Thursday, February 14, 2013


There are times as a parent when you are just baffled. One day this week on Danny's behavior report we got this little gem: "Pulled pants down at little recess and showed his bottom." So, essentially, he mooned some kids on the playground.

When we asked him about it, he said:

I forgot to not show my butt. 

Yeah, I hear you, kid. Sometimes adults forget not to show their butts, too. We have no idea where he got this idea. Just another day in the life of an impulsive 6 year old boy, I guess.

Then there are the time when you are completely blindsided. It's particularly frustrating when you think you've been consistent and fair. Another day this week, I had given Danny the five minute warning to finish what he was doing and come help set the table. At the end of five minutes, I got teeth gritting, toy throwing, coffee table traversing and trampoline jumping. All in an effort to avoid stopping his activity, which he had stopped to put on an epic display of defiance. By the time he got to the mini trampoline, I continued calmly repeating my instructions.

NO. NO. I need to get exercise mom, he practically whimpered. I tried really hard not to laugh.

Speaking of exercise, we've continued with our Sunday hiking outings. This past weekend, we hiked on the Eno River again. The kids love running around in the woods and we even went off trail for a bit. (Don't worry, it's impossible to get lost there.)

Look at all this nature, Danny exclaimed when we got there.


Don't juggle your hamburger, Danny. Really.

Now I have a staircase in my mouth, Danny says after he lost another tooth. The lost tooth was right next to a growing adult tooth.

This is fun. Can we do this all day? Danny asks. Guess what they were doing? Cleaning their grimy little fingerprints off the railings and door frames with Clorox wipes. Excellent.

Five more minutes guys, I tell the kids while we're at the museum.
I want to stay, Danny whines.
You can. For five more minutes. A few mommies nearby snickered.

I want to watch TV, Danny whines.
You can watch the TV all you want, Jim replies. We're just not turning it on.

Until then, the kids had been playing nicely, making a community with the train tracks in the playroom. Owen's contribution was a natural disaster.

Tornado coming! he screamed before knocking over trees and buildings.

He's really just darling these days. When Danny got in the van after school, Owen asked:

How was your day? (heart melting!!)

And then we have incidents like this. I asked him to put a napkin at everyone's place at the table. He lowered his gaze at me and said:

Don't want to. Oh yes, he did. It used to be cute, but he's approaching 3 years of age. His life is about to get a little tougher.

Something else he doesn't want to do right now?

Do you want to poop in the potty? I ask him. He tells us when he's pooping or when he has poop.
Nope. Don't want to fall in, he says. Great.

Fiona is rather emotional and easily frustrated lately. She often loses her temper with inanimate objects and then the object goes sailing across the room.

It wasn't listening to me, she wails. While I can identify, I find it very hard to sympathize with that sentiment.

Till next time ...

Wednesday, February 06, 2013


As you may know, I took a little break from blogging over the holidays. I usually publish an Overheard column on a Friday. However, I'm overflowing with Overheards that I've collected over the past two months.

January has come and gone. We celebrated Fiona's birthday with go-cart riding and pink-frosted cupcakes and lots of Tinkerbell and Hello Kitty. I gave up on trying to have a party for her since her first three birthday parties were cancelled due to illness or snow. We took her to Frankie's to ride go carts and play in the arcade.

We've also started a new Sunday tradition: Hiking. Yes, hiking. With three kids in tow. Even when it's 45 degrees out. It started with a hike organized by the wellness committee at Danny's school on the first Saturday in January. It was a gloriously sunny but chilly day. We took a thermos full of hot cocoa and hit the trail with other families from Danny's school. Since then we've been hiking every weekend that weather permits. Sometimes it's cold other times it's unseasonably warm. The hikes are usually between 1 and 2 miles long. Owen starts out strong, but usually starts whining halfway through. Danny absolutely loves it. Fiona takes her time and is often bringing up the rear.

You know the wild animals pick off the last animal in the herd, right? Jim tells Fiona. She picked up the pace a bit.

What about this baby? Is she going to bed, too? I ask fiona, pointing to one doll who was sitting in a rocking chair.
No, she's the mommy. She'll stay there all night to watch the babies. Right. Because that's moms do.

Look, mom, I found a raccoonship! Fiona squeals. Um, what?
Oh, you mean a bakugan!

I threw the raccoonship into the bathroom and it didn't go in the toilet, Fiona reports. Lovely.

Now Fiona, do you see how clean your room is?
Let's try to keep it this way. 
She looked right at me, cocked her head and said, But, mom, I have to play. 

I'm tired from talking, Fiona wails. And she's only four. Just wait till your a mom, baby girl.

Hey, mom, I put my shoes in the shoe basket for to find them better, Danny squeals, apparently delighted that he is just now figuring this out.

Danny, do you know what they do to adults who hit?
They put them in jail. He pauses and looks at me for a few seconds.
But what if they're doing karate?

No chainsaws in the TV room, I tell Owen who has shattered the room's quiet.

You're getting good at writing small, I tell Danny who has written a tiny 's' inside a circle.
Yeah. You're bad at writing small, though, he replies.
Oh, how so?
You write big, he says pointing to the chalkboard wall.
Um, I do that so you can see it.
I can see that tiny 's', mom.

That stupid old chair. I'm going to sit on it, Danny cries. His brother had just hit his head on the chair. Finally, a child who willingly sits on a chair.

Stop looking at me, Fiona wails to Owen over breakfast.
I'm not looking at you, he replies in his toddler staccato. I'm looking at my foot.

I've wanted these my whole life! Danny got a Polar Express train set for Christmas.

Fiona's kitty doesn't shoot laser beams so she won't destroy our house, Danny says. Fiona got a FurrReal pet for Christmas. It was as close to an electric Hello Kitty as we can find. Three year olds who don't watch much TV are not easy to buy for.

There's a bump in the floor, but we can still live here. Oh, good.

I found a worm, Fiona squeals.
Yeah, worms are good. They eat dirt and poop out more dirt, Danny replies.

Hey, the moss bounced off the house. The house must have to poop. I often tell him when he has to poop that his belly is so tight he could bounce a quarter of it. 

Mooommmm, Owen's looking at me.
Are you looking at Owen?
Yes. Um, well then ...

Danny comes home from school with a half dozen sheets of paper with drawings of cars. So a photo of a different sort are something to talk about.

So your house has a car right up here? I ask Danny, who showing me his picture of a house.
How do people get in your house?
There's an invisible door. Oh, of course.

I'm hot, Fiona wails from the backseat of the van.
Well, there's hot air coming out of your mouth, so if you keep your mouth shut ... , Jim hints.

Mom, where's paradise on the map? Danny asks. Awww.

Danny, get over here. What is this in the hallway? I ask, eying a pile of folded toilet paper squares on the floor.
I was making paper airplanes. With toilet paper. Of course you were.

Till next time.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Diary of an Omniturnal Mom

The morning rodeo, er, routine

The last time I wrote an ominiturnal mom post, all three kids were at home. While it is slightly less hectic with only two, mornings are a three ring circus. 

6:48 a.m. Mommy wakes up in a panic and realizes that she is driving the boy to school this morning, then going straight to a friend's house for a play date. There would be no throwing kids in the car with pajamas on this morning. They leave in a hour.

She does some mental calculations and determines that the best way to get three breakfasts, three vitamins and three drinks on the table and one lunch for the boy and two snack bags for the others ready is to NOT wake the kids up just yet. Sounds counter-intuitive, but it works. She pulls on clothes straight from the laundry basket where her clean clothes live these days and checks to be sure the shirt is right side out. It is, she decides.

6:55 a.m. Mommy turns on the lights in the kids' rooms. Two out of three are fast asleep. The school boy is humping a pillow and peering through the bedrails at her. Creepy. She lays out clothes on the beds of the younger two.

"Good morning, sunshines," she sings, then quickly leaves, knowing they won't get up for at least another five minutes. Surely she can get cereal and juice on the table in that time and dole out the vitamins (2 multis and 2 fish oils per kid) in the proper colors and shapes to arrange the perfect pattern. (Have I mentioned my son likes patterns? Every morning, the vitamins must be put into a pattern and he eats them in a pattern while I am reminded with each one he pops into his mouth to WATCH MOM WATCH. Now he has his sister doing the same thing.)

7:05 a.m. Fiona appears first, actually wearing the outfit she's been dealt. Normally, girl face goes through three different outfits, throwing the rejects (clean) into the hamper. Mommy twitches just thinking about this. Owen follows closely behind holding his clothes and whining something about getting dressed. She tells him to fetch a diaper to buy herself more time to throw together lunch and snacks.

Mommy throws a bag of crackers, a hunk of cheese, a few fruit rollups and oranges and two water bottles into a bag. Done. Lunch for Danny? Leftover meatballs, a cheese stick, crackers, salad and cottage cheese; a granola bar and apples; and an Easter egg full of chocolate covered raisins. Done. A small voice in her head says she could probably have done all this the night before instead of staying up late playing Words with Friends and watching TMZ. Mommy tells that bitch to shut the hell up.

7:10 a.m. Danny wanders down fully dressed but wearing Spiderman slippers and no socks. Fine. Just come to breakfast, kid.

Now, getting a child with ADHD to eat breakfast in a short amount of time is often a maddening and somewhat hilarious prospect if you can keep your sense of humor. Instead of chanting eat at random intervals, Mommy decides to use Danny's love of patterns to her advantage. Sipping a cup of coffee across the table from him, she tells him, "Danny, here's a pattern for you: two bites of food, one drink, and repeat."

It works. Until he gets to the repeat part, looks around and says, "I have freckles."

Face palm.

Mommy verbally recites the pattern several times as he complies. As soon as she stops reciting, he stops eating and turns to the window.

"Look mom, a bird."

Smacks forehead.

Meanwhile, the two year old is randomly roaring at his brother and lunging from his seat.

7:20 a.m. He's eaten about as much as she can get him to eat. She sends him off for shoes and socks.

"Socks and shoes, mom," he corrects her.

Whatever. It's not like he'll actually remember to do it.

7:35 a.m. She finds him up in his room playing with paper airplanes on his floor. Startled by her presence, he gets up and starts downstairs.

"Do you have socks on?" she asks.

"Oh, I forgot."

Of course you did.

7:40 a.m. Mommy tries to corral the two year old to put on socks and shoes. She calls him and tells him to sit. He runs circles around her three times before climbing clumsily onto the chair and thrusting his foot into her leg. Meanwhile, the only child who is doing as she's told is the girl, who came down fully dressed to the socks and must now only find jacket and shoes.

7:45 a.m. "Jacket Danny," Mommy calls out.

"I left it at school," he says.

Of course you did. You bring home a half dozen sheets of paper filled with car drawings and massive sculptures made from scraps yet forget just why you're freezing your toucus off waiting for dismissal.

"Shoes Danny." Mommy finds that he responds better to short bursts rather than long, loud sentences (otherwise known as mommy flipping her lid).

He sits IN FRONT OF the door to puts his shoes on as we're all trying to get out the door. Thank you, Captain Oblivious.

7:50 a.m. Miraculously, all are in the car, ready to go. Mommy totally rocks.


9:30 a.m. After school drop off, they head to her friend's house. Upon arrival, Mommy realizes her shirt is in fact on inside out.