I Yam.

Recently Kaden has started to respond to nearly all of my motherly requests with the following matter of fact statement:

I Yam.

“I Yam.”

Naturally, he means, I am.  He says it fast and with authority.  He usually fires at me, “I yam, Mom, I yam.”  Mind you, he usually is not doing what I have asked of him.  The other evening we were cuddling on the couch, way past a suitable bed time for a 3 year old.  “Kaden, you need to close your eyes,” I whisper at him, as I loving stroke his forehead of blonde hair.  Without missing a beat he retorted, “I yam, Mom,” his eyes never leaving the television screen.  I smile to myself, chuckling inside at the inflection in his voice.  A couple more minutes pass.  “Kade, you need to close your eyes,”  I push, more firm this time.  “I yam mom.”  I quickly inform him, “your eyes are wide open.”  He thinks for minute, looks up at me with his big blue eyes and says, “you’re not closing your eyes.”  True.  Very true.

“Kaden, that’s because I am the Mom,” I say, thinking I’ve outwitted him with a simple answer.  “I yam a Mom too,” he responds, so matter of fact like that I am taken aback.  He continues to stare at the TV.  I can’t help but admire his quick thinking.  If being a mom means you don’t have to follow the rules, it was worth a shot to try to pretend to be one.  “Nooo…my son, I am THE Mom,” I coo back.  Thankfully, he’s satisfied with that answer.

After one more time coaxing him, he relinquishes to my requests, snuggles into me, closes his eyes, and falls to sleep.  Special exchanges like this remind me how lucky I am to get to experience this special bond with my children.

I yam lucky.


Where Does the Time Go?

Cherish each moment.Such a cliché question.You’d think after asking this question year after year, by many a different person, we would figure it out. And yet, it still remains a mystery. At least to me it does.  Quentin is getting ready to start Kindergarten in the fall. How did he get this big? When did it happen? I feel like I am stuck in some strange time continuum.  As I recognize Quentin is more than ready for his new adventure, I also recognize I am more worried that I am the one not ready. As the control freak I know I am, it also tears at my heart-strings knowing whether I want Kindergarten to come or not, it’s not up to me to control.  It’s coming for me regardless.

Just a bit ago Kaden, my baby, turned 3.  I sometimes wonder if he really is the only 3-year-old (a big 3-year-old mind you) who gets carted around often by his mothers choice because he is my “baby.”  He’s a pretty big baby.  He wears big boy “underwears,” is potty trained, can drop in by himself and ride the entire track at a BMX park on a strider, and yet,  I feel the need to cart him around occasionally just because.

These emotions feel so intensely personal, even though I know many other parents have walked in my shoes before.  Cherish each second.  Each hug.  Each kiss.  Each scrape and bruise.  Breathe it.  Roll in it.  Dance in it.  Sit silently with it.

Babies grow up.

Though this post is less about remembering a particular moment, it certainly speaks to my current emotions. A little self reminder to bask in every single moment.

Let’s live in the present, because it escapes us quicker than we even realize.

Mom…. You are like a Ninja.

It was a morning like any other normal morning in our house.  I was running around trying simultaneously to get dressed (and to match my clothes none the less. I’ve been known to leave the house in at least one, accidental, outlandish item that I must rock with confidence for the rest of the day, full on knowing it was a fashion blunder due to my inattention in the mornings….), finish my hair, dress the boys, make some lunches, change the cartoon channel at least once, and feed the dog —  at the same time.  As I finally plopped down on the couch to pull on “my” socks, Quentin looked at me sideways.

“Mooooom,” he calmly asked.  “Are those Daddy’s socks?”  When I want to wear boots, I’ll often steal my husbands tall, grey argyle socks.  I love them.  It drives him crazy that I wear them, but I do it anyways.  “Yes,” I said as I continued to pull them on.  “Does he know you are wearing them?” he pressed.  “Nope,” I responded with a smile. He squinted his eyes slightly and smile danced across his face.  He raised his little eyebrows, “You are like a ninja” he whispered.  With that he turned and walked away, but not with one final parting comment.  With his back turned he said “You are verrrry sneaky.”

I laughed out loud.  I was stunned and somewhat proud at the same time.  To be called a ninja is a very high compliment in my mind, especially coming from a 5 year old boy.  How sweet and innocent.  He compares my stealthy sock stealing with the qualities of a ninja.  Oh the innocence of a young creative mind….

Hold you. Hold you.

I like to imagine all parents do this, but perhaps I am just rationalizing my crazy ways….

Hold you, hold you!When one of my kids creates a common saying,  it becomes common to the family, regardless if it is proper English or if it makes sense.  Sometimes I even incorporate it into my everyday interactions with other people.  It becomes a part of my regular vocabulary.  Although encouraging these special sayings is not necessarily teaching my boys the “correct” way, I selfishly continue to encourage “their” way because it fills my heart with joy.  For example — Quentin used to commonly use the word “my” instead of “I.”  He would confidently state, “MY do it!”  I loved it.  It was used throughout our house day in, and day out.

This one I will always cherish — Kaden can’t say the word brother, so he refers to Quentin as “Boppies or Bobbies.”  The entire family now calls Quentin by the same name at times, although I know Quentin really only likes it when Kaden refers to him by that name.  He has even stated “Mom, I will sure miss it when Kaden doesn’t call me Boppies anymore.”  I secretly hope he will always refer to him in that manner (at least within the home).

And finally, Kaden recently started saying “Hold you. Hold you!” with his arms outstretched, smile gleaming across his face.  I’m certain this comes from my asking him “Do you want me to hold you?”  Or, “Can I hold you?”  I love this.  In a way, I guess he really is holding me too as I scoop him up and hold him so tight.  So, I encourage this behavior, and I’ll continue to encourage him to say it as long as I can.  “Hold you, hold you!”  I say throughout the day as I repeat his actions back to him.

These are the things I want to freeze in my memory, and never let go.  These are the moments I know I’ll miss one day.  For now, I am hoarding them, collecting them with all my might, and storing them deep within my soul.

May I never forget.

I’ll Take the Whole Pizza.

My boys are different in their body types, and it’s very apparent.   I’ve had family friends who we haven’t seen for quite some time, peer in through the car windows to say “hello” to the boys quickly summarize the difference between the two…. “You’ve got one tall and skinny, and the other that’s just solid.”  It’s a good summation of our Harding situation. 

Over the weekend we had the all nutritious pizza for dinner one night.  Later in the evening, after dinner had  passed, Quentin (my long and skinny 4 year old) asked if he could have more piece of  pizza.  Of course!  He’s such a rail, I’ll encourage eating whenever he’s game.  He pulled a piece of cold pizza out of the box that was sitting on the table and insisted on eating it cold.  He plopped next to me on the couch as he consumed his second round. 

Kaden (my solid 2 year old), must have decided he wanted another piece of pizza too.  It’s not uncommon for Kaden to try to finish his brothers dinner, so the fact that he wanted more too was less of a surprise.  However, instead of asking for a piece, or grabbing a single slice, Kaden hoisted the large pizza box off the table and was carrying the entire box into the livingroom towards me.  What a sight.  My baby boy, who really is a little man, carrying this whole pizza box, nearly larger than himself, little buddha belly overflowing from his white diaper.  No other clothes needed and big intentions of eating “some more.”  

It was a hilarious sight.  I don’t doubt he could eat the entire pizza if he wanted to….

Imagination Overload.

Oh, to be a child again.  So honest, sincere, and 110% committed to absolutely everything.  I don’t think my boys even know what half way is.  If they are going to do so something, they are going to do it! 

Whether it be love, play, or throw a fit;  passion is not something we lack in our house.  I honestly believe it’s a blessing, and it’s a quality that I hope grows with them over their lives.

Consequently, Quentin’s imagination has been in overdrive lately, and I love it.  He’s had a lot of dreams that he thinks are reality.  Which for the most part has been a good thing.  For example, yesterday he told me “Hey mom, did you know I can ride my skateboard now?” with his chest puffed out proud as could be.  “I did not know that,” I said in disbelief with my eyebrows raised. “Yep,” he said confidently.  “I had a dream about it.  I learned how to do it my dream.  So now, I can do it.”  And… what do you say to that?  In his mind, it was the most rational conclusion ever.

Today Quentin was watching the new Karate Kid (the version with Jaden Smith).  About 10 minutes after the movie started, he came out from his bedroom dressed like this….. 

My Karate Kid

My Karate Kid


With his pj’s on that mimicked a traditional gee (naturally), and dinosaur slippers (I’m not sure what the connection is there) ready to “fight.”  “Mom, these are my fighting clothes” he told me. 

I know these are the moments I am going to miss.

Fired with Timeouts?

This morning was the first day back to work after a luxurious 4 day weekend with my boys.  I was tired.  I knew the boys had to be just as tired as me as I jostled them sweetly out of bed.  “Hey mom,” my Quentin asked quizzically.  “Do you get timeouts at work if you are late?” 

“Kind of,” I responded as I rushed through our morning routine.  “And if you get a lot of timeouts do you get fired?”  he pushed. “I suppose….” I said, knowing there was more to come.  “What does fired mean?” he said with his little eyebrows raised and his head cocked to the side just so.  “Fired means I won’t have a job anymore.”  A large grin creeped across his face.  “And THEN, you can stay home with us!”  he said.

I laughed on the outside, while secretly my heart sank a bit on the inside.  “Well, yes” I said, and working to turn the tide I continued to respond with “but that would mean we wouldn’t have money for fancy toys like Beyblades…”  I thought this may sway him, but I was wrong.  He is far too clever.  “Grandma has money!  For Beyblades, and toys,” he said with a smirk.  I laughed and gave him a monstrous hug. 

That’s my boy.  Always crafting some elaborate story or solution.  I’ve got to hand it to him, he solved the problem so quickly and profoundly.  Grandma… let’s talk.  Haha!