Little Blond Pirate

I caught Jane giving something on the end of her finger the evil eye while she said,
“Come on guy. Start wigglin; or I’ll split yer guts out!”

Don’t let that cute exterior fool you she’s the terror of the rain barrel and all the mosquito larva quake in fear at the sound of her dainty footsteps.

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Kindergarten, 2nd and 5th Grade

Can you tell?

Does Ivy look like the one who was up and dressed and ready? Excitedly talking to Jane all morning about how fabulous school is. Impatient for us to hurry up and get there already. Last week she told us, “The first day of school, to me, is like a holiday.” (I’m not actually sure she’s not some sort of alien robot because none of this behavior sounds like something a daughter of mine would do.)

Does Clara look like she spent the morning in virtual silence? She spent all evening crying at the thought of another school year and left this morning as if I was marching her off to a firing squad rather than a new school year.  (This one is for sure my kid.)

Does Jane look like the bundle of nervous energy she was? Torn between her older sisters’ enthusiasm and dread, she didn’t know what to think.  (I sympathize with Clara too much, I tried not to chime in.)

Can you tell that I’m holding the camera looking forward to seven hours of being able to pee without anyone asking me a question?

Can you tell?

Does it look like Ivy was just as enthusiastic about school as when she left in the morning?

Does it look like Clara is dreading tomorrow just as much as she dreaded today?

Does it look like Jane’s answer to, Did you like school? was “Not very much.”

Does it look like Jane and Clara were about to release their pent up energy, tiredness and frustration by picking on each other until they both cried, making up and then repeating until bedtime?

Can you tell that between the preparation, the drama, the fighting and the essay homework that I was assigned, that I felt like I paid for every solo bathroom trip?

Can you tell that it was still worth it?

 

No Screens in the Car

John and I are mean spirited and old fashioned in our parenting and we are at our nastiest in the car where we won’t let the kids play on screens while we drive.

Clearly we are monsters.

We enforce this rule because we want the girls to grow up with the skill of being able to occupy themselves without a screen for more than five minutes without succumbing to a case of “I’m bored’s”. I do realize that this is probably a skill they will never need to use once they leave my house. That’s fine. My dad made me learn DOS, I’m just passing it on to the next generation as well as I can.

The other reason we are sticklers about this particular rule is that we are not shelling out the money to get them each some sort of handheld screened device and you know what would happen if there was only one to share…

Fighting. One screen does not divide among three girls. We know this. Oh do we know this.

Instead my poor, deprived, screen-less girls current favorite thing to do in the car is to “collect” all the edibles we drive by.

“I get this side!”

“I get this side”

“WHAT SIDE DO I GET?!?”

“I get the corn!”

“I get soybeans!”

“I get that wheat!”

“Yeah, well I get ALL the corn!”

“You can’t have ALL the corn!”

“I got those strawberry patches!”

“I DIDN’T SEE STRAWBERRIES, THAT’S NOT FAIR!”

“I got this corn too!”

“YOU HAVE TO SHARE THE CORN!”

Yes, that’s right. Currently my girls’ favorite thing to do in the car is to fight over the cornfields we drive by.

Proof that it doesn’t really matter what you do as a parent, when in the mood kids always know exactly how to push each others’ buttons.

On the bright side, it’s working – they aren’t bored.

 

On Growing Up

First tooth gone!

“Well… I was a baby and now I’m on to being a kid and then I’ll be a big girl, then a teenager, then a grownup and then a grandma.”

John while trying to settle down all three girls for bed, while they were in various states ranging from wildly happy to upset,  mutters: “Let’s not talk about teenagers.”

Timeline to Happy

Jane and I had an accidental head bonking that spiraled out of control.

Perhaps if you haven’t bonked heads with a small overtired child that might not make sense. But let me explain, it goes a bit like this.

You are the mom. You accidentally bump head with your own child. Your child completely FREAKS out because clearly you are out to kill them, never mind that the head bump made your own eyes water, you are the mother and that is not important. Instead of accepting your heartfelt apology gracefully, or even reluctantly the child lashes out kicking and yelling. Which makes all the sense in the world because you were trying to maim them by clocking them with your own temple. Then you, the mother with the hurting head, yells back at the child who’s trying to beat you up with their tiny pokey fists and feet because even though you know it won’t actually help anything your head hurts and none of what happened since heads banged together makes sense anyway and besides by this time you have “HAD ENOUGH!”. The child then runs off crying because they hate everyone, in particular, you. 

After we retreated to separate corners for awhile, Jane came over and gave me this note.29

This is clearly a time line to happy. At 2 o’clock Jane is sad because we bonked heads and yelled at each other and she will slowly get happier until 5 o’clock when she is back to being extra happy.  I know this because she told me.

Luckily for all of us, Jane didn’t check the clock before making her time line and before long I was able to answer her constant inquires into the time with 4 o’clock! Sure enough, half a smile showed up right on schedule.

A while later I served cheese sticks.

“WHAT?!? MINE ARE HOT?! EVERY TIME YOU MAKE THINGS IN THE OVEN THEY ARE HOT AND YOU KNOW I HATE THAT!… I ONLY LIKE THINGS WARM!”

Thinking I could circumnavigate the ongoing disagreement we’ve been having over the last year that revolves around the necessity of heat to cook things, I checked the time.

“Jane! It’s 5:00! You can be all the way happy now!”

I thought that was a brilliant maneuver on my part – no such luck.

Suffice it to say we needed to start over with a new timeline.

 

 

True To Nature

I have sweet, kind girls.

I also have kids and kids are by nature boundary pushers, button mashers and tiny manipulators.

My girls have discovered the wonders of youtube and all of the terrible trash that has been produced for kids that it contains.

I, like any good mother, use their smidgen of trash screen time to leverage as many chores out of them as possible before handing over a device.

They, like any kids worth their salt, do their best to wheedle and cajole and push for all their worth to see just how much extra time they can get.

Today my sweet girls found me in the kitchen and presented me with this:

For the record I’m pretty sure they intended to say that I am a person who draws rather than a drawer. However, I probably hold more of their stuff than I do draw things so maybe drawer is more accurate.

I, like any good mother, made admiring noises.

I, like any experienced mother, was touched and also suspicious.

And those sweet, kind, girls of mine, like any true, red blooded kids, waited no more than a half a heartbeat after I expressed my thanks before blurting out- “Can we watch more videos now?”

I have sweet, kind girls.

I also have kids and kids are by nature boundary pushers, button mashers and tiny manipulators.

L is for… Leaf

Did you know that honey bees are actually unrepentant photobombers?

It’s true, just look what this little lady did to my picture of a leaf!

She’s trying to steal the show but this “L” picture is all those baby leaves.

The leaves that uncurl daily at this time of year always seem to be overshadowed by their flowery companions (and photobombing bees) but I think that mist of green that covers everything shouts, “Spring is here!” louder than any flower (or buzzing bee) ever could.

Speaking of shouting, I’d also like to share a little story about listening, in honor of the letter “L”, of course.

(Ivy brings me a container of small bulbs that have started to sprout and asks what they are.)

Me: “Those are the blue-flower bulbs.”

Ivy: “I don’t know what those are.”

Me: “Do you remember which flowers I’m talking about it? We plant them in pots…blue flowers… Granny and Gramps have them on their porch too…”

Ivy: “Oh! Are they red?”

Me: “Did you hear me call them blue-flowers?”

Ivy: “No.”

Me: “Sometimes, when we have conversations like this, I wonder if you actually listen to me when we talk.”

Ivy laughing: “No. I don’t really.”

Me: …

Speaking of conversations like these, I’d also like to share another favorite “L” word – liquor.

 

Photo blogging my way through the alphabet with: