Friday, October 14, 2011

$1 Rats

Wow, who knew that my quick last minute grab in the checkout line at target of a pack of $1 stretchy mice (8 for a $1) would be such a creativity boosting tool! And inspire such fun and joy! I grab this pack of stretchy mice and throw them on my desk when I get home from the store. One kid sees them, "Hey! What are these?!" "oh, those are just some stretchy mice I grabbed at the store. I thought they looked fun." "CAN WE OPEN THEM?!" "Sure." And the fun begins! Soon I am excitedly called into the basement by Ben and Charlie to "see what we made!!!" to find an elaborate mouse home made of blocks and other toys, complete with a mouse gaming area, cars for the mice to drive, a garage, a slide etc. I get a whole explanation of everything I am looking at and they vow to stay downstairs and continue to add-on and expand their mouse mansion. Later I am upstairs and I find the mice lurking around my various Halloween decorations, deliberately placed in creepy spots. In the car I hear hysterical laughter and turn around to find Charlie having a hay day with one of the stretchy mice while sitting in his carseat. He figured out he could get a mouse to stick to his face. Brilliant. Oh how we love the $1 rats! So glad I saw them! Perhaps I should return the $25 toys I have purchased for Christmas. I am sure they make $1 stretchy reindeer....

Where did this go wrong?

I have 5 sleeping kids. One of them has school, the rest are off school. My husband has left for the day already. The 12 yr old who has school rides his bike to school every day. The weather is beautiful. This morning he has to be at school a half hour earlier than usual. I wake him a little earlier than usual. I expect the morning to go smoothly, as he will ride his bike and the other kids can just sleep in. He wakes up seriously crabby,
"I can't ride my bike to school, it's so early!" (it is no longer dark outside, I wouldn't have him ride in the dark)
"No, dear, it is fine, you can ride. Everyone else is still asleep."
After sulking in his bed for 10 minutes he says,
"Well I need to shower and then I will be late!"
"If you had gotten up 10 minutes ago, you would be finished showering by now. Not my problem."
And he leaves the house texting me on the way that he is stopping at Einsteins for breakfast and that he will NOT be calling me when he gets to school. (something I insist he does every day when he rides his bike)
I text back that is fine but he will lose his phone and all independent privileges.
Oh, the teenage years have begun. Trying to figure out where I went so wrong this morning. My sweet boy is getting an attitude and I really do not like it :(

Monday, October 10, 2011

Magnet Man

Charlie, my three year old, has taken on the identity of Magnet Man. He sticks to people. He created this character and his name all on his own. He created it after having a weekend where mom was quite busy babysitting a 2 yr old. The 2 yr old got a new brother who had to be in the hospital through the weekend, and will be through this week also. So we had an extra kiddo for the weekend. She looks a bit like us, and fit right in with the group. But she is 2. 2 is a pretty needy age, especially when they aren't your own child and you aren't sure what they can of or not do, and especially when they are away from their parents for a few days, and so I had to give her a lot of attention. Charlie was somewhat ok with the situation, however I began to notice his little fight for my attention begin to surface. And by today, he has created his own super hero character, Magnet Man, so he can attach himself to me at any time he likes.  He is a smart little cookie.  I wonder how many times Magnet Man will surface as I babysit a few more times this week.

Also I don't want to forget:

Charlie said: "Mom, come look, I just pooped a huge, gomungous pooper!!!! It's like dad's!!!"

I said: "Charlie, How did I get the cutest boy in the world? Where did you come from?"
Charlie said: "God. Cuz God made us."

I can explain that...

We are practically on our way out the door for school this morning when my 6 yr old, Ben, shows me a calendar he brought home from school. It shows that he is star of the week this week. It is monday morning at 7:45 and school begins at 8:10. We drive carpool. And so it begins. We quickly fill out the binder that is also in his backpack (I really need to start checking the backpacks on friday afternoons, or better yet perhaps the teachers could stop sending ANYTHING home on friday afternoons. Have they not realized that by friday afternoons the moms are DONE? That backpack is going to sit there on the mudroom floor until, oh, say 7:45 on monday morning) The binder has a 2 page questionnaire about Ben. "Whats your favorite color? Whats your favorite food? What's your favorite hobby? ("Mom, whats a hobby?" "NO TIME! NO TIME! JUST TELL ME SOMETHING YOU LIKE TO DO!", PLAY? GREAT! PLAY, YES THAT IS SOMETHING...) We get the binder filed out, and I have to find photos of Ben. Photos that show that we are a super loving and active family that does wonderful outings together. Ok, the note doesn't say the photos have to be like that, but really, after the little girl last week sent in photos of their family trip to Disneyworld, we can't b e sending in a photo of Ben at the kitchen counter. Next comes the "special things" he is supposed to bring in. "Ben, aren't your baseball trophy and your new watch your two most favorite things!?" "Yes, mom, they are." Perfect! (And here is where I am lamenting that when Scotty, the first child, was star of the week in Kindergarten, I am pretty sure that I didn't TELL him what his special things were. It is likely that I gave  him ample time to decide on his own.) So, we have the photos, the questionnaire, and the special things....we are set. "Oh, mom, here is another note...HOMEWORK FOLDER HAS BEEN MISSING FOR 2 DAYS. " Crap! Ben, where is the homework folder and why is it missing!!!? "Well, mom, I can explain that." And every ounce of my being wanted to yell, "PLEASE DO, AND QUICKLY!!!! It is time for school!!!" But he looked so thoughtful, and so sweet, and I remembered that I TOLD him what his special things I said, "Yes, babe, where is the folder?" in my calmest voice. and he said, "Well, when we were cleaning up the other day, and you said to put all the things around the house that were in the wrong place into the baskets and tubs, and then we were going to put it all away...well, I stuck it in a tub, but I am not sure where that is now, and I don't really remember which tub I put it in..." We head to the foyer and it is found quickly, and as it is, he exclaims, "HERE IT IS! THIS IS IT!" We are both very excited and as he rushes to the car with his photos, and his binder, and his special things, and his homework folder, I am thinking, "I wonder what was in the other kids backpacks...?"