Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Growing Pains

I brought home some items I purchased today that required Bear to try on pants and shoes. After making him drop trou in the middle of the living room and try on the new Scout pants, we have a strange conversation that went a little something like this:

Bear: "I think I need more boxers because if someone sees your whitey tighteys they tease you. It's just something else they can tease me about."

(Someone? Who is looking at your underwear?)

Me: "Ok bear. I will get you more boxers and no more whitey tighteys. That's not a big deal."

Bear: "Oh and can I shave my arms?"

Me: "What?!?"

Bear: "Well I have heard people talking about how hairy I am."

(Really?? Kids notice that and talk about it??)

Me: "Who is talking about it? Why do they care? I don't suggest it. It makes your arm hair grown back like this." At this point I make him rub the stubble on my legs. He laughs and is like "eeeeewww." Thanks Bear, just shaved the day before!

Bear: "Well that doesn't happen with my mustache when I shave."

Me: "When do you shave your mustache? Why?"

Bear: "Mom, I don't want to grow up faster than I have to, and I don't want to be the only 11 year old with a mustache."

Where is Dad? How do I teach him to shave? Should he even be shaving at this age? And he is using my leg razor....sheeessshhh. Just a little under 3 weeks before Dad returns and he can take over these conversations. These are growing pains that I am not fully equipped to deal with. Give me boobs, PMS and girl drama, that is my area of expertise. Not mustaches, and boxers. Although I do get mine waxed and I wear boy shorts to bed. Maybe I'm not that ill equipped.... on second thought, naaahh!

Dad get your ass home, I need you!

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Scouting Ain't Cheap

It seems like I am blogging more and more about Bear lately. It's not that Princess isn't giving me material to write about, it's just that Bear's is soooo much more light hearted. If I blog about Princess, it will seem more rant-like, considering her latest two 'episodes'.  Maybe I will blog about those......Moving along

After yesterday's fiasco with Scouts, he decided to stick with it while I decided that he had little chouce but to stick through it. Even if it killed me, because I doubt it will kill him.

At any rate, I already signed him up and paid for his Spring Camporee at the end of this month. So I head out today to start the quest of finding ALL the different items and accoutrements that he needs for his 1st ever Boy Scout trip. Heck last night I sat through an almost 2 hour class on what to buy and what NOT to buy for Scouts. You bet I was fully equipped with 4 pages of notes and the know how in order to shop today. I was a Momma on a mission!

Well let me remind you that I am in Germany. No Wal-Mart. No Target. No Cabela's. No Bass Pro Shop. No REI. It's the military base exchange (BX), the German sporting goods store or ordering it online and praying that shipping doesn't cost an arm and a leg. The best part is that delivery isn't consistent either. Hubby and Princess waited 8 weeks for their contacts. Gotta love it.

What did I find today in my search for scout stuff? I managed to get my hands on his cut away pants. The ones that unzip at the knee and go from long pants to short pants. I got him the hiking socks that are part wool and part wicking material. Yes, my 11 year old now owns wicking socks. I also got him a wicking t-shirt for under his scout shirt. I got him a mummy sleeping bag rated to a 15 degrees Fahrenheit which was not cheap. But the best part is that it doesn't require being rolled up and it comes in a compression bag! Sweet! And last but not least, I picked up his hiking boots. Did I mention that the BX doesn't carry off name brands? Yea, Bear is now the proud owner of Columbia Hiking boots. I don't own Columbia hiking boots. What's wrong with this picture?

All told... I spent a small fortune, and I am not even done. Tomorrow I have to get his badges sewn on, and check on a few Ebay bids I have for some other Scout stuff.

I have to say this could get real expensive, real fast. The more money and time I invest, he ain't NEVER getting outta Scouts. Ever.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Showdown

It seems that every two or three weeks Bear and I have this showdown. It's like a Wild West kinda showdown. The sort where you hear the shutters slamming of people heading indoors and shops closing up. The tumble weed is drifting down the street, and him and I meet in the middle of road. Our eyes meet and the stare down begins. The looks we give each other are similar to the final showdown in the cemetery scene in the movie The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, theme music and all.

Ok, well maybe I exaggerate just a little, but sometimes it feels like the melodrama in my home is reaching toxic levels.

The catalyst? Boy Scouts.

Bear has been in Cub Scouts since he was in second grade. He has his Bobcat, Wolf,  Bear, Webelos badge, and he just completed his Arrow of Light. About two weeks ago he had this great cross over ceremony and now he is an official Boy Scout. AWESOME!

When we were stateside he wasn't all that interested in Scouts because the Pack wasn't very big or very active. Well here in Germany, you couldn't ask for more involved volunteers to head up Scouting. It's truly amazing! Side note: Thanks to those who volunteer! You are amazing!


So what is the problem? One word: gaming.

I have a gamer. He loves his X-Box and I think his X-Box loves him. I'm actually willing to place money on it. He would rather game than just about anything else this world has to offer. He is in gamer groups, and he is good at it, but it takes up quite a bit time and it keeps him sedentary. Which I am not happy about. So at times he gets himself in a tizzy because I am using up precious gaming time. Hence the Boy Scouting issue. And as I mentioned in a previous post.... he was Scouting all day Saturday. So that makes TWICE this week. Stop the presses! Not TWO day?! The nerve of some people!

It had been about three weeks with no Scout conflict and we were due for a round.

He says to me tonight that he wants to quit Scouts. Really? I sigh and ask him why he wants to quit. Exasperated before the question is even out. Ready to pull my hair out one by one with a pair of pliers.

This is the condensed version of the heated conversation:

Bear: "It takes up too much of my time."

Me: "What would you be doing otherwise? Playing on your X-box?"

Bear: "Yes! What else is there to do?"

Me: "Uh Scouts?! That is why I have you in Scouts. So that you have something else that you can do!"

Does anyone else see the faulty logic in his thinking?

So after a round or two of whether or not to quit, why sticking with something is important, why he might regret it someday in the future, and blah blah blah Mommy crap, I say to him:

"If you can get your dad to approve you quitting, then I will leave it alone. " I failed to mention to him that I volunteered to chair the membership committee so that quitting really isn't a long term option. Eh, but what the hell.... let him ask his Dad.

Do you think he said anything to his dad with whom he was Facebooking? NOPE.

So off to Scouts we went.

How did it go?

He was assigned his patrol today.
He was thrilled!
He got his patrol badge today. "Mom you have got to sew this on for me." 
Thrilled some more!
There is no patrol leader yet.
He wants to be the patrol leader.
More excitement!

As we get into the car he says to me, "I'm going to try my best at the Camporee so that I can get that Patrol Leader spot!"

That is all I ever wanted. Stick with it and try your best! It's the Boy Scout motto for crying out loud!

So how long before we are back to "I wanna quit Scouts" again? Hopefully the showdowns will be fewer and further between. Especially as I start to dish out lotsa $$$ for the new uniforms and eventually the camping equipment. That would not be good. Not good at all... for Bear.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Birthday Boy's Weekend

Friday March 9th was Bear's 11th birthday, and I couldn't be prouder of the little bugger. He is growing up into a very respectful, decent, caring, albeit smart assed young man. Wait? At what age do you start referring to your son as a young man? Is he still a boy? No matter what he will always be my baby boy.

So whatever...any ways... that's not even the point of the story. Moving along....

This weekend was packed full of activities and he showed so much maturity it was astounding. On Friday night my friend Jill and I took all the kids out to dinner. (Our hubbies are deployed together.) It was a great dinner, up until the point where half-way through our meal they asked if we could move to another table so that the VERY large party behind us could have the entire section of the restaurant for themselves. HOW RUDE!

Bear was a trooper! We quickly finished our meals and took our to go boxes to another table, and these are NO small meals. They call the restaurant Big Emma's for a reason. Our compensation for our troubles was to get FREE "sorry we asked you to move and inconvenienced you" dessert. He was great about it! And the dessert was divine! It was a large mixing bowl size of ice cream: vanilla, chocolate and strawberry with whip cream on top! YUM!

On Saturday he spent the whole day doing Boy Scouts things, and getting 3 new badges. It was very long day that went from 8:30am until 5:00pm. He took it in stride and completed everything! This was the same child who only 3 weeks ago told me that he was not sure if he was going to finish Boy Scouts and if he did it was because I would make him feel guilt!

Again, I am so proud of him for finishing Cub Scouts, getting his Arrow of Light AND getting his first 3 Merit Badges!

As if the weekend hadn't held enough adventures, on Sunday I decided that I was having a Forced Family Fun day. That's the day that I plan something that ALL family members MUST participate in.... no ifs, ands or buts. Hence the FORCED part.

Well it was a bike ride. It wasn't supposed to be so long, but a broken pedal later and we were riding back to our house never having reached our intended destination. The original plan would have had us taking the train back. What can you do?

All told, we biked 18.2 miles on Sunday, and Bear never bitched ONCE! He biked the hills and the paved paths and the unpaved paths, and every time his legs burned he pushed through it. Amazing for a child that can get winded from take out the trash.

I am proud that he is learning to push through discomfort to achieve something greater: a sense of accomplishment. That means the world to me. I am proud that he is learning that he can achieve anything he sets his mind to. I am proud to say "That is my boy!"

As if that wasn't enough.... he wanted to sleep with me last night. Icing on a great weekend!

So CHEERS to a wonderful Birthday weekend where you showed maturity and growth Bear. I love you and I love the person you are growing up to be! Keep up the awesome work!