I heard rumors of this rough-housing but I honestly had never really experienced it myself before now. I don't know if I have just had my head in the sand for decades or what.
The other night I came home from a brief respite away from my children (which landed me in the Washington Post) to my husband sitting on the couch, visibly exhausted.
K: What happened? Are you okay?
D: I'm fine. Your children are crazy.
K: I know. What did they do now?
D: They were jumping from the ottoman to the couch to my head back to the couch back to the ottoman.
K: That sounds about right.
D: For 15 minutes.
D: Without stopping.
K: Uh huh.
D: Then we wrestled on the floor for another 15 minutes.
K: Uh huh.
D: Didn't you run them today?
K: Like one would, say, run a dog? No. I did not.
D: They were crazy.
K: And the baby?
D: He so looked like he wanted to be in the middle of everything.
K: That's my boy.
D: I'm too old for this.
K: Me too.
Nate woke up the next day with scratches across his face and what appeared to be a bruised nose. Ethan had a scratch behind his ear and something going on with his forehead. When I asked them both if their injuries hurt, they looked at me like I was crazy. I promptly cut their nails. And this one? I think we may have more of the same.
You ever have one of those days when you can't get anything done even though you are trying to just get one thing done? Before you know it, your children have the Costco-sized tub of animal crackers under the dining room table and you don't even care. You relieve your guilt with the memory that they are ORGANIC animal crackers and they really don't have very much sugar in them. Of course a serving size is probably 6 or 7 cookies and your kids cruised through that number at 9:45 this morning. It's now 2:50.
You remembered to offer them lunch but you didn't crack the whip when they turned a lunch option down. I too would like grilled cheese sandwiches but somehow we ran out of bread. It seems slightly INSANE to wake the baby up just to go to the store to get some bread. Corn tortillas with peanut butter and jelly for anyone that can stomach them!! At 3:30!! Of course there is nothing for dinner either but that is hours away. You really have to get these documents proofed before sending them to the printer. Four business days for proofing, seven business days for printing and you are right on the edge of the $100 rush charge.
Suddenly it's dinner time and Dad is home and I did clean the kitchen but the house looks like it was the victim of a classroom full of rookie cops on their first search warrant. I sat down beside Nate at the counter and offered him a lovely bowl of pork, rice and beans. He ate the first ten bites before he went all crazy demanding his milk. Then he refused to eat anymore.
This picture? His passive resistance. It was awesome. I wish I could fit my entire body on the top of a stool.
As a parent, do you ever to that calculation of how many bites equals enough nutrition to get your child through another day?
Lately I have been worrying a little about Nate's walking situation. He has a fairly pronounced toeing-in and the poor child trips at least 10 times a day. The doctor says it's no big deal and we have to wait and see if it gets better when he gets a little older.
He doesn't seem to mind that he trips all the time but I feel really horrible for him. Even though the doctor says that shoes will not fix his problem, I wanted to find some lightweight sneakers that would give his feet some support. Trouble is, those really nice sneakers cost $60. You read that right. I have the mother's guilt, so I almost did it. The only problem? My children's feet tend to grow in the fall. So do I really want to buy $60 shoes that might only fit for two months?
I did what any mother of our generation does. I just bought Nate two pairs of shoes on Ebay. I know, I know. The people propagating that whole "kids shouldn't wear used shoes" are more than welcome to send me new shoes. There were two pairs and they looked barely worn (see above regarding fast growing feet).
They fit and they are awesome. All except the part where Ethan spends at least 20 minutes every day trying to pry his feet into one of the pairs of "new, really fast shoes."
K: They don't fit you.
Ethan: Momomomomomom. I want new shoes. These shoes fit me.
K: Ethan, they don't fit you. You wore that size two years ago.
I looked down to see his feet practically folded in half to fit in the sneakers. And now I can't seem to find any "new, really fast shoes" on Ebay in his size. Just my luck, right? I have no idea why the shoes are such a hot item. They have laces. Who makes shoes with laces for 2-year-olds? Clearly someone who has never had children or someone with too much time on their hands.
Gotta run. Gotta go find a pair of used/new sneakers for Ethan. I hope this isn't how they will be about girlfriends in 15 years.
Ethan has decided he wants a cat. I have absolutely no idea where this brilliant idea originated but I began to push back as soon as I first heard it. It is complicated enough to find someone to watch your hundred pound dog when you go away for the night without having to ask someone to clean out a litter box too.
Okay, I'm not a cat person. I'll admit it. I'm not a pet person in general. This is a great disappointment to my in-laws and apparently a greater disappointment to my small children. My love affair with the dog ended the second time he ate the rib eyes off the counter. Grant it, if it happened twice then clearly it was my fault. It did not make the cereal dinner in lieu of steak for dinner go down any better on either of those nights. Add a cat to that? I am certain that if we got a cat, it would be feisty and wouldn't behave. I hardly think that I need another surly, misbehaving entity in my house.
Ethan doesn't care about my position. I had to go the Mom-route.
Ethan: Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom. I want to get a cat.
K: Ethan, we can't get a cat.
Ethan: But I WANNNNNT one.
K: We aren't getting a cat. You barely take care of the dog.
Ethan: Mom. I feed Zinni every day.
It's true. He actually is very good about taking care of the dog. Perhaps even better than the rest of us.
Derek: Ethan, you can get a cat when you get older and can be responsible for it.
Ethan: When will I be old enough?
Derek: When you are ten (clearly picking a random number out of his head).
Ethan: TEN???? No. I can take care of a cat now.
Derek: When do you think you should be allowed?
Ethan: When I'm six.
Derek: We will discuss it when you are six.
Ethan: Dad. Six is a long time away. How will I remember to ask when I am six?
Derek: You are very smart. And you have a very good memory.
Ethan: I know how I can remember, Dad. If we talk about it EVERY DAY, then I'll remember when I turn six.
I'm thinking it might be less painful to get a cat now than to discuss it every day for the next year and a half. What do you think?
The funniest thing is happening at my house. We still can't seem to make it one night without at least one or two kids waking up in the middle of the night. You are thinking, "you have a baby. Of course you shouldn't expect to sleep." You are also thinking, "didn't you already write about this just last week?" And you would be right on both counts. Let's just say that sleep or sleeplessness, to be exact, would be on my mind these days.
In the last week or so we have gotten into this crazy cycle of only 1 1/2 hours of peace and quiet at night before someone is crying to eat, crying because he is hot or crying because the hall light is supposed to be on but then some parent forgot the new light requirement and turned it off. You know those sticker charts for kids to do their chores? We parents need one for lights and drinks and temperature and specific blankets and baby dolls. Of course that sticker chart for parents would have to be a fluid document because the baby doll requirement changed for tonight from the leopard to the tiger. I made the mistake of washing the required blanket and not drying it in time so I had to make a last-minute substitution that will most likely violate the required night time body temperature. This is because the thought of kicking off the blankets will never cross this child's mind.
And that baby who got his first cereal? Yeah, it didn't make him sleep any better because his tummy was fuller (you deceiving Internet that made me promises). In fact, he woke up more because it gave him constipation. In case you are wondering, that means I have an extra problem to add to this vicious night cycle where I currently find myself. But when your baby looks like this, you somehow don't really mind.
If you are wondering why his mouth is purple, it is gentian violet. Gentian violet is natural solution to baby's thrush. It also stains his mouth this awesome purple for three days.
We are having a bit of a sleep dilemma over here. It is 10:00 p.m. right now and I can hear the patter of little feet in the room above me. There was an incident involving a late afternoon nap that I normally would have not allowed, but I was tired myself. My friend asked if I was sure I wanted to let Nathan take a nap. I knew I shouldn't do it but I just couldn't take the talking or whining or shouting any more. I let him go to sleep.
Then I fell asleep. I must have been tired because I woke up two hours later. Three out of four of us slept for the whole two hours. Mason? His brothers had awakened him all morning and he couldn't find a decent enough piece of grass to sleep on when we were outside this afternoon. As a result, he fell asleep and he did it right.
With school starting soon, I know I should be getting into the right sleep routine with naps and bed times. I just can't do it this week. How are your pre-school schedules going?
It finally happened. I don't consider us true rule followers but we do try to roll with the norms. The pediatrician said we could feed Mason some cereal if we thought he was hungry even though he was not six months old yet.
I should be happy we made it to one day before his 5-month-old birthday before his father fed him for the first time. Maybe I should mention how his father tried to give him "ice cream" at the Tasty Freeze when he was a month old. It was as if I was a superhero as I threw my body in between the offending ice cream moving in slow motion toward my precious little newborn.
K: What are you DOING?
D: I think he wants some ice cream.
K: What makes you think that?
D: Look at his eyes. He wants it.
K: He just learned to focus on things further than 6 inches away from his face only 3 days ago. It's called focusing, not jones-ing for nonfat ice milk.
D: It won't hurt him.
K: At this rate we should stop at the store and get some non-organic milk for the boys to drink.
D: Okay. I won't give him any.
I don't think the universe is going to implode because we gave the baby cereal when he was five months old. I did probably ruin his chances of getting steak off his father's plate this week though. I hope.
We have been really busy this week, cleaning things up and looking for ways to simplify our lives. That includes putting unused things on craigslist. You really can't beat the concept of putting a picture of something on the internet and then giving a complete stranger your home address so they can come to your house at 11:00 pm and ask if you will take $100 for that treadmill that they said they would purchase for $300.
In our house, it is a feat of nature for anyone to part with anything. You never know when you are going to need that set of golf clubs that haven't been used in the entire seven years I have known you. Maybe, just one day, I might want to golf. So recently when a dear friend gave us two sets of loft beds, I got nervous. I know you can't imagine why. I'm sure I'm overreacting about the five times I have gone to the emergency room. But tonight we decided that perhaps we were at least four more years out for the little one to sleep in a loft so we should get rid of one of the beds. I whipped out my camera to take the obligatory photo for the ad. The camera was handy because I had just been taking pictures of the boys playing nicely. I wanted to have a memory on paper of that moment since I had spent the better part of the afternoon screaming at them for beating each other with a plastic pump that I kept taking away from them and hiding.
My husband grabbed my hand as I went off to the computer.
"Be sure you post the picture of the BED on craigslist and the picture of the KIDS on Supersisters."
I think he was joking though I really can't be sure.
First off, I would like to say that I get it. If you are thinking that I am unable to see the look of terror that is constantly on my youngest's face when I post pictures, I want you to know that I see it. Not only do I see it, I spend every single day protecting him from the savages that are his brothers. In the defense of his brothers, I seem to be unable to catch a shot of the baby when he is laughing in sheer delight and joy at some silly thing a brother is doing to capture his attention.
But back to our regularly scheduled topic of Friendship Day. Which was actually yesterday. I was talking to Ethan about friendships and we discussed his friend Harrison. Then I mentioned that his brother Nate was his friend too. He quickly corrected me to say that his brother is his BROTHER, not his friend. I laughed because he and his brother Nathan play as well together as he does with his friend Harrison. Lately I have discovered that everything is very clear-cut when you are four. You are either one thing or another. You feel one thing or another. There is no middle ground at four. So I am here to tell you that Nate is NOT HIS FRIEND but is his brother. I didn't even bother to ask about the little one.