Rocky the Racoon

One of the nights we had to summon Rocky.

One of the nights we had to summon Rocky.

Part of the reason I want to try this whole blogging thing out is to document everyday musings of motherhood and, let's face it, ain’t nobody got time to keep up with two baby books! When Bo was born more than 3 years ago, I tried so hard to document little things that I felt would be fun to look back on but as he got more independent and I got into a work/home routine, documenting was few and far between except for the occasional journal entry.

•Side note: I started a leather bound journal for him when I found out I was pregnant with him and I write letters to him every so often. 

Anyway, add another baby to the mix and more milestones, piles of laundry, extra dishes, more messes to clean, etc. and you get the idea...poor CC doesn’t even have a baby book (she does, however, also have a journal that I write in periodically).

ALL that to say, maybe if I can get into this whole blogging thing, Bo and CC can look back someday and read some funny stuff from our everyday life. Including our beloved “Rocky Raccoon”. God love him! Ole Rocky is a game changer with half-eaten meals and toddler defiance. A scare tactic some would argue but hey, as parents to a very set-in-his-ways 3 year old, ya gotta do whatcha gotta do. Rocky “joined” our family one recent October evening out of desperation for us to get Bo to eat his vegetables. You see, for as long as he has understood what a snack or dessert is, we have been able to threaten that he wouldn’t get any snack unless he ate his greens (whatever vegetable is served on any particular night) but our boy is too smart for his own good and in the past several months has thought he’d outsmart us by pushing away his plate and announcing in an Eeore tone, “no snack for Bo”. He would commence to getting down from his chair, running to the living room and playing until he’d see us eating our snack later on which would send him into a flying fit because he wanted one. That fit would land me back in the kitchen, supervising him eating his dinner when I could have been doing something else productive. Rob and I caught on to his shenanigans early on and even though we’d try to hide our snickers because—let’s me real, it’s cute but it is annoying—on this particular October night, we proclaimed in unison, “oh no you don’t—get back in your chair and eat your greens”...the rest of the dialogue went a little something like this:

Bo [in a whiny voice]: “But I don’t want ...I don’t like it, it's yucky”, even though he had eaten said vegetable time and time again with no adverse reaction except the fact that it was green so he didn’t want it.

Rob: “If you don’t eat them, I’m putting your baby pumpkins outside.”

A few days prior to this, I had let Bo pick out 3 mini pumpkins at the grocery store to eventually paint. Back at the dinner table, before I even fully thought of what was coming out of my mouth, I followed my husband’s threat with, “yeah and the raccoons will get them so you better eat those vegetables.” 

You could have heard a pin drop. Bo stopped mid-protest, his eyes wide. “What’s that mommy?...the raccoons will get them?” he finally mustered. Both Rob and I saw that we finally were getting his attention so we went with it. Needless to say, Bo proceeded to double fist his vegetables to the point that—while trying not to giggle—I advised him to slow down and chew good, that the pumpkins wouldn’t go outside as long as he finished his dinner. To our delight he cleaned his plate, was rewarded his snack and was able to keep his beloved baby pumpkins inside.

This tactic has worked for weeks now when Bo decides he’s going to put his foot down with one thing or the other and we have to remind him whose boss. We have to draw a line sometimes with “Rocky” though because I don’t want the child to be legit afraid; he knows raccoons are nocturnal so sometimes he’s afraid to walk from the car to the house if we’re out past dark—in those instances I reassure him that Rocky and his friends are in the woods somewhere.

However, as fate would have it, Bo was recently at my in-law’s one evening for dinner and dern if a raccoon didn’t get into their garage and go through their trash?! They said Bo went to the garage door in the house where my father-in-law was standing, saw the raccoon and started freaking out, running back inside into the arms of my sister-in-law. My father-in-law dubbed the raccoon the name “Rocky” so now we have a real life raccoon we can refer to that Bo has actually seen in person.

I promise I had nothing to do with that encounter...but I will ride this gravy train until Bo figures out that we can’t summon the raccoons whenever we want. In the meantime, I will rejoice in clean plates and veggie-filled bellies.


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You Don't Belong Here

A shot of the Verrazano bridge when we were returning from a recent road trip from seeing my family in Tennessee and Alabama.

A shot of the Verrazano bridge when we were returning from a recent road trip from seeing my family in Tennessee and Alabama.

“You don’t look like you belong here.” I was wearing whatever funky, out-of-the-box outfit I had thrown together at the time—all I remember is it involved hot pink and possibly leopard print. That was probably a decade and a half ago...walking into Big Lots with my mom in Florence, SC, my home for the better part of my adolescent years. Her comment at the time made my soul soar a bit—I’ve always been a big dreamer and never was really part of a particular crowd in school. I was the girl who wanted to be popular and liked, but was stuck between my conscience and morals, and the desire for acceptance. My mom’s comment wasn’t one of criticism but rather a confirmation that little ‘ole Florence wasn’t big enough for my dreams and ambitions. Little did I know that—fast forward several handfuls of years—I’d be living an hour or so train ride from “The City of Dreams”. The Big Apple. It’s amazing to look back on the puzzle pieces that were created that brought me to where I am today. A Cali-born, southern girl living in a yankee world. I’ve spent the last 7 years wondering what in the world I’m doing on Long Island, wondering what God is trying to show and teach me, wondering, “what’s next?”, wondering when this feeling I’ve always had of 'something great is about to happen' will finally feel achieved. I guess that’s what life is about. Constantly striving for that end goal...that feeling of achieving greatness. I love the cliché quote, “Life is a journey, not a destination”. It’s taken me a few physical moves, several coming-to-Jesus-meetings with myself, and at least 7 birthdays to get that. God only knows what tomorrow brings but in the meantime, I'm determined to be the best ME I can be--follower of Jesus, wife, mother to two miracles, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, artist, and every other title I go by. This life is not a dress rehearsal, we only get one chance to live it so it might as well be great.

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