Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Bedtime on Speed

Three out of the four munchkins have been down for the count with coxsackie virus (hand-foot-mouth, or otherwise known as sheer misery). The middle two had relatively mild cases, but Z was a mess. For the first day, he just wanted to sleep and when he wasn't sleeping, he was fighting a fever and being held. Then he got the sores and decided that sleep was for the weak. And he wanted to be held. Except he didn't want to be held. But don't put him down. And he didn't want to eat. Oh, and forget about drinking. And? He had a nice little ear infection to boot.

So we were bleary-eyed, watching for dehydration, and praying for this mess to leave.

Anyway, he's feeling MUCH better today. He's actually sitting on the table, eating a bowl of cereal while dancing to "The Lion Sleeps Tonight." He's sitting on the table because I'm so happy to have my kid back to normal that he can do just about as he pleases.

Or, my house looks like a tornado hit and coated everything with a sticky residue and a thousand dirty dishes so letting him sit there allows me unload the dishwasher in peace.

Because seriously, holding a baby for three days straight while the older three ran rampant, (before they got sick), doesn't exactly lead to a neat and tidy home.

But whatever. I'm stoked that we'll be out of quarantine tomorrow.

Anyway, like last time, being sick leads to interesting habits with my kids. Bedtime is particularly interesting. Last night, Shaun was out, so I was gearing up for a solo bedtime routine. Usually, this isn't a big deal.

The boys and I sat in the girls' room and I regaled them with a ridiculous story about a runaway dragon who needed his toenails painted and to be rescued by a superhero. Yeah, or something like that. I gave them kisses, tucked them in, turned out the light and took the boys out.

Sayer got his own kisses and hugs and a brief story and I tucked him in as well.

He puffed his lip out and said, "But... but... MAMA! I want a snuggle. No, TWO. No, EIGHTEEN!"

Now, I'm not quite sure how to quantify snuggles, so I gave him a bunch of squeezes and counted to 18.

Meanwhile, Z was climbing into S' bed and dive-bombing the elder brother and giggling. I knew no one was going to sleep at that rate, so I told S I'd be back to check on him and dragged the baby into my room to rock.

He was almost asleep when S appeared in the doorway. S doesn't seem to know how to whisper. And with one, "But MAMA, I am not dat tired!" Z was wide awake again. I gave S The Look and he trotted back to bed.

(It only took me four kids to perfect The Look).

Z drifted off again and I started to get up when Lex came in with the most dramatic pout on her face that I've ever seen and said in a louder-than-normal-speech stage whisper, "I DON'T KNOW HOW TO FALL ASLEEP!"

Because she hasn't been doing it every night for over 6 years or anything.

Another Look, another kid begrudgingly trotting back to bed.

I looked down and Z was peering up at me with bright, not-at-all-sleepy eyes. When I met his gaze, he bonked me on the head, giggled, and rolled off of my lap.

I scooped him up and went into S's room to see if maybe Z would drift off better if he heard the white noise. Besides, maybe my presence would lull S to sleep too.

Not... exactly. Z pretended to fall asleep several times only to sit straight up as soon as his body hit the mattress. Meanwhile, S was poking various limbs out of the window on his bed tent and periodically saying, "SHHHHH!"

Finally, I realized resistance was futile and took the boys in the living room.

Z was incredibly put-out that I dared to set him on the floor and he flopped face down and pouted. S laid next to him and patted his head and gave him kisses until Z was smiling again.

(That little exchange of sweetness made me want to delay bedtime every night. Almost).

Then Z decided he wanted to wrestle and ended up sitting on his older brother and sticking his fingers in S's nostrils. Sayer was cracking up. Z was cracking up.

And of course, Lex heard the commotion and ended up in the fray. It was 8:30. We had started bedtime at 7:15.

(Caly had fallen asleep by 7:20. She was totally the golden child of the day).

After much negotiation and a few stories, S was back in his bed and off to dreamland.

L wanted me to come in and say goodnight again. I told her no because Z would end  up waking up Caly and I wasn't about to deal with that mess. At this, Z turned towards me slightly, grinned, waved bye-bye, and took off towards the girls' room, laughing wildly as I chased him down.

That boy is too much.

Lex went to sleep and I spent the next 15 minutes diving after a very stealthy boy as he attempted to go raid the rooms of the sleeping children.

Shaun walked in the door and I handed him the baby and disappeared to eat my weight in guacamole.

Five minutes later, Z was out like a light. Of course.

Then we had to put the chickens to sleep. And that? That's a hilarious story for another day.

Anyway, I'm glad my people are nearly back to normal. I'll take a little craziness for that. Besides, when these kids are teenagers? Here's my documentation as to why I get to mete out payback. Oh, I will have my fun.

At 6am.


(He thinks that face will get him out of trouble. He's kind of right... don't tell him that. Whatever, he already knows).

Monday, June 11, 2012

Lessons Learned

It's no secret that parenthood will teach you more about yourself than you ever thought possible. A dear friend likened the small people that run around our houses as tiny, magnifying mirrors. Uh, yes.

Obviously, I'm not a perfect person.

(What, you're surprised? I live to make you understand that I too am equal among the commoners).

Anyway, I've always had a tendency to swear when angry. Or when I accidentally slam my foot in the car door. Not my favorite thing about myself, so I've worked on it.

So when I had kids, I realized I should probably work a wee bit harder on my efforts to stop. For awhile, they were too little to tell the difference between a four-letter word like "duck" and a four-letter word like... well, you get the picture.

But gradually, they got old enough to parrot and I realized that I had to work double time to make sure they weren't going to yell the word that rhymes with spit when they dropped a block of cheese out of the cart at the grocery store.

I got very good with the filter. Stub your pinky toe on the bedroom door? "Super Smash Brothers!" Spill half a bottle of olive oil out on the floor? "Ratatouille!" Shatter the casserole dish on the floor that happens to have your uncooked dinner in it? "AAAUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGHHHHH!!!!" followed by some hissed words that probably don't need repeating.

Hey, I told you I wasn't perfect.

Anyway, like most things, my kids picked up on my weird word exclamation habit. Yesterday, Lex was in the back of the car and was exasperated by something and said,

"Oh peanut BUTTER and JELLY!"

Atta girl. Atta Mommy too.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Volcanoes and the Dentist

The other night, we had a sudden bout of severe weather headed in our direction. Severe thunderstorms aren't unusual in our area, but this time, we ended up with the treat of tornado warnings on top of them.

Relatively unconcerned, I gathered the kids and headed to the basement to hang out until the warnings were over. Because, better safe than sorry, of course. And if we were forced to stay in the basement, I could make a good case for them having to clean up their very own toy tornado.

Lexi picked up on the warning when she saw it flash across the television screen and worriedly asked if a tornado was going to whisk our house away. Because I value sleep, I told her that of course that wouldn't happen and the kids went about their business downstairs while I periodically checked on the warnings.

When the warnings expired, we came back upstairs and Caly said, "I'm glad that the volcano warning is over!"

And Lexi said, "Yeah, volcano warnings don't mean that a volcano WILL get us, but it might!"

I grinned and said, "Girls, not volcano... TORNADO."

Lex nodded and muttered, "Tornado. Right." Caly blinked at me. And said, "We had a volcano warning, too!"

I'm really glad that's not the case. Lava damage is not covered in our homeowner's insurance.

One of the other reasons that we are trying to straighten up the basement is that we're having a new roommate move in for awhile in a week or so. I mentioned that Dennis, the new roomie to be, was going to stop by to drop some stuff off and my social little people couldn't stop asking when he was going to arrive.

I broke a cosmic rule of parenting by telling them that he was coming since Dennis wasn't going to arrive until the following evening.

Caly must have asked me 793 times, "When is the DENTIST COMING!?"

Attempts to correct her into saying, "Dennis" were unsuccessful. "Mama, is the dentist here? When is the dentist coming?"

I'm very glad she's not correct. Dentists who make house calls are totally not on my list of modern conveniences I want to have in life.

Oh, kids.
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