3 Years Old vs. State Trooper

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For the love of all Moms and Dads out there…here’s a story about the battle with car seat.  After seeing this picture, a flashback came slapping in my face about Augusta when she was 3 years old.

That would be 15 years ago. Augusta is 18 now.

She would squirm and squeeze herself out of the car seat. I tightened the seat straps enough to qualify me as a dominatrix.

Scratch that image. Now.

For many days and times, I pulled over to put her back in the seat and hands-screamed at her. I threw vivid imaginations of her going out of the window at her. Every time, she grinned.

Then, one day, everything changed. Completely.

There she was, out of her seat. Again. I pulled over on the interstate 95.  Immediately, a State Trooper pulled over, too. I stayed in my seat.  Augusta was standing besides me grinning as usual. The officer came by the window. I handed him the note.

The note read: “Officer, thank you for stopping by. I pulled over because my daughter would not stay in her seat.”

The officer tipped his hat. He wore mirror-sunglasses. I could not see his eyes, but I knew he had something up in his sleeves.

Good gracious! He walked around my blue caravan. Opened the slide door.  Augusta turned around to face the officer, confused. I was confused, too.

The officer took Augusta by her arms. He put her in the seat. Straps and all.

Raised by one finger – to her face and waved it sideways as if he was telling her, “No, no, no.”

Augusta’s face – PRICELESS!

SLAPPED close the door.

Bye-bye officer. Not a word. He left.

I turned around to look at Augusta. Still wide-eyed. I told her, “Stay in your seat!” Then, I threatened, “I will ask the man to come again and take you away if you get out of the seat again!”

She never got out of her seat. Ever again.  State Trooper 1.  Augusta 0.

Mr. State Trooper, whoever and wherever you are, thank you for saving the day!

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The Joke’s on Mom

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I grounded my 15 years old son for not helping out around the house. I grounded my other 2 teenagers as well.

Bored out of their heads.

*Waving hand to get my attention*

Me: What? *looks annoyed*

Chaz: Want hear something funny?

Me: *thinking out loud…I just grounded him and he wanted to tell me something funny? Bless his heart*

Chaz: Of course I’m not perfect, there’s a crack in my butt.

Chaz: *laughing*

Me: *stifling a laughter*

He does share my twisted sense of humor. That’s okay. It’s a good tool to have in this sad, sad, sad world. I find myself laughing at his jokes. He can be hilarious as heck.

Inside my head, it screams “Boundary! Boundary! Boundary!” But, I could not help it, but laughing at his jokes. Corny and all.

Definitely, the apple doesn’t fall far from tree.

My Graduating Daughter

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Augusta Dawn Schriver,                                                                                                                                            Senior at Maryland School for the Deaf.

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Last Monday, she received a letter of acceptance to enroll Gallaudet University in the Fall of 2012.  I could not contain my bubbles of pride I have for her.  She had accomplished a lot only that a mother can be proud of.

Augusta, you have a good head on your shoulders.  That’s what will get you far in your life.

But, your home rests with me. 

I love you,                                                                                                                                                                            Mom

Sharing Is Good: Kindergartner’s Perspective

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This smiling boy is my 14 years old son, Chaz.  This story is about him as a 5 years old cheerful little kindergartner with a deep understanding of what sharing truly meant.

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What did he share, you ask?

One day, he came home from school. As soon as he put down his backpack, something was written all over his face.

“Are you OK?” I asked.

Chaz began to tell a tale of his day in school with a serious look on his face.  There were two girls in his class that wanted to be his girlfriend.  Yes, these cute 5 years old girls were fighting for Chaz’s affection. 

Uh-oh, my little boy’s life just began!  Hush, Mommy, hold your hands and listen.

Uh-oh, while trying to listen to his tale there were millions of questions popping in my mind.  “Who are the girls?” “What did the teacher do to intervene?” “Isn’t this silly?” “Is he too young to be in this kind of situation?”

Anyway, he went on explaining what had happened.  He claimed that two girls wanted to be his girlfriend.  He felt stumbled with this problem, but he came up with an easy solution.

A solution? Mommy’s eyebrows raised.

Adele on Monday. Tessa on Tuesday. Adele on Wednesday. Tessa on Thursday. Adele on Friday.

Problem solved!  He was so proud.

Mom? Speechless, but I was able to break a smile. “Wow, good boy, you share.”

“Yes, you told me sharing is important and that made people feel good!”

Reality shattered.   A young version of Hugh Hefner-in-training.  Shuddered.

Fast forward 9 years. I continued to tell this story. Sheer cuteness!

 

Stelluna Needs MILK!

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Stelluna is the name of a little bat in children’s book.  One of my favorite read aloud – scratch that – sign aloud to my children when they were little. 

But this story is taken in particular with Augusta.  Yes, her again. 

Her timing was impeccable.  She was 3 1/2 years old.  I had a second child, a son.  I was nursing him.

I was signing the story, “Stelluna” to Augusta for countless of times.  It was truly interesting to watch how she evolved her thinking about the story and how she connected it with real surroundings outside of the book.  Okay, what does this have to do with the fact that I was nursing my son?

Here’s the kicker.

In the story, the mother bat had her baby bat, Stelluna clutched onto its chest while flying.  The mother bat clashed with the owl in midair.  The baby bat, Stelluna was detached from its mother and fell down.  It landed into a bird’s nest.  However, during the storytelling, Augusta became upset that the mother bat did not hold Stelluna hard enough that prompted her to say this to me, “Stelluna fell. Will become weak!”

I asked, “Why do you think Stelluna will become weak?”

Augusta, tears in her eyes, responded, “Stelluna needs MILK!”

I inquired, “Why do you think Stelluna needs milk?”

“Mom!  You know!  You told me milk will make me BIG and STRONG!  That!  Stelluna needs MILK!”

I asked, “Where does Stelluna get milk from?”

As frank as she could, she said straightforwardly, “BOOBS, same you!” (she actually signed boobs using both hands in bear claws handshapes)

Okay, sorry that I asked.

She was mad because in her little mind she thought I did not get it.  Only if she understood that I was scaffolding her language by posing questions to prompt her to think and respond.  But, I clearly was upsetting her because “I did not get it!”

Wasn’t she a cute little thing?

Different Finger, Same Meaning

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Egan. That’s my 3rd kid.

He was upset with his brother, Chaz.  He knew that flipping a bird was unacceptable, when it’s with an intention to offend someone.

Using a middle finger in certain circumstances is acceptable.  That’s how Deaf people express when they are frustrated, feeling comic or whatever tickles them pink.  Using the middle finger to say “screw off” is also another thing we do when we are angry, upset or even when we stumbled our toes into the wall.

Back to my story.

Egan used the ring finger instead of the actual middle finger to offend his brother.  I gave him a cold stare.

“Different finger!” protested Egan.

I inquired, “But it means the same thing, doesn’t it?

Meekly, he nodded.

Go to your room, Egan.

That was when he was 7 or 8 years old.  He’s 13 now.  Such a joy!

“I Wanna Eat Chicken’s Vagina!”

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Augusta, a first born, strikes me as a very silent leader and with a mind that can scare you shitless at times.

However, I have a story to share when Augusta was just 4 years old.  *Augusta, I know that you’re rolling your eyes when you are reading this*

When she was being prepared for her first day in the preschool, I decided to be proactive about “Good Touch, Bad Touch.” I taught her all about body parts, include penis and vagina.  I taught her all appropriate signs.  So, “when someone touches you, you tell me where she or he touches you, OK?” was what I told her.  I felt proud.  I did the right thing.  I loved my girl.

But, this only came back to bite me in the ass.  Read below.

Fast forward a few months later, Augusta was sitting in the grocery cart. We were discussing about food in the store.  We used American Sign Language (ASL) as our mean of communication. THEN, we came to the freezer section. I told her, “we needed chicken breasts.”  That seemed to be appropriate.  NOT!  Not when you signed it incorrectly.  I was signing “chicken boobs,” instead of pressing palm down on the chest for breast, but I signed “boobs.”

Augusta’s response?

She shook her head and signed beautifully, perfectly and clearly: “No! I prefer chicken’s vagina!”

My world came to a screeching halt.  “WHAT?!”  Stifling a laughter inside my throat.  “Chicken’s vagina?” I asked again.  She NODDED.  “chicken vagina, that!” she chirped.

“No, no, no…there’s no such thing like chicken’s vagina to eat,” I calmly explained.

Result: She threw a tantrum, her legs were kicking the cart she was sitting in. Everyone was looking at me.  My face turned red.  Yes, RED because I could feel embarrassment sinking deep inside my head.  But, I remained cool and explained once again to her.

This time she outsmarted me by signing BIG, “No, I prefer eating chicken’s vagina!!”  This time with her voice.  Millions of heads turned into our direction.  I almost decided to abandon her at the store due to sheer embarrassment.  But, of course, I did not.  However and although, she signed BIG for “everyone to see!”  Only if she knew that people surrounded us did not know ASL.  But, it sure was priceless to watch her making her own emphasis on this matter.

Chicken vagina RULES!

There was nothing else to convince her that chicken did not have a vagina.  She then pointed to my crotch area and said,”Mommy, I saw you have a vagina!”  Ew!  Okay, stop right there.

Everything was communicated through ASL only.

Ain’t she a cute thing?  I still remembered that day very clearly.  Rather vivid!  She’s 17 years old now.

That’s the story I wanted to share.  It’s my all-times favorite!

Thank you.