Monday, June 30, 2014

It the kinda day where there are numerous things that X-Man feels the need to cry about, yet none is worth the effort it takes to conjure real tears.  He wanted to watch My Little Ponies, which after a long day of playing outside, seemed reasonable. The father figure told him to come into the living room where he could stream Netflix. X-Man collapsed on the ground wailing “No Fletflix….Plonies!!!!”  Rough life.

It’s also been the kinda day where I show up for Baby’s doctor appointment twenty minutes early, because I am that together. Only to be told by the very polite receptionist “I think Dr. Raj is at our 87th Avenue location today.” She could have just as easily said “Dr. Raj is always at our 87th Avenue location, you know, the one closer to your house, and you really should know that seeing you’ve brought various children to him over the last few months.” I am holding Monday responsible.

Other highlights of the day included trying to explain to X-Man why he should just wear underpants. He certainly prefers going to commando, however he also tries to maintain some sense of decorum. In order to enjoy the best of both worlds, he kept trying to pull down his shirt to cover himself. In order to fully clothe himself, he needed to crouch down and pull his shirt over his bent knees. This then made it very difficult to walk. Frustration abounded. Underwear was not a solution. It is still unclear what the solution is, but it is most definitely not underpants.

It just occurred to me that I signed Baba, Baby and Mac up for a sports camp that starts at 8am tomorrow. I regret this choice immensely.  

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

One would think that leaving four out of the five kiddos home with the father figure would be a better choice than hauling them all off to a soccer tournament, one that began at 7:45 am and ended at 7:45 pm. One would think.

I returned home to a beautifully clean house. That was the first indication that something had gone wrong. Typically, I pull up and the father figure jumps up and announces, as I walk through the door, "We just started cleaning up." The greater indicator of things gone awry was the fact that every door and window was opened. Four steps into the house and the smell hit you. Something, or someone, had been on fire.

In an attempt to keep myself calm, I turned to the father figure and lightly inquired "Tried cooking did you?" "X-Man tried to make toast. Well actually he made toast. And then toasted it again. And again. And again."

Now there were several questions that were running through my mind, why was the toaster out? Why was the bread out? But I went to the most pressing....."Where were you?"

"I was laying down with Cinco. She needed to take a nap."

Seriously? SERIOUSLY? You, who have actually lived with X-Man for all three years of his life, actually thought it was possible for you to "lay down" with the baby? Why do you think I am always so tired? Because the idea of a mid-day nap doesn't appeal to me? Who wouldn't want to lay down with the baby? Especially since she's asleep in her bed and you were laying down in your bed. See, I don't lay down with the baby when the toddler's awake because THINGS CATCH FIRE!!!!!


The father figure tried to justify his actions by pointing out that both Baby and Mac were around. Watching TV, so you know, really aware. Yeah, I asked X-Man to make me some toast too! But he didn't"
 Mac helpfully chimed in "

I didn't ask about the rest of the day. Until I opened up the microwave and discovered a different burned smell. Turns out the father figure had decided to microwave his lunch but the went to lay down with the baby. So X-Man helpfully microwaved it a few more times for him. You know, to keep it warm.

He thought he could take a nap. That might be the most preposterous thing yet.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Soccer tournament season is in full swing now. Soccer is also extremely expensive. So it is perplexing that love to schedule tournaments on Fridays.  Doesn't someone somewhere have to pay for the uniforms?  And tournaments.  Apparently the work week in the soccer world ends 9am Friday morning.

So this left me in the unenviable position of having to take all five children to a tournament myself last Friday.  Baba was playing, which meant I was flying fairly solo. Naturally, our trip began with me shopping for bribes. Never underestimate the effectiveness of purchasing all sorts of treats at Costco, announcing that they are only for soccer games. And children who behave at soccer games. 

While I was anticipating misbehavior from a child or two, ahem X-Man, I wasn't expecting my van to revolt. But, at Costco, it decided that all the sliding doors should be opened. Always. And if I closed them, they should open again. And that all the door alarms should go off the entire time. And when I finally tricked a door into closing and locking it into place, it should continue to try to open it during the drive home. Did I mention ALL the door alarms?

A quick google and I discovered that my car was not actually possessed. It is just a Chevy Venture. And this is what it does. The simplest solution, considering I was about to embark on a rush hour timed drive and the dinging door alarms were fraying the nerves of all the passengers, was to remove fuse #21. This was the solution most recommended by other suckers who had purchased the same vehicle. 

Fuse #21 was not where the manual said it would be. But"Where's fuse #21?" Did I mention that the doors were still open and dinging away? Yeah, they were. 
I am a resourceful woman. I pulled out my phone, took a picture of the fuse box, took a picture of the manual and sent them to the father figure. And I asked the very reasonable question

He texted back "You are looking at the wrong fuse panel. Look around the dashboard." Helpful....and yet not. I could not find the fuse panel. I did call the father figure and asked him to tell me where it was. In the car that he could not see. It didn't work. Although he got to hear the alarms going off and agreed that it was all very annoying. 

I couldn't find the fuses, so I returned to wrestling the doors closed. That was more successful, although wiping down the contacts did exactly nothing. And as I was not in a position to adjust the torque of the door, which was another suggestion on the Internet, I did the next best thing. I hunted the father figure down. Fortunately he drives a rather identifiable vehicle. 

So there in a parking lot, the father figure removed fuse #21. Blessed silence. Until Mac realized that the dinging was done and started talking again. And, by the way, the fuse panel was on the passenger's side, on the outside of the glove box. With is definitely not under the dashboard. 

Removing fuse #21 eliminated the warning chimes. And the backup sensor, which I was a fan of. It also eliminated the one non negotiable I had when buying a car, remote open doors. Of course. But my sanity is worth it, at least for the moment. 

As a side note, everyone behaved themselves quite nicely at the game and pretty much just are snacks the whole time. I should have known it would be leaving them with the father figure that would be the disaster. But as I am in a contest which requires seven hours of sleep a night (it's harder than you think), that's a story that will wait until tomorrow. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Welp, X-Man had a nice long nap. He can't open his bedroom door, so I have his sisters listen and when they hear him stirring, they open the door. They opened his door today when I decided he needed to wake up, so he could go back to bed......later. He didn't appear. Further investigating showed that he had locked himself in the closet and fell asleep there. It seems like the thing nightmares are made of, but he appeared refreshed.

We found ourselves back at the dentist's office. I think that X-Man will begin to refer to it as the bank because all mommy does is give them money. I would curse the father figure for the pathetic wussy enamel he has gifted some of the children with, but I've got a bad ticker, of the hereditary kind, so I'll just keep my mouth shut.

Mac had cavities. Between his teeth. Apparently flossing only twice a week caught up with us quickly. He was nervous about everything, and when I explained to him that they would be giving him a shot, he began to cry. The worst kind of for a parent. The "I'm trying to keep it together and I'm opening my eyes really wide because I am going to be brave but one tear slipped out." Ugh. I promised that he could squeeze my hands as hard as he could. That was a mistake.

The boy was remarkable during his shots. He held perfectly still and broke my fingers. The nurse asked him to come back to show other six year olds how to get their shots. He said no.

He didn't get upset until the dentist started working away on his tooth. He gave muffled yelps and squeezed my hand and the tears rolled down his face. The dentist was perplexed as children don't tend to freak out AFTER they've been numbed. The dentist would try to talk to him and he would be too upset to talk except to say "you've put a hole my tooth." Well yes, and if you'll hold still she'll patch it up.

He reacted even more forcefully with the second tooth. He finally yelled "IT HURTS!" And this is when we learned that Mac processes Novocaine faster than anyone the dentist had ever seen before. She was nervous to give him more, as he's a little kid. I was certain if the boy said he hurt he did, and my hands seemed to agree. He was explaining it wasn't the noise of the drill, his tooth hurt when I observed that he was talking without drooling. And for as much Novocaine and he should have in his system, he shouldn't be able to talk at all.

So he got some more. It was the right choice. He was perfectly still and even let go of one of my hands. I had scoffed when the father figure said that Novocain always wore off too quickly, but he might have been on to something. By the time we got home, the boy was back to normal completely, he said his mouth didn't feel funny anymore.

Looking back at the last time he had fillings, back when he was four (thank for nothing no enamel father figure) he used nitrous oxide to help take the edge off. And yet, even with the nitrous, he had been.....not relaxed. Poor guy, I think I see why now.

Probably scarred him for life. Although he nonchalantly declined any and all prizes declaring them "For little kids."

Monday, June 16, 2014

I am supposed to be grading papers.  But my email doesn’t think I should be allowed to attach them. This leads to frustration. Furthermore, I think the only way I’ll ever lose weight again is if I stop eating carbs completely. It’s either that or stop breathing. And seeing as I already do that while I sleep, and that’s done me a lot of good, here’s hoping all protein and no bread make mommy a skinny gal.

And then there’s this lovely little piece I stumbled upon that I’ve been stewing over all weekend.  The dumbed down version goes something like this:  child of unspecified age was crying in a store while, adding insult to injury, being pushed in a stroller. She was crying so hard that snot was running down her face, which is meaningless in this home as snot is that which is always all over someone’s face. The mother, who was as insensitive as to place this small person in a forward facing stroller, was not responding to the wails of the child. Never fear, Sanctimommy is here! She steps in and makes it clear that she frowns on the mother’s parenting. Furthermore she writes about it and then enjoys the countless internet comments saying, in various forms, “you go girl!” Whereas I was left saying “You girl….GO.”
This pompous, self-serving story irritated me for several reasons. I’m certain the first and foremost reason is I’ve been that mom before. Not the Sanctimommy, who knows better and therefore judges better, but the mom of the screaming toddler. I’m still that mom. See it goes something like this; toddler wants to walk, so mom says ok. Toddler takes off running, so mom insists on hand holding. Toddler bites mom’s hand. Mom puts toddler, who is screaming so that the ever present snot is running down his face, in the cart. Where he screams. And the mom ignores because two years of actually knowing the child has taught her that engaging when raging never ends pretty.

So to the Sanctimommy, I’m the heartless ignoramus bent on torturing my child. Wherein reality, I’m a mom who knows the difference between my toddler’s rage and my toddler’s need. Heck I know when my baby is angry and when she’s aching. I know this because I know them. I’ve been the one drying eyes, wiping noses and changing diapers for the last few years. And I’m the one who committed to see them through infanthood to adulthood, ideally helping them mature into reasonable citizens. One way to do that is to not give in to temper tantrums. While you, dear Sanctimommy, do what makes YOU feel good, how do you know that the mother you were so freely judging wasn’t do what was good for her child?

Why do people assume the worst of parents? Why do they assume if a child is crying it’s because her parents are neglectful beasts at worst or incompetent at best? It seems to me the default assumption in today’s society is that the parents are doing it wrong. Well aren’t we all special! We can pass judgment on complete strangers and how they approach the most important job they will ever do in the course of seventeen seconds. Yup, that makes sense.

In my eleven years of parenting, I’ve met countless parents. And I can count on one hand the parents I truly believed were neglectful and possibly abusive. Sure, there are plenty parents whose styles aren’t my cup of tea. And yes, I’ve cringed at the way I’ve heard parents talk to their children, but I’ve never felt the need to don a cape, swoop in and lecture away. See, I figure most, if not all parents I encounter, love their children with the fierce passion that I love mine. I assume that they want to the absolute best for their kids and they are giving their all to the effort.

Maybe it’s a result of having so many children. It’s crystal clear that there is no one and only way to raise a child. There’s no perfect method, no flawless system. I’ve had to come up with five different game plans, and then toss them because no one on the team is playing by the rules. It took me four children to get one who tried to squirt furniture polish in his mouth. While we were shopping. And yes, he cried real tears when I took it away from him. And the wails got louder each time I caught him trying to sneak it. There was no comforting him and I was uninterested in assisting him in poisoning himself. Judge away Sanctimommy.

While I read the article, I imagined what I would do if it had happened to me. And I laughed. Because I could see X-Man howling away because I wouldn’t let him sample ice cream. And knowing my son, if anyone got in his face during one of his outbursts, they would most likely find themselves smacked across the face. Then he would cease to complain loudly about me and begin to complain loudly to me.  And I would have agreed full heartedly. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

With the end of the school year approaching, both for the kids and for me, it's been rather crazy here. So, naturally, Cinco and X-Man decided to sprout runny noses, of the super gross variety. And scream like banshees when their faces are clean.

Due to X-Man's tiny, and possibly non existent, sinuses, he is on daily medication. The kind you squirt up his nose. Yeah, the pharmacist was very helpful when he said "You're trying to get this in a two year old so......good luck." The thrashing and the snot and the screaming are a good start to my day.

In addition, Cinco believes that she should get some as well. Because X-Man does. And that's all the reason she needs. In an attempt to squelch one meltdown, I indulged her desires. Mostly. I touched the medicine to her nose, dispensing none, but keeping the experience similar to what she had seen with her older brother. Apparently we were all taking our clues from him because she immediately dropped to the floor screaming. And thrashing. And feeling abused. Similar to the carrying on she engaged in when I first refused her demands.

I can't win for losing.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Typing is a bit of a challenge today. X-Man did something to the keyboard. It's actually quite clear what he did. He popped the F key off. And then tried to hide the evidence. By putting it back. Upside down. Close.....but no cigar.

Cinco is taking is playing fast and loose with the whole “co-sleeping” thing. She’s down with the “co” part. It’s the sleeping that she’s stretching the definition of. It doesn’t matter what time I sneak into bed, she’s wide awake and ready to play. And by play, I mean, nurse, poke eyes, pull hair, closely examine ears, and shove fingers up noses. Not unlike circuits in exercise routines, she keeps things moving. There’s no lull within which to doze off. She asks to nurse now, well if you call “na-na-na” asking. But she only ever says it if she wants something to drink. She’s quite talented. Just about the time I’m ready to thrown in the towel and deal with the tears and shrieking, she starts asking to “na-na-na.” I mean, I know that these moments are winding down, babyhood is so fleeting. And so I get guilted into allowing her to continue her shenanigans.

It’s caused challenges the last couple of nights. After two plus hours, I was done. Over it.  And even the sweet little “na-na-na” didn’t move my sleepy heart. I handed her off to the father figure, who she isn’t so interested in playing with as he is capable of sleeping through nuclear war. The father figure embraced her in a bear hug and commenced snoring. Her little arms were stretched out to me and she was crying “mama”. I’m not cold hearted, mostly, so I move to the couch. I figured if she couldn’t see me, she’d remember that she was indeed exhausted and pass out. Sure enough, she became quiet within a couple of minutes. And blessed sleep began to descend. When suddenly…..SLAP. SLAP. SLAP. SLAP.  The sound of little bare feet on a hardwood floor.  Followed by “WHAM” a high five to the face. And there was Cinco; she waited until the father figure fell back asleep, relaxing his grip and off she went.  Good times.

Her shenanigans, and my endeavors with Shaun T’s T25, left me completely wiped out. So I ended up soundly asleep last night. Only to be startled awake suddenly. It was most likely the lack of hair pulling. Cinco was gone. I shook the father figure “Where’s the baby!?” He offered something unintelligible, so off I went to look for her. She was not in the kitchen, or in her toys, or upstairs. And she was being very quiet, as I couldn’t find her anywhere. I returned to our bedroom and flipped on the light “FATHER FIGURE! WHERE IS THE BABY????” He barely moved and grunted “Down there” Sure enough, at the foot of the bed, head poking out the blankets the father figure consistently dislodges, was Cinco. Her eyes were closed and the father figure complained “She’s been pulling my leg hair for a while now.” So I rescue one or both of them. I could see Cinco getting kicked in the head and a little ear prodding didn’t seem so bad when compared with the alternative, racing around a darkened house looking for a sleeping baby.

I don’t know what the future holds, but I’m thinking insomnia is a possibility.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Ah Monday. The day that I wake up and discover that there is no coffee in the house. Also, the day I am informed that not one, not two but all three of my soccer playing children have games at 10:30am Saturday morning. At three different locations. On opposite sides of town. Of course.

Monday is also the day after Sunday, typically. So it is the day after the father figure stood outside church with a child screaming “NO CHURCH!!!! PLAYTIME!!!!” “NO QUIET!!!! PLAY!!!!” I give the boy props for being honest. He knows what he wants and he most definitely demands it.

He tried that approach with me today. He wanted to watch TV. I am not interested in using the TV as a babysitter any more than I already do, so I sad ‘No”. Clearly I misunderstood his demands, so he screamed them. As he is approaching three years of age, I have begun to stop my previous method of dealing with his tantrums, walking away. I know put him in his time out spot and start the timer. In theory, he is supposed to not scream while sitting there, in theory. At this point, I still have to keep him sitting, and he doesn’t do well with time frames. The minute he quieted down, his chubby arms shot out expecting me to pick him up. So it was a struggle for both of us, as we both really wanted to hug before the two minute timer was up.

Two minutes comes quickly so we did hug it out and I had to chase down his sister. She had taken to dancing on the table, celebrating the fact that her mother was distracted. Determined to not have any child of mine comfortable with dancing on tables, the baby and I found ourselves locked in a battle of wills as to what furniture and kitchen fixtures were permissible to be climbed on. `She decided that if she hid under the table, she would leave with her dignity intact. And also, eat the Cheerios she had thrown under it during breakfast. Judge me, I was wrestling with a toddler.

With Cinco slightly contained, I went in search of X-Man. This is how my day goes, find the baby, find the toddler, lose the baby, lose the toddler. Stop the baby, save the home.

There he was, in my bedroom, on my bed. The bed I was trying to make when he came demanding TV.  He was most definitely trying to make my bed. The blankets were shoved around and he was stacking the pillows, one on top of the other as I found him. He turned to me beaming, “All done mama, watch TV?”

He accepted playing Thomas the Tank Eng
ine instead. And lots and lots of hugs.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Today was the day Baby and Baba took their state tests. The local homeschool group sets it up and the location happened to be half an hour away. Without rush hour traffic. But, testing was scheduled to start at 9am, which is still rush hour time. And as it started at 9am, X-Man decided that he should get up at 4am. You know, because. Why not?

The father figure masterfully returned X-Man to his bed, while I continued to wrestle with Cinco, who has decided that the hours of midnight to five am will now be known as “open bar” and “ladies’ night.” Booyah for me.

So there I was, trying to calm little Baby’s nerves, when I realized that we should have left already. X-Man was nowhere to be seen. I asked Baba where he was, as I had asked her to go wake him up. She shrugged. “I would shake him and he would just roll over and saying ‘no’.” So up the stairs I ran, grabbed X-Man and headed out the door. The boy didn’t even attempt to wake up until I was actually slipping his arms into his car seat straps.

It wasn’t until we arrived at the testing site that I realized what my haste had overlooked. X-Man, as per usual, was sans pants. And there were no pants anywhere to be found. The father figure, as good fathers are want, put a dry pull up on X-Man when he put him back to bed. He did not, however, put pants back on X-Man. And I didn’t notice. Mostly because, everything was quite normal, X-Man in various states of undress.

So there I was standing in line to somehow register two children for tests, holding a toddler and a baby, because the toddler was sleepy and grumpy and the baby was uninterested in sharing her mother. Desiring to get in on all the action, Cinco decided to have the sort of diaper one has after eating all her siblings’ grapes. The result was that her pants, along with her diaper, had to be removed. I had another diaper, and yet again, I didn’t have another pair of pants.

So back into line I went. Holding two children without pants on. Yup, the gal who thinks she has it together enough to educate her kids at home can’t even dress them. The trick is, look like you totally understand what’s going on and that it’s all part of your master plan. At least that’s how I choose to rock it out at this point.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Today's soccer commute took me in opposite directions. In theory, I only had fifteen minutes to make the drive that, as I learned today, can be made in thirty. Fortunately Baba's coach had a team practicing before hers, so she got dropped off early. Local folks I'm talking Skyview High School to Harmony Complex and back. Truly about as opposite as you can get in Clark County. Because the girls are playing for different clubs this year. Clubs that practice on the same days and just about the same time.

This, along with many other factors, contributed to my response to a soccer dad tonight. He asked me how it was going. Without thinking about how I should paint a rosier picture of my life I responded "It's been the kind of day where I find myself chanting 'prison orange does not look good on me, prison orange does not look good on me.' So far it's working" We were standing together watching our daughters practice and I could see him repeating what I had just said. Unfortunately, it all clicked as he was taking a swig of his drink, resulting in spewing and gagging. And him turning to me and saying "You're FUNNY!"

Please do continue to laugh at my life.

Lest the wrong child be blamed for my newest mantra, should I be incarcarated anytime soon the blame should fall squarly on Cinco's shoulders. She's faster, more nimble and her abs have got to be out of this world, considering the stunts she's been able to pull.

Cinco has recently developed all sorts of awesome new skills. She now knows how to operate the water dispenser on the fridge. Concerned, as X-Man has ceased to water the kitchen floor, she has picked up his slack. At least someone around here is noticing what isn’t getting done and doing something about it. Of course, everyone else, including the father figure, keeps forgetting that we know have to lock the dispenser so I get to explain every five minutes how to get water again. That doesn’t get old.

Cinco can also open the washer door. This is my one complaint with my front loader. Well that, and the fact that Mac took a bite out of the gasket. Which isn’t really the front loader’s fault, but still someone should have seen that coming. Someone other than me. But back to Cinco. She can open the washer door. And does so. Yes, the door has a lock, but it’s a lock that can be disabled should you push the right button. There’s only like five buttons available, so the kid finds it. Also, the door only locks if the cycle is going, which means only rarely is Cinco briefly foiled. I only discovered that she could disable the wash cycle; excuse me for making my bed, when she started screaming. She wasn’t hurt, just royally ticked off. See, X-Man, who had been pilfering the cereal, the laundry room and the pantry are one in the same, saw what she was up to and decided to make sure it was safe. This meant trying to climb in, while Cinco was attempting to as well. The washer, filled with clothes was unable to accommodate both renegades. However, this wasn’t discovered until both were stuck in the washer. Naturally I blamed X-Man for this, up until I caught Cinco turning off the washer all by herself.

It shouldn’t have surprised me. I mean, this is the child I caught climbing up on the table, to the counter and then opening cupboards. And that was the good escapade. I made the mistake of thinking that I could use the bathroom. I don’t know why I thought this, five children in, but I did. Won’t make that mistake again. Seeing that I found Cinco sitting in the middle of the stove, trying to turn on the burners. She didn’t even push a chair over for that one. She climbs up on the handles of the drawers, and then uses the oven handle. All features that do need to remain in my kitchen. With the exception of the baby on the stove.

Cinco is very competitive with X-Man. She has been for a while. It started with me and spread to all people. She is oh so shy, unless her grandparents are paying attention to X-Man, then she’s right there making sure everyone is aware of her cuteness. She is certain that anything and everything that X-Man does, she should be able to do. That includes using the potty. If X-Man uses the potty, she demands her turn. Should mommy be busy helping X-Man wash his hands, well she’ll just climb up there herself. Again, the abs of this child! And then she falls in. At least she acts as If it was by accident. Keep in mind; this is the child who calls Amnesty International every time she is given a bath. But toilet water…..MORE PLEASE!!!!! And don’t you dare try to remove her or clean her up. It’s just further proof that you love X-Man more. Fortunately X-Man still looks forward to flushing the potty, unlike other siblings of his, so the situation could be significantly worse. I mean, I could be wearing prison orange.

And while prison orange lacks appeal, I have to say, padded rooms are looking more comfortable by the minute.

Monday, June 2, 2014

In today’s first world problems:

Baby has learned why I insist she read the book before seeing the movie. Recently she’s seen The Book of Ember and the two Percy Jackson movies. She is still indignant. She kept a running commentary of everything they were doing wrong and why the books were so much better. She was almost offended that they even thought they were telling the same story.

Mac is very pleased that he has learned to ride his bike. However, he would like it to “not be so sweaty.”

Cinco has decided that I am not busy enough. So she has taken to climbing. Everything. In the three minutes it took me to get the older girls situated with their tests, Cinco climbed up on the table, walked across it, climbed onto the counter, opened the cupboard and started removing coffee cups. It is an act of extreme cruelty to remove her from this position.

X-Man successfully thwarted my newest attempts to torture him. His first trip to the dentist started at the
prize box and ended at the prize box. And he only head butted me once.