Thursday, September 11, 2014

It’s been a beautiful fall day. With heavy winds. I’ve been enjoying it and threw open all the windows in the house to allow in the fresh fall air. Should have thought about that before breaking it to X-Man that I couldn’t find any of his minion underpants. And that we needed to brush his teeth. I almost judge my neighbors for NOT calling the police. Clearly someone was being murdered……or dressed. To add insult to injury, when he tried to toss some duplos into their container, he missed. I half expected him to rend his garments.

X-Man isn’t napping anymore. We’ve reached an understanding, naps aren’t required, but quiet time is. If not for his recharging, then for mine. I find myself craving the couple of hours of relative quiet that comes with Cinco and X-Man napping. So, I let X-Man have his quiet time. Which means I hear the sound of toys being dumped out and him thumping around upstairs and he stays upstairs. The relative quiet is uneasy, as X-Man does know how to open his door now. But that can be effective as it allows for easy access to the bathroom. Which typically is a good thing.
Until today. As I sat, trying to read and heard the unmistakable “plop….plop…plop” of water. From somewhere. And of course, that somewhere was indeed the upstairs bathroom.  I rushed upstairs to be met by the sight of my stark naked three year old son, sitting in the bathroom sink, water running. And of course, this sink lacked the overflow protections any normal sink would have, so the overflow spread all over the floor and the counter.  

I just stared. It had been a day already, and I just couldn’t process what I was seeing. Including how on earth he got himself entirely in the sink. He helpfully chirped “I wash mommy!” On closer inspection of my reaction he realized that he probably should hide and struggled to unwedge himself from the sink. “I sleep mommy!” A fifty pound toddler goes into a bathroom sink much easier than he comes out of it. 

We’re going to have to brush up on the definition of quiet time it seems.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Did you know that you can burn corn on the cob? Trying to cook dinner between soccer drop off and soccer pick up will lead to burnt corn.  Did you know that an 18 month old will not eat corn on the cob if it is burnt? See those seven burned kernels ruin the whole ear. At least for her discerning palate. She’ll stick with eating Destin.

X-Man and Mac also regarded the slightly burned areas with skepticism. I told them it was popped corn and they ceased to complain.

My morning house cleaning—which when you think about it is a totally absurd endeavor—was interrupted by Cinco’s screaming. X-Man had her by the arm and was pulling her away from her toys. He was yelling “Sleep bebebess sleep!!!!” He personally enjoys sitting in Cinco’s bed, and wanted her to get in with him. She grumpily assented, after realizing that the door would stay open, meaning it wasn’t really nap time.
X-Man covered her up with blankets, gave her a binky and patted her head while singing. While I personally wouldn’t find being whacked on the head while X-Man yodeled away particularly relaxing, Cinco nearly passed out. But try as I might, I couldn’t get X-Man to role model the behavior himself. However, Cinco look suspiciously like she might pass out.

Suddenly X-Man bolted out of Cinco’s bed and ran back to the toys her had dragged her away from.  He settled down in front of the very toy she had been playing with and launched into a new game. Cinco came stumbling out after him, clearly drowsy, screaming for the toy she had touched last.

Well played X-Man. Well played.

Monday, September 8, 2014

School is back in session. This means work, lots of work for me. It’s either my kids who need help, or student through work. Either way, free time is a fleeting memory. Which leaves little time to blog.
Cinco, on the other hand, has too much free time. The school aged kids are back to getting up early, the father figure supervises their breakfast and morning routine while I work. So of course, Cinco gets up with them. However, X-Man sleeps, and sleeps, and sleeps. Up to three hours after everyone else gets up. This leaves three hours in which Cinco has to entertain herself. She’s not a fan. Watching TV seems like a great idea, until she realizes no one else is watching it with her. So she wanders into the school room. I was prepared for having to entertain little ones during school hours, so I broke out the color wonder markers and paper to keep her entertained. It took all of five seconds for her to realize that she had coloring pages and markers while everyone else had notebooks and pencils. And that would not do. So the crawled up on the table and starting fighting Baby over her pencil. And notebook. She determined that she was best suited to sit in the middle of the table so that she could draw on everyone’s work to her heart’s content. This does not create a pleasant educational environment.
So Cinco finds herself ejected from the office, often. And so she follows me around the house. Yelling. I think she wants me to carry her around the house, to search for X-Man. She’s pretty certain that I’m hiding him from her.

X-Man himself is turning over a bit of a behavior leaf. We still have epic meltdowns. Mostly concerning my lack of hospitality towards the rocks he finds. And by rocks, I mostly mean large chunks of concrete, leftovers from our remodel. I don’t know where he’s finding them; I thought they had been all removed. Nevertheless, they are his preciouses. He loves them and likes to drop them on the wood floor. Keeping the rocks outside of the house isn’t an acceptable solution for him. However, storing his precious chunks of concrete on top of the fridge, just fine. I don’t understand, I just keep rocks away from my wood floor.

X-Man’s frustration with life is abating however. He’s speaking English more and he’s comfortable using the potty. For the most part. I forgot about one aspect of potty training. Remembering to put the underpants and pants back on after the fact. The result is a potty trained three year old who is still without pants, most of the time. He can also open the back door, so often I find him outside, swinging away, in the buff. It’s quite the show, which is probably why Cinco is so bored when he’s not awake. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

I wish I had thought ahead. But I guess that’s the point of an impromptu trip to the beach. I’ve been parenting for over a decade and still I thought that they would just go up to their knees in the ocean. Funny, funny thoughts. At least I remembered changes of clothing.

I didn’t seem to remember I was bringing a three year old boy to the beach. And that he would charge headfirst into the ocean. The first wave wasn’t big enough for his liking, so he promptly sat down in the tide. And as it drifted back, he rolled around in the wet sand. For good measure.

Cinco was quite smitten as well. That is until she discovered that she wasn’t in control of the ocean. She was personally offended that the water determined to come to her, rather than wait for her to come to it. She scolded it quite firmly. She also was annoyed by seagulls’ tendency to take off as you approach them.  But running around on the beach was quite enjoyable for her.

Mac tends to be a more cautious child. Except when in the ocean. He quickly decided that the water was awesome and that he should go all in. Seriously, all in. And he was happy to report to us about all the “gross slimy” sea weed and jelly fish carcasses he encountered. I also learned my voice does not carry over the roar of the waves.  

After X-Man was good and soaking, and had immersed himself in the pits of sand his sisters’ dug, it was time to go back. This meant a trek across a large dry sand patch. Cinco kept yelling at her older sisters. She was tired of walking along side me and wanted to walk with them. But they were walking too fast, which resulted in a lecture from Cinco. The child runs the whole family.

We rinsed the sand off, but X-Man needed a fuller treatment. He was stripped down to his underwear, which prompted Mac to ask “Isn’t that not polite? Or at least very embarrassing?” I hissed at him to keep quiet as we headed back to the car, X-Man strutted his stuff while clad only in his superhero tighty whities. 

The trip took longer than it should have. Mostly because X-Man kept collecting rocks and stuffing them in his underwear. Rather than risk a scene, I humored him and continued our stroll. With a three year old. With rocks in his underwear. Providing entertainment to those following us.

Like our family routinely does.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

If you want to have a successful year with me, as your teacher, I strongly recommend that your first email to me be NOT one where you tell me how I had typos in the email I sent you. Especially if your supposed typos are because you DIDN’T READ THE WHOLE EMAIL.  Reading for comprehension is your friend.
It’s been a week. The kind of week that leaves me frazzled and on edge. I’m back into school and work mode. That means getting up earlier and trying to accomplish more in less time. I made myself a cup of coffee and sat down to fold laundry. Of course, Cinco toddled out of the bedroom as soon as I had folded the first shirt. She settled herself down in my nap and decided that she needed to nurse. 
And by nurse she really meant run her foot along my jaw line. And try to drink my coffee.  And yell when I interfered with her plans. She takes the word “no” very personal.

It wasn’t long until X-Man joined us, with his newest toy…..a rock. Which Cinco very much had to have. So they fought over a rock. In the midst of my folding. It was not a disagreement that was resolved by finding another rock, but by the rock magically dividing and each child getting the same rock. At the same time.  Especially when Mac joined the fray. You would think that offering taking them all outside to find their own marvelous rocks would be a solution. It wasn’t.

It was clear that extra coffee would be needed so I made myself a new cup. But then I heard the lovely noise of a rock hitting my hard wood floor. So I went to investigate. Leaving X-Man alone in the kitchen. Not a good choice. I returned to an empty creamer bottle. One that I had used all of two times previously.  The creamer hadn't gone far. It was still in the kitchen. Oh was it ever in the kitchen.

Add in a fire in the microwave, the vacuum cleaner breaking after it accidentally sucked up the aforementioned rock and I was officially ready to throw in the towel for the day. But the icing on the cake was as I finally was able to put away the laundry, X-Man decided to play ball with the baby. He got up on the counter and threw the watermelon I just purchased towards his sister with a “catch baby!” The watermelon that I had purchased just hours earlier.  I declared it mandatory nap time for everyone involved, including myself.

My nap opportunity was interrupted by a call from the sleep clinic asking if I was available to participate in a sleep study, one that my doctor told me I needed. At that moment, sleeping with thirty monitors hooked up to me sounded like sweet, sweet relief.

I didn’t realize how high my stress level until I had to do a last minute grocery run. See the vanilla extract that the internet said would help get rid of the burnt smell in microwave, did help. If I wanted my house to smell like cigars. Which, actually I didn’t.  So off to get lemons I went. With everyone, since we had to get to soccer, or swimming, or something. And of course a quick trip for lemons turned into a trip that included pull ups, eggs, milk…..and coffee creamer.  So there I was, in the more expensive grocery store, trying to check out. In a hurry, because no trip to the store is complete without a trip to the bathroom for X-Man, hunting down a car cart for both Cinco and X-Man and saying goodbye to every item that catches X-Man’s fancy. It’s not that he wants anything, it’s just that he wants us all to see, acknowledge and then say goodbye to every banana, apple and pumpkin that catches his attention.

So there we were, hustling through the check out as some very old grandma wrote a check. She was cute and I wasn’t annoyed with her. Just annoyed with the situation. The situation which went downhill from there. Another lady joined us in line. She was more of a baby boomer, and had a disapproving look to her. I looked tired, my kids were chattering and she made a point of counting how many there were. FIVE. There are FIVE children here. She gave a look, complete with arched eyebrows and pursed lips. She looked irritated. I’m sure I did as well.

Grandma Checkbook moved on and we checked out. I reached into my purse and grabbed some cash to pay with. And then Grumpy Baby Boomer decided to stick her nose where it don’t belong. She said “I’m glad to see I’m not paying for your groceries.”  For a split second I thought I was in a coffee drive thru and she was actually offering to purchase my items for me. I turned to her “Excuse me?” “It’s good to see you’re not using food stamps.” 

The thing is, the way she said it, I think she thought she was paying me a compliment. Because only the super duper rich can have five kids and not need supplemental aid. Or something. Maybe because in the grand scheme of things, I’m still young. Well that’s what I tell myself anyway. But no matter her intent……WHAT THE WHAT LADY???????

Do you thank everyone in front of you at the grocery store? Or just moms with kids?”  She looked perplexed at the fact that I bristled at her compliment. Or that she wasn’t the only one who made comments that were out of bounds. She made another pursed lips raised eyebrows face and became very interested in her wallet. But my hackles were raised. As I moved from the checkout I did mutter, loud enough, “Chances are you’re getting more from Social Security than you paid in.” And huffed off. I mean,,,,that would be MY money lady. But who's counting. 

The kids had all been discussing which flavor of gum they would buy and were oblivious to the altercation that had just occurred. I left feeling irked. And that I most likely hadn’t handled it well. More like I had just written another chapter in my autobiography “Not My Finest Moment.” But then again, that would describe my whole week.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Random thoughts from the summer……..

Why is it that a mom can take her five children down to the hotel provided continental breakfast and no one bats an eye? Other than the stink eye for someone taking two yogurts. But should the dad take the children to breakfast, an hour after the mom already took the eldest because she had to get to a soccer game, well every one falls all over him.  Even when X-Man knocks over his juice, it’s sweet that Mac cleaned it up for me. If that happens to me, well I’m the clueless mom who’s not paying attention. But hooray for the dad who’s a dad!  And yes sweet fellow soccer mom to three, the reason why you can’t fathom handling two more is because your husband, their father, sits in his chair and dictates to you what you should do and what you are doing wrong.  I’d wring his neck, but that’s just me.

It’s been an interesting summer. It started with two children in diapers, neither one particularly verbal. At the end of summer, X-Man has no issues using the potty, although he still objects to underpants. He’s speaking, in an outside sort of voice, and over all becoming better behaved. The result is, he’s excited that he’s a big boy and that his attempts to communicate are understand fairly well. The result is that he’s happy, a lot. And when he’s happy, there’s no middle ground. I texted the father figure, asking for his assistance at a soccer game, because X-Man was manic. Manically happy, which means lots and lots of babbling, and trips to the porta potty. I better understand my father’s comment about me “I don’t know what’s worse, her in a good mood or her in a bad mood.

The rest of it’s all blending together is a very great haze.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

It’s been busy. Very busy. Not the good kind with fun events, but just crazy going going going. This makes me tired. And less amused by the endless stream of antics by my kids. Which then leaves me with fewer things I am willing to recount in a blog.

It’s the kind of week where when Mac bellows “MOM! X-Man has ice cream sandwiches in his pockets! makes total sense. Sure enough, X-Man had shoved frozen confections into four different pockets of his and made a break for the backyard. He was willing to share the purloined items with Cinco, who was waiting under the slide.

Cinco is at the end of her rope. She graced me with an epic meltdown as she was unable to participate in her older sisters’ soccer camp. She feels that her year and half worth of tagging along to various soccer events and practices has earned her the right to join in with all the other girls. Or her brother’s practice. Any chasing of any ball will do. But it must be with the big kids. Of which she is one.

Baby won her fourth soccer tournament of the summer. It was a feisty few games, in which I half expected to see Baby throw a punch. She isn’t ever the aggressor in a situation, but she does not suffer shoving patiently and will give as good as she gets. It appears that she is visualizing Baba as she goes full bore. She’s a spitfire, hiding behind a shy grin.

X-Man just discovered the cookies I hid. In the laundry room. In the cabinet above the washer. I think my time here is done.