"Mom, how does the Tooth Fairy fly through the air?"
"How do YOU think?"
"I think moms do it."
"But how can a Mom be a Tooth Fairy?"
"Good moms are lots of things, Princess."

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Ever. For Any Reason

Two years ago Josh and I were badly betrayed by someone the children knew as well. This person had been outwardly kind to them, and there was no way to hide the betrayal from them, so they've had a great need to process it. Over. And over. And over. Every few months one of them (usually the Cuddle Bear) randomly brings it up, and I have to relive it. Big Girl Panties- ON! So again, last night, in the Suburban, again, from the Cuddle Bear.

Is he bad, Mommy?
I'd call it "dishonest" and "untrustworthy."
Is he mean?
(deep sigh)  Everyone has some good and some bad in them. How much of each has a lot to do with the choices you make. It's really hard to know what's in someone's heart. And it's complicated. People who act mean usually have had big hurts, too.

Quiet reflection (I think. It could have been nose-picking). Then Princess.

Like me?
Oh, honey. I don't think you're a mean person. I think when you act mean, it's because your big feelings get too big. I love you so much.
Yeah. You won't ever stop.

No. I won't. Ever. For any reason.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Homework continues to be the o joy that it was last year. So far, there is only one difference, and that is that Princess did not give us a honeymoon during the review month of September.

Yesterday she had a math sheet that involved a calculator, and she had clearly been taught how to operate it in class. She did some of her general toying around (9+4+4+7+4+4+7+9 instead of 9447+4479, for instance), and then settled into doing it correctly. For about four seconds. Then came: "find the difference between the two numbers." When she asked me to check her work, here is what I saw crammed into the answer space (_____):

the first numer has a nine in the front and the seced numer has a nine at the end

So. Of course, like a good mom, I tried to explain that the problem was looking for a math answer, not an explanation, but it went over in the usual way. So I stopped and went back to my knitting. Because this was taking place in the Suburban, mind you. During Peanut's soccer practice. In the rain.

Pretty soon I hear: clickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclick
I hold out my hand.

Hand me my calculator please.
Why? I was just pressing this one (=).
Yes. I noticed. But the thing is, I need my calculator not broken. So I can balance the checkbook and make Daddy happy. So since you're not using it for your homework, kindly fork it over.
But whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?
Oh come on! We both know you're pressing the equal sign 5000x per second because you know I'll take the calculator and then you can yell at me for making you unable to finish your math sheet.


(more silence)

Can I play on the playground?
Because your homework is not done.
Bwaaaa haha hahahahahaha hahaHAAAAAA! See?

I will say, Princess's speech and language processing therapy is obviously paying off. Because she is coming up with much better mean names to call me much more quickly.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Clearly, I've Done Something Right

and it's not often I can say that, so I think I'll say it again. Just to make myself feel good:

Clearly, I've done something right.

I find that major transitions, such as school beginning or ending, are excellent times to sneak stuff into the routine that you know the kids aren't going to be super crazy about. They're usually reeling from change and so bleary-eyed from either too little or too much sleep that they don't realize what you've done until it's too late.

This summer it was, "hey, guess what! Your new job is picking up and vacuuming the dining room/ living room/ family room/ kitchen!"
Them: "uh um uh um. Ok....."

Our typical pre-school routine in the past has been: 1. clothing and hygiene, 2. breakfast, 3. more hygiene, 4. play scream and jump on each other's heads, 5. listen to mom blow a gasket over getting our shoes on and tied.

This time, I decided to remove "play Scream and Jump on Each Other's Heads," and replace it with "Read Bible Quietly to Self."

This was not well-recieved.

Mainly by Buddy, who is very dedicated to his before-school hobby of covering the sofa in cornflake crumbs and watching PBS shows that he'd rather no one knew he liked. So I wasn't particularly surprised to hear the dulcet tones of his crabbing. I handed him a Bible below his reading level.

Fifteen minutes later I had to drag him out the door carrying his shoes.
After school I had to shut it on his hands to get him to get his cleats on for soccer.
Then he disappeared with it for several hours after dinner.

I tucked him in bed and reminded him lights-off was at 9:30.
At 9:31 he came tearing downstairs.


Um. Ok. But then you CLOSE that Bible, Mister! One more chapter, and that's IT! No more God's Word for you tonight, do you hear me?

Um. So yeah.

Friday, September 2, 2011


Today I got the accusation every mom dreads:

"You don't go outside with me because you're always typing on the computer to your little friends. Nyah!"

This summer I've restricted Princess's play with others to within my hearing. She gets irritated so easily (like because someone's breathing too close to her), and when she's irritated, it's zero to sixty in under two seconds. She can earn 15 minutes of unsupervised play time each time she uses her Calm-Down Card, but it's kind of hit or miss whether she has enough control to stop and do it. This restriction doesn't bother her too much with her sisters, but the neighbor's grand-daughters spend every other weekend at her house, and Princess watches for them to be outside like a death vigil. Then she follows me around chatting and complementing me for awhile before she gets down to the nitty-gritty:

"Did I earn any time yesterday?"

This question is only asked when she knows she did not.
The day before yesterday was hideous, requiring quite a bit of restraint and copious amount of spit dripping down my legs and face.
Yesterday, she played in a pool and ate popsicles.
So she figured she had "had a better day," and therefore, "earned time."

When she found out that she was, indeed, mistaken, she figured the next best thing was to inform me that I had to sit outside and supervise her.

When she found out that she was, again, indeed, mistaken, Princess yelled choice insults at me for several minutes. They included:

"YOU WON'T EVER SIT OUTSIDE AND WATCH ME BECAUSE YOU'RE ALWAYS TYPING ON THE COMPUTER TO YOUR (insert head waggle and finger quote-marks, which impressed me because I didn't know she knew how to use those) LITTLE FRIENDS!"

I was a little taken aback by this. Am I on the computer too much? I use F@cebook and read a couple blogs and check e-mail a few times. I'm part of a support group, and if the day is particularly bad I read what people are saying. So maybe I do? Is my parenting suffering? Are my children neglected? I started to worry. But then Princess continued:


Thank goodness! That cleared it all up for me. If my computer time pales in comparison to the time I spend on laundry and hygiene, I figure my F@cebooking future is safe for the time being.