Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Fly

I was explaining to the kids that I was going to be leaving for a few days to fly to see Grammie and Poppey and Auntie Mimi and Aunt Hannah. They nodded their heads like they understood. A few seconds later Guy looked quizzically at my back. “Where’s your wings Mom? You need wings -yes?”

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Size

The problem with dealing (all day everyday) with children that are less than 32 inches tall and under 30 pounds is that their time and size perception is all off.  Two pieces of lettuce equals a completely huge inconsumable salad. Asking them to pick up the 15 toy cars on the ground is a task that takes them 3 minutes per car. A banana split exactly in half causes a 2 minute discussion over which half is bigger.

And they think being asked to wait 3 minutes is like being told that their mac and cheese will be delivered in their next lifetime. A large dog looks like a dragon to them, but a lion resting a safe distance away in the large cat pen looks just fine and they want me to call it over. 3 peas equal an almost death sentence while 3 chocolate chips are never nearly enough.
Talk about case in point, even as I’m writing this Joey is yelling from the next room “Make a fort mom! A big huge one like you. Okay mom? Okay mom?”
 … and for the sake of maintaining the harmony of this morning and my sanity for the next 5 years, I think I'll just explain to him that we don't compare people to forts. And then I'll assume that he was talking about the size of my heart.  Right.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

(Husband) Joe

I found Joe the other day, on the computer. Online. Reading my blog. This was surprising. Not the being supportive part. The part where he was online and camping equipment was not on the screen.

We are not really into technology- Joe and I. We both still have flip open phones and use T9 to text and he can’t receive or send pictures on his. We have the pay as you go plan that only cost 30 dollars a month. Joe only uses the computer to look up maps of wilderness that he has not been to before. Or to order maps… He also uses the computer to sometimes watch episodes of This Old House or Survivor Man. He has a facebook page but doesn’t really use it. Last time I checked he had 17 unread messages accumulating since probably 3 years ago…

Two of Joe’s favorite books are “Every Knot you Need” and “How to Build and Furnish a Log Cabin.” But he’s only read them each once, because now he knows every knot he will ever need and how to build and furnish a log cabin.  I love him.

But all this to say is that in the interest of being supportive, Joe, who does not really read email, let alone blogs, read my blog- without being asked. I asked him what he thought.

He said it was ‘good’. He also paused and then said that it made my life sound ‘kinda frantic.’
I couldn’t stop laughing. It was just so accurate. Yes. We live the same life. Joe and I live in the same home. With the same children. We eat dinner around the same table and kiss the same three heads goodnight. And yes my version is almost frantic- with children and keys and worries and yelling, laughing, and where are the children? Oh. There are the children.., and never remembering where I put anything and running out of gas, and time, and patience. My life is one long wonderful run on sentence.  But frantic also sounds panicky. And not that I’m controlling or anything-- but I’ll feel free to switch adjectives. I’m sure he meant ‘lively’. My life sounds lively. And it is.

And that’s okay because Joe has enough patience for both of us. He has a deep voice which makes statements like, “just put your keys in the same place every time Kate- then you’ll know where they are…” sound very reasonable and sensible. He is concrete, exact and exciting. Full of detailed plans for grand adventure- adventures that actually happen.  His strength of character (and actual strength) and love for what is good and free still makes me weak at the knees.
Our kids are drawn to him like moths to a flame. Like children to a campfire. Which is actually a very accurate analogy considering that he’s been the catalyst behind every family campfire. They love his power as he throws them in the air, and the safety of his sincerity behind every word. They love quiet time, and wrestle time, and all time with dad. He is not frantic. He is our calm. And calm is good. We make a good pair. Calm keeps us centered. … But if I do say so myself, lively does tell better stories.

Friday, February 24, 2012

A Big Day


Today marks the day Elena Jane-- (Ellie, Laney, Ellie girl, Laney Janey, Lana Jane-a, Elliepants, Ellabelle, Elliebelly, Elle belle ballerina) walked (unassisted) more than she crawled!! Hooray! 
And there goes my baby.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Count

Well. Guy is really into counting. He counts everything. The good news is that Guy has learned to count to ten. The unfortunate news is that he has also learned to count to eleven. And apparently eleven sounds like seven.  And when you say seven you also have to say eight nine ten… eleven… and well eleven sounds like seven…
Guy counting cheerios: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11…....8,9,10….11……8,9,10…11….8,9,10… 
Twelve is so close. So. Close.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

To Go

I’m not sure of the physics about it but I’m quite positive that it’s a law of nature that the faster I need to go- the slower my kids move. I’m trying to race out of the house because we are on the fringe of arriving on time for something- and the children that I have seen race like horses all of a sudden move like molasses. “Let’s Go!” I will say. Joey- put on your coat- I chuck it to him and he lets it fall on the ground. He too then crumples to the floor. Mittens that fit 12 hours ago are now too tight. Hats are itchy. Zippers don’t zip. Guy just stands looking out the sliding door- pensively lost in thought. “Let’s go!!” I say, gently nudging him with my foot as I hold a baby and wiggle her arm in her coat. The little artist is appalled I would ‘kick him’ and he too crumples to the floor.  

It’s really quite concerning because they instantly become blind as well. “Find your hat! Find your hat!” I yell as I run around putting diapers in my purse. Guy stands in the living room, “can’t find it. Just can’t find it.” He says shrugging his shoulders as it lays 12 inches away from his toes. “LOOKDOWN!!” I yell from the other room. Guy looks down and remembers he would like to try to complete that puzzle over there on that table. Joey walks over to help him find a piece. “Let’s go!” I yell running around finding my shoes, the baby’s shoes, Guy’s shoes and Joey’s shoes.

Their fingers go limp. Their bodies go limp. One lies down on the floor. “LET”S GO!” I yell stuffing one foot, two feet, three feet, six feet into shoes. I hold their hands and stand them all up. Joey sits down. He thinks he sees a cheerio under the couch.
“We’re going!” I call as I run around  and turn off coffee pot, unplug toaster, turn off light, light, light and other light. A shoe is off someone’s sock was bunched. “Let’s go!” I say as I fix the sock, the shoe, straighten the coat and kiss the face.

“Let’s go!” I call as I open the door, holding a diaper bag, another bag, one blankie, two blankie, a baby, keys, phone and coffee. Joey walks to the door. Guy crawls to the door. Joey thinks that looks like fun so they both crawl to the door. I nudge them with my foot. “Let’s go!... let’s go!! LET”S GO!!” Everyone out. Shut the door, lock the door. One hat, two hat, three hats, one kid, two kid, three kid, coffee. Diapers. Phone. Keys. Kids? Kids. Let’s go. All to get out the door.



Sunday, February 19, 2012

Gym

Yesterday evening we went out with some friends to take our kids to this HUGE gymnastics gym complex so they could play. This time is called “open gym” and they just open up all the elements and trampolines and mats and everything and basically 100 kids go wild all over from 6 to 8pm. The idea is that it’s just supervised (barely) free play.  There is also a section for kids 4 and under (you know- so they don’t get knocked out by an eight year old trying to dismount from the rings) but Joey and Guy decided that section was basically for babies. (It was- that was the point). So they deferred with their cousin to the ‘big gym’. They loved it. Foam pits, trampolines, mats to do somersaults (or wrestling) on…

Guy looked like a little bunny on a freeway- he was zigging and zagging between kids that were actually doing routines on the floor mat- ducking under balance beams, chasing people around the pommel horse.  And Joey was just super intense. I think he thought he was competing for something. What it was he’s still unsure of. He just knew he wanted to be the best. The highlight for both was when husband Joe did backwards 360 somersaults on the trampoline and almost hit the ceiling with his feet.  Every kid watching was spell bound. They thought he was god. I thought we were going to get kicked out. I started packing up the diaper bag in preparation. But apparently they’re pretty relaxed in this gym. Every one signed a waiver. So we got to stay. Elena spent the evening building up her immunity as she went around in the 'baby' section sucking on all the floor mats that all these strange kids had their bare feet and sweat all over. I’m sure that was super healthy.

I’m not kidding though- it was the best Saturday night… I got to visit with my dear friend, our children ran around nonstop for 2 hours and burned off at least 19%  of their energy. And at one point I looked over and Guy was just running around in no direction in particular frantically shaking his head and waving his arms wildly...
And if that’s not pure fun I don’t know what is.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Talking

Joey talks. He is three and a half years old and he talks and talks and talks. He talks about rain and clouds and snow and penguins and the moon (can you see the moon now? now?..now?) and elephants and books and school and colors and Elmo and bananas and walking and mailboxes and who looks like who and what is this is for and what that is for and where God lives and where the blue train is and forts and friends and the orange slide the orange cat the orange light or is it yellow?

I love it. I almost can’t get enough of hearing about what is going on in his head. And I am so excited that he seems to have a white knuckle grip on English and thrilled that Guy, now two and some months, is learning as well. It is all so funny the way the words come out garbled a bit- as he stumbles through a darkened room of language feeling for the switch- it’s fascinating. And if I stop vacuuming the floor and I lower my head to the height of his head and put everything into context- I understand that Guy is saying not “hairs the frakon bush” but “where’s the dragon book?” and if I know that ‘nananers’ is actually bananas and an elle fa dent is an elephant and that ‘non nee’ is actually for night night which refers to his blanket—then-well- we understand each other just fine.

It is frustrating yes- when Guy stamps his foot repeating the same thing 10 times in a row and I can’t figure it out. Or when I do the very same thing to him. But most of the time (at least some of the time) he is like a little foreign traveler picking up a granny smith. Bapple? He asks. Apple. Yes.
Shruck? Yes. Truck. And Joey and Guy both spend all day taking in information about this world and repeating it back to me. And I know one day they will be discussing theology and mathematics and music and ideas and have all the words to say whatever they wish. And all the 'elfadents' and 'flutterbyes' will be long gone.  

But not today. And not tomorrow.
Yesterday I gave Guy his freshly washed blankie. “Non nee For Guy?!” He asked
“For you” I said
“Because you ‘I love you’ me?” He smiled.
“Yes. Because I ‘Iloveyou’ you.” Very. Very. Much.


All in One Place

So in my attempt to consolidate most of my writings about my life- I pulled my updates off of facebook (from Jan-last nov). Now they are all here in one place! All those little thoughts about my little family.  Except for those moments that I scribble in my journal as I remember them as I fall asleep. But those are just for me...

Nov 2011/Jan 2012
*Today we were driving in the car. I normally play instrumental music in the car because I find that we just don't need more voices talking, but today I had the radio on. All of a sudden the host interrupts the music. Joey hears the low voice and says, "MOM!! I think I hear GOD! Is this GOD!!??" .... You all have NO idea how much I had to restrain myself from saying "why yes- it is!"

*Husband Joe's book on canoeing the boundary waters classifies each trip (route? pass?) - into one of three categories. "Easier" , "Challenging" or "Most Rugged" ... I decided to classify my days raising children into three categories too.
"Fun-Messy", "Unusually Productive", and "Most Rugged." Today was most rugged.

*Ellie girl can stand by herself for up to 45 seconds (yes we've timed : ) and walks around holding on to couches, tables, chairs and people. At some point, I've realized, she will actually have to wear shoes. I have two pairs of shoes she's outgrown and has never worn. I just can't bring myself to put my baby in shoes. I feel like I'd be giving her a driver's license. I'm being a bit dramatic. I know. They're just shoes. We do live in freezing Minnesota. She will one day have to enter into a public building I suppose. and it is the socially acceptable thing to do-sigh. but her feet are just so cute. and little. It's the - 'not that little for that much longer'- thing that gets me.

*Whenever I read a rhyming book to the kids- one that has a really good rhythm- Joey will nod his head forcefully to the cadence of the poem. -- He DOES have a gene of mine!! I just love that boy. (and other boy. and girl. : )

*So I'm making dinner and the boys are jumping around and bouncing off the walls in the next room. Suddenly it gets quiet for a minute and I hear Joey say, "GuyGuy-I need a knife. Please hand me that knife." --- and my maternal radar just shoots through the roof and I go running into their room yelling- "STOP STOP!!" ...
Turns out the 'knife' is a block and they are pretending to chop wood. (Ellie's crib). Arg. Boys.

*I was trying to put pants on Guy and the whole time he was yelling, "FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT Tackle Joey Tackle Joey FIGHT!" - because I interrupted a (apparently) very important wrestling match between the two. This wrestling (and jumping and climbing and tackling) phase makes me nervous. I walk around all day saying in my mom voice, "someone's going to get hurt, boys, someone is going to get hurt" That's what I say. But I really mean, "Go ahead and wrestle. Enjoy every minute! I'm glad you're best friends!! Just please please please don't need stiches..."

*We walking down a hallway at church and Joey got very excited and pointed at the ground yelling, "ANT! ANT! I see an ant!" I looked at the little creature moving. And congratulated him on his good eyesight. Guy, who obviously did not see the ant, immediately pointed at the ground and yelled just as excitedly, "LOOK! MONKEY!! Look! I see a monkey!!!!!".....

*For three days now whenever we've been out and about, Guy tries to sneak handfuls of snow that he finds on the ground/parking lot into the car to save to "throw at Daddy." They always melt. He always cries. I've explained, and he's seen, but is remains resolute that he will be able to carry snow home. Half of me wants him to learn the lesson that it won't happen- and quickly! The other half wants to buy him his own little thermos...

*‎3.5 yr old Joey walked up to me this afternoon out of nowhere and says, "Mom. I think I would like some toast with butter on it. And maybe a little apple cut up on a plate." And I just looked at him. I managed to finally say, "sure! sounds good!" But what I was thinking was 'since when do you talk? and walk? and eat real food? and who are you calling mom?'.... this is all a bit confusing - this 'Children growing up'.

*Special one on one date with Guy today! I told him we could do whatever he wanted to do. (as long as it was in the house because Ellie was sleeping)... So what did we do? Walked around our home and destroyed everything! Couch cushions off, train tracks torn apart, knocked towers down, took every book off the shelf, blankets off beds.. I love GUY!!! what fun!

*Bedtime for the boys the boys has gotten a little out of control so we started to do the night routine and put them to bed- shut the door and not respond to any of their request for the rest of the evening. It was working just fine as I ignored them asking (screaming) for water, another book, a 50th hug, more toys, etc. Then Joey yelled, "AHHH! oh! MY CHEST!! OH! (long sigh-then faint whisper) ohhhhh my chest..." I was 99.9999% sure my three year old was not having a heart attack but of course I had to check. And I did. and He was fine. He asked for a snack. That stinker whom I love.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

For the Love of Books

Small children have great books. There are books that make sound when you turn the page, books that make sound when you push a button, books that make sound when you push on the monster’s stomach. There are board books and big books and little books and soft books. There are books to go in the bathtub and spiral bound books and books with little holes and peekaboo slots. There are books with trucks with eyes, and fish with clothes, and drawings and illustrations and paintings and watercolors. There are books with titles like, “Giraffe and a Half” and “Things that Go!”, “If You’re Happy”, and “The Little Blue Truck.”
The best part is that at least half of them are poems. Good poems. Rhyming rhythm poems. Poems I understand. Poems that rhyme “fiddle” with “diddle” and “wagon” with “dragon”. Real solid poems. Poems that make you nod your head to the beat as you read about who went up a hill with who and who fetched a pail of water.
Some people look down their noses at the simplicity. I totally embrace it. I can predict the endings! I can do all the voices so my children think I’m hysterical! I can finish the whole thing without falling asleep! I love it.
If we are having a rough day, frantic day, busy day (any day)- it is nice to spend all days ending in books. It is quite satisfying to end our day with simplicity. There are castles and kings and jungles and animals and whatever problem there is- it will all be solved in 10 pages of very large font.  And trains go in the station, and trucks to the garage, bears to their den, babies to bed. And we all say goodnight to the Moon.


Monday, February 13, 2012

Connecticut

I don’t think my children have a clear grasp on what Connecticut is. They can’t place it on a map. We only drive there once a year and it is a really really really long way away. They know someone important lives there. They are still unclear about whether it is Jesus. Or Grammie. They think planes are from Connecticut. And our local airport also might be. Poppey is Connecticut. So is Auntie Mimi. Connecticut might also be in our home when relatives come to visit. Connecticut is a white house says Joey. No. Guy will argue- Netticut is faaaaaaaaaaar. He stretches out his hands and spins around the room. As if we frequently spin ourselves over there.
Once on a road trip I had to stop at a seedy car mechanic shop to turn around. “mom.” Joey whispered. “I do not think this is Connecticut.”
Today I tell them Connecticut is a state. They look at me blankly. I tell them Connecticut is where mommy grew up. This explanation derails into a discussion about whether or not mommy ever had to grow up. “Nooooo” says Guy like I am being ridiculous.
Connecticut is where I am from I explain. Obviously I am lying they think. I am from the next room. I came into this room. To tell them it was lunch time. And answer questions about Connecticut.
What ‘Connecicut is’ fits into the same category that I file all questions they ask that I don’t have answers to yet.  Why can’t we see God? Why can’t we have eggnog in the summer? Where is the tiny yellow duck? No? Oh. The one you were playing with 3 months ago? I don’t know.
We live here. I say. And Connecticut is over there. I point somewhere in the distance. They look at where I’m pointing. (I can see Guy trying to place Connecticut on the couch). No. I wave my hand in a more metaphoric manner. Over there.  They look again. Joey squints.
Connecticut is far away I say.
And this will have to do. Connecticut is far away until it’s not. And we are sitting around the table with Grammie and reading a story with Poppey. Then- they don’t ask questions at all about Connecticut. It’s like it doesn’t even matter.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Crafty

On and off- the 15 home-made Valentines I tried to create with the boys for our relatives took approximately seven hours. We took breaks for time-outs, book reading, to find the scissors, dinner, and a time out for mommy. We switched from working in the living room to dining room to kitchen back to living room. I obviously wasn’t looking for perfection. Or even middle of the line quality. I was hoping for completion.  They did seem to have fun. Joey asked if we could make more “valentines day” tomorrow. I said maybe. Fun mommy stopped however when Guy tried to sneak all three glue sticks under his blankie to bring to bed. No.
 No.
 No. Everybody go to bed.  I love you. And you need to go to bed. Without Glue sticks. Time for bed.
 I love you.  



Friday, February 10, 2012

A Good Day!

We went to the indoor play gym today. Guy did not eat anything off of the floor or out of another kid’s hand. Joey did not need me to rescue him from the very top of the highest climbing element. Elena did not take off her socks more than 20 times. I remembered to bring lunch when we arrived, and to bring all the kids home when we left. It was a grand success!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Departure.

I stand in front of our van with two boys in winter coats and a girl in a snowsuit on my hip. I debate about which door to open first.  I decide on the big sliding side door- passenger side. I instruct Joey to climb in and over Ellie’s car seat to get to his. He does this every day. Maybe a few times a day.
“I can’t.” He says. (He can’t today). I tell him to try. (He can’t try he says) I tell him to crawl under on the floor. I tell Guy to climb in his car seat in the back. I pick Guy up to swing him in. He’s in. No he’s out. He needs something. A toy under the seat. He thinks there is a toy under the seat. I tell Joey to sit down in his seat. (He can’t he says). Guy- sit down in your seat. He needs a toy. I put Elena in her seat. She listens. I buckle her and tell Guy to sit down in his seat. I go around to the other side and open the other door and tell Joey to sit down in his seat. (He can’t he says) I say why and he’s not sure. I put him in his seat. I buckle him. I go back around to the other door to buckle Guy. (I curse vans with bench seats).
 I buckle Guy. Joey cries he wants a toy. Ellie cries because Joey cries. Guy kicks off his shoe. I remember my bag is lying down in front of the car I go get it and put it in the passenger seat. I close the doors and go around the car and get in my seat. I buckle myself. (At least someone can buckle themselves).  Two are crying. No. Three are crying. Guy needs his shoe. No. I don’t understand. He neeeeeedddddddddssss his shoe. I unbuckle. I walk around. I open door I find a shoe. I put on his shoe. He also would like to get out now. And the mitten he sees. And the other toy. I shut the door. Go back around. Open other door. Give Joey the straw that he saw on the ground and wanted to hold. I get in my side. I buckle. I give Ellie a blanket.  I try to find my keys. I worry I’m locked out. I remember I’m sitting in the car. I find my keys.  I start the car.
“I’m tired!” I announce.
“You’re TIGER!?!” Guy yells from the back.
“No. TIRED!” I yell.
“Guy’s not a tiger” He yells to clarify. “Guy’s a monkey.”
“okay MONKEY.” I yell.
“NO. Not Mommy.MONKEY” he yells.
“OKAY MONKEY” I yell.
“OKAY TIGER!!” yells Guy.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Working on It


I was teaching Joey to recognize and write different numbers so I was writing each one very slowly on a piece of paper. He was sitting next to me, and I thought he was catching on. With each number I flippantly made up a little rhyme like “make a triangle, then one line MORE, - that is how you make a FOUR.” Or “ make a top circle, then down one LINE, that is how you make a NINE.”
 I thought he was getting it then I wrote a seven and said, “Across the sky and down from heaven, that is how you make a _______” I looked at him expectantly.
“…. Piano??...??” He asked hesitantly.

"Wellllll..... no."

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Party!

I’m pretty sure someone is going to throw up tonight. We went to a super bowl party at a friend’s house to watch the game. However there was no watching the game, and my kids didn’t understand the concept of super bowl. So it was just a ‘superparty’- as Guy kept saying. The men all watched in the garage. The women all had the tv on in the house- but we just chatted. And the kids watched the food. Oh the food. I think combined Joey and Guy ate at least 6 cupckaes, a bag of chips, carrots, two pieces of pizza, chips double dipped in all the dips, cookies, maybe chicken?, and drank out of every single abandoned cup of water they could find. At least they ate carrots. Right? I’m pretty sure at least one kid ate one carrot…I think I saw one lick a carrot. Totally counts. There was also blue frosting suspiciously up Guy’s nose.
At one point Guy spit something out on the floor that he had been chewing (probably a chicken wing. Probably too spicy). Husband Joe told him not to do that. That that was gross. Please pick that up. So Guy did. Then promptly re- ate it. I caught Joey walking around in the kitchen hand high on the counter way above his visual range just grabbing at whatever food he could find. You would think we hadn’t fed them in months.
But, you see, those attentive little children just sense when attention is split. There was tv, there were people, there was a chance that mom wouldn’t notice that we can drag a stool over to the counter to eat all this food. Allllllllll this food.
At the end of the night their hair was a bit frazzled. Guy didn’t even have a shirt on. (I’m still unclear why)- their eyes looked a bit too sparkly. I at first thought it was because of the tight finish of the Giants in the 4th quarter. No. it was the speeding of the sugar train, combined with a late bedtime. A perfect storm.
We got everyone home, jammies on- teeth brushed, teeth brushed again by daddy correctly- and everyone in bed and lights off- before sugar crash officially happened.  Amazing.
Tomorrow is detox. I think we’ll only eat celery and lima beans all day. Unless Guy finds the blue frosting still in his hair. He’ll eat that too.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Bedtime

Every night that I put the boys to bed we sing four songs. The two that are always the same are “Away in a Manger” and “We Wish you a Merry Christmas”. (Beats me! We started this tradition long before Christmas. I am just the singer.) During Away in A Manger Guy talks the whole way through insisting that Baby Jesus wants a pillow too not a manger. Joey shhhes him the entire song. During We Wish You A Merry Christmas- Guy climbs on top of his older brother and hugs him. Every night. This song. The whole way through. I’m a bit tired of Christmas Carols. But not of this! I  hope when Joey is 45 and carolers come knocking at his door he will always always always think of his brother.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Game Time

When we play games with the kids we kind of just let the winner/loser thing happen. I’m not super big on cushioning the blow of losing to my toddlers. I figure the less of the big deal I make it. The less of the big deal it’ll be.  ( Na├»ve right? Let’s see how long that will last…) So they lose about half the time we play a non-strategic game.  2 year old Guy couldn’t care less- Joey is just starting to develop the ‘winning is always better’ thought.

 Joey and Guy were sitting down this evening playing a board game “Zingo”- very similar to Bingo. When the chips weren’t being thrown all over the floor-by Mr. Free Spirit- and being frantically picked up by Mr. Type A, they were actually having a fun time. I watched as the game was ending and Guy won. “You won Guy!” I congratulated him. “Great game!”

“Wait.” Joey clarified. “Guy just won first
He used the rest of the chips to quickly cover his board.
“And now I win second!”

A win/win sounds good to me.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Funny Thing

I have no idea when each of my children got their first tooth. Can’t remember for the life of me and it definitely did not occur to me to write it down. I did write down the date of Joey’s first joke however. He was just over two years old. He asked for a fork and I handed him one. He looked at me sideways then a smile came over his face and said, “Thank you…fork.” He just about fell out of his tiny chair laughing. His little body shaking with joy and pride that he had thought to replace the word “mom” with “fork”. I laughed at his cleverness too- thinking my first born must be a genius and made a mental note to check out the Schools for the Talented and Gifted in my area.
Since then his humor has advanced. Slightly. Collisions, smashing, falling (of anything/one other than himself) - brings gales of glee. He pretends to accidently put a shoe on the wrong foot- bringing uninterrupted hilarity for a full three minutes. Any noise he can make with his body is equally hysterical.

I can’t wait until he is old enough to grasp more strains of humor.  I am so looking forward to puns, a quick wit in dialogue, lighthearted sarcasm, understanding of irony,..etc.  But you know, these years- it is so easy to make him smile. Guaranteed if I go into his bedroom right now and pretend to trip on something while walking through the door- he’ll laugh like I am a comedic genius. Joy is just one funny face away. And I wouldn’t trade that for the world. Or even for a full 8 hours sleep.  


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

All of This

I was out with a friend a while back for a play date at a park. We were chatting- and she casually remarked, “Yeah- Kids! They sure humble you!”
At the time of this comment (completely coincidently I’m sure), one of my children was lying face down on the gravel, for the 6th time in 10 minutes wailing about something – (ants?....pants?...)- and the other was stripping off his shirt on the top of the slide- his shoes had already been flung over a few other children waiting their turn.

Yes. I wholeheartedly agree. Although I am more proud of my children than anything/one else-those three certainly humble me.  Just when I think I’ve probably gotten most of it figured out- (“it”- you know- raising humans) – they prove me wrong. Or my pediatrician proves me wrong. Like when he said to the boys, “Please stop throwing rocks in my office…” And the other day the boys were playing so nicely in their room- I peeked in and watched them pretending to drive to the grocery store, the library etc.. All of a sudden I hear one brother scream at the other, “GET IN THE CAR! Get in the car NOW!! We are late to Bible Study!!!” ….Oh. So they did hear me the other morning.  

And I have been known to yell. Or to not pay attention. Joey came up to me the other day and put his hands on both of my cheeks. “No Mom. Watch. Watch me do this. Don’t just say ‘cool’.”
I give them oatmeal raisin cookies before 8am on occasion. (Because it has the words ‘oatmeal’ and ‘raisin’ in the name.) I raise my voice more often than I would like. Naptime and nighttime are periodic disasters.

“I cannot parent perfectly” I said to myself after losing my temper for no good reason at my kids and sending everyone to their rooms. And this is true-but I can try again to parent more wisely. And bravely. And kindly. And then we apologize and forgive and do it all again the next day.

I do not believe in ‘perfect parents’ (a myth I assume), but I do believe in ‘taking my best shot at a real good effort’. Because I am fully convinced that children are tiny souls entrusted to us. They are listeners and imitators, truthful (mostly) and confusing (often). They are joyful and loving, instinctual and unpredictable. They are brazenly uncensored and inspiring.
 All of this!!” I think to myself.
 “All of this!!...” I say to my 2 year old, as I pick him up to wipe peanut butter off his face.
All of this wrapped in 32 inches, 32 pounds and size five diapers.