Thursday, November 29, 2012

what really happened that day....

Soooooo based on some feedback I got on my last post, I gather you all want to hear the story about what happened in the play place. Ok, maybe the only person who cares is my little sister Shannon. Well Shanny Pants, this one’s for you girl!

The other day we’re hangin’ at Chic-fil-A, I’m enjoying a chicken sammi in peace and quiet while the boys disobediently ignore their food and play. Whatever, more fries for me.

As I’m watching them through the glass I start to notice a little boy following Beau as he tries to climb. The kid is grabbing his shirt and pulling him off of the plastic steps. The kid looked to be about two, so I decided to wait a second and see how Beau would handle it. I watched Beau tell the kid to let go, he pushed his hands away and tried to climb past. The kid grabbed the back of his shirt and pulled him back, Beau told him “don’t touch me!” and still the kid kept messing with him.

The parent were sitting in the back not paying any attention so I popped my head in the door for a quick “Hey guys, let’s keep our hands to ourselves and if someone asks you to leave them alone, leave them alone. OK? Everyone make eye contact and tell me you understand.” Mmmmhmm, they all got it, boom situation momhandled!

Not, I sit down and look up to see Beau at the top of the play place with this kid inches from his face squishing him into a corner of a plastic cube.  Every time Beau tried to move the kid grabbed his shirt and dragged him back. I started banging on the glass Conner and Beau both looked at me as I gestured wildly at both of them. With hands and facial expressions I said something like this,

 *Conner go help your brother!* *Beau! That kid is the same age as you and I think you definitely have grounds to whack him!* *Conner! Go drag that child off Beau!!!!*

Obviously my kids are not great with charades because neither of them got the message. So I grabbed the baby and stomped in there to rectify the situation post haste! I yelled up to the kid to cut it out and let Beau past, he ignored me. So I grabbed Conner and said,

 “Hey, that kid is being mean to Beau, you need to get up there and grab your brother and bring him back down here.”

Conner ran up the slide looked the kid in the face and said “Hey that’s my brother and he is coming with me!” immediately followed by the sound of Conner tumbling down the slide. He got to the bottom and said “That kid is really big and he pushed me down the slide.”

Time for a pep talk,  “DUDE! That kid is two feet shorter than you, just move past him and grab Beau. Tell him it is not ok to push people and stick up for yourself! You can do it!”

Pumped up and ready to defend his tiny honor, Conner scrambled back up that slide and announced “Hey, no one picks on my brother and pushes me down a slide!” Then immediately came rolling end over end back down the slide for a second time to tell me, “Mom, that kid is huge, HUGE! I can’t save Beau. Seriously he is like a giant, and he pushes people!”

*eye roll*  *sigh*  *shoulder shrug*

“Well then sit here and hold your sister, I’m going up.”

I slowly and painfully crammed my body up the plastic steps and into the tunnel to pop out in the square where trust me there was no room for an adult. I grabbed Beau looked the kid in the face and said “Move over bacon.”  Wide eyed he moved away from the slide entrance, I dropped my kiddo down and slowly followed in a grunty, squeaky, horribly uncomfortable way.

Once back on the ground we packed up our stuff and got ready to leave, still no sign of the kid’s parents checking in or noticing anything whatsoever. As Conner would say “Lame, lame, LAME!”

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Play Place Bullies - Of course I support a parent's right to spank. My kids don't need it but you should definitely spank yours. 

 I know I’m not the only parent who lets their children run free at the Chic-fil-A play place.  You know what? I’m not even a little ashamed; because by the time I’ve hauled all three wildebeests into that place I deserve a break! I deserve to kick back, scarf some waffle fries and watch my children play happily enclosed by noise muffling glass. I keep an eye out, and my boys aren’t always the best behaved kids there but they’re usually never the worst. You know what drives me nuts though? Parents who don’t pay even the slightest bit of attention to what their child is doing, because they usually are the parent of the play place bully.

How exactly do you deal with someone else’s kid harassing your child?! I’ve tried miming through the glass window demonstrating dramatic pile drive and left hook directions, but I am not subtle and my kids aren’t very perceptive.  I try to let them fight their own battles whenever possible but there comes a time when you have to step in. I feel so awkward yelling at someone else’s child but, I will do it. I will even squeeze my butt up inside those plastic tubes to tell someone else’s kid what’s up. You best believe if I hauled myself up inside that germ ridden plastic that smells of billions of tiny unwashed children’s feet you will be listening to what I have to tell you. 

My kids attract bullies like magnets, seriously wtf?!! Maybe because Conner is big for his age and Beau is a peewee we cover the spectrum of sizes most likely to be picked on, I don’t know. I always thought my kids would be lone ranger toddlers, never picking fights but always stepping in to end one, heroically protecting the “little guy”. I guess that’s not how kid fights work. Maybe it’s the directions I gave about hitting that were confusing,

“Don’t hit anyone, especially anyone smaller than you, unless you’re being picked on, although even then it’s still not ok to hit. Ok, don’t just let someone else hit you, though, if you get hit first it’s ok to defend yourself. Goodness sakes, don’t be a punching bag, but don’t start it. Ok, just don’t hit people… unless you really have to. Oh yeah, and always help your brother if he’s being picked on… ”

I see how that could be a little confusing, it’s not like I can straight up tell my kid,

“Don’t hit, but if someone puts hands on your brother or you, KNOCK THEM OUT!”

Ugh, It’s a position I hate to be put in. I guess I’ll continue to let them try and fix their own issues whenever possible.  Stepping in now and then with my angry eyebrows and commanding “mom voice”, gently opening a stern but understanding can of whoop-ass on small bullies.

 Oh the situations we find ourselves in.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Mom's Holiday Prayer

In light of the holiday that is fast approaching I thought I would post a little blessing for us moms, hope you all have a great Thanksgiving:

Let the poopie diapers you change be few, and their bowels be especially active while with the sitter. May your potty training accidents be infrequent, always over a hard surface, and never on your favorite rug.

May your mom jeans always hold their shape, neither sagging in the butt nor expanding annoyingly in the upper thigh.  Let them always button at that waist defining sweet spot, just below the belly button but right over the muffin top, so you look nice and slim.

May any baby puke clear your shoulder, and all other vomit bombs make it to the toilet. At least if neither option is possible may you avoid a direct hit, and please Lord, don’t let it be contagious.

Let us pray that when choosing the day's cartoons the kids pass on Caillou and Power Rangers and choose something else, Dear God please, ANYTHING else.

When it comes to lunch may your mac n’ cheese turn out creamy and thick, because let’s be honest the watery stuff is gross. May your Nutella be bottomless and the fruit snacks plentiful and never glued to the couch cushions.

May all your extended family holiday time be peaceful, loving, and sweet, but if that isn’t an option may there be wine, lots of wine. Oh, and maybe at least make the drama worth watching too… just thought I’d ask.



Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Never go shopping with my family

This weekend we packed up the kids and took a little trip up to the outlet malls in Williamsburg. I completely forgot that there are sales on Veteran's day and because I have no school age children I also forgot it was a holiday weekend. Had we known we probably would have avoided the crowds but once we'd driven an hour there it was too late.

The trip wasn't all bad, despite the fact that they were playing Christmas music in most the stores. I'm not going to lie and say the early Christmas music was the issue, actually I'm totally ready for the holidays to be here this year. My issue is that jingle bells is just one of those songs that should never EVER be remixed. When it comes to Christmas music I stick with the classics all Hanson, all the time.

Anyway, I sat for an hour in the Carter's store (jingle bell hell), playing at the puzzle table while Nic "used the restroom". After he got back we moved on to the Jockey store. Why did I ever think my family could handle going into an underwear store? WHY?!

Jockey has this man underwear that has a special remastered crotch pocket or something. They look weird like a they have a little pouch up front, or maybe to Conner they looked like a puppet, because that was what he decided to use the sample pair they had out as. Mean while as Conner is puppeteering, Nic holds up a pair of man bikini bottoms and announces "Do they make this as just a strap and pouch?!" than starts giggling like a 12 year old. Beau is pointing at all the crotch mannequins, and happily singing "butt, butt, that's a butt, butt, BUTT!" Just as I start to lift a mannequin to rub the butt on Beau's head (which would have been hilarious) I realize. HOLY CRAP! We are in public!! I grab my crew and hustle everyone out of the store, time to remove all of our immature selves from the Jockey store and head back home.

So fair warning, don't go shopping with us unless you too like to make innapropriate comments about underwear or enjoy humiliation.

Lord of the Flies

I told you in a much earlier post that I was working on a post to show you what the kids are doing while I'm working on homework. This should give you an idea of what is going on at our house most days,

1. I put out meals and snacks for the kids but from the stuff they scavenge from the around the house you would never guess. Beau likes to climb into the refrigerator and look around, he will bring me things like soy sauce and cheese slices through out the day. Just in case you're worried about Beau actually getting trapped in the fridge, I'm not good enough about eating leftovers or actually cleaning out Tupperware for that to become an issue ie. there's no room for that kid in the fridge.

2. Conner spends a lot of time locking Beau out of the bathroom, this sends Beau into fits of rage and sadness and as he throws a tantrum outside the door he repeats to me over and over "This not making me happy, this not make me HAP-PAY!!!"
3. What do ask is Conner doing in the bathroom? He tells me he needs privacy, what this really means is that he wants to hoard all the bath toys into the sink and not share with Beau. Well, I can only handle Beau's protest for so long and then everyone is back to sharing in a forced loving manner.
4. Once the boys are playing together again there is nothing they enjoy doing together more than throwing lizards at the wall. I bought a couple bags of squishy lizards at Target one day and go figure if you throw them at the wall they stick really, REALLY good. If you throw them at some one's face really, REALLY hard they stick for a couple seconds and it is hilarious!
5. When left alone in the living room my boys like to take all the cushions off the couch, throw them everywhere, and jump from cushion to cushion. Can you guess what game this is? That's right, they're playing don't touch the lava! Except my kids play it with a twist, here's the extra rule according to Conner "You throw fireballs at each other's heads to knock the other person into the lava". so basically they throw blankets and pillows and toys at each other as they jump through the air to knock someone onto the floor. I can't imagine why we had to get a staple in Conner's head the other day.
6. After a couple hours of this insanity I'm saying things like "Go to your room! I'll put on Barney or something, please! Before I lose my DANG MIND!!!" Conner replies "Was that a bad word? Can I use that word? When you interrupt me in the bathroom it makes me lose my dame mind too!"
7. Now finally it is nap time, best time of the day. Sometimes I don't even care if they sleep. I just need them to be really quiet and unseen for a couple hours while I try to understand cube root functions and invisible numbers.
8. Are you wondering what Tillianne does this whole time? She's just hanging out, watching the madness unfold, happily shaking the little pieces on her bouncy chair or whatever that thing is.  


Friday, November 9, 2012

thanks for participating

Alright, I don’t usually use this blog to air my personal grievances but there is something on my mind that I want to throw out here to the interwebs. I know my last post wasn’t really funny and this post is going to come off as cranky, but hey at least it’s honest.  I’m a month away from finishing this semester in school and guess what I am cranky! Anyway, here is the thing that set me off.

This ecard popped up in my news feed on pinterest and has been lingering in the back of my mind for a little while now, but I’ve finally put my finger on why exactly it bothers me.

I love participation trophies. I think their great and should have been being given out for a long time. Hard work deserves recognition, just because someone isn’t the “winner” does not discredit the work they have done. There can only be a small number of winners, does that make everyone else a loser? Should we all be fighting tooth and nail to be the small percentage of “winners” and fall into despair when we come up short?No!

The idea that participation trophies are meaningless and teach our kids to celebrate mediocrity is a cold falsehood and thinking like that will get you in a lot of trouble. We idolize people like Walt Disney, and Bill Gates calling them innovative and ahead of their time. How many times do you think they failed before reaching the point of success? More than you would imagine. They got no participation trophies and yet kept going despite unkind words and a harsh and unappreciative atmosphere. They recognized in themselves that failure was no reflection on their own self-worth and kept trying. We don’t all have that inner voice, some of us need to be told that it’s ok to fail, some people need that “you weren’t the best but thanks for all your effort” participation trophy. Is that really so bad?

 As a mother of three uncoordinated future sports attempters I welcome these trophies. I’ll be clearing shelves, walls, and refrigerator doors just so I can display them proudly and openly. Wherever they aren’t offered I’ll fill in with participatory ice cream, and giant signs that read “You’re #1”.  Let me know if you need to hear that too, because I don’t mind making you a trophy.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Who they are now

I heard once that the person you are in preschool is basically the person you are for the rest of your life (give or take some chest hair and forehead wrinkles).  I sincerely hope this is true.  I spend most my time as a mom worrying that what I’m doing is ruining my kids for future generations, then I reason myself out of being worried and into accepting my style of parenting, but after that I feel guilty for not worrying and the whole cycle starts again. I never realized this was such a big part of motherhood, this constant drive to make myself better and my kids better and be perfect and of course failing miserably.  My kids don’t have consistent bedtimes or naptimes, on occasion I give in to tantrums, my kids definitely eat more candy than a “good” parent should allow. I forget bath times and diaper bags and once I called Conner a butthead and hurt his feelings really bad.  I’m far from perfect.

Despite all the craptastic parenting that goes on my kids have somehow managed to turn out pretty awesome. Conner is smart and thoughtful, he cares about animals and people and thinks kissing girls is gross. As long as he grows out of his whole whining phase he’ll do great.  Beau is wild and charming, he gets swept up completely in everything he does and always apologizes when he’s wrong. He’ll drive Conner crazy then turn around cover him in hugs because he “wubs ConCon”.  Jury is still out on Tillianne, although she has an awesome sense of fashion and doesn’t seem to show any psychopathic tendencies. My only hope is that the people they will be in the future will reflect who they are now, as far as all the stuff I screw up daily, well let’s hope it’s just adding a little character to the mix. The world needs more good people, not perfect people, just people who try and people who care.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Surviving Sandy: A Murder Mystery

So my last post found us getting ready for hurricane Sandy to hit. Luckily we did not have to eat any children, we actually didn’t even lose power.  At the end of the second day of rain we noticed that the boys room was starting to take on water. Looks like one of the windows wasn’t sealed properly and with all the rain coming at once the carpet was soaking up all the moisture. Also a strange stain appeared on the ceiling, in the dim light it looked like a water spot. We piled all the kids into the baby’s room and called it in to maintenance the next day.

Well, the next day came and with more sunlight in the room the stain kind of started to look less like water to me and more like an oily substance with maybe a slight tinge of orange.  As you can imagine after being trapped in my house for three days during the hurricane, I saw that spot and my brain started running.  I sent a text to my neighbor upstairs Bill to check if him and his roommates were safe.  He responded saying he was with his mother in the next city and they were fine, Trey the guy who rents the room over the stain was also staying with family. That meant the only person home was Ron. Now Ron is a little shady, he’s new and always seems to be on the verge of getting his 30 day notice to vacate.  He can also be very loud.

Well, after staring at the spot for a few hours it occurred to me that it was right under where Trey’s bed would be.  Then I heard a lot of loud thumps, noisy vacuuming, and some other motor-ish type noises. I sent a text to Bill and asked if he had actually heard from Trey to make sure he was safe or was he just assuming. Turns out, Trey wasn’t answering calls or texts and neither was Ron. Loud noises, shady neighbors, people not answering phones… my mind went to the next logical assumption...murder.

I called my Mom in law to run the idea by her, I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t losing my mind. I explained the theory, Ron had murdered Trey sometime during the hurricane for reasons unknown. All the noises I was hearing were probably him disposing of the body and there were bodily fluids dripping down into the boy’s room through the ceiling. She assured me I wasn’t crazy and it actually made a lot of sense.

I ran around locking all the doors and windows and called Nic to let him know about the crime scene before he got home from work. He came in let me know he thought I was totally nuts when suddenly there was a knock on the door. I peeped through the peep hole and… duhn duhn duhn, Ron was standing outside. We all scrambled in different directions me for the back room, Nic for a baseball bat to have on hand and then he slowly opened the door. Apparently Ron just needed help activating his Track phone, he lost the one he had before and couldn’t receive phone calls all day.  Suspicious? Indubitably!

A couple hours go by while we try to think what to do. Still no one can reach Trey, Bill decides to drive back to help figure out what is causing the stain. Finally I decide to run to the grocery store and grab food for dinner. On my way out guess who I run into? Trey!!! He was alive!! He hadn’t been murdered, just forgot his phone charger or something. That left everyone alive and accounted for.

What did I learn from this? Nothing. I’m sure whenever I see a weird stain I will assume murder, that is just where my head goes. However next hurricane I might try to hole up with a few other adults so we can keep each other sane. We still don’t know what the stain is, maintenance will be fixing that later I guess.