What to expect when you’re expecting tween boys.

You know when you’re a new mama, and you have all sorts of ideals in your mind as to how you’re going to raise your children. You imagine the summer days full of dappled sunlight where you are cannonballing into a turquoise pool with your children, or maybe eating homemade freeze pops on long, warm evening walks? Those days are great, to be sure, but what I never imagined was being schooled by my children in Cars 2 racing games on the Wii, or having intense conversations on which model of car will be best for which race track.

Also things I’d never thought I’d deal with: saying things like “Don’t put your foot on other people’s faces”, “Don’t elbow your brother in the crotch”, and “No farting or talking about poop at the table”, listening to a litany of complaints about the unfairness of a video game that blew up someone’s car just moments before the finish line, and finding papers in the recycling bin that are divided down the middle with “Marmots” on one side and “Haters” on the other, “Marmots vs. Haters” scrawled across the top. What is going on here? I don’t know.

After the busyness of last week, this week seems to be all about staying in our pajamas/ sweaty yoga clothes as long as possible and taking things slow. Monday I went to Costco with the kids so that felt like a gigantic accomplishment. There were the customary arguments about who gets to put that item into the cart so I had to ridiculously instigate a rule in which the children had to take turns being helpful. I also had to rule against the children trying to pick up flats of sparkling water that was half their body weight. As per every mother everywhere, I got talked into buying a few things that weren’t strictly necessary. Unlike every mother everywhere, those items were blankets. The boys fell in love with “Sherpa Throw Blankets” and it’s been a struggle to explain to them that this does not mean that Sherpas are being thrown around in these blankets. They’ve been walking around the cool basement wrapped in these soft blankets, the blankets trailing behind like they are medieval royalty. Another thing I didn’t expect would happen.

Lately in order to fill that hollow space in my heart left from Mad Men and Breaking Bad, I’ve been watching House of Cards. I oscillate between fascination and curiosity as to whether or not politics is really like that. I’m inclined to believe that it is, sadly enough. The kids, on the other hand, are obsessed with watching Wheel of Fortune. It’s considered to be a huge treat to watch Wheel of Fortune before bed, and I don’t know if you’ve watched it recently, but it’s pretty much the same as it was 30 years ago, except that occasionally Vanna White wears pantsuits. Pat Sajak is exactly the same as he always was. I also discovered that Alex Trebek is 74 years old! Isn’t that incredible? I would have never guessed.

I just said “If you guys are going to wrestle, don’t mush each other’s face in the carpet” and “Don’t kick the exercise ball into the air!” so it is time to close for the day and reflect on the strangeness and unexpectedness of daily life.


  1. I love it when kids want things I wouldn’t expect them to want. It makes me want to spend the money IMMEDIATELY. Once, Henry wanted a necktie.

  2. I broke the no-talking-about-poop-at-the-dinner-table rule at the dinner table rule yesterday. But there was an interesting story in the news about fossilized poop on sale at an auction, so it was educational.


    Plus Beth wasn’t home from work yet so it was just me and the kids.

  3. Matt always takes the kids to Indigo to buy my Christmas presents, so I get a new awesome blanket from Indigo every Christmas – and yes, last Christmas it was a blanket made out of sherpas. Sherpas are SO SOFT. We’ve been to two cottages in the last week, each with a tween boy who would never sit down but hovered around the dock giving a running commentary on snakes and insects and fish poop. Never change, tween boys, never change.

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