Monday, November 23, 2015

It’s still Cinco’s birthday.  She is still looking for her purple “Let It Go” cake. Her birthday month cumulated in a trip to Target. Sort of.

It started with the fact that both Mac and X-Man take swimming lessons. Mac is a good swimmer who has slowly developed past “thrashing with style” to competing in his first swim meet. X-Man is still in the thrashing mode. Style is yet to develop, although the child is fearless in the water. His swim instructor tends to put not one, not two but three separate flotation devices on him. She’s a prudent gal…….

Cinco is nothing if not competitive. She “beat” the father figure in air hockey the other day. Ten to one. I know because she kept a running score announcement to share with the entire crowd. Part of 
Cinco’s competitive score keeping is seen is her insistence that anything X-Man does…..she gets to do. So, it didn’t surprise me much when she appeared in front of me in her swimming suit. Although I admit to being impressed that she was able to get it on over her clothing. She walked over to me and announced “I go swimming lessons.” Being the mom I am, I smiled and said “ah good for you.” I figured this was all occurring in the same world that had her Dalmatian puppy doubling as her baby. It wasn’t until she climbed into the closet to retrieve her shoes and coat that I realized she actually intended to go to swimming lessons. This posed a problem.

First of all, it was seven pm. And I was heading out the door to take Baba to soccer. Second of all, Cinco wasn’t actually enrolled in swimming lessons. Third of all, Cinco doesn’t handle disappointment well. Well actually, she’s an expert at it. From the rolling out of the bottom lip, to the huge tears that slip down her cheeks and the shudders that come from struggling to contain sobs, she gets both the father figure and me, fairly easily.

Eventually she accepted a shopping trip to Target in lieu of swimming lessons. Of course, there was a brownie involved as well. While Cinco still would wistfully talk about swimming lessons, she didn’t let it dampen her enthusiasm much. She babbled along, talking about everything and anything. That included her belting out “Happy Birthday”, complete with blowing out nonexistent candles. And older gentleman commented to me “Wow, she really doesn’t stop does she?

No, no she does not.

We continued on to another store, whose halls were very much decked for the upcoming Christmas season. This very much excited Cinco. “Christmas. Christmas everywhere!!!!” As we browsed the aisles, Cinco announced loudly “LOOK! IT’S MY HORSE!!!!!” Indeed, it was a beautiful wooden rocking horse. Cinco continued “Go, go mama! Go to my horse!” I tried to break it to her “I’m pretty sure that’s not your horse. That’s the store’s horse.

And with that, Cinco turned cocked her head to one side and looked at me with patience and understanding “I think Daddy wants to get me the horse.

That’s a new one folks.

And now I have to decide whether to tell the father figure this story……and end up with an absurdly expensive horse. Which is rather redundant I suppose. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

It’s dark and stormy here. Similar to the weather we so enjoyed on Halloween. Which was peachy. Baby and Baba were both off at their own Halloween parties. I suppose that’s the way things will be as they grow older. Mac was running along with his cousins trick or treating. That left the father figure with Cinco and Me with X-Man.

It was a study in contrasts. X-Man was very conscientious about directions. This is a new state of being for X-Man and one that I want to nurture as much as possible. He would stomp up in his rainboots and Hulk mask and ring the doorbell while announcing “Please have candy please.” This worked like a charm on the retired folks who would bestow handfuls of candy on him. He responded by digging back in his bucket and returning random handfuls while saying “One piece only please.” Like I said, the boy is intent on following directions. Mostly. He still refuses to wear pants around the house. I have yet to hear complaints from the school, so it seems to be a state of being around the house.

Cinco, on the other hand, rarely needs directions. She owns the world. She loitered behind the X-Man on a mission, chatting up each homeowner. Invariably she would be told “you’re so cute!” and she would respond “Yeth. I a purple ucorn. For Halloween.” The result would be more candy and more conversation. “Thankth. I like tandy. I like (rummage in bucket, pick a random piece) this one.” “I purple my yittle pony.” And of course the father figure would stand there, basking in her cuteness. 

Cinco moved on from the excitement of Halloween to assuming it’s her birthday. Every day for the last week she has walked up to me and emphatically announced “IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!!!!” And every day, I have to let her down gently, that no, actually her birthday is five months away. Well, the longer she sticks with it, the less gently I break it to her. So far she’s ordered a purple “let it go” cake for her birthday. And she wants us to sing her happy birthday regularly. She also has decided that she wants to wear a pretty dress for her birthday as well. At this point I’m just smiling and nodding.

As life goes on, my children become more and more behaved. Possibly even civilized. I guess it’s progress.  Or maybe they know that Santa is watching. Of course the whole universe is watching. That's why, less than twenty four hours after embarking on a large Christmas shopping trip, tree roots decided to announce that they had moved into the sewer pipe and really made themselves at home. It's like they knew I still had money from my paycheck left. So, it's been a FUN week so far. And yes, it's only Tuesday. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

I’m not one for life hacks. It just makes things too complicated. I don’t remember where I left my cup of coffee. I’m not ever going to remember why I saved all those little twisty things on my bread bags.

Besides, who needs life hacks if they have X-Man?

X-Man was at the playground, cheerily playing in his own world, oblivious to the children around him. He was playing some game that involved him climbing up a slide. He would nearly reach the top, before sliding down in dramatic fashion accompanied by a “Oh NOOOOOO”. He continued on until a little girl sat herself at the top of the slide and yelled “MOVE! I’m coming down!”

X-Man was about halfway up the slide and considered his predicament. The little girl was uninterested in waiting. She yelled “NOW!” at X-Man. Now X-Man gets a look about him. It’s a look that his preschool teachers have already identified. It says, I have a plan…it is going to be awesome….and I will have to run away from mom as soon as I do it. X-Man had that look. Again.

Looking deliberately at the little girl, who was beginning to scoot down the slide, X-Man extended his bovine-like tongue and slid down the slide. Licking it the entire way down.

“EEEWWWW DAD!!!!!” shrieked the little girl and scrambled quickly off the slide and ran, traumatized to someone to fix the situation.  X-Man chuckled to himself and began his ascent again. 

Unflustered by his germs spread for the enjoyment of the entire county.

This new found power went straight to his head. X-Man attempted this bit on me….and my coffee cup. He figured if he licked my cup, I would surrender it to him immediately. He does not understand my relationship with coffee. He’s had to settle from drinking the Darth Vader creamer straight out of the bottle. He’d get away with it better is he didn’t yell “Yum. Coffee!” after every swig

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Several years ago, when Baby was very young, there was a large box in our living room. Baby snuggled herself up in the box, carefully closing the flaps and announced “I’m ready to be given to the gypsies.” All my energy went into not wondering why living with the gypsies was a preferred alternative to life with me.

Last week, Baba was clearly conspiring with X-Man. There was whispering and giggling and shenanigans. Sure enough, as I was herding the crew out the door and into the car for yet another go around of soccer and Costco. X-Man bolted to the end of the driveway and stopped. He stuck his thumb out and started hitchhiking.

Again X-Man introduced a first into my life. Again, I spend a lot of energy not thinking about why my four year old decided that jumping a car with a stranger beat riding in a car with me.

Baba collapsed with laughter. She admitted that she had been coaching X-Man on hitchhiking. Perhaps to encourage X-Man to go find those gypsies that his sister dreamed of living with.

But the whole plan began to backfire on X-Man. The random car that occasionally drives down our street managed to pass by right as X-Man jutted his thumb out. The car slowed down, and the young man driving made eye contact with X-Man. X-Man held his own…..for a second. And then took off running down the driveway.

I comfort myself that the house is a safer haven in the eyes of my son than a sketchy looking car with a shaggy man driving. It’s the little victories.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

The father figure and I have a date tonight. We don’t do date nights all that often. That tends to happen when you have soccer seven nights a week. And, we don’t like to “waste” money like that. Movies are too expensive. Concerts are too expensive. Dinner out is too expensive. There are better things to waste our money on. Things like Disney’s Frozen on Ice.  Which is absurdly expensive but the father figure is bound and determined to take Cinco to. Possibly X-Man as well. But most certainly Cinco. As he has already taken his other two girls to some sort of Disney spectacle on ice. I dodged that bullet by being nine months pregnant with Mac. So I stayed home and painted a bathroom and watched football. I might not be that lucky this time. And so I get to sit down with the father figure and decide how much money we’re willing to spend in order to listen to “Let It Go” one more time.  I sold my kidney to pay for soccer. So it’s his turn.

Between soccer practices, I had to run to Target. Because of my love affair with Target, I keep forgetting they’re up to their eyeballs in Star Wars paraphernalia. Including gummy Star Wars shaped snacks. X-Man requests these snacks every time to cross the threshold. And so, again today I found the desired Darth Vader artificially flavored, gelatin squishy X-Wing fighter things. And X-Man was happy.

Cinco, seeing X-Man’s joy, wanted to partake. And so, I let her look at the snacks. All became very wrong in X-Man’s world. And he proclaimed so fiercely and loudly. In the middle of Target. I stopped in my tracks and firmly instructed X-Man to stop yelling. He did not. I repeated myself. He continued on his path of vocal defiance.

Well, I have been indulgent of X-Man’s tantrums in the past. I recognized that most of his outbursts stemmed from frustration at being unable to communicate his thoughts. But, in my efforts to be understanding and compassionate, I’ve also failed to come down on him as much as I probably should have. So says the father figure anyway.  I put X-Man in time out, which, when one is sitting in a shopping cart involves mom holding your hands and covering your mouth. It also involves you yelling “NO” every time mom asks “Are you done yelling?

So there I was, standing in the middle of the central aisle, bending over a cart—painfully aware of my muffin top announcing its existence to the entire county, because, let’s be honest, there was no way anyone in the store was unaware of our presence—calmly informing X-Man that if he didn’t get his act together “THIS INSTANT” that there would be no Star Wars snacks. Again. Ever. In the history of snacks.

I also got to observe a lady move slowly by the cart. I figured she was speed dialing CPS, trying to document my cruelty because clearly no child would ever protest this adamantly and persistently unless abused. I briefly considered moving my hand upwards to cover his nose as well. Passing out from oxygen deprivation was certainly a tempting option. But my animosity abated, at least towards the lady, when I saw that she was on crutches. Maybe her moving slowly had absolutely nothing to do with me.

Long, loud story short.  Target’s supply of Star Wars gummy snacks remained unchanged.  X-Man’s wailing continued.  Baby and Mac rolled their eyes. They had already explained to me that they were “STARVING!” Because “I didn’t like any of the food we had for lunch” and “I didn’t feel like eating meat.” And so there might have been some cookies in the cart as well. Cinco turned her attention towards the pastries. X-Man was lunging towards the snacks I had placed on a random shelf. He couldn’t reach them, so he settled for throwing a jar of wrinkle cream into cart instead, cutting me to the quick.

The cashier looked at me sympathetically and said “good luck” as we headed to the door. A convertible waited to let us cross the lot and then pulled up next to me. It was the slow moving lady from the store. She called out “Good job sticking to your guns mom!” and moved along.

So there was that. And, I made my limitedly verbal son say “I am sorry for yelling in the store” before he got a cookie. If that’s not winning……..well it’s surviving. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Cinco do you want to go with Mom or do you want to stay with Nana?

ummm….” (head cocked to the side, eyes rolled skyward) “I think I’ll go with Nana.

No. Mama’s going. Nana’s staying to work with Baby. What do you want to do?

Ummmm….” (head still cocked to the side, now eyes slightly downward, hands expressively at shoulder level) “I think I’ll watch Barbie Dreamhouse.”

yeah, no. That’s not an option. You’re coming with me.

Kay.” Looks askance at the shoes held in my hand “I want to wear the kitty shoes.

Fine. We need to go.”                                                         

Enroute “MOOOM. You need to go fast.

We will go fast when it is not a red light.

You are not going fast.

It’s still a red light. Kicking the back of my chair will accomplish nothing but irritating me.” 

“Mom go fast and fix my hair.” Attempts to hand me the clips she has less than skillfully removed from her hair.

At the destination. “Unbuckle me now!
No, just Baba is going in. We’re going to sit here during her voice lesson.” 

Well, I think I am going in.” 

No. You’re not.” Head now cocked to the side, arms akimbo “I think that Baba wants me to go with her. “ 

No she doesn’t.

 “K. I have to go potty.

After barely using the facilities “I want to go to Starbucks.” 

So does mom.” 

You should go and get me a water with ice and a cookie.” 

No, you make too big a mess with cookies and I just cleaned out the car. And no ice. You eat it and make a mess.” 

Eyes roll upward “Yeah, but I like ice. And cookies.”

I have to wonder if X-Man doesn’t talk because Cinco doesn’t ever stop.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

It’s good that time travel isn’t a real thing. Otherwise I’d worry that he’d go back in time and construct a pre-nup solely to limit my trips to Target. But when there is one day that Halloween costumes are 40% off and your wife is spectacularly negative crafty……well Target wins!

I’d like to take this time to thank the brain trust at Fox Sports. They decided that Fight Song should be the anthem for the Women’s World Cup which inevitably led to every little girl on her way to a soccer tournament this summer blasting it in her car. This, in the case of this family, inevitably led to a toddler tyrant demanding Fight Song on a repeated loop until all other family members are irritated to homicidal levels.

I shouldn’t complain. At least it’s not Shake it Off. That is SO last season. But Cinco is less cute than she was last season. Or at least, she’s more insistent than she has been. For the sake of all others in the car, I announced that we would no longer listen to infinity Fight Song and allow each person in the car to choose a song. And by choose a song, apparently I meant “torture Cinco with the cruelest mean ever in the history of all the things.” Judging by her reaction.

Cinco tried to out wail the song that Baba selected. That was SUPER fun. For Baby’s selection, Cinco bellowed “No” repeatedly. She does not tire easily. When I asked Mac what he would like to listen to, Cinco just announced firmly “No only Cinco’s songs. Only Cinco!” That didn’t convince the rest of us. Which left her completely flummoxed.

How could we not drop everything and carter to her every desire? This is a continuing question in Cinco’s world. She has not handled X-Man’s enrollment in school well. She is convinced that we are taking him to the super-secret land of awesome. This led to X-Man lying on the stairs weeping because it was a school day, not a pool day, and Cinco weeping because it was a school day. So for the hours that X-Man is away, and I am trying to teach some very reticent learners, Cinco is busy putting on the “LOOK AT ME” show. It involves dancing on the coffee table, threatening to dump coffee on her head and sprawling across my lap as I try to teach Baba algebra. I am not a fan.

And me not being a fan is a surefire guarantee that Cinco will continue.