Monday, July 19, 2010

One syllable, or two?

I can always tell when all hell is about to break loose in my house based on the way the kids stretch certain one syllable words in to two.

Example #1:  "No!"  becomes "Noah" 
     From another room I will hear the children playing, happily, which I know in my gut will last no longer than 5 minutes.  There's a minor back and forth disagreement about where Barbie should sleep and then I hear this:  "Brother!  No-ah!"  Translation:  Brady, I am gonna do what I wanna do so you can piss off.  And you better duck because there's a smack-down coming.

Example #2:  "Mom" becomes "Mo-Om"
     In the distance I hear the tell tale thumps, thwacks and smacks.  I feel a storm brewing and then I hear a loud THUD or SLAP following by screaming from one child, the other saying "Mo-Om".  Translation:  Mom, I messed up and made my brother/sister cry but I'm gonna make damn sure I say whatever I can to make you think it was his/her fault so I don't get stuck in the corner.

Example #3:  "Hey" becomes "Hey-ah"
     Usually this one is outside, though I did just hear it from the upstairs moments ago.  Generally there's been a binding verbal agreement to pursue one form of entertainment, in this case it was playing barbies & cars in the same room.  You know, separate but equal.  Eventually one of them tires of the arrangement and breaks said contract.  Then there's the "Hey-ah" when it has been discovered that said agreement has been terminated and one of them has been left alone.  Usually followed by a loud thud and "Mo-Om!"

Example #4:  "Fine" becomes "FINE-AH!"
  Once again, this is usually a final acceptance of something that was originally displeasing to the child.  Sometimes this is said when I've won the war on teeth brushing "Fine-ah, I WILL!" but most often there's a series of events that results in this most final of word wars. 
     First I hear "No-Ah!" because one of them has changed their minds and the other one isn't quite sold on the new idea, which then results in the typical thud/smack/slap combo at the end of which I hear "Mo-Om!" and an immediate explanation to draw any suspicion away from the child NOT screaming and writhing in pain.
      After I explain I am not a referee and tell them to work it out on their own, I usually have about 90 seconds of peace when I hear "Hey-ah!" because the one child who was just deflecting judgement onto the screaming child has suddenly decided it is in his/her best interest to go along with the screaming child. 
     Then the screaming child says "Fine-ah" in total, albeit grudging acceptance, of the current state of affairs.  Crisis averted, ten more minutes of peace.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Things I am learning about my children

As with every journey in life there are always a few bumps in the road and a lot of emergency bathroom stops (when traveling with children).  So it is with my current trip as a SAHM (stay at home mom to the layman).  Each day there is a fork in the road, a construction zone or an out and out detour, but all the same I'm learning to roll with it all, mostly due to the therapeutic nature of alcohol.

Anyhoozer,  back to the topic at hand.  As a mother, the instant the child is placed in your arms you just know them.  You get them.  Even when they scream inconsolably at 6pm in the evening for the first few months of their lives you know it is because they can't think of anything else to do.  After all they've pooped, eaten and slept the rest of the freaking day.  So, you know, why not?

As they grow it is no different.  They start to find their little personalities and you learn what their little quirks are.  This is helpful information to document, by the way, not for posterity's sake, but in the event you are daring enough to leave them with the grandparents for a week you'll know what to tell them.

Kaylee has always loved reading.  It used to be she would snuggle up in my lap and put her fuzzy little head in my face so her hair would tickle my nose and I'd sneeze a thousand times while I read to her.  Now she pretty much reads out loud to me.  She's an easy kid, just get her books, paper, pipe cleaners or crayons and she's entertained. 

Brady loves anything with wheels or that bounces. Seriously, we have more balls in our house than the Chippendale Dancers. (can you tell I've been WAITING to use that line?!?!).  If it imitates the sound of a motor or can be kicked or thrown, Brady either has it, wants it, or I have already sent it to Goodwill because he forgot about it and he has too much crap laying around.

Kaylee is also a sensitive little monkey, she seems to get her feelings hurt so very easily and yet she can sure dish it out.  She'll make a great contestant on Big Brother on CBS someday.  Brady is also sensitive but doesn't turn on the waterworks very often.  Instead he uses his brute force to destroy stuff just to piss you off.  I had no idea we were related to Mel Gibson.

In many ways the children are Yin and Yang, how polar or seemingly contrary forces are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world, and how they give rise to each other in turn.  And in many other ways they are just kids and doing everything to make me crazy and then running up to hug me.  Blessed am I.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Yes, I have officially become my mother

I know I have said this before, but now that I am home with the kids instead of working full time, I have had the opportunity of a lifetime to say all the things my mother used to say to us when she was home with us all day.

For example, my personal favorite is "wait until your father gets home" which means that you have completely and totally lost all credibility with your children and no longer have control over ANY situation.  WARNING: If you find yourself saying these words, or similar variations such as "your Dad is NOT going to be happy when I tell him about this" you do not, I repeat DO NOT want to take your children anywhere in public because they know that you know that you have completely lost it and quite frankly nothing good can come from that.

Another little gem I found myself saying was the old "I gave birth to you so you should (fill in the blank here)" guilt trip.  In my case, the words were slightly different but the desired result was the same: shame and guilt the kids into doing what I want.  I took them to the Portland Children's Museum (by the way HIGHLY recommend it for kiddos & parents who need a little break!) and basically watched them screw around for three hours.  And they had a blast but it wore me out a bit. 

When we got home I asked them to have some "quiet time" and at 3:30 in the afternoon I found myself wondering  "what the hell was I thinking" but saying to the kids out loud "I've just spent three hours following you around that museum can't I have 10 minutes of peace and quiet?"  Pack your bags, we're going on a guilt trip kids.

As previously noted my children are now predisposed to fighting from the moment they open their eyes in the morning until they finally pass out in the evening (it IS getting better I swear) so I found myself yelling "Do I have to SEPARATE you two?!?!" as my mother knew, as do I now, that the one thing the kids hate more than each other is not being together.  Works like a charm.

I think I am going to write a movie script for my life these days called "Threats, white lies and digital evidence" since these are the new tools of the trade.  I think I can hear my mother laughing right now.  I gave birth to the children she wished upon me so many years ago.