Saturday, February 28, 2009

Laundry baskets, staircases, dryers...

Our youngest child is in constant danger from his older brothers. The youngest believes (and does) everything his older brothers tell him to do. If you add the fact that the three older brothers have extraordinary imaginations, I fear for his life every day. 

For example: One day I found the youngest in a plastic laundry basket at the top of the basement stairs. Behind him were two of his brothers, prepared to launch him down 15 steep steps. Fortunately I stopped them just in time. 

"You may NOT, under ANY circumstances, use a laundry basket as a sled!" 

Another example: I am headed to our laundry room in the basement and I find an older brother coaxing the youngest into the dryer. 

Me: "WHAT do you think you are doing!"
Older brother: "Trying to find him a hiding place - we are playing hide and go seek!"
Youngest: "It's ok mom. We are not going to dry me."

Oh my God. 

Another example: I look up to see the youngest being pushed by the 8-year-old in the backyard in a wagon at lightening speed. Seriously - they are booking. The problem is that the handle of the wagon is facing the front... and the 8-year-old is pushing from the back.

In my mind, I imagine what is about to take place. I run to the backdoor, open it, and scream at the top of my lungs: "BOYS!"

And, my imagination becomes reality as the handle of the wagon jams into the ground making the wagon a catapult and flinging my youngest into orbit. The 8-year-old slides face first to a halt and for just a split second no one moves. 

Then, the two of them simultaneously jump up and yell, "We're ok! What did you say?"

Obviously, they are going to make it. Me on the other hand... 

Saturday, February 21, 2009

When the room is dark, kids talk

I'm not Catholic, but I'm pretty sure our family practices a sort of confession ritual each night.

When our first son was born, I began a nightly ritual of "talking about our day." 

"First we woke up and we were very angry because our pants were full of pee. So mom cleaned you up and put powder all over and you felt so fresh..."

Yeah - pretty basic stuff.

As he got older, he would tell me about his day. 

"I went to school. I ate lunch. I came home."

He hit all the highlights.

I did this with all the kids. I still do it. Although I'd be lying if I said it happened every night. 

Nowadays, they tell me a lot more than just about their day. They tell me about kids in their class, fights, things that are bothering them, funny stories, crushes and first kisses. They talk and I sit on their bed, rub their back and listen. I don't say anything even though it is really hard sometimes.

It works because of the quiet and dark of night.  

It can take more than 2 hours for me to get them all to bed. I don't always feel like doing it. 

But how can I not take advantage of the dark to listen to my kids talk?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Do men have "that time of the month?"


They have a monthly hormonal ebb and flow -- like a sine wave. Remember sine and cosine waves from math? I suppose it could be a cosine wave...

Regardless, my five men seem to be on the same wave. Their cycles are in sync. Peak testosterone times bring two things: aggressiveness and love. The first is illustrated by lots of hitting, on the cusp between playful and harmful, running around the house using outdoor voices, and wrestling that always results in someone crying. Hubby does not hit anyone, but does have a tendency towards his outdoor voice. 

The love comes with touchy-feely-lovey stuff. I am the recipient of this. Kids wanting to cuddle, hug, smooch me. That includes hubby. I walk into the house and all of them surround me. These are the days I go shopping for long periods of time. 

Low testosterone times bring rapid emotional changes. One moment joking, then mad, then someone is running to their room in tears. While hubby does not run in tears... he does run to the basement to console himself with the big screen TV. Again I find the mall an ideal safe-haven.

As far as my time of the month? I don't have time to notice it anymore.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sticker Shock

Stickers are a pain. They end up on fridges, floors, bedroom furniture pieces and penises.

I'm out with a friend for coffee one afternoon when the emergency call comes in. My husband says he has had it and wants me to come home asap. After one son spills a 5-lb. bag of popcorn kernels all over the kitchen floor, the five-year-old has wrapped a mega-sticker he got from the doctor's office around his action-pack. It's on there so good that my husband can't peel it off without the five-year-old getting on his tippy-toes and squeaking "Owwee, owwee, owwee!"

I could tell hubby wasn't happy so I headed home. In the meantime, it took a good long soak in the tub to get the sticker unstuck.

Sticky sticker.

5th Grade Crush and Penguins

So - I'm not sure what makes me want to cry more. The fact that my 10-year-old has a crush on a little girl, or the fact that he was willing to tell me all about it...

My 10-year-old decided to profess his affection to the girl he liked on Feb. 13 by putting a note in her locker at the end of the day.

He told the girl that he liked his plan... before she even knew it was her.

All day long, this little girl was anxious to find out who my son liked.  Just before school let out, he asked the little girl to help carry his skates to his locker. She followed him up and down the lockers to see where he would drop off the note. He then turned to her and spelled out: "Y-O-U" just as the last bell rang and then ran off.

She stood there with a confused look on her face. He didn't stay long enough to find out if the feeling was mutual.

Well... she had her own way of telling him that she liked him too. Today the two of them met playing "Club Penguin." (For those of you who don't have children old enough to play -- it's like a Second Life kind of game for kids... except they are all penguins. It's harmless. Most of the time they all just walk around the ice not acknowledging each other). 

Anyways... her penguin came over to his penguin and said -- "I like you too."

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Man Boobs

Our five-year-old son offered the entire family a look at his "man boobs" during dinner tonight. After a sound scolding from dad, everyone held their hand over their mouth and tried to remain as silent and serious as possible. 

It didn't work.

My guess is that "man boobs" will make its return to dinner soon.