We all want ice cream

Me: Where are you going?

Tornado E stood at the door, holding the door open.

Tornado E: We should get ice cream. You owe me ice cream.

Me: For what?

Tornado E: I got a 96% on my reading test.

Tornado S struggles with spelling test. A B gets him a candy bar. An A gets him ice cream. A 100% gets him any dessert at the French bakery. Half Tornado S’s problem is writing fast and neat.

Tornado E has no such problems. He has a laziness problem.

Me: Uh-huh.

Tornado E: And a while back I got 100% on my spell pre-test. So let’s get ice cream.

At this point, Tornado A was next to him smiling.

Me: And who’s paying?

Tornado A ran out of the room and ran back with his wallet.

Tornado A: I WILL!!!

He ran out the door. I ran after him.

Me: Wait! We have to eat dinner first! It’s ready in 5 minutes!

Thank goodness I had the keys. I think he would’ve left us all.

Math?

“I can teach anything.”

My famous last words.

Literature, grammar, history, science, crafts- math?

Maybe not math.

I’m a words-person. I love stories. Math baffles me. It’s a foreign world to me.

Unless it’s in science. I can do formulas. Just not math.

My boys are numbers people. They love math. They get it from my mom and their dad.

I only felt like I master math once. In seventh grade. Not only did I get A’s, but I was confident enough to help my classmates to understand the concept. I was one of 7 kids to be ready for algebra in 8th grade.

It’s a good thing I excelled in 7th grade math because I was just offered a long term sub position teaching 7th grade math.

Time to open up the books and review.

Because I can teach anything.

Sleepless Nights

My boys, mainly Tornado E, have a hard time sleeping through the night. One, two, or three boy(s) end up in my bed sometime in the night. Before in the last house, it was just annoying. Now it’s difficult because I sleep in a double. Three kids and an adult don’t fit. When this happens, I slip out of bed and crawl into a twin bed in the boys’ room. If I’m lucky, I sleep through the night and wake to my alarm in the next room. I’m rarely that lucky. Usually a boy or two slides into bed with me. The third child is told to sleep in one of the other beds.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a good night-parent. I get grumpy when woken up in the middle of the night.  With a good reason, I become less grumpy. Trying to crawl into my bed is not a good reason to wake me up.

Last night Tornado E was already in my bed, when Tornado A started crying out to me because of a nightmare. When I cuddled with him to make sure he was fine, he asked me to stay. I slid into bed for just a minute when Tornado E entered the room.

Aha! A scheme! I would let Tornado E fall to sleep in his bed; then I would creep back into my own bed to sleep alone. What could go wrong?

An hour of whining, arguing, pleading, Tornado E begged me to return to my bed. Somewhere in the middle of this barrage of craziness at 2:30am, he threatened not to go back to sleep.

Right. That’s it. This was the hill I was dying on tonight. I will not negotiate with terrorists.

He fell asleep. Finally.

Only to wake up 30 minutes later to resume his whining, arguing, pleading, begging-0h-my-god-stop-it! He went on for an hour as I dozed off and on.

Finally Tornado S asked me if he could play video games.

Me: What time is it?

Tornado S: 5.4.5

5-4-5? Right. 5:45.

Me: No. Not until 6:00.

A moment passed.

Tornado S: Can I play video games now?

Me: No. What time is it?

Tornado S: 6.

Me: Yes.

Tornado S and E jumped out of bed.

Me: Except Tornado E. He has to stay in bed until 6:30 because he was up all night.

I left the room before he could start whining.

I really could use a nap.

13 months and counting

The boys and I have lived with my parents for 13 months. Thirteen months. Thirteen months more than I wanted. One month longer than I planned.

Stupid plans. Never working out like you want them to.

But starting a career in teaching is not lucrative, especially when you have a family already without an extra breadwinner. Choosing not to accept the one-sided, non-negotiable contract at a for-profit school for another year might not have been my most brilliant idea. It also turns out I have retained my horrible interviewing skills. So we’re still at my parents house, where my boys have the love and support of my parents. And I have their love and . . . support.

I have a nice bedroom. It’s tiny. I’ve been able to combine my love of beautiful things (really cool and pretty wall stickers) with humor  (the bulletin boards above my “desk” filled with random stuff). The room is ultra-multipurpose and space-saving. I’ve also downsized the closet, getting rid of things that don’t fit and aren’t loved. But the books. They multiply. I would like to say at night without my knowledge, but I can’t. It’s a dangerous habit.

Since this room was my little brother’s as a teenager, my ceiling has a glow-in-the-dark dick drawing.  How many mature adults can say that?

The boys all share a room, which they love because they are close to each other. 4 beds, 3 boys. Because no one will sleep in the bunk bed. It stores the extra blankets and the much loved, often forgotten stuffed animals. As you can imagine, the room often looks like 3 tornadoes ransacked it. Because they did.

I haven’t written in 13 months because I spent the first semester reading 4 years of English reading assignments so I could be a better teacher. I spent the second semester grading, writing lesson plans, and getting back to writing. I’ve written a novel, folks. I’ve returned to journal writing.

But lately I’ve been thinking of all my blogger friends. I missed them. I wondered what they were doing. Lately I’ve been editing and writing poetry, trying to refine my skills and get published as I try to secure a teaching job. I realized I missed writing in a forum to practice writing. Lately I’ve thought, “I really could use some parenting advice.”

The other day my mom looked surprised when I said I had stopped blogging. “But you love your blog.” See? She notices.

Then I got a comment from Jane, and I realized I missed blogging.

I can’t promise much. But I’ll see what I can do. I missed the place.

Changes

So I got a job. As a teacher. But with a mandatory 8-5 schedule. Which is nice I am forced to work 40 hours. Which is horrible that I can’t be with my kids during the afternoon.

And then there’s the commute. Which in the grand scheme of things isn’t really that bad. It’s under an hour. Supposedly just over 30 minutes. But that’s another 30 minutes not being with the kids.

And then the next three weeks my parents, The Friendly Giant, and my grandma (AKA my first line of defense in childcare) will be gone. Yea. I nearly forgotten what it was like to not have a support network. No. I didn’t. It sucked. This sucks. I luckily still have a support network of awesome friends to help. Fingers crossed on the ex’s help.

So in four weeks, we’ll see how everything is going. Perhaps I’ll love this, and the boys will adjust fine, and everything will start getting better. Or not. Or I might be in a middle of a move to somewhere I have reservations about, but yea that place between a rock and a hard place.

So I’m going to dig in some time to write here and follow other bloggers. Because I need this space. And I like the bloggers I met so far. It would be nice to meet more.

So wish me luck. I’ll see you around.

Summer?

Summer ends this week.

What?

Where did it go?

It was here a minute ago.

I want to go do something A-MAZING with the boys on their last day.

I’m not sure what.

On the other hand, I’ve been scouring YouTube for the perfect scene for the post I’ve been working on. . . for . . . um. . .days.

Also I have no idea what a Gif is. I do. But not really. Magic. And how to make one. Magic and trolls and gnomes.

Back to looking for this perfect video. . . .

I’m a Comedian

The ex dropped off the boys after their bedtime. Tornado E was wearing a white shirt. It was an emergency shirt. I never buy white shirts. Because they attract dirt. Tornado E was splattered with chocolate all down his shirt. He still had chocolate stains on the corner of his mouth, dribbling down to his chin.

Tornado E: Mommy, you were right.

Me: Say that again. Hold on; let me get my phone so I can record that.

Tornado E: Mommy, you’re funny. (No, I’m dead serious. I need the proof.) You were right. A brownie fudge sundae is too much to eat.

Me: You look like you’re an undead thing covered in blood.

Tornado E laughed.

Tornado E: I look like I ate chocolate.

Me: Let me take a picture. Don’t wash yet.

I snapped a picture.

Tornado E: Mommy, when you put it online, write, “I didn’t eat your chocolate cake.”

So I typed it into the post. Then I typed, as Tornado E read over my shoulder out loud to his brothers, “Me: Seriously, he looks like the undead covered in gore. But a zombie or a vampire?”

The boys broke into fits of laughter.

Tornado E: Mommy, you’re so funny.

Tornado S: You’re hilarious. (pause) But not as funny as Daddy.

Me: WHAT?! I’m like so much funnier than your Daddy. Like by tons.

The boys laughed more.

Tornado E: No, Daddy is funnier.

Me: Oh my god. Obviously I have been laxed in your comedic education. I’ll have to fix that. Movies. Music. Videos. Because seriously, I am so much funnier than your dad.

The boys: No.

By this time, I was gently pushing them up the stairs.

Me: Yes! And smarter. And prettier. Most definitely taller. And so much younger. So, so much younger.

They kept laughing.

Tornado E: Mommy, you’re hilarious.

Damn straight.