Sunday, March 20, 2011

St. Patrick's Day

The day started out well.  My children were all donning green apparel.  The leprechauns had visited overnight, leaving chocolate gold coins for each child.  Owen even asked to go potty, and peed in the toilet.  Well, with the aim of a two-year-old boy, anyway, so some of it made it in the toilet.  In fact, the day was almost perfect...until it was time to pick Irelynn up from preschool.

I started putting Connor in his carseat.  I had barely managed to buckle him in, when I turned and saw Owen running...down the sidewalk.  I took off after him, amazed at my speed and agility...until I realized that he was faster.  I couldn't keep up with a two-year-old.  He laughed, realizing, as well, that he could outrun Mommy.  I yelled as he reached the corner, to no avail.

"OWEN!!!  STOP!!!" 

The sudden noise only slowed him for a minute...enough to allow me to catch up to him and grab him as he ran right out into the road.  His triumphant laugh quickly turned into primal screams of protest as I carried him, in a football hold, back to the van. 

His antics were not limited to escapology that day. 

Later, during dinner, he discovered a new skill.  I was focusing on my dinner, trying to block out the abnormal amount of whining that seemed to fill the air that evening.  There was a preschooler whose sensitivity level had reached new heights, causing everyone to nervously glance at each other before attempting to communicate with her.  There was a toddler who desperately wanted to cling to me, whose constant whining competed with the preschooler's constant wailing, creating a headache that rivaled the ones I get when the teenagers argue.  In the midst of the commotion, I hear Jay say something to Owen.


I look up to see Owen, with a pea between his thumb and forefinger, holding it dangerously close to his nostril.  I suddenly straighten in my seat.


He gives me an impish grin, moving the pea closer.  I start to stand up.


Too late.  The pea goes up the nose.  I run to the other side of the table just in time to witness him blow air as hard as he could out of his nose...and out shot the pea, bouncing across the table.  He laughes hysterically, as do the other children.  I set him down, declaring dinner to be finished. 

Unhappy with this negative reaction to what was probably one of the proudest moments of his life, Owen ran toward the kitchen, tripping and falling onto the floor.  Connor held out his hand and helped his brother up, and led him out to the kitchen.  In this moment of kindness, I relaxed my attention on the boys for a moment to focus on the commotion still happening in the dining room, in light of the pea incident.  Suddenly it occurred to my husband that the boys had been very quiet for a few minutes.  We walk back through the kitchen to find them in the laundry room...playing in the cat's litter box.  Connor had the scoop...Owen was using his bare hands...and they were taking turns dumping litter down the heating vent, while scattering it across the floor.

Bruce happily left the house to take the older girl to Lacrosse practice, leaving me to bathe the boys.  Somehow that managed to get done incident-free.  Then I put the preschooler in the bathtub.  She had a blister on the back of her foot which was part of the reason she was in such a horrible mood.  She had to take her bath with her foot held stubbornly in the air while I quickly tried to wash her hair.  As I went to kneel over, my foot slipped on something wet, and I tumbled forward...into the tub.  Luckily I somehow managed to avoid Irelynn, landing on my elbows behind her.  I look down to realize what I had slipped on...a remaining puddle of Owen pee.  I guess I missed a spot earlier.  Awesome. 

While the luck of the Irish was not with me that day...the Baileys was waiting patiently on the counter.  Upon getting all the children into bed, I celebrated all things green...including the pea, which thankfully did not get stuck in my toddler's nose. 

SlĂ inte!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sleep Training

I have a bit of a conundrum.  I have three children who share a room.  Two of the children do not have an issue going to bed at night.  One does.  Said child will not stay in his crib.  If I put the two tired children to bed, the other inevitably will climb out of his crib and into his brother's crib...waking and further tormenting his brother.  If I put said toddler to bed first...we go through an hour of directing him back to bed before he finally collapses from exhaustion.  By this time, the other two children are nearly passed out in the living room, waiting to be tucked into bed.  The process begins around 7pm.

We put on a quiet movie and start to settle the boys down.  Last night it was "The Princess and the Frog," one of Owen's favorites.  We were hoping Owen would calmly watch the movie while Connor, who isn't as interested, would go to bed.  Within 60-seconds of laying him down, he was out of the room.  We see the door creak open and his head peek out.  Bruce promptly puts him back in his crib. 

We repeated this process several times, growing more frustrated with each time.  Just as we would sit back down, he was out again...usually with a slow creak of the door, only coming far enough out to see the TV.  I was just about at my witts end, when the door creaked open one more time.  There was Connor...with a big grin...doing "jazz hands."  He started bouncing to the music from the movie, with his hands in the air, shaking them back and forth.  Mustering all of the acting skill I could, I kept my face straight and marched him back to his bed.  Even as he was placed back in his crib he grinned and did one last rendition of  "jazz hands."  Nice try, kid.

Meanwhile, poor Owen is falling asleep on the couch.  We hear a thud as he rolls off and hits the floor.  Slightly dazed, he looks around, climbs back on the couch and starts to fall back asleep. 

Eventually they all went down...but it was close to 9:30pm.  Two and a half hours after we started the bedtime ritual. 

Perhaps tonight we should play something with less music.  As much as I want to encourage my children's talents, I think Connor's Broadway ambitions will have to be limited to daytime hours.