Monday, April 30, 2012

War Paint

As I was getting dinner ready this evening, the boys began to trickle down from their upstairs activities.  First came Ben, then Mitchell, then... well... that was it.  Jack never trickled.

After a while, my curiosity got the better of me (plus it was time for dinner), so I went up to investigate.  I found him in my bathroom.  alone. Never a good sign.


I found him with two tubes of mascara, globby wand in each hand, brushing his hair and painting his face like war paint.  He grinned at me and said, "Look mom!  It's pretty like you!"

We let him wear it for dinner.  Nothing like giggling boys to make dinner stretch on even longer, but it was worth it.  He is a stinker... but hilarious.

Monday, April 16, 2012


My boys are on to me.

I can't get away with anything anymore!

When I go up to get Jack up from nap time, he gives a sniff and says, "I need some cashews too!"

When I am downstairs working on dinner (and snacking on thin mints...), then go up to get the boys for dinner, Mitchell will say, "Hey! I smell cookies! Are we having cookies for dinner?"

If I have a beer before dinner while Ben and I are doing homework, he will look up and say, "You kinda smell like daddy, mom..."

I'm going to have to step up my stealth game here if I am going to be able to eat cookies whenever I want or eat cashews without sharing...

Friday, April 13, 2012


Mitchell is not usually one to show emotion. It takes quite a bit to make him cry. He isn't overtly loving or quick to kiss or hug. He plays it cool... aloof... He's way too cool for his age...

But there is one thing that always gives Mitchell away: when he is happy and content, he skips.

When I drop him off for school in the morning, he doesn't want to give me a kiss goodbye or even give me a hug. He rarely even gives a second glance back at me. If I wasn't watching, I'd think he didn't care if I was ever coming back. But I watch him walk up the walk to the gate, see his friends waiting inside, and he stops walking and starts skipping. I know he is comfortable, secure, and excited.

When I watch him playing in the yard and he is really doing his thing, he skips from one place to another. He skips from the hose to the rope swing, then skips over to the slide to pour his bucket of water down it.

He even skips around the park after school with his friends. While they are walking or running, he is skipping.

I know he is having a tough day when he doesn't skip at all.

A tough kid for me to read at the best of times, I fully appreciate Mitchell's skip as a clue to how he is feeling. I love that skip...

The Troubles Of A Two-Year-Old

My boys have a pretty amazing lives. Unless I am seriously missing something, they are not lacking in many areas of life. Although we allow them to be boys - adventurous, messy, a little crazy, sometimes loud, and even almost dangerous at times, we provide everything they need and love and care for them with all we've got. Their lives are secure.

Despite this security, unconditional love, and comfort in life, they still have their own brand of troubles. Ben hates confrontation. He hates it when someone - anyone - is unhappy or upset. He is a secret perfectionist: doesn't, at first glance, seem terribly competitive, but is very tough on himself in reality.

Mitchell hates sharing food. If I take a bite of an apple, he won't come near it. If I take a pretzel out of his bag, he will pass on snack time. He loves physical attention and hugs and snuggles, but prefers not to be kissed. Even knowing this, I kiss him when I just can't help it. After every kiss, he wipes it off. He hates the idea of slobber, even when it is the driest kiss I can manage.

Jack, being the hilarious age he is, has the funniest troubles in life. Boogers. Jack cannot abide "boogies" Every morning, when I get him out of bed, he at some point rubs his nose, feels the crusties inside, and panics. "Mom! I have boogies! Get my boogies!" Try as I may, I cannot convince my youngest child to pick his own nose. This leaves me literally picking Jack's nose for him not just every morning, but multiple times throughout the day.

He also can't stand his socks being "crooked." I am not sure what this actually means, but often, I just don't quite put his sock on correctly, and his whole world falls apart. Until I tug and pull and twist and shift that sock sufficiently, life is unbearable.

One more thing he hates (and this is my favorite) is when his shirt gets shifted up at all. If we are playing or wrestling or... doing anything really and his shirt happens to come up above his belly button... oh man... STOP EVERYTHING! "Oh no!!! My belly is stickin' out!" He just hates his belly to show...

I may feel I have trouble in life, but at least I can pick my own nose, have no sock issues and my shirt isn't constantly ridin' up. Perspective...

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Ugly Doll Play Dates

My boys love each other. I'll admit, sometimes they fight. Sometimes they just can't seem to pull it together and love each other. Sometimes the tattling gets out of control. I occasionally have to separate them to remind them how much nicer it is to be together than apart.

But they always beg to be let out of isolation to get back to each other. They are best buddies, whether they admit it or not.

One evidence of their love of each other and bond they share despite anything that may have happened between them is how excited they are to share a bedroom and bunkbeds. Even years after they began sharing a room, they still get a kick out of it. Every night, after lights are out and mom and dad have said goodnight, they invent fun together. They just can't seem to get enough of silliness and fun at this time.

One of their favorite after bedtime games is called "Ugly Doll Play Date." If you are not familiar with Ugly Dolls, they are simply monster stuffed animals and my boys love them. They each have a few of them. They love to gather them up at night, climb up into the top bunk, and set up some sort of organized play date. I never stick around to find out exactly what goes on in these play dates, but I come in to break it up at some point and they are always in full swing with no intention of slowing down.

What an amazing thing to have a built in best friend who is with you no matter where you go or what your family does. As they grow up, they will have many opportunities to grow apart. It is one of my hearts deepest desires to see them only grow closer together in their brotherly bond (although, at some point, I suppose I hope they aren't still having Ugly Doll play dates...)

A Little Perspective

Jack is so stinkin' cute. The way he talks is just so funny and unique! He's got far more imagination and vocabulary than I feel any 2 year old should have! He cracks us up with something he says every single day.

Dozens of times a day, I hear Ben say something like "Oh mom, I love it when Jack says..." or "Isn't it funny how Jack always makes that same silly face every time he says...?" or "Did you hear how he said...?"

He has regular silly faces, he has way too much attitude, he can sing songs, and he charms the socks off everyone around him even when he is being a naughty little stinker.

Right now, he is in a phase where he likes to call his favorite gals "princesses." For a while, he thought "princess" was the same word as "girl" and used it accordingly, but now he saves the title for special times. Like yesterday. We were sitting around the living room, eating some licorice when he climbed up on me and said, "Mom, you're a princess!" Then he paused, looked at his licorice, and said, "But THIS is really a princess!"

So I got upstaged by a piece of licorice... Everyone needs a little perspective sometimes I guess.


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