Summer lazies

My husband just pointed out that my answer to the “I’m hungry” at my bedside this morning was, “Get yourself a pop tart. I’ll be up in a minute.” When he pointed that out, I defended myself with, “Some families don’t promise to be up in a minute.” I probably should tell Family Circle that I’ve moved to the country, in case they want to write a feature story on me. I’m not sure they’d be able to find me back here.

We have been taking it slow the last week. Once July 14th arrives, we’ll be moving at breakneck speed and the summer will pass me by.

After I sent my boy into the kitchen with his cooking instructions, I fell into a brief sleep and had a very strange dream. In the dream, I was in a locally owned downtown toy store. The owner was a 60something-year-old woman named Mary. She showed me around. I liked what I saw. I kept saying that I needed to come back and buy a skateboard. By all means, Missy, buy a skateboard for the country where there is no pavement. That will go over GREAT. Anyway, when I walked out of the store, Mary invited me onto the company jet and said that my husband and family should join me for a quick tour of New York City at Christmastime. And then we were off. Without warning. Without strapping in. Without even sitting down. And without the husband and kids she invited along. The next thing I know, I was on a rickety wooden back deck that had been added to the tail of the plane. We were walking around back there. In space.

There were stars. There was conversation. Never in the conversation did I ask, “Why can’t we sit in the seats INSIDE the plane and have a coke?” I never asked why someone thought rotten wood porches were good on the backs of jets.  Then Mary got very close to the edge and I gasped as a section of wood crumbled under her weight.

“Watch out!” I yelled to her. She stepped closer to me, unruffled. I pressed my back up against the jet and grabbed a handle. When I turned back toward Mary, she was gone.

She fell off the back.


And then I woke up. Disturbed. Maybe if I hadn’t sent the child off in pursuit of a pop tart, that would have gone better…

I’m going to go fry some bacon now.

Masters of Distraction

There are people who are really good at distracting a child away from distress. My mother in law, otherwise known as Barrel Flap, is rather talented at this. I am not. When a meltdown occurs, or just bad behavior in general, my sense of panic sets in. What if I can’t stop it? Why is it happening? Will they pull it together before we have to walk through the doors of the church building? Maybe I should raise my voice. Maybe I should lower my voice. Maybe I should try duck voices.

I never know.
I often panic.
I have been known to sing the Brownie Song. This amuses some and totally frustrates others, depending on the day and the child and how well I perform it.

Today, we were on our way to VBS at my parents’ church. Beloved began to unravel before we were out of the driveway, because she had forgotten her dear little Pinkwee, a pink stuffed penguin. I couldn’t go back. We were already barely scraping by on time. We needed that 2 minutes. Plus, they do need to learn to remember their own things. I can’t get the essentials, the people, AND the Pinkwees out the door.

I had to let that one go.
She didn’t think she could.
And so it began.

Then there was this big conflict over Zoobles between the girls. Sometimes I just look at AG and shrug. He shrugs back. The difference between him and me is 30 years and the fact that he doesn’t have to do anything about it. I’m supposed to.

Today, in a Distraction Stroke of Genuis, rare to me, I assure you, I remembered the Space Ghost soundtrack on my iPod. It’s ridiculous. It’s the Musical Barbeque CD from the old Space Ghost cartoon. The kids have always laughed at the songs sung by Brak. So, without a word, I selected this directory.

Here are some sample lyrics, if you’ve never listened. It’s very refined stuff.

I love Beans. By Brak
Here’s a lovely song about my favorite food
Lima, lento, soy, and pinto
Navy, northern, and garbanzo
Kidneys and frijoles negros… I love beans
I love beans Woo woo woo!
I love beans How ’bout you?
High in fiber Low in fat Hey, I betcha didn’t know that
When I eat beans I sit in my own little cloud
Nobody comes to visit me In my little cloud
(I don’t know why Maybe ’cause I’m cuttin’ muffins)

Two songs into this play list, the conversations in the car were peaceful and harmonious. I was thankful I had gone this route, over making a speech.

I did have to make one speech. I had to explain what it means when no one comes to visit me in my own little cloud.  It’s possible I created a situation worse than my first…

six fabulous things about kids

  1. They always say exactly what they are thinking. Recently, SisterSpoiledPants asked me to take her outside. She wanted to ride her Dora bike.  I told her I couldn’t right then. I needed to work on dinner.

Is it Chick-Fil-A?

No, honey. We’re eating in.

Is Daddy cooking? Good grief.

2.  They love unconditionally.  Well, mostly. I did just get kicked out of my own bedroom by the recovering Beloved who said, “Ugh, I can’t stand the smell of you.” All I can attribute it to is the turkey dog I had for lunch. But she loves me. I think. Unless I’ve just exercised. Or mowed the lawn. Or eaten a turkey dog for lunch.

3.  They crave your presence. They’d rather play a simple, chaotic game of Monopoly with a parent than have an expensive night out on the town.But beware of the one that gets houses on Baltic Avenue. Seems like a cheap piece of real estate until your son adds houses to it and begins to charge you rent every time you land on it.

4.  Fat is still cute and stinky isn’t as bad on the under-5 set. I shouldn’t admit that I like the smell of SnuggleMonkey’s toes after she has been wearing stinky sneakers.  Stinky toes. Mmm. I know. That’s messed up. Could be causing some of Beloved’s aversions from Item #2.

5.  They don’t understand compliments. For instance, “Fleshy” is not a nice thing to say to a mother who has been running lately. And dropping all soda. So please, choose a different term of endearment than Fleshy. “Your hair is so tangly?”  Also not a compliment.

6.  They offer you hope that they will sleep through the night. There’s always hope, even for the Sleep Nazi. Even with Snugglemonkey. Maybe tonight….

Oh, it’s Krazy, all right

So today I had to drive to the Grand Hyatt Hotel, just past the airport. It was to purchase a gift for my daughter’s upcoming birthday. And since you may already know that I am the Queen of Craigslist, this was a craigslist exchange. The lady meeting me was a professional. She said, “You’ll know me by my blue shirt and grey pants. And I have my hair pulled back.” I replied, “OK, great. You’ll know me because I’ll have 4 feral children with me that do not belong in a Hyatt lobby.”

Self-fulfilling prophecy.

They were wild all right.

None of this is at all important to the story, except to say that I was kinda grumpy with the kids after that. It is in these moments that you wonder where you’ve gone wrong. Actually, I know where I’ve gone wrong. I just don’t know how to make it right. But we’ll get there.

So part of the purchase from today included a case for my son’s ds. This was just a bonus. But there was a piece torn on it. So after nearly wrecking Wendy’s (more grumpiness from me), we walked over to CVS to buy some superglue. This is where the story takes a macabre turn. I opted to buy Krazy Glue, instead of the standard super glue. I don’t know why. it seems like I would have intentionally avoided it over the “k” thing alone. I am very against cutsie misspellings in brand names. Even Krispy Kreme drives me nuts. But the product stands on its own in that particular case.

I was so confident in my gluing skills that I did not read the instructions, prepare a surface, or have any type of back-up plan in place. I just jumped willy nilly into gluing. Before I even realized I had successfully opened the tube, it was oozing everywhere.  My thumb was now glued to my index finger on my left hand. On my right hand, my index finger and my thumb became bonded to the tube of glue, which was still oozing.

I realized immediately that I was in trouble. I think I began making weird wheezing sounds and even the heads of the children playing Wii turned to see what was up.

“Ohhh, nooooo,” I said, with Mama’s Boy watching intently. I immediately pulled on my left thumb and managed to free up that hand. Then I focused on the right hand and managed to free my thumb. The index finger was done, though. There was no going back on that one.  I was now attached rather permanently to the tube. I at least managed to stop the eruption of fresh glue.

Krazy, I tell you.

At this point, I went to the instructions. The instructions I needed were listed under a bold section called: WARNING:

“Avoid contact with skin and eyes. If eye or mouth contact occurs, hold eyelid or mouth open and rince thoroughly but gently with water for only 15 minutes and GET MEDICAL ATTENTION. (Heavens to BETSY! I cannot IMAGINE getting the stuff near my eyes.) If skin bonding occurs (ok, I’m listening now), soak in acetone-based nail polish remover or warm soapy water and carefully peel or roll skin apart (do not pull).”

So, I fixed myself a nice large bowl of warm, soapy water and poured a bottle of nail polish remover into it, for good measure. Then I sat down to wait. And soak. This was at 2:56 p.m. Actually, I really didn’t have time for these shenanigans today. At 3:06, I pulled out the finger to work on it.

Still stuck. Back in the bowl.

Snuggle Monkey needed some assistance in the bathroom. She just had to go it alone today.

And at 3:15, I finally rolled and peeled my skin free. It was red and irritated and still covered with a gluey film. But at least I was free of the tube.

So what does that K stand for? Killer glue substance. Kranky lady kould have read the instructions and didn’t. Kall the doctor immediately, something horrible is klinging to me. Krud.

Speaking of Kranky, in the middle of all my grumbling about how I wish the kids could just put on their best Grand Hyatt faces and sit like angels, Mama’s Boy piped up from the back of the van.

“Mama, I wrote today’s entry in my journal. Can I read it to you?”

Sure, boy. Shoot.

“So far this day is pretty bad. We just can’t act perfect. But luckily, I am going to a sleepover to turn things around. Hopefully it will go well.”

Wow. Now if that doesn’t bring things into krazy klear perspective, nothing will.

We did turn things around.  In more ways than one.


Yesterday and Today were also anniversaries

May 23 and 24 might not seem special to you, but they are anniversaries too. They are 11 year anniversaries of my asking the question, “Now what?” about raising a child. What now? What do I do with it? What if it cries and I can’t help it? What if the neighbors call the police? What if the department of children and families decides to investigate our diaper changing techniques or how often we bathe? What then?

Eleven years later, I am still asking those questions. Now there are four children, instead of just one. We moved to the country so we wouldn’t have to worry about the neighbors calling the police. In fact, we are considering calling the police on some of them. There is a small boy that enjoys biking in his underoos. Is that okay? I kinda don’t think so, but I guess we’re in the boondocks now.

I digress.

I remember 11 p.m. on the night of May22. Mr. and Mrs. Informinator were the last people to leave our “homecoming party” for our new baby boy. We were petrified to see them go. Once they pulled out of the driveway, we were alone in our cluelessness.

Yesterday, I celebrated that anniversary of the realization that I know nothing by knowing nothing yet again. Beloved had been saying all day she didn’t feel well. She doesn’t feel well a lot, truthfully. I think she is afflicted with Middle Child Illness at least some of the time. Yesterday I logged her complaints as just that.  I tried everything. Tried to hydrate her. Tried to feed  her. Laid her on my bed. Hugged her. Sympathized with her. Unsympathized with her (suck it up, teeny one, you’re fine!). Etc.

I was bustling around with her not eating dinner when Todd called to me from the dining room. The unthinkable had occurred. I won’t describe it. I’ll just give you a few words from basic German Shepherd.

Carnage. Lysol. Pine floors (so thankful). Bucket. Emergency phone call to get a sub for my bible class.

Middle Child Sickness.
Not so much

Happy Anniversary to me. Maybe next year the knowledge will come.
Surely next year…

A continuance of the anniversaries

I can’t help it. I just can’t not observe this day. Sometimes I am inspired to write. Today I am not. But last year, on May 22, I was. So tonight, in remembrance of one of the greatest days of my entire life, I will link to last year’s post. I will also post a picture of the little weed, as he looked on Sunday. Still not an ounce of fat on the kid. Not one ounce. Oh, for that situation.

The Boy’s Sweet Homecoming

It’s the little things

This morning was slightly busier for me, since I was driving the kids to school and the little one had to be awakened for the ride along. Still though, there was very little stress and we were relaxed and happy. We left right on time. After being on the road a couple of minutes, Mama’s Boy piped up from the back of the van.

“Do you know what my favorite sound is?”

I didn’t know.

“You know the sound of the tires on the road? Well it’s that–with voices talking in the front seat.”

Wow. The boy likes a good road trip.

Mama’s Boy has always had a different perspective on the world. He’s special. I found a video of him at 4, “reading” to his little sisters. His voice is very much a live manifestation of the Linus character. I miss his voice as much as I miss anything in the world.