Monday, October 20, 2014

So while driving the children to various activities, a warning light came on in the car. It was a newer message for me, Service Stability System. I was clueless as to what that meant. A little googling told me that that sort of message usually requires about $1200 to fix. The father figure was unimpressed with my hysterical phone call and refused to tell me which shop to take it to until he researched the matter a bit further. Something about having to know what the problem was in order to know where to take it. So he came home, did his own research and determined that the brake fluid needed topping off. To the tune of $3. The message disappeared.

No good comes from a hysterical mother googling. I had images of the car, carrying all five kids tipping over, having a stability system requiring service.  Google probably could see me, willing to spend anything to keep my poor minivan hostage children safe, and gleefully saw “SUCKER!!!!”

Or something.

Not that we saved any money. After a quick trip to the car parts store, it was off to Lowes. To spend zillions of dollars on repairs to the house, courtesy X-Man. We prudently decided on the cheapest toilet paper roll holder, as it primarily functions as that on which X-Man stands to look out the window. The window you can’t see out of as it is in the bathroom, but that doesn’t stop X-Man. Hope springs eternal I suppose. We also pick a cheap hand towel holder, as the nice one we bought broke under Cinco’s weight as she swung from it.

The father figure then proceeded to patch to hole in the ceiling, that came from X-Man’s numerous bathroom flooding’s. X-Man was excited to help the father figure; Cinco got her head stuck in the step stool. I’m taking bets on how long the new bathroom fixture last. I don’t anticipate X-Man flooding the bathroom anytime soon. Not due to the repercussions of his behavior, those seemed to make no impact. But now he’s no longer napping, and by napping I mean, sneaking out of his room while everyone else stays downstairs to keep it quiet.

Speaking of failing to properly respect naptime, Cinco can now climb out of her bed. She still sleeps in our room, again for the solitude that nap time requires. Only her naptime looks more like a hurricane, if hurricanes emptied drawers.  The phrase “no rest for the wicked” keeps running through
my mind. And as I’m the one not rested……..

Thursday, October 16, 2014

When unattended, X-Man’s hair blossoms, or deteriorates depending on which parent you are talking to, a wild mess of curls. It’s particularly impressive when he wakes up. Add to it a bleary eyed, stumbling chunk of a kid, and it is incredibly cute when he wakes up.  His morning routine has made even the grumpiest of father figures smile. He staggers in to wherever a parent is, smiles widely and turns around. He then backs up, complete with beeping noises, until he reaches his intended target. And then he plops down in your lap. If you take a while to catch on to the routine, he’ll wait, standing in front you….beeping impatiently.

I’ve most likely made a strategic mistake. By the third sports practice of the day, X-Man needed to use the potty. And, of course, there were none to be had. So I took X-Man around the corner and let him have at it. He’s a fan. And decided he should try to go three more times.

It’s time to wean Cinco. At 18 months, she’s nursed longer than any other child of mine.  She likes to use her nursing opportunities not as chances to eat or bond, but rather as a means of driving siblings off of my lap. Also, she’s is just as content to lift my shirt and blow raspberries on my stomach. Followed by uproarious laughter on her part. The beautiful bonding moments that you read about on the interwebz…..yeah, not so much.  She doesn’t seem to care that the ample stomach on which she likes to blow copious amounts of spittle on is the size it is in no small thanks to her. I dread to think how she’s going to treat me in the nursing home.

So that’s my life at the moment. Mac, Baby and Baba are all hard working students. X-Man thinks he’s a truck and Cinco thinks she’s a clown.

Monday, October 6, 2014

I came home from Mac’s swimming lessons to find the kids watching ESPN….Monday Night Football. I’m doing something right.

It’s been crazy busy recently. Exhausting and overwhelming. I’ve been running the kids everywhere, while the father figure holds down the fort with the Youngers. We don’t do much as a whole family these days, but Saturday was quite the family day. A couple of soccer games, a birthday party and a wedding.

The father figure has maintained several friendships despite the circus in which he lives. And so, as people he’s been friends with for over a quarter century get married, he likes to attend. Part of his pleasure in attending comes from being able to show off his children to the various childhood friends and their parents. Why he likes to show them off confuses me, I much more into hunkering down and waiting everything out. And by everything, I mean toddlerhood.

But, I wasn’t in charge of this operation, so off to the wedding we went. It was in a lovely area. As we were walking in I had a sinking feeling that this wasn’t a good idea. For starters, they had breakable dishes on the tables. Along with real table cloths. Furthermore, the ceremony set up indicated it was a small, intimate wedding. All the easier to hear small kiddos, and who wouldn’t want the protestations of small persons to echo through their momentous occasion.
While we weren’t late, which was a first for weddings we’ve attended this year, we weren’t early, which meant we were closer to the front than I would have ever freely chosen. But trying to seat seven persons anywhere does not leave a lot of options, so we sat ourselves down. And waited.

It was a wedding, so it was running late.  Much to the children’s chagrin. Small persons were getting antsy, so when Baby offered to take X-Man over to admire the waterfall and pond just a few feet away from our seats. Against my better judgment, I assented. And so, Baby, Mac and X-Man went off to investigate.  I kept an eye on them, poised for X-Man to leap in.  Sure enough he stopped and prepared to enter the water. Fortuntately he wise chose to remove his clothing before submerging himself. Few things make me move faster than a naked toddler, as I have learned over the weeks.
I reached X-Man before he disrobed, although not before he had mooned the assembled guests. Everyone was restless, and had been observing the children near the water, anticipating something. We do nothing if not enteratain the masses. As the wedding party hadn’t entered yet, the skeptical was enjoyed by all without ruining anything other than my brief calm.

I missed the ceremony as Cinco decided that she should serenade the couple with forlorn songs about be denied the opportunity to observe the water falls due to poor behavior on the part of her brother. I rejoined the family in time to partake in the receiving line, which, due to the forward location of our seats, was towards the end of the group. This resulted in us entering the reception area to see several groups of five taking up tables that sat seven and left us with a table, right smack dab in the center of the room, set for four people.
An open bar makes all sorts of sitting arrangements tolerable. Mac made his peace with the fact that the bride and groom eat first at their wedding. Also, that the hour de overs people never actually made it over to our table, although I’m guessing they weren’t serving goldfish crackers anyway.

Cinco ate her body weight in prime rib; everyone else enjoyed their food, although with small persons on your lap, at a small table, it’s hard to eat your own plate of food. Baba and Baby were restless and offered to take their brothers outside. I quickly agreed. And ate all of six bites before Baba waltzed back in to give me an update “X-Man sort of fell in the water.”

Of course he did.

Sure enough, X-Man was shuffling in behind her. I’m unclear what was meant by “sort of” because the boy was sopping wet. His feet were wet as was his hair. In my book, wet head to toe means you actually totally fell in. No matter how you choose to look at it, the boy left a trail of wet footprints on the hard wood floor. The first party foul of the evening.

I think it says a lot of my state in life that my first thought, on observing my son was “Oh good, his clothes are still on.” It looks like he took the whole “you only live once” approach. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

X-Man burst through the bathroom door, only to find that his sibling was using it. No worries. He stripped off his pants and hopped into the bathtub and relieved himself. I was surprisingly ok with that.

Life’s been a handful recently. The kids’ activities keep us going, going, going. Rain or shine. It’s been pouring rain, but that didn’t put a damper on the kids’ spirits as the tore around the playground during Mac’s football practice. I was trying to keep an eye on Mac, making sure he was listening when I saw a cute naked tushy atop the playground equipment. X-Man had gleefully stripped off his pants and underwear, as they were wet. Wet from the rain, but wet nonetheless. I don’t run. Unless there’s a naked toddler involved. Then I can run very quickly.

X-Man was horrified at the thought of having to put his pants back on, wet and everything. But he complied and listened to the fierce warnings  I issued concerning the dress code on the playground. I was aware that his pants were cut to fit a diaper, and he most certainly was not wearing a diaper. Sure enough, minutes later the lack of a diaper and the wet jeans conspired against X-Man yet again. He was again atop the equipment, in front of the same police officer dad as before, jeans around his ankles. Although this time, he was struggling to keep his underpants up. He figured girded loins were sufficient, pants were not so much.

Of course, he wouldn’t have his pants so wet if he didn’t insist on laying flat on his tummy to blow bubbles in the rain puddles. Again, along with the publically nudity, this was a first time experience for me. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Cinco has taken to carrying a large duck around the house. A large duck that a sister of mine was convinced my children needed. He's an unwieldy size, so she ends up carrying him by the neck, in a charming strangle hold.

Life this week involves the duck. Unless Cinco spots greener pastures. She spent the morning hauling the duck around, while trying to carry various remotes to TV and DVD. Over all it was a disaster, lots of droppage, shrieks and tears. With a healthy demand for me to turn on the TV for her. Cinco's still missing the sleeping X-Man, despite the presence on a duck in her life. She seeks to drown her sorrows in Netflix, snuggled on the couch with her duck.

There is an interesting phenomenon I've discovered raising my boys. It's the rare pair of pants that makes it from Mac to X-Man. Most shirts have stains on them. But shoes survive. Most likely because they are so rarely worn.

These are a pair of such sandals that have survived my sons. They're are not well made. But they connect with both boys in a special way. They're Mac's "scary" sandals. That's what he always called them. He wasn't scared of them, maybe he thought he would scare others wearing them. The thought of Mac hurtling towards you, scary sandals or no, is itself a intimidating thought.

X-Man too has embraced these sandals. He doesn't call them scary, rather he's upgraded them. He calls them his "Doctor Dooms". Which considering what happens when X-Man is involved with much of anything....seems apt. Right now X-Man is running around the house, clutching his sandals, but not wearing them, and yelling "DOCTOR DOOM!!!!"

It's odd, because neither one of them ever named another pair of shoes, but both of them have a special name for this pair. And they were both rather ambivalent about wearing them, cool if they did, no biggie if they wore another pair. I am perplexed. And knowing me, I'll probably end up hanging on to this pair of scary Dr. Dooms.

The duck is good for riding too.....

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

We have reached the point where I believe the neighbors will start worrying if X-Man doesn’t dance naked in the front yard. I mean, it will clearly indicate that all is not normal in our household.  I can be ready for it…..waiting for his foray into interpretive dancing….yet again. But his ability to sneak out is alarming. As is his failure to be thwarted by deadbolts.  It often happens as the father figure is leaving for work, X-Man is doing his morning business on the potty and jumps off to bellow goodbye.  Or it’s because the UPS guy no longer rings the doorbell during nap time but always manages to stop by when X-Man’s stripped down. Basically the routine is the naked X-Man makes it once around the van before he’s caught. The boy is very fast.

Trying to keep X-Man clothed is a full time job. He’s doing very well with the potty training, well he’s trained. I simply forgot the last part of the lesson, always put your clothes on.

Also, it might be time to work on his not announcing all potty related thought quite so loudly. X-Man being who he is, his first full phrase was “ew doss gigusting.” After learning to use the potty he tacked on some more to the phrase “Ew doss gigusting poop in the potty.” Which is what he announces, in his oh so indoor voice, whenever he sees anything that reminds him of anything potty related. Like a giant cow picture in a produce market. Surrounded by health conscious hipsters. I tried to teach him about cows and that whatever he has deemed “gigusting” was most likely udders. Or something.

He keeps me on my toes.

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.