Thursday, May 24, 2012

Par Kour to School

For those of you who have never seen Bodie's goofy side...he is a nut ball!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Barnes Boys - Where They At

This is what Bobby looks like usually every day around 4:00. you see, he still eats dirt...he still puts everything in his mouth...with 3 kids these sorts of things get overlooked...with me much has changed with bobby in the past month. he is talking like crazy now...maybe only bryan and i can understand him, but he is learning the words to everything "hair, mouth, tummy, hands, eyes" and loves this discovery of being able to communicate...he said his first sentence yesterday, "mommy, bobby wanna go outside". 

he really is the sweetest kid. the funniest, most adorable kid ever. he waves hi to everyone - he is just a little charmer, you can tell. its so funny having 3 kids all so different. bodie would just mad-dog stare at everyone with a look that said, "get outta my face" - bobby just smiles his little toothy grin and waves at you and wants to play. bryson sizes you up and tries to figure out what he can get outta you and that determines his friendly meter...he is calculating...that oldest boy...but bobby...he is the life of the party this one...

bodie is getting better about me leaving, which is nice, because i really needed to get back into going to the gym. i remember around this age bryson was really concerned too about who was watching him (me or bryan) and struggled with going to sunday maybe this is an age thing and not necessarily a Bodie thing...or perhaps both. i remember when bryson would obsess over who was watching him and really get upset if it wasn't me - i was so worried that our little set up with us splitting child-care and working was going to have all these negative effects on them since they didnt have one person providing stability and routine all the time...but he grew out of it and now bryson loves it...and i can already see bodie coming we just have to go through it one more time :) 

bryson and this little guy are so sweet together. he is such a patient older brother. i dont let them come out of their bedroom until 7am - they usually wake up between 6 - 6:30...i hear them though every morning and every morning i only hear bryson and bobby and bryson playing with little selfish plan of getting to lay in bed an extra half hour has also this great benefit of creating forced brother play time...

bryson just finished baseball (yipeeeee!) this was an intense season. he had baseball generally 3x week if not more. i don't know what we are gunna do in a couple years. he played awesome and learned a lot, but i think we decided to keep him on farm for another year. he doesn't need to get too intense too fast! the school year is winding down and with all my whining about it, i am really going to miss kindergarten. i know 1st grade is going to be a lot different and i'm hoping we get a class that is equally great. he has an awesome teacher and quite a lot of awesome kids are in there too...i was watching them all play today and having this moment of realizing he will go to high school with a lot of them and how crazy is this whole growing up and school thing! 

bryson really likes this guy...he told me, "mom, asher is my best best best best best best friend" - their friendship is changing and i notice they tell each other secrets often. bryson bought a journal to keep "secrets" in. i asked him what they whisper to each other and he told me, "i cant tell you mom! its a secret! you dont tell secrets! dont worry, its nuthin bad" hmmmmmmmm......

Monday, May 21, 2012

Teachable Moments in Co-Parenting

I recently was turned on to this book by a friend of mine, For Better or For Work, written by the wife of the founder of Stonyfield Organic Yogurt - its a sort of guide to living with the entrepreneur. Ah! Anyone who knows me or Bryan knows this book is for yeah...already started it...and already wanting to call up the author and have mimosas with her! but one major difference so far, is that she isnt as intricately involved in the business like me...i am a co-owner...i don't work as many hours as bryan, but i have just as much responsibility to the livelihood of our business.

Just a brief history lesson...I quit my job to work for LA Pool Guys before i was ever pregnant with Bryson - in April of 2004...just celebrated 8 years. For those of you who do not know...I take care of all the billing, all the invoicing, all the payments to techs, all the budgeting, taxes, money stuff - where Bryan is in charge of the big picture stuff - marketing, sales, forward thinking stuff.

So before we ever had a baby...we had this business baby...and then we had a baby baby...and still this business baby. Bryan's "dream" as i like to put that we would co-parent. he wanted a chance to raise his kids - take them to the there for baseball games and practice...he wanted to be a normal presence. he loved that his dad had school hours and was home somewhat early and had the summers "off" (normally he worked odd jobs, but was still around) and he wanted that too (without having to teach). we are...8 years the "dream"...and i put it in quotes and somewhat laugh when i do, because more often than not it seems like a nightmare. we are such different parents. when i tell other moms at how much bryan parents they tend to freak out a little - "what? he doesnt keep them on a schedule?" no no...bryan doesnt have that word in his vocabulary. he gets them and they get dirty and over-tired and that is why they love being with their dad. when bryan has them he takes them places i dont care to go with all 3 kids - Home Depot, The Aquarium, The Nature Walk (i dont take them there by myself that is), The Movies - he gets stares all the time and a lot of "Hey! Super Dad!"...which peeves me BTW...i have NEVER been called a super mom...i just get told i have my hands full...whatevs...

bryan has a way to tune out the whining...i still hear the complaint through the whining...they have given up on whining to him, however. he is a lot more stern than me. he is a lot more daring than me. he is a lot more focused on each individual's needs than me...i tend to gravitate toward the one with the biggest complaint.

anyway - it is an ever changing process - this "dream" of co-parenting. it has not been has been a complex working through gender roles and conceptions and expectations on a steady basis. but i do have to say - it works for us because we know no other way. we have done this since the beginning and i am in to deep to quit. i threaten to, but i know i wont...i will stick by him and help him so that he can be there for the boys, even though selfishly i long to "just" be a mom. i also know that sometimes i yearn to go in the office and escape the whining and wiping and feeding and punishing.

this is all to shape the background for this little story. bryson is in kindergarten. He almost made it through an entire year without getting in trouble anything serious. a couple weeks ago he got sent to the principal's office and it happened to be Bryan's day of watching the boys, so when he went to pick him up he had to have a discussion with the teacher and the principal. Turns out a little boy in his class and him were caught karate chopping pencils. The teacher treated this very seriously (as she should have!) and told them they were in trouble for destroying public property.

bryan was not happy. i was not happy. i told bryan that i thought he should have to pay for the damages, as well as write an apology.

when we got home bryan told bryson to get the $20 bill he got for his birthday (6 months ago) that he has been saving and showing everyone and so proud of and did i mention how special this $20 bill was to him? he told him to get it and that he would have to give this to the teacher to pay for the damage he caused. He told him that if the class didn't need pencils he could donate it to the science lab.

oh how this broke my heart (and his). we talked with him about consequences. how little the consequences are now in Kindergarten (principal's office and $20) but how BIG they would be as an adult (prison). we talked with him about his choice in friends and the importance of choosing friends who help you be a better person. we talked about the type of person he wanted to be. at the end of it...i realized how extremely grateful i was to be able to teach him such a big lesson at such a young age...i didn't 100% agree with bryan's approach at first, but 100% believe now that it was spot on.

then i had this teary eyed moment about the "dream" and how proud i was that he knew our son so well that he knew what would be the most effective punishment. and trust me, this has happened like once since we started this "dream", so dont be fooled like this is some hallmark channel of a family, but this particular moment made me proud of it all.

So there is the story of Bryson's first principal's office visit. My hope is that it had as big an impact on him as it did on his mother

Dear Mrs. Clanton, I am sorry for breaking your pencils. I am giving $20.00 to the science lab because that is for your pencils. I have to pay for them. I will never do it again. Love, Bryson