Archive for July, 2006

Revisited.

The hubby’s kidney stones – they’re ba-ack.

So no report from the trenches until later.

Peaches and camping.

I’ve spent most of my morning watching a baby feed himself. Not the most exciting way to spend a morning, I’ll grant you that, but it is very entertaining. I watched those chubby little fingers chase peaches across the highchair tray. He was so focused on his agenda, his toes were curling and his tongue was sticking out if his mouth. His fingers would grab a piece of peach, and the food would squirt out of his fingers. Slimy things, those peaches. The boy, however, was determined, and would not let a little peach get the best of him. He focused on one piece, never letting up until he had gotten that specific piece into his mouth. Then he would choose his next piece carefully, selecting the largest first, and the scrawny pieces last. It seemed to me to be so much work just to get a few pieces into his mouth, but obviously it was worth the effort. He hummed a happy little mmmm sound while he gummed the peaches. Tasty things, those peaches.

I envy the baby’s determination. If eating something turned out to be so much work and such a challenge, I don’t think I would eat that specific food again. And that goes for more than just food – if anything is that hard or takes that long, my focus gets shifted to something easier and quicker. I’ll take the easy way any day.

———————–

The other children are playing ‘campout’ upstairs. It involves sleeping bags, dress up clothes, and plastic dishes. Oh, and wooden food. And a general mess of gargantuan proportions. The mess, however, is worth it, because they are playing peacefully. The kids can get into such little snits over the most trivial of things. Now that it’s too hot to be outside in the afternoons (hello, heatstroke) they get very cranky about being stuck in the house. I get cranky too. The difference between me getting cranky and a 3,5, or 6 year old getting cranky is that I don’t hit and push. Much. (Joking, no need to call child protection services.) Yesterday afternoon we had several emotional breakdowns. I wasn’t sure we were going to make it until 5:30 when the other two get picked up for the day. I’m just glad that no one was hurt in any way and thankful nothing in the house was broken. That’s what I consider a successful day. Keep your fingers crossed for today.

The cycle that will never be broken (unless I yell and threaten)

This is what I hear on a regular basis: (imagine a whiney voice accompanying all requests)

“Mom, can we go outside?”

and once outside, this is what I hear:

“It’s too hot. Can we go back inside?”

then 10 minutes later, this is what I hear:

Can we go back outside?”

and then, once outside, I hear:

“It’s too hot. Can we please go back inside.”

and it continues, over and over and over again all day long.

Baked.


My kids are getting dark. They spend a lot of time outside and at the pool. No matter how much sunscreen I coat them with, their skin seems to soak up the sun. And I guess it’s genetic, because my skin does the same.

However, that doesn’t mean I am pleased with their tans. On the contrary, I am very horrified about the fact that their skin cells are being damaged every time they step outside. I try my hardest to keep them in the shade and covered in sunscreen. But the damage, it keeps happening.

The other day my daughter looked up at me, looking very pleased, and stated that her skin was getting darker and darker. I was flabbergasted by her pleasure. And immediately I took steps to stop her misguided love of sun damage – or tanning as you sun-lovers might call it.

I told her that the darkening of her skin was actually the sun cooking her skin. Every time she goes outside, I informed her, she is being cooked. Well, I think that the cooking analogy might have scared her a little. She looked at me, with a very frightened look on her face, and said, “Cooking me?!?”

So score another bad parent point for me. Now I’ve made my daughter envision herself as the main dish served on a big platter with a little parsley garnish on the side – after she’s been thoroughly cooked, that is.

(I seem to subscribe to the school of thought that thinks this: if a little bit of healthy fear is good, well, then let’s go ahead and scare the shit out of them so it can be that much better. Um, mission accomplished.)

Carpet lint and espresso.

Last night I had another bought with my 2 am insomnia. I get it now and then. I wake up in the middle of the night, and can’t fall back asleep no matter what I do. And then, if I do finally manage to get back to sleep, it’s always about an hour before the alarm goes off, which just royally pisses me off.

So in honor of my lack of focus and sleepiness, here are just a few random observations:

  • The same baby who turns his nose up at chicken vegetable dinner will savor carpet lint like it is a delicacy. You will have to pry it out of his mouth while he screams and kicks and frantically turns his head back and forth so he can thwart your efforts to remove the precious carpet lint from his mouth.
  • The little girl who is an angel all morning will go and whisper instructions to the 3 year old on how to torture her brother by repeatedly yelling his name in a shriller than shrill voice, thus ending her morning of being an angel.
  • The fact that you are trying to cut back on caffeine will make you desire a double shot of espresso even more that you ever thought possible.
  • The fact that you are trying to eat healthier will make you desire double chocolate brownies even more than the espresso.
  • The rain outside will force you to have to find things to entertain 4 children who never want to do the same thing at once – and you will work your ass off. Darn rain. What, exactly, are the odds that one of them will get hit by lightening if I put them out in the rain to play? Not that I want them to get hit, mind you, but just that I’m trying to weigh the pros and cons of kicking them out of the house for a while.

I’m thinking she’d fetch a good sum, if we can keep her quiet long enough.

Blogger has been giving me problems today. As in, it wouldn’t let me log in, and then when it did let me log in, it laughed in my face when I tried to create a new post. Okay, so maybe it didn’t laugh at me, but I sure did feel like it was. Therefore, anything I was going to tell you was driven out of my mind around 10:00 by my shorter-than-short attention span.

I do remember wanting to tell you about my trip to the theater. It was the first time I had gone without kids in seven years. Seven. Years. That trip was way overdue. And I had fun. And I loved Clerks 2 with all my Kevin Smith loving heart. (If you can’t stand foul language, do not go see that movie, all I’m saying.) After the movie, we went out to eat. At Macaroni Grill. And I had the most delicious Chicken Scallopine ever. Ever. It was so good, I ate more than I ever should have. All that, and we were home by 6:30. (What can I say, we’re party people.)

This morning my daughter told the mother of the baby I babysit that she feeds him Gerber snacks when I am too busy playing games on the computer to feed him. Oh. My. God. Maybe you should go back and read that again. She told the baby’s mother that I play games on the computer and let a 5 year old feed the baby!! When she said it, I was just flabbergasted. And the mom either didn’t process what my daughter said, or just ignored it, because she just went on with the conversation. Meanwhile, I wanted to yell, “Liar! Liar!” at my daughter and make her fess up that I have never once played computer games while the kids are here! Even when I’m on here typing, the kids are either in the same room with me, or sleeping. Sometimes they are watching TV. But never do I rely on a 5 year old to feed them while I merrily play games. (I only do that when it’s just my own children. They regularly fend for themselves.) (Kidding.) (Kinda.)

Sometimes I want to take off my daughter’s head and give it a good shake. Because, obviously, something is loose in there and her brain is not working. At all. I love her, yet at times, I fantasize about her black market value. Lately, it’s been more of the latter.

She’s not bossy, and I bought crackers.

This morning:

Me: “You sure are being a good friend this morning, (daughter’s name)”

Daughter: “Yeah. I’m not being bossy at all today. I’m only bossy sometimes. A lot.”

Me: *chuckle*

Daughter: “Okay, here’s what we’re going to do….”

And the bossiness began. But for a few moments, a few blessed moments, she was being a good friend to the 3 year old I babysit. (I really need to come up with pseudonyms for these kids!) She was helping him get Hungry, Hungry Hippos set up and even thought of a solution to the problem of keeping the little balls away from the baby. (She set up a pop-up house and had him play the game in there while she and the baby played outside the house.)

———————-

Last night I went grocery shopping for the second time this week. It seems like I am doomed to go at least twice a week no matter what I stock up on the first time around.

This time it was laundry detergent that I this-close to running out of. And as we all know, running out of laundry detergent is like daring fate not to take a knock at you. If you run out of detergent, and figure you’ll just go to the store tomorrow because you’ve got plenty of clean clothes, then of course your children will spill an entire glass of grape juice on their white shirts. Never fails. Anyway, I digress…

I went to the store and got the detergent. Also, I picked up several other things we were in need of – including those orange peanut butter crackers. You know, the cheese crackers with peanut butter in the middle. Honestly, I had never eaten them in my life until I moved down here. Apparently, they are a food staple where my husband is from. They call them “nabs”. (Don’t ask me why, I couldn’t explain it to you, but that’s just the way it is.) I find them handy for when you don’t have time to make a meal, and you need something portable and quick. (I’m not going to tell you how many times I’ve eaten them in place of something nutritious.) Oh boy… digressing again.

I picked up the biggest package of crackers I could find, patting myself on the back for making such a wise decision in getting the extra-large-family-size. (We’re an extra-large-family-size kind of family.) And even though my husband complained that they weren’t Lance, I was still proud of my purchase.

So imagine my surprise, when last night I opened a package to have as a snack, and found that instead of peanut butter-y goodness inside the neon orange cracker, there was cheese. At least, that’s what the package called that light orange squishy goo inside the cracker. I bought the damned cheese crackers filled with cheddar cheese instead of the cheese crackers filled with peanut butter – *s-word*.

And what did I do? What any other person who hated those darned cheese-filled crackers and was faced with a serious cracker-buying error would do – I ate them.

Hey, I was hungry. What did you expect?