The Missing Candy

I always knew that being a parent meant getting woken up in the middle of the night.

However, I was completely unprepared for the variety of things that would cause my children to think “Hey look, it’s 3:55 AM, I better go tell mom all about this – right now!”

Last night Jane showed up at the side of our bed at, you guessed it, 3:55 AM.

She was very upset.

This is not unusual. Most children who arrive in the middle of the night in the pitch black are upset. What was unusual was that she was upset about her candy.

That’s right, Jane woke me up just before 4 AM to tell me that her candy was missing.

Apparently, her secret stash of candy (which never should have been in her room in the first place) was missing, it was probably Goose’s fault and what was I going to do about it.

My intelligent response to this was, “Urgh. Murble. Rummppfff.”

Jane was unimpressed so she repeated her tale louder and more insistently which woke me up enough that I replied with an ever more intelligent, “How about you come snuggle with me.”

Which she did as she continued to talk about her candy. Finally after listening to her candy dilemma for six hours, (or maybe six seconds, it’s hard to tell…I’m not at my best at 3:55 AM)  I harshly yelled at her to be quiet because it was the middle of the night and why was she even talking about candy?!?

Then she cried, fell asleep, hogged the bed, messed up the covers and was a giant pain right smack dab in the middle of John and I for the rest of the night.

This morning the first thing she did was run to inspect her candy stash. Admittedly I rolled my eyes when she started in talking about it again.  I thought that this had all been a bad dream, maybe her dream, maybe mine, maybe we both had a bad dream but I didn’t think it was real because…

Who would inspect their secret candy stash at 3:55 AM?!?

But it was true. Her secret candy stash was missing and all she could find was a chewed on sucker stick with the wrapper still clinging to it.  She was crushed.

I told her to hurry up and put her clothes on before she was late for school.

Moral of the Story: Mom’s have no sympathy when breaking the rules backfires on you.

Other Moral of the Story: Never underestimate the power of children to disrupt your sleep. 

 

Advertisements

Mom Ears

I lost my mom ears.

You know, the super sonic hearing ears that let you know every time your child rolls over, coughs or calls out your name.

They broke.

It’s the best thing that’s happened to me in years. Now instead of me jumping out of bed when kids cry or make other random noises in the night, John does. I don’t hear a thing, he has to tell me about it in the morning.

It. Is. Amazing.

I think this is what he felt like all those nights I was up nursing kids and banishing boogey men. (And yes, I nursed those girls, we have YEARS to go before John is even close to catching up with late night waking hours.)

There is one problem though. Since I don’t hear the girls I don’t know they are coming until they show up next to the bed. John can attest from his years on the night shift that when I wake up with someone next to the bed, I scream. For years I woke up to John saying “It’s John! It’s John! It’s John!” until I turned my siren off.

Clara recently got a new blanket, a zebra blanket. It’s soft and fuzzy and has a “hood” on it with a stuffed zebra head she can pull over her own. She loves it. Clara wears it around the house while getting ready for school and sleeps with it every night. It is her new favorite thing.

This was not staged. This is just what she looked like when I went to check on her tonight!

So, when Clara came down to our bed in the middle of the night, I didn’t hear her coming. I didn’t notice her standing next to the bed. In fact I didn’t register her presence at all until a zebra was climbing into my bed and it’s big black zebra nose touched my face.

Facts.

1) I really hate it when things touch my face when I’m sleeping.

2) Zebras are more startling than small children.

3) Screaming in a panicked fashion in your child’s face does not make them feel better.

I lost my mom ears. It’s pretty amazing but I do feel a bit bad for the kids.

 

 

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.

 

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.

 

 

Happy To See Me

I was gone for a few days last week.

The day I was returning home my Granny said to me “Your girls will be happy to see you.”

“Oh,” said I, “they might be, but they will hide it very well.”

After being gone for almost three days I walked up to Jane while she was playing with her friend.  Jane’s friend happily called out, “Jane, your mom is here!” Jane glanced up and went back to playing without acknowledging my presence.

I didn’t see Ivy and Clara until the next morning. Ivy gave me a nice hug, told me she was ready for school and could she please now use the tablet that had accompanied me on my trip.

My reunion with Clara was not so much a reuniting but more of a spectacle as I watched her come into the room and flop face first into the couch while crying and yelling at everyone to go away. Clara and I are not morning people, I felt her pain.

At least John was very happy to see me. He said many adoring husband things and listened to my stories and held me close and then said. “I’m officially abdicating the running of the household, you’re in charge again.”

I’m not upset by these reactions, quite the opposite, I’m very happy to be able to leave my family without a soul crushing, guilt inducing, flood of tears. In fact, I’m happily leaving on vacation again this week, for much longer this time and it’s good to know they will all be just fine without me!

 

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.

Planetary Education

On a beautiful winter evening we were having a campfire in the snow and looking at the stars. I was pointing out constellations to the kids because I have always loved the idea that stories and pictures are painted in the night sky. John, less thrilled with mythology and mere stories, pointed out Venus, because it’s a planet and he’s got this thing about space going on. (Nope Honey, still not going to Mars!)

Snowy fire. #spontaniousfun

A post shared by Behind The Willows (@behindthewillows) on


Talking about Venus drew us all into a technical discussion about how planets worked. John, in what I must say was basically a stroke of brilliance, turned the campfire into the sun, Clara became Mercury, Ivy Venus, John was Earth, Jane his moon and I was Mars.  Off we marched around the fire in our own orbits traveling at different speeds just like the planets do. I had a bit of excitement when I traveled through an asteroid belt (brush patch) on my outer orbit and by the time John was done spinning circles while holding Jane as he orbited the sun Ivy was no longer in any doubt what planetary body the moon orbited around. Then we followed John’s directions to line up in the current planetary configuration while he re-pointed out Venus and explained why we couldn’t see Mars (I’m afraid my man knows these things because of his new quest to become an astronaut, it has me worried). It was very educational and the girls were having fun and asking more questions and I was just starting to tell John what a good idea it all was when Jane looked up at the sky and said:

“I think I see Earth!”

It was a brilliant planetary lesson, but maybe next time we need to start out with the basics!