Archive for April, 2005
I don’t know if it’s just me. But living with four boys, (yes, sometimes I feel like I have a fourth child – points to hubby) I sometimes feel like an underdog, sometimes a maid. I do delegate chores but I still end up finishing them. My kids wash the dishes, (on the weekends and vacations only), but they always leave the containers and pots and pans in the sink. Reggie helps me with the vacuuming but he doesn’t lift stuff off the carpet/floor.
And please somebody tell me if I’m high-maintenance or if it’s just that men do things differently than women. It always ticks me off when I open the cupboard and plastic containers fall because my husband just stuffs them there in a disorderly fashion. Or when he opens the box of granola bars on the wrong end, the one without the tab, so the box stays open until all the bars are gone. Or when he wouldn’t mop the kitchen floor because “he just mopped it last week.” I have delegated mopping the kitchen to Reggie but as R says, “hindi naman nalalampaso nang maayos.” This is just to name a few.
We had an early taste of warmer weather 2-3 weeks ago and the re-appearance of dirty, sweaty socks rolled in a ball brought me back to last year’s summer. I told my four boys, “If I see any more of these socks, I’m going to let you unroll them or I won’t wash them. I’ll leave them in a pile and I won’t care if you run out of socks.” I may have been a little harsh, but I think they got my point. No more rolled socks in the hamper.
And the toilet… Why am I the only one interested in cleaning it when they are ones using it the most? I have trained the older ones, and still in the process with the little one. “Just point and shoot,” I told him. But somehow, the floor around the toilet still gets wet. Sometimes I wonder if it’s only the little one who misses the bowl.
How many times did my two younger sons hear me say, “Eto po, senyorito,” to which Ryan asks, “What does that mean?” Or “Here, your Highness,” to which Ryland will say, “I’m not a king.” And then I will say, “Here, your Littleness.” I attend to everybody’s need first before I can sit down and start eating. By then I’m already starving and grumpy. R usually finishes first. Ryan will ask me to help him cut his apple or peel his orange while I’m still having my meal. Or Ryland will ask me for juice. Both boys by-passing their dad who is seating beside or across from them, done eating and just watching TV. (Yes, we do have a TV in the kitchen. You can argue with me now but I will discuss this in the future.)
So, please tell me, is it just me?
Our lawn looked like it has been sprinkled with white powder when I looked out the window this morning. We had flurries overnight. Just two weeks ago we were wearing our shorts and now we are back to this winter-like weather. Well, I guess we can’t complain. The newscasters say that this is normal this time of the year. We just had an early taste of summer a couple of weeks ago.
I only have sons and I don’t know what it’s like to have a daughter. I may have a slight idea because I was one of two daughters and I grew up with cousins who were mostly girls.
I’ve often been asked what it’s like to raise three boys and I usually say that I think it’s not that much different from raising girls. Of course, we don’t have Barbie dolls and frilly dresses hanging around the house. Instead, we have Hot Wheels cars, Lego pieces and action figures which we always find in every nook and corner of the house in spite of the boxes, drawers and containers that have been set aside for these toys.
My sister has daughters and I get a glimpse of how it is to have girls. I think it was about two or three weeks ago when I was at sis’ place. My nine-year old niece, Ancie, asked her Nanay if she could hug me, for no reason at all. Her Nanay said yes and Ancie hugged me. I hugged her back. I thought that was so sweet.
And that is one thing where boys are different from girls.
Last week, when R and I went to Ryan’s basketball practice, I noticed that Ryan (he’s 10 years old) pulled his arm away from mine when I was holding him as we crossed the street. It happened twice that day. Was it because he didn’t want people to see that his Mommy was holding him?
I do understand that he’s growing up and he’s starting to pull away, like his Kuya did. I should have been used to this by now but sometimes I still feel that pinch in my heart when it happens.
On the other hand, my seven-year old Ryland still lets me hold his hand when we go to his basketball practice/games or when we are out shopping or crossing the street. And you bet that I’m gonna hold on to him as long as he will let me.
It has been windy and chilly this past week. Leftover sand from winter has been blowing everywhere and you have to be quick to close your eyes once the wind blows. It has been cold in the mornings and we still need to wear our warmer spring jackets. This is the time when we wear our jackets in the morning when we go to school or work and carry them in our arms when we come home. We still need our comforters at night.
It was only four weeks ago when this was the view that I could see from my workstation.
Now, all that white stuff is gone. Most of the trees still look naked. But if you take a closer look, you will see that those buds are starting to sprout.
“Like a rose under the April snow, I was always certain love would grow.”
He was 17. I was one month shy of my 19th birthday. He was still in High School. I was in my second year of college. The “Uriah Heep” that he knew was a rock band and not the Charles Dickens’ sinister character that I knew. The only “David Copperfield” that he knows is the master illusionist and he has no interest whatsoever in the protagonist in my book.
We’re so different and yet so much alike.
We are both first-borns. We are both stubborn and strong-willed. We’ve butt heads all these 21 years. Although sometimes I think that there are probably only three things that we have in common – namely Reggie, Ryan and Ryland; and although we sometimes hurt each other with the things we say and do; at the end of the day, we somehow find a way to reach out to each other.
“You and I will make each night a first, everyday a beginning. Spirits rise and their dance is unrehearsed. They warm and excite us ‘cause we have the brightest love.”
Last week, Ryland brought home a book titled “Chocolate Chip Muffin.” I said, “Hey, Ryland you are my chocolate chip muffin.” His dried up blisters from the chicken pox looks like chocolate chips.
We had a beautiful summer-like weather on Saturday and he wore shorts. We were playing on the couch after his game. One of his scabs came off when he brushed his leg against the couch. It bled a little and he cried. I put a band-aid on it. Then he brushed his other leg on the couch and another scab came off. Another band-aid. “You better wear your pajamas,” I told him.
He has been very sensitive since he had the pox. I have been very careful whenever I give him a bath or dress him up because the the bigger blisters hurt when they're touched. He also has a few on his scalp and he brushes his hair only lightly. I am also very careful whenever I hug him because sometimes it hurts when I squeeze him too much.
I have always talked about how Ryan is into basketball. He watches it on TV. He plays it outside in the backyard. He plays it inside the house. About a couple of months ago, he said, “I want to be a basketball player when I grow up.” Fearing that he was serious, I told him, “But basketball is just a hobby, Ryan.” He replied, “I could earn lots of money if I get drafted.” To which Reggie said, “But you have to be good. You’re not good.” I felt guilty after that conversation. I know that as a parent, I have to support whatever my child’s dreams are. Just as I am supporting Reggie with his music, which wouldn’t be my first choice if it was up to me.
I wanted Ryan to have an outlet for his passion. So when Spring Season opened, I signed him up for the Basketball League. “Me too, Mommy,” said Ryland. Yeah, I signed up Ryland as well. They started practice this week. I didn’t really know much about basketball but I have learned a lot this week while watching Ryan and Ryland practise. I learned about dribbling, passing, lay-ups and defense. I learned about the different positions – point guard, right and left wings, right and left posts. The dad who was sitting beside R and me on the bench during Ryan’s practice said, “Is that your son? He has smooth moves. He’s good.” I beamed.
Today was the first game of the season. Ryan’s and Ryland’s games were both at the same time at different schools. I wasn’t there at Ryan’s first game, but I asked Reggie to video-tape it. R went with them. I was at Ryland’s first game. It was very entertaining to watch 7- and 8-year olds play basketball. Most of them were inexperienced and they made a lot of mistakes such as shooting the ball in the wrong basket. But hey, that’s okay. It wasn’t really much as a competition but more of just having fun.