Thursday, February 26, 2009

I Now Take Requests

As requested by a friend, I present to you The Story of Tuesday.

On Tuesday, the kids and I stopped by a friend's house to see if we could take them to lunch. We decided to head over to the always elegant Burger King (please see Fancy Nancy
for an explanation). This particular Burger King also had a playplace inside, so it was the perfect and most logical choice for our group of 6 kids and 2 adults.

Now, I can see why a person might assume and look at us in awe with our six children if, say, one of us was a man and the other a woman. Maybe then it would appear that we were a couple, and had a whole bunch of children. That would be insane, of course, but people may assume this if the children are with a man and a woman.

However, we were two women with six children. Yet a woman still came up to my friend and asked if all those kids were "ours." *ahem* True, I am majoring in Women's Studies at my college, and I am a feminist, but... "Our" kids?

So, after this woman left the restaurant, my friend and I had a good laugh at her question. Then a new person showed up with a kid, and sat in that woman's seat. This time it was a "Nana," and her grandson.

Avery immediately began to bond with the grandson. The two played on the playplace, danced on the mat in front of the slide, and took turns blowing into the boy's cherry Icee to make red bubbles. Now that last thing I mentioned - how do you stop your son from blowing into a stranger's straw when the stranger's own grandmother thinks it is funny and cute? How do you not appear rude in that situation, yet also not allow your son to soak up every germ that kid may have?

Back to Avery. Now, as I have mentioned before (here, here, and here), Avery has blonde hair and everyone else in our family has brown hair. This friend of mine that joined me at Burger King also has brown hair, as well as her three kids. In fact, we often joke that her three kids and Abby and Ethan are all her kids, while Avery is mine because the other five look somewhat alike.

And so Avery spent a large portion of the day with these seven people with brown hair. Guess what color hair that little boy he bonded with had? Blonde! Finally, it seems, Avery had found one of his own! This other blonde boy even had a Nana, just like him!

Now I feel the need to seek out friends with blonde hair, or at least blonde children. My poor little Avery - it seems he'll always be a minority in our house.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


You know, I've blogged quite a few times about the things people say to me about my three small kids. Things like, "You sure have your hands full!" But really, no matter how I make it seem, there are a handful of people who say these things in a polite way. I think it's all in your tone, facial expression, and the other words you add (or fail to add) to your comment.

For instance, the example I gave above can be received as quite rude if the person walks up to me, says it in a "Gee-your-life-sucks" tone of voice, and then walks away. Multiply this by ten if my kids are misbehaving at the time.

On the other hand, the kids and I were at the grocery store the other day (the same one where this happened), and an older lady said the dreaded sentence - but it was not at all rude. She also said that she had three kids just as close together - a girl and two boys - and she just wanted me to know that she is 72 years old. In other words, she knows how hard it is, but she survived!

Maybe the difference is comradery. If they've been through what they see you going through, it seems less rude to comment. I'm not quite sure. However, if I'm out without the kids, I do try to let other mothers know that I have the same problems with my kids as I see them having with their kids. They might not care at all, but I feel like empathizing with them is the right thing to do. Like I totally understand that their kids are not brats all the time. My kids are exactly the same!

Yeah, I know it probably is perceived as rude after all. But I feel like I would appreciate the degree of sisterhood that parenting small kids can provide, if I was in their shoes.

So, the next time you see someone at the store with the same amount of kids you have, crying, fighting, yelling, or peeing on themselves - tell her that your kids are just like hers. It will either make her relieved or depressed.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


You see this cute little boy? This is not just any cute little boy - he's now a potty trained cute little boy! Actually, according to him he is a cute "little big boy."

Since Avery is now 40 months old (3 years, 4 months), and I started potty training him at 26 months (2 years, 2 months), we had to throw the kid a party. Really, we give each of the kids a potty train party once they can go two full weeks without having an accident. The thing is, we thought we would be having this party about a year ago. Abby was potty trained earlier than this, so we just assumed that all the kids would be the same. I guess that's one of the first lessons you learn in parenting - no two kids are exactly alike. So, here is over a year later and he is finally potty trained!

We had the party last weekend. Even though Avery had said for a very long time that he wanted a potty "train" party (Thomas), we couldn't think of any games that went along with Thomas. Instead, Avery got a Cars potty train party. He had to drive up mountains and learn to handle the turns on a bumpy racetrack, all while racing to California for the Piston Cup.

When Abby had her party, we did a Dora the Potty-er party. She had to follow Map and climb the tallest mountain (a pile of pillows), answer a riddle and get over the Grumpy Old Troll's bridge (I was the Grumpy Old Troll), and walk through the spooky forest (green and brown steamers hung from the ceiling).

Now the pressure is on for Ethan. We haven't even started potty training him yet, but if he's anything like Avery, it will be a while before he needs a potty train party.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

How Rude!

Please tell me it's not just me. Strangers seem to come up to me regularly, and say rude things about my kids. Is this an epidemic of rudeness, or is it just me and my kids that experience this?

Just today, a lady in Kroger came up to me as Abby was talking about... everything... and made the international hand symbol for "she talks too much." She then told me that my daughter does, in fact, talk too much. She tried to soften it up a bit, though, by telling me that her daughters are all grown and she only hears silence at her house these days. Poor lady.

I've also been told by other parents (whom I do not know) that my child (whoever is a baby at the time) has huge feet/hands/entire body. Now really, could you say such a thing about an adult? Then why say it about an adult's baby?

Abby has apparently always been loud, because strangers would stop me if they heard her crying as a small baby. They would say, "she cries louder than any baby I've ever heard!" Also, I've often been told that she is, "such a princess!" And that Abby "certainly is spoiled!" Hmm...

With the boys, I've been told that they don't look like Daniel "at all!" Nice. Why don't you just flat out tell my husband that you suspect his wife is sleeping around on him?

So, strangers, next time you see a baby at the grocery store, either smile and say nothing, or think really hard about something nice that you can say. Chances are, the mom dragging those kids through the store has had a really rough day and can't handle your boldness at that very moment.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Growing Up

This past Sunday I finally got a chance to visit a friend of mine that had just had her first baby. Just, as in 4 months ago.

Yeah, I know I'm a lousy friend, but at least I did finally see that sweet little baby! There are other people I know that have just had their third and fourth babies (three years ago and six months ago, respectively), and I have yet to visit them. Of course, the mother of these two babies is actually my cousin, and not just a friend. For some reason, I feel like that is explanation enough...

And so I was able to hold this little guy on Sunday, and watch him do all those sweet little baby things, like babbling and laughing and hitting himself in the face with a toy. I watched my friend nurse him (well, it's not like I just sat and watched her, but I was there), I watched her play with him on the floor, change him into cute little jammies with puppies on each foot... Every possible thing that a "maybe-I'm-done-having-babies" person could ask for.

But you know what's really strange? None of it made me wish for another little one, or even made me completely nostalgic about my own little ones that are now big ones (uhh... I mean my kids).

I'm usually pretty predictable about desperately wanting another baby after I've been around a new one. But, even though this little guy was definitely the cutest little Stephen I have ever seen, I was perfectly content knowing I am past that stage with my own kids.

Does this mean that I am finally ready to accept that I have three kids - and will always have just three kids? No. After all, I may change my mind tomorrow, or even later today. I think this just simply means that I am learning to enjoy my own kids as they grow. It seems that every new age and stage they reach is more fun than the last. I can actually picture Daniel and myself with three older kids - and there is no baby carrier next to us in that picture.

Of course, all this came at the same time that Abby became an adult (or rather a b-dult, according to Abby). Today, after I asked her to stop banging her feet against the floor while she was coloring, she simply responded, "Sorry! I'm just so used to doing my own thing." You know, like paying rent and cooking dinner and heading off to work every morning...?

She then followed me around the house for the next 50 minutes while I cleaned and she rambled - I mean talked to me. She talked to me about ice skates, and how her doll needs some, and how she likes to pretend her knee-high socks are ice skates. She explained to me what a stranger is, and how to react if I come across one. I promise to run, and tell my mom or my teacher right away. "Umm, Dr. Wilson? Some stranger just talked to me in the hallway. What should I do?"

And Abby has also grown socially. She has lots of friends - best friends, even. She is invited to birthday parties a lot. While I sit in the van waiting to pick her up from school, she stands outside with her friends, their arms around each other's shoulders and laughing. Abby thinks about what would be the perfect Christmas present for her friends, or what would make the perfect tea party to which she could invite her friends. She has, on several occasions, asked for a nice couch of her own to place in her bedroom, so she could have friends over and offer them a place to sit.

But with all the growing up that Abby seems to be doing, I don't feel that same apprehension about her leaving babyhood behind that I used to feel. I'm sort of excited about this growing. Every day I'm reminded of just how little she knows about life. I get to literally teach her something new about life every day. Just today, for instance, I taught her what a tongue-twister is. A tongue-twister. When is the last time you had to be taught such a thing?

So we've spent part of the day coming up with tongue-twisters for Abby to try to say. This was all started, of course, by Punxsutawney Phil. You know, the groundhog? We heard a DJ on the radio ponder the relationship between groundhogs and woodchucks, and then proceed to do the "How much wood can a woodchuck chuck..." thing. That brought on a whole slew of other tongue twisters between Abby and me, and the rest is history.

I will tell you that Abby is not so good at creating her own tongue twisters just yet. But I leave you with a good one that the radio DJ came up with:

"How much hog can a groundhog ground, if a groundhog could ground hog?"

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