Thoughts on a girlfriend

Tornado S has a little girl in his class that likes him.  Likes him a lot. She has sweet personality like Tornado S.   Apparently she talks about him a lot.  Finally before Christmas, she worked up the nerve to draw him pictures.  First it was just a “Merry Christmas” picture.  The last picture had Tornado S and her with flowers and hearts.

Tornado S has finally noticed her.  He wants her to come over and play.

Tornado S: Angel and I are boyfriend and girlfriend.  But not boyfriend and girlfriend.  We can’t be boyfriend and girlfriend until we’re older.  I think I need to have my birthday first.  We should both be six.  You can have a girlfriend when you’re six.  Maybe we’ll just wait for just my birthday.  One of us should be six.  We can be boyfriend and girlfriend after my birthday in May.

I wonder how her father will take it.

5 reasons Tornado E loves me

(I reworked the creative spelling into something more boring and understandable.  But these were the reasons on his card.)

1. Because she plays Lego Star Wars with me.

(Tornado E has mentioned this several times to his teachers, and it’s to the point where I try to assure them that we play once a week.  Once a week.  I’m not sure the teachers believe me.)

2. Because she’s patient.

(I’m not sure how he figured that one out, but I’m grateful.  I’m trying hard on this patient thing.)

3. Because she plays Legos with me.

(I totally rock the Lego sets.  Better than his father.  Even though when we’re free-styling, I’m often told I’m  “doing it wrong.”)

4. Because she’s a good cook.

(How do you know?  You don’t eat!  Eat!  I promise you, I’m a good cook.  I learned from the best.)

5. Because she’s funny.

(At this point, my dad and I would race to shout “looking” and then laugh ourselves silly over such an old and stupid joke.  Humor is what my family does, and it’s totally cool that Tornado E finds me funny.  Tornado E is learning humor fast.  He’s already asking clarification over the finer points of sarcasm {Directed at other drivers, not him}.  The force is strong in this one.)

(I was disappointed that I was the only one of my friends who had her child’s list memorized.  I wanted to hear how all these smart, cute kids saw their mothers.  Bummer.  Any one care to share their mother’s day stories?)

Standing back and letting go

I’ve mentioned before that we stay after school for a while to let the kids run off some steam before us moms have to drag away our children and be locked away, alone, with our kids.  The other day one of the little girls ate an apple and set down the core next to her lunchbox because there are no garbage cans.  It wasn’t long before Tornado A crawled off his blanket to investigate it.  He rolled it, banged it, scratched it, and crawled away with it.

I assessed the danger.  Gross, yes.  But I highly doubt the child had some horrible disease that Tornado A would pick up.  Besides he had his binky in his mouth.

After crawling around with the apple core, getting it covered in dirt and tiny leaves, Tornado A sat and investigated the core some more.  Then he smelled it.  He spat out the binky.  He took a bite.

The mothers next to me shuddered.

I assessed the danger.  A little dirt, a little plant particles, and a little random saliva.  What’s the harm?

Yup, that’s how laid back I am.  I let my baby boy eat someone else’s apple core that he’d been dragging around the dirt.  And you know what.  He survived.

I’ve learned to pick my battles and go with the flow.  Sure, I can become a wall that the boys crash into when they go to far, but most times, I just let them be.  Some times they make choices I never would.  Like wearing a turtle neck, shorts, and cowboy boots in the pre-summer.  Like deciding to poke a cactus with shorter and shorter sticks.  Like drawing all over your own face with colored markers.  But they are learning and being their own person.

When one of the mothers came to school late, with a thunder-cloud hanging over her, I asked her what happened after she delivered her daughter to class.

Mother: I just wanted to brush her hair.  That’s all.  And she throws a huge fit.  I don’t know what I was thinking.  She does it every time I do her hair.  But she had a huge rat’s nest in it.  I noticed it yesterday, and I thought I need to do her hair.  And she fought and cried and yelled and wiggled.  I don’t know what I’m going to do.  Now we’re late.  It’s just . . . .

Me: Hard.  Parenting is hard.  And you’re a good mom.

She took a deep breath.

Me: Maybe you let her go without her hair being brushed.  Or you give her the choice to brush herself or let you.  Or maybe you cut it so it doesn’t become a problem.

Mother: I know.  It’s just . . . .

Me: Hard.  Let it go, love.  You’ll be happier.  She’ll be happier.

So we talked for a while longer until I convinced her she needed to let it go and she was able to get out her frustrations.  We parted ways.  And you know what.  She went back to the class and asked to see her daughter.  She pulled her daughter outside and gave her a hug.

I can learn a lot from other moms.

Breathe

It’s amazing how much work goes in for an event that takes less than 24hours.

Friday I ran around getting things together.  Making appetizers, cleaning the house, finishing craft-gifts, taking care of baby and boys.  I started top really lose it as we got close to leaving for my parents’ house for my dad’s family Christmas Eve party.  I shouldn’t have stressed.  Everyone else was at least a half an hour late.  My grandma was an hour and half late, which was remarkable because technically she was two hours late because my mom gave her an earlier time.  It wouldn’t have been so bad if I didn’t have two boys that need early bedtimes and a baby who could hear all the fun that was being had without him.  He could barely be bothered to eat.

My uncles indulged my boys with swords and mini-remote-controled cars and other toys.  My mom indulged the boys in extra cookies and desserts.  And I indulged them with staying up late and driving around looking at Christmas lights (thanks, Jane, for the idea), even though The Husband was worried about how long it was going to take us to put together the bikes.

He didn’t need to worry.  He was gone before 11.  I finished up some cleaning and setting the stage for magical memories.  The Friendly Giant, my sweet baby brother, came over at 11:30 with my camera that I left at my parents’ house.

Christmas dawned.  The Husband was over WAY before the boys woke up.  We were ready for Tornado E.  Who took one look around and.  Melted.  There was no blizzard marker to be had.  Why would Santa be so cruel?  Luckily The Husband was in charged of the last Tornado E gift and bought a light saber game, which Tornado E loved, even if it is a little advanced for him.

Tornado S.  Tornado S loved his pirate cave and the pirates I bought on e-bay, three times the price I could have paid if I had bought them the year before.  Sigh.  But Tornado S was in love.  And didn’t care about any presents.  Not one.  For the rest of the day.

Tornado A was just glad to have paper the crinkle and rustle.

Then Tornado E noticed a toy among his pile of Santa gifts.  A gargoyle toy from the cartoon Gargoyles that I had bought for cheap at a used book store.  Still in his package.  And Tornado E was in love.

As we drove to my parents’ house for a delicious breakfast The Husband made for everyone, Tornado E exclaimed, “Santa brought me something I always wanted but never knew existed.”

Yup, that’s Santa.  Or God.  I can never remember.

Now all that’s left is to write the thank you notes that I’m sure I’ll forget to send.  Again.

Hello?

I wonder how much effort I should put into the blog this week.  Many of my favorite writers have closed up shop for the holidays.  Not because they are out partying it hard, but because they have a billion things to do and children underfoot causing those poor mothers to add more time and more things on the list of a billion.

Like my household.  Where the boys are “suppose” to be eating.  But Tornado E is mocking Tornado S.  Tornado S is trying to tell his own story.  Tornado E is interrupting and correcting Tornado S.  Tornado S is crying.  Tornado E has a naked doll and fork.  They’ve come in the office three times to tattle.  Oh, and the baby is sleeping an unusually long morning nap or else we would be out of the house doing grocery shopping.  Because I squandered the morning adventure on a Target run to get a few items we are in danger of running out of as well as a few gifts for daddy, which, horror of horrors, no one could agree on because the thing they want is sold out in their daddy’s sized.

Oh, vacation.  Oh, holidays.

So is any one out there?  Not that it matters.  I do need a place to vent.

Recap 12/17

1. Can anyone else believe it’s midway through December already?  Where did the year go?!

2. Isn’t it my luck that the grandma in front of me moved into the view of the Flip right when Tornado E gave his line for the Christmas pageant?

3. Tornado A is really working on that crawl.  He loves being under the Christmas tree.

4. I agree with my BFF; my readers kick-ass.

5. I found the secret of convincing kids to get ready for the day right away.  Bribe them with video playing time before school.  (I know.  Please send the Mother of The Year award to me.)

6. My boys ask for the one food we are out of.  Constantly.

7. Tornado S nods his head with a big, sweet smile, when asking for something, trying to make the adult agree with him.

8. Tornado E REALLY wants a Blizzard Maker, but after reading it takes 20 minutes of cranking, I think Santa isn’t going to bring it.

9. Poor Tornado A.  His nose stops up at night, forcing him to spit out his binky to breathe.  Then he finds he’s lost his binky and wakes up, crying.  I wake up, pop the binky back into his mouth, listen to his stopped up breathing, praying that he would sleep through the night.  The process is repeated every hour.  God, I need sleep.

10. Who raised these women who have all their gifts bought and wrapped in wrapping that matches their perfectly coordinated Christmas tree and their perfectly coordinated decorated house, baking up tons of Christmas cookies that are given to friends and family in matching tubs (which, of course, match the tree), sending out adorable cards a couple of weeks before Christmas?  If I wasn’t so busy, I would go egging.

Recap 12/10

1. Searching for nice clothes for a three-year-old is like looking for sunken treasure.  You know it’s out there, but it takes a bloody long time to find it with lots of hit and misses.

2. I need a better green nail polish.  One that does not need four coats to hide the white of my nails.

3. Why are kid shoes so damn expensive?

4. I think I finally have a clean house.  Frightening.  Except for the office, but I don’t count that.

5. Someone asked if I was ready for Christmas and done with my baking.  I laughed until I cried.

6. When all was said and done, I paid three times the original price of a toy that is no longer being made, but it will be worth the price when I see Tornado S’s face on Christmas.

7. Fisher-Price, WTF?  Pirates made for 3 to 5 year olds should not being loosing their arms within a year of purchase.

8. Tornado E looked at the light blue shirt and khaki pants I bought him for Christmas and declared them, “too boring.”  I should have known; last week he went to school with pirate pajama pants, red-and-white striped polo shirt, and a scarf with the Broncos and 49ers icons knitted on it as a souvenir from the London game.

9. Tornado A has gotten a sixth tooth AND started crawling.  It’s been a record week.

10. Every morning I get up and tell myself, “It’s going to be a good day, and I choose to be happy” (among other things).  I’m stubborn enough to make sure it happens.

Adult plans

Tornado E: Mommy!  When I’m a grown up, I’m going to get whatever I want.

Me: Only if you have the money.

Tornado E: Mommy!  When I’m a grown up, I’m going to say, “Mommy! Give me money . . . for the grocery store . . . so I can buy . . . a yo-yo.”  And I’ll be so surprised that I’m good with a yo-yo now that I’m a grown-up.  Won’t that be cool?  The yo-yo will go down, and then I’ll be able to pull it up.  Won’t that be a great idea, Mommy?

Maybe now is the time to explain to him about after college, I’m demanding pay for room and board.