In their mouths there are more spots,
Sunday, December 30, 2007
In their mouths there are more spots,
Friday, December 28, 2007
For those of you who know me, you are aware of the fact that I struggle severely with my Type-A personality that strives to have everything in its rightful place.
It's that Type-A in me that constantly has me picking up the little things that are strewn about the house.
It's that Type-A in me that causes me much stress when there are disheveled papers on the kitchen table.
It's that Type-A in me that causes my heart to skip a beat when my kids soil their brand-new clothes. Or any clothes for that matter.
It's that Type-A in me that refrains me from dressing my kids in their brand-new clothes for fear that they may do what all young children do--soil them.
It's that Type-A in me that keeps from using my dishwasher because in my mind it means I have unfinished business.
It's that Type-A in me that refuses the help of a live-in housekeeper because the last two I had failed miserably at folding the clothes the way I liked them and were not able to put the kids' clothes in the correct places.
It's that Type-A in me that had me ripping down my Christmas tree, just hours after Christmas was over, due to the fact that it was causing clutter in the family room. Furthermore, I about had a heart attack when my husband tried to lighten my load, demanding the kids to clean up and organize their new Christmas gifts.
"Alright guys, let's clean up. Stick your new toys back under the Christmas tree! And do it now!"
Are you kidding me? I was in their play room,
He has for sure seen the endless number of plastic bins, neatly labeled with a picture and the title of it's contents, stacked from floor to ceiling in the playroom closet. I know this for sure because I have more than once been reprimanded, "Why on earth are you bringing another plastic bin into this house when we have 100 of them already?" I can't fathom how he can not understand that each toy needs it's own home.
Legos, in one bin-Mr. Potato Head in another. Barbies in one bin-Transformers in another. And the list goes on.
Just as my husband fails to understand my need to organize, my son Isaac fails to understand why the great-big box that once housed Annie's new Dora the Explorer, battery-operated quad, is now housing about 35 percent of the toys that were in his playroom. Toys that he hasn't noticed or touched in at least the past 3 months are immediately very important to him. The rubber lizard that has lost half of it's "black bean innards" is suddenly his favorite. He was heartbroken that I even considered giving away the flying disk toy that hasn't worked correctly since the day he got it. After I explained that he was more than welcome to keep them if he gave away one of his new toys, he had a change of heart.
And then, there is the clothing situation. No amount of organizing could help my kids' closets. They are so packed full of clothes, I had to put all my weight into the hangers to make room for more. I hang all of their new clothes on one side--each morning when I enter their closets to make the clothes selection for the day, I always make my first selection from this "new clothes section." I excitedly pluck a new outfit from its hanger and imagine how cute the kids will look in it.
Then, my Type-A personality rears its ugly head. I imagine all of the activities the kids will participate in that day-breakfast, lunch, dinner, playing outside, coloring with ink pens, eating an orange- and my heart skips a beat. As quickly as I plucked it off the hanger, I return it to it's original place, leaving it where I know it will stay clean. I grab the trusty play-clothes, knowing that I will be less anxious when something gets spilled on them. I will be less likely to rip into my kids if a drop of chocolate falls on the shirt that has already been scrubbed free of stains.
I know--I have issues.
I know--I could probably use some therapy.
And I also know, that if I don't get over this quickly, I will create this same neurosis in my children.
Maybe after my head has completely emerged from the sea of stuff, I will make a trip to the local book store and find a self-help book with a title along the lines of "Controlling the Inner Type-A Personality--A Guide to Freedom."
Better yet, I'll head to the local library--I can return the book when I'm done with it so it doesn't clutter up my book shelf!
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Yes, those of you who were inside the confines of Olive Garden between the minutes of 12:00 pm and 12:15 pm, you'll know why I am making this public apology on behalf of my four children and myself.
The first apology I make, on behalf of my son, to the couple sitting at the table situated on the north side of us, and to the waitress who happened to be walking between that table and ours. He didn't really mean to shoot that orange and gray suction dart in your direction. He was merely trying to load the gun when it backfired, launching in the direction of your peaceful lunch table. Please cut him some slack as he was unfamiliar with the logistics of the toy, as he had just purchased it at the Dollar Tree next door. We appreciate it, Dear Waitress, that you were friendly enough to return it to my son after it had just slapped you in the back! Please, find it in your heart to forgive him.
To the patrons who were sitting within a 10 foot radius of us, and the waiters and waitresses who were attending to them, on behalf of my two older daughters, this apology is sent out to you. It is my hope that you will forgive my girls for their absolute loss of control when I, their mom, informed them that they would be having cheese ravioli smothered in cheese sauce for lunch. I apologize that you were unable to hear the overhead music during the time my girls were expressing their frustration. I apologize that the ambiance was not giving you the feeling that you were enjoying Italian food at some quaint restaurant in Italy. I'm hoping that you find it in your hearts to forgive them, for they don't have ANY idea what a cheese ravioli even is.
Although I was thinking of all of you when I decided to cancel the drink orders and remove my crew from the restaurant so as not to further disrupt your lunches, I must apologize for the pathetic scene we caused as we made our exit. By the horrified looks on all of your faces, it is obvious that we did not do a good job of evacuating the premises in a quiet and orderly fashion. It is my hope that you will not have nightmares over the screams and shrieks that were escaping my childrens' mouths. I guess that even though they were not willing to eat cheese ravioli in cheese sauce for lunch, they were still not ready to leave Olive Garden. I can't say that I was either, as my mouth was watering for your delicious soup, salad, and bread sticks. Which is why I may have myself, lost control, which leads me to my next apology.
Per the request of my mom, who was also involved in the humiliating scene, I apologize for my immature behavior, and it is my hope that CPS will not be contacted for the manner in which I was dragging along my out-of-control crowd. It is my mom's belief that your horrified looks were more aimed at me, their completely embarrassed mother, who was trying to exit at 100 miles per hour, while the girls were only maxing out at a speed of 10 miles an hour. Four limbs are still attached and rotating correctly, therefore, I hope you will accept my apology.
Although I wouldn't remember your face if I was shown a line-up, I apologize to you, the woman who tried to talk sense into my children as we made it out the door and onto the sidewalk. I appreciate that you tried to remind them that Santa was watching, and had they heard you over their screaming fit, it may have worked. Unfortunately, at that moment in time, Santa didn't matter to them one.single.bit, and I was in such a fit of rage, what I wanted to reply to you was this: "Santa, who is Santa. Are you talking about that fake character who claims to leave presents under the trees in the homes of good girls and boys? He's not real anyways, and not one of these kids will ever get another present for as long as they live!" Again, to you, I apologize. I know you were only trying to help, and that was sweet of you!
And one last apology to the manicurists and massage therapists whose storefront happens to share the sidewalk with the big cement trash can that was on the way to my car. I apologize that you, too, witnessed the screaming fit of my children, but more importantly, it is my hope that you were not scarred by the scene of me plucking every toy from my screaming kids' hands, and plunk them into that big, cement trash can, in my own fit of rage. I'm hoping that one of you was smart enough to reach into the trash can and retrieve the perfectly packaged set of three highlighters, the squishy ball, and the previously mentioned gun with orange and gray suction darts. If nothing else, they would make wonderful stocking stuffers for a well-deserving child.
People-pleaser that I am, it is my sincere hope that all of you will forgive my children and myself for what you were forced to endure today inside the walls of Olive Garden and on the stretch of sidewalk that we travelled on to reach our car. Because I always try to find the good in situations, it is also my sincere hope that you are able to learn from my parenting mistake. The only thing that stooping to the level of three four year olds and a 2 1/2 year old did, was make the scene much more pathetic.
Again, I apologize, and I hope you enjoyed the rest of your lunch at the Olive Garden. Your peace was at my expense, as I enjoyed a lunch of Grilled Stuft Burrito in the south-west most corner of the Taco Bell Parking lot.
Monday, December 17, 2007
While waiting at Supercuts this morning for Isaac to get his haircut, a sweet, older lady entered the waiting area, completely intrigued by my four lovely angels! She commented on how well-dressed they were, how beautifully styled the girls' hair was with curly bows perfectly matching their outfits, and then she turned her intrigue to me, their mother.
"Oh bless your little heart. You must be the most patient person I've ever met. You seem so calm with them!"
Little did she know, by that time in the mid-morning when she uttered that compliment, I had already blown my top at least 15 times. Little more did she know, that by bedtime, my top blew at least another 55 times!
I'm not sure that my typical four Advil would cure the shouting induced headache that I am suffering this evening. It may lessen the redness of the shouting induced burst blood vessels in the whites of my eyes, but the headache, not a chance.
It never ceases to amaze me, that the very thing my children do to throw me over the edge, I too, take part in. Shouting....it's such an ugly past-time!
Every night, after tucking my kids into bed, I promise myself that tomorrow will be different. I ask God for an unexplainable patience with my kids. In fact, I even pray the prayer so my children can hear. I retire to my bed, convinced that the patience will be there in the morning.
And then, just like the day before, and the 365 days before that, by 7:00 am the next morning, I'm wrestling with my patience and losing the fight!
Through clenched teeth, I'm reminding the girls to keep their voices down while others are still asleep in the house. Through clenched teeth, I'm demanding my fluffy pillow be returned to me, for in fact, it is mine, and they are in indeed in my bed. Through clenched teeth I am asking them to step away from the stationary bike I am pedaling, for fear that they are going to get caught in the pedals that my angry feet are pedaling so fiercely. I envision myself as E.T., taking flight to the
Logically, I know that raising my voice only escalates the situation. But logic seems to escape me when I'm worn out and my patience has run thin.
What that sweet lady in the waiting area of Supercuts should have said this morning was, "Oh bless your hearts, four little ones. You must have so much patience to love your mommy the way you do, even after the times she's lost control and reprimanded too loudly."
Love is the operative word here. It is my love for my children that washes the slate clean each day. It is my love for my children that erases all the times in the day that they talk back, hit their sibling, spill a plate of food recklessly on the floor, destroy the playroom, wake up grumpy from a nap, throw the mother of all temper tantrums, yada, yada, yada.
In return, it is their love for me that drowns out the shouts of anger that I fire their way. I only wish I could be as forgiving as they are, for they love me, even when I feel unloveable!
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Are you kidding me? "Just ignore her." It was apparent to me then that he has never raised a child that has lungs like my child's, for there is no way to ignore the screams that flow from Angel's mouth. The noise that escapes her lungs reverberate long after the screaming has ceased. With our windows closed, her shrieks of disgust are sure to reach our neighbors two-doors down on either side of us. With the windows open, I wouldn't doubt that her screams are heard two, or even three city blocks either way.
The pediatrician further explained, that by my helping her to label her feelings, I would surely be saving future psychiatric visits for her later on. I smiled, put my hand on his knee, leaned in to Mr. Smarty-Pants Pediatrician, and replied, "She won't need the therapy visits, but I certainly will!" And I wasn't kidding in the least bit. There is nothing that drives me crazier than a child throwing out-of-control, screaming fits. It's just not acceptable in my book. It is worse to me than my husband laying in bed long after I have been forced to get out! Yeah, it's THAT bad!
I've completed day one of ignoring the behavior. I've listened to her scream for 20 minutes about not wanting milk in a Dora paper cup. I've listened to her scream for 30 minutes over the fact that she didn't get a candy cane because she was too busy throwing her previously mentioned fit. I've listened to her scream for 15 minutes because I denied her the milk she wanted later on since she never got it the first time.
Maybe the pediatrician was right. She won't need a doctor of psychiatry later on since I'm teaching her to label her feelings. Instead, she'll need a medical doctor to remove the dish towel I've placed in her mouth to mute the sounds of her shrieks of anger.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Moseying through the isles at Target,
Two very large boxes overflowing with little plastic beads for making different ornaments. The ones that require you to gingerly place the beads on little pegs of various shapes. The ones that also require you to set the warm iron on top to melt them into place. I'm convinced that I was experiencing a temporary loss of sanity when I tossed them into my shopping cart, excited by the reaction I knew I would receive from my crafty girls.
Without another thought given to it, I made my purchase and hid them in the guestroom bathtub until it was time to wrap them.
It was somewhere in between rounding up the kids and tucking them into bed, and a new episode of Intervention on A&E, that I came to my senses. It was while wrapping the over-sized boxes and really investigating the number of those little plastic beads that I stopped and asked myself, What.on.earth.were.you.thinking?
The box proudly proclaims, "Over twenty different colors to choose from. WARNING-Choking hazard-small parts"
What it should have read was WARNING-Mess hazard. Over 3000 small parts (6000 for you dumb woman since you bought 2 boxes) to be scattered all about your kitchen floor, and your bedroom floor, and your kids' bedroom floors, and wherever else they drag their bags of little plastic beads!
I'm not sure if I was dumber for buying them, or dumber for proceeding in my wrapping of them, and then proceeding to allow my two
clumsy crafty girls to unwrap them for a gift this morning. No matter the case, I WAS DUMB--END OF STORY!!! I wasn't disappointed in the reaction I got from the girls. They were extremely excited and eager to open their new bead activity set. Like a diligent mom, I gave the lecture, all the while knowing it wasn't going to be a purposeful disposal of the tiny,little beads, but rather it would be an accident. Never-the-less, I gave the talk.
"Girls, you need to understand that if these beads get spilled onto the floor, I am not going to clean them up. You will either clean up the mess yourself to save the beads, or I will suck them up with the vacuum and empty all the beads into the trashcan. Do you understand?"
"Yes, Mom. We'll keep the bag zipped so they don't fall out. It would ruin the vacuum anyway."
I knew, that I knew, that I knew, I should have saved myself the trouble and sucked them right then and there into the vacuum. I would have saved myself the stress and anger that was in my near future!
It wasn't 20 minutes later that I heard what sounded like a hail storm coming from the kid's eating area. Within seconds after that 20 minutes, I heard the cries and screams of a child that was envisioning her 3000 beads being sucked into the vacuum. Immediately following that 20 minutes plus a few seconds were the remorseful words flowing out of a little sister's mouth, "Sawy, Bella, Sawy. "
I didn't even look. I continued applying my make-up and styling my hair, more angry at myself than at the guilty little one, because I was in fact the idiot that made the purchase.
And then, I couldn't adhere to my original rule, for it wasn't Bella who made the offense, but her little sister. So I helped clean up the mess.
And, I gave another lecture...
Twenty minutes later, another hail storm!
Sunday, December 9, 2007
CYT Annie Play
On top of a boxed Air Hockey table at our local sports store
(I got numerous looks from passerby's. I think they were checking to make sure she was breathing!)
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Bella's feisty personality always keeps us on our toes. She gets great joy out of instigating her brother and sisters. Her newest technique is repeating everything they say. It is her most successful technique to date, as it drives all three of them crazy!
She is our athletic child. It's not necessarily that she is athletically inclined, but she thrives on the attention that she gets from her family while she is out playing. Our shouts of encouragement bring a smile to her face, while she is dribbling the soccer ball
the wrong way down the field! In the next couple of months she will begin playing t-ball. We will work on teaching her the correct way to run the bases!
She is a very talented printer and loves to color. The act of coloring or writing engages her attention for hours on end.
She's willing put put forth enough effort to complete a task with little or no frustration. No one is going to complete a task that was originally given to her.
Although it's obvious that she loves her brother and sisters, the most important thing to her is her
dingy white polar bear that has been her best friend since her early months of life.
It makes it difficult that she, too, prefers to share the same square foot of space that her sister and I are sharing.
And then...there's Annie. So much can be said for her striking personality! First and foremost, she is my control freak. She expects things to be done her way, or no way at all. Without fail, each time I hold out my hand for her to grasp while walking through a parking lot, or anywhere for that matter, she ALWAYS has to choose the other hand to hold. It doesn't matter if the other hand is full of grocery bags or junk that I've emptied from the car, she has to have that hand. Because I'm done fighting that battle, I graciously transfer the things to my other hand so that Annie may grasp the hand of her choosing.
I always say that she is just as sassy as she is cute. One minute I want to eat her up because of her cuteness, and the next moment I want to wring her neck because she is throwing the mother of all tantrums.
She has a crying/tantrum stamina that I'd be willing to bet would beat out all other children her age.
She's even more attached at my hip than her two other female cohorts are.
She would be perfectly content if the majority of her meals consisted of fruit snacks.
She was blessed with the gift of gab.
Her smiles and professions of love for me tend to erase all of the bad acts that she engages in each day!
* * *
Because my kids could not have more different personalities, yet they have been raised the exact same way, I have to change my vote from nurture to nature. Heredity plays a much more profound role in the human nature of my children.
I'm not saying that it's a bad thing, I'm just stating a fact. I won't change my ways of raising my children, I will just realize that their genetic make-up plays a great role in how they deal with life- from how they accept challenges to how they deal with others.
I embrace the differences in my children, for it is their differences that make them unique!
Monday, December 3, 2007
Well, last night, the puke factor in my house was at the highest possible level. Not only did it consist of curdled milk, thick mucus, and watermelon chunks, but it spanned half the length of our upstairs bonus room, approximately 8 linear feet. It was the worst clean-up yet with regards to my kids and the act of puking. Did I mention that this event took place at twelve 0'clock am, when all I wanted to be doing was sleeping?
Four out of four of my rug-rats are sick at this time. All four with snotty-noses, nagging coughs, and general irritability. Compound that with the fact that one of them ate mass quantities of not-so-good watermelon, and you get the puking component! Oh happy day!
I think my dear husband is a bit happy that his four children are experiencing these symptoms. Not because he wants to see them sick, but because it proves that his symptoms I wrote about the other day were indeed, real!