OBX Road Trip 2014

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We spent last week in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and as promised, I kept a “live record” of the 12+ hour drive down there, starting with our 4:00 am wake-up. It actually wasn’t that bad but I honestly don’t know how the Pioneer People took road trips… you know, without the DVD player in the minivan. “They probably just used their iPads,” you might say, but my kids can’t do that because they’ve inherited my weak stomach, and are prone to getting car sick if they look anywhere but STRAIGHT AHEAD.

Here’s how the whole day went down. And by “went down,” I mean, “went downhill with every hour we spent in the car.”

3:45 AM I repeat, AM! We’re shooting for a 4am departure but this shit ain’t right. I hit snooze. Twice.

3:55 – I’m up. Meaning, I’m standing up and walking somewhere, but I’m pretty sure my eyes are closed and I’m still dreaming. About sleeping.

4:05 – We wake the kids up. This right here is the highlight of their whole trip, until we did it again on the day we drove home. It doesn’t happen often, so they LOVE when WE have to wake THEM. They immediately pop out of bed and start talking. I’m barely awake myself so I have no idea what they’re actually saying… something about excitement and darkness and breakfast… I just nod and tell them to get in the car, there’s no food at this hour.

4:17 – We leave. Kids are still talking. I’m still barely awake.

4:21 – I realize that we’ve forgotten pillows so we turn around.

4:26 – On the road again. Only 26 minutes later than planned, which is sort of amazing considering the ungodly hour, amiright?

4:41 – First Happy Dude-ism* of the trip: “Sometimes one of the suns looks like a shark.” (It’s still pitch dark.)

*Happy Dude-ism = when HD just randomly blurts out a sentence that may or may not make sense but is relevant to absolutely nothing.

At this point, we encourage the kids to try to fall back asleep but their wide eyes and loud voices tell us it’s not gonna happen. So I do what any tired passenger would do in my position… put on my noise-canceling headphones and let KJ deal with them. #boseisboss

5:02 – HD-ism: “Did you bring ALL of my every toys in this car?” All of my every what now?

5:33 – The Nibbit announces, “My belly hurts.” One hour into the effing trip. With my best early morning sympathetic voice, I tell him to Look. Straight. Ahead. Yes, for the next 11 hours.

5:51 – HD-ism: “Mom, I saw you somewhere!”

I’ll admit, at this point, I’m getting a bit concerned about the frequency of these random mutterings. Is something wrong with his brain?

6:05 – First stop! We’re a little worried that the Nibbit is going to throw up. It’s pouring rain, so KJ takes just the boys into the rest stop and within two minutes, I get a text: “Pls turn car off and come in… gonna need help.” I start envisioning vomit all over the floor of this nice rest stop and sprint with the Loud One to the door, where we see the Nib and HD standing there… smiling. KJ is NOT smiling. He says, “HD won’t pee without you.”

We pee. No one vomits. And we sprint – in the rain – back to the car.

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6:32 – We’re back on the road, driving 65 mph on a highway and the Nibbit says, “I saw a lizard on that rock.”

Oh no, it’s contagious.

7:00 – Movie #1: Jungle Book. Isn’t it kind of amazing that we made it all the way until 7:00 am before putting a movie on?

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7:58 – Ding, ding, ding!! We hear the very first “Are we almost there?” from the Nibbit. It’s 4½ hours into a 12-hour car drive, so only the truth will do. “Nope. Not even close.”

8:02 – Disturbing conversation with the Nib, goes like this:

Him: Mom did the other night count?
Me: For what, bud?
Him: For the thing… for the trip… how many drives do we need to be?
Me: I’m sorry, what?
Him: Nevermind, I’m trying to watch the movie.

8:30 – Sing-Along Time! We make it through a variety of Katy Perry songs before we’re bored with that game. I suggest the Quiet Game instead. The kids all lose. Every time, they lose. Which means WE ALL LOSE.

9:15 – Second stop! Gas and bagels. HD fell asleep about 18 mins prior (of course) so we have to wake him up. He’s a bit discombobulated and he can’t find his shoe. He starts freaking out a bit and then says, “Oh here it is! It was on my foot!

Note: Five minutes into this stop, I have a bit of a meltdown when HD wants to touch everything in the bathroom. The VERY PUBLIC, VERY REST STOP-ISH bathroom. Nibbit is being generally Nibitty which sends me right over the edge. There’s some yelling, but I pull it together and we walk out of the rest stop with some of our dignity intact. And toilet paper attached to a Croc.

9:35 – Back in the car for Movie #2 … it’s Scooby Doo time!

11:00 – Zoinks. Everyone starts to lose it. Especially HD. All of a sudden, he is all, “I am DONE with this driving! I want to go home now! This car is the worst car ever!” We pull over into a random parking lot and let him yell and whine and complain while he stretches his legs. That seems to help.

11:05 – We get back in the car and I announce that it’s naptime. In one of the few, true miracles of OBX Road Trip 2014 (I mean, the Nibbit did spot a lizard on a rock going 65 mph), they actually listen to me and they all fall asleep.

BLISS.

Bliss.

blissblissblissblissbliss.

12:41 – HD wakes up screaming, “I want a smoothie at the place!”

1:30 – LUNCH BREAK! We eat at a no-brand sports bar with sticky tables and a LOT of flies. And fries. The flies and fries are both plentiful. As we’re walking out the door, HD yells, “OK, let’s roll and rock!”

Between the final hours of 2:00 and 4:30pm, we drive the remaining 30 miles. That’s right… it took us two-and-a-half-hours to go about 30 miles.

The new Outer Banks tourism slogan should be: “OBX: One lane in, one lane out!”

Various movies are watched and video games are played and audio books are listened to and variations on “Are we there yet?” are asked with increasing frequency:

  • Are we there yet?
  • Are we almost there?
  • Are we even close?
  • Is the house close to where our car is right now?
  • Can we get out of this goddamn car soon, PLEASE? (That last one was mine.)

Until finally, we can answer, YES. WE ARE ALMOST THERE. PRAISE JESUS HALLELUJAH.

The funny part is, 12+ hours later and they look mostly exactly the same as they did when we left.

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We finally arrive to a houseful of KJ’s family who greet us with excitement and more importantly, cold beers. And then, we had a GREAT trip. And then, what seemed like two minutes later, it was time to go home.

Rinse. Repeat. Reread the above.

Highlights…

Beach time with family…

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A little consolation from Daddy where sand goes where no sand has gone before.

A little consolation from Daddy when sand goes where no sand has gone before.

Hunting for Ghost Crabs at night… and trapping them. Mwah ha ha!

Hunting for Ghost Crabs at night… and trapping them. Mwah ha ha!

Have Cars cards, will travel

Have Cars cards, will travel

Daily ice cream fix… sometimes in cone form, sometimes in shake form… decisions, decisions.

Daily ice cream fix… sometimes in cone form, sometimes in shake form… decisions, decisions.

Amazing sunsets...

Amazing sunsets…

… and one final sunrise on the drive home.

… and one final sunrise on the drive home.

Lazy days…

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Hey, it’s been a while!

You look fantastic… nice tan!

Soooo, I haven’t dropped off the face of the Earth… just really, really enjoying the lazy days of summer. Actually, just really enjoying the lazy. ALL of the lazy.

Kids have been doing camp stuff like holding baby chicks and playing soccer and coming home with super dirty, gross feet. I’m convinced the summer air is making them grow faster because their legs are getting all long and daaaangly, which is a little odd because all they eat is ICE CREAM.

I’ve been spending my free time reading a lot of fluffy books and channeling my inner Grandma to crochet a blanket. Well, sort of. I know I’ve showed you the Monster that my Mom crocheted for me… my most special thing.

Monster

Well, my Mom taught me the basics (the VERY basics) of crocheting so I decided to start my own blanket. I picked this one:

Whit's Knits: Bear's Rainbow Blanket (purlbee.com)

Whit’s Knits: Bear’s Rainbow Blanket (purlbee.com)

Turns out, the basics were not going to cut it for this thing, so I had to take a $20 lesson to learn how to do the tricky things like use more than one color and CORNERS.

Then I dug in. It took me three days to make this one square:

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Not kidding. THREE DAYS. But now I only need 107 more. I’m no mathematician, but I figure it should be done by the time HD leaves for college. Or juvy.

ANYWAY, only a few weeks left before school and we’re going to cram in a whole lotta fun. We’re going to do Hershey Park and the Museum of Natural History in NYC. Just venturing a guess here, but I bet we eat more ice cream.

We’re also taking a trip to the Outer Banks and my packing list has 156 items on it. Just to clarify, I need to pack every single thing we own PLUS most of the things they sell at the grocery store. Then, we’re going to drive 12+ hours, which obviously will be easy and awesome since my kids are so quiet and non-whiney.

We’ll arrive, unpack everything we own, plus everything we bought, and then enjoy a blissful six days of relaxing on the beach – because, you know, the quiet, non-whiney kids – before reloading the car with all the things and driving the 12+ hours back.

I right this second decided to keep a journal of our car ride down there, so now you have THAT to look forward to. I’m sure HD will share many of his astute observations like, “All of the things on the ground are flat,” or “Everything blue is like that blue truck,” or finally, “Cars are not bigger than houses but they are bigger than bugs,” (which is at least true.)

(I could live Tweet it but really I can’t because of the whole “I don’t Tweet” thing. Plus then everyone that followed me on Twitter [which I’m sure would be all 16 of you] would know when I was away and you might rob my house… DAD. It’s true we no longer have our killer guard guinea pigs, but our alarm system is still loud and scary, so back off.)

Other summer fun has included:

Swimming, art projects, hermit crab play dates, 18 bottles of sunblock, bike rides, skinned knees, homemade ice cream, store-bought ice cream, lice checks, swimming, beach trips, birthday parties, pulling a tick off a head, zip lines, swimming, a whole lotta Band-Aids, book clubs, camp chickens, picking berries, playing baseball, fishing, more ice cream, and more swimming.

Happy August!

Cool new summer hair

Cool new summer hair.

Oh and facial hair, too

Oh and facial hair, too.

Loving the beach...

Loving the beach…

… and the chickens.

… and the chickens.

Cranky Vent: Gender Stereotyping

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Can I vent for a second?

I’ve seen a bunch of these “Things You Should Know About Raising Boys/Girls” lists lately and they are really bugging me.

Of course there is some truth to all of them but more often than not, I read these things and find myself saying, “Um… that was just as true with my daughter [or sons].”

I’m not going to link to specific columns because I know the authors have good intentions and are just trying to relate to other parents and be funny and hey, I get that… BUT these gender stereotypes are killing me!

Read this line in a column about raising boys:

“Watch a girl the same age as your nonstop ball of energy sit quietly and use glitter glue for 45 minutes and you may want to cry.”

Seriously?

First of all, I would be crying if I were the Mom of the kid using glitter glue for 45 minutes! You know how messy that shit is??

Second of all, it’s true that lots of girls like glitter glue and will sit quietly. You know who won’t? LOTS of OTHER GIRLS. Including my own. And guess what… the Nibbit loves glitter glue, too.

Here are some other doozies quotes I’ve gathered from various columns:

“Boys don’t stop moving.”
You know who else doesn’t stop moving? ALL TODDLERS. And many preschoolers. And also, many kids ages 0-18. And my daughter. Since she was born, she was known as “Constant Motion Baby” for this exact reason.

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“[Your daughter’s] desire to borrow your heels, jewels, handbags and more will start as soon as she can walk and talk (and grow from there).”
I actually don’t know one single girl who has this desire. I’m sure they are out there, but it’s just not widespread in my world. My own daughter would rather pay me her First Communion money than try on clothes or heels.

“Clothes shopping will be a piece of cake [with boys].”
Oh really? I guess you don’t have a three-year old SON who refuses to wear anything he deems “handsome” and a five-and-a-half-year old who only wants “sports shirts” or “shiny shorts.”

“Boys love to cuddle.”
This is true… <she types with her daughter in her lap.>

“Buy yourself a good set of headphones that block out noise. Girls talk. A lot.”
As opposed to boys, who are so quiet all the damn day long. Why won’t they just speak up?

“Roughhousing is innate [with boys].”
GUESS WHO INVENTED WRESTLE BABY??

You’ll buy her stuff she doesn’t need.”
Hey, don’t blame your compulsive shopping addiction on your kid, girl OR boy!

“There will be balls and sports equipment EVERYWHERE.”
Three words for you: TITLE IX, A-HOLE. (Or is that two words and a number? Whatever.)

GIRLS.

GIRLS.

“She’ll strike a sexy pose.”
UGH.

“The goofiness starts early [with boys].”
This one refers to general silliness and predisposition to potty humor. I’m going to go out on a limb and say EVERY SINGLE KID I KNOW is silly sometimes. And you know who laughs at fart jokes? EVERYONE AT THE DINNER TABLE… whether they want to or not.

She's laughing at a fart joke.

Yup, fart joke.

“Provide your daughter with good role models.”
… and throw your boys to the wolves! Or Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong. Same thing.

“Boys adore their Moms.”
GIRLS HATE THEIR MOMS.

And then there’s the generic “You’re house will be covered in cars, Legos and guns if you have boys!” and “… dress-up clothes, Barbies and art supplies if you have girls!

Wait, is that a dress AND a sexy pose?!? Oh oh.

Wait, is that a dress AND a sexy pose?!?

Boys like sports!

Girls like dolls!

Boys are noisy and destructive!

Girls are creative and sensitive!

Boys make a mess!

Girls bring the drama!

Boys like math!

Girls like boys!

Art

Hold the phone, are those boys doing ART??

Please stop.

*KIDS can be noisy and destructive.

*KIDS may be creative and sensitive.

*KIDS often make messes and create the drama and like math and yup, maybe even like boys.

ALL OF THEM HAVE SWORDS.

ALL OF THEM HAVE SWORDS.

Look, I try hard to avoid the soapbox – mostly because I’m too lazy to climb up (brings back bad memories of step-aerobics <shudder>) – but if you are a parent of both a son or a daughter OR if you have nieces and nephews OR if you’ve ever come into contact with a child of the “other” gender, then I don’t have to tell you that every kid is different.

Of course some kids “fit” the stereotypes but so so so so so many don’t. So let’s drop the generalizations.

If you want to talk about JUST boys, limit the conversation to “How to change a diaper while he pees in your face.” And the list about girls? “Wipe front to back.” That’s about it.

But if you want to write a list about ALL kids, well, that’s a different story.

So, here’s mine:

Top 9 Things You Need to Know About Parenting Boys. Girls.

  1. It’s hard. SUPER hard.
  2. They all have a boatload of effing energy.
  3. They all whine a lot and have big meltdowns AND are also all cute and funny.
  4. They’ll ALL love something… maybe art (glitter!), maybe sports (balls!), maybe reading, maybe cars, maybe clothes, maybe screens (probably screens)… maybe all of the above and your house will be full of the product of that passion.
  5. They have a TON of questions. ALL. QUESTIONS. ALL. OF. THE. TIME.
  6. Your house will always be a mess (glitter! balls!). And if it’s not a mess, then be honest, it’s because you’ve shoved everything into closets. PS. You’ll care a little bit less about this with each kid.
  7. They’re loud. All of them. Even the shy ones are loud at home.
  8. None of them like to sleep when they’re young. (And from what I hear, they all like to sleep too much when they’re older. But this Promised Land seems light years away to me.)
  9. They’re all exhausting. And amazing. And UNIQUE.

ALL of them.

A Summer Letter

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Dear Kids,

Just a quick little check-in this morning while you’re all busy at camp taking nature walks and playing in sprinklers and learning how to shoot with bows and arrows.*

*Archery is the Nibbit’s favorite camp activity… being as he ONLY wanted a bow and arrows for Christmas last year, I’d say at least he’s consistent, if not totally, scarily violent.

Hasn’t this summer been AWESOME so far?

I wanted to tell you that I’ve been watching you the past few weeks… really seeing you… and I’m kind of amazed by you guys!

Happy Dude, you are a really, really big kid now. You do almost everything by yourself – get dressed, brush your teeth, go the bathroom, even SWIM (with a vest, but still).

This is the first summer that Daddy and I don’t have to rock/paper/scissor over who’s going in the pool with you guys! And you know what’s happened? We usually both WANT to swim , because now it’s actually fun. Sure, you all become complete barnacles in the water but playing pool games is so much more fun than being a mere flotation device for a baby.

(Side note: I could write a whole post on Moms avoiding swimming because of body issues and fear of bathing suits, but I won’t. First of all, because it’s already been done well, like here and here and second of all, because this summer, I’m just saying, “eff it, who cares, just swim” and that would be a really short blog post.)

Let me be super clear HD, you will always be the baby of this family. I still scoop you up and squeeze your little legs and tickle you too much. In fact, I’ve been doing it more often because I know my “scooping you up” days are numbered. Your brother and sister still pick up your slack when it comes to cleaning up dinner dishes or toys. And you’ll always get away with things a tiny bit more than they did. And that’s just what it means to be the baby. Take it from me dude, next time you feel sad that you can’t go on the camp bus with LO and the Nib because you’re “only free-and-a-half,” remember that you’re lucky to be the youngest.

But the more you play the same games as the big kids, and ride your new big boy bike and put on your own shoes and explain things to be with your little earnest face searching for the proper words (“how does that say it again?”), the more I see the baby days slipping away.

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Nibbit, let me talk to you for a second. On April 25, 2013, I wrote you this letter. You and I, we were in kind of a bad place back then. And by that, I mean, you were really acting like a jerk and I was spending a lot of my time trying not to completely lose my … it.

Well, what a difference 15 months makes. Aside from the many references to “poopy diapers” you make each day, you have become quite the delight, which really gives credibility to the phrase “this too shall pass.” Because let me tell you, I was NOT sure that “that too was going to pass.” At some point, I started questioning whether it was, indeed, a phase or if you were, in fact, just kind of an a-hole. Turns out, you’re AWESOME!

Let me tell you this story. A couple of months ago, you asked for a specific Spiderman Lego set that you had seen online. I told you that you should put it on your birthday list, but you weren’t thrilled about that because as you said, “My birthday is sooooo far away!” (True.) You asked me if there was any way you could earn the Lego set so we struck up a deal. You could earn points by being extra helpful around the house; each point was worth 50¢. You needed 24 points for that Lego set and you were determined to do it. Cleaning, helping HD, yard work… you did it all.

You finally earned your Lego set this weekend (which unbeknownst to you, I had already ordered and received) and I was worried that when we gave it to you, you would be disappointed… because the box was TINY. It was so small and you had worked so hard. I thought you were expecting one of those huge Lego kits and this was … not. But Daddy gave it to you and you LOVED it. You immediately put the Spiderman car together and have been playing with it since.

You even let HD have a turn, but of course, you reminded him to, “… be gentle with it, HD… I worked hard to get this.” And then you asked me if you could keep earning points for more Legos.

Um, yeah. You can.

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Lastly, I’ve been watching you, Loud One. We spent that first week of your summer together with no plans and I loved every minute – hiking, making art, getting a manicure, baking… you are seriously good company now.

I’ve been watching you read big books by yourself and loving your first book club meeting. I’ve watched you write more elaborate stories, fleshing out characters and perfecting illustrations. I’ve watched you analyze your birthday party options to maximize celebration time. (I respect that.)

And I’ve watched you try so many new things this summer with no hesitation. “New camp? Sure, I’ll try it. I won’t know anybody? No problem, I’ll make new friends.”

And then I see you with those new friends… at a birthday party or at the beach, fearlessly collecting crabs and snails in a bucket, which is NOT unusual, but interacting with these peers in a way that seems so different to me – it’s a “I’m figuring out who I am and I don’t need any intervention from you, Mom” kind of way.

You’re all growing up. I can’t stand it! Just kidding. (Not really.)

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You know, we all have to do this, guys. We all have to figure out who we want to be – for ourselves and for the people we want to surround ourselves with. We make choices about what we say and how we act and those choices dictate the types of relationships we have with our friends and family. That’s not to say you should EVER be someone you’re not, for the sake of someone else. It means you SHOULD be your best self and as a result, you will attract other best selves and therefore, you’ll always be surrounded by good, honest, kind people who will have your back.

That barely makes sense to me, so if you’re reading this before you turn 42, I’m sure it doesn’t make sense to you, but just trust me.

In the meantime, let’s keep loving summer. You guys keep playing Wrestle Baby, although now that you’ve added kicking and slapping to the mix, it’s only allowed upstairs where I can’t see it. Keep playing spies and ninjas and sports guys and superheroes and pet store. Keep swimming and jumping off diving boards and higher diving boards. Keep playing made-up games involving crashing cars and brave knights. Keep drawing and writing and making art. Keep exploring the backyard and the beach and keep learning to ride bigger bikes. Keep up all the good kid work.

And most importantly, keep being good to each other.

Love you to googolplex,

Mom

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You guys are SO supportive!

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OK, I have a few hours to get stuff done while the kids are at camp today… here’s my list:

  • Do the dishes/clean the kitchen
  • Gather although the damp towels and bathing suits from all over the house
  • Do that laundry
  • Make the kids’ allergist appointments/call in new EpiPen prescriptions
  • Go to CVS for pick-up
  • Organize all the stuff that’s accumulated on the basement stairs before someone trips and breaks his/her neck
  • Yoga class
  • Figure out something for dinner
  • Go to store and buy necessary dinner ingredients
  • Prepare said dinner ahead of time to avoid mad 5:30pm rush
  • Schedule mammogram (ugh)
  • Artkive all the kids artwork from the past five years

OK, what should I do first? Wait, what? What’s that you say? I should IGNORE this list and instead curl up with my book?? Oh no, I couldn’t do that… there’s so much to get done!

What? You think I deserve a break? You’re too kind, really, but define “deserve,” because I’m pretty sure that doesn’t apply here. I have a lot of breaks. No, seriously.

But if you’re truly convinced that I should take some time to read this morning, then, maybe I should listen to you. I mean, you sound REALLY sure… almost like you’ve had a premonition of something bad happening if I DON’T take my book out to the patio right now.

What’s that you’re saying now? I should eat some leftover Cannoli Nachos while I read? Oh well now you’re just getting crazy. Because it’s not even 11:00am yet. And also because I just had some last night. I mean, let’s not get carried away.

But if you’re SURE that I should ignore my To Do list and take some time with my book, then who am I to argue? I mean, it doesn’t really feel right… but it also doesn’t feel wrong. I suppose I could just sit outside in the sun for a little bit and enjoy not being sprayed by the hose.

I guess the dishes can wait; they’re certainly not going anywhere. And we do have a lot of extra towels. The bathing suits will eventually just dry on their own… and a little chlorine smell never killed anyone, right?

Yeah, maybe you’re onto something.

US soccer is at 4:00pm so let’s be honest, pizza is PROBABLY in our future AND I can certainly do some cat/cow stretches on my family room floor… so OK, you’re really starting to convince me now!

Mammogram scheduling can wait a day. Artkive-ing has waited five years, another few days of artwork is no big deal. And I’ll just stick a “Watch your step!” Post-It on the basement door… most of the family members can read.

And lastly, I’m SURE expired Epi-Pens don’t lose their effectiveness RIGHT AWAY, right? Aren’t those expiration dates a big pharmaceutical scam? And it’s not like I’m going to give them peanut butter cookies or anything <gulp>, so OK, you’ve sold me… read my book it is!

Hey, THANKS you guys! I really appreciate this encouragement to take some ME time. For what’s it’s worth, I think you guys deserve some Me time today, too. And Cannoli Nachos.

OK then, I’m off to read… good talk.

 

CANNOLI NACHOS

Mmmmmmm……

Nothing is Awesome.

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Ever have a day where you were just nailing it? Everything you said was making people laugh and everything you wrote just worked. You were FUNNY. Man, were you funny. People were calling their friends to say, “Oh man, that girl is FUNNY!”

You made people laugh all day long – in person, texts, emails, status updates, hashtags… you were just on?

So OF COURSE when you got home you wrote a blog post and OF COURSE it just POURED out of you and you just chuckled to yourself the entire time, shaking your head, saying, “I am ON FIRE today… WHAT. IS. UP. WITH. ME??”

Maybe you wrote funny stories in detail about how your daughter got a palate expander torture device put in her mouth and how that’s been nothing but GOOD TIMES all around? About how charming the sound of one trying to clear food out of a metal trap on the roof on one’s mouth can be?

Oh and did you also describe how just when you were feeling really confident in your kids degree of potty trainedness, he decided that the potty is often just too damn far away and you know what’s closer? HIS UNDERWEAR. Oh and that sometimes when you peel away the wet underwear, he says, “Oh, THAT’S awkward” like a 13-year old girl?

Or perhaps you described your embarrassment over something like the fact that your middle child ate pizza SIX TIMES this week, but you described it in SUCH a funny way that no one was judging you for what clearly borders on nutritional abuse?

Did you answer YES? As in, YES, you HAVE had a day like that where funny shit just poured out of you all day long?

Well, how effing nice for you. And also, I hate you.

Because I am NOT having that day. And I have not had that day for … well…  shut up. 

Nothing is funny. Nothing is rolling. Nothing is awesome. (Get it? It’s the LEGO humor from the title? <sigh>)

So instead of all that detailed hilarity, I’m going to share with you The Nibbit’s poem. I think it’s really good.

MONSTER FIGHT
by The Nibbit

The two hippos wanted to fight.

The hippos were

DIZZY

BOAT

HIBO

RASPBERRY

DRAGON

Came to fly

Monster fight.

*CLEARLY, the Nibbit was having one of those magical days. 

 

Maybe I was wrong. Maybe PALETTE EXPANDERS are AWESOME.

Maybe I was wrong. Maybe PALATE EXPANDERS are AWESOME.

“YOU DON’T LOVE ME!”

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Hey Kids,

In one of my last posts, I mentioned how no matter what you do, I will always love you. One of my friends read it and asked me if I’ve gotten the, “YOU DON’T LOVE ME!” yet. Luckily, I haven’t but I’m sure someday, when you’re not getting something you want, like a video game or a car or a boyfriend’s approval, I’m going to hear it.

When that happens, I’m going to say something like, “Come on now, you know that’s not true,” and you’re going to say, “IT IS SO TRUE!” and then you’re going to try to think of ways to prove it. Well, I’ve decided to make it easier for you.

Here is a list of things that I’m currently doing and probably will still be doing when you are looking for the evidence of my un-love.

  • I yell at you. More than any of us would like.
  • I feel joy when Daddy offers to take all three of you out for a while. And maybe – just maybe – I express that joy out loud. With jubilance.
  • I don’t make it to every single school event like the Walk-a-Thon or Field Day or Readers Showcase. USUALLY I’m missing one to attend another, but I’ll admit, once in a blue moon, I’m missing one to attend Starbucks.
  • Sometimes when you ask me to play with you, I say Sorry, I can’t because I’m working. Heh heh. And I know that that particular jig will be up soon but so far you’re still buying it, so I’m still selling it.

Side note: When you do start to question my computer work, you should know that these are just a few of things I’m doing on the computer instead of playing our 18th game of War.

      • Researching your summer plans like art camp, lacrosse camp, ice hockey camp, general sports camp, swim lessons, swim camp, all-around sports and swim camp, space camp, music camp, farm camp.
      • Vacation planning: checking out drivable family resorts, dude ranches, amusement parks, houses in the Outer Banks, things to do in the car for twelve hours when you drive to the Outer Banks, legal and safe ways to drug your kids when you need to be in the car for twelve hours.
      • Shopping for clothes that have no tags, no seams, no ruffles, nothing but soft, loose fabric and nothing scratchy whatsoever. Oh and for “sports shorts and sports shirts… because that’s the only things I like,” says the Nibbit.
      • Dealing with official second grade class mom business and preschool politics – field trips and teacher gifts and end-of-the-year parties, oh my.
      • Organizing playdates and buying birthday party presents and more swim goggles.
      • Googling “Swimming Candy Birthday Parties… with Animals.”
      • Sure, it’s possible that I dropped in on Facebook for a minute here and there, but even THAT was to complain brag about you guys!

You get the point. Stop whining about my WORK. It’s important. For all of us.

  • I make you taste foods you KNOW you’ll HATE because they’re DISGUSTING. And then, to make matters worse, I refuse to give you brownie sundaes every single day.
  • I force you to look people in the eye and say, “Hello,” or “Thank you for the ride” or “Thank you for having me to your house for three hours and feeding me a nicer meal than I would have gotten at home.”
  • I get distracted when you’re asking me questions like “How is paper made?” or “Can we play Candyland every day, all the time?” or “Yesterday, when I was born, was it raining?” (all real questions)
  • I encourage you to try new things like riding a two-wheeler or putting your dirty laundry in the laundry basket or sleeping past 6-0-0.
  • I throw away some of your art. A lot of your art. Most of your art. But c’mon, is it really “ART?”
  • I say, “… in a minute!” too often. And then make you wait a tiny bit longer than that.
  • I’m always making you brush your teeth or go to the bathroom or change into clothes or pajamas or clean up your toys or [insert any of the many things I’m currently nagging you about when this becomes relevant].
  • I won’t always play one more game, give five more minutes, sing one more song or stay just a little longer.

OK, is that enough “proof” for you to throw at me? Go ahead, sling it. I’m ready.

But here’s the thing –  you will NEVER be more wrong than the day you think – or yell – that I don’t love you. There isn’t a more wrong sentiment in the world. That’s the absolute wrongest.

No matter how much I nag or how mean I am, regardless of my unfair rules or my embarrassing ways and most importantly, no matter how misunderstood you feel, you should always know that you are LOVED. You are my most important work. Even more important than shopping on Zappos.

You guys, you know I always want you to be happy. But that’s a tricky thing to say because right now, you would say, “Then just give me ice cream everyday!” and in a few years, you’ll say, “Then just trust that I won’t do anything stupid and let me stay out all night!” And so it goes.

I DO want you to be happy but not at the expense of the physical or emotional well-being of yourselves or others. So I’m not always going to give you what you think you need for happiness – a toy, a snack, permission. In fact, I will probably be saying no a LOT for the next 20 years.

But that will NEVER EVER EVER mean that I don’t love you. In fact, it will usually mean quite the opposite. And that is something you will probably not understand until if and when you have a kid of your own.

Because I do love you. No matter what you do. No matter where you go. No matter who you are. 

So go ahead yell “YOU DON’T LOVE ME!” all you want. You will NEVER be more wrong.

xoxo
Mom

PS. This is all true for Dad, too. He’ll probably say “no” even more than I will… but he loves you forever, too.
PPS. It’s likely that I’ve said some of this exact same stuff in past posts or letters to you guys. But this is a message that doesn’t get old. So roll your eyes and say, “Maaaaa! You already told us that like 100 times!” I don’t care. I still love you. See?

 

BIRTHS