The Cost of Building ‘Em Up

When I gave birth to all three of my kids, I knew what I was having. I have no patience and Brent dislikes surprises. Christmas morning I want the kids to hurry up and open all their presents because I love the look on their faces. On the other hand, Christmas morning, Brent likes to NOT wrap the presents and just tell them what they all are. We are a great example for therapy for our children for ruining Christmas their entire lives. Hopefully they will forgive us.

So when we found out we were having a girl, then a boy and then another girl we were a bit prepared for our mission. We wanted to make sure that our children had self confidence and respect for themselves. As do most parents. We want our kids not experience those really horrific emotions of “just not good enough”, because they are good enough. They will always be good enough and they posses the ability for reaching beyond that scope. We constantly tell them what they are good (great, fantastic, amazing – all those “awesome” adjectives to explain positives) at things and they are all beautiful, smart etc. All the things children and yes, adults, like to hear. Building self esteem, self confidence etc – leading to respect. That’s the game plan.

The girls are quite easier for me to follow the play book with. I am girl. I know what is important to the female mind and soul. I could help and encourage my daughters. And of course Brent could easily too. He’s Daddy. Every little girl wants to be Daddies little princess. But I had this dude in the middle:


And in the beginning it was fairly easy. He was just a tiny little baby who just wanted love, a clean diaper and food. Where it got hard was when Brent went to work in Alaska when he was about 2. Brent still had his time with him to do “boy things”. You know, throwing a ball, farting, talking about disgusting things, poking lizards with sticks, fake gun fighting, playing video games, bloody plastic sword fights in the middle of the kitchen. Things I’ve learned to do (no I don’t go farting and poking lizards with sticks – I’m still hanging on to the bit of estrogen I’ve got thanks). But I am no match for Brent. Brent and Dayton can get on the phone and have the most disgusting and odd conversations I’ve ever heard. Conversations that I am no match for.

Luckily though in my play book of mothering a book there are a few trick plays I had. I am a wife, mother, woman. I know the inner workings of a twisted emotional menstruating mind. I could easily use that to my advantage of teaching my boy how to walk away and take a deep breath when the girls are ranting at him with no comprehension and for no obvious reason. I could teach him that chivalry is a good thing. That shaking someone’s hand is a good thing to learn. I could still teach him things that don’t require massive amounts of enjoyment in saliva, flatulence, swords and insects. I can nod my head and say “What’s up bro” even if I’m not doing the really awesome hand shake that requires testosterone related skills. I told myself, I got this.

Yeah well. I got this too much and I’m not really sure how.

You see Dayton and Daddy had a small conversation the other night and I had to delve a little further into not long after.

Daddy: It’s hot in here Dayton. Aren’t you hot?

Dayton: Yes, but I like it that way.

(Brent just knew that Dayton was going to take the hot meaning into a form of not temperature related.)

Daddy: So do you think you are cute buddy?

Dayton: Of course I’m cute. I’m always going to be cute. Everyone tells me how cute I am everyday. Nothing is going to change that.

Well. Alright. Clearly he is self confident. But I really wanted to get a handle on the understanding of my son.

Mommy: Dayton, so you are cute huh?

Dayton: Yeah I am. You are always telling me. Everyone at stores and restaurants tell me. I don’t like it, but I know I’m cute so I do really like it.

Mommy: So you are just pretending to not like it that people say it. But you know you are cute.

Dayton: Yup.

Mommy: So are you smart?

Dayton: Well yeah. Of course.I know everything. Like what 100 + 100 is.

Mommy: Oh. So do you think you are smarter than most people?

Dayton: Of course. I told you, I know everything. I’m really smart.

Mommy: Oh. So you are smarter than everyone else. And cuter too? What are you saying?

Dayton: I’m smarter. I’m cuter. I’m funnier. I’m perfect Mom.

(long pause and giggling of parents)

Mommy: Dayton. Are you serious? I mean do you really think you are perfect?

Dayton: Well yeah Mom. I am. Everyone tells me. You always tell me.





  1. As a mother of 4 boys, let me just tell you, it doesn’t get any better when they get older. LOL

  2. LOL YEP. Ro says stuff like that all the time. “I know everything, Mommy. I’m a big girl.” or “I already know that!” (said with extreme exasperation). I tell her that she is perfect just the way God made her because I want her to have good self-esteem and not freak when or if those awful kids ever decide she is the target of their ire & bullying.

    Unfortunately like you, it has kind of backfired on me. But she’s only six and doesn’t quite get the whole metaphorical subtleties yet.

    At least I don’t have to deal with farts, poked lizards and spit. Yet.