Saturday, October 31, 2009
What is the best part of Halloween for kids? I'm trying to remember the ones of my past and I come up with nothing. Of course, I remember Mischief Night - who doesn't? Eggs, shaving cream, toilet paper. Oh, a friend who grew up in Jersey told me they call it Goosey Night, but I think that's silly. I watch kids now and wonder. I see them look in the bag after you've dropped in the candy and hope there's no disappointment in their eyes. Watching my kids and my BFFs' kids running from door to door tonight, I've got to think it was the candy. Sure, they liked dressing up, but when Supergirl's cape fell off, she could care less. I swear, I had more costume pieces, accessories and other stuff that I was like a lost and found box. I'm sure the excitement of it is fleeting. I'm sure parents remember it way more than kids do. I'm sure my kids won't remember what their costume was two years ago or where we went trick-or-treating. I know I'll remember this Halloween for a long time to come. It was a great day and night with good friends (some of whom came from Florida) a pizza party, drinks, cupcakes and lots of fun. I don't know what my kids loved this year. Guess I'll wait till they wake up tomorrow and ask them. After they've begged for a candy breakfast!
Thursday, October 29, 2009
I have totally figured out a way to get my kids to get along. Well, two ways, actually. First, give them junk food that they shouldn't have and they will bond like glue, quietly sharing a bowl of doritos and giggling together when they touch hands during their grab. The second is to pay no attention while they play some crazy game or set up some messy experiment. They think they're getting away with something, and they are - kind of. I know I'm going to have to clean it up when they're done. I know something will probably get broken or stained or whatever. But, they are conspiring against the enemy (me) and in doing so are getting along with each other. So, in essence, I am doing the Jedi mind trick on them when they think they are getting one over on me. Pretty smart, huh? Now, if I can just make it work when it comes to homework, brushing teeth, bathtime, cleaning their room, eating vegetables......
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
It's been raining for two days. It's annoying. Sometimes rain is fun - when it comes down hard against the windows and you can listen to it as you fall asleep. Or when it's just enough to make some puddles for the kids to jump around in. And it wouldn't be so bad if, once in a while, people could take a rain day from school and work and just snuggle up on the couch with a blanket and watch a great movie. This rain is just yucky. It comes and goes and just makes the leaves all wet and slippery. It's not pretty or fun. This rain is threatening to ruin Halloween and that would just be awful! Kids will go crazy, parents will go crazy. It will be mayhem! So, rain, could you please go away?
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
I don't know how these moms of multiples do it. Today, I had three seven-year-olds in my car and then met up with a couple more. You know what those little girls do? They yap. They yap, yap, yap, yap, yap and just don't stop. It's almost like white noise - this constant chatter that starts the minute they wake up and ends when they go to sleep. I don't know if boys are like that too, but it can drive a person insane! You've got to be a really brave, strong, patient person to have a lot of kids. Maybe, after a while, you just don't hear the yapping anymore. All I know is for the next trip, I'm getting earplugs!
Monday, October 26, 2009
You know that independent streak that kids are supposed to go through when they want to do everything by themselves? Yeah, that train hasn't stopped at this station. My kids want to do absolutely nothing by themselves! I think a four-year-old can brush her teeth by herself and pull down her own pants to go to the bathroom. I think a 7-year-old can certainly pick her own clothes out of the closet and put them on her body. Because, Lord knows when I pick out the clothes, she says they don't match and they're ugly. Listen, kids, if you're going to give your mother a hard time every morning, you are going to be late for school. You will miss the bus. You will be the last person to arrive at the party. You will not get the best seat at the movie theater. Whatever the event, you're not going to make it. Why? Because you don't want to brush your hair but you scream when I do it. You don't want to find your clothes, but you hate the ones I pick. You don't want to brush your teeth, but you whine and cry when I stand and watch you and make sure it gets done. Basically, what I'm saying is it's all your fault! So, stop blaming Mommy every time something goes wrong. Yes, we are adults and we are in charge and we should be running a tighter ship sometimes, but really, it takes us enough effort to get ourselves together - so imagine what it's like trying to do it for a bunch of smaller people who are not cooperating.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Okay, I know that old saying that a woman has the right to change her mind, but my daughters are not yet women! What is the deal with changing their minds 57 times about what they will be for halloween? I can't take it. The little one was dead set on Tinkerbell. I don't know what happened, but all of a sudden, she wants to be Supergirl. Okay, fine. I go out and buy red satin for a cape, felt to make the super symbol on her chest, etc. Not good enough, apparently. She wants to be a pink Supergirl. What the heck is that? Supergirl isn't pink! I finally convinced her by showing her a bunch of photos online. (Beware - there are a lot of racy Supergirls out there!) So then there's the oldest. She never knows what she wants to be. Usually it changes a few times in the days right before Halloween. It works for her because she gets to be one thing for her school party, one thing for the party at her dad's job, and yet another for the actual day of halloween. Stinks for me, but she's been pretty okay about using things we find around the house. Like, it was easy to make her a pirate one year; a mummy, a rock star - these are all things I can create from my "stash" of stuff around the house. This year, she seemed to focus on Batgirl. Okay. I can do that. Easy. She's got black stuff around the house and I found a girl's Batman shirt for two bucks! My only issue is the mask/ear combo. I'm thinking a hoodie, a ski mask, something. Then, she decides she doesn't want to wear anything on her head. Cool. But, then she decides she doesn't want anything. She doesn't want to dress up. She doesn't want to be Batgirl. If she dresses up, maybe she'll be a mummy again. She doesn't want a cape. She doesn't want gloves. Um, how do I return the cut material to the store, dear? Why can't life be as easy as when I was a kid? Wear you mom's nightgown and curlers and be an old lady. Wear old pants and a flannel shirt and be a hobo. Wear a sheet and be a ghost. At least there is some reward for all the work we put into this halloween business... CANDY!!!!
Saturday, October 24, 2009
The grocery store can be one of two things - Heaven or hell - depending on the company. When you're alone, it's like a little vacation. You stroll, you browse, you meander. You check prices, you compare nutrition guides, you plan menus. You do anything you can to savor the time you spend walking the aisles. There is no rush to leave because that means going home. Now, when you are with your husband and/or children, it is the opposite of a good time. It takes twice as long, but not because you're enjoying it. It's because the kids are in and out of the cart. . If they're in the cart, they're reaching for something and grabbing stuff off the shelves. If not, they are running, they are racing down the aisles. They are pulling all the coupons out of those little automatic dispensers. They are stopping every few feet to beg for something they can't have. It's usually something they need. Something they only want this one time as a special treat. If you get it for them, they'll be really good. They'll feed the dog. They'll clean their room. They'll be nice to their little sister. With your husband, it's usually something completely ridiculous like the $6 hungry man dinner that he swears will satisfy him, even though he's hungry five minutes after eating it. And dad will let the kids get whatever they want. Sure, load up the cart with sugary snacks and chips. Why not? Mommy's the mean one that never lets us get anything good. She makes us get fruit and granola bars. You know what? I'm going out right now. If you need me, check aisle six. I'll be the one reading the magazines with no intention of buying them.
Friday, October 23, 2009
What is it about girls and having to know exactly who is going to be there and what is going on at all times? No matter where they go! Can't they just be pleasantly surprised? Can't they just let the event happen and worry about themselves instead of everyone else in the room? Tonight, I took Caty to a Halloween party. It's our third time going and she always looks forward to all the cool games and crafts and activities. But, tonight was different. The moment we walked in the door, her eyes were scanning the room for someone she knew. "Do you want to make a mask?" No. "Do you want to play the beanbag toss?" Nah. "Do you want to get a tattoo?" Nope. Nothing. She wanted no part of the fun. All she wanted was to find a friend to hook up with and hang out. Of course, she did find several of her friends to run around an be silly with, but not until I forced her to make a black cat bookmark and a clothespin bat! I made that kid have some fun whether she liked it or not.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Is there such a thing as a fear of being clean? If so, my kids have got it.... bad! They hate taking a bath or shower. I mean, I can understand not wanting to stop what you're doing to get cleaned up. But, they play in there so it's not like it can't be fun. The actual cleaning part doesn't take too long, so what is the problem? Tomorrow is Caty's class picture today so I figured it might be a nice idea for her to take a shower and have clean, knot-free hair. Well, let me tell you about the fit this little girl threw. She didn't want to get clean. She said I could wash her hair in the sink and that was all. I didn't want to hurt her feelings and tell her the shower would help do something about her stinky feet too. Both my girls finally gave in and took quick showers, whining, crying and complaining the entire time. Wait till I tell them it's time to comb their hair!
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
What will it take to convince my children that sleep is their friend? It's a good thing! Why don't they get it? Sometimes, I feel like I could sleep all day. They could sleep for five minutes and be satisfied. Of course, they're cranky and hate life, but will they go back to sleep? Nope! My girls will wake up at 3 in the morning and think it's time to start the day. They want to watch TV. Um, no. How about you close your eyes and pretend to watch TV in your dreams, okay? I know they don't sleep well at night. They talk in their sleep. They toss and turn and kick and roll all over the place. You think they'd be a bit tired and want to stay in bed a few minutes longer. I've read many magazine articles by women whose kids like to come in their beds in the morning and snuggle - what's their secret? I guess I need to put a TV in my room and bribe my kids with that. "If you let mommy sleep for 20 more minutes, you can watch whatever show you want." My luck, the kids would be buying pay per view movies or watching wrestling! Ah, sleep. One day, they'll embrace it.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Well, I like my own kids and most of my friends' kids, but in general, I have got to say I don't like kids. In a group, I'd say. I don't know how people can be teachers. I would lose my mind! Today, I had the honor of hosting a Brownie Girl Scout meeting after school. It's my second meeting as the leader and I'm ready to jump off a cliff. I swear it's like someone fed these kids 30 cups of espresso and a few Red Bulls. They don't stop talking - EVER. They don't stop moving - EVER. They just yap, yap, yap, yap, fidget, fidget, fidget, fidget. Of course, I'm the one to blame for taking on the leadership role, but I thought it would be good for my daughter. It is good for her - she's one of the ringleaders of the crazy brigade! Today, I found her in the bathroom trying to climb over the stall, yes I said over. When I made her come back to the meeting, she said that I was mean. That's okay with me. I don't mind being known as the mean Brownie leader. I think I'd rather be known as the mean Brownie leader than the crazy Brownie leader who pulled out her hair and ran out of the school screaming!
Monday, October 19, 2009
"You're breaking my heart!" It was the cry from my four-year-old this morning when I told her she could not have a fudgesicle for breakfast. "But, we don't even have any fudgesicles!" I responded, as if that would mean a thing to this wounded child. "You don't love me anymore!" she howled. What? How could she say that? How could she think it? How do these kids do it? They can tug on our heart strings in both good and bad ways and completely control the way we react to a situation. Think about it. Your child does/says something really naughty and then gets the cute, impish grin and you can't help but laugh. Or, they tell you they hate you and you want to cry. How can someone so little and so unaware of their actions wield such a strong punch? The key for parents is remembering to not take it personally. Your kid doesn't mean it when he says he hates you or that he's running away or that he wants a new mommy. I guess we've all got to learn to let it roll off our backs. Soon enough, you'll get to the point where you're helping him pack for the trip!
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Why is it that whenever you ask your child to do something that might not be the most enjoyable task, you are mean? My oldest was on a kick for quite a while, calling me a mean mom about 100 times a day. It stopped for a few months and I never realized how great that was until today. Today, I'm mean again. I'm mean because I asked her to bring her dinner dishes from the table to the kitchen sink. I'm mean because I reminded her that her reading homework had to be finished. I'm mean because she had to take a shower. I'm mean because her pillow wasn't fluffy enough. Gosh, I thought I was kind of nice. Well, sometimes, at least. I wonder if my daughter will ever understand what mean actually means! Like, what if I locked her in her room and gave her Brussels sprouts for dinner? Or if I told all her friends that Caty is really not all that pretty. Maybe I could cut her hair while she's sleeping! See, I think those things are mean. Me? I'm not mean. Sure, I can come up with lots of mean ideas, but I would never actually do those things - especially the Brussels sprouts - now that is really, really mean!
Saturday, October 17, 2009
When is the baby-naming trend going to turn, I wonder. Some of the names that people choose for their kids just don't make sense to me. It's not like we live in Charleston, where naming your son Parker or Houston or your daughter Shelby would be as common as grits. Yeah, I know I'm going to offend someone with this post, but really... today I'm at an event and we're in the children's section and, yes, there was a Shelby and a Bailey and an Avery and a Tennyson. Yes, I said Tennyson. Cool, yes. I think all of those names are pretty. And I totally get the whole idea of naming your kid after something literary (I am a writer, you know!) I wanted to name my first daughter Scout. But, here's the thing. You have to think about how many Taylors and Madisons are walking around right now. Maybe someone said this 30 years ago about the name Melissa too. You might think you're coming up with something original, but it really isn't because 20 other people are thinking the same thing on the day their baby is born! My husband and I disagreed on naming our second child. He hated the name I picked (Caroline) and I secretly loved the name he picked (Sabrina) but didn't want him to know. But, when we were coming up with name possibilities, I had four criteria - it has to sound good with your last name; it can't be some funky spelling that no one will ever get; it has to have a good nickname; and it can't be a name that kids can use to tease you with (think of Homer Simpson saying 'art, bart, cart, dart, eyart..Nope, Bart it is!') Just give it a thought. You may consider it the coolest name ever, but really - what kid wants to go through life with a name like Apple?
Friday, October 16, 2009
I heard the funniest thing today. One of those classic one-liners that needs to be shared with the world. BFF MG was at her son's soccer game and hubby turned to her and said "Look at our son running. He runs like a fat kid." Got the mental picture? Now, that's funny.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
I have no idea where my children learned about Batgirl and Supergirl. There are no shows for these women. They've never seen a movie with either of these "superheroes" in it. So, how do they know them? And why on earth do they have to know them now? Three weeks before Halloween? You know why? Because they're trying to drive me crazy. Caty - who, last year was a rock star and used only clothing found in this house - now wants to be Batgirl. And Sabrina, the little imp who was so dead set on being Tinkerbell (much to mommy's joy because we already have a Tinkerbell outfit) will now be Supergirl. Freakin' super heroes! I was going to blame BFFM, whose family is doing the whole super thing - son is Batman, daughter is Batgirl, daddy is Robin and Mommy is Catwoman. But, my girls came up with it on their own! Why? Someone is poisoning their minds. Someone who thinks that I want to make these darn costumes! No, I don't shell out the $25 for a costume in the store, because those things are garbage made in China and probably contain toxic materials that will melt upon contact with a trick-or-treat bag. So, I will make the costume. Just like last year. And the year before that. Can't I be one of those parents that just gives their kid a stick and a bandana and says "Here, you're a hobo." Didn't parents of my generation used to do that? Can't I put baby powder and curlers in their hair and let them be old ladies? Isn't that okay? Well, if I'm going through all that hard work, I at least get first dibs on the good candy!
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
When do kids understand time? To them, 10 minutes seems like an eternity if they're waiting for something and a split-second if they're doing something they don't want to stop. My kids will stay awake until they pass out at night if they're doing something they enjoy. But, if I say "You still have to do your homework before bed," they are suddenly tired. And, with them, everything is "I'll do it later." But, if I said that to them, they'd freak. This morning, Caty got up late and needed to get her tushie in gear if she was going to make the bus. I tell her to brush her teeth and hair. She's standing in the bathroom, looking at herself in the mirror. I tell her to get dressed and she's sitting on her floor, putting stickers in a book. I don't get too upset. I am not a morning person. I was always late for school. I loved sleeping and hated getting out of bed in the morning, but I realize I'm a parent now and I have to set a good example and can't let her be late all the time. My mom was at work when I had to get up for school so she wasn't there to pull me out of bed. Unfortunately, my wonderful older sister got that job and she did it really well. (I'm getting visions of water being poured on my head). There is a clock in almost every room. My kids see them. They know what they're used for. They know what time is. Problem is, they aren't slaves to the clock. They don't obey the clock. Really, they could care less about the clock.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Okay, this is so random, but it just popped into my head and I figure if I think about it, then other people must too. What does your house smell like? Do you remember going to your grandparents' home as a child and thinking it smelled kind of funny? Well, sometimes. Some people had grandmothers that used to bake cookies instead of making stuffed cabbage or tripe or something equally offensive. When my daughter smells Listerine - the original brown stuff - she says it reminds her of my dad's house. It's accurate, since that is what he uses. Whenever I smell zippo lighter fluid, I think of my grandparents (lovely, I know, but it is what it is). So, I just wonder if my house has a distinct smell that is always there. I try really hard not to cook gross stuff, but I notice if I cook anything with onion soup mix (like meatloaf) the smell lingers and permeates everything! Ick. Can you come over and let me know?