Tag Archives: Columbia River

Seven, OR I’m Tired of Trying to Positively Discipline My Way Out of Every Situation

K-Pants Turns 7. MomsicleBlog

K-Pants turned seven last week. He still loves pink, but he doesn’t wear his pink shoes to school. I was chatting with him before his birthday, and he told me that you don’t get teased before you start school or in college, “but the middle years are the teasing years.”

He’s smart and intuitive and thinks deeply about a lot of challenging things.

K-Pants is 7. MomsicleBlog

Parenting him is getting harder. I expect to say that every year on his birthday.

We fight every day. “You’re the meanest,” he says. And I counter, “It’s not my job to be nice. It’s my job to teach you to be independent and kind.”

The irony of teaching him to be kind while being the meanest person he knows does not escape me. But in his world, he would eat unlimited Twix bars and never sleep. And he would make sure everything about his life was better than his brother’s. So tough sh*t, dude.

It’s liberating to live into the title of Meanest Mom. I’m tired of trying to positive discipline and collaboratively problem-solve my way out of every situation. I have the love and the logic. But I can’t stay calm in the face of his rages and my exhaustion.

Last week we escaped to the Columbia River Gorge–the kids and me and my grandma (but remember, you don’t know she exists or gets in our car). At the beginning of our trip, we headed to Lyle, Washington. It has a rugged and stunning outcropping of rocks just above the Columbia River. I knew this spot would etch a hard line into K-Pants’s soul. When he’s in nature he sings and dances.

Lyle, Washington. MomsicleBlog

He had to use the bathroom when we got there, and there was no port-o-potty, which would have been a stretch for him anyhow because he likes to sit in a nice bathroom and take his time. So I taught him how to go outside.

He hated it. Then he was hot, and he didn’t want to pull his pants up. Or drink water. Or go to the river. When the rest of us started down the path, he dug in his heels.

We were there for him, and he preferred to stand next to the scorching hot car with his pants down. His brain was shutting down and he couldn’t access any executive functions. I should have kneeled down to his level and empathized.

But I was done.

It takes a lot of planning to take a seven-year-old, a four-year-old, and a baby on a magical outdoor adventure. After hours getting there, I didn’t have it in me to keep it together and empathize with him.

“Too bad: We’re going,” I said. “You can’t LEAVE ME!” he said. “YES, I CAN.”

I couldn’t see him down by the river, and I didn’t really look back. It was enough to deal with a whining four-year-old and a fussy baby, and to try to allow my eyes to take in the beauty around us rather than letting my anger at K-Pants ruin everything. But then he popped up on a hill nearby.

K-Pants at Lyle. MomsicleBlog

I left Boy Woww with my grandma (remember, she wasn’t there, but also God bless her), and I set off, with the baby in the carrier, to trail K-Pants. He would bob down into a small ravine, and then pop up again. I had to be careful not to be caught following, or he would add space. He knew that if I got too close he would lose his freedom–I would lunge him like a spirited horse, making him buck and run until he had nothing left and I could put a saddle on and guide him where I wanted him to go.

Finally, after he sat down looking out toward the river, he let me get within scratching distance.

K-Pants Meditating at Lyle. MomsicleBlog

“Do you know what I’m doing, Mama?” he said. “I’m meditating.”

***

On our way back home to Portland, we stopped at my sister’s tiny cabin near Mt. Hood. Our collective chaos can inflate one of those winter bubbles they put over tennis courts or pools, so shoving us into a tiny cabin with a steep staircase up to a miniscule loft with no railing—it felt like we were precariously everywhere and about to crash it all down.

My sister’s boyfriend is one of three boys.

“Did your mom survive raising you?” I asked him as I shoved people back into the car at the end of our visit. “And do you speak to her?”

“We have a great relationship–and she used to say to us, You’re sucking the life out of me!

***

So K-Pants is seven. As we head toward the summer and the shock of new routines, I’m feeling free. I’m going to lure my wild horse down to the river with all my meanest mom tricks. When he gets older, we’ll see if he’s independent and kind, but my goal right now is just that I survive it all.

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Oregon Explored: Astoria and the Columbia River Basin (Wordless Wednesday)

Hammond Marina, Columbia River. MomsicleBlog

Peter Iredale Shipwreck, Sunset Beach. MomsicleBlog

Cargo Ships Near Astoria, Oregon. MomsicleBlog

Astoria, Salmon-gutting. MomsicleBlog

Hammond, Oregon, Columbia River. MomsicleBlog

Fishing Boat Headed to Pacific Ocean via Columbia River. MomsicleBlog

Sauvie Island, Portland, Oregon (Summer Wordless Wednesday)

 

Sauvie Island. MomsicleBlog

 

Sauvie Island. MomsicleBlog

Sauvie Island. MomsicleBlog

Sauvie Island. MomsicleBlog

Sauvie Island. MomsicleBlog

Sauvie Island. MomsicleBlog

Taking Your Kids to the Nudist Beach on Sauvie Island

K-Pants has a pal we call Luke. You may remember Luke from his enormous, camouflaged brain. Or you may not.

Anyhow, Luke’s mother has a sardonic sense of humor, which I love. After finding out about a recent beach trip where their crew ended up hanging out at a local nudist beach, I asked her let me share the story.

Exposing Your Kids to Sauvie Island (by brita)

Sauvie Island Nudist Beach Guest Post. Momsicle Blog

[Editor’s note: This is Irna, Luke’s sister. She’s very into fashion. I thought you should meet her. Okay, on to the story….]

You can really see a lot of Portland on display if you visit Sauvie Island. Particularly if you inadvertently end up at the clothing-optional beach.

I followed a friend’s recommendation and since the clothing-optional and clothing-required beaches are adjacent to one another, it’s easy to land in the wrong spot.

In our defense, I’ll say that when we got there it was overcast, windy and everyone there was fully clothed.

Of the many things I’ve learned about public nudity, the first is that it is an activity people ease into. Secondly, nude beaches seem to appeal exclusively to men over fifty. Thirdly, it involves a lot of standing around, presumably to 
avoid sand entrapment in unfortunate places (but given that the problem 
could be remedied with a bathing suit, I can only guess the purpose of
 standing is to obtain the full effect of the resulting exhibition).

The kids didn’t much notice, although Irna (our own resident nudist) 
would occasionally look up from her work, laugh–and say, “Naked.”

Sauvie Island Nudist Beach Guest Post. MomsicleBlog

I think
 it actually was a great beach, but I spent most of my time politely averting
 my eyes.

By the end of our outing, the clouds had burned off, and the sun was 
out, and suddenly, we were outflanked by… flanks.

We packed up our
 gear, the kids bringing half of the beach’s sand with them, and
started for the car.  As we left, some of the more inhibited patrons 
began dropping trou–probably having spent the last two hours wondering 
why we were there and what social convention dictated when a fully clothed family takes over your nudist beach.

Sauvie Island Nudist Beach Guest Post. MomsicleBlog

I asked Irna at bedtime what her favorite part of the day was and she
 mimicked a “thinking about it” face, complete with, “hmm” expressions.

It’s adorable, you should see it.

Anyway, she gave a three word
 reply, “Park.  Naked. Grandpa.”

So, yeah.  We’ll be more careful where we set up shop next time.

***

A note on Irna’s name:

The online pseudonym for my daughter came to me in a dream following
 Evelyn’s invitation to post on her blog.  My dream self was very 
insistent that the spelling was I-r-n-a and pronounced “Eirene,” like a
 character in the HBO series Rome (and according to Google, the Greek 
goddess of peace). This proves that, at least in my specific case, the 
subconscious mind is neither imbued with any particular wisdom nor is 
it a super great speller.