Bad Day Sequel

Well, it’s still the same bad day, but this is the follow up or sequel. I wonder what the prequel would’ve been. . . My Life Prior to Procreation. . .?

Naptime was met with little resistance from Greta and Sawyer, that is if you forget about the part where I physically had to pick Sawyer up as he was flailing and screaming and kicking my reproductive organs (I don’t know techncally if I have more than one, but if I do, you can count them all), as he yelled that he wasn’t tired. My response. . .normal children don’t act this way, only tired children. I sat down at the computer after I put Sawyer back in his bed for the 2nd time and listened to the seconds tick on my kitchen clock. Time has never moved so swiftly. 

And then I remembered about the load of laundry in the dryer that needed to be folded, a load in the washer that needs to be dried, an art lesson I should probably prep for Gunnar’s kindergarten class, a list I need to make for Target with high hopes that maybe I can actually go all by myself when Aaron gets home from work, the dog’s empty water bowl, oh, and maybe the fact she probably has to pee since she didn’t get to since maybe possibly this morning at 6am when the bad day signs began? I know that was a run on sentence, but my days are filled with basically run on sentences, nothing really ends, so I think it’s pretty poetic if you ask me.

I managed to do laundry, dishes, vacuum, and watch an episode of Project Runway I had Tivo’d while they slept peacefully and soundly. When they got up it was time to go pick up Gunnar from school and Aaron was home by then, but he had some work to do at home and foolish me thought that I could bring the little ones with me and it’s such a beautiful day, let’s walk, and I brought no stroller or wagon. I set off pretty early knowing that their little legs were going to prolong the walk. And sure enough a usual 7 minute walk became a 45 minute scene out of a horror comedy child abuse prevention movie. Greta and Sawyer have different walking speeds, Sawyer runs, and Greta likes to walk as if she were a ballerina princess in 5 inch stilettos. Crossing streets is a challenge, but there’s a lot of yelling and grabbing and threatening involved. 

It’s interesting how many stares you get when you’re with two toddlers and are crossing a busy intersection. You’d think I had just robbed a liquor store in lingerie and was a man by the looks I was getting. And I was crossing at a light with a walk signal and a crossing guard. We made it and Sawyer only had 2 timeouts within the school grounds. The walk home was a little hairy with 3 children now and by this point stilettos or no stilettos Greta wasn’t hot on walking. We are about 2 blocks from home and the boys know to stop at every corner and we cross together. We are approaching the last corner, I have Greta on my hip and I see Sawyer run and not stop at the corner, but rather he runs full force into the middle of the street. I am screaming and running and no doubt getting some stares of a different kind as I race to grab him standing there, back turned to me, still in the street. I drag him to the corner and scared the living daylights out of him and told him when we get home is when he will have some punishment. By this time Gunnar is lecturing his brother on the necessity of being street safe and car accidents and blood and broken bones and what have you. 

Aaron must’ve heard the crying and screaming half a block away because he meets us on the front lawn and there’s a look of half terror half angst as he tries to figure out what just happened. The normal afternoon chaos begins of “starving to death” whines and homework woes. My chance arrives to depart to Target and I am out the door. I think every time I walk out the door a little bit of Aaron wonders if I am coming home. It was the best 75 minutes I have had in 48 hours. I was able to walk down the aisles that I wanted to, try on clothes in the dressing room, and not buy a single toy. Okay, I bought some play doh but that doesn’t count.  By the way, Target has some awesome sleepwear right now (cute camisoles and sleep shorts). Where was I? Oh, yes. Target. I don’t think I uttered a single word to anyone from the moment my house door shut to the time I got home. In fact, at Target they don’t ask how you are when you checkout, so I didn’t even have to talk to the cashier. And on the way home I was so dazed in the quiet solitude of my car that I didn’t even make the effort to change the song on the radio which was playing a tune, I can’t remember the song, but it goes something like this feel the beat of the rhythm of the night, dancing til the morning light, forget about the worries. . . yeah you know the one. And know you’re probably singing it he he he. 

My phone rings about a mile from home, it’s my sister and wants to know when I’ll be home, because she’s there. Either she’s calling because she needs something or has a question for me, or more likely she is stalling to leave because she fears Aaron murdering one or all of his children. As I walk in I am informed by my husband that my middle son must have a different father, one who illustratively has red horns and a scorpion-like tail. What did he do? What didn’t he do? I get the part that there was cheese being flung on the floor because it happens to be white, funny how that is, white cheese. After I handle the white cheese flinging situation all seems well and the kids eat dinner and shower with dad. However I faintly hear this constant wailing about some scratch on someone’s elbow and the need for bandaids.

This is something most people don’t know in my household. Band aids are a big deal, usually a big problem. Gunnar hates band aids because it usually means he’s injured and he’d like that not to ever happen. Greta is allergic to band aids. And Sawyer is obsessed with them. We have boxes of band aids everywhere. He goes through about a dozen a day. For no reason. The reason he goes through them so often is the whole OCD thing. A band aid can only be on Sawyer if it lays completely flat, has no wrinkles on it, and doesn’t lift. You try doing that on a scratched elbow, see how that turns out for ya’. Needless to say, after 4 tries Sawyer and I both give up and decide we’ll try again tomorrow on the whole elbow bandage dilemma.

Aaron leaves to go to a meeting after I gently remind him that I was only gone for 75 minutes and have been with them the entire day, thus consequences will follow this weekend. Teeth are then brushed, stories read, only with a few hysterics over which books have to be read. Greta wants to read about Belle and Cinderella and the boys would like to read about how pirates who are marooned on a desert island have to kill wild animals to survive, only to be struck dead by scurvy. Curious George was a good compromise. 

When you put all 3 to sleep by yourself, it’s kind of like tag teaming. The boys get in bed first and get prayed with, then you take Greta up and put her to sleep after rocking for a few minutes, sometimes 24 minutes. Then come back downstairs to check on which child is roaming the house, or complaining for a drink of water, or needing to pee, or being scared of spiders crawling all over their bedroom walls. Then you get to eat, sometimes. This is usually when I get to enjoy a meal, always one that involves no noise of pots or pans or clanking or microwaving. Tonight’s specialty was humus and pita bread, and a cold Newcastle.

Aaron came home only to change into work clothes because he has to inspect some elevators during the middle of the night tonight, and to comment on the fact I’m drinking a beer by myself. Would you rather I invite some neighbor men over to join me?

I hope tomorrow is a better day than today. It probably will be because I have to go to Dream Dinners tomorrow night at 7pm, which means no children allowed, which means I will be listening to my ipod, which means I will be alone, which means Aaron will be putting his three angels to sleep, which means I will be appreciated once more and possibly be able to sneak in a movie this weekend. . .possibly.

Because everyone has a bad day. . .even in Australia. 

(if you don’t get that last line, please see book reference in my previous post!) 

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bad days

We all have bad days. That’s not a genius thought by any means. But when you’re a parent your bad days are no longer yours anymore. Instead, your bad days become usually the bad days of little people under 4 feet tall. I can’t remember the last time a bad day was mine. But I do remember vividly the last bad day I had, which happened to be today. I am recovering from a wicked cold my germified children probably brought home with them, and of course it’s always worse to be sick in summer, right? Well, it’s not summer but it is 82 degrees outside. So it might as well be summer. So I haven’t slept in 3 nights due to not breathing, very minor problem, but definitely a sleep inhibitor.

It all began, not with me being sick, but this morning when my children woke up sick with the same cold. You kind of get a sense of when it’s going to be a bad day right from the start. Like at 6am when Sawyer woke his sister up and both of them are placed in front of the TV by Aaron, at 6am. TV at 6am is a sign of a bad day. There was a lot of hacking and crying and whining, and I decided that if they stay in front of that TV until Gunnar goes to school at 8am their TV watching for the entire day will be over. TV watching time over at 8am is a sign of a a bad day. So I removed them from the TV and placed them in Greta’s room to destroy everything their hands could possibly get. Another tell tale sign of a bad day is when Sawyer has to poop at 7:00am. That is not a good thing. Around 8:30am they no longer are signs of a bad day but we’re in the midst of a full fledged bad day. And by 8:30am when you have placed your 3 year old in time out at least a dozen times, yep. . .bad day. By 9am I decided to shower, and maybe the world would be a better place when I dried off. Nope, same as I left it only this time Sawyer was using my custom made curtains to climb the walls. When your 1 year old is asking to go nigh-nigh at 9:45, not good. That would only spur this vicious cycle of early nap, early wake up, early bed time, early wake up and you get the point. 

I kept Sawyer home from school because the thought of actually getting them both dressed, fed, including myself, was not happening. And of course I wanted to prevent the inevitable cycle of colds throughout his entire preschool class. By 10am we had done play doh, watched Diego, practiced numbers, reading, crashed the ride on cars into each other, other people and walls about 3 dozen times, unloaded and loaded the dishwasher 2 times, ate 3 clementines, 2 string cheese, milk, apple juice, shredded wheat, oatmeal, an entire container of mango, 2 jelly beans for Greta, 12 mini m&ms for Sawyer, 6 mini m&ms for Greta, 3 prunes, and this was all in a 4 hour span which doesn’t include anything I ate. 

Oh, and another tell tale sign of a bad day. . .another poop for Sawyer by 9:30. . .hmmm maybe we should cut back on the prunes. When you realize you have been awake and entertaining, feeding, and wiping, the under 4 foot crowd for 4 hours and it’s still morning, like 10am morning, you realize it is going to be a very long bad day. I feel like I’m living in the Alexander books, remember, Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day. I think that will be our book prior to naptime, which I think shall commence now, at 11:36am.

To be continued. . . 

 

Dinner with dad

Tuesday night I stayed home with Sawyer and Aaron took our other two offspring to dinner with my parents to Aaron’s favorite Thai restaurant. When they got home I got Greta ready for bed and as we were rocking in her rocking chair, she decided to sing herself a lullaby. It goes something like this, rock a ba baby on the teetop when the wind bos the cradle will rock repeat repeat repeat. Then our conversation went something like this:

Greta: You love me mama?

Me: Yes, Greta, I love you.

Greta: You like me mama?

Me: Yes, Greta. I like you. By the way what did you have for dinner?

Greta: Ice cream.

Me: No, that’s dessert. Did you have some chicken?

Greta: No, ice cream.

Me: Did you have some rice?

Greta: No, ice cream.

Me: Alright, you’re just being silly. Now go to bed. 

After I laid her down in her bed I went downstairs and ran into my husband in the kitchen. Our conversation went something like this,

Me: Greta said she had ice cream for dinner.

Aaron:

 

Too smart

You know your kid is too smart for his own good when. . .

you’re at the dining table and you have flashcards with numbers from one to ten and on the bottom of the card the word is written, so there’s a 6 and six underneath. And your 3 year old is just reading the word written out instead of the actual number. I didn’t catch on to this until he got his 6 and 9 correct, which normally he mixes up. And I realize he is sounding out the s-i-x, instead of even looking at the number. 

A Little Culture

Remember when I was stupid brave and took the kids to the Aquarium by myself? Well, I must’ve forgotten that experience or blocked it from my memory because I decided to take all 3 of them without any other adult riding in my car and venture to the Skirball Cultural Center. I was meeting up with a few friends and their children and heard great things about the Noah’s Ark exhibit. Los Angeles has been particularly cold the last few weeks and this day it was a freezing cold 49 degrees. That is cold where I live, real cold.

After a surprisingly traffic free time on the 405, we parked, and I lectured the children once again on kidnapping, strangers, and the fact that we were going to a museum where children aren’t too thrilling of a sight to see.  They obviously did not hear a word I said because the instant I set their little feet on the concrete parking lot floor they scatter and separate. This is a skill that is perfected by my children, who can, without communicating to one another, know exactly which way the other children are running and head in the opposite direction. This forces me to use the stroller as a jail cell and strap the littlest one in while yelling at my oldest for knowing better than to do that, and then with my other hand I have a death grip on Sawyer. Because, well, with Sawyer, there is no other options. We haven’t even made it into the museum yet. 

We enter the museum, I check in somehow without losing my children, but by this point they are a little scared and stay by my side because they see a lot of older people and there is pretty much silence all around. I think the stranger conversation must’ve been flashing through their little heads as they scan the room and try to differentiate between who would be considered a stranger in this room and who they know. None of which they know, by the way. 

Since we were a little early we went to the Bob Dylan exhibit which was pretty cool. The kids got to play the drums, keyboard, guitar. I snapped this before a security guard came up to tell me cameras weren’t allowed. Oops.

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Then we were off to the Noah’s Ark Exhibit. I knew it was going to be hands on and interactive, but I didn’t know it was going to be that hands on. Before we even entered the ark there was a bazillion (yes, Aaron, that is a word) things for the kids to do. It really explored all the senses, you can pump water to make the rain fall, you can spin a wheel to hear the wind, you can crank something to see the electricity like lightening, overall, it was just plain awesome.

One of the kids’ favorite things to do was this pulley system where you put animal objects on the ramp and turn a wheel which raises them up the ramp and drops them down a shoot. Sawyer couldn’t be pried away from it, the entire time. Now whereas most children are just happy to take a few animals, place them in the empty spots and crank up the wheel, my son was not thrilled by this disorganized way of playing. No. Will. Not. Do. Instead his OCD nature came out full throttle and he would wait until all the children were done and moved on to something new. And that’s when he took control of the ark’s ramp system. He had to line the same animals up on the ramp next to each other. If that meant rotating that ramp for 4 or 5 minutes until the correct animal came down the shoot, well, that’s what he would do. Finally he had all the animals at his fingertips. And they went on the ramp 2 by 2. That my friends is how you do it.  Or should I say how Sawyer does it. I see myself in him more and more. How everything has just the right spot, just the right shelf, needs just the right thread to be pulled off just the right pants. He is hard to please, but knows exactly what he wants. However, I’m not that hard to please(shut up Aaron). I just know what I want. 

Once you entered the actual ark, they had booths set up to show how food could’ve been stored, the little girls loved this because they could fill baskets with pretend food and then unfill them and then fill baskets and then unfill them repeat repeat repeat. They had a miniature ark with little animals the kids played with, the ark had doors and ramps so you can see how the animals were divided and fed.

Then you entered a second area where there was a roped bridge and climbing apparatus up to the upper level where the kids could play and climb and annoy other parents while they pull ropes that caused animals to shriek and squeal. Of course, it was my two boys that would pull these ropes over and over and over again as they would laugh hysterically and watch from above as the parents cringe and hold their ears. 

There was a play kitchen, hammock, and get this, fake poop on the floor that the kids could clean up with brooms and dustpans. I did not realize this part of the ark until my daughter came over with some black stuff on a plate and told me to eat it. I obliged happily and pretended to eat my plate of black beans. However a mom to my left looked at me quite puzzled before she informed me I was eating the fake animal feces. Oops.

The staff came through occasionally with beautiful puppets of different animals. And everything in the ark was made from recycled materials, that was the best part of it. Noah went green.

At the end of our two hours the kids could go to the art tables and make projects and then they had a jam session. All the kids got instruments and had a blast clanking on their bells and beating their drums. I really loved that all 3 of my kids from 1-6 years old could enjoy this together. And I remained semi-sane throughout the whole process. Not including the ride home, which by then, at 5:30pm on a Wednesday night, the 405 was not so kind to us.

I highly recommend this exhibit for kids of all ages, tourists, or LA residents. And I think the kids agreed. As I was buckling Sawyer’s carseat he began to cry. Why are you crying Sawyer? Because I want to go to Noah’s Ark. That sounds like a successful adventure to me. 

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don’t feel too bad

This weekend I did something very enjoyable and solitary and went to the movies. It was joyous, especially the part where AMC Movie Watcher decided to reward me with a free large popcorn and drink. I only drink soda maybe once a month and decided this would be the day to do it. And who can eat a large popcorn alone! I can’t, but I tried.

I looked around the movie theatre a few times through the puffed corn kernels that were encompassing my lap, chest, and chin and realized just how many guys were at this chick flick. There were boyfriends and husbands and I thought about how nice they were for accompanying their girls to this movie. A sacrifice. But then I thought about a real sacrifice and what my husband was doing at home. He had volunteered to watch all three of our kids, one of whom is transitioning out of taking naps, so you can imagine what 3pm was like at our house. And come on, is going to the movies with your girlfriend a sacrifice?! Absolutely not. That is a load of crap junk garbage dookie.(see babe, I’m with you on the whole bringing obsolete language back) I don’t care if it was the worst Keanu Reeves movie in the world, going to any movie does not count as a sacrifice. Offering to stay with your wife’s 3 small children is sacrifice. So, thank you. 

But before you all start feeling warm and cozy about my amazing generous sacrificing husband, feast your eyes on his newest possession. This is what I came home to.

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After I was told this lame story about how he had to sell his snowboard when we were dating to buy me something, which he couldn’t quite remember what that something was, he pulls this out. New board, boots, and bindings. So please don’t feel sorry for him or spend any time pondering what a great dad and husband he is, because although he is all those things, he makes up for it in his own ways. He likes to be a martyr sometimes and plays the part real well of an endearing selfless husband, however, all of you don’t get to see what happens behind closed doors, like hopping around my living room in his latest and greatest purchase.

And you wanna guess what’s next? I’m sure lift tickets will be accompanying this new toy. . .