Happy Easter

Posted By on April 20, 2014

(from the three kiddos that still allow me to pick out matching clothes after all these years)

Seven

Posted By on April 17, 2014

A Big Kid Birthday {finally}

Posted By on April 15, 2014

I’ve had a few great ideas in this relatively short lifespan as a mother, but so far none have been as high on the list of sanity preservation as what went down this past weekend. I’m still patting myself on the back for not only finding the easiest way out, but also selling it to a certain eldest child as the best idea ever.

That certain someone will be turning seven this week and was planning all possible outcomes for a party over the entire past year.

We’ve done the epic parties, gone over the rainbow and off to hula on the beach. This year will be MJ’s turn for one of those themed extravaganzas, so a few months ago I began working on convincing Miss E that something small would be far more fun for the mature age of seven. We started with inviting one friend over . . . and that turned into two . . . and then it became three. That would be the point where my foot solidly went down.

As weeks went on and the countdown began, I heard from the grapevine gossip chain that a certain Miss E was inviting all her friends over for a real, live sleepover.

That little bit was squashed rather quickly. I may border the edge of insanity, but a sleepover is not in the cards for a long, long time.

Eventually, plans were made and invites carefully spelled out. Nails and dinner, ice cream and a movie. A dash of excitement and weeks of waiting impatient for the big day to come. And then all of a sudden, I found myself in a car with four shriek-laughing, uncontrollably giggling little girls. They giggled through their nails being painted, much to the amusement of the entire nail salon. They giggled through dinner in a crowded restaurant, while hovering in their seats and making up silly sayings and using their straws for everything but drinking. They giggled through the ice cream shop, where they found themselves the lucky recipients of two huge scoops instead of the tiny kid sized ones that were ordered. They giggled through their combined 87th viewing of Frozen, complete with running commentary.

At 9pm, far later than my hoped for end time, we herded three pajama clad girls towards the front door. As they bounced through the living room and around the foyer, I whispered apologies for the double scoops of ice cream and godspeed for the morning after. Miss E said a gracious goodbye to each friend and turned to thank us for a wonderful party. She was all smiles and joy and beaming with happiness. As she turned to go back into the playroom and enjoy her presents a while longer, the husband and I called bedtime.

And then I found out what happens when the two-scoop eating, up past her bedtime, high on adrenaline birthday girl will do when the last guest has left the party.

It wasn’t pretty, and I daresay that there is indeed such a thing as a birthday hangover.

Excuses

Posted By on April 14, 2014

I hate blogging about blogging. It’s all excuses after excuses, from me, about these long and quiet stretches. Whine, whine, bitch and moan. Kids, life, sickness, exhaustion and face plants in bed each night. All the usual suspects.

This time, however, I have something new to blame. Or rather, two somethings.

In the past six months, I’ve had absolutely zero motivation to set free a couple of words on a regular basis. Of course there are the regular struggles with children that still never sleep and that lovely touch of obsessiveness when it comes to having a spotless house before sitting down for the day. Those will always be present and accounted for. It turns out thought, that over the past six months I’ve been missing something major from my life. An old friend, reliable and familiar, gone with a gaping hole in my home for all these weeks. Its replacement is cold and hard and as unfriendly as it gets.

Yes, I’m so absolutely lazy in my evenings that I’m actually avoiding our uncomfortable computer chair in front of my desktop and mourning the loss of sprawling on the couch with our laptop.

Joint custody of a MacBook doesn’t seem to work so well.

And that, I believe, is the lamest excuse I’ve ever come up with for not blogging.

Free Range Kryptonite

Posted By on March 31, 2014

Every kid out there has their own special kryptonite, yes?

For some, it may be that pile of asparagus wilting on their plate. For others, it may be finding themselves alone at the top of the biggest slide. It could be anything. Anything in the whole world is – at any moment – the prime suspect to set off a chain of events to drive every parent completely mad.

We have someone in this house with a rather unfortunate trigger. Something so tiny, so miniscule, so speck-like that it nearly takes a magnifying glass to find it. Yet, despite that small size, it can be powerful enough to turn a 4ft 5in, 60lb, 6 year old into a hysterical mess, curling up like a wounded puppy on the bathroom floor and wailing as though her fingernails are being pulled off one by one.

Slivers. Splinters. Tiny little specks of wood that I could probably pick free in mere seconds.

I knew, this afternoon, when the three of them found an old 4×4 that had been abandoned in the elementary school’s outside classroom. I knew someone was going to end up hurt in some way, shape or form. But, you see, I had just read that article that’s been circling the internet, the one about how short of a leash we keep our kids on now, illustrated with junkyard-eque playgrounds that teach independence and problem solving and risk assessment to shape their little minds. I had read that and it rang true, or at least true enough as can be found in a suburban neighborhood with perfectly manicured lawns and sidewalks placed a solid 10 feet from the not-so-busy roads. So when I saw, from my quite distant perch on the school playground’s edge, the three of the begin to shove and lift and haul around this giant hunk of wood, I squashed every last cautionary shout that wanted to escape.

That’s heavy! They could drop it on their fingers!” I thought.

Well, yes. I’m sure they’ve figured out that it’s heavy, as they all strain to push it a few inches. Besides, Tater slammed his fingers in the doorjamb the other day and he’s perfectly fine now. I’m sure they’ll be alright.

Don’t fall! That’s not very sturdy!” This one almost escaped.

Really? Really? The entire point of them dragging it to that spot was to turn it into a balance beam. And the very point of a balance beam is, indeed, to not fall off. Shush down now, mom thoughts!

I never, ever would call any version of myself a helicopter parent, but looking back at all the warnings I wanted to tell them as they played a rather safe game of pretend, those made me realize I’ve been walking a fine line down the middle of that road. I’ll allow myself to chalk a bit of it up to living in such a tight neighborhood, and not being able to push them all out the door to roam acres of land the way I did as a child. But yeah. If you see us at the playground in the future, I’ll be the one fidgeting as I zip it and just let them be.

Except for just one warning that I probably should have busted out today.

One that might have save me wrestling with that hysterical 60lb child that really, really, really wanted that splinter taken out of her finger but OHMYGODMOMDONTTOUCHMEAGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

For the record, I can tell you exactly how many splinters she’s ever had, exactly where we were when she got them, and how painful it was – for me – to have to take them out. That’s how fun of an experience it is. She is the child that, if she ever needed stitches, I’d probably just call ahead to the emergency room so they were ready for her. So yeah. Bedtime was a little less than timely thanks to that event and . . . there is still a tiny speck of wood in her finger, which will hopefully leap out from under her skin all of its own accord.

(because I looked at this picture after reading back through the whole post . . . this is not the balance beam set up I was worried about. honest. it was nowhere near this.)