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.