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Dear Kelly,

A Monthly Column written by Kelly Livingstone, founder of, and published in Truck News Magazine.
Do NOT copy without permission.

September 2005

Dear Kelly,
I am having a really hard time with my boys lately. Maybe itís just the summer heat, but they have been almost uncontrollable when my husband isnít home. They are eleven and thirteen. My husband has been driving since they were two and four, so it isnít like this is anything new to them. I have been timing them out in their bedrooms, making them do extra chores and I took them to the bookstore and let them each buy a couple of new books hoping that would keep them busy. They are constantly on each other all the time too. They nag each other and bug each other until itís almost a full blown fight. As soon as their Dad gets home, they are angels, so he thinks I am crazy! Well, not really, but he canít seem to understand how they can be so different when he isnít home. He had a talk with them, and he told me that they said they would behave better, but it isnít happening.
I am at my witís end and donít know what else to do. My husband is out for 2 weeks at a time, and that is a long while to be pulling my hair out. I am not sure if this is something age related, but the fact that they are so good when their Dad is home has me baffled.

11+13=1Crazy Mom

Dear 11+13=1Crazy Mom,
Well, I am not a professional, just a regular mom/truckerís wife/woman, but I would think that the sibling rivalry is somewhat of a normal, if not expected happening in most families. The ages of your boys also indicates a time in their lives where they are experiencing changes and trying to find their place. I wouldnít take it as a personal attack. Perhaps they are well behaved when your husband is home because they do not want to disappoint him. They may be looking for that male acceptance and approval. I see this in my boys already and they are quite a bit younger.
Some one on one time with you may help. If one son is out at a friendís house or has a friend over, do something with the other son. On the flip side of that, something that the three of you can do together, like going to a movie(you sit in the middle) might help. How about trying a project that you can all work on? Build a picnic table, or paint a room in the house. Do something that they can say, ďWe did that!Ē for years to come.
I donít think the teenage years are really easy for anyone, and having Dad away canít make it any easier. I hope that quality time, love and lots of patience can help turn this time into a wonderful and memorable experience in your lives.

Dear Kelly,
My husband has put on a few pounds since heading out on the road. Heís been driving for only two years so far and I am afraid that if he keeps it up, heíll be huge in a few years. Do you have any suggestions for lightweight snacks and food that he can eat on the road? I am afraid that all that truckstop eating is not good for him.
I hope to get him a fridge soon, but for now, he only has a cooler and picks up ice at the truckstops.

Hubbieís getting a belly

Dear Hubbieís getting a belly,
Yes! I can understand this one! I started sending a lot of cut of veggies with my husband. I prepare all that I can at home so it is easy for him to munch on. I send mini carrots, celery sticks and peel and cut up cucumbers. Other ideas could be mushroom pieces, cauliflower, broccoli and just about any other vegetable that he will eat raw. Fruit is easy to grab and eat without much more than cleaning. A few low fat crackers, cheese, healthy cereals (eaten dry or in a bowl with milk), granola bars, cereal bars and yogurt are a few more things.
I would highly recommend a way for him to heat foods in the truck as well if you can. You can find cooler/warmers that plug into a cigarette lighter for a reasonable price. You could then send a lot of homemade meal plates. Make extra when you prepare meals at home while he is away and freeze the meals on plates, ready for him to heat and eat. Hearty soups and stews in a can be a good alternative, and will be a treat when the weather isnít so warm.
Another suggestion for him; if he can stop and shop at a grocery store on the road to stock up, that will save a few pounds and also a few dollars in the long run!

©2005 Kelly Livingstone
Please do not reprint without permission

More Dear Kelly

Latest Column

October 2005
...ways to help him cope with the frustration.
How can I make him see me and not that darn TV!

September 2005
Sibling rivalry subsides when Daddy is home.
Hubbie's put on a few.

August 2005
Summer ideas for children with Daddy on the road.
Family is giving me a hard time with our decision to have hubbie on the road.

July 2005
Not just "a trucker".
A Trucker's Husband.

June 2005
My man is missing me
Wanna talk trucker.

December 2004
Celebrating Alone
Gift Hunter

More of the archives coming soon...

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