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Friday, August 31, 2012

The Improbable Beauty of a Sprinkler

We took our usual stroller walk - Reed, Sofia, and I. It shakes off the morning whineys and helps to tone my jiggley twin body.

I pointed to bright pink crepe myrtle blooms, white pillow clouds, startling red cardinals. But my Fifs (Sofia) found something of her own.

Full body at attention - thrown to the edge of her seat. Aah! Aah! she shouted to bring our attention to the miracle she was witnessing.

It was only a sprinkler.

Fifs - that's a sprinkler. It waters the grass to help it grow. See? The grass is green from the water.

I made to move on, but another rapt Aah! from Fi made me pause.

And then the world shifted and I saw it.

I saw what Sofia saw.

Great plumes of water shooting into the air and falling as a fine mist to coat the grass in diamonds below. The sunlight was broken up by the tree above, so that shafts of light turned the mist alternately white and grey.

It was beautiful.

It was a miracle.

It was a chance to see things as new - through 10 month old eyes.

A chance to witness the improbable beauty of a sprinkler.


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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Deprogramming Manual?

It is often bemoaned that children do not come with a programming manual. I would argue that perhaps even more helpful would be the deprogramming manual to aid in undoing whatever silly habits you might have ingrained into small impressionable young minds.

For example, Reed and Sofia think the following is hysterical:

What does the gorilla say?

Aaaaarrrrr (beat chest with both arms)

They also find the following amusing:

Can you honk Mommy's nose?

(small hand squeezes my nose - hard) Honk!

These inside jokes are not to be topped by the spontaneous breaking into of baby applause to indicate their approval of something.

All seemingly innocuous and fun... until it's not. Such as at bedtime. When I am exhausted and want them to sleep. Picture it:

Final nursing for the bedtime put-down. Both babies laying on the nursing pillow, nursing. Suddenly....

Muffled grunts. Four fists start pounding me in the chest. Repeatedly. Hard.

Yes, guys, that's what the gorilla says, but it's not time for gorilla, it's time to eat.

Reed's hand shoots up and squeezes my nose.

Yes, Honk, now eat!

For the finale, as though they appreciated the bouquet, while still eating, both babies start clapping simultaneously.

Yes, thank you, I appreciate it. Now eat!

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Little Dirt Don't Hurt

I am way outnumbered. Until about 6:00, when Scott gets home from work, the ratio of child to adult is 3:1. At 6:00, the odds improve somewhat to a more reasonable 3:2, but there is never a moment where the big people have favor over the little people. And the little people move fast.

This morning Scott left early to track down an errant backpack at the district bus barn. Yet another place we never imagined visiting pre-children. This significantly dropped the odds that everyone would make it out the door to the bus stop on time, dressed, and with all limbs intact.

We made it. On time. Dressed. All limbs intact. However, I forgot about the other possibilities. Sofia had 3 lovely blue stripes of marker on her legs. Reed had 8 (I counted them) orange stripes. While getting my two ladies out of the door, my son discovered the plant in the kitchen and helped himself to a snack. So, to go along with his tiger stripes, he had a nice ring around the mouth and a piece of bark wedged between his top two teeth.

Here is all I thought to myself, "Well, I'm pretty sure I bought organic dirt."

My how I have evolved...

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Me Time

If you are like me, you will get very excited over the prospect of having a babysitter. And, now that your oldest is in kindergarten, you will want to celebrate with a little Me Time. Again, if you are like me, you will schedule a massage. And, when your twins wake you up 6 times the night before, owing to two new teeth each and major constipation issues (who knew eating corn, carrots, potatoes, and banana all on the same day is like the quad-fecta of plumbing problems? Not me, obviously.), you will console yourself by saying, "No worries, Self. Remember, soon you will be worked on by Sven, Andre, or Bob, for all I care - point being - you will be worked on soon."

Then, if you are still like me, you will get a text from your babysitter, who is never late by the way, saying that she is late and will be arriving at the time that your massage is due to start. In the meantime, in typical overcompensation style, you will have given your children enough pears to move the Titanic out of their rear ends, which is exactly what happens to poor Sofia. Crying included. Sadly, no theme song.

You will debate leaving said toxic waste for the sitter, but as you are watching the clock anyway, you will change the diaper yourself. Which, is how you will end up with sh*t on your leg and a crying baby. The crying will lead to snot on your arm. For those not following, that is sh*t on your leg and snot on your arm.

At this point, you will have given up all fantasies of Me Time and will just settle for a padded room somewhere tropical. I know, you can't see the sand in a padded room, but I think it would be just a little more festive. Finally the sitter arrives and, if you are like me, you will shuffle dazed and confused onto the back deck to plot your next attempt at Me Time, vowing to lower your expectations and to build in hours of extra fudge time. The metaphorical kind, not the literal kind like you can still smell on your leg.

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Monday, August 27, 2012

My Heart Was Picking Its Wedgie

It was Elizabeth Stone who said, “Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”

Well, my heart started its first day of kindergarten today. My heart dressed herself, put her own cooler in her lunch bag, buckled her own shoes, brushed her own teeth, and put on her own backpack. My heart boarded the school bus with only one look back and headed off into the big world. Ouch, that went fast!

The teacher had asked for any willing parents to come help with the lunchtime chaos, so I was consoled by the fact that I would be seeing my little heart just a couple of hours later. Silly me, I used to teach, I should have known what to expect.

Let me start by saying, I would like to set up a mental health fund for Ana's kindergarten teacher. God bless her! At the start of the year, no child knows the classroom rules and most are so hopped up on excitement that they can't sit still or stop their mouths to save their lives. That was the scene that I walked in on at lunchtime.

I was glad that I went because Ana was too embarrassed to eat lunch in front of the other children. This, despite the fact that she was sitting across from a boy who dropped his BLT on the floor, picked it up and reassembled it, and then proceeded to shove it into his face squirrel style. Or, there was her next door neighbor who ate her PBJ by stabbing it with her yogurt spoon and digging in popsicle style. I'm not entirely sure Ana couldn't have done worse, but I was glad to be there to convince her that she would have to try rrrrrreally hard to come close.

Then it was trash time and line up time. Again, glad I was there. One boy, had apparently worn cotton in his ears for the first day had only taken two bites of lunch in the 20 minutes the class was allotted. Distressed, he stayed behind at the table to shovel food while the others threw away their trash. The 3 boys around him, taking a cue from Young Food Shoveler, were also unaware that the entire class had lined up. I helped Y-F-S pack up his lunch and by the time he, the other 3, and I were finished, the class had left. Y-F-S thought it meant that maybe they could pick what they wanted to do and therefore they could head to the playground, but I explained that no, we had to go back to the classroom and I was the leader.

Get back behind me, I am the leader.
Stop running! Do you remember you are supposed to be behind me?
Me, line leader. You, line.

Back in the classroom I was invited to help out with a class song. Ana's teacher, who I will refer to as Mary Poppins, plays an autoharp and makes up her own songs. I'm not kidding. I love this lady. Anywhoo, everyone was supposed to sit on their own colored square on the carpet. After I was able to re-approach the carpet (I had had to take a step back due to someone's off-gassing), this was the scene that I saw. Of approximately 20 kids:

4 were paying attention and looking at the teacher
3 were laying on the floor
12 were talking to their buddies
1 was sitting in the back picking her wedgie. Yes, you can guess who that one was.

Sadly, it took us 5 minutes to get to the actual song because we had to break up 3 good buddy conversations. The hard part about those are that while you break one up, 2 or 3 more form, so it's a bit like Whack-a-Mole. They just keep coming.

Then, there was the laying down epidemic of 2012. One child asked when nap was (Never, by the way). That set off a round of, "I'm tired! I need a nap!" Then, like fainters, they started to go down. The 3 laying on the floor turned into about 7. I thought Mary Poppins (MP from here on out) had lost the battle, but she rallied with another song, that included - wait for it! - sign language. Yet again, I kid you not. I love MP.

Finally the song was on. It was BINGO and I was the clapper for when a letter was omitted. Not sure I was all that necessary because a letter was never omitted. Oh, sure, MP and I omitted letters, but not so the rest of the laying down, whining, wedgie picking hearts in the room.

As I made my exit I heard one little boy say, "Is it snack time yet?" Hmmm... I believe we had just come from lunch. Perhaps that was my buddy, Y-F-S.


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