than normal, in fact. What it took for me to realize that was when I laughed out of sheer happiness while playing with my son.

His adjustment to his new sister has manifested itself in frank statements like, “We don’t get to spend time together,” and “Everything around here is stupid now!” He has the same kind of verbal diarrhea I have except he has the luxury of only being six. I have no such excuse.

It happened the other night when he threw a hissy fit about taking a bath. I was in the bathroom with him and quickly losing my patience when he refused to get undressed. I would tell him to get ready and he would grunt and sneer at me. When he kept doing it, I was able to reach past my frustration and see the humor (“humour” for those of you keeping score) and replied that he sounded like a caveman. No. More like Frankenstein! And I lifted my arms horizontally and started to stiff-leggedly stalk him around the bathroom. Soon he was giggling and butt-naked and hiding behind me as I paced the floor, grunting and growling.

It takes a moment of sheer enjoyment to realize how miserable I’ve been. I’ve missed his infectious laugh and I realized I don’t get to spend as much time as I would like with him, either.