Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Case of the Open Fridge

Just about every time I have walked into my kitchen in the last 4 or 5 days, I noticed that the fridge was left WIDE open. I KNEW a kid was responsible, I just didn't know which one. But I finally caught the little stinker red-handed! I walked into the kitchen yesterday and my 4 year old son was standing at the fridge, with the door open. He had the ketchup bottle (squirt bottle) in his hand and he had it poised above his head and he was squirting it into his mouth! (I have never mentioned in the blog how much he LOVES ketchup, but he wants it on just about everything and apparently he likes it plain too!) I was telling my husband about this last night and one of our daughters informed us that he also does the same thing with the bottle of Hershey's Chocolate Syrup AND with MY can of Fat Free Reddi Wip! Just then he came running into the room and sure enough, he had a big smear of chocolate sauce on his face!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Fuffy Stuff, etc.



I couldn’t post yesterday because our internet was down for over 24 hours. Here’s what you missed:

FLUFFY STUFF
Does anyone know what this is a picture of? I’m about to tell you . . . but let me start at the beginning:

On Saturday, my 2 year old, who is learning to use the potty, was running around naked. He peed on the couch cushion. This particular cushion has been peed on numerous times and vomited on an equal number of times so the cover has gone through many, many washings in the last couple years. When I took the cover out of the washer on Saturday afternoon, I discovered that the zipper was no longer attached. This was no surprise as it was barely attached prior to washing -- I was keeping it attached to the cushion with safety pins.

I showed it to my husband and asked, “What should we do?” What I really meant by that question was: ‘should we just get a new cushion or a new couch?’ Obviously he was not picking up on my mental telepathy because he asked, “Can’t you just sew it?” Since the only sewing I do is with Stitch Witchery, I said that this was not going to be an option. His idea was to ask a woman at church to sew it for us and she graciously agreed. I’m sure this is a much cheaper option than my idea.

That brings me to the Fluffy Stuff. The cushion itself is covered in batting. My little dog, Molly, loves to scratch away at it (which is why the photo shows the cushion on the chair and not on the floor where Molly can scratch at it.) Apparently it holds appeal for my boys as well. To a 4 year old, the batting must look like something, that when pulled off the cushion, can be easily maneuvered by toy garbage trucks (note the garbage truck in the photo). I am still finding batting in various places around the house, especially in the cargo area of all the toy trucks. I hope to get the cushion cover back SOON before the cushion is completely destroyed!

THE PLOT THICKENS!
As I mentioned in a previous post, I got a confession about the broken windshield. As I shared the details with my neighbors (as everyone was concerned about what we though was vandalism), my one neighbor said, “Hmmm, that doesn’t add up. I think my son might be involved.” Sure enough, I got a second confession last night from my neighbor’s son, who filled in some holes in the original story. Long story short: there were 2 boys and several rocks involved and both boys are going to pay the deductible.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST
My husband walked into the kitchen last night and found our 2 year old son on all fours, licking up spilled milk. I guess he thinks he is a dog.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Confession!

My neighbor's grandson (as you have probably guessed by now, I have a lot of neighbors) came over this afternoon with his father and confessed to breaking the windshield! They did not introduce themselves but they did offer to pay for the damages. I explained that the windshield was just repaired and that my deductible was $100. The father said he would drop off a check in the next week. (He did not give me his name or contact information and I have never seen him before so I am hoping he will follow-through. I'm sure he will. Why else would he make the effort to come over if he didn't intend to follow-through?)

I asked how it got broken and the kid (he is about 14) said that he was "skipping stones down the alley" and one hit my car. I find this HIGHLY unlikely, based on the way the glass was smashed. (If driving down the turnpike at 60mph and getting hit by a rock doesn't break a windshield, how would "skipping" a rock break one? Also, who "skips rocks" down alleys? Don't you associate "rock skipping" with water?) I am still holding to the skateboard theory. Except maybe he was trying some skateboard trick and the skateboard went awry and hit the car?

Anyway, I am happy to report that it was an accident and not petty vandalism. And I'm relieved to know that there are still parents out there who make their kids accountable for their actions.

Vandalism



Gotta love livin' in the Boro. Our car was vandalized on Monday afternoon between 4-6pm. I came home around 4 o'clock and around 6pm, my neighbor asked if we knew that our rear windshield was smashed. This was news to us. Unfortunately, petty vandalism is not unusual where we live. Our town is densely populated (about 18,000 people living in about 1 square mile) and several of our neighbors have experienced vandalism in the preceding weeks.

I called the police, which was VERY exciting for all the neighborhood boys! The police officer filed a report and told me to call my insurance company. The windshield will get repaired today.

Judging from the way the glass shattered, we think someone used either a baseball bat or skateboard to smash it. The hole you see in the second picture is the result of the police officer opening the hatch (as soon as he opened it, all the loose glass dropped out, creating a much larger hole) to see if there was a rock or brick in the cargo area that would have been used to smash the window. There was nothing in the cargo area, except our stroller, which has glass all over it. Because there was no "weapon", this supports the theory of a baseball bat or skateboard. Also, the shape of the hole was consistent with our theory. In addition, my next door neighbor came home from work around 5:20pm and did not see the smashed glass and my neighbor who lives near the end of alley remembers seeing a kid with a skateboard walking past his house around 5:30pm.

On the bright side, I am thankful that it didn't happen when it was raining or snowing and the kids enjoyed the interaction with the police officer.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Top 5 Things No One Tells You About Parenting





After I became a parent, I noticed that I seemed almost obsessed about quizzing “seasoned” parents, asking them what surprised them most about parenting. I have come to discover that there are 5 things about parenting that no one told me about. So read on, parents-to-be to discover secrets of parenting that no one tells you about!

5. Pregnancy ROCKS
Most women complain bitterly about being pregnant: the aches, the pains, the trips to the bathroom. Yada, yada, yada. I LOVED being pregnant! I know some of you are thinking, “yeah, right”. OK. I must admit that I never had morning sickness so this might possibly contribute to my positive feelings about pregnancy. (I have 2 girls and 2 boys so for those who say that one gender makes you sicker than the other gender, I did not experience that.) But, back to being pregnant. I absolutely relished the feeling of the baby moving inside of me. I could not get enough of it. I will covet this feeling from now until the day I die. It is absolutely divine.

Secondly, pregnancy agrees with me. When I was pregnant, people (friends, family, strangers) would say things to me things like: “You are glowing! You are beautiful!” I assumed this just what people say to pregnant women. But then I looked at photos of myself and realized that I really AM more attractive when I’m pregnant! (This is not really a good thing. Basically it means that for the last 37 years and 4 months, I have been attractive for only 36 months.) See for yourself. In the first photo, I am about 2 days away from giving birth. In the second photo, I am holding a baby that is about 2 days old. In the first photo, although my face is full, it DOES sort of glow and I look alright, even though I have gained 60 pounds in a matter of months. In the second photo, my complexion is pasty, my hair is dull, my face looks fat, not full. Once those pregnancy hormones leave my body, I take on the look of Ursula from The Little Mermaid. (You know, rotund, gray, slouching, etc.)

And finally, I cannot TELL YOU how MANY people, towards the end of my pregnancies, said things like: “Oh, I bet you can’t WAIT to get that baby out. You must be SO SICK of being pregnant. Don’t worry, soon it will be over and you’ll be out of your misery.” I NEVER felt this way. I LIKED being pregnant. And once baby #1 arrived, I realized that being pregnant is a WHOLE lot easier than taking care of a new baby, sore boobs and a sore vagina. Who wouldn’t want to be pregnant as long as possible? And guess what? My first baby was 5 days late; my second was 10 days late; my third was 2 weeks late; I was induced on the due date with my fourth but that is a story for another day. All I can tell you is that even at 2 weeks overdue, I felt a whole lot better than I did for the next 6 weeks of the newborn’s life. My husband tells me that I scare women by telling them this, but I feel that SOMONE has to tell the truth on this subject!

Check back next week for #4 of Parenting Surprises.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

My Husband is a very Patient Man!


"Helping" Daddy assemble the arbor & the finished product

As some of you know, I have been learning how to garden, thanks to my friend, Michele.Thus, I recently purchased an arbor for our yard and today my husband offered to assemble it. Once he pulled out his electric drill, he IMMEDIATELY had 2 little boys by his side, eager to help. He was very patient, and let each of them take turns drilling screws into the arbor. He even continued to allow them to help after our youngest missed the arbor and drilled into my husband's finger! There was a little blood, not too much, and after a quick "band-aid" break, they were back at work.

When my 6 year old daughter realized that the boys were actually getting to USE the drill, she wanted in on the action too! (Our oldest daughter was at Dorney Park with a friend so my husband only had to work around 3 children, instead of 4.) So my dear husband had 3 children "helping" him assemble the arbor. He never once complained, even after the bloody finger incident. He is an amazingly patient, kind and loving man. And the arbor looks great.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Thank God for Jello Fights


Me & Kelly

The Drama Queen was home from school today because she was sick. Or so I thought when I kept her home. But as the day wore on, I discovered that she was probably just tired and not sick. (But how many times have I sent a "tired" child to school, only to get a call from the nurse telling me that the child has a fever and needs to come home?) So I kept her home. By 4pm she had managed to lose her TV privileges until SATURDAY; lose her trampoline privilege for the day; and make me so crazy that I would not allow her to have ANY snacks for the rest of the day (dinner only).

She and her younger brother were having an afternoon snack of Jello. The next thing I know, there is Jello all over both of them, all over the counter and all over the floor! I was really annoyed; I told them to clean it up but that meant they just smeared it all over the place with paper towels. I told them they had to sit there until it was eaten. The next thing I know, Jello is flying around AGAIN. This time I started to force-feed them the remaining Jello (which was not much by this time) but the Drama Queen gagged and coughed and spit it up so at that point I decided she could not have ANY more snacks for the rest of the day. Of course this translated to drama later in the evening (after dinner when she was looking for "dessert") but "oh well".

The Jello thing happened around 3:30PM. My dear friend, Kelly, who was my roommate in college for a few years, called around 5:00PM. I love Kelly. She knows me better than most and I rely on her for advice and laughter and commiseration. Kelly has three girls ages 6-11 so she can relate to my crazy life. I was telling her about the Jello story (as my son, the co-conspirator in the Jello thing was HOWLING for a snack). She started telling me about a friend of hers who had a baby 6 weeks ago . . . the baby is still in the NICU. She was born with a defective heart and different medical problems keep cropping up daily. She is a very, very sick baby and her parents wake up each morning not knowing if she will live through the day. Kelly reminded me that her friend would love for her little girl, Riley, to grow up and have a Jello fight. So I had to stop and thank God for the Jello fight and also ask for his loving care over little Riley and her parents. So thanks to Kelly for putting it all in perspective.

Monday, September 17, 2007

4:40AM



Huh? What? This is what I said when I got woken up at 4:40AM today. My oldest daughter came into our bedroom and told my husband that our 4 year old son had wet the bed and gotten pee all over her too.

There are a couple things I need to explain. Firstly, when you look at the picture of how my children sleep, like puppy dogs all cuddled together, you can see why one person peeing in the bed could create problems for the others. Secondly, I feel compelled to mention that we have 5 bedrooms in our home and YET the children insist on not only sleeping in the same room, but also sleeping in the same bed. Thirdly, the reason my daughter woke-up my husband and not me is because he sleeps on the side of the bed that is closest to the door. This requires an explanation of its own.

My husband has asked me several times over the last few years why it is that I sleep on the side closest to the window. He argues that since I am always cold, I should not sleep there (draft in winter, window fan in summer) and I have explained that I sleep there because it is next to the table which has the alarm and since I get up earlier, I need access to the alarm. What I have failed to mention to him is that the OTHER reason I sleep there is because it is furthest away from the door and thus, when one of the kids needs something during the middle of the night, he is closer than I so it only makes sense that he should be the one to get up. I do not feel badly about this at all. I nursed each of my 4 babies for the first year of their lives and I have gotten up in the middle of the night approximately 3,000 times in the last 8 years (I am not exaggerating here, I did the math) so I figure he can field all the late-night needs of our children for the remainder of their childhood and adolescence.

Fortunately for all involved, the wet bed incident only affected 2 of the kids. My six year old slept on the top bunk last night (the bedwetter was sleeping in the bottom bunk) and my 2 year old was not in the bunk at the time of the incident because he was in our bed. (I have no idea what time he came into our bed or why.) So my husband got up to assess the situation and I looked at the clock and figured that I might as well get up and help, seeing as the alarm would be going off in another 20 minutes anyway. (Truth be told, I was planning on shutting off the alarm, skipping the gym and sleeping in.) My husband stripped the kids and the bed and I put the kids in the shower and washed them and then he got them back into their jammies and back into bed. By the time I finished putting the soaked bedsheets and jammies into the washer and letting the dog in/out (she is old and has a weak bladder and any time someone arises in the night, she looks at it as an opportunity to go outside), I did consider POSSIBLY trying to go back to bed instead of to the gym. But when I got upstairs, I discovered that my bed contained 1 husband, 3 children and 1 dog so I decided to just get dressed and head to the gym. I am sure I will be falling asleep today by 1pm, if not sooner.

Oh, by the way, we have clocked only 8 days of school so far and I already have a child home sick today! Only 172 more school days left to fend off illness. Woo-hoo.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Women of Faith

I spent Friday night and all day Saturday at the Women of Faith conference at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia. The theme was Amazing Freedom and it was amazing to worship along with 18,000 other women of (various) faith backgrounds. I found myself laughing one minute and crying the next as each of the speakers told her story of how she was able to overcome terrible circumstances and seemingly insurmountable obstacles. The message of believing that God is bigger than any problem coupled with the belief that Jesus, who knew human suffering, and loves us no matter what, brings spiritual freedom to those who seek was very powerful.

Some of you may have seen one of speakers before. Her name is Anita Renfroe and her video has over 1 million hits on You Tube. You must take the next 2 minutes to watch this hilarious video called Momsense. It is a song that takes everything a mom says in 24 hours and condenses it into 2 minute. A MUST SEE!

You may be wondering how I managed to get out of the house for so long without children. My husband was in charge while I took a well-deserved break. Of course when I arrived home Saturday evening, the children were dressed in shorts, even though it was cold outside; no one had brushed their hair or teeth while I was gone and the house was in disarray. But my husband ordered pizza, had their friends over for a playdate on Friday; and then on Saturday he took them on a dinosaur fossil hunt, out to a restaurant and then to Home Depot so they had a pretty good time while I was gone. This is why dads are more fun than moms. Dads can leave the breakfast dishes in the sink (for mom to clean up when she gets home) and take the kids dinosaur hunting and get them muddy and then bring them home and not give a second thought to the muddy clothes which have been discarded on the floor, or some of which are still on the bodies of the muddy children. Yay for Dads! The world would be a much more boring place without them!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

All is well . . .

Today was a fairly quiet day, despite the kids being home from school for Rosh Hashanah. I could tell you about our trip to the periodontist but that would probably bore you to tears so I will relate an incident that happened last month since my children (surprisingly) have left me with little to write about for today.

August 9, 2007

Our 10th wedding anniversary! I was really looking forward to this day. We were planning to go to our favorite "fancy" restaurant, Gilmore's for dinner. My friend Jeannine was going to babysit for us; I bought a new dress for the occasion; I got our wedding video burned to DVD as a surprise gift for my husband; and I was just really excited about being happily married for 10 years, knowing that many people don't make it that far.

The day was fairly standard: kids, toys, snacks, naps, etc. Around 4pm I started getting ready for our celebratory date (dinner reservations were for 6:30pm). As I was getting out of the shower I had a great idea: I decided that I would create a matching game for us to play at dinner. I had a list of all the places we had dined to celebrate all of our anniversaries and I planned to list them alphabetically on one side of the paper and list the years chronologically on the other side so that we could try and match each year with the restaurant we dined in to celebrate each anniversary.

So I went down to the computer (wearing one towel on my body and another wrapped around my head) to create the game.
In the midst of typing, I heard a small voice calling, "Turn off the water! Turn off the water!" I told my 6 year old to go up to the bathroom and help her brother turn off the faucet. She came down and told me that it was stuck and she couldn't turn it off. There was no urgency in her tone so I figured I'd finish typing the list and then go up and turn it off. But just then the small voice became frantic and my 6 year old revealed to me that the water was flowing out of the sink onto the floor! You would think she would have reported this to me as soon as she came downstairs. But no. So I ran upstairs and indeed, there was water ALL OVER the bathroom floor and it was flowing down the pipe underneath the sink and was also pooling underneath the clawfoot tub. So I turned off the water, opened the sink drain and grabbed a few towels to try and mop up the worst of the mess. (As I mentioned before, we live in an old house. Thus, there are lots of gaps and cracks and one of these gaps happened to be around the pipe that runs from the sink and into the floor. Needless to say, LOTS of water was flowing down the pipe and through the gap and beneath the floor boards.) I spent a couple minutes cleaning up and then went downstairs to finish-up at the computer. As I was going down the steps, my oldest daughter started yelling that water was coming down through the dining room ceiling (which, as you probably figured out, is directly below the bathroom). I ran into the dining room in a panic and yes, there was LOTS of water coming through the ceiling. (Remember, I am still just wearing a towel). So I climbed up onto the sideboard, trying to keep the towel around me so that I wouldn't end up flashing our next door neighbors (hi, Kerpers!) and I pulled the towel off my head so that I could try to stop the flow of water from the ceiling. (I have attached a picture of the sideboard so that you can visualize how close I am to the windows so you will know why it would be problematic if the towel fell off.) If you have ever tried to stand on a piece of 100 year old furniture, hold a towel around your body, reach up high and stop water flowing from the ceiling, all while trying not to drop the towel around your body, you will know that this is no easy task. Meanwhile, all I could think about was my hair, knowing it was beginning to frizz and knowing that I couldn't get to it until I stopped the flood. I persisted for a few mintues more and decided to give up when the towel I was holding was saturated. By this time, my kids had busied themselves with collecting various bowls and pots and placing them beneath the flow of water so I decide to get down and take care of my unruly hair which was probably frizzed beyond repair in the humid weather while I attended to the flood.

I rushed to finish getting ready and complete my matching game on the computer and finished just in time for my husband to arrive home for our date. We left the children in Jeannine's capable hands and walked into town for dinner. I must say that I had THE BEST meal of my LIFE that night at Gilmore's. A fire-roasted tomato stuffed with calamatra olives, almonds, peppers and goat cheese; coconut-crusted butterfish; and a coconut creme tart with carmalized bananas on top of a chocolate-macadamia nut crust. SOOOOO yummy. Add a couple glasses of wine and I had all but forgotten the flood.

Until we walked out of the restaurant. As we opened the door, we were nearly run over by a young couple rushing into the restaurant. They were SOAKED to the skin. Absolutely drenched. Apparently it was raining HARD and we did not have umbrellas. I don't mind walking in the rain. (And in fact, every time --for the past 8 times-- we have hired a sitter and walked into town for dinner it has rained. I kid you not.) But I was not about to ruin my new dress (Lily Pulitzer!) so my husband volunteerd to go home and get the car and come back for me. I waited patiently for him to return, chatting to the other patrons who were coming/going. After a few minutes, my cell phone rang. My friend/sitter called to tell me that she, not my husband, would be coming to get me because even though he ran all the way home he was completely soaked. (I was pretty happy that it was him, and not me!) So Jeannine came by and picked me up and took me home. Once at home, I changed (because I was a tiny bit wet) and said goodnight to the kiddies (who were already in bed but not sleeping). I cuddled up on the couch with my husband, ready to relive our wedding and all the memories that would come to mind as we watched the DVD that I had given him as an anniversary gift. I was feeling pretty good about coming up with such a thoughtful gift. (I used to be good at coming up with clever gifts but now that I have 4 kids, I cannot seem to think of anything clever. Ever.) So we put the DVD in . . . and it wouldn't work. Something (obviously) went wrong during the conversion and it just wouldn't play. Just our luck.

However, despite a flood, a downpour and a defunct DVD, I was still thrilled to be celebrating 10 happy years of marriage and hope that we'll be able to celebrate another 10. And another after that. And another. I just hope that I don't give birth to 4 kids for every decade that we are married.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Crying Over Spilled Milk

Mornings are crazy around here (see Meltdown Madness as proof) so once I get the kids off to school, I like to reward myself with a cup of coffee. Except that rarely happens. Because as soon as I walk in the door from the bus stop and/or preschool, I look around and see the 10,000 things that need to be done around the house.

I have been trying to get to the kitchen floor for a couple days. It is filthy, as it is the main thoroughfare for all humans (6) and dogs (2) in our house and it is adjacent to the mudroom. Despite its name, the mudroom not only collects mud, but also houses shoes, backpacks, lunch boxes, recycling, coats, vacuum cleaner, craft supplies, toys, tools, dog bed, dog food, and all sorts of debris that is carried in from the outside. And all that debris gets tracked into my kitchen. Needless to say, the kitchen floor gets really dirty. (So does the mudroom floor but since no food is prepared in there, it doesn't seem to bother me as much.)

So I decide that I absolutely MUST wash the kitchen floor before my coffee. My mother raised me to believe that the only way to wash a floor is on your hands and knees so I begin scrubbing the floor. Not once, but TWICE. Yes, it really was that dirty. Honestly. I changed the water at least 10x while washing. I was not kidding when I said it was dirty. I assure you that I wash the kitchen floor weekly. It just gets REALLY dirty again. OK. So now the floor is nice and clean and the kitchen smells good and I can walk in my bare feet without stepping on crumbs and grime. This must be a taste of what heaven is like.

In any case, I decided to hold off on the coffed and clean the playroom first. While I was in the playroom, I checked my email (the computer is in the playroom) and was in the midst of answering an email from a friend (hi, Michele!) when I went into the kitchen to check the calendar before hitting the "send" button on the email. And there is my 2 year old, grin ear to ear, standing in a puddle of milk. On my NEWLY WASHED floor! I have no idea how he managed to get the milk carton out of the fridge and pour it himself, but not only did he manage this, but he also managed to put the milk away by himself too. (As the youngest of four, he is pretty resourceful and tries to act older than he is.) So I start cleaning up the spilled milk and lecturing him about why he cannot do this, it makes a big mess for Mommy, Mommy just washed the floor, etc., etc. I don't think he was listening because he was literally dancing around the kitchen, delighted with himself for pouring his own milk. As he was dancing, he managed to spill the entire contents of the milk cup on the formerly clean kitchen floor. So I basically washed my kitchen floor not once, not twice, but three times today!!!

And I still have not had my cup of coffee.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

I am a stripey tiger!


My 4 year old was running through the house shouting, "I am a stripey tiger!". Obvioulsy he had gotten into his sisters' markers. 4 year olds are not allowed to have markers in our house; crayons only. Now you know why. Unfortunately, the forbidden fruit is sweet and he just cannot resist markers! Note: he already had his bath when he decided to "stripe" himself. I guess he is going to get another one.

Jon & Kate Plus 8

I had a rare opportunity to go and see Jon & Kate Gosselin speak at a local church. For those of you who are asking, "Who are Jon & Kate?" you can find out by clicking here and you can see them on Discovery Health every Tuesday night at 10:00PM Eastern Time when Jon & Kate Plus 8 airs.

I drove about 40 minutes (sans children!) to Freedom Life Christian Center and got there about 30 minutes early so that I could get a good seat. Since I had some time on my hands (how often does THAT happen?!) I decided to read the welcome packet I was given upon arriving at the church. I was so surprised to find out that I was sitting in an Assembly of God church! I grew up in an A/G church so I am very comfortable in that setting. And although I prefer a quieter, more reflective worship experience, it was a lot of fun and a "blast from the past" to attend church that was more like a rock concert than church. After the rockin' worship, Jon & Kate took the stage. The pastor interviewed them "Oprah style" as they sat in comfy chairs and he chatted with them in a conversational style. Jon shared about how he became a Christian and they both talked about how they've had to rely on God through babies, job losses, more babies, and the challenges that come with more babies. They were funny, poised and genuine. It was really a treat to get to see them and hear them speak for an extended period of time. After the service, I had an opportunity to meet them and talk with them for a couple minutes. They were very down-to-earth and easy to talk to, and are as real in person as they are on tv.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Firsts






Today is a day of firsts.

First day of preschool for son #1. (He went last year but this is his First Day as a 4 year old.) First day of leaving the house without a diaper (son #2), and he stayed dry! First day that son #2 (also the youngest) has been home without any siblings in sight. As you can see from the center photo, he went right to the potty as soon as we came home. And as you can see in the last photo, he is most unhappy to be home alone. I thought I might have some time to "get things done around the house" while the older 3 are at school, but clearly it will take some time for son #2 to adjust to being an only child (four mornings a week). Who knows, he may realize that he likes the extra attention and relative quiet.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Meltdown Madness



Welcome to the Land of Langan, where melt-downs are guaranteed. Let's see, we had 7 meltdowns this morning in less than 1 hour. How is this possible? Wait until I tell you that all the meltdowns belonged to my middle 2 children! My daughter had 5 meltdowns (again, how is this possible?) and my son had 2. Why, you may ask? Let me see if I can remember;

Meltdown #1: son
He wanted to fill the sugar bowl with sugar. I explained that he could use the remaining sugar in the sugar bowl for his cereal and could fill the sugar bowl AFTER eating (otherwise he would have scooped the entire sugar canister into his cereal bowl and would have eaten nothing but sugar for breakfast). MELTDOWN.

Meltdown #2: daughter
Her sister poked her. It is never that cut and dry. Daughter #2 usually perpetrates physical violence on her siblings and then freaks out when they retaliate. So I probe. Turns out that daughter #1 was using the computer and daughter #2 told her to "get off MY computer" and then pushed her off the seat and then daughter #1 poked daughter #2. MELTDOWN.

Meltdown #3: daughter
While attempting to brush the rats' nest that is her hair, I suggested that she might want to take a shower to which she quickly replied, "NO!" So I had no choice but to continue to brush. And then spray her hair with detangler. And then use a hair pic to comb through the mess. She began to shriek that I was pulling her hair. And then she yelled at me for hurting her hair. At which point I reminded her that it is not appropriate to speak to me (her MOTHER) in that way and that she could have taken a shower but since she refused, she must suffer the consequences of tangled hair. MELTDOWN.

Meltdown #4: daughter
I ended up sending daughter #2 to her room to get dressed and told her that she must stay there until she is finished crying. About 10 minutes later she came downstairs (I was in the shower) dressed for school. Daughter #1 informs her that she cannot wear the outfit to school because it violates the dress code because of the spaghetti straps. MELTDOWN.

Meltdown #5: daughter
Daughter #2 is very dramatic (note the pictures at the top of the post, taken on our recent family vacation) and I know this because she is able to turn off the tears almost immediately. So the Drama Queen enters the bathroom (I'm still in the shower . . . hey, it is the only time I get to be alone so I take long showers!) and shows me her outfit. I explain to her (body still in the shower, head sticking out) that she cannot wear that shirt because it is against the dress code and if she wears it she will be sent to the principal's office and he will call me and tell me that I sent my daughter to school in inppropriate clothing and that I have to come pick her up or bring her different clothing. Drama Queen looks at me with innocent eyes, as if she doesn't understand a word I've said. So I tell her (still half in/out of the shower) that she cannot wear that outfit to school. MELTDOWN.

Meltdown #6: son
"Ahhhhhh! Where are my SOFT pants???? I want to wear my SOFT pants!!!!" Rolling around on the floor, kicking and screaming. Apparently he does not like the shorts that I put on him (before getting into the shower). He was happy to wear them 5 days a week all summer but for some reason, they are not SOFT and therefore he cannot possibly wear them today.

Meltdown #7: daughter
The Drama Queen goes back upstairs (you'll be happy to know that I'm out of the shower by this time) to find something else to wear. She comes downstairs wearing an outfit that she got from the dirty laundry. I explain that she cannot wear this as it is DIRTY and to my surprise, she takes it off and goes back upstairs. I smile, happy that I've gotten through to her. No, wait a minute, is that wailing I hear from up on the 3rd floor? Oh, yes, it is. And the wailing is getting louder. She is coming down the steps. Wailing. "I have NOTHING to wear THAT I LIKE!" So I explain that she will, in fact, have to wear something that she does not like. MELTDOWN.

I'm happy to report that the child did not go to school naked. We went up to her room together and selected an outfit that belongs to her older sister, who graciously allowed the Drama Queen to borrow it. Once she put on her sister's outfit, she was perfectly pleasant and content. And as the bus rolled to a stop, she turned to me, gave me a hug, smiled sweetly and said, "I love you ma-ma." MELTS MY HEART.