Thursday, October 27, 2011

Jekyll or Hyde?

My children case me to feel like I have a split personality almost on a daily basis. How do they manage to inspire feelings of both exasperated stress and amazed pride at the same time??

Especially my middle. Stubborn as a mule. Mouthy as a blue jay when he's mad. But funny as a.... hmmm.... platypus?

It's red ribbon week at school. They are all saying no to drugs and giving the world CPR (Children Practicing Respect) in classrooms and assemblies. They are wearing red, backward clothes ("Turn Your Back on Drugs"), and TODAY was wear a goofy hat to school for "Put a Cap on Drug Use." (Never mind that I can't say it without it wanting to come out as "pop a cap in drug use, Dawg!")

Of course, we are last minute around here. It's how we roll. If we're not late, we are down to the wire with most things. So this morning Calvin sorted through whatever crazy dress up kind of hats we had. He tried everything on, sometimes piling several on top of each other to get a laugh out of all of us and settled on a knit cap that said Merry Christmas. He's a funny kid with a growing sense of ironic humor that I adore.

Tate (not really understanding irony at all), slept in and decided to start making a paper propeller hat almost immediately upon coming downstairs. Could he have possibly MENTIONED to me that he wanted to do this a tad earlier than oh, say, 45 minutes before the bus on the day OF? And, of course, he is yelling at me about every suggestion I make to alter his plans because of the time factor. Could we tape the propeller to a bucket hat? Do you even have an ACTUAL plan as to how the pieces of decorated paper will become a hat? Do you know that this will probably get torn at school and that you're going to have to be SO careful not to wreck it? What a Debbie Downer I am. Practical Polly? No-Nonsense Nelly? Professor Poopypants? This is sort of fun... sorry, where was I? Point is, I was pointing out all the reasons this wasn't going to work and why it was inconvenient for me (in the middle of a wreck of a kitchen, milk spilling out of bowls on the table, 4 boys and crazy girl crammed around into my little living room and kitchen). WHY didn't you tell me sooner that you wanted to do this? You realize you haven't really eaten and you don't have shoes on? On and on. But my Pip is, as mentioned, stubborn as a mule. The more I tried to talk him out of it, the more he dug in his heels. Angry with me for every reason I gave and more and more determined to have JUST what he imagined in his head. (A slight digression: I cannot, for the LIFE of me imagine where on earth...ahem.. he could POSSIBLY get this crazy determination to make things with no instructions and sketchy plans and expect them to turn out exactly as envisioned. (please insert exasperated, slightly embarrassed eye roll here.)

So here is where I get to the amazed and proud part. What he lacks in planning and time management skills (I don't know anyone with that problem either; I don't have a house of dirty dishes and laundry while I sit here typing away at the computer on an unnecessary (but personally fulfilling) task.... Am I convincing ANYONE here?), he makes up for in awesome creativity and an incredible lack of caring what anyone else thinks. So did I help him in the end because we (sort of ) DID have time and because I love him dearly and because **I** know how to make a sloppy paper beanie in 5 minutes with scissors and tape and staples?

Of course I did.

Anyway, I dare any of you to resist this cute little kid.

No really, I dare you. He can actually be quite frightening when he's mad. And adorable. Guess I'm not the only one around here with a split personality.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The (Pinball Brain) Mentalist

Let me tell you that, in my mind, I have been ROCKING the blog world lately. My posts are witty and insightful, my projects are inspiring, my photos? Breathtaking.

Mentally, I have written a post about how we are completely off base as a society with our overuse of rude terms like: idiot, moron, dummy and loser. Why did we stop using "fool." Mr. T had it right man. And while foolishness may sometimes be a derivative of stupidity, it truly needs it's own label as it can exist quite independently from a lack of intelligence. Unfortunately, the computer didn't get my telepathy and there was no time when I got in from raking the lawn.

And speaking of computer assistance, I also had some good material on the new iphone's little Siri and my excitement over her inner-nerd. Do you know that one of her responses to "what is the meaning of life?" is "42."??? Seriously, if you "get" that we need to get together to discuss the deeper meanings of Star Wars and if this new wave of superhero films are truly doing the genre justice.

And, speaking of Star Wars, my boys went all classic up in this joint for Halloween this year. Darth vs. Luke. And, while I am quite certain Tate was mostly interested in Luke for the promised light saber to go with his (highly overpriced) costume, I must admit my excitement for the photo ops. (Yeah, I still take pictures. Occasionally.) If only I could have sold Ellerie on Princess Leia. I was certain "princess" would win her over, but the lack of pink glitter and a crown sort of did the deal in. If I could have roped her, I would TOTALLY have made A & A dress Milo up as Yoda and take him trick or treating with us in spite of his lack of candy teeth and inability to say "trick or treat!"

And, speaking of Halloween, Ms. E would ONLY be a unicorn. She had a vision and she was not about to compromise. Nothing I found pleased her, so we fell back to Mama-made, even though I was uncertain how to proceed. In the end, we went along one feature at a time with some remnant-bin-fabrics and I convinced her she was SILVER, since what she wanted was to be white. I'm rather pleased, actually. Maybe I could make a business out of converting hoodies into costumes??

And, speaking of starting a sewing business..... I really, really want to. I have the vision, but I waiver on the confidence and then bury myself under the reality of how to fit it into my life. Maybe next year? Seems like there are SO many things asking for my time and at least three of those things are VERY DIFFICULT to ignore ;-) The question also remains as to how long one can, in good conscience, go on avoiding things like dishes, dirty floors and showers, dog toenails and personal hygiene in order to pursue a dream that may or may not prove to be anywhere near financially fruitful in spite of being fun as kites.

And, speaking of ignoring children and things that need to be done, I guess I've done enough of that for one day. Off to tackle laundry and write a mental post about why white children's clothing should be illegal and how the knees of all boys' pants should be reinforced with, say, kevlar.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Not To Be Corny, But....

We saw a whole lot of this yesterday.

No, really.

While Grandpa was gone camping, Grandma came and treated us to our first corn maze. It was super hot for October, every row looked the same as the last, and we never really ate lunch. It was still fun!

I couldn't help thinking it was the perfect setting for a murder mystery. We were in there for SO long and still didn't finish the whole thing. We got hot and thirsty and soon the kids were looking for the way out. Still missing half of our clues and dinosaur rubbings, we took a shortcut under the bridge to find some refreshment.

Cal and Grandma were the best at dino fact finding, but it was just too much for little legs. We finished up on Google when we got home.

After drinks we took a second shot at the mini-maze, where Cal managed to collect all five colors and Mama managed to still feel lost.

Ah, the cow train and a chance to sit down. Plus how can one resist a ride with your name on it?

Tate and Calvin rode the train at least five times and there was a little competitive tricycling

and duck races too.

So good to start the week outdoors and sun-soaked and hanging out with my family.

Maybe a little corny, but true.