Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Justice Served?

Every afternoon, we observe a special time in our house known as "quiet time." The alternate name of this time is called "everyone aged 2-4 in this house needs to go spend an hour in their room before Mommy pulls out all her hair." It is what we do in place of naptime for the two older ones as naptime leads to late sleep time at night. (Not late bedtime. Bedtime stays the same, but if Joshua and Anna take naps earlier in the day, they won't fall asleep till 11:00 pm or later, no matter what time they go to bed.) The time is to be spent playing quietly in their room, but "quietly" is a loose term. Before long, frustrated screams will emit from the room, and wails of "She took my toy!" "He hit me!" "I HAD THAT FIRST! MOMMY!" will hang in the air. But for one hour, I invoke what I like to call "Mom's Selective Hearing." Unless the screams communicate that blood has been drawn, I just choose not to hear. For one hour, they can settle their own disputes.

Unless, of course, they come out of the room.

As I was sitting at the dining room table trying to eat my lunch in quasi-peace, Anna came flying out the room, red-faced with tears of injustice streaming down her face. "JOSHUA HIT ME!"

Now, the thing is, I had not heard anything preceding Anna's arrival at the table, which immediately made me a tad suspicious. But now that she was standing in front of me, I had to step into my judge-and-jury role.

"Joshua! What happened! Why is Anna crying?"


"Joshua! Did you hit Anna!"

Continued silence. This did not help Joshua's case, and Anna's suddenly took on some credence.



Finally! A response! Oddly enough, though, not quite the one I was looking for.

"Joshua, please come here and tell me what happened!"

Joshua came out into the living room with his best indignantly-oppressed-artist face on. After all, I had interrupted a masterpiece in progress to attend to something as trivial as his sister's feelings, both physical and emotional. Couldn't I see there were more important matters at hand, like Legos?

"Joshua, did you hit Anna?"

"I'm building a tower!"

Not helping your case, kiddo...

"That's not what I asked. Did you hit Anna?"


Clearly we were not communicating.

"Joshua, yes or no. Did you hit Anna?"


A curve ball! I was expecting a confession; when pressed, he is usually pretty good about 'fessing up. Hmmm.

"Then why does she think so?"

"Ummmm, well, ummm, I said I was sorry."

Interesting. The plot thickens.

"So did you hit her?"


"Then what did you say you were sorry for?"

"Well...I did."

Not sure at this point if the "I did" refers to the hitting or the apology, I turned to Anna to see how she was taking all of this. Her attention had wandered and she was checking out something behind her. It was obvious that whatever had happened had already passed from her small, 3-year old memory and was a thing of the past.

Shaking my head, I said, "Ok, was it an accident?"

"Yes!" declared my little suspect, eager to move on.

"Ok, and you said you were sorry?"


"Ok, Anna, it was an accident, everyone go back to quiet time."

"Ok Mommy!" they both exclaimed, and they scurried back to their room.

I am still not sure exactly what happened, and like the Mystery of the Pink Face, I likely never will...but I figure if everyone is happy once more, justice has been served as far as it can be at this point. So I'll just do the best I can - and maybe get to finish my lunch in the process.

But it sounds like I will have to hurry, because there goes Matthew...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Typical Weekday Morning

I'm standing in the kitchen, trying to get some breakfast and make some coffee.

Anna comes running in the kitchen...

"MOMMY! I don't want Joshua to GRRR me!"

Joshua comes in on Anna's heels, letting out a dinosaur-like "GRRRR!!!"

"Joshua, stop grrring Anna, she doesn't like it!"

(Disappointed sigh) "Ok..."

They both leave, I return to making my coffee.

Anna lets out another scream: "MOMMY, I don't want Joshua to ROAR me!"

(Lion-esque roaring is going on in the background)



A moment later Anna comes running through the kitchen.

"I have to go potty!"

Moved by my love for my daughter combined with the desire to do something to combat the morning's absurdity, I grab her on the way and give her a big hug and kiss.

She wriggles out of my arm and says "Sorry, Mommy, I'm sorry!"

Confused, I follow her in the bathroom and say "Sorry for what, Anna? You didn't do anything."

She pauses a second and then laughs and says "Good job, Mommy, good job!"

I am not sure what all just happened in the past few minutes, but I sure need to finish making that coffee...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Rites of Passage for Boys

Rites of passage are important for development. (Our society has a distinct lack of them, but that is another rant for another time.) There are certain steps on the ladder of a young boy's growth, important stages of learning and growth that every boy needs to go through in order to take his place among men in the world. They must learn to perform certain tasks and take interest in particular matters to join that crazy world known as "manhood."

I speak, of course, of the male fascination with flatulence, how it is made and what influence it can have on the world around them.

Recently, my four-year-old son has taken a major step towards this important stage of a man's life. He was recently taught that when placed strategically in the armpit area, a straw can be blown into in such a way that the noise emitted sounds identical to that of gas come from his behind. Having discovered this all-important fact, he can now be found most of the time running around the house, straw in arm, blowing away and laughing his head off.

Ah, growing up. These are the moments that make a mother proud.

They are also the reason Mommy needs coffee and lots of it.

Monday, August 23, 2010

What Jesus Wants...?

Anna loves to make up songs. Some of them are nonsense words, and some of them are just phrases that catch her fancy. She breaks out into song about as often as she breaks out into Anna-dog, and sometimes she does both at the same time.

Today she made up the following song, to no particular tune:

Jesus loves me!
Jesus loves you!
Jesus loves Matthew!
Jesus wants me to SHAKE MY BOOTY!

This was accompanied by her sticking her little tushie out and shaking it all about.

Let's face it...that doesn't need any more commentary. It pretty much says it all.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sometimes I Just Watch Them Sleep

I just spent several minutes standing over Matthew's crib, just watching him sleep. I watched as his tiny chest rose and fell in a rhythmic pattern, stared at his small hands folded over one another, took in his soft, wispy hair. I breathed in his baby scent, accentuated by the bath he fought me on earlier this evening. I just stood there and drank in his very existence.

Watching my babies sleep is an amazing experience. I can stand there and experience forever in a moment, just staring down at this tiny, complete person that God has placed in my life. In those moments, I can see the love, joy, pain, hurt, triumph, and failure to come in their life - all the ups and downs that will define who this small creature becomes. I can see their first step, their first bike ride, their first broken heart, their first hard-earned A, their first driving lesson, their first real encounter with God...I can see them in worship as a young adult, in despair as a struggling teenager, celebrating a marriage, struggling with crises of faith, rejoicing over the birth of their own little one as the dance of life continues on. The fullness of the destiny God has for them can wash over me in those few, forever moments as I stare down at them, watching their tiny chest rise and fall.

As I watch my babies sleep, breathing prayers for them and the life they have ahead of them, I am overcome with thankfulness that the God of the universe has allowed me to be a part of this incredible journey, the life and development of one of His children. I am bowled over with the enormity of the task laid before me, so aware of my inadequacies as a mother, and yet knowing that God has not called me to this place without equipping me and walking beside me every step of the way. I also realize in these moments as I watch them dream that my children are not my own - they belong to the Lord, and their destinies are ultimately His. I am just privileged to get to ride along the way and bear the all-consuming title of "Mommy" in their precious lives.

So much is ahead of us on this road of life. My oldest is only four, my youngest 5 months, and we don't believe our family is yet complete. My life as a parent has only begun. We have so much more to experience, so much more to come. I am humbled, blessed, and overwhelmed with the life God has given me with my family. It is a powerful responsibility, one that at times tries to knock me down. But the Lord has not abandoned me to this task, but has rather called me higher to walk through it with Him to see His purposes fulfilled not just for their lives, but for my own as well.

The best is yet to come.

For now, I'll just watch them sleep...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Cheerios! And the Adventures of Anna-dog

Matthew, the baby, has recently discovered Cheerios. He does not yet understand that they are food particles to be eaten; rather, he thinks they are toys to be flung. On the floor. With great excitement and joy. When I spread a handful on his high chair, he will grab them and fling them wide, laughing his tiny baby head off in the process. He thinks Cheerios are the greatest thing since plastic teething rings.

A few days ago, I gave him a few Cheerios to experiment with, and on the floor they went, in a wide perimeter. Sighing, I had resigned myself to getting out the vacuum cleaner, when I heard a soft noise like that of a small dog. It was my daughter in her favorite make-believe mode, a character we like to call "Anna-dog" around her house.

To put it simply, Anna likes to pretend she is a dog. She's two, almost three, with a very vivid imagination. And this is one of her favorite pretends. She can fall into Anna-dog at any given moment - during dinner, during playtime, when she has been told to clean her room...any time she feels the moment grab her, she will fall down on all fours and start barking like a puppy, playing fetch with various toys and - you guessed it - eating food off the floor.

See where I'm going with this?

As I watched in a sort of arrested amusement, Anna wandered around the floor under Matthew's high chair eating up all the Cheerios, dog-style, off the floor with her mouth. No hands, just lips. In moments, the floor was clear of Cheerios.

Oh well, guess I don't need to get out the vacuum cleaner...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A Birthday Mystery

I have been meaning to pick this blog back up in order to report the hilarious activities of my three small children. Today's events, combined with the fact that it is my 29th birthday, seem to be a good place for a fresh beginning.

A Birthday Mystery

Upon returning home from a nice, quiet (albeit HOT) ride around town, I was immediately ordered to the back of the house as my husband was in the middle of birthday surprises. My two year old and four year old children followed me to my bedroom, and as I leaned over to give my four year old son a hug, I noticed the skin around his eyes were bright pink. Initially I was concerned he was having a weird allergic reaction to something, but a trip to the bathroom sink with a wet washcloth proved it was some sort of foreign substance.

I tried to interview the suspe...err, I mean, my son, in order to determine just what had been on his face and how it had gotten there. However, his defenses immediately went into action with rapid protests of "I didn't do it! I didn't do it! My sister did it!" When asked if it was makeup, he nodded vigorously, but the makeup in my makeup bag seemed to be intact and all accounted for. He claimed his two year old sister had put the makeup on his face. When asked what he was doing while she did this, he simply responded "I didn't do it! I didn't do it! My sister did it!!!" He also claimed "Daddy took it from her and put it back." A-ha! A possible witness!!

We moved the investigation to the living room where Daddy was questioned, alas, to no avail. He was as confused as I. Comin' round the corner, Suspect #2, my two year old daughter, was found on the floor with an orange marker. A-ha! A marker! Now we are getting somewhere! "Where is the pink marker?" I asked, hoping for some answers. Instead of a location, my ever possessive daughter responded with "I don't want to share the pink marker!" Further inquiries resulted with the same response.

That's as far as we've gotten. To be continued...

A post script: Suspect #2 just appeared with orange surrounding her right eye. The marker theory is picking up more credibility as we go