Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Nonsensical Sense and Illogical Logic: Why It Is Tough Raising Redheads

I am worried about Red…so very, very worried. Not because he is currently running around the house in his underwear. I can see how you might think that would trouble me, but you would be wrong. No, I am worried because he was able to convince me this was a good idea. Sometimes he makes so much darn sense out of utter nonsense that I fear, without the proper care and feeding, he is going to grow up to be a shyster. You know, like one of those guys who cozies up to nice old ladies and then removes them of their lifesavings. I don’t claim to know everything about this mothering thing, but it seems like that would be a bad outcome.

The other day Husband had done a sweep of the house and filled a bag with crap to return to the library. Red rummaged around and pulled out a DVD called “Lots & Lots of Fire Trucks.” (If you have not seen it, you really should check it out. There are a lot of fire trucks in it. Also, it was produced somewhere in the 80’s. Need I say more?) “I love this DVD!” exclaimed Red. Then his face fell when he realized it was in the bag to be returned. “Why is THIS going back?” Red demanded.

“I know you love it. That is how we ended up with two copies. We are going to take one copy back and you can watch the other copy,” I said. I thought I made a pretty compelling case. I really should know better by now. Red’s only response was to furrow his eyebrows at me. I knew full well that his father had lost the battle while in the library, but I still attempted to explain.  “You can only watch one at a time. We do not need two of them.”

“Two is better than one.”


Well, he got me there.

And it isn’t just what he says, it is the WAY he says it that really gets ya. Take the evening I was reading him stories before bed. He was snuggled up against me, warm and cozy. All those great mothering hormones were coursing through me. When I was good and high on three-year-old boy sweetness he said, “I want a giraffe.”

“A giraffe, huh?” I replied, knowing I had to win this one. We cannot afford to feed a giraffe.  “That sounds like fun, but where would it sleep?”

“On my bottom bunk,” he said.

“Hmmm…I don’t know about that…I don’t think a giraffe could climb the stairs—”

“I will take SUCH good care of it. I will feed it and walk it and pet it.”

“Well, it does sound like you know that pets are a big responsibility…”

“I will even let my brother pet it.”

“Aww, that is so sweet.”

“And I will let my sister pet it.”

“Oh, you are such a sweet boy!”

See that? See how he did that? This was a brilliantly executed plan. He got me with my guard down. Then he smacked me upside the head with taking responsibility and brotherly love.  I WANTED to give him a giraffe. If he had me seriously considering a pet giraffe, can you imagine how many cupcakes he has convinced me to let him eat today? Let’s just say more than I should have given him, but just this side of less than would call for a trip to the ER.

So, why is Red running around in his underpants? Because he was putting on pants and got distracted. Why am I happy? Because he hates to wear pants. Every day for the past couple of months there has been a battle because he wants to wear shorts. Then he came up with the idea that he can wear shorts at home then change into pants before he leaves the house. Brilliant! It is now common to hear “Do I have to put pants on?” asked in our house several times a day. I am so happy that he is going out into the world dressed for the weather that I do not even care that he drops trou as soon as he gets to the door. You read that correctly. I am happy that my child moons the neighborhood multiple times each day. That is the power Red.

Lock up your daughters and elderly. None of us are safe.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

My Baby Girl

I do not write all that much about my Baby Girl, do I? One reason is that it is easier to write about the boys. The things they say are hilarious. I type the crazy that comes from their mouths, post it to the blog, and I look like a comedic genius. Done and done. But Baby Girl is only 9 months old, so I actually have to do some work to write about her, find the words to do her justice… Phew!  I am exhausted at the thought.

There is other reason, besides my laziness, that I do not write about her much. She is my baby girl. Mine. And I want to keep her to myself. Especially since my husband is now an “altered animal” as the veterinarians say and she is my last. (Although Eldest did have a classmate with a baby sister to prove that these things are not always the permanent solution we think they are.)

Instead of writing about her, I have been spending my time waiting on her hand and food while enjoying that I am the center of her world. (Yes, she has a father, brothers, grandparents, etc. who adore her every hiccup, but I prefer to ignore that and focus on me. Just go with me on this one, please?) When Baby Girl wanted to go anywhere, I took her. When she needed something, I figured out what it was and gave it to her. Now all that is all starting to change. Baby Girl began crawling. She pops up unexpectedly in rooms where I know I did not put her. She says “no” and calls me “Mum Mum.” It was a bittersweet moment for me today when I heard her say my name (sweet) and then bust in on me in the bathroom (bitter).

Whether I like it or not, my baby is growing up. She is showing her personality more and more and needing me less and less. I guess that means that I have more time to post her shenanigans online for all the world to see. Lucky for me, she is showing all the signs of following in her brothers’ hilarious footsteps. This baby is a trip!

First, I have to say that Baby Girl is beautiful, with blond hair, blue eyes, and chubby little cheeks that beg to be smooched. But just in case there was any chance of getting a swelled head about it, she cut her canine teeth. ONLY her canine teeth. As she babbles away to her dolly, you see this adorable baby. Then she catches sight of her mommy and gives a big smile. “Oh look, a vampire.”

She loves to give hugs. Baby Girl crawls over and flings herself at your feet. As she is clutching your ankles and rubbing her face on your toes you realize it is a hug. This is particularly amusing when she tries to hug her BFF, That Baby In The Mirror. “Bitch just head butted me! Oh well, maybe I should try to hug her again. Ow.” Tehehe. Swearing babies are funny.

Baby Girl rarely cries. Eldest tried some sort of 5-year-old acrobatics, failed, and smacked heads with her. He was weeping openly and she just looked confused. “I don’t think that was what he meant to do. Why is a lump forming on my head?” Don’t worry. She cries when she gets shots, so she doesn’t have that weird “superhero” disease where they don’t feel any pain. She is just happy.

Don’t get the idea that my girl is a pushover, however. She has a thing about her mom and her food. If one of the boys is on my lap she crawls between us and issues a firm “nein” emphasized by a hand to the face. (I wonder how she learned German. The internet?) And there was the time that she cried until her daddy gave her his cheeseburger. Once he handed it over she was all smiles.

There. I have shared a little bit about my sweet Baby Girl with you and it wasn’t as bad as I thought. As a matter of fact, I kind of liked it.



Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year 2013 Style

Happy New Year!
2012 was a bit of a stinker. I hate to say that because my beautiful Baby Girl was born. However, I also had to attend three funerals, cram my lively family into my parents' house for over a week when our power was knocked out, and my dad got a pacemaker...all in the last three months.
That is a lot for anyone to take. Still, I think I need to learn to handle these things better. Pitching a fit rarely makes anything better, am I right? With the beginning of a new year, it seems a perfect time to resolve to do things differently. The problem is that I am just not that great at keeping resolutions. I sort of lose focus.
Look--the boys are watching Car Toons! I love it when the alien says “daggum.” Tehehe. What was I talking about?
Luckily, I came across a couple of articles about choosing one word to focus on. Instead of making a complex resolution like "life a fuller life" or "join the circus" I can pick one word to tuck in my pocket and pull it out whenever I need it. Even I can keep focus on one word, right? Sure!
But what word to pick? Others chose words like trust or balance or patience. Patience sounded great. I definitely need more Patience. I mulled this over for a couple of days and realize that it would not work for me.
The problem with choosing Patience is that there is nothing to DO. Patience is an absence…of yelling, of irritation, of chucking Hotwheels at the stupid dishwasher. What the heck am I supposed to do instead?! Think about what happens when you tell your kid not to touch the Christmas tree. What do they do? They circle that tree just waiting for you to look away. They become like little junkies looking for their next fix. It is all they can think about. There is a reason that recovering addicts learn to knit. Like kids and crackheads, I need a task to focus on.

Breathe. My word is breathe. I can do that. I do it all the time. I am doing it right now. When I don't know what to do, I will breathe. If I want to yell or run away, I will breathe instead. Inhale. Exhale. Simple.
When Eldest starts to cry because the  Lego refuses to snap into place I will breathe. Every time Red whines for juice when I have 157 other things to do I will breathe. When Baby Girl demolishes a train track and the boys freak out I will breathe. What should I do when my mother-in-law asks me again why I do not want to go back to work? Breathe. What about when I freeze my arse off searching the minivan for Red's train only to find out that Husband had it in his coat? Breathe. (Well, first I will try to set Husband on fire with my Jedi mind powers. Eventually I will remember that I do not have the ability to start fires with my mind and then I will breathe.)

I can do this. I can breathe. You can do it too. We can do it together. Breathing is an appropriate response to any problem. Unless you are underwater. Then you should wait a little while. Once you resurface you can breathe. Inhale. Exhale. Ahhh...