Monday, February 28, 2011

the meanest mom in the world

We hit a new milestone on Sunday afternoon. My boys became fed up with how "mean" I am and decided to run away to dad's (or as Bubba puts it "escape to dad's"). The tipping point was when I gave them a choice between riding their scooters outside in the sunshiny, inversion-free air or helping me sort out the toy room. TV watching was not on the list, which bummed them out considerably. There was wailing and teeth gnashing and unnecessary stomping as they got their boots and jackets on, but they were smart enough to know which option to pick. 20 minutes later, Junior approached me and let me know that they would be leaving for J's imminently and on foot. Each boy had a wal-mart bag looped over a stick with one pair of pajamas, one set of clothes, clean underwear, Raffi and Monkey (respectively) and their baby blankets. I gave them each a kiss and told them that I loved them and would miss them and would really like it if they stayed but to put on jackets either way.

I watched from the window, gambling on Junior's inborn obedience compulsion. He knows that leaving the cul-de-sac is Verboden and while he tends to test me on many of the little things, one of the things I love most about him is his willingness to obey. He was 4 years old before he even figured out lying. True to form, he hesitated at the corner and stopped his brother (who does not possess an inborn obedience compulsion.) Ultimately, they returned to the house and asked for paper to draw a map to J's. There was a lot of whispering and refusing me entry to the kitchen while this was going on.

Among other things that they thought I couldn't hear, they discussed their strategy. When Mom is mean, they will take off for Dad's and then when Dad gets grumpy, they will just head home again. Below is Junior's map. It contains my house as a starting point and J's as an ending point. To the right and the left, you will find Montana and New York. Junior figured J's house to be roughly "six blocks or maybe six miles away" (it's more like 30.) By the time they were done with their maps, they set foot outside to realize the sun had gone down and with it, the temperature. Instead, they told me it was too cold and left their loaded sacks by the door. They made me promise not to unpack them because they intended to try "escaping" tomorrow.

Although we will genuinely have to have a talk about the dangers of really 'running away' I took at least two things from this episode. The first is that their blatantly cartoony hobo version of running way a la sacks tied to sticks over their shoulders suggests that I was totally right in refusing any more TV. The other is that I am absurdly pleased that they did such a good job packing on their own. It was a Mom win (you know, aside from the whole 'running away' thing ;-)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

a little more evidence why my boys are the best boys. ever. anywhere...

Junior crawled into bed with me at the crack of dawn the other morning and said "so...I've been thinking about taking us all on a cruise."


Overheard between the boys:

Junior: "Mom can hear everything"

Bubba: "yeah, even when we whisper really quietly"

Junior: "even when we only think things too.

Bubba: solemnly/glumly "seriously"


Junior woke up on his 7th birthday to his breakfast of request; pink donuts, bacon, and pink milk. I like it when he chooses breakfast...

While Junior spent the day in school, Bubba and I blew up 40 balloons. Bubba supplied the air and I tied the knots. Then we stuck one to Sis' hair to see how long she would leave it there. After the first few minutes, she forgot it was there and spent the next three hours looking just like this. Her hair is notoriously staticky (sp? eh. don't care...) One day Junior came home from school and told me that when his teacher asked them to list things that float, his suggestion was "my sister's hair."

Around Halloween when Junior picked his difficult Rabbid costume, he also told me that he wanted a Rabbid cake for his birthday. I was really hoping he would move on, but he did not. Anyone who is curious about the toilet and rabbit and plunger and junk pile can read about it here. The misspelling of birthday refers to the "baahhh" sound which is the only sound the rabbids make. I thought I was pretty clever. So did my 7 year old :-)I'd like to thank scarcity for causing me to have to pay waaayyy too much to order and ship the Rabbid figure and Sis' dollhouse for the rest of the cake props. This was, without a doubt, the weirdest cake I ever expect to decorate in my mommy years.

Junior wanted to hold his party at 'Jump On It' which is a huge room full of trampolines. It's actually really awesome. We had friends join us there and everyone jumped until they dropped.

If I recall, both Bubba and William were tattling about something in this picture. I think I pretended I couldn't hear them.

My awesome neighbors Formerly Phread and Mr. Formerly Phread brought four of their kids to play and invariably always knew where Sis was when she had managed to escape me. Good folks! If you ever have the opportunity to live right next door to these guys I highly recommend it.

Getting Sis up the slide ladder. A major labor of love.

Charisse and Jessica brought their crews along and hung out to gossip with the mommy's (which is our idea of a party).

It's not a party without the Bradshaws. Love these guys!!

Junior was very excited this year by the idea of money. After his birthday weekend was over, he had enough to go to town on the toy section of walmart.

Happy Birthday to you...

Of course he picked the piece that had the plunger on it :-)

Sis was the only one who actually looked the way the rest of us felt.

I'd say it is nice to have it over for another year, but Bubba is already laying plans for his own party. I have about 4 months...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Paging Dr. Corey...

Junior wants to be a scientist at the moment. He spends a lot of time at the bathroom sink with his goggles on mixing potions with anything I will let him use (i.e. vinegar, salt and pepper, oil, bathroom soap, toothpaste, his own spit...)He found the goggles on his own in the toy box but was using his zip up fleece as his lab coat. I broke down and gave him an old white button up shirt of mine and figured that since it would probably soon be covered in vinegar/oil/toothpaste/spit anyway, I offered to put his name on it.

"Dr. Junior?" I asked as I searched the drawer for a sharpie.

His response was a little hesitant.

"Would it be ok if we called me Dr. Corey?"

(Biting the insides of my cheeks to keep from showing my amusement and damaging his little ego) "Sure, Dr. Corey..."

Just had to share :-) Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

can I offer you a drink?

I was really confused the other night when the ice machine on my fridge dispensed both ice and tater tots.

(note: this will happen when a bag of tater tots falls into the ice tray and then gets covered with new ice and then torn open by the dispensing wheel.)

I was wondering where those went.

Friday, February 4, 2011

2556 Days Ago...


Seven years ago today you made me a mommy and I knew for the first time what it really meant to be willing to take a bullet/jump in front of a bus/never get a full night of sleep again for someone. On the first night in the hospital, we sent you to the nursery so we could relax and sleep knowing you were in the care of professionals. You had some reflux and would randomly gag and choke in a way that was supposedly common for a brand new baby, but scared us to death. I knew I would never sleep if I was listening for you. Throughout the night, the nurses would bring you in to eat and then take you back, leaving me to doze. Around 3 a.m. I was woken up by night nursery nurse shortly after I had just fed you and sent you back.

"He is really fussy and isn't responding to being held or a pacifier or anything we have tried. We thought he might want to nurse again."

You did not. Decidedly. As soon as I took you in my arms, you burrowed your little head down and fell asleep making puppy noises and nothing I could do made you interested in eating. You just wanted to cuddle with your mama. I tucked the blanket Grandma made you around you and held you on my chest. You fit perfectly, with your head in the hollow under my chin. I didn't sleep at all, but I sat in the warm, quiet dark and listened to you breathe and to daddy breathe and was happier at that moment than I ever thought possible. You didn't budge for hours and I imagined that you must feel secure now that you could hear and feel my familiar heart beat. It was one of the best nights I have ever had, even without a wink of sleep. From that night on, you had me from your little hands that you never would curl into fists but hung in front of you (Mr. Burns style) to your big bright eyes that would search mine so intently before you figured out how to light them up with smiles. As you grew, we were always amazed at how sad we thought we would be to leave each phase behind and how surprising it was to have each new one be just as great. For some reason, I am still surprised at how much I love each new phase you grow into even while missing my baby. Since that first night, I have often thought about how easy it was to comfort you just by my presence and I wished the unattainable wish of mothers everywhere, that I could always shield you from any hurt.

Seven years have passed in a blink and mothering has taught me a few things in the meantime. The time has passed when simply holding you fixed whatever was wrong (although I hope it still helps, because I am going to do it anyway.) The desire to protect you forever will probably never leave but I am learning that I have to step back sometimes now and let you figure out how to fight your own battles and deal with the first steps of an independent life. In so many ways, you are wise beyond your years. You are so smart and caring and sensitive and imaginative. I am so proud of you and of the person you are becoming and the way you have handled the big changes of the last year and a half.

I am lucky to be your mom and you always inspire me to be a better one. Every morning when you crawl in next to me at the crack of dawn to get warm or talk my ear off, I think of that first night and how glad I am that you are still little enough to cuddle. Your head still fits right under my chin. I love you. You are one of the three greatest blessings of my life.

Happy Birthday Junior!