This weekend we traveled for work. We stayed 25 miles away from our destination in order to stay in a more affordable hotel with enough beds and space for everyone. You see, some people want to sleep together, some people need to sleep alone, some people need the light on, some people need complete darkness, some people barely sleep and some people sleep forever.
The time we were in a hotel and Nathan screamed from 12:30-2:30 in the morning is still fresh in our minds. We probably should just camp rather than ruin the sleep for everyone within two hotel rooms.
This time we played musical beds. Because of the long car ride, everyone ended up falling asleep in the car at 5:00 p.m. Can I tell you how much my heart stopped at that point. By the time we got to our destination, everyone was ready to go. Sure enough, it was 10:30 p.m. and everyone wanted to party like a rock star. We finally gave in and split the kids. The baby cried in his crib and the boys both chatted from their respective beds. I fell asleep in Nathan's bed in the middle of him describing something in great detail. I don't remember what it was.
Nathan kicked me in the head at 2 and I moved him to his own bed. Mason woke up when I moved Nathan and I brought him to bed with me. Ethan heard the ruckus and crawled into bed with Derek, who had moved out of Ethan's bed after he fell asleep. Derek put Ethan back into his bed. I put Mason back in his crib.
This went on for the next 5 hours. There really is nothing quite like your own bed, is there?
Alternate Title: How I will be tortured by another PBS Kids show.
Ethan: Momomomomomomomom. We have to watch Dinosaur Train.
K: Mmmm. Okay, whatever.
Ethan: PLEASE, Mom!
An hour later after watching the show he was on the computer, asking incessant questions about herbivores, carnivores and omnivores. For the next four hours. In his defense, how cool is it to be able to see a dinosaur's x-ray?
I hate to be a PBS commercial but this one is a big favorite in my house and now small children are speaking in minimums of three syllables. You can't knock that. Check your local listing and check it out.
I was feeling guilty enough for being at a fast food restaurant, let alone letting my kids play in the ginormous playland which could double as a petri dish of disease. Having gone so far over the edge, I broke down and bought them a kid's meal. Because it really means the world to them for their mother to buy the toy car for $4. I was so exhausted that I didn't notice they had taken their cars to play on the slides, which is always a recipe for disaster.
Ethan came over crying a few minutes later.
E: Momomomomomomomom. I sent my CAR down the SLIDE and now this BOY has it.
Oh, I can do crisis intervention. I turned around to see which surly child had deprived my precious son of his most prized possession. There was a little baby walking around with the car in his hand. His face said, "I can't believe this car fell right into my hands." Or more accurately, "CAR!!"
He was only about 15 months old. I told Ethan that this was just a baby with the car and that I would get it back. With Mason balancing on my hip, I went over to the little boy.
K: Hey, buddy. Can I get that car back? It belongs to Ethan.
He toddled away, completely oblivious to me. It was a classic boy moment. Look, shiny!!! I reached out with my flat open hand, trying to talk him into giving me the car back. He wasn't having any part of it. Because he was a baby and didn't understand. I toddled behind him with the open hand, trying to get him to offer it up. It was downright comical. I was busy trying to figure out what I could offer him to get the car back and I just kept offering my hand to get the car back. Suddenly his mother stormed up. And I do mean stormed.
She snatched the car from her son and slammed it in to my hand.
"You should have just ASKED ME AND I WOULD HAVE GOTTEN IT FOR YOU."
I was stunned. I stuttered back, "I was just asking him kindly for it." She slammed out of the restaurant with her poor child who hadn't even noticed what had happened because he saw a balloon painted on the window.
It's not like I screamed hysterically and yanked the car out of his hand. It's not like she used it as a teaching moment ("here, buddy, let's give this car back because it isn't ours), if you can even teach a BABY like that. It's not like I put him in time out or called Fast Food Security and reported a theft.
No less than 20 kids were in that playland. I'm sure there are some people that think I should have identified his mother (who was clearly not paying attention) to obtain this corrective action. I didn't because I didn't think I needed to. I was pretty sure I could get him to give the car back willingly. No harm, no foul, no big deal. I don't think I should have to ask a parent if I can ask their child for my son's toy back. If he hadn't given it back, we might have been in a different situation. I think that we have all gotten just a little too self-important and if our baby needs such protection, we should probably avoid fast food playlands in the future. It seems to me like this is a trend in parenting that heads down a wrong path.
Is it really a good idea for your mother to refuse to allow anyone to question you, even when you are a baby? I'm thinking if you feel that way when your baby is a baby, you probably won't be veering far off that program when your child gets older. The problem is, when you grow up, your boss isn't going to call your mother to ask her to break it to you gently that you have done something wrong or you could do better.
Although come college application essay time or salary negotiation for the first job, I'm sure she is going to be the best mom around to have.
Last weekend I was in Las Vegas for work. Mason came with me and my friend Jess brought her 10-week-old baby girl. On Tuesday night after work we decided to go see the Hoover Dam. I have seen Hoover Dam but I was hanging out with a group of friends who never had. Someone said, "we are going to the Hoover Dam at night and we are taking two babies?"
You know we did. Sure the babies tag-team cried for about 20 miles and we all contemplated jumping out of a moving vehicle at some point of the trip. But by golly we were all "Hoover Dam or bust." All it took was getting out of the car when we arrived and the babies were happy as can be. On the way home, the babies slept. Had we given up and turned around when they first started to cry, we wouldn't have gotten this awesome picture.
I can't be the only person to have done something like this? Am I?
Derek: Yes, Ethan.
Ethan: Daddaddaddad. Did you know that sometimes I drink Mason's binkie?
Ethan: I do. Momomomomomomom.
Kristen: Yes, Ethan.
Ethan: Moms don't drink the binkie, do they (very matter-of-factly).
Kristen: No. No, they don't.
Ethan proceeds to pop the binkie into his mouth.
And then he pulled the binkie out of his mouth and popped it back into his brother's mouth. I instantly thought horrible things like "why didn't he wait until we got to the playland today and licked the door handle before sticking that binkie into his mouth and then giving it back to his brother."
I didn't have the heart to tell him he was confusing nursing with a pacifier. In his defense, he hadn't had his milk yet and it was early in the morning. We had a long and involved discussion regarding the importance of washing one's hands constantly, coughing into one's sleeve, and closed the trifecta with a strong encouragement to refrain from PICKING ONE'S NOSE (or anyone else's, for that matter). It's the beginning of the school season and flu season. This year we have the H1N1 to worry about too.
So what are you doing to avoid the great booger exchange this fall?
Alas, summer is almost over. We have been having some cooler weather around here but I fear the 80's are coming back a few more times before the chilly nights settle in. Even so, there are lots of things to help your kids to start making the transition to fall.
1. Let them prune the shrubs. Oh, don't look at me like that. Everyone likes to wield a large pair of scissors. Give them the thrill of the week by letting them cut back those azaleas.
2. Make an apple pie. Sure we are still getting our apples from the big box store, courtesy of last year's harvest because the apples aren't quite ready yet here, but the only thing more fun than pruning is using a marble rolling pin. And bonus points for the mom who has a rolling pin for each boy.
3. Wax the car. I have no idea why this is a good idea but it seems to be a fav in our house. I'll admit the kids are determined to hose each other down at every opportunity so preserving the paint on the car makes this a win-win.
4. Give the kids the camera and let them capture their fancy. I find that Ethan has a fantastic eye for the unexpected. Sure you can have 760 pictures of a leaf but it's digital!!
What special fall activities do you have planned?
Photo courtesy of Kimberly.
Today is the last day of summer. For those of you reading this with children who have been in school for the last three weeks, I don't know what to tell you. Your school district is crazy. Or awesome. Yes, awesome. But for the rest of the kids, tomorrow is the big day.
My neighbor tried in vain to contain her glee that her youngest was going to all-day kindergarten tomorrow for the very first time. "She's really ready to go!" I contained my laughter as I saw in mom's eyes that she was ready for her baby girl to grow up, if only to have her days back to herself. I nodded in agreement that her big girl was ready and I did an invisible high-five to her mother when the kids weren't looking.
My kids know it's the last day of summer because the local pool closes today. We only went once this year (on Saturday) but they know that summer is over when the pool closes. Thank heavens for all of our dear friends who have pools and are willing to put up with the pirates and the screaming and are willing to dig the kids out when they inadvertently fall in fully-clothed. And have pools that won't close for at least another month. I don't think we are quite ready for summer to end yet.
Join us tonight for Guerrilla Goodness, 1st day of school style.
Photo by the greatest playdate yenta (and dear friend) Kimberly.
My kids have gotten into this thing about wearing their helmets all the time. I would like to thank whatever cartoon character has peer-pressured them into doing it.
Thing is? They wear the helmets all the time. All the time. As in, "Mom, can I wear my bike helmet in the car?" No, this isn't Nascar. But then it would be a Racing Helmet anyway. Why don't you wear it on your scooter? Your Scooter Helmet, if you will.
It's actually working out right now because Nate could use the extra protection since his ability to walk without running into something or falling over something is still lacking. I was glad he was wearing the helmet today when he ran into the door. Wait. Maybe the helmet is adding to his depth perception problem. And it got a little crazy when they were wearing them on the neighbor's slide and you could actually hear them clanking inside the slide as they came down together. Derek said as long as they are BOTH wearing the helmets, it's no problem to go down the slide wearing them.
You may have noticed from the picture that Nate isn't actually wearing his bicycle helmet properly, what with the 4 inches of air between the chin strap and his chin. I guess we don't have anything to worry about because he doesn't ride a bike. And the stamps? I have no idea where they came from and I have no idea where I could ship him for two 39 cent stamps. Not that that idea ever crossed my mind