Rainy Afternoon

It was a rainy afternoon.rose with rain drops

It was the gentle kind of rainy afternoon when you can leave the windows open and let the house fill with the fresh wet scent of growing things.  It was the kind of rainy afternoon that after you check on the new pigs (sleeping) the new ducklings (sleeping) and goslings (sleeping) that is just perfect for crawling into bed between a child (sleeping) and a cat (sleeping), while your dog curls up next to you on the floor (sleeping). iris with rain drops

It was a perfect, sleepy, rainy afternoon.

Sometimes you need vacations from your vacations. We had a great long weekend but I was glad for today’s rain induced napping opportunity! 



Motherhood, A Frighteningly Forgetful State

In my experience when you become a mother, especially after you have become a mother three times over, you forget things.

And by things, I mean everything.

I forget to eat breakfast.

Each time I leave the house I forget my wallet, my sunglasses or my car keys.

Sometimes I forget all three.

Last week I had to jump out of the truck and go back to the house for my forgotten jacket. It was 3° … Fahrenheit.

I have found that it is annoying to forget kids shoes when you go to the grocery store but a serious inconvenience to forget your own.

I discovered that not only is it both annoying and a serious inconvenience, it is also embarrassing and possibly unsafe, to forget your kids snow gear when you travel north for the holidays.

I forget meals and dishes, laundry in the washing machine and to take my contacts out. I forget to call people, cut the low hanging branch over the sidewalk, find a dustpan for the garage, clean out the truck and which kids is named what. I forget to paint my toes, where I left my shoes, what I did with my tea and to sign Ivy’s schoolwork.

To date I haven’t yet forgotten that I have children but at the rate I’m going I figure it’s only a matter of time. Preparing for the worst I have come up with a test in case I ever become confused on the subject.

It’s very simple, if you are a mother and can’t remember if you have kids or where they might be, take a nap.

That’s right, find a blanket, lay down on a couch in front of a fire and fall asleep. attempted couch nap

Guaranteed reminder of your current motherhood status.

And yes, Clara was just about a sick and she looks, I was just as tired as I appear and Jane was being just as mischievous as her smile makes her out to be!


The Nap Monster

One minute there I was lining up an afternoon of cooking and preserving and the next -wham!- the Nap Monster got me and I was out for a time better measured in hours than in minutes.
These attacks have become a reoccurring issue. You see the problem is that I have a tendency to travel deep into nap monster habitat, completely unprepared for attack. After lunch, I take Jane and we lay down in my bed together to nurse her before nap time: it’s warm, it’s cuddly, it’s the afternoon, it’s Nap Monster habitat if I’ve ever heard it.  And my packing for this trip through Nap Monster habitat – it never helps. I’m just not prepared to fend off the Nap Monster with the supplies I bring for my trip. In fact I can’t think of a single instance where my book, my pillow, my sweat pants and a nice big blanket ever really helped me hide from the Nap Monster.

The trouble is that I unabashedly love the naps.  Afternoon naps with a baby have been my favorite since I discovered them in 2007 and I’m afraid the number of available opportunities is dwindling. In fact next time Jane and I dive into Nap Monster habitat I might just give him a big “Hallooo” and let him know I’m coming – just so I don’t let another opportunity pass me by.

Loud Issues

When Clara and Ivy are playing unless bodily harm seems imminent we leave them alone to figure out their own differences. For the most part they manage to play together, work together and resolve their troubles without help. There are of course times when one or the other comes to us in tears and we have to step in and moderate.  Since we’ve been having trouble with hitting and pushing lately the moderating has been happening quite a bit more frequently.

We are saving money by having the girls wear the same clothes. We are saving time by making them wear them at the same time to reduce the amount of laundry.

This afternoon I heard the start of their spat at the sandbox from in the house while I was putting Jane down for a nap.  As I bent over to lay Jane in her crib it escalated into screaming, shrieking and crying and Clara flew into the house yelling like she’d been mortally wounded. Since Clara often screams like she’s been mortally wounded but has never actually been in that condition I wasn’t too worried.  But, wounded or not, the screaming had woken Jane up and my attention was needed downstairs. Now, I suspect that spat occurred not over a yellow plastic shovel like they claim but purely because their little sister was almost asleep.  It’s like some sort of eerie siren song.  When I’m putting Jane to sleep as soon as I stand to lay her down in the crib everyone runs to me with their issues.  LOUD issues. Dogs bark, the cat pukes, the phone rings with advice on how I should vote in the upcoming election, John has questions and children who have been playing quietly for hours start beating on each other and run to me crying.

It’s possible that the frantic, one armed, gesticulating to get out while silently yelling “Go away!” that they receive isn’t the friendliest reception, but seriously, can’t anyone see that “I’M TRYING TO PUT THE BABY TO SLEEP?!”

Ahem, anyways….where was I? Oh yes…

Clara comes into the house screaming.

Jane wakes up.

Ivy follows Clara into the house yelling.

I go downstairs and tell the girls to stay put.

I head back upstairs get the baby to sleep.

Finally I go back downstairs to ask what happened.

There they are still sitting in their chairs at the table where I told them to stay happily playing together.  I have to interrupt the new game to ask what all the fighting was about and with frightening nonchalance I hear:

Clara: “I hit Ivy two times and then she pushed me out of the sandbox.”

Ivy: “Clara hit me, I told her to go away and she didn’t leave fast enough so I pushed her out of the sandbox.”

I had just started to make obligatorily parental noises about behavior, and ways to solve arguments when they asked if they could go back outside and keep playing yet.  I looked at my two happy girls, who were barely paying attention to me because they were still trying to secretly play with each other, agreed and they disappeared all giggles out the door.

Rain puddles after a May storm are fun, but chilly, gotta wear a hat!

Which left me standing in the kitchen with a spinning head.

Did what I think happened just happen?

Was this all just because Jane was going to fall asleep and cosmic forces conspired against their happy play forcing them into a noisy fight?

Is there any way of impressing on your children that they should stop beating on each other when after four minutes neither of them care any longer?

Or is it yet another example that I should learn from of the way kids live in the moment and can let bygones be bygones at the drop of a hat.

I thought about it, decided that parenting philosophy, cosmic forces and moral issues were all beyond me this afternoon, grabbed a Diet Coke and sat down in my quite house to enjoy it while it lasted.

Sweet Sisters

Some days I look back on my posts and feel that I write a disproportionate amount of posts about naughty children.

Some days I look back on my posts and feel that I write about such a small portion of the things that make my hair go grey that as readers you are really missing the true flavor of life here.

I’m pretty sure the direction that feeling takes  is directly related to whether or not my kitchen has undergone any flooding activity in the last 12 hours.

Today the kitchen stayed dry, and while good behavior and normal days don’t make for interesting stories they do hold some very sweet pictures.

Listening to Ivy “reading” to Clara  as she puts her down for a nap is one of my favorite things, sneaking a few pictures through the keyhole was even better!

Quiet… Too Quiet

You know how they always say that when you can’t hear your children, you should be worried. Well, that had never been too much of a problem for me.

Until today.

Today the girls are making up for months of playing quietly without getting into trouble.

The first mistake was when I let the girls watch part of a movie while I made lunch.  I entered the office to get them, only to find the door of the dove cage broken and ripped off and dove seed scattered all over the office.

I was, shall we say… unhappy.

Not to be taken in by the same trouble twice, I did not let them return to their movie, and after lunch we got ready for naps. I can only blame my extreme sleep deprivation that I never thought twice about putting them to bed together.

I should have known better.

Over an hour later when it had been so quiet I actually thought they were either asleep or reading in their beds like they were supposed to be, I heard a huge crash and a scream.  After ascertaining that everyone was alive and in no mortal danger I took in the situation. Clara’s bed (which is just a crib mattress) was stripped of blankets and sheets and on top of Ivy’s bed. Ivy was also on her bed, standing up and pushing Clara’s bed off the end. And Clara was crying on the floor as she extracted herself from the rocking chair that she had crashed into when Ivy shoved her off the bed with the mattress. Naked. Which is unfortunate because it’s a lot easier to get scratches all over your body while tangling with a rocking chair when you don’t have clothes on. In fact I’m pretty sure that’s why people started wearing clothes… so that when older siblings shoved them down they sustained less damage. Then I noticed the crayon across the walls and the books strewn everywhere.

Clearly it had been too quiet.

I continued to be… unhappy.

It’s about an hour later, my girls have not yet napped, Ivy is grumpy beyond belief and Clara has entered the stage of complete and utter over-tired-manic-crazy-girl. Unfortunately having tried all other solutions to get Clara to bed I have again put them down in their room together. But I’m not worried about them yet, I can still hear them jumping on the bed…