The Funny Twists and Turns

Lately, my home has been a crowded crazy mess.  It’s fun.  It’s exasperating.  It’s hard to stay on top of things. My Oldest Son has been laid off for a few weeks until the company he works for starts on their new contract.  The two younger sons have been done with college for about a month.  Many of our once-tidy rooms are loaded with stacks of boxes and furnishings from dorm rooms and apartments.  Our grocery bills are through the roof and if I want anything good to eat, I have to hide it.

When the boys are home, I also get to spend time with their girlfriends.  I like having them around.  The boys are fun to talk to, but there are some things I like to talk about that they zone out on.  When I went shopping with Muchacha, she actually responded enthusiastically when I held something up and said, “Isn’t this sooo cute”?  The boys will only set foot in a store with me if I’m buying them something, and even then, it’s all business.  Get the item and leave.  Immediately.

Gender differences aside though, I relate to my guys like “one of the guys.”  We kid around a lot.  We push the limits sometimes, but there are rarely hurt feelings.  If they sometimes say something crude, I dish it right back at them.  We rehash embarrassing situations and laugh at each others’ expense.  Sometimes I feel so comfortable with their girlfriends, I treat them the same way.  Sometimes it doesn’t go so well.

A couple of weeks ago, one of the girlfriends got angry at me and the boys when we were having a little too much fun at her expense.  To us, it wasn’t mean.  It was funny.  She should have been having fun yelling right back at us.  But we were told, via her boyfriend, that she wasn’t mad; she just didn’t think it was funny.  At all.   Then a few days later, Youngest Son high-fived me and thought it was hilarious that I embarrassed J’s girlfriend when I made a flippant comment kidding around.  Damn.  Have I been living with guys for so long that I’ve become one?  Or would I act this way with daughters if I had them?  Would they be used to our way of communicating, or would they also not appreciate my humor the way my boys do?

A couple weeks ago we were all kind of bummed when my habit of not carrying my cell phone with me cost us the chance to have a three-year-old boy come stay with us.  By the time I got the voice mail, the foster care agency had found another home for him.  I made sure I had my phone with me all the next week, and voila!  We got a call asking if we could take in two little sisters.  Big Daddy gulped hard when he got the news but he’s ready for the challenge.  I’m determined to have fun with them without being an asshole.  The boys have reminded me that it’s going to be different having little strangers in the house at first.  I just hope they don’t feel like they’re strangers for too long.

20 Responses to “The Funny Twists and Turns”

  1. 1 John & Perla June 7, 2010 at 3:00 am

    You can be kinda like a guy. I’m sure Big Daddy disagrees. Love you lots!

  2. 3 Consuella Banana Hammock June 7, 2010 at 9:37 am

    wow, two girls! i think that would be a perfect addition to the male oriented household you live in. how exciting! plus, you will have to watch yourself with two impressionable girls around. let estrogen reign!

    seriously les, i am so happy for you and can’t wait to hear how it goes.

    • 4 les June 7, 2010 at 9:57 am

      We DEFINITELY need to balance out some of this testosterone, Consuella. But I never would have predicted this would be how it might happen.

  3. 5 Cyndi June 7, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Oh my god…CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! How fun for all of you to have two little girls to love! 🙂

    • 6 les June 7, 2010 at 12:31 pm

      Can’t wait! I usually don’t like shopping, but I spent most of the weekend getting stuff for their room and it was kind of fun! OMG–am I already becoming more of a girlie girl!?

  4. 7 robinaltman June 7, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    OMG! Congratulations! You’re going to have a blast! I predict they fall right into your family style and have a fun time with you all. They’re lucky little girls. I’m really happy for all of you.

    • 8 les June 7, 2010 at 8:20 pm

      Thanks, Robin. Now that it’s really happening, I’m getting a little nervous. But my 3 big behemoths turned out OK so we must have done something right.

  5. 9 lynette June 8, 2010 at 6:24 am

    oh, les, i am thrilled for you! enjoy them, enjoy them, enjoy them! don’t forget to enjoy the girlie part!

    btw, i think a household of guys is just a whole different way of interacting — i grew up in a household of girls (my dad was the only male — even the pets were female), and we NEVER would have joshed around in the way guys do. hurt feelings would have been flying everywhere. we DID however burst into hilarious shrieks of laughter until we were peeing in our pants over virtually nothing, which always astounded my dad…

    so excited about the little girls. wow.

    • 10 les June 8, 2010 at 8:27 am

      Thanks Lynette. Maybe we’ll all become more well-rounded with this experience. We’re already planning on eating at the table again instead of gobbling our food down like heathens in front of the TV.

  6. 11 paula June 8, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    Amazing opprotunity for you and your family. Congratulations they are some lucky ladies. I would love to be able to buy some pink things to decorate a room…I mean besides for a son. HA! I know what you mean about kidding around with the guys. I too am surrounded by men. I give a double douse of trouble by being from Chicago. It seems our language of choice here is scarcasm and some people don’t know when we’re being serious or just teasing. Lucky for me oldest son’s GF fits into our family and gives it right back. She even gets snarky on my FB page sometimes. Just showin’ the love. LOL…

    • 12 les June 8, 2010 at 11:31 pm

      We LOVE sarcasm too, Paula. I think once the kids get used to us, they’ll join right in. We’ll just have to tone it down a little and keep it all G-rated!

  7. 13 Nicole June 8, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    Those little girls will feel at home once they realize someone is going to take care of them. Chances are, they’re not too used to people caring or being around all the time to take care of them. I bet it won’t be too long though.

    Girlfriends should be forewarned that “you will be tortured like the rest of us.” That’s what we always say round here. And if they can’t tolerate it, they probably won’t ever fit in.

    • 14 les June 8, 2010 at 11:34 pm

      It’s so sad when little kids have to fend for themselves. At least while they’re here, they’re going to enjoy being little kids. And the girlfriends DO get tortured quite a bit–and they’re usually quite good at putting up with us. Sometimes, though, I need to bite my tongue!!

  8. 15 Dawn June 9, 2010 at 12:20 am

    How BIG and exciting and PERFECT for all of you! And I say it’s serendipitous that you did not have your cell phone and were passed over.

    Having girls around is like whipped cream topping 😀

    Confess Les, you’ve got to be more nervous than you’re letting on. I can only guess that your heart is releasing a million emotions that you are trying to sort through. YOU’LL be great with all of them!!!

    • 16 les June 9, 2010 at 9:21 am

      You know, Dawn, I’ve wondered about how much fate comes into play. 3 year-old boys are so cute–and boys are so familiar and easy to handle for us around here. But having two girls around will really push us all into new territory and will be a learning experience. Which is what life is for, right? And I have to admit, although I was more than content having my boys, I sometimes wondered what it would be like to have a daughter. And now I get to try it out–at least for a while.

  9. 17 Rachelle June 9, 2010 at 11:44 am

    There is a distinct difference between being teased about things that are
    funny, and using sarcasm as a moment of connection and light-hearted fun. And I understand that difference, I have joked with your family plenty of times.

    But the context of the story involves an issue that was previously discussed to be very hurtful. When someone tells you that certain things make them feel uncomfortable, and then are expected not to react to those things when she is being “teased” about said things: well that’s just bullying.

    I love your son and your family, and if joking around to the point of hurting someone’s feelings (especially when those constraints were previously explored, and agreed upon), are part of the family dynamic – than I guess Nicole is right, I suppose I should shape up or ship out.

    And your oldest son is right, I was not mad. I was hurt, because I thought these issues were understood. Perhaps this doesn’t belong in the comment section here, and I’m sorry if I disrespect you in any way.

    • 18 les June 9, 2010 at 1:14 pm

      Well, Rachelle, we all really hope you don’t ship out! We really do regard you as part of the family. And we definitely do not mean to be bullies; I acknowledged that we crossed the line. We definitely do NOT understand the issues that trouble you so much because we have been exposed to different experiences. I’m starting to get that! But since we understand they DO bother you so much, we should all try to avoid those topics unless you want to discuss them.

    • 19 les June 9, 2010 at 1:34 pm

      But one other thing I need to point out Rachelle–sometimes we feel just as offended when you make generalizations about us based on your experiences. And sometimes, instead of reacting in anger, we try to turn it around and try to make you see that you are doing the same thing you are accusing “us” of doing, and we sometimes do it jokingly.

  10. 20 Cyndi June 9, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    I am one to rip on people, it’s how I roll. Most of my friends and family are the same way and sometimes we cross lines we shouldn’t but usually it’s all in fun and taken as such.

    I do vividly remember a time when a friend crossed way over a line that I knew he knew was a sensitive subject for me. It stung and shocked me so much that I immediately burst into tears, which is NOT like me at all. It hurts when this happens. But like you, he realized he had crossed a line, apologized and we all moved on to rip on each other over slightly less emotional topics. 🙂

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