Minnesota Mamaleh: About a Mazik

My mom comes to visit us from California twice a year. Once in the Fall and once in the Spring. To see the kids? Definitely.

I love this face.

To avoid the otherwise hard-to-tolerate Minnesota weather? For sure. And to check on our Rosh HaShannah and Pesach celebrating? Obviously.
So she was here two weeks ago and we were all sitting together, having dinner. The girls were chit chatting about their days, Jason was asking them all sorts of questions and my mom and I were busy laughing at Brody.
Why, you ask? Because my dear sweet little blondie was squishing grapes between his fingers, smooshing them into the tray-hole in his booster seat and then looking up at us. All bright eyed. And cute. And naughty!
“He is such a mazik!” I declared. “Just like you” I teased Jason at the very same time that my Ima said the same exact thing. Looking around, I wondered, “Who is she talking to?” It couldn’t possibly be…Me?!
A mazik is a mischievous, fun-loving naughty little thing. So not the way I view myself.

Before I could respond, “I so don’t think so Ima,” she quickly jumped into a few good old family stories. Oldies but goodies. You know the ones. The kind that you giggle over when you’re first dating your significant other. The kind that you laugh about for years to come. The kind that the kids ask to hear over-and-over-and-over again. The kind that are way, way funnier when they’re about someone else.

Who me?!

But there’s no stopping an Ima once she gets going. Especially my Ima. So she told everyone about the time that I hid her watch and her wedding ring.

For you!

And the time that I went around the neighborhood with my BFF selling um- rocks to really, really nice neighbors who bought them. Bless them, right?! And the time that I couldn’t get my downstairs neighbor’s attention, so I threw a banana peel on her porch, which she slipped on and then, indeed, gave me some “attention.” And then she says, “Or how you used to rearrange dad’s pens just to bother him.” The others I’ll admit to, but that one I never did. My mom, slightly blushing but mostly laughing, announces that…
Wait for it…
That she rearranges the pens on my extremely organized Dad’s desk just to mess with him (Are you reading this, Dad?!).
So I ask you, who is the mazik here? Besides Brody?

Finger paints: 1, Mommy: 0

When Jason and I found out that we were having a boy it was actually a surprise. Not a in-the-delivery-room surprise, mind you. Bless all of you who can wait until then. We (I) could not. We had a fancy-shmancy ultrasound at about 10 weeks (new since my pregnancy with Chloe) and the clinic we were at was participating in some sort of research focusing on the direction of the baby tail. Those of you who know me well know that I’m not exactly what you’d call “science-y” so that’s all I know. At that tail-direction-checking ultrasound the technician thought that we were having a girl. So even though the pregnancy felt different, I was carrying differently, and, can I just say, my skin looked great, I believed the tech and went with the girl verdict.
So at the real-deal twenty week ultrasound when “there’s just nothing else that can be” was announced, we actually were surprised. And excited. And hopeful. I loved the idea of a little man for Jason to hang out with. Play ball with. Wrestle with. Wear baseball caps with. Could I be any more stereotypical here? Forgive me, those were pregnancy-hormone induced thoughts, wishes, dreams.
But I was also oh-so-very nervous. I know girls. I get girls. I’m all about the outfits and the hair ribbons and the nail polish. And even though Kayli and Chloe are very, very different creatures, the three of us get each other.
My first few thoughts at the ultrasound were how do you potty train a boy? Why are people always talking about them peeing on you? And I don’t really want penises flying about. Embarrassing but all true, friends.

Really, what's *not* to love?!

What I didn’t know was what loves little boys can be. When Brody snuggles or says “Mine Mom” or “Love you!” I melt all over the place. When I sing “Five Little Ducks” and get to the sad mama duck part, he hugs me. He falls asleep with me sitting next to him. And he gives kisses, hugs and hand holds every chance he gets. He’s also extremely sensitive and I really love that about him.
The other thing that I didn’t know about was the pure silliness and comedy that comes with having a little boy. Brody’s first full sentence (two words, but still) was “I hungry.” His second was, “Girl-girls NUTS!”
He has a scrunchy silly face. And the best belly laugh EVER. As he toddles backwards down the driveway looking right at me and dabbles a toe into the street, I see a twinkle in his eye that’s just so daring. So exciting. So. Much. FUN! And I think how very much I adore my little mazik.
Unrolling the toilet paper, shredding napkins, unloading books, diapers, kitchen utensils, tissues, using a step stool to reach way, way more than he should. Impish? Sneaky? Naughty? Yes, yes and yes. But oh-so-very-adorable. And priceless. And cute. And I just want to squeeze him to pieces. He is the very essence of a mazik. Not necessarily helpful, but not harmful. “A clever kid whose full of mischief.” Indeed.

I rue the day he figured out how to use a step stool.

Do Jason and I treat Brody differently because he’s a boy? Not sure. Perhaps, though, we do treat Brody differently because he’s the baby, the last.ย  Some of the mazik-business seems cuter, and less stressful, when it’s the last time that a toddler will be tearing through your home.
I don’t think I’ll ever really and truly get all of his boy stuff. Like why is it funny when he toots? And why is everything a car? Vroom vroom says the carrot! Or a ball-ball. Watch out here comes the carrot! But I’m okay with that. I can happily raise and continue to be surprised by my dear, sweet, mischievous, fun loving, sensitive little mazik and love every last muddy, bug-loving, dog-kissing, off-the-floor-eating bit of him.