Dirty Talk

I feel like doing the Humpty Dance because Spring is finally here (or at least the calendar says so)! Adios and good riddance Winter!  And now that the snow has finally melted, and we can see that we do, in fact, have grass, we can begin to deal with yet another on-going battle that we moms continue to fight:  kids and dirt.  It is a pretty well-known fact that kids have a magnetic pull towards any bit of dirt/mud they encounter.  They’re drawn to each other like a moth to a flame.  My kids are certainly no exception to this rule.  If there is a mud puddle, you can bet your butt they’ll be in it.  They can’t stay away.  And if I tell them not to run through the dirt, it’s like telling someone they aren’t allowed to sneeze — they simply can’t help themselves.  So, that whole saying about how April showers will be bringing us May flowers…yeah, talk dirty to me Spring, because that rain also brings about mud and more laundry for this tired mama!

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I Happen To Like Silly Hearts

So, I’d like to refer back to an earlier post I wrote entitled, “Please Don’t Fast-Forward My Kids”.  I submitted that entry to the editorial section of the newspaper, which actually ended up publishing it while we were on vacation last week. The Superintendent of the schools contacted the principal of my kids’ school, who then contacted me this morning. They are all distraught because they were unaware that I was “unhappy with the kindergarten program,” and the teachers are confused because they thought they had a good repoire with me. My jaw about hit the floor because I never intended to cause a big commotion by my little blog entry. I am actually very fond of my kids’ teachers — they are fabulous at what they do! (I can’t even get two five year olds to listen to me, yet they can get twenty of them to not only listen but also to participate!)  I realize that they have a VERY tough job in trying to please a wide variety of parental expectations.  I know there are some die-hard academia-type parents out there who’ve put the pressure on the school systems to expand the kindergarten curriculum.  I, however, am definitely NOT one of those parents.  I want my kids to learn new things, but I also want them to be kids.  We have WAY too much time to be grown-ups and not nearly enough time to be young. It reminds me of that scene from the movie “Uncle Buck” where John Candy goes to the principal’s office to talk about his niece. Like Buck, I, too, am a big fan of silly hearts and dreamers!

Chocolate Puke

003_cocoa1I am happy to say that we survived the twenty plus hour car trip and made it home from the family vacation all in one piece.  Granted, the return trip was not without incident — we never have a dull moment in my world!  After stopping overnight in Tennessee to catch some shut-eye, we found the traffic to be horrendous once we got back on the road yesterday morning.  My husband decided to take side roads to get ahead of the interstate “parking lot.” Unfortunately, these side roads were nothing but hills and curves, which we discovered the hard way do not mix well with five year olds and M n’ M’s. My poor son threw up a fountain of chocolate all over himself, prompting us to pull off the road in the middle of nowhere, Indiana.  As we were cleaning up the mess, a scruffy, rather mean-looking stray dog had made a beeline to our car in search of food. Apparently, my son must’ve smelled pretty appetizing because the dog had chased him around to the other side of the car.  It totally freaked me out because I suddenly had all those horrorfic images from the news flashing through my head about crazy dogs mauling small children.  Thank God this dog did not consider my son to be his idea of a tasty lunch, and we managed to get the dog to run off.  We continued to clean up the mess while I thanked my lucky stars that it was just a chocolate puke and not something more putrid, like cheese or milk.  It might sound odd, but I can deal much better with a faint smell of chocolate in a small, contained area for several hours than I can with the awfulness of putrid, sour milk (been there, done that).  After the barf-o-rama extraordinaire, we made it home without any further drama. And with a snap of the fingers, just like that, the days of lounging on the beach in the eighty degree temperatures were all but a memory….

Life’s A Beach

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My kids absolutely love the beach.  They could totally be beach bums, just like their mama. They can entertain themselves for hours on end in the sand.  They dig, they roll, they build, and they throw the stuff as long as is physically possible.  They remind me of the chicken that I roll in bread crumbs because every single inch of them is literally covered with sand by the time we leave at the end of the day.  I really don’t know how they do it, but they manage to get sand in every little crack and crevice on every little part of their bodies.  It’s always a good time when they have to take a big poop and need help wiping with a sandy butt.   Another crowd pleaser is when sunscreen has to be reapplied to a sand-covered face.  I try to silence their cries and complaints by telling them that I’m “exfoliating” their skin, for which they’ll later thank me.  Often times, it appears that we have actually brought the beach home with us when they remove their bathing suits — a mountain of sand just plops right there on the bathroom floor.  How in the world do they stand that?  That’s basically like wearing underwear stuffed with sandpaper.  I’m sure it will be a bittersweet memory when we are still finding clumps of sand in our car in a few weeks, but, hey, as the old saying goes, life’s a beach!

Rules? What Rules?

Since we’ve been on vacation, my kids have been so far off their normal schedules that it’s not even funny.  In fact, there really isn’t a schedule, which makes me a little afraid of the transition to the real world when we get back home.  They’ve been going to bed WAY past their bedtime (and sometimes, even mine!), and they’ve been sleeping in a lot later than they typically ever do (much to my pleasant surprise — wait, who are these kids?!).  Mealtimes are all over the place — I’m never really sure if we’re supposed to be eating breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  Everyone just kind of eats whenever they’re hungry.  Grab a handful of this here and a handful of that there.  No one is keeping track of how much sugar is consumed in a day.  The more M n’ M’s, the merrier!  My kids are in absolute seventh heaven because they’d exist solely on snacks if they had it their way.  We just have to let it roll off our shoulders whenever we go out to eat at night and pay $15 for a cheeseburger from which they take a measly two bites.  Chalk it up to yet another vacation expense:  que sara, sara.  Yes, we will all feel the raw sting next week when reality bitch slaps us right in the face.  Until then, bring on the candy and late night adventures….

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Splish Splash

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This is pretty much the first year that my twins are actually able to swim completely on their own.  My husband took them to our gym all winter long to practice in the indoor pool, and now, they are truly little fish.  My son would disagree, but he certainly does not appear to be the next Michael Phelps.  (Although, I have to give the poor kid an A+ for effort.  He puts every little bit of his heart and soul into it.)  He definitely has his own unique style of treading water, which very much resembles drowning.  I really thought he was gonna give the other people in the pool a coronary yesterday.  I was asked multiple times if he was ok or if he needed help.  And even though I was watching him like a hawk, they kept looking at me like I was a horrible excuse for a mother because I wasn’t jumping in with a life raft to save him.  After watching him huff and puff from one side of the pool to the other, I had to physically drag him onto the deck to take a break.  The child was clearly exhausted.  However, he has to do what he’s gotta do to keep up with his twin sister, who is miss super-duper competitive.  Anything her brother can do, she can do better, or at least that’s her mantra.  After a very short rest break, he wanted to get right back at it.  By the end of the day, my cute little five year olds looked very much like Florida crackers, complete with saggy skin and permanent raccoon eyes from their goggles.  That said, you can bet your bikini that the first thing out of their mouths this morning will be something about when they can go swimming again.

Parenting Can Make You Crabby

Wow, it’s amazing to what lengths we parents will go in order to make our kids happy.  We went to the infamous “hermit crab races” on Captiva Island last night with the kids for dinner.  Each kid could pick out a crab, complete with shell, and name it (all for a small cost, of course).  The names were supposed to be original and really have some gusto.  Our crabs were named after my daughter’s teacher and a particular kind of burger — we really dug deep into the creativity pool.  All of the crabs were placed in an overturned bowl on a large round table, which was surrounded by a sea of kids and adults.  The only way our little ones could possibly see the action was to sit on our shoulders.  I never knew just how boney a five year old’s butt actually is.  I was in so much agony after about fifteen minutes of my daughter wiggling around on me that even my glass of wine couldn’t help to ease the pain.  I began to glare at the adults who had the luxury of a front row seat.  Couldn’t they see that my daughter was killing me little by little with her tush?  The whole thing seemed to last an eternity — I wanted to jump on that table and shout, “Run Forest, Run!”  Man, crabs are slow little suckers!  Needless to say, neither of our crabs won, but the kids had a blast.  We all came home with souvenirs:  the kids got cute t-shirts, and my husband and I got whiplash.

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