Thursday, September 19, 2013

the eyes in the back of my head

my boys find my mommy instinct fascinating. magical even. heck, i do too. they know i'm wise to their mischievous ways, they just don't know how i'm wise to their mischievous ways.

this is especially true for graham whose longing for adventure has always outweighed his ability to calculate risk. it doesn't matter if the risk is bodily harm or simply being caught, graham doesn't think that far ahead. he's an in the moment kinda guy. i have always said he's his own good time.

harrison, the eldest, the responsible one (not that i stereotype my children. nope. never.) is more of a rule follower. he can be trusted in just about every situation. unless there's an unattended bowl of candy sitting out in the living room.

"how many did you eat?"

"just two."

uh huh. two dozen, maybe! harrison is no match against a candy free for all. but, really, who is?

but graham. poor graham. this kid of mine just cannot figure out how i know what he's up to and why i'm ruining all his fun.

like the time he walked upstairs from the basement and headed out to the garage; "just looking for a really long stick," he said... or the times (yes, times - plural - you'd think he'd learn) i found empty candy wrappers on the floor behind the chair in the living room... or maybe the time i heard very loud banging and crashing noises coming from his bedroom... or walked into the bathroom to see water covering and dripping off the sides of the counter... or when i heard "i'm just going to take this stamp and ink set up to my bedroom for a little while"... or "mommy, i need a sharp knife"...

or, best of all, the time i was loading the dishwasher and noticed that it was completely silent down in the basement. silence can be a very good thing and a very, very bad thing. i knew...i knew that i knew that i knew...graham had stacked two footstools on top of each other, balanced a plant stand on top and was in the process of climbing up to sit upon his four foot high i hollered down the stairs, "graham, do not climb up on that contraption! take everything down immediately and put things back where they belong right now!"

"how did you know what i was doing," he hollered back.

"because mommy knows everything, son."

it's usually at this point that graham tells me i've hurt his feelings and i have to explain to him that disciplining and helping him make wise choices is quite different from hurting his feelings. or sometimes i just say "nope. not me. i didn't hurt your feelings. it was the eyes in the back of my head - my special mommy eyes that always know what you're doing - they are the ones who hurt your feelings."

i find this creates just enough confusion so he'll drop the subject. the eyes in the back of our heads are good for many things, my friends. including blame.

mommy instincts aren't solely useful for catching our kiddos when they're up to no good (or for carrying the blame when we do). i've recently realized something else my gut tunes in on - i know when graham has to go potty. i know before he knows. isn't that just the craziest, funniest thing? and i don't know how i know. i just know. i think it's the way he carries his body in those moments. my sweet boy has a little rhythm about him. he kind of bounces around. he also seems to lack focus on whatever it is he's doing at that moment. and every single time i ask "graham, do you have to go potty?" he says "no." then 20-30 seconds later, sure enough, he's rushing off to the bathroom.

all i can do is laugh because this ingrained intuition really is magical. and not just regarding the silly stuff. my gut has been a huge help on, sadly, numerous occasions when i just knew we needed to get him to the emergency room for one ailment or another. and on a grander scale still, the same keen eyes that help me see the little things - like one son's need to pee - have also noticed the even littler, almost unrecognizable, have-to-be-completely-attentive-or-you'll-miss-it, seem-small-but-are-really-big-issues things - like the other son's sensory sensitivities.

my instincts are valuable and trustworthy and strong. they are worth listening to!

so are yours! what have your instincts been telling you lately?

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