Wednesday, April 8, 2009
My BFF Hollie and I share everything......we are PTO chums, YMCA partners, and co-Moms. No, not in the weird, lots of wives to one jerk, kind of way.............but in a this is what it would be like to clone yourself way. She has two kids, a 4th grade girl and a 1st grade boy. Two days a week, I pick up all 5 kids and two days a week she picks up the 4 older kids (Emma is always with me....THIS year) It gives each of us an extra 30 minutes twice a week to get that last load of laundry folded or run to one more store. Every day but Wednesday, we go from the school straight to the YMCA, get homework done, check the kids into the Kid Center and work out. On Wednesdays, the kids get out an hour earlier, so we head to the local park with about 6 other Moms from the school. Any Wednesday, there are about 25-30 kids on this small playground, and generally speaking, everyone knows everyone else's kids..............(joy oh joy, more co-Moms!) Today, I had the 5 of them at the park while Hollie was setting up the monthly staff luncheon at the school. If you are a Mom of multiple kids, you know the drill......chit-chat and count 1-2-3-4-5, chit-chat and count 1-2-3-4-5, chit-chat and count 1-2-3-4......................missing one, missing one, missing one...............I think it actually takes a minute to process which one you are missing. Today, it was Emma, the 4 (and a half) year old. Have you been here??? First you think, she's behind something you can't see around, so you start shifting yourself around. Then you start walking a little faster and looking at each child to make sure she hasn't changed clothing with someone else..........who knows what 4 year old Divas come up with! Then the other Moms start to hone in on your mounting panic...........Who're we looking for?? Then you start polling the brothers, the friends, have you seen Emma, where's Emma, help me look for Emma. Ian, my oldest, says, very nonchalantly I might add, "Emma, oh she's in the bathroom" Immediately, I think he's been eating spoiled strawberries because no way would Emma go BY HERSELF to the bathroom on the OTHER side of the park BY HERSELF with all of these STRANGERS around. You know, the bathrooms that open on the OPPOSITE side of the building, where the doors face the ROAD and the BIKE TRAIL where ANYONE can drive, walk, or bikenap a small 4 year old from!! But, she also was obviously no where on the playground, so maybe he was on to something. I put one of the other Moms onto my four older ones and practically ran to the bathrooms. Sure enough, in stall number one, I see familiar pink pom-pom boots. By the time we left the bathroom, she was sobbing, I was fuming, and all of the kids wanted to know what had happened. Nothing pulls kids over to you like a little bit of drama at the playground. To her credit, she did lock the stall door, which is something new for her.......so, the next time you see me, if my hair is a little greyer, you'll know why!
Friday, March 13, 2009
Our first Pine Wood Derby is almost here! In case you aren't familiar...........Pine Wood Derby is a big event for the Cub Scouts. You get this box in February that contains a block of wood, 4 nails and 4 wheels and your 6 and 8 (and 4 in our house) year olds are supposed to make a race car that not only looks like a vehicle, but will actually work on a track too. Needless to say, John jumped right in. He took his two pine wood cars that he had made with his dad down from the shelf and showed them to the boys. He spent hours researching the best designs on the web. Then he cut out the cars, he graphited the axels, and he is currently painting them. While he works on these cars, I try my best to get the boys outside in the vicinity of the garage to pretend to help him. I think there is a fine balance between having the boys help and John wanting to do better in this race than we did in the Raingutter Ragatta sailboat race. There is just something about the Cub Scouts that brings out the little boy in the dads. I actually think Emma has been more involved in her car than either of the boys! Wish us luck! Hopefully John, er, the boys, will win a trophy!
My sister in law, Jen, tagged me in a photo game..............so here goes:
1. Go to your Picture Folder on your computer or wherever you store your pictures.
2. Go to the 6th Folder and then pick the 6th Picture.
3. Post it on your blog and tell the story that goes with the picture.
4. Tag 5 other glorious peoples to do the same thing and leave a comment on their blog telling them about it.
This was at our Winter Wonderland that the PTO puts on at the school every year. I love this picture because Emma looks so "pre-teen" in it to me. I relate this to the Santa pictures of the 70's that were taken of me and used in wedding videos and other such flattering places. I think this one will be around for a long time!
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
I think when you have multiple kids, you always have one that seems to push your buttons, and really enjoy it too! I know that I was myself that button pusher for my Mom, and I just as certainly know that my button pusher's name is Ian. Trust me when I say, this is NOT an innocent until proven guilty situation................he has already been tried by a jury of me, and duly punished. Even justly punished, if you will. However, several of the other sitting judges (mainly my husband) think that the sentence was a little harsh and would like for the accused to earn time off for good behavior. Here's the scenario: Ian sometimes makes very bad decisions. Let's say that I have told him THOUSANDS of times, nightly, daily, even, that it is ok to have a piece of *candy* if he asks me first. But, if he takes *candy* and hides it from me, he will face the consequences of not only doing what he is not supposed to do, but then also going so far as to hide the evidence. The other morning, Emma comes to me and says, "I know where Ian is stashing his *candy wrappers*". Oh? I say, very calmly too, I might add, "show me". We have, in our bathroom, a step stool that has a storage compartment below the step. Inside the step stool is a large quantity of *candy wrappers*. (bad decision #1) Instead of getting angry, frustrated, and overall pissed off, I woke my son as usual, lead him into the bathroom, point at the stool and ask him if he has anything that he would like to explain to me. He really wants to cop an attitude and starts to tell me "what, it's a step stool" (bad decision #2). I stop him to tell him that he is already in trouble, and that the next words he chooses to use will determine how severe of a punishment he will receive. Think carefully, I tell him. He ponders this for a minute and then admits that he had stashed those *candy wrappers* months ago and had forgotten about them. (bad decision #3, do you see a pattern here?) I ask him how many *candy wrappers* he thinks are in there. Four or five was his guess. I have him count them as he removes them from the stool. Not 4, not 5, but 18 *candy wrappers* are in the stool. I refuted his belief that he had stashed them months ago because I recognized the distinctive *wrappers* from Christmas *candy*, which was only weeks ago. I decided that to make an impact as to how wrong this decision of his was, I would tie the punishment directly to the crime, instead of arbitrarily throwing something out in the wind, as I normally do. (We all have to have our New Year's Resolutions). I told him that he would be restricted from the WII and the computer for 18 days (see the coorelation?). Now, you have to understand, that in our family, the WII is only played during weekends or when there is no school. So, 18 days of no WII, counting only WII playing days, is February 22nd. Considering the amount of work that I had to do to clean up the *candy wrappers*, I don't think that is uncalled for. Afterall, he gets the computer as soon as February 2nd, as he can play the computer whenever homework gets done. So, my husband is standing behind me, but quietly trying to nudge me into this whole time off for good behavior deal. I kind of think that he should have good behavior anyways. This is the child that when we need to leave for school at 0800, will STILL be lying naked in his bed at 0755, despite how many times I have gone up to his room and told him to get dressed. I don't know that compliance to the family rythym should be rewarded as "good behavior". Afterall, Gavin and Emma don't get rewarded for doing what they are supposed to do. They get up, they get dressed, and they come down stairs. Fairly simple and straightforward. If I reward Ian for doing the exact same thing, don't I set myself up for either the other two misbehaving so they can get rewarded or a serious case of sibling jealousy? Ian constantly throws his clothes on his bedroom floor, instead of the laundry basket in his room. Do I reward him for putting his laundry away where he is SUPPOSED to? These would be monumental changes for Ian, and although they would make my life much easier, I'm not sure that I want to start rewarding him for the bare minimum that he supposed to do anyways. What will happen when its February 23rd? Do the clothes go back on the floor, and the stressful, running late trips to school start again? So, if you happen to have any ideas or thoughts you'd like to share............I could certainly use some creativity!!!
**Sordid details of the story have been changed to protect the perpetrator's sensitive feelings**