Wednesday, September 28, 2011

This day, man, THIS DAY

I am not having a great day.  It really started last night when Oscar stayed up until 10:30pm and I ended up yelling and he ended up calling me a monster (which he almost immediately took back, professing his undying love, but still.) And then Miles was in our bed before I even fell asleep, so I slept horribly and had an awful time waking up.

My plantar facitis was really hurting this morning, as it tends to in mornings, but was much worse today. Miles woke up with me this morning, and both boys were up by 6:30am.  I don't want sound like I don't like my children or anything, but in general my days go better if I can have a few minutes to start my day without them, particularly on days where I have early morning chores to do, like vacuuming and de-cluttering.  It's just impossible to do that stuff with them under foot.

They were actually getting along pretty well.  For like 30 minutes.  And then Oscar started antagonizing Miles, which lead to lots of yelling and whining, some of it actually from the children.

Then they refused to tell me what they wanted for breakfast so I made eggs, which Miles devoured and Oscar picked at.

Of course neither of them wanted to go upstairs to get dress, and when we were finally up there, Oscar changed his outfit no less than three times.  I had to chase Miles down and physically wrestle him into his pants, and I believe I actually said to the boys, "You know, you guys could actually do things to make my mornings easier.  Did you know that? Instead of maximizing the difficulty of every situation you could just, you know, do what I ask?" And then they laughed at me and kicked the walls and I asked them to stop kicking and they kicked again and then I yelled, "STOP KICKING THE WALL.  I'M YELLING NOW.  IS THIS WHAT YOU WANTED?  I'M YELLING."

That was actually the moment when I finally realized I was having a crap day, because I was taking their fairly typical behavior quite personally, and because I was yelling before 8AM. Believe me when I say no one hates my yelling more than I hate my yelling. Yelling at my kids always, always, always makes me feel worse.  I'm actually pretty good at avoiding yelling for this very selfish reason.

I wish I could say this self realization helped me to improve my morning, but it did not.  Now, on the plus side, Oscar was finally listening to me.  I told him when we got downstairs he was to put on his shoes and clean up the several hundred cars he dumped onto the floor. He did those things.  Or rather, he put on his shoes and then spent 25 minutes picking up about half of his cars.

Anyways, it was time for school and it was raining so I had to get them into their raincoats. Miles refused and I was like "Whatever, kid, get wet." But, of course, as we were walking out the door Miles started screaming, "MY RAIN JACKET! WHERE'S MY RAIN JACKET?!  I NEED MY RAIN JACKET!"  So I got his rain jacket on and had my arms full of Oscar's school stuff and Miles whines, "I need my blanket," I just dropped everything on the floor and went to find the blanket.

About 2 minutes into the trip, I realized that I'd forgotten an 3 week overdue library book (it had been missing) for the second time this week.  Damn it.

We ended up leaving late, and 3/4 of the way to school the sky just opened up and a deluge of rain came down.  A deluge we would have missed had we left on time. Now I was staring at having to haul both boys out of the van and into the school during a downpour.

Luckily, another mom saw me pull in and agreed to wait next to the van so I could leave Miles.  She and I do this for each other all the time - one of us will stay at the car with the toddlers and the other will drop off/pick up the 4-year-olds.  It's nice.  She'd gotten her daughter in before the rain, but had not left yet and very, very, nicely waited.  It was a very good moment in an otherwise difficult morning.

Now, I'm feeling grumpy and tired and trying to change this mood.  I'm going to make a homemade chicken pot pie for dinner.  I might go for  run this evening.  Looking forward to those things has already boosted my mood.  I also ate four peanut butter crackers and I might catch a nap before preschool pick up.

And?  The sun is shining.

Here's to hoping this day is on an upswing.  Hope your day is going better than mine.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

It's been a long day

Messes I've cleaned since last night:

1. Water, from Oscar, his bed.  He though it'd be cute to shake his water bottle and made droplets fly and annoy me, but the lid was not secure so the entire lid flew off, spilling water all over Oscar, his bed, his bunny, his pillow, and his comforter   

2. Water, from the bathroom floor and Miles, two bath towel's worth. Miles turned on the faucet and then move the faucet so it was running, full bast, on the floor of the bathroom as opposed to in the sink.

3. Chocolate milk, from the kitchen floor, cabinet, and pantry door.  See #1, replace "Oscar" with "Miles."

4. Stamp in, from my floor, Miles, and Oscar.  Instead of stamping the stamps, they decided to create fingerprint art on my floors and their faces.  We were late for school.

5. Urine, from the living room floor.  Miles let loose all over the floor 20 minutes after he peed in the bathroom.

6. Poop, from Miles and his pants. Yep.

7. Urine, from the bathroom floor.  Oscar though it would be FUNNY to pee in Miles's potty.  And on the front of the toilet.  Do you know what back splash is?  I do.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Little bunny lost

A couple of weeks ago, we went out to dinner at a favorite local restaurant.  The reason it is a favorite is because it is very kid friendly - kid menus, cups with lids, booster seats, high chairs, and there is also a general store attached that is filled with over-priced toys, beer, wine, and assorted knickknacks and gadgets.

I was getting the boys out of the car, and I suggested to Oscar that he leave his beloved Bunny in the car, so he would get lost or be forgotten.

"But Bunny is a little baby and he'll cry and cry if I leave him in the car!"

Not wanting to start our outing out with dramatics, I just let him bring the damn Bunny into the restaurant.

"Okay, but you better keep an eye on that Bunny."

We had to wait about 20 minutes for a table.  My mom agreed to buy the boys a toy from the general store, and I told them that would be fine but their behavior had to be OUTSTANDING, or there would be no toy.

Needless to say, their behavior was only moderately good, but even moderately good is significantly better than their average restaurant behavior, so I took Miles over to the store while my mom waited at the table to pay the check.  They met us in the store two or three minutes later.

After much hemming and hawing and toy testing, they each settled on an item.  I think Miles got a train and Oscar got a car or an airplane.  We paid and left.

We live about a five minute drive from the restaurant, and as I was unbuckling Oscar from his seat he says to me,

"Where's my Bunny?"

"I don't know where your Bunny is Oscar.  You are in charge of Bunny.  Did you bring him to the car?"

The tears welled up in his eyes, and his voice got shaky.

"No.  I forgot him.  I forgot Bunny!  WAAA!"

We got back in the car and headed back to the restaurant.  My mom went in to look for Bunny. As she was leaving the car, Oscar asked, "What if Meme does not find my Bunny?"

I told him, "Well, then you are just going to have to live without your Bunny."

"I CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT MY BUNNY!"

It was tragic.

Meme did not find Bunny. She talked with the owner, and told her of Oscar's preference for death to life without Bunny and he was very sympathetic and promised to make efforts to find Bunny.

I went in and searched after my mom and I did not find Bunny either.

No Bunny.

I left our name and number so they could call us if they found Bunny, but I was not terribly hopeful.  Locating the thing in that general store, which has has a huge section dedicated to stuffed animals, was just and impossible task.

Let me tell you, I was angry at my child.  I was furious.  He lost that Bunny and now bedtime was going to be awful.  If he had just left the damn thing in the car, he would be home in bed and we would not have this problem.

And Oscar was devastated.  I had no idea how he was going to survive.   

I had a back up Bunny in the basement so I brought that up.  My mom told Oscar that the back up bunny had been living in the basement and was very sad because he did not have anyone to love him like Oscar loved Bunny.  Maybe Oscar could love the new Bunny until he found his old one?

Oscar decided that the back up bunny was his Bunny's dad, and he would love it.  It was not his Regular Bunny, and it did not "smell right" or have the right worry spots, but it would do.  He was very brave. He went to sleep with his new Bunny.

In the morning he woke up and lost no time asking me for his Regular Bunny.

"You don't have Regular Bunny anymore.  He was lost in the restaurant.  You have the New Bunny now, Bunny's dad."

He cried a bit and then held his new Bunny.

"He does not smell right."

"He will eventually."

"He does not feel right."

"He will, Oscar, once you've loved him for a long time."

"Okay."

The day went on and I got a call from a friend and I had to help her get her fool of an almost-ex-husband out of jail.  It took all day.  Seriously, do not get arrested.  It's a major pain in the ass for the people who have to get you un-arrested. Nelson was home with the boys.  They checked the restaurant again for Bunny. No dice.

Anyways, she and I were heading back home after a very long day, when I got a call from a local number that I did not recognize.  I took the call, and it was the restaurant.  They found Bunny!

The store clerk told me she was restocking the wine shelves in the back, and she found him, placed high on a shelf. If she had not restocked that day, it could have been weeks before she found him.

My friend and I went down to the restaurant and retrieved Bunny.  It was nice that something so great happened on an otherwise monumentally shitty day.

I have never heard such a shriek of delight from my child as when I presented him with that Bunny.  He was beside himself with joy.

Since then, he has done a great job with leaving Bunny in the car when we go somewhere, and he even leaves him in the car DURING SCHOOL.  That's huge. He never wants to forget that Bunny anywhere ever again, and neither do I.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Preschool, the first day

First day of preschool, 2011:


For reference, last year's first day:

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

It's like natural disaster central here, y'all

An earthquake and a hurricane!  In the same week.  And flash flooding expected this week.  I'm still waiting for the brimstone.

Now, I know west coast folks have been giving us east coasters a hard time over our earthquake experience, but I would just like to say that WE DON'T QUAKE. It is not a normal occurrence here.  We do not know what to think when our homes begin shaking and crap starts falling off the walls.  Cut us some slack.

Personally, I thought it was a big truck passing by my house.  Then, when my windows started shimmying and the plaster in my walls started crackling I thought my house was falling down.  So, I quickly ran through a mental list of the most probably reasons my house would fall down:

1. Bomb in DC (no, I hadn't heard an explosion)
2. Furnace explosion (no, my house would be burning)
3. Earthquake?  (Oh, EARTHQUAKE!)

So I hustled the boys into the doorway of what I hoped was a load bearing wall and sort of cocooned over them and waited it out.  It was like 30 seconds.  Except for Benji who was upstairs and slept through the whole thing, and Oscar, who would not duck and cover and insisted on standing beneath the ceiling fan and asking me questions, as is his way.  "Why is the house moving?" "Why are things falling?" "Why is it an earth shake?" "Why do I have to come over there?"

It was weird, the way the floor rolled under my feet.  I remember thinking, "This is not a big deal," but my heart was hammering and I was clinging to those little boys imagining all the bad things that COULD have happened, you know?

Anyways, we were all fine.  Danny was a little rattled for the rest of the day, and I had to spend more time than I thought possible explaining tectonic plates and the Earth's crust to Oscar.  He was in nerd heaven.

Then we had the hurricane, which was no big in our parts. Lots of rain, some wind.  Downed tree limbs.  We lost power for about an hour.  But I understand that some folks are STILL without power so you are probably not reading this, but I hope you have electricity soon.

Now I have to go get a little boy ready for his first day of school, and this includes washing some long pants  because it is only like 60 degrees out and raining today.  Hello, fall.