Saturday, July 24, 2010

Garage Sales and Tap Shoes

I come from a long line of pack rats.  I come by it honestly.  My father was discreet about his pack rat tendencies.  We did not even realize he was one until we went through his things after he passed away:  letters I wrote when I was a kid, faded Disneyland tickets, an invitation he made for his own birthday party (which I heard was quite the party...people showed up who did not receive said invitation...sans clothing.) 

My mother is open with her hoarding tendencies.  There is evidence of past lives...her's, her children's...and other people's (acquired through garage sales,) all throughout her home.  Yesterday she relinquished some of my past to me...and Irelynn.  I received a folder containing immunization records...past report 8th grade school handbook...and a picture I drew when I was around 10-years-old.  Irelynn was given a faded old box containing a pair of ballet slippers, and a shiny pair of tap shoes I wore when I was a few years older than her.  Irelynn's eyes lit up.  Mommy used to wear dance shoes.  Marissa looked at me funny.

"You used to do ballet??  AND tap dance?" 

You can't have any secrets when you have a pack rat mother. 

"Yes...when I was really little."  I skipped the part about gymnastics, too, as I think she would have doubled over in laughter.

This all happened at my mother's house, directly after walking home from a garage the rain.  Irelynn's clothes were in the dryer, the boys were stripped down to their diapers....they had fun entertaining all the people there by jumping in puddles...sitting in puddles, and dipping their heads in the puddles.  I drew the line at Owen trying to lap up puddle water with his tongue.

We brought our treasures home (from the garage sale, and my mother,) and found out just how patient Irelynn really is...Connor discovered the tap shoes.

Connor loves shoes.  He is very particular about his shoes.  We have tried putting him in other shoes, as his current favorites are getting so tight they leave red lines on his feet.  He refuses to wear anything but those shoes.  Until now.  He carefully put on my old tap shoes, which are several sizes too big for him.  He wore them the rest of the night, even while he sat in his chair, watching "Dora."  Irelynn let him...but informed me he could not wear them to bed. 

This morning he is wearing them again. 

Bruce is not particularly happy with his new shoe choice.  I'm just happy he's agreed to wear different shoes.  I do hope he doesn't want to wear them...everywhere...

At least he has some time before he grows out of them.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Thunderstorms, Explained

Storms rolled through last night, and Irelynn told me the science behind lightning and thunder:

"The sky if full of ectricity right now. It stole it from my batteries...that's why my stuff doesn't work...the batteries have no more ectricity. But now the sky has too much ectricity, and so it goes like this,"

(dramatically claps hands together)

"and that's what makes all that noise."

Alas, even though she had a logical explanation, it was still we had to play her Jonas Brothers CD so she could sleep.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Making A List...

1.  Make coffee.

2.  Drink coffee.

3.  Turn on PBS for children. 

4.  Start to unload dishwasher.

5.  Remove Owen from dishwasher, take spatula away from Connor.  Commence unloading dishwasher during naptime.

6.  Feed boys breakfast. 

7.  Pick food up off floor, wipe down trays, chase down boys with washcloth.

8.  Reheat coffee.

9.  Fold Laundry.  Hide laundry in bedroom until boys are napping.

10.  Add "coffee" to grocery list.

11.  Put boys down for nap.

12.  Do actual chores while they sleep.  Take shower, eat something.

13.  Google "green poop." 

14.  Change laundry loads so clothes don't smell moldy. 

15.  Re-explain to Irelynn how to use "nice" words.

16.  Wake teenager up. 

17.  Send teenager's younger sister down to wake him up...again...with a squirt gun.

18.  If you actually get this far, eat a cookie.  You deserve it.

19.  Come up with dinner solution.

20.  Make sure there is enough money in account for dinner solution.

21.  Try to clean trail of toys, crayon marks off wall, and snack off floor with Connor on hip.

22.  Consider just recarpeting the living room in Cheerios.  Life might actually be easier...

23.  Is it evening yet?  Forget the rest of the list.  Just have a beer.  Or two.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Where Did I Go Wrong?

Somewhere along the way I lost control.  I'm not sure where it was...but I think it was after children four and five came along.  Perhaps there is a point where control is no longer an option.  I'd like to think that it isn't just my own inadequacies as a parent.

I used to be good with routines...I was even "that mom" who baked cookies and cupcakes and organized art projects for the children.  I encouraged playtime and reading...we had set reading schedules, individually and together.  Dinner time was a time to catch up on what was going on with everyone. 

Now I find myself hiding things that pertain to I now have "that child" who likes to create art...everywhere.  On the floor...the table...the carpet...the walls.  I also now have "that child" who eats items pertaining to art.  Glue, crayons...

Reading must be done after the toddlers go to bed, as they like to climb on me and try to rip pages out of books. 

Bathtime used to be wind-down time before bed.  Now it consists of splashing, soaked parents, chasing down naked toddlers who refuse to put pajamas on, and the occasional quick removal of boys from the tub because one decides to pee in it.

The library staff used to know us by name, as my children were (and still are) avid readers and participants in the summer reading programs.  They still know us by name...including the boys, who "help" return books into the slot and cry out "AWRIGHT!!!  I DID IT!"  I suppose it's still important to keep going to the library...although now, instead of being the quiet, respectful group, I am the frazzled mom who brings in five children, two of which terrorize the children's section.  Luckily it is sectioned off from the rest of the the other patrons aren't affected by my vocal boys.

I haven't figured out how to properly discipline two-year-olds.  Irelynn was easy...I was a master of distraction...and she was easily influenced.  The boys, on the other hand, do not fall for such parlor tricks.  They are masters of destruction...and I have yet to find something that deters them from that goal.

I have begun to get used to the craziness that occurs in my home...flying food at dinnertime, the broom fights in the hallway, the scaling of the entertainment center to change "DDD's."  However, I still can't handle the noise pollution...or the complete lack of fear (or common sense.)

Where's the Super Nanny when you need her? 

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Don't Feed Them After Midnight...

It was like a scene out of a horror know, one of those movies with the cute little creatures that suddenly become destructive and out of control? 

Doors were slamming.  The glass candleholders were sliding precariously close to the edge of the coffee table.  Sippy cups were tossed onto the couch.  A mix of snot and saliva now adorned the screen door to the patio...leading to a jelly-stained face smushed up against it, with little fists pounding on the door. 

My brother-in-law was in panic mode...trying to decide which child to rescue first:  the one trying to  fit through the bars on the balcony railing (we were on the second story,) or the one trying to ignite the gas grill on the other end of the balcony.  The cat was hiding somewhere.  My sister and I were trying to coax them away from destruction with Oreo cookies. 

I'm not sure we left a good first impression.  I'm pretty sure we will not be invited over again for awhile.  I'm also almost certain that my brother-in-law is reconsidering starting a family.  Even "Finding Nemo" could not distract my children. 

Their new apartment was very nice, though.  Perhaps I can check it out again...sometime when my gremlins, er, children, have a baby-sitter.