Life, Kids, and Payback

Posted by debjulienne | 4:46 PM | 8 comments »

Life. Kids. Payback. It happens.

Life. It happens.

And when it does, you can choose to roll with the punches, laugh, or cry. I choose laughter. Because if I ever sat down to contemplate life, I'd start crying and never stop.

That said, I decided to dedicate today's blog to laughter and the causes in my life.

For me, the cause of almost all my laughter comes from my kids. Starting back in 1983, when I had my first son, Paul Jr., or as we call him PJ...yes, even today. One of the first things he ever said that had me in stitches, happened when he was barely a year and a half old. This kid was early at EVERYTHING...words, animal sounds, walking, you name it. One day, he was playing with one of his dinosaur toys and it broke....he brought it to me. The look on his face was so sad, he held it up in both hands and said, "boke one?" I started laughing and haven't stopped since.

When PJ was 18 months old, Jeremy came along. Those two were a riot. I'd worried all through my pregnancy about sibling rivalry...which never happened. PJ was my little watchdog during the day. As mom's, you know the house doesn't clean you do the best you can, and with a little help you survive. PJ was no different, I'd be doing dishes, laundry, whatever and he'd come tell me "Baby stinks", "Baby boffed", and my personal favorite, "Baby stuck".

When Jeremy was first starting to try to crawl, he could only move backwards. We'd find him arms and head sticking out from under the couch. The visual, still makes me laugh. Jeremy was a good baby, but had a never-ending appetite, still does. These two were peas in a pod, they played well together, rarely fought, and were easily amused. Now, remember I said that in a minute.

Then, 18 months later, along came Michael. Again I worried about rivalry...and again it never happened. I'm thinking wow...this is cool. The next memorable episode with the boys happened when Mike was 1, Jeremy was 2-1/2, and PJ was 4. My dad was in the hospital having a round of chemo. His two sisters were visiting from Montana, and we were expecting my brothers and their families over for Spaghetti. I'd had my sauce cooking all day and was about to start the noodles. Trying to plan out my timing, I decided to run to the bathroom before I finished dinner. I barely get my britches down when I hear laughter. On a side note, Jeremy had this tone to his laughter that bordered on hysterical...when you heard that tone, "something" was tickling his fancy so hard he couldn't contain his laughter. Well, sure enough, I hear his laughter...I opened the door and yelled out, "whatever you're doing, sit down immediately and don't move". Yeah, that worked. NOT. The laughter escalated.

Realizing I wasn't going to get to do my business, I pulled up my pants and ran out of the bathroom, I round the corner going into the living room to see the last of my 2 lb bag of dried spaghetti noodles going through the oscillating fan. If I hadn't seen it for myself, I think I'd have killed the kids--but, it was truly the funniest thing I've ever seen. And, as if that wasn't bad enough, PJ and Jeremy are standing there, pointing at Mike, trying to blame him for the mess. Needless to say we had mock Sloppy Joe's, but that incident has kept us in laughter for years. To the point that I actually caught the boys, show their friends how it worked by shooting another 1 lb bag of noodles off our back deck.

Mike was 2 when Rachel came along. Again I worried about sibling rivalry and whether or not they'd know how to play with a little girl. I worried for nothing....that girl held her own. I still remember the day she gave all three boys bloody noses....she was 2 and had been coming down the stairs, PJ had been hiding behind the staircase, and grabbed her leg. Luckily she'd been holding the banister, but it had scared her so badly, she got down on her knees, on the stairs and reached through the stairs and punched him in the nose. Jeremy and Mike just laughed, and then did the same thing, Rachel came down one more stair, and Jeremy, grabbed her leg. Wham....he's crying. Now by this time, you'd think Mike would get the picture. Nope. All three boys stood there, noses bleeding, and Rachel just crossed her arms, and said, "Don't do it again." And they didn't.

Yes, I watched it happen, and I was just about to get after PJ when I saw Rachel take care of him. In my opinion he got what he deserved, and punishment wasn't necessary on my part....although we did have a discussion about playing on the stairs...again.

Since then, these four kids have come up with the most clever, inventive forms of amusement, that I've had the misfortune of cleaning up.

From Saucer Wars, where, Rachel would drive the 6 x 6, towing her brothers who were sitting on snow saucers, holding onto water ski tow ropes that were looped over the trailer hitch....while the boys tried to knock each other off the saucers, while being pulled in the snow. Mud wars, same thing only in the mud during the rainy season. You name it these kids aren't afraid to try it.

Now, remember when I commented about them being easily amused. I still marvel that my husband shakes his head when they invent something new. I say that because only a year ago, after my father-in-law passed away, all my husband's sibling were telling stories after his funeral, and it came out, that "Dad" never did figure out why their above the ground swimming pool always had a messed up liner--no one could ever explain it--til now.

It seems, the boys, Leon, Frank, and Paul, would take their bikes up on the roof, and then starting at the peak, ride their bikes off the roof into the pool. They'd hit with such momentum that their bikes would slam into the far side of the pool and screw up the liner. When I found this out, I confronted my husband, who gave me the most incredible "What?" I've ever seen. You know I had to tell the kids I knew where their crazy line came from.

I'm almost afraid to see what my grandchildren will come up with. Can't wait to see the they can do to their parents.


  1. Beth Trissel // June 9, 2009 at 5:15 PM  

    Love this post, Deb. It's warm, witty, very funny and one many of us can identify with. You should write a non-fiction book based on your family. :)

  2. Scarlet Pumpernickel // June 9, 2009 at 6:44 PM  

    I can so relate to this! My two were 21 months apart and always into something. DD was the younger when she was about two she came running into the house saying "Bubba hurt, bubba hurt!" Naturally I asked, "What wrong with Bubba?" Her answer was, "Me push him off porch!" I ran outside to find him atop a shrub that had been recently trimmed into sharp spikes and he dared not move or be impaled! She had shoved him off the high side of the porch because he took her toy! Then there was the time they held a funeral procession for their deceased hampster complete with wailing mourner following the casket (kitchen size match box). Kids are amazing. They used to entertain themselves without video games and wii's. Kids today are missing out!

    Loved your post, as you see, it started a trip down memory lane for me!


  3. Mary Marvella // June 9, 2009 at 7:39 PM  

    Deb, that was so funny and endearing! Thanks!

    Mama Mary

  4. Nightingale // June 9, 2009 at 8:04 PM  

    My boys were 3 years apart and the older one always beat up on the younger one. I really enjoyed this post. You are a fantastic writer.

  5. Mona Risk // June 9, 2009 at 10:25 PM  

    Deb, thanks for sharing these stories. Your kids are adorable.

  6. Edie Ramer // June 9, 2009 at 10:30 PM  

    Fun post. I could picture your daughter slugging the boys's noses, one by one. Sounds like you have great kids!

  7. Barbara Monajem // June 9, 2009 at 10:41 PM  

    I really enjoyed your post. Life is so crazy, and you're right, laughter works best.

  8. Judy // June 10, 2009 at 8:20 AM  

    Cute, Deb. I've got two boys and they were as inventive as yours. Must be something in that Y chromosome. Grandchildren are the best. Fun to see your own kids go through tests of their own. Enjoy!