Thursday, March 27, 2014

Good Morning

Chris wakes up first.  He is more of a morning person than I am, which basically makes him a better person.  
Our culture is generally disgusted by people who sleep in.  Think about it.  People that go to bed at 9 are weird and old, but people that sleep until noon are slugs who lay in their own slug-juice. 

Fortunately, I haven't had to worry about sleeping in for about 8 years now, so I am a perfectly respectable member of society.   

Anyway, Chris wakes up first.  He showers, gets dressed, swears at his phone, and then tromps downstairs to do whatever it is he does downstairs.  

Eventually, we peel the children out of bed.  

The harangue each other as they take turns using the bathroom, each of them refusing to use the downstairs bathroom, preferring, instead, to get increasing hysterical about how they HAVE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM

Then they file into our bedroom and get into our bed, where they proceed to lay there like slugs in their own slug=juice.  

Owen and Lilly get into an argument about what TV show they will watch after school.  Owen wants to watch Jake and the Neverland Pitrates, but Lilly is resistant.  They watched that yesterday, she says.  He counters that they did not.  She posits that, yeah, they did.  

Owen is quite perturbed.  "LILLY.  How would you feel if you never got to watch Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood?!?!"

I myself would feel pretty damn good because that is a creepy little show that is a disgrace to both the name and spirit of Mr. Rogers.

But Lilly would not feel good if she never got to watch Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood.  She agrees that this is a good point and they should compromise.  

Or something like that.  

I stopped listening.

I tell Owen to go brush his teeth.  His little electric toothbrush is broken, he tells me.  That's okay, I say, go ahead and use it like a regular toothbrush.  He stand there with the toothbrush in his mouth, motionless, until I remind him that he is capable of manually brushing his teeth.  

I leave the bathroom to begin the morning process of stuffing Lilly into her tights.

"Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrssssssssssszzzzzzzz," I hear, from the bathroom.

I realize that Owen is imitating the sounds of his electric toothbrush.  


Owen gets himself dressed, as he does every day, like the kind, helpful, self-sufficient boy he is.  

"Owen, your pants are on backwards," I say, just like I said yesterday and the day before that and the day before that.

"Ok, mom!" He says.  "But that's okay, right?!"  He says, just like he said yesterday and the day before that and the day before that.  

"No, Owen, you have to switch them."

"Get your shoes on, everybody!  It's time to go!"

Three sets of eyes stare blankly at me.  Shoes?  What are those?  Where would they be?  How would they know?  They've never seen their shoes in their lives!

"Can I have a car snack?"

"Lilly.  You just ate breakfast.  And you are about to go eat second breakfast at school.  You really can't handle the seven minute drive without a snack?"


"Mom, is that a yes, or a no?"

Congratulations, you are now familiar with our morning routine.  You can take over at any time.  

Friday, March 21, 2014

Bathroom Breaks

I'm not sure if all of America is aware the Hagesfeld Struggles to Actually Flush the Toilet, or just the eastern half, but, yes, somebody (ies) around here doesn't know how to wipe, flush, and wash hands on an entirely regular basis.

So I printed out all these clip art images of toilets being flushed, and hands being washed.  No pictures of wiping.  This is a family-friendly establishment and that just seemed a bit graphic.

I taped these images all around the bathroom, so that you could not possibly manage to not see a reminder of appropriate bathroom hygiene.

When the kids got home it was all, "Ooooooooh!  Something NEW!  How FASCINATING!"

'All the better,' I though.  Children are like zoo creatures, and I just changed their habitat in a new and stimulating way.

About five minutes later:

"MOM!  I wiped my penis!"

I know what you are thinking right now.  You are thinking, 'well, that's progress.'


"Great job, Lilly, but, as we've previously discussed, you don't have penis."

"Oh, right.  HAHA.  Well, anyway, my penis is clean now."

"Super.  Don't forget to flush and wash your hands."

From the boys?  The actual culprits?

(And, yes, I believe it is my male children who are doing this to me because 1) they are boys and 2) boys are gross and 3) I'm also mad at them for peeing all over everything.)

From the boys I've gotten nothing but a bunch of questions about the pictures.

How did I hang them up?

Where did I get them?

Who's hand is that flushing the toilet?

Why is that a picture of a kid flushing the toilet, but the picture of the hands being washed are grown-ups hands?


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Mr. Potato-Head Famine

Scene:  It's morning.  The kids are downstairs, doing the breakfast thing.  Alledgedly.

I'm upstairs.  Drying my hair.  With my fancy working hair dryer.

Lilly comes stumbling upstairs (because she is so excited and tall that apparently stumbling is her default mode of transportation).


"What, Lilly?"

"Mom?  May we have a potato?"

"What? Why?  Is this the Depression?  Are we Oliver Twist?"

Lilly, choosing to ignore my unnecessary commentary, answers, "So we can eat it."

"No, Lilly, you can't really just eat a potato.  That's weird.  It wouldn't taste good."

Then, a voice hisses from downstairs, "No!  Lilly, we want it to make a Mr. Potato Head."

"Oh!  Mom!  We're going to make a Mr. Potato Head!"

HA!  It's like my children ARE living in the Depression!  With their homemade Mr. Potato Heads.  Maybe they can get some corn husk dolls and an orange for Christmas.

Except the playroom suggests that we do, in fact, have actual toys - made of real plastic!

Though, point taken, I have not shelled out for a Mr. Potato Head.  It violates my cardinal rule of play things: They Must Not Have Pieces.

So I told them they could have a potato.  And they stuck old screws and nails in it to make a face.

It was the most adorably hideous and terrifying thing ever.  Like Edward Scissor Hands meets Jason meets . . . well . . . Mr. Potato Head.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Princesses NEVER!

Lilly, despite seeing only her second princess movie ever in the past few months, is quite comfortable with the idea of being a princess.

To Lilly, being a princess means only two things:

1) wearing a "beautiful" outfit
2) not doing something she doesn't want to do.

I believe I have mentioned the "princesses don't wear underwear" debacle.

I didn't know at the time, but that was the dawning of a new age around here.

The ushering in of a new era of "But MOM!  Princesses don't . . . "

. . . take their plates in!

. . . go to sleep!

. . . eat tuna for dinner!

And that's all fine, really.  I get it.  It's not the MOST annoying way for her to say she doesn't like something.

Whatever, right?

The thing is, she also uses it In Public.

So she says things like:

"Princesses don't put their heads underwater, right, mom?"

"Princesses don't climb on monkey bars, right, mom?"

"Princesses don't ride bikes, right, mom?"

Which is her way of saying, 'I'm a little scared of putting my head under water, or climbing on monkey bars, or riding a bike.'

Which is no big deal.

Except, apparently, if you are a stranger sitting next to us in public, it sounds just a touch like I'm a pageant mom.  A Toddlers in Tiaras kind of situation, if you know what I mean.

Like I've just been drilling into her that she is a princess and princesses don't eat fattening foods and they don't get their hair messy and they never rub their mascara off, right Lil' Lilly Lou Bobbi?

And I just feel like I don't really deserve the look that that lady standing near us in the pool just gave me.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Babies and things

I am just on pins and needles waiting for my newest niece!

I asked Chris if he ever had any regrets, vasectomy-speaking.

"No.  Absolutely not.  Not at all.  No.  Never."

I think it's probably painful for him, this longing for another baby, so he has to stuff those feelings deep inside.

"When I think of what Thomas and Jessica are about to go through, I get nauseous."

Deep, deep, inside.

It's funny how your perspective changes as your kids grow up.  I remember being with Sam at the Children's Museum when he was probably 18 months old.  Somebody had their older child with them - probably a 7 year old - and I was APPALLED.  It was like this kid was some kind of hulking monster.  Now I have a hulking monster, and I'm like, "well, yeah, but what are you gonna do?  It's not like you can trade them in."

It's a bait-and-switch, this "having children" thing.  I signed on for babies, but really they are like gremlins.  Or tribbles.  Or something that is cute but will, faster than you can imagine, be rolling his eyes at you, mumbling, "I knew this was going to be an awful Sunday" because you had the gall to propose a trip to Costco.

Even though I think Uncle Mike might agree that Costco makes for an awful Sunday.

The thing is, after you've dragged three kids through Costco on a Sunday, your regular life seems awesome in comparison.  You are never so grateful to be at home than after that particular torture.

Speaking of trading-in, the brakes on our car just went out.

Hey, I have an idea, Devices-That-Help-Me-Live, how about, instead of breaking, you try NOT-breaking!  I know it's a novel, outside-the-box, suggestion, but I just thought I'd kind of throw it out there and see what sticks, you know?

Still, I will admit I have a damn good support system.  After I published my last list of things that broke, many of those items miraculously appeared.

My Mom and Dad sent over a mattress pad, which I very graciously accepted.

Michael brought me a new hair dryer, which turns out to have been enormously valuable in this winter that will not end - and spending freeze that cannot thaw because of All The Expensive Fixing.  

So, things could be worse.

It could be US having a baby any day now.

Not because babies aren't awesome, but because then Chris would be throwing up and I'd have to live through another 13-year-old.