This is actually a hug of love. If the middle one was holding him, we would have to keep a closer eye on things. Nathan has taken to giving his baby brother Mason huge hugs that knock the wind out of him. I have taken to carrying the baby everywhere and never putting him down. You know those parents that say crazy things like "Billy loves his brother soooo much" and then you look over and wonder, if only for a second, if Billy has murder on his mind?
That would not be me. I'm not that parent. I know that my second born is extremely annoyed at the entrance of his brother. It's not that he was particularly clingy before Mason was born, but Nathan is definitely irritated now by the fact that I am irritated all the time. I can tell it is my fault. If I stop screaming for even a second, everyone is cheery. I am just getting tired of pulling people off of the top of the fridge or out of the baking cabinet.
Go on and eat that baking soda. See if I care.
No, wait. I don't want to clean up that mess. And I know someone will vomit, just to annoy me. Can't you keep that baking soda down, for heaven's sake? And the milk pouring? I feel like I need to take this kid to Montessori. Age appropriate, developmentally appropriate, blah, blah, blah. I don't care if he pours his milk. It's the $4.50 worth of milk on the floor that annoys me.
I know. What was I thinking going to the bathroom again? Tomorrow I'll be instituting liquid holdback/forced dehydration or I could always get a catheter.
This post could also be filed under "things you never thought would come out of your mouth in your lifetime." So fess up. If you have more than one, did you delusionally think your older child was in love with the younger? It's okay, this is a safe place to confess. I promise not to point and laugh.
We also want to remind everyone about the transition to Digital TV that happens on June 12. Although if you haven't heard about it by now, you probably shouldn't be surprised when your t.v. goes to snow on the 12th. :-)
"Who tried to push this bar of soap down the drain?"
"Why is there potting soil in the pasta collander in the sink? How am I going to drain the pasta for lunch in a minute?"
"I left you for three minutes to take a shower. Why is your brother in a completely different outfit?"
"Get down from the top of the fridge. NOW!"
"You can't put anything out the window. Not even your head."
"Where did you find that red marker? I thought I threw ALL the markers away."
"Why is there red marker on the couch?"
"You can't climb into the dish washer."
"Stop trying to ride the dog. He isn't a horse and that isn't nice."
"Get out of your brother's crib."
"I'm going to the bathroom. Keep your brother alive until I come back."
"Why are there three empty bottles of hand soap in the bathroom sink?"
"No, you can't flush toilet paper down the toilet if you don't go to the potty in the toilet."
"What happened to your diaper?"
"Is this poop on your pillow?"
"How could you have lost the remote to the car DVD player in one day?"
"The next person that I find standing on the counter goes in time out."
"Where did you get that chocolate bunny and why are you hiding under the dining room table?"
"A toothbrush is for your teeth."
"Am I going to have to get rid of all the chairs on this floor AGAIN??"
"Stop trying to pour your own milk. It's a full gallon and you are two. Just ask mom for help."
"Who broke the lock on the fridge?"
That was just since Sunday. What have you said this week?
The funniest thing about babies is that a baby's specific size is just a comparison to something else. Yesterday I walked past a woman with a baby that looked to be a couple of weeks younger than Mason. The baby girl's head was proportionate to her body, not like Mason. She was a little baby and her head seemed so little. Her mother commented to someone else that the baby had grown so much. All I kept thinking was that Mason was never that little.
Then someone commented about how little Mason was. The woman asked what he weighed when he was born. "9 lbs, 3 oz." I replied. She was shocked. I then heard the familiar refrain. "What a big baby. I guess I had forgotten how little babies are when they are born."
My oldest is only four, but it seems that this never ends.
"He's so tall for his age."
"He's so skinny for his age."
And don't even get me started about comparisons WITHIN the family. Even I am slightly guilty of this (as in, "your brother could hike a mile when he was your age. Why do I have to carry you after 40 feet?").
My boys are who they are. I don't think they will be 30 years old, talking about how tall they were when they were 4. Maybe they will. I don't know. But sometimes I wonder if all the comparison conversation isn't just a waste of time. They grow up so fast. Maybe we should talk about it less and enjoy them more. What do you think?
Everything they told me is true. If I thought I was losing my mind with two boys, this third one has officially done me in. The preschool teacher, mother of four girls, asked me how I was doing. She said it was the third one that brought the chaos. She thought it would get crazier with her fourth, but she said that it was just the same. She said that she could have had 10 kids and it wouldn't have made a difference. That all sense of sanity was gone at three. Once gone, you can't lose any more.
To be fair, my third one is a dream. Look at that precious face. He isn't the one driving me crazy these days. It is just that I only have two arms and now I have three boys. There was an incident yesterday involving a window and a toddler and a preschooler. It ended okay. Dad nailed the windows shut and we are back to square one.
One foot in front of the other. One day at a time.
We are a little obsessive-compulsive over here about littering. Okay, maybe I'm the crazy one. There was this one time that I may have pulled my car over to go retrieve a candy wrapper that flew out the window. Hey! We only have one earth. We need to take care of it. I seem to have passed this on to my children because someone in my family was very concerned when I threw a strawberry stem on the lawn just the other day.
It was a great opportunity then this weekend to take part in our neighborhood cleanup day. I didn't think there would be much to clean up. Unfortunately the boys were able to collect about 3 bags of trash down at the end of the street. They were so pumped up by the time we got home because we had made a difference where we live. Now if only I could get them to be so enthusiastic about cleaning their rooms.
Also, you can check out Halle Stanford, the great mind behind Sid the Science Kid over here.
Earth Day is just around the corner and here are some ideas for teaching your kids about being better stewards of our planet. Don't miss our great giveaway at the bottom of the post.
1. Plant a garden. Everyone's doing it. Even the First Lady was out with elementary kids planting a new garden at the White House with herbs and vegetables a few weeks ago. If you live in an apartment, your kids can start a herb garden by a window. We have even grown tomatoes inside. My kids? Their father had them out in the rain the other evening because the seed potatoes had arrived and they just had to be put in the ground. Thirty minutes later everyone came back into the house, muddy but happy.
2. Start a compost bucket. No reason to fill up the trash can with items that can be "recycled." In our house we have an easy-to-open bucket that is easy-to-seal as well (important because you don't want your house to smell). Every morning the boys add the coffee grinds and egg shells to the bucket all by themselves. When it fills up, it gets dumped in the compost pile in the back (full of grass clippings and leaves}. After proper seasoning (determined by the expert, my husband), the compost gets turned into the ground in our garden.
3. Fly a kite. Funny idea, right? There is a method to my madness. Derek took the boys kite flying and used it as an opportunity to get some of their energy out and to explain alternative energy sources such as wind turbines. He also has an idea for connecting a small motor to a bicycle to have the boys generate power for some of our house but that's still in the works. I'll let you know when it happens.
4. Buy local. There is nothing that tastes better than a tomato that has just been picked from a vine. Not all of us have a green thumb (or space for a big garden), so heading out to your local farmer's market on the weekend is a great way to get super-fresh vegetables AND support the people who farm in your area.
5. Have your kids draw a picture or make a painting and contribute it to the Annual Kids' Day Earth Auction. This year PBS Supersisters are lending a hand on Earth Day and inviting you to join our kids in submitting art to the Annual Kids' Day Earth Auction and bidding on your favorite finds. This year all the proceeds go to The Nature Conservancy and in honor of the auction we'll be giving away a book a day from the delightful Barefoot Book series. All you have to do is follow us on Twitter (pbssupersisters) and help spread the word about the auction. We'll select a new winner from our Twitter followers everyday for the next nine days.
More information available here about being part of this great cause.
She put the sticker on to the long pink strip. I held my arm out, without thinking.
"I see you know the drill," as she placed the bracelet bearing my son's name on my arm. "Welcome back, Miss Hammond," she said with a sigh.
We were back in the emergency room, this time with a gash in his face where Ethan met the wrong end of a rather large stick. Come to think of it, is there really a right side of a stick? It was a complicated story involving a slide and boys being boys. Some said I jinxed myself earlier in the day when I yelled out the front door, "KNOCK IT OFF I DON'T WANT TO GO TO THE ER TODAY!!!"
I don't believe in jinxing but I do believe that you either have an ER child or you don't. This child of mine? He's practically a regular. So much so that the same doctor was on call that was on the last time he got stitches for the knife incident when he cut his pinky while making this elaborate pulley system with a box, a dog leash and a hook on the wall. When she walked into the exam room, he was jumping up and down on the bed because he had sent a paper airplane through the "uprights" represented by the bendy light that hangs from the ceiling.
"I see how you end up here. Could you please sit down on the bed?" He looked at her, heaved a big sigh and sat down on the bed. With amazing technique and what can only be described as an Easter miracle, the doctor gave him 9 stitches which only resulted in minimal crying. With that, he bound up and was asking for his popsicle. You know, the result of a bad day at the emergency room.
In the old days we would have dwelt on what could have been: punctured eyes or ears or something equally horrific. Now we just take it all in stride: thankful that the emergencies are little and that everyone is only slightly worse for the wear at the end of the day. But I'll have to admit that raising this boy is a full-time and rather tiring job without time off. Zzzzz.
I know it's developmentally appropriate for a two-year-old to enjoy pouring things and sorting things, but frankly, I'm over it. Wherever he goes, Nathan is pouring. Pouring water from sink to sink. Pouring powdered sports drink mix into his cheerios and then back into the drink mix container. Pouring chocolate chips into the popcorn (which is actually inspiring, yet highly inappropriate for a 7:30 a.m. breakfast). Pouring water over the side of the bathtub.
My mother was here last week and she let him do the dishes in the sink as I slept on the couch. Or should I say, I was totally and completely passed out on the couch from sheer exhaustion. Apparently he poured water from one sink to the other for an hour and twenty minutes. I'm not sure but I think that is equivalent to about a million years in the world of two-year-olds. He was delirious. That's the great thing about grandmothers: they don't mind cleaning up the huge puddles on the floor or changing the outfit three times because the boy was just too wet for his own comfort.
Marmie is gone now and I have resorted to removing all the chairs from the first floor of my house. No chair in front of the computer. No stools in the kitchen. No chairs around the dining room table. It sounds extreme, right? I'll put it in perspective for you. Today I found Nathan trying to reach the counter. He had found a box of pasta and was using it to get just a little bit more height. Now my removal of the chairs doesn't seem so ridiculous, right? He was desperate to get to the sink but I had just spent an hour cleaning the kitchen. I decided to give in and take the kids outside.
One hour, two shovels and a pile of dirt. It wasn't the same as pouring water onto the floor but it will have to do. I think he was happy.
This weekend I worked at a craft show. Since I have a three week old baby, he had to work the show too. I didn't think to ask him if he wanted to work. Maybe I should have. Either way, the entire weekend I had about a hundred people ask if they could buy the baby. It's funny how babies are such a crowd stopper. He was a champ but it took lots of juggling to be Suzy Sales AND feed a baby that has some nursing issues. Nursing issues such as a complete and utter lack of a desire to latch, which leads to lower weight gain and general baby drama.
I had to laugh because people kept asking if he was a good baby. As opposed to a bad baby? What makes a "bad" baby? Mason is certainly an easy baby if you get over that whole problem of trying to figure out how to sell shirts and pump milk every two hours. Maybe some people would think that makes him a "bad" baby. He was relatively easy to please and didn't cry too much. In fact, we were able to put him down in a crate of baby clothes for a few minutes and he slept. Well, he slept like a baby. After all the questions, I wished we could just refer to babies as "easy" or "not-so-easy" rather than bad or good. Because with faces like this, how could you ever think he was bad?