You know it's true: boys and girls really are different.
Hubby and I have been trying to carve out more individual time for the big kids--their increased fighting, whining and general grouchiness is their sophisticated way of saying they want to feel like an only child...for at least an hour. (Really, don't we all sometimes??)
So Doodlebug and I escaped one afternoon for milkshakes and pedicures. In the car we chatted nonstop and gushed about the chocolate heaven that is a P. Terry's milkshake. We held hands across the parking lot, sat next to each other in the big massage chairs and watched HGTV while the lovely ladies made our toes pretty. We thoroughly discussed our nail polish options. I chose "I'm Not Really a Waitress" red and Doodlebug picked a springy green with daisies painted on her big toes. She shared some cute gossip about her school friends and we both laughed about my embarrassingly ticklish feet. We took a silly self-portrait photo and then some shots of our new toes. On the way home, she said, "Mama, I love this day so much! You are the best Mom in the whole world. Can we do this every Sunday? Mama, I love you more than chocolate." I couldn't ask for a better compliment.
The following Sunday I took Rascal to his soccer practice. Just the two of us. We drove with the windows rolled down and the sun shining bright, and for minutes neither of us spoke. Then he said, "Mama, remember how on AstroBoy he had those rockets on his feet? Did you know they weren't just rocket boots, they were actually rockets on his feet? That's the kind I want--not boots, but rocket feet." We crossed the parking lot, me with my hand resting on his head as he tried to dribble his ball without swerving into traffic. At the field, I stretched out in the grass and watched while he practiced with his team. In between kicks he sometimes gave me a thumbs-up. During every water break he ran full-speed my way, tackled me, then leaned up against my back while he refueled. I said, "Buddy, you're doing great!" He replied, "Mama, don't tell me that! Don't talk." After practice we played a spontaneous and rowdy game of one-on-one, with lots of hollering and theatrical tumbling across the grass. When his best buddy asked if he could join in, Rascal gave him the hand and said, "No. Just me and Mom today." And yet again, I couldn't ask for a better compliment.