Thursday, May 29, 2014

Big E: Future Surgeon General of America

This afternoon the boys were out front drawing an intricate five alarm hotel fire chalk landscape on our driveway.

Our new neighbors are replacing all their flooring and there has been a man out front working hard on it all week.  And he is a smoker.

He came over to ask if it was ok if he moved his truck back a little even if it blocked a portion of our driveway.  We were in for the night, so it was fine.

His cigarette was dangling from his lips.  Begging for a comment.

Big E's eyes widened like saucers.  I could see his brain cranking and I knew immediately what would happen next.  Big E whispered to me about the smoking man, and I tried my best to convey the throat slash sign with my glare.

But who am I kidding?  We all know how this ends.

Big E: SMOKING IS A BAD HABIT.

Poor, unsuspecting flooring guy: I KNOW.

Big E: THEN WHY DO YOU DO IT?

Poor, unsuspecting flooring guy: I'VE JUST BEEN DOING IT FOR SO LONG...

Big E: I THINK YOU SHOULD STOP.

I looked feverishly for a rock to climb under.  Why don't we have a tornado shelter?!

The man laughed and walked away.  I floated a half-hearted apology to him.

Big E has seen people smoking before and I always make a HUGE deal about how it is a disgusting, horrible habit that will definitely kill you.

So he HAS been listening...

I thing Big E's pep talk was way more effective than any label on the box.

The Yoys: Train Robbers

A few weeks back, Little E acquired his first piggy bank.  In the shape of a train. It combined two of his most favorite things in the world: trains and money.

He happily drops pennies into the slot and shakes his loot.  It is clear, so I can see all the change and a random dollar bill.  According to Little E, he is saving up for the giant swing set on display at Costco.  Dream big, little buddy.

Today is show and share day at school.  Little E was adamant that he take his train piggy bank.  I didn't think it was his best idea as I could see the bottom coming unscrewed and the aftermath of 18 kids jumping on about $3.43 in pennies.  Mayhem.

I redirected him to a magnifying glass.  And that was an acceptable replacement for Little E.

He handed over his piggy bank.

Wait a dang minute!

LITTLE E, WHY IS THERE A $20 BILL JAMMED IN THERE?

He nonchalantly mentioned that Big E had gone into my wallet and taken it.

Sweet.  My five year old is already stealing $20s from me.  I didn't think that happened until way later.

I guess it's time to lock up my purse.  And maybe also the peanut butter.







Monday, May 26, 2014

Drugs: They're What's For Dinner

Bedtime.  

What was once an efficient, assembly line process, had spiraled out of control. The Yoys' 7PM bedtime had crept later and later.  I was still putting them into their beds around 7PM, but without the help of their jails, I mean cribs, I was retucking Big E in 10-12 times a night.

Some nights I surrendered and allowed Big E to stay in his room with the lights on.  But this began happening four nights a week and he wasn't settling down until 10PM.  In the morning, I had to peel him out of bed.  Or I sang my best Rise and Shine rendition.  It just didn't make sense.  Big E clearly needed more sleep, but at the end of the day, he couldn't find his way to dreamland.

I tried many tricks.  Black out curtains, three hour jaunts to the playground after school, soothing bedtime music.  Nothing could tire him out.

I spoke with his pediatrician and she recommended melatonin.  I read up on it, but was reluctant to "drug" him.

Last Sunday I gave in.  He overheard Mr. Yoy and I talking about the sleep medicine and he objected to taking anything that interfered with his nightly bedroom rager.

I reframed them as "peppermint candy" that contained fluoride, a medicine that would help prevent cavities, and he was on board.

So it's been a week.  Big E has gone to bed every night around 7:30.  Tonight, even a little earlier than that (thank you YMCA pool!).  He has not once emerged from his room with any of the following issues:

1) I'm hungry.
2) I need to understand physics right now.  
3) My leg hurts.
4) I have to go to the bathroom.
5) My nightlite is forming an eyeball on the ceiling.
6) My mind keeps thinking of things.
7) You didn't tell me you love me.
8) I'm waiting up for Mr. Yoy.
9) Please explain our solar system.

That is just the abridged version of the bedtime stall list.

I'm going to try it for a month and then stop giving it to him every night. Hopefully his sleep rhythms will have returned to normal.

Now what to do with the next 3.5 hours before bedtime?


Monday, May 19, 2014

Mr. Yoy: Say WHAT?

In the deep, dark shadows of the night, Mr. Yoy and I were snoring away.

I was laid out on my belly.

I thought I felt something on my arm.  It was very light, like a feather, or a wisp of hair.  But maybe I didn't feel anything.  It was such a fleeting feeling.

I opened my eyes and slowly swung my head to face the side of the bed.

What I thought I saw.

I let out this loud, grasping for air, scared as sh*t sound.  In the light of day, I could not recreate this sound if I tried.

Mr. Yoy popped straight up in bed and began yelling.

WHAT? WHAT? WHAT? WHAT?

Alas, it was just Big E.  He had had a nightmare.

Mr. Yoy chastised me for overreacting.

DO YOU REALLY THINK SOMEONE SNUCK PAST ALL OUR SECURITY MEASURES AND ENDED UP STANDING QUIETLY NEXT TO YOUR BED?

But I stand by my reaction.  I usually hear my kids' feet pitter-pattering down the hallway.  Last night I heard nothing.  I was dead to the world.  Maybe I'm the zombie.


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Little E: So He Had A Bad Day

Yesterday's theme song for Little E was the American Idol anthem from a million seasons back, Bad Day by Daniel Powter.

The morning started off strong.  Sweet Potato muffins and a smoothie.  We played outside and Little E even got a cool new Melissa and Doug toy.  He went on and on about how he was going to take it on the plane with him to Tahoe.

I dropped Mr. Yoy off at his office with the intention of picking him up before we headed to Chastain for the Willie Nelson concert and the Yoys and I headed home.  Cue ominous music now.

The boys played nicely for about an hour.  I even got a workout in.

Then they began to get wild.  I suggested multiple times to go outside.  We have bubbles!  We have chalk!  What more could a little boy want?

My idea was enthusiastically panned and instead the boys grabbed their toy binoculars, compass, and telescope and went on an "adventure".  I think this included exploring the laundry room, because let's face it, this kids know zero when it comes to folding their sh*t.

I watched in amusement as they ran back and forth amongst the upstairs room on their adventure.  I wish I had their creativity.  My serene moment was interrupted with a smack and a high shrill scream.  I ran into Little E's bedroom.

Blood.  Pouring from both nostrils.

Big E immediately went on the defensive.

LITTLE E SMASHED HIS FACE INTO THE BROWN PART OF HIS BED!  (that would be the soft leathery part, by the way!)

I wasn't buying it.  So I asked Little E what happened.

BIG E HIT ME IN THE FACE WITH THE BINOCULARS.

So there was the truth.  I sent Big E to his bedroom while I brought Little E to the bathroom to clean him up.  His nose stopped bleeding and when he began to smash his face into the ice pack, I knew that his nose was fine.

Big E took this opportunity to shout medical advice from his bedroom.

I sat them down and told them to put a kabash on the rough housing for the day.

And because no one ever listens to their mother, it ramped up again about thirty minutes later.

I was sitting in the chair in my bedroom, putting on my shoes for the concert, when Little E came sprinting into my room with Big E hot on his tail.

Little E's Fred Flintstone feed just couldn't keep up with the demanding pace and he tripped and did a header into the footboard of our bed.  And I had a front row seat.

The sound.  The screams.  It will haunt me until my last days.

I ran over and picked Little E up.


He had a gash.  I'm not a professional, but this looked more serious than an average scrape.  I felt like I could see into his brain.

Once my babysitter arrived, I grabbed Little E, picked up Mr. Yoy and headed to urgent care.  I recounted the story of Little E's bad day to the doctor and nurses. I was worried they'd think I was some raging animal and had done this to my baby.  This was the work of an older brother.



The doctor decided against stitches (thank goodness!) and opted to glue him back together.  Like Humpty Dumpty.


Little E is still sleeping so I haven't been able to assess the wound this morning.

I'm hoping for a much better and less eventful day.


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Big E: That Booty DOES Need Explaining

My kids are all about some pop radio.  As am I.  So we jam along in the car to a variety of today's hits.  Now I sound like a DJ.

Today we were driving around when Jason Derulo's Talk Dirty to Me came on.

MOM, IS THE NAME OF THIS SONG TALK THIRTY-TWO? (say it aloud)

Oy.  Big E is really listening to the lyrics and trying to find a deeper meaning.

UM, YES.

I wasn't about to try and discuss the meaning of this provocative song.  I quickly changed the station.

DOES HE NAME HIS TALKS WITH PEOPLE?  FIRST IT WAS TALK ONE, THEN TALK TWO, THEN TALK THREE?

I bit my lip and tried to suppress a laugh.  My body was shaking with giggles.

YEP, HE NAMES HIS TALKS!  YOU GOT IT!

Lawdy.  Have I been relegated to Kidz Bop only in the car?

Please say no.

You can find me here, in hell.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Hey!

BOYS, PLEASE GO TO THE BATHROOM AND BRUSH YOUR TEETH.

BOYS, PLEASE GO TO THE BATHROOM AND BRUSH YOUR TEETH.

BOYS, PLEASE GO TO THE BATHROOM AND BRUSH YOUR TEETH.

BOYS, PLEASE GO TO THE BATHROOM AND BRUSH YOUR TEETH.

BOYS, PLEASE GO TO THE BATHROOM AND BRUSH YOUR TEETH.

BOYS, PLEASE GO TO THE BATHROOM AND BRUSH YOUR TEETH.

Six times.  And I said please. Big E didn't budge from his spot on the floor and Little E remained precariously balanced on the edge of the ottoman like he was preparing for an Olympic dive.  Neither one acknowledged that they actually heard or saw me.  Was I a ghost?  Was I Bruce Willis?

I want to be the non-yelling, calm mom.  I really do.  I don't want to nag my sons to the point that they leave for college and never return.  Or call.  Or acknowledge we are related.

But instead I lost my sh*t.  It was the end of the day.  As usual, I was exhausted and wanted to get the boys down so I could finish my chores and go to bed.

So I yelled.

HEY!

Super loud and fast.  Both boys levitated from their spots.

MOMMY, YOU SCARED ME!

Little E went running to the bathroom like he was on fire, nervously laughing while keeping his eye on the forever unstable Mrs. Yoy.

I WAS JUST CONDUCTING A HEARING CHECK.  I GUESS YOU GUYS CAN STILL HEAR.




Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

Today I observed my 6th Mother's Day as a mother.

Last Mother's Day, Aunt Yoy and I somehow convinced our husbands to send us to the spa at the Ritz Carlton for the afternoon.  And they did!  And it was marvelous.  Chardonnay.  Trashy mags. Massages.  The holy trinity for Mrs. Yoy.

However could I top last year?

Mother's Day 2014 started strong.  The boys cooperated and we were able to get some amazing family pictures.  We enjoyed the insanely delicious brunch buffet at Local 3.  I took it easy on the sweets and left there not feeling like I had to pull out the one pair of maternity jeans I keep hidden in the back of my closet. Shh. Don't tell.

We headed to the playground where the Yoys and their cousins played/attempted murder for about an hour.  Things began deteriorating, so we headed to the car.

I HAVE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM!

Little E's shrill bathroom alarm went off.  Well, sh*t.  We were nowhere near a toilet.  I looked around to see if anyone was watching and then he dropped his little blue chino shorts.

I HAVE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM, TOO!

So while Little E is going, Big E pulls down his little blue chino shorts mere feet away and began to pee.  Except he felt the need to cross streams with Little E. And because he has terrible aim, he peed on my dress. Awesome.  I half laughed/half cried.  But there was no time for emotion as I smelled something awful.  And it wasn't me.

At first I thought Little E was also pooping, but instead, it was the dog poop he had stepped in.

I took a deep breath.  And walked away.

After my mommy time-out, I stripped Little E of his shoes, socks, and pants.  He had also been peed on.

We made it home where the Yoysers and their cousins played hard for three hours.

They went to bed with no objection, which I greatly appreciated.

Until I came downstairs.  And saw this.


I think they attempted to spell out Happy Mother's Day in toy piles.



Monday, May 5, 2014

Mrs. Yoy: The Book Thief

Last night was a late night for the Yoys.  Big E took a nap on the way home from his soccer "game" and with that, my fate was sealed.  I partially blame Mr. Yoy for allowing him to nap on his watch.  I guess he doesn't know the umbrella poke while driving trick.

I dozed off around 11pm.  Big E, who had been in and out of his bedroom all night, came in to ask me something and scared the living daylights out of me.  I was on edge as Mr. Yoy was out of town for work and I was just waiting around to be murdered.

I mumbled something to Big E and told him he could stay up all night, but just stay in his room.

Only in the light of day was I able to see the damage to his bedroom.  It was like a book bomb went off in there.  Big E has a giant canvas bin in his bedroom filled with books.  Or at least he use to have one.

I asked him repeatedly today to go to his room and put all of his books away.  I feel like it was a very specific request and something that would take maybe ten minutes to knockout.

Big E was filled to the brim with excuses.

LITTLE E DID IT! (Thanks for lying straight to my face.)

THE BIN JUST TIPPED OVER.  I DIDN'T DO IT.

MY ARMS HURT, YOU HAVE TO DO IT.

I snuck upstairs before bath time and DID do it.  And then I hoisted up all four hundred pounds of books and locked them away in a closet.  I found a faint sense of satisfaction knowing I wouldn't have to read that damn Chick-fil-A Helen Keller book again.  That girl was such a b*tch.

A bathed and jammied Big E returned to his bedroom to pick out tonight's reading selection.  He was immediately alarmed to see all of his books gone.

WHAT HAPPENED TO ALL OF MY BOOKS?

I played coy.

WHAT DO YOU THINK HAPPENED TO ALL OF YOUR BOOKS?

And he knew.

YOU HAD TO CLEAN THEM UP AND THEN YOU HID THEM.

BINGO!

But this is the amazing part of the story.  He was upset about it, don't get me wrong.  I told him he'd have a chance to earn his books back with examples of good behavior tomorrow.  And he didn't melt down.  There was no Academy Award nominated performance to witness.  He chose a library book to read instead and then happily went to sleep.

I don't know if it was complete exhaustion or if he had a moment of maturity.  But I'd like to think it was the latter.

So this may be a little exaggerated, but not far off.