It is the phrase I have attempted (with help from Jim & Charles Fay and twenty billion reminders from John) to teach myself. It is the phrase that insistently lets the kids know they are in trouble yet gives me time to think what to do next.  It is the phrase that can stop my mouth from uttering ridiculous edicts before my brain has a chance to think about them. It is the phrase that keeps me from saying,  “That’s it! You are never getting a glass of water again!” when confronted with a mess purposefully made with a glass of drinking water.  It is a good phrase.

But now I have a problem. Jane is beating me to the “Uh-oh.” Now I walk in a room and I don’t even have to scan for issues, I just listen. If I hear “Don’t say ‘Uh-oh’ Mom! Don’t say “Uh-oh’!” I know there is trouble in the making.Jane

Yes, I can hear you laughing from here and you can stop anytime now. Because seriously. Seriously.  Does she really think she can get away with all sorts of trouble just by talking fast and looking cute!?! Talk about an attitude guaranteed to make a mothers blood pressure spike!

After all, that’s my line! I get to say “Uh-oh!”  I get to use that to pause, and breath, and refrain from issuing crazy threats or giving her to the next delivery man that knocks on the door.  I say “Uh-oh.” Don’t be stealing my line Jane- I need it and unless you want to be shipped to Abu Dhabi  ala Garfield, you do too!

Furthermore, frantically repeating “Don’t say ‘Uh-oh’ Mom! Don’t say “Uh-oh’!” while continuing to do the offending activity lets me know, not only, that she knows that she shouldn’t be doing whatever it is she’s doing but also that she thinks she can get away with continuing what she’s doing  right in front of me if she’s a fast enough talker.

But the really big problem is that Jane is awful cute and listening to her panic as she tries to finish getting into trouble is, admittedly, pretty hilarious.

Which means that it’s true. She can totally get herself out of trouble and keep her mother smiling  if she’s a fast enough talker.Jane

I’m so doomed.



“It’s Raining…”

One of the major problems I have staying home with three kids is that while I’m nursing the baby the other two are doing stuff. Some days they are doing nice stuff and some days are like today. Today I came into the kitchen and found that Clara discovered not only how to change the kitchen faucet from a stream to a spray but that you can also pull out the head of the faucet. I pull out the head of the faucet to wash large pans and clean the sink. Clara pulled it out, must have thought it was actually intended to be the worlds best water gun and got right to work spraying Ivy.

We’ve got good water pressure, Ivy got wet on the far side of the kitchen table.

This is sort of impressive if you don’t think about the fact that most of the water is landing on the floor, the counter, the paper, the microwave, the radio, the cell phone, the eggs, the vitamins on the shelves, the ceiling, the windows, the blinds, the leftover food waiting to go back into the fridge, the tin full of change, the chairs, the table, under the sink, under the fridge and in the cupboard.

But I’m the Mom, so I thought about all those things and was, shall we say, less impressed with Clara’s feat than Clara was, much less.

As Clara was doing her best to be a poster child for the terrible two’s and unapologetically running through the puddles instead of helping clean up Ivy chimed with, “It’s raining in here Mom.”  I looked up, saw all the water on the ceiling dripping down, took a deep breath, squashed my urge to strangle the kids, decided that while making them clean up their own mess was a good lesson it really wouldn’t do them any good if they were dead and sent them out of the room before I changed my mind.

Shortly afterwards while I was still fuming and sopping up water Clara danced through the kitchen with her underwear on her head on her way to brush her teeth. I took a picture.  As I continued cleaning I fantasized that in about ten years I could blow it up really large and hang it on my kitchen wall. Then Clara would be embarrassed and ask me to take it off the wall and I would laugh manically and say “NO! You were a rotten two year old who flooded the kitchen, the picture stays!” Unfortunately after looking at the picture I took I’m afraid I’ll hang it on my wall and everyone will tell her how cute she was even with underwear on her head. So much for that fantasy.  Next time I’ll work on something involving beaches. You know, if I closed my eyes and concentrated I’m pretty sure I could turn that big puddle on a gritty floor into the oceans edge on a sandy beach…. now where’s my drink with the umbrella in it?

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…