Archives for April 2011

TODDLER GAMES meet KINDERGARTEN ORIENTATION

My toddler, Mase, has a new favorite game.  It’s called, “Wake Up,  Baby! Wake Up!”  This game is best played at around 5:45 a.m., when everyone else is asleep.   It also works during the day, especially when the baby has been sleeping just long enough that he will NOT go back to sleep.

Earlier this month, the game traveled with us to kindergarten orientation.  I could not believe my luck–the baby was asleep for the meeting!  And, I was prepared for my toddler too.  I had toys, books, drawing paper and snacks.

My arsenal lasted a grand total of about five minutes.  Then, Mase spent another five minutes emptying my pockets and purse, searching for more treats. I was OK with his shenanigans until he found a standby feminine product to play with.  Game over.  

But, I was out of ideas and I knew he just couldn’t help his impulse to play his favorite game.  “Stay away from the baby.”  I threatened in my sternest whisper.

“I no wake up baby–baby needs hat,” he replied innocently.   I attempted to put Mase on my lap, but he loudly protested and escaped. “Baby need hat!”  It was too late.  Surprising to my Mase, the baby did not want the hat nor did he want to wake up.  He let us know.

I spent the duration of orientation in the hall, bonding with another mom of a toddler.  Fortunately, my future kindergartner had packed a friend.  I handed her over in an attempt to cheer up my grumpy guy.  The baby stared Cinderella Barbie down, then catapulted her out of his cozy seat.   He was happier after that.

Mase got his energy out.

My 7-year-old came up with her own brilliant toddler-like game.  She and her friend dragged each other with a jump rope. 

 This game did not end well either.  (The school’s jump rope broke and I made her replace it with one of her own jump ropes!  Could I be any meaner?!!  Mooah-ha-ha!  Tears and drama ensued the entire weekend.)

The three kindergarten teacher’s passed my clan and the other mom on their way out.  One of the teachers commented, “Oh, you two are old pros.  You both think you don’t need the orientation because you’ve already been through this.”

I think she was joking.  If not, I have a toddler I would like to lend her for the week.

Grumpy Mom Goal of the Day: Appreciate my always eventful life.

A Catchy Ditty: What!?!

I usually try to to talk to my kids when we’re driving.  BUT!  I happened to have the radio on the other day.  A catchy song came on that I recognized from American Idol. 

I’d catch a grenade for ya (yeah, yeah, yeah)
Throw my hand on a blade for ya (yeah, yeah, yeah)

The radio wasn’t very loud and I didn’t turn it off.

On our way to church this week I heard my 7-year-old, Dani, singing a lovely little ditty.

I’ll make a grenade for ya.  I’ll take it away from ya.

“That’s not how it goes.” pipes 5-year-old, Evie.  It’s like this,

I take a blade for ya.

What!?!

And here’s where I made my second vital error.  I say, “Enough with that song guys.  Do you even know what a grenade is?”

“Ya, Mom.  It explodes. ” says Dani.

I then, unfortunately, attempted to make the song sound more reasonable.  “In the song, he’s trying to explain that he would do anything for this girl.  He isn’t actually going to take a grenade for her.”

This silences my young musicians.  Then, I am relieved to hear Dani begin a new song.

Twinkle, twinkle, little…grenade.

Grumpy Mom Goal of the Year:  Know when to turn my radio (and my mouth) off.

Lessons I’ve Learned from my Children

I’ve heard numerous people say, “I learn so much from my children.  They teach me every day.”  I completely respect that, but I never thought I had those type of children.  Recently, however, I find I am learning, quite a bit.

My 5-year-old daughter, Evie, for instance, is now a fount of helpfulness and wisdom: 

Evie:“Mom can I organize your bathroom while you get ready?”
Me: “You want to organize?  Uh…yes.”

 A few minutes later she is in a serious organizing zone.

Evie:“Mom, where does this go (eyeliner)?”
Me: “In the red pouch. ” 
Evie (exasperated): “Mom, you shouldn’t call it a pouch.  Someone might think you have a kangaroo because only kangaroos have pouches.  Instead, you should call it a purse.”
Me: “Oh, you’re right about that.  I wouldn’t want to confuse anyone.  Most people actually call that a makeup case or makeup bag.”
Evie (deadpan) “Then why did you call it a pouch?”

On another education note:  This week my toddler, Mase, taught me that if you fill a glass of water from the refrigerator water dispenser and tip the full glass backwards so it leans against the water dispenser lever, and leave it there, the kitchen will flood, quickly.

And, finally, a positive lesson, prompted by my 1-year-old:  I discovered if someone purposely drops the remote control for an adjustable bed into the toilet and abandons it for someone else to discover an hour later, you can just dry it out under the ceiling fan for the day.  It may still work.

Grateful Mom Goal of the Day:  Today I’ll be taking organizing and  proper speaking lessons from my 5-year-old. 

The Highs and Lows of Hunting

We, with a bit of trepidation, made our way to our city’s annual Easter egg (mostly candy) hunt.   So did everyone else.  My husband went off with my older girls.  I helped Mase and Dax.

The toddler area was at least five people deep, around a small square of candy filled grass.  We were in the middle of the crowd when the sirens went off.  The people in front thought it would be an excellent idea to pick up candy exactly where the were standing.  It’s possible I might have unintentionally injured someone as the masses pushed forward.   Luckily, no ambulances were called.

 It was all worth it in the end–Dax was in lollipop bliss! 

After the hunt, my kids wanted to see the Easter Bunny, but he was swarmed and a little scary looking.  Instead, we settled for a visit to a lonely Easter dragon.   I thought he was adorable!  My children were also thrilled, as you can see. 

Our family hunt was much less crowded, just us.  After my previous chocolate overload and my children’s Saturday sugar rush I went a healthier route and filled the plastic eggs with cereal and graham cracker bunnies.  And, I was very proud of my budget conscious self.  I recycled some of last year’s Easter themed gifts.  I didn’t think anyone would notice.

Dani: “Hey, we got the same wind-up bunny last year.”
Me: “Really?  The Easter Bunny must really like those.”
Dani: “It’s not working.  The wind-up bunny we got last year didn’t work either.”
Me: “Whoa.  What are the chances of that?”

I think they’re on to me.

Grateful Mom Goal of the Day: Counting my kid-filled blessings.

Wardrobe Wars: Then and Now

My quite spirited 7-year-old daughter, Dani, has waged some magnificent clothing campaigns through the years.  Here is just a small sampling:

Must Wear Skirts (Age 4)
“I can’t wear pants!!! Everyone wears skirts! I–NEED–SKIRTS!!!” she tearfully cries for numerous hours of her life.

No More Skirts (Age 5)
I was mean and made my daughter wear pants, but we slowly accumulated a wardrobe full of skirts.  Then, as you would expect, Dani decided she’s not that into skirts anymore.  She wants pants.

Just Soft Pants (Age 6)
“These jeans are sooo scratchy.  Only soft pants!”.

Must Change Clothes (Age 6 and 7)
Finally, my opinionated girl has slightly mellowed her clothing choices, but there has to me something, right?   “Mo-om, I can’t wear the same clothes for the whole day!”

A New Chapter Emerges
My, now 3-year-old, Mase, has decided to follow in the footsteps of his oldest sister.

He came home from church last week and disappeared.

About five minutes later he surfaces, dressed in an entirely different ensemble.
“I change clothes, all by self.” he proudly states.

The Daddy Nightshirt
I thought I’d seen it all, but my innovative little dude came up with his own unique clothing battle:

Last month, I was a bit more behind on laundry than usual (hard to believe if you saw my usual) and ran out of clean pajamas for Mase.   No problem.  I grabbed one of my husband’s old tee-shirts and handed it to him, calling it a daddy nightshirt.

Now, he will only wear his cute jammies during the day.  Most nights, he demands a daddy nightshirt!

We were having company Wednesday night, so I attempted to dress him in some lovely moose pajamas. He wouldn’t have it.  “That not Daddy nightshirt.  I’m man. Want daddy nightshirt!”  How can you argue with that?

Little does my man know that most of his daddy nightshirts are actually mommy nightshirts.  Shhh.

Grumpy Mom Goal of the Day: Surrender

Muskateer Madness

Again.

I know my daughter will have to take some toys or treats to school for Easter.  So, I splurge.  I buy a bag of cheap toys and a bag of candy.  I make sure to choose a type of candy that doesn’t tempt me.  I have a past, issue.

I, innocently, end up opening the package of candy, for a perfectly good reason.  Hmmm…it’s a little hard to remember just what that reason was now.

Then!  I discover I can’t live without those luscious melting Muskateers and they’re so small, it’s really no big deal.  All things in moderation–that’s what I always say.  I can eat two, three, or four, or…the whole bag.

What just happened?

Grumpy Mom Goal of the Season: Only granola bites and fruit leathers for Easter this year. 

A Flavorful Feast

Guess what the baby had for lunch yesterday.

I’m glad he puts those new teeth to good use.
Luckily, Dax decided it wasn’t quite tasty enough.  I found little bits and pieces of foam all over the living room.

Grumpy Mom Goal of the Day:  Keep a closer eye on my not-so-picky eater.

KARMA

I’m not a big believer in karma.  Terrible things happy to great people and vice versa, but sometimes, the little stuff catches up with you.

I had run out of a few essential items and headed to the grocery store this past week.  I am normally quite courteous to my fellow shoppers, but I was rushed.  When I was done shopping, I made a speedy beeline to the checkout area.  In my hurried state I, accidentally, cut right in front of someone.  I didn’t stop.  Instead I just hollered out a quick, “Sorry.”.

Then, I heard something that stopped me dead in my tracks.  “Hi!”

I turned back.

Yes.  I knew the person I had cut off.  She is a widow that attends my church.  I must have looked like a deer in the headlights.  I unintentionally blurted out, “Oh no!  I wasn’t suppose to know you!”  She was, thankfully, very gracious.

In possibly related news:  Two more pregnancy pounds magically disappeared from my body the next day, two weeks after I finished breastfeeding.  Sadly, those pounds were taken entirely from my already flattish chest!    As a consolation for my loss, a lovely zit also popped up in the middle of my 35-year-old chin.

Karma.

Grumpy Mom Goal of the Day:  I will improve my grocery store etiquette and embrace my new anti-voluptuous figure.

Little Liars

I have some skilled fibbers among my offspring.  A couple years back, a mystery child downed an entire (mostly full) jar of gummy bear vitamins.

I was mortified when I saw the empty, supposedly child proof, jar and called Poison Control.  After they assured me my child might become a little ill but was not about to die, I redirected my efforts towards finding the thief.

Dani was almost five and Evie was three at the time.  The baby, Mase, was not a likely candidate.  Surprisingly, nobody fessed up.  Dani was the girl with the extensive criminal history so I started to go for a confession.

“Dani, I saw who stole the gummy bears.”

(In retrospect, lying myself probably wasn’t the best tactic, but I wanted to make sure my over gummied kid was OK.)

My daughter still held her ground for at least a good half hour.  Impressive, but not completely convincing.  She had pulled off an hour long denial before and had been found GUILTY.

I then, a bit more gently, grilled my, normally innocent, Evie.  I promised her I would not be mad.  I just needed to know.  She tried to hold out like a pro, but finally gave in to the pressure. “I ate the gummy bears. I loved them.”

Yesterday, a new culprit decided to test out the waters of deception.   Unfortunately for my now toddler, Mase, his first attempt was not so successful.   

“Mom, Daxy made big mess.  Look!”
“Mase, Dax is in his high chair.  He did not make that mess.”
“Who made mess???”
“You did Mase.”
Ya, me made mess.  Sawy Mom.”

I think he’s got some potential though.

Grateful Mom Goal of the day:  Lots of love for my newest little liar and, most likely, a few time-outs too. 

Cherry Juice Concentrate

The Nightly Children Migration

Some curious goings-on have been transpiring in my house, on a nightly basis.  Just as the baby started sleeping through the night, as if planned, the children migration hit full throttle.

After I am soundly asleep at night, I am, more often than not, awakened by a tiny little body, stealing my blanket.  I love kiddo snuggles more than anything, so, I have been letting them come.

Last week, I reached my snuggle limit.  I was completely surrounded!  Evie squished onto one side of me.  Mason wriggled onto the other.  Then, my husband flopped his feet on top of mine!  I kept kicking his feet off of me, but they kept returning!  By morning I was exhausted and noted my husband’s feet were actually my daughter, Dani.  Whoops! 

My husband and I have started returning them to their beds, most nights.  Now, the migration is still in progress, but has slowed.  That’s exactly how I like it.


Grateful Mom Goal of the Day:  Lots of daytime snuggles for my little ones, especially the one that got kicked.