Saturday, April 16, 2011

No Scampering, Scurrying or Scuttling

I have a very clear code about which living creatures extending beyond our own permanent residents are allowed. It’s a pretty open door policy in which we love to have friends, family, invited canines, and many others. There is a “No Monsters” sign posted on the door, and I mean it, no monsters. Anything that scurries, scuttles, or scampers are not allowed. This includes all mice and bugs.

Generally I am a “love all God’s creatures” kind of woman. I will slam on my brakes for a squirrel,  detour my stroller for an ant hill and have picked up an embarrassing number of stray dogs. I used to  have issues with inanimate objects having feelings and felt guilty about tossing out broken toys, stray puzzle pieces, scratched cd’s, and so on. I thought they would be sad. I’ve participated in far too many empathy training sessions.

In January, I would scoop up the box elder bugs and toss them outside to “return home to their Mommy’s.” If there was a bug in the kids play path, I would stop what I was doing to scoop and toss. Even when the bug was crawling on my baby’s HEAD, I scooped and tossed. When the Bigs went outside to play and wanted to catch the bugs on the deck, I gave them a spatula so they could scoop and toss them back to freedom in the grass.

Then the weather turned warmer and the occasional box elder bug became a dozen box elder bugs. I walked outside one day to find dozens of them stacked up on top of each other, SCURRYING up from the deck. There is no scurrying allowed. I frantically started stomping and muttering total disgust under my breath. Then and there the rules changed. The box elders had taken advantage of my kind and loving nature.

The other day Greyson went running to the closet, grabbed his snow boot and slammed it to the ground, shouting with delight “Frickin Bugs!” I was clear, no scurrying creatures in the house.

When I was laying in bed and felt something tickle my arm and squished a scurrier in my fingers I decided the war is on. Watch it bugs. I’m not giving warnings. I’m not counting to three. I don’t even know if you have mouths so I am not threatening to put soap in it. Call up your friends the ants and tell them to leave my front door alone.

Elders, if you know the mouse who thinks my garage is a cool hang out, you might want to let him know he falls firmly into the scamper category. He is not related to the mouse in Ratatouille. I’m smarter than that.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Not Meant for Consumption

Earlier in the week the kids and I ventured to Art Van to look for a new couch, preferably one that did not smell like dogs or have a giant hole in which the Bigs and dogs could make it “snow” year round. I think I may have scared the sales-woman slightly, three kids in tow, yoga pants with peanut butter and behaving all too much like Kate Gosslin, barking orders and issuing threats at my posse.

Overall, the trip was uneventful. I picked out, paid for and arranged pick up in record time. For the most part the kids refrained from using the display furniture like a jungle gym, although there was a minor altercation between a sippy cup and glass topped coffee table.

I was feeling pretty la-di-da on the return trip to the car. That is until I realize Kinsley is feeling la-di-da herself and lagging a good 6 feet behind me, starring at the ground. She bends down and says “ohhhh yummy!” I can guarantee whatever she is pointing to, mommy does not think it is ohhh or yummy. Before I can bark at her to LEAVE.IT.ALONE she puts it into her mouth.

The order quickly switches to SPIT.IT.OUT.NOW. spoken in a monotone, don’t-mess-with-me-lady tone of voice and out pops a red Mike N Ike.

I believe some kids put things in their mouth and some kids don’t. Greyson was never one to do it. Kinsley is. Every time we go to a McDonalds play place I end up cleaning up some other kids ketchup off the floor because I am afraid she is going to start lapping it up. It doesn’t matter how many times I tell her, do not eat ketchup/candy/food/or any other item from anywhere other than your plate, it happens.

Later that same night I am putting Arlo to bed. Ever so delicately I lean over the crib rail so as not to wake the baby I just coaxed to sleep. Right before his body touches the mattress I see OHHH YUMMY CHOCOLATE. I’ve been dieting for months, chocolate, mmm cho-co-late yummy yummy yummy.

I pick up the morsel and as soon as the ohhh yummy touches my tongue the thought strikes, why is there chocolate in the babies bed? Shouldn’t I have thought that was weird?! Why did I put a little brown, soft nugget IN MY MOUTH?!! Dear God.

Oh wait, it actually IS chocolate. Make mental note: do not eat brown soft nuggets from floors, beds, or anywhere that is not a Hershey’s wrapper.

At least now I know where Kinsley gets it from.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Drink Orange Milk and Don't Be A Pimp

During the age of 1-2 years old, kids start to learn that everything has a name. What’s that? What’s THAT? What’s this? Around this time frame I got up really high on my horse and started talking about how I think it is so important to answer my kids questions. That I don’t want to be the kind of parent that brushes them off.

Things started off nice and easy. Dog. Cat. Ball. Tennis ball. Soccer ball. Football.  Easy, just name the object.

Then the questions got harder. My philosophy changed. Answer the question and If you don’t know what it is then just make it up. For example, dinosaurs fall into three categories:

  1. Dinosaur+Plus (If the dinosaur has wings then obviously it is a bird-dinosaur. If it is a tall dinosaur then it’s name is tall dinosaur.)
  2. T-Rex Dinosaur
  3. Stegasorous Dinosaur

Around the age of 3, the questions get much more difficult. I’ve noticed that Greyson no longer takes my word for things. Why? How? What happens next? And if I give the wrong answer, he is fast to correct me. I’ve already become stupid mom who doesn’t know the name of all the dinosaurs, I’ve got to make sure that I get as many answers correctly that I can or my kids are going to fall into sex, drugs, punk music and drop out of school to be a pimp.

Greyson asks me where milk comes from. Easy, I got this one. From cows. Milk comes from cows.

Why do we drink it? Easy. Because it is good for us.

Where does chocolate milk come from? Easy, I am going to ace this exam. Chocolate milk comes from brown cows (if I were to answer that chocolate milk is chocolate mixed with regular milk it would lead to an entirely different form of questioning regarding why we mix it, where chocolate comes from. It’s already an hour past bed time when this conversation is taking place.)

Do cows drink milk? Yes.

Do cows drink chocolate milk or regular milk? This is a trick. No matter what I answer, he is going to ask me why and then we will have to discuss how chocolate milk is better than regular milk. Instead I answer, “what do you think cows drink?”

Greyson replies in the ever-so-patient, “let me education my foolish mom”, voice, “Cows drink regular milk, except on the days that the daddy cow doesn’t go to work. Then they get to drink chocolate milk. If there is an emergency, they drink orange milk. Orange milk is for emergencies only.”

I am at a cross-roads. Do I correct him and inform him that there is not really orange milk? That cows don’t drink chocolate milk either? Do I investigate to find out what kind of emergencies cows have? How the milk gets to be orange? Does orange milk come from orange cows? Why can’t they drink regular milk in an emergency.

“You are SO smart! Good night, I love you.” 

Tomorrow we will discuss why they should not drop out of school to become pimps, tonight I’m tired.