Monthly Archives: November 2011

And the role of Cinderella’s wicked step-mother will be played by…

I think my kids have discovered that if they can make me laugh, they don’t have to do anything else, including chores.  As evidence, allow me to share an excerpt of a recent conversation I had with E.

Me: E, please clean up the cereal that just spilled on the floor.

E: Mom, my name is E, not Cinder-E…

(Note: If you don’t fully understand her comment and its Cinderella reference, count your blessings, as it simply means you have avoided the full-blown princess obsession that has overtaken our household.)

(As another side note, could someone please confirm that asking my 5 year old to pick up 10 fruit loops does not catapult me into the realm of renowned Disney villain, i.e. the wicked step-mother from the Cinderella film?)

Anyway… it was such fun giggling with you about your comment that morning, E!   (You know, I’d much rather have a good giggle than a clean kitchen floor.)

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wrong time, right idea (but I’m willing to negotiate)

A genius friend of mine, who empathizes with my situation of having just gotten my kids on a relatively sane sleep schedule, suggested we all just boycott Daylights Saving Time.

With the clocks all falling back an hour yesterday (and the effect being my day now starting an hour earlier according to those clocks) I am tempted to follow her suggestion.

However, as a reasonable person, I am willing to negotiate.

Here are my terms:

If the clocks can fall back far enough to erase most of the college football that happened this weekend – say back to noon on Saturday, before UNC and Alabama both lost – then I’ll go willingly into the new schedule.

I a mom, which means I love my sleep.

But even at the new 5am, I am a fan, which means we can work something out.

In case you were curious… (alternate title: my life in multiple choice)

Anyone curious about which of the following tasks is more difficult?

(A) Cleaning dog poop off a sparkly glitter shoe without removing all the glitter

(B) Changing a battery in our nursery’s smoke detector while standing on the baby’s glider

(C) Disposing of raw meat scraps (the icky trimmings that begin to smell grotesque after 1 hour in the garbage) while the disposal is broken

(D) Helping a one year old transition from 2 naps to 1 nap a day without disrupting the schedules of the other two children, or

(E) accomplishing anything at all on my actual “to do” list

The answer?  E.  Because (when I am not feeding, dressing, changing, driving, bathing, playing with, or hugging my children), things like A, B, C, and D seem to pop up unexpectedly and consume the majority of my day.

And, in case you were wondering about option ‘A’, you should know that even working with glittery poop is not glamorous.  Note to the general public:  the week before Halloween trick-or-treaters dance through your neighborhood in their favorite dress-up outfits and shoes is a particularly important time to scoop the poop…

Bye Bye, Butterfly! (alternate title: three year olds are not really known for their tact…)

E won’t wear her blue butterfly pajamas anymore because S told her it looks like there’s a piece of flying poop on the shirt.

I am sympathetic to E, who didn’t like hearing that at all.

At the same time, I’m not sure I can fault S.  I mean, I never would have noticed it before, but now that S has said that, take a look at the outfit…

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and a close-up of the shirt…

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At the age of 3, she might need to work on her tact a bit, but – heaven help me  – the child speaks the truth.

P.S.  Can you imagine the havoc S would wreak as a member of a manufacturer’s kiddie focus group?  I get tickled just thinking about it!

Memories of – and prayers for – “Dee” (and others) on All Souls Day

(note added after post was written:  I feel like I’ve been on a string of more serious posts here…I promise my next post will be more light hearted (!), but today I am thinking about “Dee”.)

I confess that I know very little about some religious holidays, such as “All Saints Day” and “All Souls Day”.  I want the kids to know about these special religious days, which means I need to know something (anything!)

From what I know about All Souls Day (Nov. 2), it seems like an appropriate day to flip through some old family photo albums, tell each of my kids one thing my dad (“Dee”, who passed away 2.5 years ago) would have loved about each of them, and then together say a special prayer for my dad?

I think I am going to tell E today that my dad would have loved watching her run across the field behind our house. 

Relevant memory:  I was required by coaches throughout middle school, high school and college to run as part of my training for basketball, and my dad was my eternal encourager: holding the stopwatch when I had to do intervals, measuring distances in the car when I had to run in new locales (like while on family vacations), and insisting that he should follow me in the car when I waited until too late (i.e. until after dark) to do my runs.

E loves to have people count how many seconds it takes her to run across the field.  It is impossible to emphasize how much my dad would have loved sitting in a chair on our back porch and doing that for her.  Feeling the joy of being her grandfather; and (in the years that were harder for him to be mobile), being able to sit for hours and bring such joy to this out of breath, ever-running child.

E, he would have sat and counted for you as long as you wanted, and you would both have been blissfully happy.

I think I am going to tell S today how much my dad would have loved her company, especially in the mornings. 

Relevant memory: I spent almost every morning of my childhood sitting on the floor of my dad’s enormous bathroom while he got ready for work.  That room had it’s own heater in the ceiling, and my dad always set it on high in the mornings, making it (by far) the warmest room in the house.  I would wake up every morning, and immediately walk to his bathroom and sit under the vent.  He had green towels that he kept in there, and he would let me wrap up in them to get really warm, and then he would lay one on top of my head and declare me “his little green mountain”.  My dad was slow in the mornings – rising early and taking hours to get ready.  I rose early and sat there for hours.  He would play this great music, sometimes “oldies”, sometimes “bluegrass”, and sometimes these old spirituals… Anyway, I would stay in my warm little towel cave as long as possible, usually until he had to leave for work (or – once I was old enough – until I had to get ready for school.)

S is exactly that type of kid.  Yesterday morning she was calling for her dad to come hide under the covers with her at 6:15am because the house was too cold and because she loves her daddy.  Tonight, she didn’t want her hair combed after her bath because “I like being here on the floor curled up in these towels.”  At this stage of life, S warms up slowly (literally and figuratively), and once she has warmed (in a cozy space or to a person) she stays put.  I am like that, and I get that from my dad.  He would have loved turning S into his little green mountain.

I think I am going to tell T that my dad would have loved meeting him.

T is the only one of my kids who was never held by my dad, since “Dee” died a little over a year before T’s arrival.  At the same time, T is the kid who most embodies my dad physically, with that dark hair and those blue eyes.  If my dad had seen those features in miniature, I think he would have begun spoiling T rotten right then.  It is a reminder to me that I should give something to T on behalf of my dad: maybe a photo (maybe a small, T-sized copy of the one of Dee in his basketball uniform?)

T, if your “Dee” was still here, in addition to that photo, he would make sure you had a good grasp of

(a) all the family stories (no one could tell them like he could…though there are entire sections of family lore missing because those are the parts that got my dad laughing so hard that no one could understand what he was saying!),

(b) everything related to Alabama athletics (he was a second generation team captain for “the University”…), and

(c) a steady supply of icing.  (Dee ate his cupcakes like you do… all of the frosting, none of the cake.)

He would also have thrilled you by giving you an endless stream of your favorite greeting: your tiny version of the “high five”.

Prayers for you today, Dee.  In my minimal research about All Souls Day, I learned that I need to pray for you – and all souls – more often.

I wish we were in Alabama for the day, so the kids could help us place a few flowers on the grave in honor of you and All Souls Day.

In lieu of that, we are going to draw flowers and say a prayer for “Dee”.  If you are praying for souls today, please include a much-loved and missed “Dee” on your prayer list!

My favorite moments from this Halloween…

(1) Watching E & S teaching T how to ask for candy

(2) Seeing all of them in their costumes

(3) Walking through our neighborhood with my family and seeing all the other families out and about

(4) Being completely “in the moment”… (Halloween is such a reminder that childhood is so precious; my husband and I both reflected on how we would miss trick-or-treating with the kids when they decided they were too big to go with mom and dad…)

(5) Hearing – and remembering – the funny things that kids say… yesterday, when I said good morning to S in her room, I reminded her that it was Halloween.  “I know that!” she said, then walked downstairs, turned around and asked me, “Where are the presents?” . . . Um, she might be confusing her holidays!  But that’s ok, E did too when she was younger, telling us right before a Christmas party that if she went in and said “Trick-or-treat, Jesus!” someone might give her a gift.  Oh how I love my quotable kids!

(6) And to prove we are not completely focused on “gifts” (heaven help us…), I must also reveal that one of my favorite moments was recognizing that our kids loved giving out the candy at our door just as much as they loved getting it while trick-or-treating… (It occurred to us yesterday that Halloween really is a great time to celebrate the “joy of giving”.  We are looking for moments to celebrate generosity, and last night as our kids sat content with their overflowing buckets of just collected candy and eager to have the next costumed character knock at our door asking for a treat from our separate home bowl, we found a moment to do that.  It was as simple as saying how proud we were that they enjoyed giving candy to others as much as they enjoyed getting it for themselves… Christmas is another great times to do this too, I think.  I know lessons about generosity will move to another level as our kids age, but we are starting small here…)

Hope you had a Happy Halloween also!

Oh, these are such precious, precious days…