Boys are from outer space

Sometimes I feel like my boys just don’t understand me. I wonder what makes it so hard for me to communicate with them meaningfully, because it seems like they will do the exact opposite of what I say-with a smile on their faces, as if it is a good thing they aren’t listening. Almost as though they come from some other planet, where ignoring your parents is actually good manners and expected.

Sammy has become amazingly good at misbehaving in public places, strategically avoiding eye contact, thus avoiding “the look”, and staying just out of arms reach,thwarting my attempts at a quick swat when no one is looking. It is uncanny how he just knows exactly when he will be able to get away with something because I’m powerless at that moment to stop him. Weird alien sense of self preservation?? Perhaps.

 

Exhausting. And so hard to understand when I am told by everyone how well behaved he is at school. Unless he’s got them all brainwashed with his alien mind control powers.

I am fed up with finding all sorts of weird objects stuck at the uppermost and difficult spots to reach in the house. Socks. Rubber dinosaurs. Plastic balls and frogs, a million of them. Every time I drag a ladder into the house and try not to die in my attempt to remove them….. more just appear.  I think this might be some sort of extraterrestrial home decorating that I just don’t appreciate. It must be in their DNA to do it. I’m sure they can’t help it.

I don’t know how the teen manages to get out of most chores I ask him to do. It all starts the same way, I’ll ask, or suggest that he vacuum something….. and suddenly everything goes fuzzy…. I have vague memories of some sort of verbal dialogue between us, he appears to be offended and suddenly far too busy….. and the next thing I know he’s gone. And I’m vacuuming. Possibly more alien mind control??

They have secret handshakes. Elaborate ones that involve a lot of fist bumping and weird finger moves. I think the secret handshake is just a cover for their secret alien communication…. they’re plotting against me, I know it.

I don’t understand them at all. Frankly, they scare me. They seem to stay pretty mellow and not aggressive as long as I keep enough things in the house they like. Yogurt, beef jerky,  pancakes, basketballs, Pokémon.

You have boys??

Word of advice. It’s pointless to yell at them about all the dirt they track around your house. It’ll just confuse them. On their planet, dirt is a status symbol…. they’re programmed to carry as much of it on their bodies and into the home as possible. All in the effort of improving your rank in the alien community. Probably better to just thank them.

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How to win a trophy

Sammy finished his first T-ball season yesterday, and the coaches surprised the kids with a trophy for each of them.

Of course Sammy was feeling pretty self important and strutting around holding that trophy for the rest of the night.

We took it with us for celebratory ice cream, the trophy displayed rather blatantly at table center.

Jenna trailed behind Sammy the whole time, just wanting to be near. Of course she wasn’t allowed to get too close. I didn’t hear his explanation to her as he shut down her last attempt at sneaking a quick touch. But it all became clear…..

“Mom…..”  she began, with those big, earnest, brown eyes….

“So I can get a trophy when I’m six…..and a boy?”

Uh. Yes?

 

 

Starlight mints don’t get you elected

Be ashamed…..

 

Took the kids to the Fourth of July parade this morning, and positioned ourselves in the best spot for maximum candy exposure. No other kids right next to us, and close to the start of the parade path, so they don’t run out of the good stuff yet.

Other kids brought plastic bags, but we had our wagon, and even extra space in the secret compartment under the seat.

We saw the police, veterans, the bomb squad!, lots of organizations like churches, schools, and daycares even. And elected officials, plenty of them.

And here is where I see lost opportunity for them to solicit the vote, and also opportunity for me to get to really know those guys before it’s time to cast my ballot.

Sure, sure….  you’re handing me a flyer outlining your greatness that I must take before  you give me the tootsie pop, which is what I really want. I respect that, I do.

But… if you’re throwing starlight mints at me out of the windows of  your sports car as you drive smugly by….you’ve lost me. Even if you splurged and got the green mints. I just don’t feel that you care much about what I like, why MY needs are……

If you decide to throw those white individually wrapped peppermint lifesavers, you know, the ones that burn my mouth??  Well, I don’t think you even like yourself.

Are you a twizzlers thrower? Starburst, skittles, fruity taffy? Ok, I’ll take your candy, and even pay attention to the name on your banner. You are at least making an effort. But come voting day, I remember lots of fruit candy….. you aren’t going to stand out a whole lot.

We got two almond joy bars, and one tiny bite sized snickers. I wish I’d seen who tossed those to the ground in front of us… because obviously, that person has their finger on the pulse of voters everywhere. Clearly, you know what talks to us…. it’s not crappy peppermint or that cheap pink gum that loses flavor before you toss the wrapper.

Mini tootsie rolls…. you play it safe. Conservative. Lots of beige in your house.

And to the nestle crunch bar thrower….. just sad. If you’re going to commit to investing in chocolate, do it right…please. You’re the city representative that’s going to choose the quick fix ’cause it’s cheaper, instead of investing in the best option for your community. First it’s nestle crunch bars, then our basements are all flooding because you didn’t think we needed to worry about the drainage problems.

What???

You’re telling me I’m over analyzing, and this candy is actually for the kids?

You think I’d wake up late, race through the shower, force those kids out of bed and sprint, pulling a wagon holding 75 pounds of offspring like half a mile so I can get the best spot, wave to everyone like an idiot in the hot sun for almost an hour, and then give THEM the candy???

Huh…..

And you’re also out of touch with reality.

Final stash…..not bad. Frisbee, anyone??

You can’t always blame it on the Chia Seeds

I sweep the floor, and wipe the floor, and wash the floor a lot. It’s important for you to know this so you can really appreciate the breakdown I almost had today.

I had my 1 year old nephew over yesterday, plus the 3 and 6 and 15 year old at home with me. Each kid exponentially increasing the number of times I cleaned the kitchen floor.

messy little buggers…

 

 

My nightmare began when I brought the kids upstairs after playing in the basement yesterday. The 15 year old had just left for his dads house, it was just me and the three littles.

Walking into the kitchen, I notice….dirt…..something…..on the floor. First it’s just a few specks that catch my eye, but as I look, more and more becomes visible. It’s near the side door….and the kitchen table. Little black hard specks. Did Jake go outside and track this in before he left?!  But it’s almost too hard…. I looked at the houseplants suspiciously….did someone knock one over??

I sweep. Holy hell, it’s all over the floor!! Even the hallway?! What…… I swear, I just cleaned this floor!

I blamed it on a Kashi bar with chia seeds. The one year old was carrying it around, still in the wrapper, but I figured there must have been a hole or tear, hence these little black “seeds” all over.

I vacuumed… it felt like tiny chia shrapnel shooting into my ankles…a PILE on the carpet, then Sammy pointed out a trail of them on the couch. I spent a lot of time vacuuming. Sweeping. Wiping up. Eventually, the kids went to bed, chia seed bar went in the trash, and I told the husband about it when he got home. Funny. ha ha ha.

This morning. The three little ones are all with me still. WHAT is this stuff I’m stepping on….feels like….more chia seeds?! But how???

More vacuuming… how did I miss so many on the rug? More sweeping….HOW are they BACK?? Now I’m starting to panic. Are these REALLY chia seeds? There is something a little too hard… an almost metallic glint to some of them…. and chia seeds don’t seem so aggressive usually……

                              They LOOK innocent…….

Mind races…. some sort of insect? Pieces of insect? How are they being left on my floor practically under my nose!!? Cicada’s?? I feel like I’m missing something…. maybe I need to Google “suspicious small black specks showing up on my floor whenever I turn my back”…  I realize I just wanted it to be the chia seeds… that stupid Kashi bar was never opened, I checked….

Back and forth. Back and forth. Every time I look, everywhere I look, there are more.

At this point I’m talking to myself, a little panicked. What is going on? Am I crazy? Looking for the video camera…. is this a joke? Aliens? Am I in hell??  Because I can’t stop cleaning, EVER, if I can’t stop these things from appearing after I just cleaned them up!

This is hilarious….

And then I notice Sammy. Sitting at the kitchen table, eating fake Dorito’s, with a pile of those demonic black specks under his chair. Why are they black and not orange!?  I’m convinced this is the twilight zone. This is my eternity….I just cleaned under that chair!! I creep closer, waiting for some horror to make itself known.

And I notice something.

He’s wearing ankle weights.

And one has a leak. This kid has been spilling that gritty black filler since yesterday, All. Over. My. House.

“Ohmygodsammyitstheankleweights!!!!”

He looks startled….then sheepish as I remove them from his ankles, black evil specks spilling out as I do it.

Now clearly, these are not chia seeds…..but I had to find a way to rationalize what was happening…… so, sorry chia seeds, my bad.

 

 

 

Embarrassing moments with my kids

We all have those moments you can’t prep the kids for, until they happen… THEN you can say “And remember not to tell Uncle Frank that his breath stinks”, or “remember not to poke the big pimples on Sally’s face”…. things you wouldn’t think to coach them about until it’s already been too late once….

So this week I’ve had a few moments like that.

First moment…. there is a mom on Sammy’s T-ball team. We’ve seen her several times in the last few days, and every time I see her she wears a purple T shirt. I noticed it as I pulled up to the game last week, I see her sitting there, in a purple shirt. I notice this to myself, in my head… and I hear Sammy in the back seat “Why does Billy’s mom always wear a purple shirt?”

After silently congratulating him for being so aware, I offer an explanation. “Probably she has a lot of purple shirts…..that seem to look exactly the same…..and just wears a lot of purple shirts. Because she likes purple.” Both kids seemed to understand. I even told Sammy, “but don’t say anything about her purple shirt because it might make her feel bad if you think she wears purple too much.”

So JENNA walks up to her…. “Why are you wearing a purple shirt?”

As I die over to the side…. the poor lady calmly answers that it was there, clean, so she just wore it. And Jenna looks very speculative…. “I have ONE purple shirt”. Then goes to play. And I am left….shaking my head and kind of laughing… don’t know what THAT was all about….kids these days….he he he……

Most recently, it was Sammy’s turn to embarrass me. We are driving with a woman who is about 20 years older than me….. she’s very skinny, definitely skinnier than me.

For some reason, the kids start to debate who is bigger, me or this lady. Sammy says I’m bigger, Jenna says the lady is bigger. I try to say they are both right. “Well, she’s big because she’s a grown up, but she’s a small grown up.”

And Sammy turns to Jenna and feels the need to educate her, “I’ve noticed that when people get old, they get smaller….for some reason…..”

 

Babysitter secrets

I was having a conversation with my sister the other day, about a mutual friend who seems to have such conflicted feelings toward her babysitter.

Seems like the sitter is very nice, happy, friendly, responsible, and loving toward her child. He loves going over there. He is treated like family. Yet….. the friend was reluctant to leave him with her. Found fault with the way she did things, and seemed very suspicious of her.

My sister doesn’t understand how in the world this is possible. Especially since the babysitter is also a close friend of hers…and she can vouch that the girl is in fact NOT torturing or neglecting this child during the time she is watching him.

I decided to fill her in on the whole mom/babysitter relationship. At least how it sometimes goes.

For example, if you look on any babysitting site, there are ads from parents looking for that perfect person to watch their baby. But what they are asking for and what they really want aren’t always the same. In these cases, you need to read between the lines and understand that we don’t REALLY want you to love our kids. Maybe just a little, but not enough to make them love you BACK. Because then you’re competition. And that makes us hate you.

This might be a more honest look into the heart of a mom who has to work, and needs a sitter, but also hates the idea of needing a sitter, and worries about being replaced emotionally.

“In search of a dependable, efficient, no-nonsense sitter for my kids. Please be very kind to them, but also sometimes indifferent so they don’t start to love you, but instead always remember to love me more. No more than 3 hugs per day, which must be initiated by the child and tolerated by you. Absolutely no cute nicknames for them. Please do make them healthy and yummy lunches, but don’t cut the sandwich the special way that I cut it… and no pancakes made to spell their names. Just circles for you. If you witness a “first” moment, ignore it. Pretend it didn’t happen… save it for me. If they tell you they love you, pretend you just stubbed your toe and jump around yelling to distract them from those dangerous thoughts. Must be kind of irritable at the end of the day so they run to me with smiles when I come home.”

Or if you need visuals:

NO

YES

 

I may have experienced this myself…. so it’s possible that I know what I’m talking about just a tiny bit. It doesn’t make sense, but nothing makes sense after having kids anyway… In my own experience, I did finally come to really appreciate that the kids and the sitter DID love each other, and time made me realize that nothing-so far-has been able to replace me in their affections.

I think our friend is going through the same issue. Which sucks, but I guess I’d rather hate my sitter for loving my kids and making me jealous, than for actually being a shitty sitter. Ha, try saying that five times fast, shitty sitter, shitty sitter, shitty sitter….. can’t do it can you??

 

3 year old confidence

I really hope the 3 year old keeps her spunky attitude. That’s what someone said about her today, “she’s got spunk”. I am taking it as a compliment.

She had to go potty today, just now in fact…. called me when she was done. After I do my clean up job, she walks out of the bathroom singing “Hey mom, pee is #1, and poop is #2!”  She’s holding two thumbs up above her head, as she swaggers past victoriously.

I love that she’s so proud of herself and her poop.