I’ve often wondered, how much a child hears and understands, before they can speak.  It is obvious that little ones watch us, and follow every thing we say and do.  This can be both a good thing, and a bad thing, depending on the words we let escape our mouths.

Over the past 15 years, I have come to the conclusion, that my kids brains are like mini computers.  All around them is input, and at some point – there will undoubtedly be an output.

Well, yesterday was most definitely Handsome’s grand output party.

It had been a long day already, before we loaded up for the dentist after school with ALL the kids.  Sometimes, Jon asks me why I split up the kids to do anything, such as shop or run errands, and although I believe that Jon is a rather smart man, I can’t help but just stare at him like a deer in headlights, when he asks this question.  It kind of baffles me, to be honest.  I would attribute his lack of competency in this area to the fact that he hasn’t been the one toting them all around on a daily basis to soccer, dance, school activities, doctors and such, it has been me.  And yes, it IS quite different doing it on a daily, all day kind of basis, rather than a random outing during the week after work, or a fun activity on Saturday.

The dentist visit went well.  Luckily, Dr. Leishman’s staff is great with kids, and my kids actually love going.  Who wouldn’t get their teeth cleaned, in exchange for a fake mustache, and the chance to let you assist with the procedure anyway?  We plan six months in advance, just so ALL of us can get in at the same time.

Both Handsome and Halle, giggled as their teeth were cleaned.

And once again, Halle Amanda Moss, proved to us why her initials spell H.A.M.  

She was getting such a kick out of the dental hygienist laughing at her unique facial expressions, she was hammin’ it up even more.

Because the visit to the dentist turned out to be quite successful, I decided to be brave and visit Wal-mart afterward.  We were getting close to dinner time, and I knew this was in my mommy no no handbook, but I went for it.  If there is one thing I have learned over the past 15 years, it’s to never visit anywhere that the kids have to somewhat behave, right before dinner time. 

 It started out well, we we began dividing up tasks.

“Kinley, you get the apples.  Whitney, you get the cucumbers. Brighton, you get the tomatoes. Ella, you get the Bananas, as Jordan and Halle sat in the bottom of the shopping cart, slowly drowning under a sea of fruit and veggies.  They thought it was quite funny, as they hid under the salad and cheese.  I deemed myself talented, for coming up with such a fun game.

We moved on through the isles, and then Handsome saw something.


I didn’t even know what he was talking about, but I wasn’t about to reward him with a treat for whining so loudly.  “Sorry bud, we have to hurry and I am not turning around.”


I knew I was in for it, and the shopping trip wasn’t even half way over.  I hurried back to the shoe section, the originally reason I came to walmart.  We weaved in and out until we saw all of the gel arch and heel supports.  I started reading all of the packages, trying to dissect the advertisements and find the right fit for my kids feet. 


Jordan spotted his favorites across the isle, and he was determined to get them.  My boy loves him some shoes, and to try and tell him he wouldn’t get them, would be suicide.

“Sorry buddy, I don’t buy things for crying, whiney kids.”

But of course this didn’t make him feel any better.  He mustered up every ounce of anger, in that little man body of his, and blurted out a long line of three year old obscenities, like Ralphie does on the old movie, “The Christmas Story”


And, my friends, there you have it.  The culmination of words that I have been asking the kids to stop yelling at each other over the past year and a half Handsome has lived with us.  My jaw dropped, I chucked every foot support in my hands, into the cart as I passed it, and headed for the front of the store.  It didn’t stop there, he kept yelling it over and over again, and I swore I was ready for a wal-mart beating, right then and there.  “People of Walmart, take a picture of us now.” I thought.  The funny part was, as I think back, I didn’t much even care or get embarrassed.  I remember feeling justified in my craziness.  Who wouldn’t feel and look crazy, at walmart with six kids at dinner time? 

I rounded the corner to the front of the store, as Jordan screamed his newly found vocabulary, at the top of his lungs.  And there, at the front of the store, was my neighbor Annette.  Her husband is the V.P. of our businesses, and when she realized where all the noise was coming from, her beautiful brown eyes grew large, and she smiled at me.  


Jordan was yelling over and over as we checked out.  The cashier was sweet, and expressed her love of big families, and her desire to have one some day, and I kindly mentioned that she may want to reconsider.  

It is times like this, when I am grateful for the other things Handsome says, like last week.

“Mama, I know why you love me…because you prayed for me.”

Yes, I thank my lucky stars that Handsome values poop nuggets, AND prayer.