Fly me to the moon

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Cliffy may not talk much. But if our exchanges are any indication of what’s to come, I can humbly concede: Me thinks I see trouble.

No. It's the moon.

“Look at the sun,” says I.

“No. It’s the moon.,” says he.

“No, honey, it’s the sun,” corrects I.

“No. It’s the moon,” insists he.

This goes on and on. And the sun is always the moon. Thankfully the moon is also the moon. So, the glass is half full.

And, as I have often expressed here, this non-speaking two-year-old boy has some wicked hand-eye skills. His most recent exhibition is in his ability to catch flies. Yes. In flight. Don’t rush and call Mr. Miyagi. He’s not doing it with chopsticks. Yet.

He presents me with the dead Diptera, and I say, “Oh, you caught a fly.”

“No, it’s a bee.”

“It’s a fly.”

“No. It’s a bee.”

“A fly.”

“No. A bee.”

Yesterday, when he came upon a hornets’ nest, he eagerly approached to catch that bee, but the “bee” caught him. Twice. In the face.

And boy was he was howling. At the noon day … moon.

(And yes, I refrained from saying, “Now THAT’s a bee!”)

Mom mix a lot

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I made martinis using these.

Multi taskers

Don’t worry, I rinsed out the thermos before I give it back to the kids.

I think.

And since the cupboards are bare with regard to the breast milk, those little storage bottle things are handy.

And no, that’s not booze in the background. It’s olive oil. Sheesh.

Small successes

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Here are my Thursday Small Successes, linked to Chocolate for Your Brain. Drum roll, please?

  • I managed to make it through my five-year-old daughter’s birthday today only crying twice. First at church with her in the morning. And second, watching her get her portraits taken. Not too bad. Once I cried at mass, I thought I was going to be done for. She’s gotten so big. So fast. But I kept it together.
  • I actually planned ahead to wash and vacuum the van at the coin op car wash right after the kids had swim team practice. They were already dressed to help with the job. And enjoyed it. Thoroughly.
  • I got a regular, steady-ish, part-time writing gig. (Steady for freelance writing.)  And it involves the kids. Nice. Excited. A prayer or two or 20 is always welcomed.

An extra dry martini

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Lillian wasn’t thrilled about swim lessons. She spent the two days prior to the first lesson not-so-subtly lobbying for a stay in the sentence. It went something like this:

“I’m not going to swimming lessons.”

“Yes you are.”

“No. I. am. not.”

“Yes. you. are.”

“Well. I won’t put my face in the water.” Repeat. Repeat, again. And again.

Monday came. Coaxing got her there. Upon arrival, we discovered her teacher was my niece’s boyfriend, Billy. That got her to stay.

I watched through the fence. She laughed. She cried. She laughed again. She cried again. She climbed on him. She climbed out of the pool. True to her word, she did not put her face in the water. Day one. Down.

Later in the afternoon, while picking up her room, I mentioned that her blue bathing suit was clean, so she could wear it tomorrow.

“What’s tomorrow?” She inquired, with a suspicious head tilt.

“Swimming lessons.” I cautiously responded.

“What? I have to do that AGAIN?”

Apparently, I failed to mention that it was a two-week commitment.

“Yes. You do.”

She spent the entire day declaring that she was not going. She had gone. She was done. Time served. And that was that.

The next day, she was up and fully clothed at 6 a.m. I think in an effort to distract me from the lessons. At 9 o’clock, I started the cajoling. Which quickly moved to bribery. Hey. I’m not above it. There are certain things that require a little nudge. I wanted her to go willingly. And she needs to learn how to swim.

“We can stop at Johnny B’s and get a cookie.” I said. “One of those pretty flower cookies. Or a sunburst. What do you think?” The idea of one of those fancy frosted cookies was apparently just enticing enough to get the suit on and get her to van.

When we walked into the shop, she pointed to a tray of star cookies and said, “I want two stars.” Now, not to be manipulated by a four-year-old, I reminded her that I said she could have one cookie. Sticking to my guns. After all, I’m not a complete sucker.

She carefully examined the treasures behind the sparkling clean glass. Then pointed to her choice.

“I want the cookie shaped like a wine glass.” And there it was. A very large cookie in the shape of a martini glass. It was frosted to every edge in smooth and shiny lavender sugary goodness. Yikes. With the hopes of diverting her attention from the giant cookie, I showed her the flower cookies. The sunbursts. The graduation caps, even.

“No. You said I could have one cookie. That’s the cookie I want. The wine glass.”

The lady behind the counter looked at me, “Smart kid.” Mmm Hmm. Don’t I know. And stupid mommy. (I kept that part to myself.)

Needless to say, I got her the martini. She consumed the whole thing on the way to swim class. Between bites, she repeatedly reminded me that I needed to tell Billy that she wasn’t putting her face in the water. And that she wasn’t staying, unless I spoke with him.

Make mine extra dry

We arrived. I spread out her Little Mermaid towel. Kissed her on the head and started to move toward the parental quarantine zone. She quickly grabbed a two-armed hold of my leg, stopping me in my tracks. She looked up at me with those sweet yet demanding blue eyes, smiled while she said behind slighted clenched teeth. “You are NOT going until you have that CONVERSATION with Billy.” And I knew she had me. Again.

I dragged her clinging body the two steps to Billy, told him that she wasn’t going to put her face in the water. He said okay. Then he smiled at her at told her that she was going to need to put her face in when she was ready to learn to swim. But he wouldn’t make her do it. And that was enough. I was released from the death grip. She happily went to lessons, and eventually the feeling returned to my left leg.

She ended up having a great lesson that day and willingly went the next morning. (Not without unsuccessfully trying to swindle a cookie out of me.) She enjoyed the remaining lessons, and eagerly went every day. And the thing about not getting her face wet seemed short-lived. After all, you can’t jump off a diving board without getting your face wet.

The lessons? If you’re afraid to get your face wet, it’s not so bad starting the day with an extra dry martini. That, and every single parenting technique you use will someday (much sooner than you think) be used on you.

An eye for an eye

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Or a lizard for a Guy.

Guy is Lillian’s most prized lovely. He’s a soft blanket square with a giraffe head that makes a little rattle noise. I’ll admit, for three years, I thought it was a cow head. Anyway. We have two. We used to have three. I’m just thankful we still have two. No guy? No sleep. You get the picture.

The lizard is a newly acquired Target clearance special. A $1.49 of stretchy, rubbery bliss for Cliffy. I bought it, along with a few dinosaurs, so he could take some fun toys to our park’s baby pool. I am hoping they’ll keep his interest so he’ll refrain from snatching, then hoarding, every other child’s play things.

For whatever reason, Lillian has taken a shine to the lizard. So much so, that I catch her hiding it in her bed. Holding it under her dress. Keeping it tucked safely around her bowl of cereal. All while carefully trying to keep it from Cliff’s view. When he does see it … mayhem.

Today, I watched my two-year-old son, who doesn’t communicate with words, send a very clear message to his five-year-old sister.

With Guy in his hands, he ran to where Lil was secretly playing with his lizard. He dangled Guy right in front of her face, did an about-face, and took off. He clutched Guy in a football hold to his chest. Needless to say, Miss Lil screamed in absolute horror. Stashed the lizard, sprang up, and gave chase.

After screaming and negotiations, she eventually gave up the lizard. But not without dramatically demonstrating her pain of separation from Guy.

“Cliffy will NEVER give me Guy! I’ll NEVER forgive him!” There was a’ weepin’ a’ wailin’ for sure.

When the kids made the swap, they both gave a “hmph” of relief.

Who knew holding someone hostage was a natural human instinct?

No, you can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
And if you try sometime you find
You get what you need –Rolling Stones

Stretchy bliss

Life and limb

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Okay, it’s true. When my daughter went off to college in the fall, it was challenging. As a mother, I felt as if I were losing a limb. Having it ripped right off my body.

Oh and did I rejoice when she came back this spring? You bet. It was almost as if–through the miracle of modern medicine–I had that beautiful limb sewn right back on. But as time has gone by, I’ve realized it doesn’t work as well as it used to. I can’t as easily get it to do what I want, and it seems to fall asleep a lot.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still just pleased as punch just to have it back.

She's not the only one who needs a little more sleep.

To blog or not to blog?

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Actually, that’s not a question I’m asking.

I just haven’t been because there’s been so much on my plate. End of school stuff. Work I actually get paid for. Children who need my care. Swim team and baseball. A Vacation Bible School program to run. And, some people I love have been suffering. Frankly, my little stories just seemed somewhat inconsequential to the big stuff of life. But I was gently reminded the other day that they also give a little hope. An occasional smile. So I need to keep it up. And I will. Thanks for your patience. XO