Friday, May 28, 2010

The Littlest Dragon Slayer

So, the other day I opened up a kitchen cupboard, and right in front of me, not more than two inches from my face, dangled the biggest, furriest, black and whitest spider I have ever seen (outside a zoo or nature show).  I screamed of course, and slammed the cupboard door.

The spider managed to swing between the hinges of the door and come to rest on my cabinet.  All the better to squarsh him, I thought.  But with what?  I didn't want to get too close.  I grabbed what was immediately at hand.  An eighteen inch long pink bubble wand.  You have one of those lying around your kitchen, don't you?

I lunged, mighty pink plastic wand leading, to poke at the creature.  He moved to one side, dodging me.  It was then that I realized, this arachnid had eyes.  Two big black beady ones, pointing straight ahead, fixed on me.

Oh, now it was on.  I lunged.  He bobbed.  I lunged again.  He weaved.  Then, I started to get scared.  What if he was one of those "jumping" spiders?  What if I poked, and missed, and he jumped on me?  The fit I would have, screaming and flailing around the kitchen, would have been enough to put me in the hospital.

All of my lunging and screaming distracted the children from Sesame Street.  They were rapt by the spectacle that was there mother.  Their strong, self-assured, never-one-to-be-a-damsel-in-distress mother, shrieking like girl over a little bug.  (In my defense, he was not all that little, and he was ugly.)

Finally, Jonah says, "Mom, I can kill it."

"Can you?  Really?"  My sense of relief was palpable and yes, a wee bit embarrassing.

Jonah, age five, thirty-nine pounds soaking wet, strode into my kitchen, and took up the mighty pink wand.  He eyed his opponent briefly, inhaled, focused, exhaled, and beat that spider to the ground where he beat on it some more until it was dead.  With his mother, the whole time screaming, "Kill it, kill it, kill it!!!"

I was so proud of him.  He stepped up to protect me, one of his women folk.  But then, as he went back to watching Sesame Street, I heard him say, "Finally, I got to kill something."  Do you think this is going to be a problem?

Just for the record, my foe was (I looked it up later) what is known as a black and white jumping spider.  Ugly, no?

The top image is a Happy Meal Toy (don't judge me) from the latest Shrek movie (which they won't see) that Jonah dressed up with a shield and sword so that it could battle a dragon.  See below.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Week in Kids, #11

This week...

There are no adorable kid pictures.  "Why not?" you ask.  Because they were not adorable.

Kids go through stages, and some are difficult.  We have been lucky, in that our children tend to take turns being difficult.  Not so, this week.  Or last, for that matter.  They have ganged up on us.

Jonah talks back to everything we say, and some things we don't.  I heard him talking back to a commercial the other day.  Serious attitude adjustment needed.

Samuel ignores everything we say.  He hears us, and he understands us, he just does whatever he wants anyway.  Usually with a taunting grin or laugh.  Punk.

While I am busy dealing with those two, Catherine is getting into everything she can, or devise a way to, reach.  The more dangerous, the better.

They are completely out of control.

Don't misunderstand me.  I am not standing by, helpless.  I am on this problem.  Well, three problems actually, each made up of various sub-problems.  No malfeasance goes uncorrected.  But, changes in attitude take time.  I hope I can keep my energy up for this.

See you next week!!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Morning

"Good morning, Samuel." Five fifty-four.  A.M.

Cuddle.  Six o'clock.

Rise, shower, dress self and three others, breakfast for five.  Pack a hasty bag for a busy morning and out the door.  Car in drive and rolling forward.  Seven thirty.

Drive across town.  Drop Sam off at one school. Concentrate very hard on not vomiting on substitute teacher's shoes.  Seven forty-five. 

Drive back across town.  Drop Jonah off at another school.  Concetrate very hard on not vomiting on the vice-principal.  Eight fifteen. 

Drive half way back across town.  Take Cate to emergency doctor's appointment to make sure that her tongue, which she bit about clear off, is not infected.  Concentrate very hard on not vomiting on the pediatrician, though I think he owes me one good vomit.  I am a one-woman, pediatrician-full-employment plan. Eight forty-five. 

Tongue is not infected.  It could use stitched but would require sedation.  Is cure worse than disease?  Yes.  Tongue will be flawed but not deformed.  No sedation/stitches ordered.  Back on the road.  Nine thirty.

Drive the rest of the way back across town.  Pick Sam up from school.  Change diaper on back of car.  Make note to self to potty train him as soon as school is out (Monday).  Toss snacks at both children in back seat of car.  Back on road.  Nine fifty.

Drive into next town to register Sam for next year's special education pre-school.  Unload stroller from car.  Load stroller with children, cups, snacks, toys, favorite shiny blanket, etc.  Push one hundred pound stroller across this new campus, stopping in two places to ask directions before arriving in a very crowded room, with the land-yacht of strollers, and two grumpy kids, to spend an hour filling out tedious paper work for people who keep forgetting, and then acting surprised, that I am, in fact, married to the father of my children.  Ten thirty.

Fill out afore mentioned, tedious paper work.  Repeat trip with stroller, except in reverse and this time Sam is trying out his tantrum skills because I won't/can't let him play on the play ground.  Head home.  Oh, blessed home.  Eleven thirty.

Arrive home.  Oh, blessed home.  Samuel screamed the whole way.  Noon.

Microwave something for lunch.  Hold them down and make them eat.  Clean them up.  Off to bed for the baby.  Twelve thirty.

Send tantrum boy outside to play.  Sit at computer and type.  Let it all out on virtual paper.  Decompress....breathe....Rub belly, gestate, glow.  One o'clock.

Okay, I made up the part about glowing.  I'm not glowing yet.  But, I'm practicing.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Week in Kids, #10

This week...

Catherine worked on the proper use of flatware.

She'll be working on it again next week, too.

Also this week...

We got a new inflatable water contraption for the back yard.

The weather on the day we got it was rather cold and cloudy and made for one wet little boy who looked like this.

And, another who looked like this.

Attitude is everything!

Also this week...

Jonah took another step on his long, and potentially unsuccessful journey, to self-control.  We have really been working with him to think before he acts or speaks.  This is very Very VERY difficult for him, so I am so proud of him for trying.

This week, as I was calmly correcting him about some misbehavior or other, he gave me a very angry look, stomped his foot, and said, "Just stop talking..."  And, then his face changed.  From anger, to fear.  Fear because his words were wildly inappropriate, and fear because he was powerless to stop what was still to come.  It was too late.  His tongue flapped and his words unfurled.  " stupid mother!"

No sooner could I draw breath to respond to this, then his face changed again.  This time to rational-Jonah.  He held up one hand as if to stop me and said, "Now, Mom.  Don't be mad.  It's okay.  I thought about it first." 

See you next week!!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Theme Thursday -- Mystery

This is a Theme Thursday post.  
This week's theme is MYSTERY.  I don't usually re-post, but this story from last February was such a perfect fit, I could not resist.  Without further ado, Uno, Dos, Tracey presents...

An Agatha Tracey Mystery

A crime was committed here at uno, dos, tracey, and I think I have solved it.  Theses are the facts.

One Mr. Television Clicker has been missing since Thursday morning at 10:03 a.m.

He was last seen in the company of one Catherine, a known meddler and sneak.

Her mother's statement is as follows:  "I saw Catherine with Mr. Clicker in the hall between her room and her brothers'.   I was horrified.  She knows she is not supposed to be with him.  I was just about to interrupt their tete-a-tete when I was distracted by the arrival of her brother's school bus."  When asked if she did not have but a split second to snatch Mr. Clicker out of Catherine's grasp, she prevaricated.  "I was in a hurry.  I didn't even know the bus was out there until I saw it through the window.  Who knows how long they had been waiting?  Honestly!  Anyway, when I came back in, Mr. Clicker was no where to be seen.  I have asked my daughter repeatedly what she knows, but she refuses to talk." 

Her father's statement is as follows:  "I wasn't here.  I was at work earning money to put food on the table.  The last time I saw Mr. Clicker was when I set him on the end table the previous night before bed."  When asked if this end table would have been within Catherine's reach, he prevaricated.  "Look.  I can't be in charge of everything, can I?  All I know is that if Mr. Clicker does not come home soon I will be forced to play my video games with a 4:3 screen ratio.  This is just devastating."

With a little digging, it was also revealed that this Catherine has quite a past as a trouble make and an abuser of controlled substances.

With this information, a search was mounted.  I looked high and low.  Mostly low, as Catherine has a reach of only about 36 inches.  Her favorite haunts, drawers, and laundry hampers were checked and rechecked.  Then, in the mid-morning hours of Friday, about 24 hours after he was last seen, Mr. Clicker was discovered, face down, in Catherine's dresser drawer.

The conclusion is obvious.  Catherine absconded with Mr. Clicker and was keeping him prisoner in her room.  The suspect is still not talking, but her eyes say, "If I can't have him, no one will."

Another case solved by Agatha Tracey.

She has been sentenced to three days of only water in her sippy cup.

This has been a Theme Thursday post.  Follow the link to read other writers' takes on the theme.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I'm Posting Again Soon...

...I swear.  I am still a little disoriented from our big news.  I skipped The Week in Kids last week and didn't even notice.  But, I will be back to some sense of normal soon.  We'll call it pregnant-normal.  Until then, I leave you with this candid shot (taken by my sister) of my mother and I enjoying our steam pots full of crab and other yummies on Mother's Day.  Bottom feeder are so tasty!

P.S.  If you are the praying kind, please send up one or two for our unborn.  We weren't expecting to be expecting, but now that we are, we really want to look into the face of God's baby.  (Proof that He has a sense of humor, no?)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Well, neither my children, nor their father wished me a Happy Mother's Day yesterday.  The only card I received was from my sister and brother-in-law.  But, Samuel did make me this lovely heart shaped pin out of buttons.  I love it!  I wore it everywhere.  He was very proud. 

Then today the boys were bouncing all over the furniture wishing each other a Happy Mother's Day.

You can't have your kids and eat them too.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Theme Thursday -- Pink

My Theme Thursday post is not the only thing that was late this week.

I am 41 years old.  Hubband had a vasectomy six months ago.  My very last post was about how I had come to the end of the gestation/lactation portion of my life.  You see, it would be impossible, but... Does this look like two pink lines to you?

So, to re-cap for my regular readers -- Three kids, one income, Hubband to get laid off next month and lose medical benefits, family to move to another state and live in attic, 41, vasectomy, two pink lines.  Oh, and we won't all fit in one car.  But we're good.  Or we will be as soon as we are done being stunned.  I'll write more some other time, once my breathing has returned to normal.

And, yeah, I posted a picture of something upon which I urinated.

This is a Theme Thursday post.  Follow the link to see other wonderful writers' take on the theme.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

How Many Moons in Your Family?

For the last six years, my life has looked like this.

Graduate from law school one day, get married the next.  Gestate, lactate.  (Jonah)  Gestate, lose baby, mourn slightly.  Gestate, lactate.  (Samuel)  Gestate, lose baby, mourn slightly.  Twice.  Gestate, lactate.  (Catherine).  That brings us up to about six months ago, when Catherine fired me and took up with soy formula.  She now eats like a lumberjack, but I digress.

In those six years, my opportunities to get away by myself have been rare, and often occurred while pregnant, so weren't a truly 'free' experience.  Nevertheless, I grasped at those chances eagerly.  I could not get away fast enough, and did not look back.  I know.  I am a horrible person. 

Well, last weekend, I did it again.  I left Friday, came back Sunday.  No husband, no children, and this time, no gestating.  I could not get away fast enough.  I left and did not look back.  And then, Friday evening, as I sat alone in silence, enjoying the warm sun on my face as it set behind a lovely cops of redwood trees, it hit me.  I missed my children. 

Up until six months ago, my relationships with my children had been (serially) parasitic.  But, now that none of them need me for there physical survival from one hour to the next, I have been able to develop more personal, emotional relationships with them.  And, since not exhausted from the gestation/lactation cycle, I have had the opportunity to deepen my relationship with my husband.  For the first time, I missed them all.

Don't get me wrong.  I was not ready to turn around and go home or anything.  I needed the break, and I didn't feel guilty about taking it.  But, I did feel a little unbalanced.  Like a planet without my sun or my moons.  My gravity was amiss and my tides unpredictable. 

I came home to four smiling faces that were happy to see me.  I am settling into the idea that Hubband and I have built, and are a part of, something bigger than ourselves.  I think it is called a family.