Testicles and Boobies

My children are growing up and at ages 6 and 4 there’s a little bit of independence that comes with that. Although, I still wash them in the bathtub just to make sure all bases have been covered, they do bathe separately and dress themselves when they get out.

Having a boy and a girl has created balance for me. My daughter, Morgan is all things girly girl including scented lotion and pink pajamas. My son Garrett, who we refer to as Lil G, is a ladies man. I’m not just saying that, but he really knows JUST what to say. For example, today Morgan decided to tell me that Lil G has SEVERAL girlfriends. When I questioned him about it he said “no momma, just one and it’s you.” He’s smooth, so smooth in fact that between his lines and his complexion I’ve nicknamed him Hershey Kiss.

Well not only do these kids have quite the personality, they also happen to be quite funny. Tonight when Lil G got out the bathtub he runs to his room and grabs the men’s lotion he took from my husband’s side of the bed and begins to moisturize. He slows down almost to a crawl when he gets below his waist and pays more attention to his genitalia. And the rest is straight comedy:

Lil G – “What’s this ball thing below my penis?”

Me – “Go ask your daddy”

Morgan – “It’s your scrotum and it holds pee.”

Me – “Morgan you don’t have a penis and you’re wrong so please let him go ask daddy.”

Daddy – “They’re testicles son.”

Morgan – “What are testicles?”

Daddy – (trying not to laugh) “They’re something cool that hang from our bodies.”

Morgan – “That’s not fair, we don’t have anything cool hanging from our bodies.”

Daddy – “When you get you older you will.”


Morgan – “Are you talking about boobies.”

Me: (laughing hysterically)

15 minutes later just when I thought we were done…

Morgan – “What if mine don’t grow when I get older.”

Daddy – (laughing) “Then you can go to the boobie store.”

Lil G – (serious) “There’s no such thing as a boobie store.”

Morgan – “How do you know, you have a penis.” (rolling her neck)

Lil G – Now smiling “because I just do.”

Morgan – “Well what if they run out of boobies by the time I need some?”

Me – “Okay Lights OUT. It’s Definitely Time for Bed.”

So now I know exactly what Bill Cosby meant “Kids say the darndest things. Oh, the joys of parenting.



I Big Guy

Chocolate Cowboy I

Most are aware that my poor toddler son has gone through about a hundred nicknames from different people and he used to answer to each one. In fact, a few months ago on his 2nd birthday I was proud of myself for putting forth an effort to refrain from calling him Baby G and start calling him Little G. In his short 30 months of living he has been G, Baby G, Gee Gee, BaBa, G-Mac, Little G and Gare Bear to name a few.

For the most part everyone had their own name for him and he was so polite that he just answered to each one in his own way, some times it was a look, some times he’d reply “yes” but last week I had the surprise of my life when I called him Baby G, by accident and he said as clear as day “ I not Baby G, I Big Guy.” When I asked him to repeat what he said he said “I not Baby G, I Big Guy.”

So let me explain where Big Guy came from. My husband has a generic name for all little boys, yup you guessed it “Big Guy”. So apparently, he overheard his dad refer to another toddler boy as Big Guy and made sure to say sternly “I’m Big Guy.” In other words you might need to come up with a new pet name for other folks, but this one…belongs to me.

Now in our house with a diva for a sister that hogs a lot of attention, my son really doesn’t get an opportunity to say too much, so when he asserts himself, we ALL listen. In fact, I’m a little ashamed to say that I didn’t even know he could form his sentences so well. I mean I knew he was on track and could say some words, but “I not Baby G, I Big Guy,” was a surprise to me.

The good thing about him is he has absolutely no problem in redirecting me when I slip. Each time my habitual Baby G comes out, he calmly repeats, “I not Baby G, I big guy.” Never with an attitude, never loud, just very direct and matter of fact. “I not Baby G, I big guy.” So let this serve as a warning to all those that refer to him in any other name, he just ain’t trying to hear it. You can try it and know that he will answer you, but he will politely let you know that he is in fact…yup you guessed it big guy.

2014 will mean a lot of new changes for the Taylor family. We will have additional study time, a new reading curriculum, eat at the kitchen table for dinner and most importantly, we will all refer to Baby G….I mean BaBa, I mean G-Mac, as BIG GUY.



Runway Diva

The last few weeks are all a blur. My baby girl, my mini-me is more like me than not and I guess that’s why she has little to no fear about jamming every available extracurricular activity on both of our schedules. Since it’s hard to teach an old dame new tricks I already had an overextended calendar of my own. But she saw a flyer for a local pageant and immediately wanted in and a friend of mine was volunteering for a fashion show and again she was eager to sign up.

Now understand although she has never wavered from her desire to be “in the TV” she has no formal training. Other than ballet classes for the last few years she’s just observed and at just 4-years-old, I am certainly not pressed. In fact, I have a lot of admiration for her being able to articulate one of her goals, but a TON of apprehension about her going full steam ahead into “the industry.” An industry filled with the child exploitation and a host of other undesirables.  I know, I know how did I go from her competing in a toddler pageant and volunteering in a local fashion show to her being in “the industry?” Easy because we have so much favor over our lives that I have no doubt if we pursue it….it will be. So I did what every momma is drawn to do upon first learning you are carrying a life…. I prayed. I prayed for guidance, the spirit of discernment and patience among other things. 

When she arrived for her very first fashion show rehearsal, she was the youngest in attendance and obviously intimidated. I thought to myself; yes, my prayers have been answered and I tried my best to back out gracefully. “Morgan, you don’t have to do this. If you are uncomfortable and not ready we can easily walk away right now, it’s not a problem. Do you want to leave? I asked and she replied “no,” adamantly. “Well, mommy will love you no matter what,” I said convincingly. “If you want, we can just buy tickets and watch the fashion show,” I continued. “No mommy, I just want to watch for a while, but I want to do this. I don’t want to leave. I can do this,” she said talking to herself out loud.

 With a crew full of angels and the support of a great self-esteem building fashion show coach she was prancing down the runway within minutes. She did it, and she knew it and from that moment on, she was determined to prove she belonged. I can’t lie, I was impressed and I was also very proud, not by her attempt to sashay, but at her tenacious attitude and unwavering spirit. Her ability to work through fear will undoubtedly pay off and I am just prayerful the good Lord will see fit to keep me around long enough to see it.

The night of the fashion show was like many of her milestone moments, full of family and friends, some of whom drove for over 50 miles after working all day to watch her debut. I am hopeful she never takes that kind of support system or people for granted and I am hopeful she will be better and do better than I ever could. Congratulations Morgan on your first “official” fashion show, now if I can just make it through this toddler pageant.


My Life Preserver

BaBa swim

I have two babies with very different feelings about swimming. My son, the youngest of the bunch scares the living beeejesus out of me, because at 2 years old, he has absolutely no fear of water. He refuses floation devices and is convinced he can swim. My daughter on the other hand, diva that she is doesn’t mind getting her hair wet, but her face is a no no. She requires an adult with a dry towel to be within arm’s distance at all times just to wipe her face.

But there was one thing they both agreed on; water is cool and fun. So we decided to enroll both of them in swimming lessons this past summer. Their age difference put them in different leagues. Little G’s swim class requires parents in the water with the child and Morgan’s class requires parents to stay away. Neither child wanted to sit by while the other was enjoying the water so that meant two parents at all times; split duty.

My husband lost the coin toss so he got our son who is inclined to jump feet first without notice. My nerves will not allow me to coach his swim lessons. My son will look you in the face tell you to watch and then float face down in the water for what feels like an eternity. His eyes stay open under water, he smiles the whole time and my heart simply can’t take it.

With just two lessons left and a overlap in scheduling when school starts, my wonderful husband finds himself managing them both until I arrive to help ease the burden. Morgan’s class had just started and my husband and Little Garrett were drying off. Little Garrett is so excited when I enter the pool all decked out in my business suit that he feels the need to show me what he has just learned. He yells to me “watch mommy, watch” and he runs and jumps in 4 feet of water without supervision.

The entire pool gasps in unison and my husband drops his smartphone on the floor, takes off his sneakers and jumps in right behind him. The lifeguard in Morgan’s class is en route to my baby when she notices his daddy is much closer than she is and she stops to observe the situation. Little G is physically fine, but shaken by all the adult hoopla and runs right to me when his daddy carries him out of the pool. In that moment I could care less that my designer dress is soaking wet. He was frightened and wanted his momma. I’m glad I was there to lower his heart rate, but I was wondering who was going to lower mine. Not to mention my poor husband’s.

Days like this remind me of just how many times my children have already knocked me to my knees; literally and I’ve been at this parenting thing for less than five years. One thing I know for sure is this parenting game requires a life preserver and I’m grateful I know exactly who to call, Thank You Jesus.

ME swim

Picking Pears

Raising babies in the age of instant ain’t always what it’s cracked up to be. We make instant oatmeal, popcorn and meals in a matter of seconds. We use our microwave daily and the result is a generation of impatient little people that haven’t a clue how to live without the radiation machine that I have a love hate relationship with. Having said that, we put forth an effort in our home to make sure we also explain that eggs don’t come from Eggland and cantaloupes don’t magically appear in Food Lion.

So it’s always a pleasure to hang out with their paternal grandparents for a strong dose of good old fashion country living. My husband grew up in Windsor, NC, a small town not far from the coast. His family still lives there and his daddy, now retired takes pride in planting acres full of fruit trees, corn, grapes and a host of good eating…way too much to name.

Like most Labor Days we spent the holiday soaking up the sun and a home cooked meal at their home. One of highlights aside from the food is letting all the children run amuck. Yup, it’s one of the few times I don’t restrict what they drink or eat. I don’t even require shoes for outdoor play. I know, I know, it’s contrary to my normal routine, but it breaks the monotony and creates memories for us all.

Now that the children are a little older (4 and 2) granddaddy’s fruit trees are on their radar and despite their height they were determined to find a way to taste what up until now he has restricted. “You can pick em’ now,” he said. “They’re good and ready.”

“Mommy, can you help me,” Morgan begged. “Granddaddy said we can pick pears, but I can’t reach them.” “I love pears,” she said. Little did she know I had already eaten my fair share the night before. But I show her a set of outside chairs right beside the tree and suggest that she figure out a way to work with her brother to get what they want.

She’s not quite tall enough even on her tiptoes in the chair to tug the pears off the tree without losing her balance. But she’s just the right height to knock them to the ground and ask her brother to pick them up and put them in a plastic grocery bag for their consumption as a nighttime snack for the coming week.

And so I back up and I watch them work hard for the next 15 minutes right before dark to pick their own fruit that their granddaddy planted in his yard. At this moment there is no instant, there is only the realization that moments like these are important to me and I pray they are important to our children. At this moment I am grateful for fruit bearing trees and smart loving grandparents that have the wisdom to plant them.

ME Pears Pears II Delicious pear


Pizza Time

There’s an old African Proverb that says “It Takes a Village to Raise a Child.” I’ve always believed it, but never have I been so grateful to have such a village. Me and my husband are surrounded with so many genuine people with such different talents in our circle. Not only do they have talents, but they are willing to share them, not just with us, but with our babies.

We met Lawrence by default about 6 years ago. His wife, Sherri and I became close friends and he in turn joined the family. At first glance, Lawrence doesn’t say too much. He is jolly and pleasant to be around and will give you the shirt off his back if you need it. It doesn’t hurt that the man can also cook. Well, I guess that’s an understatement since that’s how he makes his living. It’s not uncommon for him to come to our home, pull out the pots and pans and whip something up at a family gathering.

So when he offered a few months ago to come have a special pizza making date with Morgan and Garrett they were thrilled. In fact, Morgan refused to let him forget about his commitment and when she called him on Wednesday, he made his way to my home with a bag full of ingredients that Friday.

As soon as the door bell rang, they beelined to open it. “Uncle Lawrence, uncle Lawrence is here,” Morgan yelled. “Yea,” Garrett replied.  Now, while I was excited for them, I was curious to see how he managed two toddlers in the kitchen. Lord knows, they drive me nuts and I have to get prayed up with liters full of patience just to get their help making a salad.

But they were on their best behavior. They washed hands, put their listening ears on, got all dressed up in their kiddie chef gear and Lawrence went to work teaching. They listened, they tasted and they watched his every move. And although their was an occasional battle over whose turn it was to knead the dough or spread the cheese for the most part they got along and the team approach worked.

Since, I watched from the next room, I have no idea the temperature of the oven or how long it had to bake. But I do know that they sat right in front of the oven glaring in its window until they heard it beep. “It’s ready, it’s ready,” Morgan sang. “ Oh yea, oh yea,” she continued as she danced around.

As he moved it to the top of the stove, they could barely wait for it to cool. Luckily, preparing the table for the lunch they made was a long enough distraction. “Well, “ come look at your work before I cut it,” he said and they both ran back to the kitchen. He smiled as he cut their slices and they smiled as they doled out one to each parent.

I believe that homemade cheese pizza was gone in minutes, and while he didn’t stay to watch them devour it, that one hour he spent with them will last a lifetime.


pizza II

pizza III

His Turn

My four-year-old daughter does not allow grass to grow under her feet. In fact, I am sure I spend more time on her appointments than my own in any given week. She has ballet, too many birthday parties and of course her personal favorite – play dates. Some times her baby brother gets to tag along, but for the most part she prefers all girls play dates including dress-up, good snacks and lots of high pitch screaming. So imagine her surprise, when her 20-month-old brother spread his wings this week and had his first very own play date; no girls allowed.

“Why can’t I go,” she asks. “Because they are much younger than you, they’re babies,” I reply thinking the term was a deterrent. “Well, I know how to play with babies,” she responds “I do it all the time. I play with him every day.” That was just the beginning of a 5-minute dialog on why she should be allowed to attend his play date, but I wasn’t budging.

Now he attends a day care, three days per week and knows all his classmates by name, especially the girls. But his first play date was not with a classmate, it was with two cousins that he doesn’t get to see often. All three of them were born in 2011, one in January one in April and Garrett in July. One recently moved to Greenville and one lives in Georgia, the later was the motivation to get these boys together.

Their auntie, a dear friend of mine agreed to host their get together. I’m not sure Garrett knew what I meant when I picked him up early and said we were going to a play date, but I do know he was surprised his sister was not in tow. “Where’s sissy,” he asked on the way. “She’s still at school,” I said. “This is your play date.”

When we arrive he walks up the sidewalk kind of slow. He is looking at the open garage door, lots of toys and mini vehicles and two little boys about his size. He doesn’t speak, but makes his way to the bright red tricycle. Before he mounts, the oldest of the three approaches gently and asks his auntie “who’s this?” She makes the three way introduction and I ask Garrett to give the boys a pound. I know, I know, in some circles it may be considered a terrorist threat, but in my circle it’s a peaceful gesture. The boys are silent, give a few pounds and immediately make their way to separate toys to play. For two hours, they are quiet; pleasant, but silent and I am thinking this is a bust. They didn’t fuss, they didn’t hit each other, they were just chilling.

And all I can think of is how noisy Morgan’s play dates are compared to this one. How many times I have to remind her to use her inside voice and not to run and how come she can’t paint her nails for the 50th time. Are boys really that different? Is it their age? Will this be their dynamic when they are together? Were they just feeling each other out? Or are they psyching me out? I have no idea. But I do know that so far, so good. I made it through the first of many all boy play dates.

G Play date