Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Who has two thumbs and just now realized that X-Man has a double ear infection. Well, not so much realized, but figured something was wrong enough to warren a trip to Urgent Care. Side note, Tuesday evening is an excellent time to visit Urgent Care, if you don’t want to spend five hours waiting.

X-Man has definitely been off his feed. Rather literally, which is always a sign that something is wrong with the boy. He’s been whiney and cranky, which I was thinking might be related to Gestated Cinco.  Just yesterday, instead of his typical MAMAMAMAMAMA in my general direction, he walked up with his arms out and yelled “Mama, mine.”

But when he spent the hour at the playground sitting in my lap, I figured something was wrong. Poor little kid. He’s not unhappy about his sister, he’s unhappy with his mother. Whoops. Should have known my sweet easy going little boy needed antibiotics, on top of the extra attention I thought he was craving.

So that’s my motherhood fail for today. If I wasn’t so tired, I’d try to figure out how Mac got jelly smeared all over his pants while trying to eat his sandwich. It truly looks like he took the sandwich apart and face planted the bread on his lap. Which is actually a possibility with him.

Tomorrow I take all five in to get the alignment of the car fixed. Oh the story is writing itself. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Mac’s antics are well documented here. So I suppose that it is right and just to document his successes. Last Saturday was a day of triumphs for the Macster. He had a soccer game, which his mother had to miss. Again. Such is the life of a third child, who’s two other sisters are also soccer players.

He scored the first goal at his game. This is exciting in and of itself because Mac’s scored two goals this season, compared to no goals last season. He also kept his, sort of, cool. He was controlled, for Mac, and remarkably focused. He proudly gave me a report on his performance, admitting that he did flap his hands a little bit, but stopped when he remembered to. There was also no taunting of the opposing team, which was a brief issue last week. The father figure loudly corrected “Don’t call names Mac!” To which Mac replied “Oh, Ok.” And ceased. It was as if he hadn’t ever been told not to call names. And as I considered things, I don’t think that was a lesson we had addressed yet. So chalk it up to another parenting failure.

So after a soccer game where Mac could hold his head high, we moved on to the dance recital. Now dance has been a bone of contention for Mac and me. He likes it, sort of. But he’s also the only little boy in a class full of girls. One of the girls has seven brothers, and so she knows all the buttons to push for Mac. And Mac is more than happy to be the class clown. Fortunately his teacher is unflappable and no nonsense and keeps him on a short leash. In general, dance wouldn’t be something I would pick for Mac, but his sisters were in an hour and a half class and this gave him something to do for half of that time. And it was all part of the master plan to wear the boy out.

So for the ballet recital, Mac was given the role of the black sheep.  When the teacher told me her plans, I said “oh, type casting.” And Mac lived up to his role.

He was subdued heading in. He saw the empty chairs and said “oh, scary.” See, he’s all about acting out, but it mostly for his own entertainment, he’s good not being observed. He got ready, costumed up and then waited next to me.  He was content to sit and hold Gestated Cinco. For half an hour. And then it was show time.

As they danced out onto the stage, Mac’s nerves disappeared. He caught sight of me and waved. The he wink and flashed a thumbs up. And he was off. I think it is fair to say, he stole the show.

Mac’s responsible for many of the grey hairs on my head. Mostly because he’s a boy version of me. And I can mostly get what he’s doing, but not always and the lack of impulse control is directly responsible for my high blood pressure. Well that and gestating Cinco, but that’s a different story.

So it didn’t really faze me when I caught sight of Mac in church, hands raised in the air. It was as if he wanted to ask the priest a question. Or he thought we were in a Baptist church. But he said that he was thanking God, and that if God liked his thank you, he would send him a toy.

I don’t care what his motivations were, celestial toys or no, he done me proud this weekend. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

There’s little more endearing than listening to Mac’s delicate, gentle voice bellowing “Did I do a good job?” at his soccer coach. He came running up to me with his earnest eyes to reassure me that he indeed do a good job. His coach said so.

We’ve been working with Mac on impulse control, among other things. He is sensitive to some noises and stimulation, and he has the mannerisms that indicate his brain is trying to process everything effectively. Unfortunately, these mannerisms are weird. He’s working hard to control them, and I’m touched by his efforts.

As we work on self-control, I find myself thinking about discipline. Or, as some forbearers have said, my lack of discipline for my children. It’s a moving target, that’s for certain.
I decided, before having children that I didn’t want to spank my children. It wasn’t for any strongly held feelings on the issue, I was spanked as a child, and while that might lead you to draw your own conclusions, I don’t feel burdened or abused or traumatized by my childhood. However, I didn’t want to use that method of discipline. I held to this resolve until Baba, not yet a year old, was emphatically determined to stick a fork in an electrical outlet.

Still it remained the mostest severest punishment in the family bag of consequences. I spent a year threatening Mac with it, counting down from five. He continuously hopped to, so I never really had to decide what followed “one.”

I realized the full extent that the few spankings I dealt out when I overheard a conversation Baby and Mac had with a student of mine.

Baby “Our mom spanks us SO hard.”
Mac “Yeah and it doesn’t even hurt.
Baby “It’s not supposed to hurt Mac!” Judging by her tone, there was some eye rolling involved.
Mac “I know that!

I’m not sure if this indicates failure on my part, or just how my heart was not into this aspect of child rearing. On the occasional times that spanking seemed to be the only solution to aspects of Mac’s behavior, he would reassure me “That didn’t hurt.” My response has been, “It’s not supposed to hurt, it’s supposed to help you focus.” His response “Yeah, that’s right.”

So pretty much, that disciplinary tactic has been shelved. I’ll occasionally ask Mac “Do you need a spanking to help you focus?” To which he will inevitably respond “No thanks.” So we keep rolling. And my children aren’t horrifically embarrassing hooligans. At least I can cope with their shenanigans. And they don’t seem traumatized. At least by how I discipline. Other aspects…..not so certain.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

It’s been a week since I gave birth. It was a week of insanity, very busy, but with father figure around to help. This week there has been no father figure and even more insanity. As people told me I looked great, I kept saying that I felt great and I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. The other shoe has dropped.

I’m not sure if it’s X-Man’s decision to yell everything that occurs to him, or if it’s Mac’s belief that the odder he acts—Moose horns for the entire trip home, really?—the more awesome or if it was Baby’s vomiting all over the pharmacy that sealed the deal for me. Maybe it was the extra hour and a half spent wandering around Costco waiting for them to get to my tires. Which is exactly what every gal wants to spend her Costco rebates on. X-Man kept me on my toes with not one, but two, poopy diapers.  Gestated Cinco kept up with him, and why not? Why not fully celebrate having two children in diapers?

Over all, the adaptation had gone smoothly. I was most concerned about X-Man’s response to the usurpation of his role of baby. He’s plowing along as if little has changed. He didn’t even seem to notice Gestated Cinco’s existence, nor did he seem to wonder why he was visiting me in the hospital. Clearly we had brought him to a room where there were 357 different drawers and doors to open. Why wouldn’t we do that for our little guy? As he was slamming away, Gestated Cinco expressed her opinion about life ex-utero, he paused, removed the binky from his mouth and said “Baby” and headed back to slamming.  He enjoys snuggling, perhaps a bit more than normal, but he’s a cuddly guy to begin with.

Mac is highly aware of how much everyone else has held Gestated Cinco compare to him. The numbers never work in his favor and he’s not reticent to share this knowledge. Baby and Baba just think that it’s odd that I am not in favor of them carrying her up and down the stairs or outside. It’s because I’m mean, I own that. Just as I enforced early bedtimes tonight in light of state required school testing tomorrow. It’s because I relish their tears of outrage.

Gestated Cinco is certainly keeping up her end of the whole team player aspect. She’s eating well and sleeping well. Which is exhausting. Because everyone thinks that they should check in on her always. And are certain that they heard her cry and will pick her up just in case. One squawk and she’s up. Lifted out of the bed. There’s no hope of her falling back to sleep, because well….someone wants to hold her. For two minutes. I’ve never locked a child in their room, but I’m close to locking children out of their sibling’s room. 

Now, if I can just keep up with their enthusiasm for waking their sister up and holding her and not doing chores or anything else around the house. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

I haven’t written for a while now. It’s not for lack of thoughts to say, but rather being held hostage to Gestating Cinco’s whims. Which included flying the coop earlier than I intended. But that’s kids for you. I didn’t even get to write my birth plan out, which included a request for the incredible hulk vaccine. Yes that’s real thing.

It’s not that she didn’t pick a good time. Well, at least as far as the father figure’s work schedule was concerned. And in all fairness to my youngest daughter, there’s no good time according to my schedule. As I realized when I double booked Mac’s swimming lessons and Baba’s soccer practice.
Gestated Cinco was polite enough to wait until after my two showers. Yes, I had two showers. Very different events, which were fun and useful. Especially as I received a car seat at the second one. So at least Gestated Cinco waited until it was legal to bring her home.

It all started with a trip to labor and delivery. Well actually it started with a detour through the back country roads to avoid miles long congestion on the freeway. This was a rather fitting metaphor for the rest of the day. I went in with the intention of being told to go home it’s called getting ready for a baby. So when time kept ticking by, I began to get anxious. Not because it meant baby was coming, but rather, because I had a two thirty dentist appointment for Baby. Well that didn’t happen. At least I am assuming that the father figure called and cancelled.

I was so not ready for Gestated Cinco, I went so far as to forget to bring the book I was eighty pages away from finishing. I could have polished off that sucker during the preliminary testing. But no. I had a sneaking suspicion that something might be up that morning. I downloaded a contraction timer for my phone, and gave the father figure a heads up as he left for work. I didn’t ever use my new contraction app as I decided in the early morning hours to sleep instead, figuring I would have other opportunities. Then there were multitudinous opportunities for distraction, including getting out the door only an hour later than I intended.  This was a mixed blessing, as I was unaware of the rate of contractions, but apparently plowed into labor blissfully unaware.

I alerted Grandma, who was wrangling the herd, through text message. This made it easier to pass off childcare arrangements to the father figure, who was granted the courtesy of a phone call. It’s hard, when you’ve just been admitted to labor and delivery, to properly convey the need to come soon, because things are moving along, but not to panic and come with the impression that Gestating Cinco was actually Delivering Cinco. Whatever I said worked, because he arrived just as I was getting concerned, waltzing in wearing his UPS uniform, which of course prompted plenty of delivery jokes.
And then we waited. I’m sure it was partly because I had an epidural and couldn’t stand to get her to position properly, at least quickly. But I didn’t care. It was honestly the most relaxed I had been in probably a year. I was answering phone calls from friends trying to arrange carpools, texting other friends and harassing the father figure. I was also slightly embarrassed because it certainly seemed to me that everything had stopped. I love drugs.

Not that everything went perfectly smoothly. Apparently my blood pressure dropped, or plummeted as it were. I don’t really remember, I just felt not awesome and then someone was giving me epinephrine. And by someone, I mean one of the nine people in the room. Father figure has related his perception of events, but all I heard is that a nurse was rubbing his shoulders. He says to reassure him, but what else could he really say?

Gestating Cinco became very demure and took her time arriving. This gave me time to see that there was a massive explosion in Texas near Waco, which prompted texting to a brother who is physically incapable of replying to texts. So after a whole five minutes of silence I dropped the “I’m in labor so you’d better respond now.” Thus began the geography lesson as to the relative proximity of West, Texas to Waco, Texas. Twenty miles, in case you were wondering.

So she came. And shared her impressions of the world. Loudly. It didn’t help that my first reaction to my little girl was “you are fat!” Which is true, she has cheeks like no newborn’s business. She said her piece and promptly scored a ten on her Apgar test. Which is a first in this family.

We’re slowly adjusting. She’s required feeding three times during the writing of this blog. But she’s Italian, so that’s to be expected. I mentioned to father figure that I spent nine months dreading having a fifth child. This wasn’t in my game plan and I really wasn’t on board with the whole shaking it up aspect. But I knew rationally that a few days into it and I would be baffled that I ever thought our family complete before she arrived. I was off in my timing. She felt absolutely right immediately. As I reminisced with the father figure, he slyly said “we’ll see how you feel after the tenth one.” The boy will do anything to get himself a fifteen seater van. I’ve told him it will cost him one wife, but that doesn’t seem to be a deterrent. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

 “Which child is mine?” See the one yelling ‘TEACHER TEACHER I GOT MY FACE WET’ in swimming class? Yeah that’s my child.”

“Which child is mine? See the one yelling at his coach “WE HAVE SEVEN GOALS!!! THREE MORE AND WE WILL HAVE TEN GOALS AND THAT WILL BE COOL!!!” Yeah, that’s my child.

“Which child is mine? See the one the teacher just told to not have monkey arms? And he yelled ‘MONKEY ARMS I LOVE MONKEY ARMS!!!” I’m the tree, he’s the apple.

“The one who just announced in the public restroom, loud enough that I could hear him as I waited outside ‘IF I CAN’T REACH THE SOAP I DON’T NEED IT!” That’s mine. Which is why he’s now wiping his hands on my sweater. I’m guessing he couldn’t reach the towels as well.

The kid with his cheeks poofed out, yeah, he calls me mom. His teacher told him to put a marshmallow in his mouth. It’s her nice way of saying “that’s nice dear. Stop talking now.” And he’s trying to follow directions. Literally.

Yes, that would be my son, reenacting World War II with the Nativity Set. It’s a little known fact, Jesus did actually appear with a rocket pack.

When the teacher said “use your listening ears” yeah, it was my kid who yelled “I LOST MINE!” Which would be why I’m the only parent not laughing.

Whose kid announced that he didn’t want to play a card game, rather he wanted to play “Punchy nose” and demonstrated it for his grandparents? Just guess.

Whose pride and joy it attempting to teach his backpack how to dance?

Did a child just announce, oh so emphatically, “I don’t need a guardian angel, God’s my guardian angel!” Better than having him as a co-pilot I guess.

Someone’s sister said that it is a parent’s job to keep her children safe. Someone else responded “Yup, I guess I have to just be Iron Man then.”

 I lived to make other people laugh. Being on the other end of that parent child relationship, I might owe my mother an apology.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Try to understand the self-control that it takes an overly pregnant wife to not say “I told you so” to a totally deserving husband. I win all the awards.

Today was a crazy day. I knew it would be and requested that the father figure not work today. Which stunned his employers since he always works and always takes extra work. No worries, he clearly saw how much he was needed.
t started with a doctor’s appointment.  Not of my choosing. They actually called me to mention that X-Man’s 18 month checkup had yet to be scheduled, although X-Man had passed the eighteen month mark a few months ago. So did I want to schedule one? Now honestly the answer was “heck no to the tenth degree” but as I already had the doctor office calling me, aware that I had forgotten about one child’s health, and as I had made three out of four of my own doctor appointments the day before, I figured I was treading on thin ice. So I said “sure.”

So, I booked the appointment close the class time the three other kiddos had, in an attempt to save time and sanity. It ended up backfiring. And I knew that my hands would be overflowing, so I roped the father figure in to corralling the fruit of his loins.

Now, while the father figure is helpful in all the father figure type duties, he is distinctly not helpful when it comes to getting children out the door. Or anywhere, on time. In fact, he harshes my fairly punctual groove. And he did again today.

I take partial responsibility because I relented on my insistence that we leave an hour early. I insist on the hour, because that gets me forty minutes to reach my destination. But I accommodated the father figure and shaved the departure time down to the absolute minimum. So, we left five minutes later than we were supposed to.

I will admit to a second error, which was mentioning to the father figure, as we traveled in the left hand lane, under the speed limit  (thanks PT Cruiser), that we had thirteen minutes to reach our destination. And so, the father figure sprang into action. And by springing, I mean he crossed over to the far right hand lane to pass the cars that were indeed all traveling under the speed limit, while he himself exceeded the speed limit by ten miles. Which I, helpful as always, pointed out to him. Which he, appreciative as always, responded “I know what I’m doing.

You know who else knew what he was doing? That’s right. A State Patrol Officer. I didn’t see the officer flip on his lights in his well concealed undercover car; I was too busy sitting there with my eyes closed. But I definitely heard the “aw crap” from the father figure. And I knew.

I realized afterwards that I need to remove all the old insurance cards from the glove box, because I actually handed the officer one that expired last year. And I gave him two different registrations. Not that he even looked at them. Nope, he started with the whole “know why I stopped you?” which the father figure had to admit he did have an inkling. The officer then launched in to his thoughts on the matter “Well, I saw you get frustrated with the car that was in the left hand lane, and a lot of people don’t know the law that you aren’t supposed to travel in the left hand lane, especially under the speed limit. So you passed him and got up to 80 and then you probably missed where the speed limit changes to 60.” Father figure is nodding along and I’m sitting there thinking “Dude you are so trying bail him out.” He stuck his head in my window and look at the hardened criminals sitting in the car, Baba was studiously not making eye contact by working on schoolwork, X-Man wasn’t wearing a shirt and was wearing his peanut butter and jelly sandwich, Mac sitting in a ball and Baby was beaming at him. His question “How ya’ll doin’ today?” went unanswered, although X-Man did offer him some sandwich. He turned back to the father figure and me and asked “Where you headed?” Now, this is where a tad bit of luck hit us. See Gestating Cinco was sitting loud and proud and decided that she should be part of this family experience. She thrashed impressively, which pushed her out even more so. And I honestly replied “The doctor.” He smiled and handed everything back and said “I’m certain that you will be driving the speed limit from here on out.” The father figure affirmed emphatically. I glanced at the officer and said “I’ll make sure he does.” And we were on our way.
The father figure assumed that the officer was sympathetic to his plight. I assumed that the officer figured that the rest of the trip with a pregnant wife who was obviously annoyed was punishment enough. I have yet to say “I told you so” although I did say that the whole pregnant wife shtick had an expiration date. I did tell him I knew what I would be blogging on that night.

I could write about the doctor visit, with the six page form they forgot to mail to me with all sorts of development questions. One of which was asking if I had showed X-Man how to use other object to reach the ones he had his heart set on. Maybe it was actually an IQ test for me. I could talk about how X-Man showed his enthusiasm for vaccines with a smelly reaction, but no tears, while the diaper bag sat in the car. Or how I rushed everyone to their classes, only to think they were canceled until the person I called to  check the scheduled pointed out I was there a half hour early.

But that takes away from the fact I have yet to say “I told you so” to the father figure. Although this blog might really interfere with my high road taking. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

You don't own me, I gave birth to you
You don't own me, I’m paying for you all the way

And I tell YOU what to do
And I’ll tell you what to say
And please, when I go out with you
Don't try to run away.

You don't boss me,  I’m changing your diaper anyway
You don't scare me, but I’ll tie you down so you stay

So don’t drink my coffee now

Please put my toothbrush down
Stop screaming and hitting me
That's all I ask of you

You’re young but you think you’re grown
To be free doesn’t mean run away from me
You’re free to live your life as you want
When I’m not held criminally liable.

So yeah, I’ll tell you what to do
You bet , I’ll tell you where to stay
Just do your best not to humiliate me
please, when I go out with you
Don't  make me a  display

I have to hold your hand
I’m supposed to keep you safe
So just let me keep you alive
That's all I ask of you

You’re young and  love to be young
I'm tired and I want to nap
Let’s live life the way I want. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Twice in the last month, I have been approached by talent scouts. Well, not me, ever, but my redheaded children.

Our first experience came years ago, when Baba was no older than four. A gal who worked for Disney, or rather she worked for a company that supplied people for Disney, approached me. About Baba. I was feistier then and told her that the last red head that Disney got their paws on was Lindsey Lohan and, as I could see what Disney offered my daughter, there ain’t no way on God’s green earth. At the time I was surprised by how strong my reaction was, and did feel bad for the poor little rep. But the last six years have showed me that Lindsey deserved the same reaction from her mother. And I don’t feel bad.

Shortly after that, I received my first flyer inviting Baba, or all eligible little girls, to participate in a child beauty pageant. They said they received my name from a friend. I am unclear as to who I might have insulted or offended that greatly. And, apparently, there is NO getting off that mailing list.

So recently, I was walking in the mall with both of my beautiful girls. Well, Gestating Cinco was certainly part of the party as well.  Minding my own business, walking hand in hand with Baby, when I heard “Oh my gawd, is she your daughter?” Now, as I was Gestating Cinco, among other things, all I managed was a pause along with the question “Which one?” Dur.......

Clearly casting agents, or talent agents or whatever they go by these days, aren’t going by brain cells. Rather, she plowed ahead telling me how beautiful my daughter was, keep in mind that I actually had two daughters standing there. Apparently “they” are ALWAYS looking for redheads, any eye color will do, and freckles are a plus. The very exuberant lady turned on Baba, who is by nature reserved, and asked “Don’t you want to be a star and be on TV and in movies?” Baba, completely uninfluenced by me responded “Not really. “ I took her card to be polite, and did discover that she was legit, but it didn’t soothe my ire at her total ignoring of Baby. True, Baby does not actually have red hair or freckles, but she did warrant a “hello.
But Baba put the issue to rest. And I did not have to consider all the tabloid covers about red headed child stars gone lost. Although the father figure did ask “What if it paid for college?” It was a legitimate question. And I will have to explain why they have college loans and work study. But they ought to be functional enough to actually attend college.  And considering that the father figure’s original college funding idea involved sending the children, while they were all in their bald stage, out to a street corner with a sign saying “Help me pay for my cancer treatment.” His theory was it wasn’t actually dishonest because who knew? Maybe they would end up studying something in college that led to some sort of treatment. I think he was supposed to be a politician.

The next gal was better at her job. She started her conversation off with “You have such beautiful children.” Now that will always get my attention. She continued on “All so different, yet so lovely.” Now I’m really listening. I’m used to people commenting on my red heads, generally while referencing all my kids. To actually make eye contact with Baba and tell her she’s beautiful guarantees I will like you. So she smiled at them all, and delighted in X-Man’s spectacular curls, and then launched into her sell. They are still looking for red heads, boys and girls, although all my children are beautiful enough to be stars. (Man, she was good.) But again, the question “Do you want to be in the movies” was directed to Baba. “No not really. I’d rather play soccer.” Cha-chin!

Not to be deterred, as we walked off Baby started to tell me how she totally wanted to be a star and be in movies except that the minute they turned on the cameras she would totally freak out. Sadly, Baby’s Italian mannerisms just don’t translate onto paper. She was mid-sentence describing how she would handle her stage fright when she saw some glittery flip flops and was promptly distracted.

And so, I am neither the bad guy who squashes my little girls’ dreams nor the stage mom who failed her children. Now that’s what I call WINNING!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Mac was bouncing on a big bouncing ball today and announced “I must be doing everything God wants because I haven’t gotten hurt yet.” That’s a slightly alarming line of thinking from a boy. Oh yeah, I haven’t fallen off the roof yet, God must LOVE this idea.

This is the same little boy who used to try to jump from the kitchen counter to the dinner table. I caught him mid preparation once, which taught him the importance of surveying the landscape before launch. Not that he knew what to do with those who were observing him. He seemed convinced that simply telling me “No mom, don’t look at me. PLEASE MOM don’t look at me, go watch TV” would do the trick. He was quite flustered by the fact that when he suggested that I go play the Wii, I didn’t jump at the opportunity. Which he most certainly would have. In more ways than one.

Necessity is the mother of invention. So, his next tactic was to bring me a book and say “here mom, I think you should read this” then scamper off towards the kitchen. He was completely flummoxed by my lack of interest in “Oh the Places You Will Go” and my very great interest in the places he was trying to go.

Mac got his revenge in his own way. I would be half way through my treadmill run and suddenly found myself dodging cars and dinosaurs. Much to Mac’s great amusement. He would lie on the floor next to the treadmill and gleefully chuckle “whee” While his pregnant mother jumped and yelled. This only added to the glee.

Part of my delight in Mac is based in his utter lack of guile. He’s quite straightforward in his intentions. Even when he thinks he’s being discreet. Why else when I called to him “Mac are you cleaning your room like I asked?” would he respond “Yes, but don’t come check.” As he hadn’t gotten hurt yet, whatever he was doing, it was all in God’s plan.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Mac learned the hard way not to harass X-Man. X-Man bites, and bites like he means it. He was annoyed at me last week and lunged for my nose. There’s more to fear from X-Man’s teeth than from North Korea. In fact, looking at Kim Jung Inflated, one bite from X-Man might be enough to end all the grandstanding.

X-Man’s entering one of my favorite ages. He’s twenty months now. He’s much more capable and communitive and is able to avoid the frustrations that come around eighteen months. He’s talking, although pretty much all he says is food related. He’s the only child I’ve ever seen rock out to organ music.
He is obsessed with telephones. Which would be cute, except I caught him talking to his sippy cup, while it poured into his ear.  I wonder if the pediatrician has ever seen swimmer’s ear from a lack of a valve on a sippy cup. Although it wouldn’t surprise me if he did end up with swimmer’s ear after his pool experience.
I have been blessed with fairly cautious children. Not intimidated, but they knew their limits and enjoyed life within them. Not so with X-Man. Or at least he thinks that his physical limits are actually personal insults. It is outrageous that he is unable to walk wherever he so desires, most especially in a pool. He kept plowing ahead, and yelling his outrage as the water lapped up his nose.  He’s also the first child I’ve had that wasn’t frightened when he ended up underwater. He just sputtered himself clear and continued on his way. He is also the youngest I’ve had figure out that if he climbs out of the pool, he can get to the way awesome stuff faster.

It certainly didn’t come as any surprise that he figured out how to flip the deadbolt on the door and make a break for it. Although that it’s probably not the best term for it. At least what was happening at first. He would yell “bye bye” and then head out. By the end of the morning, he had learned that shouting his final regards was not the key to success. But his definition of success changes more often than his diaper. Sometimes it was the actual sneaking outside and running down the driveway. But that involved squealing in delight, which would blow his cover. Or then it might just be getting outside, so that he could open the door up and call out “hi.” Then there was the ever fun game of opening up the front door yelling “bye bye” at an imaginary visitor and then slamming it again. He makes sure to mix it up enough that there is no resting for mommy.

I wonder what his reaction to Gestating Cinco’s arrival will be. I have yet to deal with a jealous older sibling. But poor X-Man is by far the youngest old sibling in our family. He loves his independence, but he also firmly believes that he is most free in his mother’s arms. He has little interest in babies, unlike Mac who started a countdown to Gestating Cinco’s arrival. However, as we careened into the second hour of Good Friday services, X-Man discovered a baby doll laying on the floor of the cry room. He promptly returned it to the proper “mother.” Who threw it. And X-Man sought it out and returned it again. Unlike his reaction to thrown balls and the like, X-Man carefully walked the little doll back to the unskilled mother.

So I’m not concerned about him trying to throw his sister. That’s step one. Not taking his sister with him on renegade trips out the front door will most likely be step two. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Tonight, I close the book on a decade of parenting. Baba’s missing a few teeth, quite a bit of hair—do red heads shed extra or something—and an appendix. She can read and is potty trained, so I’m considering the last ten years an acceptable success.

About four years ago, Baba decided that she was done with soccer. I, attempting to be a responsible parent, told her that she needed to finish out the season, and then she could be done. By the end of the season, she was back loving soccer. As a result, she spent her tenth birthday at a five hour soccer camp put on by the local professional soccer team. She also requested soccer ball birthday cake. I spent the day regretting my attempt to be a responsible parent.

I don’t really mind the soccer camp. Except that it’s three days, and it’s far enough from the house that I don’t want to spend the gas driving back and forth. And I will be carting Mac and X-Man around for five hours, including to the doctor’s office, where they’re watching me for high blood pressure—it’s like they don’t even pay attention to my life or something—so it’s not like I’m even getting a break. Although, I shouldn’t complain today, the boys were with the father figure. X-Man discovered how to make it out the front door, and that includes flipping the deadbolt, and Mac summersaulted into the printer and broke it. So maybe hauling them about the county isn’t such a bad idea.

Then there’s the soccer ball cake. I had an image in my mind. And I pointedly avoided Pintrest. Pintrest makes me want to kill myself. Well actually, Pintrest makes me want to cook a week’s worth of healthy crockpot meals for my family, then kill myself.  There’s only so much leeway you have when the request is a vanilla cake with key lime frosting. And I couldn’t really remember the pattern on a soccer ball. Fortunately, I can still impress a ten year old. I’m going to be so lost when they actually expect things from me. And Oreos make an acceptable soccer ball.

She’s now ten, which means I have to do the things I’ve been putting off.  Apparently, as my mother in law informed me recently, Italians tend to mature faster than say….Irish folk. So there are issues that need to be addressed, lessons that need to be taught. And I’m back to cooking crockpot meals and hoping to sleep through the next decade. While discussing these issues with the father figure, who was desperately trying to fall asleep or pass away himself rather than face the reality, the issue of makeup came up. Or rather, I, attempting to be a good mother, asked the father figure for his thoughts on makeup. The conversation went something like this:

“When do you think they should start wearing makeup?”
“They don’t need make up!!!”
“Yes, they don’t need it right now, but they’ll want to wear it someday.”
“They wear nail polish, what else do they want? Baba can’t put anything on her skin, it’s too perfect.”
“True, but they’ll probably want cover up at some point.”
“I never broke out as a teenager.”
“Oh really, that’s what you’re going with. I didn’t need make up so no make up for you!”
“Why do they want anything other than nail polish.”
“I didn’t say they did, I’m saying that they will someday. I’m thinking fourteen, high school.”
“That sounds good. But only for special occasions and they can’t wear it outside of the house.”
“Yeah, I don’t think telling your home schooled daughters that they only get to wear makeup on special occasions at school is going to be what they’re looking for.”
“I don’t want them wearing it around boys. Ever.”

I think this upcoming decade is going to be way more rugged. Probably more grey hairs involved. I’m kinda looking forward to watching father figure hoe this row. But I’m mean like that.