Thursday, June 30, 2011

Who Makes The Rules Around Here?

We recently received a house-warming package containing some DELICIOUS cookies. The only problem with them was that there were not enough. Matt had most of them gone before the rest of us even had a chance to fight for them (and Matt normally will pass on the sweet stuff!)

To help alleviate the disappointment of my younger boys, and also to create more deliciousness, I asked for the recipe, and yesterday, the big boys and I whipped up a batch of our own.

As we were busy crumbling graham crackers up, Ben felt the need to speak his mind on the whole "dad ate most of the cookies and mom finished them off while we were in bed and it's not fair" issue. He came up with a very sensible rule of his own regarding cookies:

"Mom, can I make a rule here? I think when someone gives you a cookie, you may always eat it. But when there are kids asleep who want to eat the cookies the next day, you can't just eat them all up! "

I'm not sure why I got blamed for the vanishing cookies, when Matt ate most of them (probably because the boys know me well and it sounds like something I would do...) but it sounds like a pretty sensible rule. I can only promise to try though...

Monday, June 27, 2011

No Girls Allowed!

Now when Ben makes a sign that says, "No Girls Allowed," and I am the only girl he knows right now, who is he trying to keep out, I ask?

Ben made a "Boy's Club" yesterday, complete with a sign hanging on it. After hanging it, he had to run back to the house to make one more sign. When I went out to check out what they were up to, I was forced to stop a few feet away. The sign said "No Girls Allowed" and I was getting a little too close. Can't I read??

After some frustrated shouting across the lawn at each other, Ben from his club, me from my patio (where girls like it better anyways,) he decided he had better make a few amendments to his "no girls" rule.

The new rule is "No Girls Allowed... Unless..."
1. you are coming to push us on the swings
2. you are serving us food
3. I need to show you something
4. Jack is here and bugging us

Well, what good is this rule anyways? "No Girls Allowed" has always made me smile, first because he actually really likes playing with some girls and I have no idea where he comes up with these things, and second, because it is basically a statement from them saying "we'd like to play all by ourselves for a bit, mom. You go somewhere else!" These exceptions to the rule take all the fun out of it for me...

What I need to do is make a sign today saying "No Boys Allowed... Unless..."
1. you are coming to tell me how pretty I look
2. you are bringing me coffee
3. daddy is with you, home early from work to surprise us all
4. you've come to let me know that the dishes are now done, you've fed yourselves a healthy snack, and are now going to find something to amuse yourselves
5. you are coming to get Jack from me
6. you've been in your "Boy's Club" too long and I miss you!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Rip Claw!

Ben has outgrown his bike. Normally, we save gifts like bikes for special occasions like birthdays, but yesterday, his bike actually broke. That is special occasion enough for me!

Ben's new bike is much bigger, much cooler, much more fun, and, most importantly, not broken down! He loves that it is bright orange, but I think his favorite feature is it's name: Rip Claw!

Where people come up with these names, I don't know, but they are clearly in tune with what a 6 year old boy likes. Our driveway is on a slight downhill and Ben keeps roaring down the driveway, yelling "Watch out! Here comes Rip Claw!!"

He doesn't talk about his bike. He talks about Rip Claw, as in "Mom, I'm going out to ride Rip Claw for a while!"

One of the things I love about Ben is that he always shows the appropriate amount of enthusiasm. He is so fun to give gifts to and so appreciative of everything we give him from old cell phones to brand new bikes.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sharp Dressed Man

Mitchell has really been enjoying helping me pack this time around. I think what he loves most are the treasures we uncover. His top finds so far are an old day planner/calendar of mine with plenty of pockets, a heavy duty watch box, a sleep mask from an airplane, a shoe box, an old stop watch, and, best of all, Ben's old tuxedo.

We got Ben a tuxedo a couple years ago to wear in a wedding, but he only wore it that once. It has been hanging up in a zippered bag ever since then. Well, as I was packing clothes out of the closet, Mitchell spied that funny-looking bag hanging up and, of course, had to know about it. When I took it down and unzipped it, planning on showing it to him, then packing it right back up again, his eyes got wide and he just had to try it on!

Well, what do you know, it fits him perfectly! He got that bad boy on, all 5 pieces to it, and has not willingly taken it off since. He pretends to be a man going to work and shows it off to everyone he sees. He wore it to school the next day and walked around before drop off showing it off to anyone who would notice and listen. One of my friends there even thought he was so handsome, she took a picture of him! He kept it on when he got home and rode his bike to Starbucks in it. He wore it to the grocery store. He wore it to the park. Boy, was it funny watching a little boy riding his bike down the street in a tuxedo...

He wanted to wear it to bed, even, but I had to say "no." Well, I didn't think to warn the babysitter about his new treasure a couple nights ago, and when I got home, I found Mitchell wearing all 5 pieces of it, snuggled up in his bed!

Last night, as we were putting jammies on after bath, he started searching all over the room for it (I had put it away somewhere else, hoping he might forget about it if it was out of sight). After a minute or so of searching, he marched up to me, hands on his hips, and said, "Mom! What did you do with my mosquito?!"

Ben and I burst into laughter, and when Ben pointed out his mistake, Mitchell thought it was HILARIOUS and wouldn't stop laughing!

He did fall asleep, and not in his mosquito/tuxedo, but he kept it laid out close by so that he could keep an eye on it. He doesn't trust me...

Friday, June 10, 2011

Some Last Minute Thoughts

After all the kisses and all the silly sayings and bedtime rituals last night, the much argued over music selection was playing, but Ben had just one last thought as I was backing out the door:

"Hey mom, know how I know that I'm really into music right now? Because I know every song and I know all the words and I can sing along with all of them! Even when they aren't on, they get stuck in my head and I am singing them all the time! I just really like music..."

The last thing I heard as I was finally shutting the door was Mitchell mumbling, "Oh yeah? Well, I'm really into skeletons and I know everything about them!"

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Laying Down The Law

Do you have seasons in yours and your families lives where things get... well, a bit more relaxed and even lazy? My boys are fairly well-disciplined and quite well behaved in most cases. Matt and I both try hard to teach them proper behavior and attitudes, but sometimes, I find our hard work slipping away from us. It happens so slowly that I don't even notice it until I suddenly feel like Ben is questioning my every request and Mitchell is "forgetting" all the rules.

The only thing I can think of to explain this phenominon is that I get lazy. I forget that training and teaching is a daily and constant and ongoing process. I can't teach them something, make sure they have it down, then forget about it. I have tried that (unintentionally, of course) and they will and do forget.

The selfish and tired part of me wants to not take anything too seriously and fall back on the fact that my kids are great and we have no real problems with their behavior. Things run pretty smoothly around here amidst the chaos. It is that attitude though, that creates a snowball effect of bad behavior.

Just yesterday, I finally realized what I have allowed to happen and decided to lay down the law. Poor Mitchell had no idea what was coming to him! I made my decisions as to what was important, spelled out the expectations, even gave fair warning, then took no prisoners when it came to enforcing!

Before you feel too sorry for the boys though, let me tell you what Mitchell said to me at night as I tucked him in: "I sure got in lotsa trouble today! I better stop being such a rascal! I won't play with the plugs and outlets anymore!" Ben, always listening in, chimed in, "Yeah, and I better not crash my scooter into the walls anymore!"

For Mitchell, my little rule breaker, it is about being a better listener and realizing consequences. For Ben, my little rule maker, it is all about attitude. For all of us, it is about consistency and not letting things slide. It's a lot easier on all of us that way.

They get it. The problem isn't with them. It is with lazy and too-comfortable mom. Watch out, boys! Mom is in "sheriff mode!"

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Quit Being Such A Baby!

Summer is suddenly here, and with hot summer sun comes the dreaded sunscreen, unfortunately. I actually got busted by the boys' pediatrician last week when on our very first hot and sunny day of the year, she asked Ben if his mom puts sunscreen on him when he plays outside, to which he answered, "No! We don't use sunscreen!" I had to interrupt to explain that we do actually use sunscreen, just hadn't gotten it out for the summer yet.

Sunscreen... yuck! Slimy and smelly and always a pain. Yesterday, as I was spraying my kids down with it, they started whining about how it was getting in their eyes. They were making quite a big deal about how painful it was, like there is any easy way to get sunscreen on three wiggly boys. I told them to knock it off and quit being such babies. It's just a little sunscreen!

Well, it was already very sunny and hot out first thing in the morning, so I smeared some of the yucky stuff all over my face before I went for my run. Not 5 minutes into my run, I was already sweating from the heat and the sunscreen began running into my eyes. Yowzers! I was wiping and rubbing my eyes the rest of my run! It actually does hurt and I had tears running down my face from how much my eyes were watering! Who's the baby now?

I am going to have to be more purposeful about using the tear free stuff on our faces from now on.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Get All Wetty!

My boys have a favorite game they play anytime we have a warm rain: "Get all wetty!" You have to say it with a sing-songy voice and shout, "Get all wetty, get all wetty, get all wetty!" while dancing around half naked in the downpour.

It was a beautiful day this afternoon, but we couldn't get outside to enjoy it until Jack woke up from his nap. Well, about 10 minutes before Jack woke up, it suddenly began to pour! We had thunder and lightening and some serious rain. Of course. Right when we were planning on heading outside, this happens.

No matter. My boys love the rain in springtime. They love any chance to strip down, get out the umbrellas and dance around while getting soaked. They even involved a hose because the rain wasn't quite enough.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Uh Oh!

Jack is a constant stream of babble, especially in the car. I remember loving this stage when Ben was in it - right before real words replace all of their made up words in the shape of conversation. It is just the cutest part of this age and I love to listen to it.

There is one word I hear from the back seat quite a bit that is never a good sign though: "Uh oh!" (I realize that is not technically a word...)

"Uh oh" can symbolize many things gone wrong from car seat unbuckled to shoe coming off. It can mean his hat is down over his eyes or that he dumped all his goldfish. It might mean his water is gone or that he simply dropped his toy. But today, I am glad there were no cars directly next to us as we were stopped at a light. Today, "uh oh" meant "Oh no, Mom! I just lost my big rock! I chucked it out my open window and don't have it anymore! Let's stop and get it!"

Can you imagine if there had been a car next to us? Uh oh, indeed!


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