Sunday, April 18, 2010

APBs - Acquired Preschool Behaviors

We as stay-at-home parents relish in the fact that for a certain number of years were are able to raise our children with no influences from the outside world. Being with one's children 24/7 gives certain advantages, such as knowing what food they're eating and keeping them away from the undesirable influences of other nasty little children with biting habits or the like.

But then, someone along age 3, preschool seems like a wonderful idea. And we stay-at-home parents remain as such, but our lovely little offspring head to be handled by someone else for a few hours each week.

And as such, we are not longer in control of their perfect little environment, where they eat healthy foods because they don't realize that other kids are allowed to drink soda, which you've always told them in a grown-up drink, like beer, and whiskey.

And they befriend other little boys and girls, some of whom are rambunctious and have nasty little habits of saying things like "Awesome!" and "Great!" in a sarcastic fashion when their will is not met.

I call these Acquired Preschool Behaviors. Also knows as APBs.

Not at day that goes by, not a day, where one of the boys doesn't say or do something that makes us say, "Where in the world did they learn that?" Sometimes I ask, and Mason is such a forthright little child that he'll flat out tell me where he picked up whatever annoying or endearing behavior he was just displaying.

Most notable APBs:

  • Reminding us that "Stupid is a bad word." Listen, I understand all the reasons we might not want our young little cherubs wielding the word stupid. But who is the stupid person that came up with the brilliant idea to tell them "Stupid is a bad word." Do we say, "F$%k is a bad word"? NO. We simply say, "We don't say that." So then the little children take delight in reminding the world, at every possible opportunity that stupid is, in fact, a bad word. So when say, someone's mother is struggling a great struggle to get a certain new toys out of the jaws of death that is toy packaging these days, and she utters "Why can't I get this stupid thing out?", she might not have her frustration added to by her five year old reminding her that "Stupid is a bad word." It's not like I, er I mean, she was dropping the f-bomb.

  • Thinking that every day is an occasion for Chuck-E-Cheese's. Perhaps it makes me a bad mother, but I liken a trip to Chuck-E-Cheese's akin to entering the gates of hell. There are too many of other people's children there. And other people tend to forget to supervise their children. So I don't take my kids there, like ever. But of course, so and so from preschool goes there all the freakin' time. So now I am not only a bad mother, but my kid knows it. He's on to me, knowledge gained as part of his preschool education.

  • Why did the chicken cross the road type jokes. Except they make zero sense. Examples: Why did the window cross the road? Cause he wanted to go camping!

  • Saying 'Hey' is for horses! Over and over again. 'Nuff said.

I'm beginning to see why people homeschool. You might go out of your mind trying to do it, but your children will be much less annoying as a result.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Sunshine and Lights

In light of the fact that Cole has turned four, it was time for him annual trip to see Dr. Wilson.

First words out of his mouth?

Do I get a shot?

Naturally it's what any four year old would want to know. And thankfully Dr. Wilson saves the shots for the five year visit, so we get to put that unpleasantness off for another 365 days. Due to recent anxieties the boys have about the doctor's office, I've enacted a rule that they can bring their Ruffie along for the visit.

Clearly Cole's Ruffie is not a dog. Mason's however, is. And when Cole was a baby and heard Mason calling his prized little lovey "Ruffie" Cole was sure that his little friend should go by the same name. Cause Big Brothers always know what's right.

Ruffie is Cole's best bud, and he doesn't get out much. I live in fear that he, who is in my opinion more valuable than gold, will be lost.

Ruffie, as you can see, if very well loved. He's so well loved that he's pretty much flat, his arms completely so, all the stuffing that once resided inside him having been hugged flat by an abundance of love. He needs a little plastic surgery, a nip and restuff, but I am deadly afraid Cole will flip with any alterations. So Ruffie slumps. He doesn't seem to mind.

Cole has a wonderful imagination, more colorful than the rainbow. He treats his Ruffie so well, making sure he always has something to eat and always gets to see the sights. He was so excited to show Ruffie all the toys in the waiting room, and as he was introduced, Ruffie barked his approval.

When I got the usual gamut of questions from Dr. W (any problems, does he sleep, does he eat, seem to be allergic to anything, does he like school, follow discipline) I really couldn't come up with a single issue to raise.

And it filled my heart once again that my sweet little Cole is such an easygoing dude. He lives in this world, soaking up every moment with a smile, showcasing his chipped tooth from one of his lesser moments. And despite those lesser moments that all kids have, right now, in his four year old state, Cole is the sunshine of my life.

The members of a family are like actors in a play--everyone has a part. Sometimes we trade parts so that other members get a chance to shine as the lead. Right now, Cole's our leading man.

And on a completely unrelated note, I am now the proud owner of a Canon Speedlite 580EX II external flash!! Ahhh, photography equipment.... There's just nothing like having a new piece of it. Now if I only had 45 spare seconds to put some batteries in it and try that bad boy out!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Rhetorical Rhetoric

Lots of things on my mind lately. I know, it's amazing!

So here, in no particular order, I offer the following:

  • When does tree pollen season end? I think I might throw a party when that happens.

  • Is it better to clean one room completely and then move on to the next, or move from room to room in 15 minute increments?

  • Why can't the washer and dryer take the same amount of time to operate?

  • How come children find so much joy in throwing clean laundry all over the dirty floor?

  • My brother-in-law was on my porch at 7:30am collecting the tables and chairs from the party. I was not expecting him and his scared the bejeez out of me. He's lucky I'm a liberal and don't own a gun.

  • I am, however, very thankful that he removed the tables and chairs for me. And that he laid sod in my yard last week. My husband should be more thankful because both of these tasks were his chores. He too is lucky that I'm a liberal and don't own a gun.

  • Why is it that no matter how much space you have in your house you seem to fill it, and no matter how much money you have you seem to spend it? Same goes with time.

  • Do you think the QWERTY keyboard really is the best key placement for optimal typing? I have always wondered.

  • Does your baby's crib bumper fit in your washer? Lila's doesn't and it's highly inconvenient.

  • How many strollers do normal people own? I have five right now and am told that's excessive.

  • Is there a way to put sheets on bunk beds that does not involve calisthenics and sweating?

  • Wouldn't it be nice if there was one company that collected all of your bills and gave you the total so you only had to write one check?

  • How does anyone live without an iPhone?

That's all for now folks.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Monster Truck Sized Egg-Shaped Celebrations

I woke up this morning the way I always do--to one of my children staring in my face.

This time it was Cole. The birthday boy.

He climbed in bed with me and I snuggled him. Told him it was his birthday and now, at long last, he was officially four. And then I looked at the clock and noted the time.

It was almost exactly the same time it was four years ago when I met him for the first time, several hours after his tumultuous and highly dramatic entry into this world. And in retrospect, I can't believe after such an entrance he has turned out to be such a quiet, easy-going, happy-go-lucky child.

Have you heard of a Golden Birthday? It just learned of this phenom last week. Apparently it's when your age matches your date of birth. So since Cole was born on the 4th and he's turning four, it's his Golden Birthday. Imagine that.

Since today is Easter, we had his party yesterday. It would have been so nice to have his party today, on his actual birthday, but of course people would be celebrating the holiday with their families.

This year was awesome, because Cole told me exactly what kind of birthday party he wanted. A bounce house party, at our house, with monster trucks. Pirate monster trucks, to be specific (come to find out this means Captain's Curse from Monster Jam).

I thought all of his decisiveness would take the guess work out of it for me, but it just so happens that Monster Trucks are the hardest to find, hardest to plan birthday decorations. But I worked it out. Right down to the cake. After Target and Publix were both sold out of their monster truck cake decoration parts, I said eff it (literally, I was frustrated) and made my own cake.

Then I found these snazzy letter candles, but of course there was no "Cole." They were also sold out of most single letters. So how did I score this? There was a "Nicole." Ha!

Pre cake he's already got chocolate on his face. Donuts. We had a breakfast party. Getting the kids nice and jacked up on sugar. : )

Lila, in her very own pink monster truck shirt. With her very own chocolate donut face.

After the party, after the cleanup, after Cole and I went to Publix to order cupcakes for his class party on Monday, we switched out of Birthday mode and into Easter mode to color eggs.


After. 18 freshly colored little cadets standing proudly in their carton.

And then this morning when Rey pulled out the white eggs to make Cole's breakfast french toast, Cole wondered what kind of trick we played on him to make the "painted" eggs plain again.

This morning, in a special hybrid Easter/Birthday mode... we stopped in our harried rush to make it from point A to B to C to Z and took a few quick Easter best pictures.

My girl.

My girl and her brothers who love her to bitty bits.

I almost made Cole change out of his blazing red Crocs. But he really wanted to wear them. And although some might think they ruin the "perfect" shot, I think the perfect shot consists of perfectly happy kids. It was his birthday, he was already sharing it with a holiday, and by george if wearing red Crocs would make him happy then it also make this picture perfect.
It also covers their perfect little personalities. Lila the Ham. Mason the Showman. And Cole, perfectly bored out of him mind and wondering when this would be over so he could get back to his Dragon Wagon.

I made it into a picture!

Tried to fire off some singles of the boys.
Mason poses.

Cole does not.

He would be very pleased for you to know that he's now four. That's four years old, people.

And lastly, a cake. Post egg hunt, post Easter brunch with one family and Easter dinner with another, we had the final cake. With four candles.

Egg-shaped for Easter, with four springtime layers.

Between the cakes and the candy, our entire family is poised to lapse into a sugar coma.

I think I did a good job of making the best of my boy sharing his birthday with Easter. I think I managed to make him feel special and still make a special holiday for my other Garanimals.

But I am dead dog-tired. And thankful that Easter doesn't fall on April 4th every year.

I assumed it would happen at some point again though, and I even took the time to look it.

2021. Easter will be on Cole's birthday again when he turns 15.

At least I have 11 years to recover from this weekend before I have to do it again.