Collin’s First Day of Preschool

I had it all planned out in my head how Collin’s first day of preschool should go. I would pick out a really cute shirt, maybe one that he got for his birthday, we would walk hand in hand up to school and I would tell him how big he is and what to expect. I figured he probably wouldn’t want me to leave and would cling to my leg, but I would tell him that mommy would be back and give his pale cheek a kiss and hold back my tears as I looked at his light blue eyes and protruding lip as he tried to be a big boy and not cry. It went nothing like I planned, except maybe the shirt part. I should have figured, Collin is my crazy kid. We never know what to expcet when it comes to him.

Collin’s First Day of Preschool

He started preschool a month or so ago. As soon as I found out when his first day was going to be I started drilling him on important questions that every 3-year-old should know, like name and age. Plus, this was going to be his first time away from his mama or any other adult who knows him well, so I felt these were pretty important questions to be able to answer.

“What is your name?” I asked him.

“Tree,” he said, really meaning three but holding up four fingers.

“No. That is how OLD you are. Three. When I ask you how OLD you are you say three,” I said, adjusting his fingers to holding up three, even though they kept springing back to four and five.

“Four, hive (five)!” he said, grinning.

“NO. Listen. When I ask you your name, you say COLLIN,” I explained for what seemed like the millionth time in the last couple of days. “What’s your NAME?”

“Tree,” he repeats with the finger thing again.

“NO. You say COLLIN. SAY COLLIN.”

“Tree,” he says.

We have done this many time with the same results. Over and over and over again. Really?! I could feel the frustration creeping up my back. C’mon kid, get with the program! I thought to myself.

He finally says his name, but it sounds like “On.”

I do the drill over and over again throughout the evening for the next couple of days. I have asked him so many times and keep getting the same response, I might just start calling him Tree. Oh, well. He’s only in preschool, he’s only “tree,” so I guess he will get it eventually.

The night before school I searched through the toy boxes for Bradley’s old Elmo book bag that Collin loves to wear, feeling the first day of school excitement all over again, but I started to get discouraged. I couldn’t find the darn book bag anywhere! I tossed dolls and legos and action figures and plastic kitchen food over my shoulder, digging deep into the trenches of all the toy boxes. When I was knee deep in toys and looked around at the disaster of a mess I made, I finally found it, but not in the toy box. It was laying against the wall by all of the shoes…in plain sight. Figures.

In the morning I talked him out of wearing his fireman gear for his first day of school and wrestled him into a really cute shirt.

When I first pulled into the parking lot Collin says, “Bye, Mum! Bye, Mum!” like I was just going to drop him off. Heck, I didn’t even get parked and he was already saying goodbye? At least let me pull into a parking space!

“Collin, Mommy is going to take you INTO the school. You can’t go by yourself!” I told him.

“No, Ma! I BIG!,” he pleads.

This is not how I pictured this moment at all! And all I can think of is seriously kid?! Let mommy do her job and take you to school. Usually kids cling to their mother’s legs and don’t want their moms to leave. They at least let them get in the building! He probably wanted to be dropped off like Bradley, who just jumps out of the car and says goodbye, but he is in first grade.

When I got him out of his car seat and his book bag on his back, I held out my hand. “C’mon. This is gonna be fun! Your first day of school!”

He smiled real big but wouldn’t take my hand. He can be so stubborn. When I insisted he tucked his hands under his armpits. “No, mum. I big. I do,” and he tried to walk like a big kid with a purpose, like he knows where he is going. Silly boy.

I was tempted to swoop him up and prop him on my hip, kissing his cheek and stealing hugs. But I didn’t. I let him walk like a big boy.

Every door we came to he tried to open. “This one, mum?”

“No, all the way around in the front,” I told him at least three times, after he tried each and every door.

I had him pose for a picture in front of the school. He was excited and I got a lot of cute pics, which is probably the only other thing that went how I planned for this day.

When the bell rang we walked to his classroom. I looked at the little kid art on the wall, trying to imagine what Collin may create, trying to image what kind of student he might be.

We walked into his classroom and he sat right down at a table and started coloring and was as busy as could be. He barely looked up when I said bye. I was so worried this would be a hard day for him. Obviously it was much harder for me. I walked down the hall, expecting tears. But really, I felt a sense of relief. Everything is going to be fine. He already loves it, so I love it. It just wasn’t how I expected the morning to go.

What first day of school memories do you have with your kids? Who was it harder for, you or them? Or was it  relief? Because I think by the time I get kids number three and four into school, it will be sad but also a big sigh of relief. I guess in a couple years we will see.

xxx

What a Busy Week

This has been one of the busiest and craziest weeks. The twins have been sick. Double the babies means double the puke, double the poop, and the smell…ugh. But we made it through and they are feeling better. And then I was sick. I never get sick! But double the babies also means double the germs…I guess my immune system couldn’t take it.

One exciting thing that happened this week…I published my first blog post over at the Quad City Mom Blog. Go check it out HERE! It is about my first time donating blood. It is a topic that has been really important to me since my complicated pregnancy with the twins. Blood donors save lives!

Thanks for all the support and thanks for reading!

xxx

 

My Dad is a Super Hero

Little boys see their dads larger than life. They can do anything. They are strong. They pick them up and throw them in the air. They are super heroes in their eyes.

This evening in the car, where most of our interesting conversations seem to happen lately, Bradley says, “Mom, I want my dad to be in the army.”

“Why do you want him to be in the army?” I ask.

“Because if he is in the army and practices a really lot, he will be a good soldier. If he’s a good soldier he can be CAPTAIN AMERICA!”

Of course, I should have known. And with six kids in all, I’m sure Brad has been Super Man, Batman, the Green Lantern, Thor, and who knows who else, the list could be endless, maybe even some wrestling guy.

I just hope he puts on his super hero cape and helps me run some of the errands next week and maybe fix the toilet or something. Or build something, I don’t know.

xxx

Mom, Can You Turn Me Into a Dog?

The other day in the car Bradley asked me if I could turn him into a dog.

“Why do you want to be a dog?” I asked him.

He thought about it. “I just want to, Mom.” he said in his most mature six-year-old voice. But of course, who doesn’t want to be a dog, right? Even though when I think about it, I would be a cat so I could sleep all day.

“What kind of dog do you want to be?” I asked.

This time he didn’t hesitate, “A Boston Terrier.” Of course, I thought, just like Murphy, our dog. “Can you do it?” he asked.

“I’m driving right now. Maybe when we get home. But I will have to rest just a little bit first, I’m really tired and my magic might not work right unless I rest,” I explained.

This seemed to settle it for a while. As I turned down our street I started wondering if he wasn’t getting too old for this game, he is going to be seven next month. But I brushed that thought away quickly, you’re never too old to use your imagination and play. I’m going to be 36 next month and it’s still one of my favorite games.

When Bradley was four years old he had all kinds of super powers every day. He had super powered lasers, magic shields, and just about any kind of magic you could think of…unless his older brother, Cedrik (10 at the time), took it away. He would go up to Bradley and act like he was taking something, “I’ve got your powers,” he would tease Bradley. Bradley would cry and yell, “MOM! Cedrik took my super powers away!” clearly very upset about it. It was funny the first fifty times, but after that I found myself saying out of frustration, “Cedrik, quit taking away your brother’s super powers!” Finally I smartened up and gave Bradley a super shield so his brother couldn’t take his powers. “Ha, ha!” Bradley would say, “Mom gave me a super shield and you can’t take my powers anymore.” Man, that was a fun summer. I can’t help but chuckle at the memory.

Bradley didn’t forget about wanting to be turned into a dog. As I was laying on the couch, piled high with kids and dogs, he asks me, “Mom, can you turn me into a dog now?”

“Okay. I think I’m ready. Abracadabra…Alacazam,” I said, waving my arms around him, “I now turn you into a dog!”

And it worked. I patted his head and scratched behind his ears. “What  sweet dog you are,” I cooed. Then he started barking. “If you keep barking I’m going to send you outside.” I warned my new and very cute dog.

Brad rolled his eyes and sighed, I guess he doesn’t have that great of an imagination. He said something about us being too noisy and he was all grouchy. I should turn him into a toad, I thought, entertaining myself with the idea.

I took the kids and my new dog outside. I started calling him Rock and he played fetch really well. Occasionally he even walked on two legs. Amazing the tricks that dog could do!

xxx

My Babies Playing Spoons

I think with a little more practice we could start a band. The babies are great at playing the spoons, at least Collin and Elsie are… I’m not sure what Mallie was doing in the background. She gets sidetracked easily. They all do!

Earlier tonight I got out a few plastic Easter eggs and buckets. It’s amazing how busy and entertained they were with these silly little objects. It’s not the first time I’ve done this trick. Whenever I really want to get something done, like the dishes or a telephone call, this is one of my tricks. You can’t do it to often or it becomes normal and boring. But it sure is special and fun doing it every now and then. And they played forever and I got so much done! 

They got the spoons for themselves and went to town. I thought it was adorable, although a little noisy. But we had a blast!

AND Bradley lost another tooth tonight. On his way up to bed with a little tiny baby tooth tied up in a plastic baggy he asks me, “Mom, is there more than one tooth fairy?” I thought about it for a minute, unsure how to answer. And he says, “Like is there one in China?”

“Yea. I think there is one for every country.” It’s the best I could come up with. Sometimes you really have to think on your toes.

“Now go to bed so the tooth fairy can get to work!”

xxx

Five Stars for Magna Doodles

The boys were sprawled out on the living room floor, heads bent and getting along wonderfully. “Wow!” is all I could say and wish this happened more often. They were taking turns, there was no arguing, and they were really into what they were doing.

They were drawing on the Magna Doodle! And they were doing some really cute drawings. They would fill up the screen and show me their work, proud smiles plastering their cute little faces and their blue eyes lighting up.

But every time they would go to move the little orange handle across the screen to erase, I would silently cringe, wishing I could save that one for the scrapbook. But they created more little masterpieces over and over again.

Bradley eventually got bored and left the toy all to Collin. And even without his brother, Collin sat and drew pictures for a good 20 minutes, which is really good for this busy toddler who seems to never sit still unless Umi Zoomie or Bubble Guppies is on.

Collin and his creations, which are planes by the way.

So I give the Magna Doodle five stars for keeping my kids busy, playing cooperatively together, and using their imaginations. They drew planes and cars and people and animals and shapes and all kinds of stuff.

The downside, Mommy can’t save their little masterpieces. UNLESS I take a picture! (which I finally smarted up and started doing.)

The other amazing thing about this toy is that it is durable. Bradley got it for his second birthday, and he is almost seven…so the toy is about five years old. We have lost all the magnetic shapes or the dogs have eaten them, but it still works great after all these years, minus that it doesn’t erase completely and give you a clean plastic sheen-  you can still kind of see the old marks-  but the kids don’t seem to notice or know any difference.

I love little hands and their creations. Priceless!

xxx

Pluggers and Pipers or Maybe a Penguin

Bradley’s eating lunch and he says, “Mom, when I grow up I want to be a plugger.”
Me: “What’s a plugger? What do they do?”
Bradley: “I forgot. Maybe they are called a piper. What is it called, Mom, a plugger or a piper?”
Me: “Well, I’m not sure I understand. What do they do?”
Bradley: “I know what they do. I don’t know how to say it.” And he is getting a little frustrated.
Me: “Do you mean a plumber? They fix pipes.” I thought that was a good guess.
Bradley: “No.”
Me: “What about an electrician? They fix plugs.”
Bradley: “No.”
Me: “Well, maybe if you tell me what kinds of things they do on the job, I will know if it is a plugger or a piper.”
And we are going around in circles and getting no where with this conversation because he just can’t find the words to express what he is thinking.
So I do what every good mom does, I say, “Ask your Dad.”
It was funny hearing them go back and forth; plugger piper plugger piper. Sounds like a riddle.
“What do they do?” we keep asking.
Bradley knows, he just can’t find the words to explain and seems very tired of having this conversation with his parents. I mean, geesh, we should know, we are the parents! 
And we are all still clueless. What’s a plugger? A piper?
 
I’ll just chalk this one up to one of those funny conversations and move on. But I can’t help but keep wondering what in the world he is trying to say. I mean, this is what he wants to be when he grows up, for now. Last week he wanted to be a penguin.
 
xxx

The Art and Science of Shoveling Shit

I love my life. I have great kids and a wonderful family…but there are some aspects that are not so pretty and nice, like dog duty/dooty. But when life, or the dogs for that matter, give you a yard full of steaming piles, you have to make the best of it. Or at least try to make something of the stinkin’ piles…so I decided to give it a creative twist.

I shovel so much shit that I have it down to an art form, a science. I have an exact routine; from the best way to hold the shovel for maximum turd scoopage to the proper cursing of having such a nasty job. 

Even the kids know the routine. I grab a plastic grocery sack from the cupboard and Collin knows what time it is. “Dog poop,” he says, one of his limited phrases that is clear, it’s right up there with “me, too!”

He usually takes the sack from me and I go to the garage for the “shit shovel.” By the time I’m out and across the yard, Collin is already next to a pile yelling with excitement as if it were Easter morning and he found a candy filled egg.

I’m getting real good at shoveling shit, though, and I have it down to a science. It’s best to use the shovel with the somewhat pointed end. If you angle it just right and scoop from the bottom, aiming for the middle as best as you can, this will give you the maximum amount of turds per shovel, usually about five to six for small dogs and three to four for larger loads. And don’t forget to bend at the knees, nobody wants an aching back.

The technique is different if the grass is long and in need of mowing versus if it is short and burnt to a crisp, like it is now with the hundred degree weather we have had this summer. It’s much easier to clean up in the burnt grass. The turds dry up pretty quick and are easily scooped. If you run across a fresh pile, it is best to wait until it is dried and shriveled up. Otherwise it just smears and gets stuck to the shovel. 

You can also collect information as you lift a pile onto the shovel. This one is blue, dang dog must have eaten a piece of sidewalk chalk the kids left out. What the heck is that? I don’t even want to know what the dog ate on that one. We once found a small Squinky toy, which is a little rubber figure less than an inch tall. It came out squeaky clean, but there’s no keeping it now. I hurried up and dumped it in the bag before any of the kids saw it and tried to keep it.

You also have to have the right amount of cursing under your breath with your head turned so the kids wont hear you and go repeating, “Damn, dogs. This f*cking sucks. This is a bunch of shit. Why do I always get stuck with this shitty job?!”

We shovel up shit so often, the babies are even trained to locate piles. They follow behind and point. The other day while playing out in the yard, I found Mallie squatting down and examing something in the grass, her hands on her knees. When I went to see what she had found, she was just staring at shit. Ugh! Get away! Don’t touch it.

It’s a shitty job, but somebody has to do it…and in this house, unfortunately its me.

xxx

My Baby Turns 3

I can’t believe my little Collin just turned 3!

I think back to when I had him and how much he has changed. It’s amazing how they grow so fast. I want to catch every little memory and keep it, like collecting butterflies in a jar. But since I can’t, I will settle for pictures and writing the little things down. 

Happy 3rd Birthday, my crazy little Collin!

xxx

Creativity Always Wins: The Poop Monster Saga

How can one sweet little boy turn into such a little stinker in a matter of minutes?

 

When you tell him he has to poop in the potty.

But tonight was a night for celebrating and extra cookies. If you are a parent who has recently been doing the potty training thing, you will understand and find humor in it. If not, you will probably find a post about pooping quite boring. But sorry, I don’t care… Because this is a happy time for Mommy!

Collin is pretty much potty trained, and a good thing because he’s gonna be three in less than a week. But for some reason he just wont poop in the toilet. He will whine and cry for a diaper. I have done everything imaginable to get him to just SIT on the toilet, besides tying him down. And I am so sick of skid marks in the little Tansformer underpants and cleaning up turds. I am tired of cleaning the damn carpet. I am tired of extra unnecessary laundry. I am tired of trying to bribe him to just to take a crap in the toilet. And as much as we love books around here, reading doesn’t work either.

But he finally did it! And it wasn’t with bribes, it was with creativity and I guess a little fear, as much as I don’t want to admit the last part.

He comes into the bathroom, “Poop, Mom. Poop!” Ugh! I resigned myself to cleaning up another mess, but he didn’t actually go. So I finally got my big girl pants/mommy britches on and quit giving in. “Don’t you dare get off that toilet until you poop!” He whined. He kept getting off. I kept having to get my tired butt off the Lightning McQueen footstool to put him back on. (Yep, I took a seat figuring it would probably take a while). “I don’t care if we’re here all night,” I told him. “We are not leaving this bathroom until you finish and go poop in that toilet!”

Needless to say, that didn’t work.

Until I spotted the Poop Monster right outside the door. (I don’t know where I come up with these ideas, they just hit me in the spur of the moment.) “Collin! Poop! You have to poop in the potty,” I said and glanced out the bathroom door nervously. “The Poop Monster is coming! He’s gonna…” (and I did have to think on this one) “He’s gonna bite your butt! You have to poop in the potty.” And I made all kinds of farting noises. “You have to do that to keep him away. And go poop in the potty before he gets here!”

You know, he looked a little scared. “Mom, shut da door! Shut!” he motioned at the door with his little hand. I shut the door. I didn’t want to totally scare him, even though it was a little fun – I’ll admit it. And so did Bradley, who was in the shower and couldn’t resist popping out from behind the shower curtain at that moment and yelling “Boo!”

“If you make the poop face and go poopy in the toilet he will go away. He wont bite your butt.” And needless to say, after the look of panic on his face (even though he was having fun too, we were fighting a monster!), and repeating the process several times with lots of fart noises, and urgently glancing out the door, he finally pooped in the toilet for the first time!

We cheered. We high-fived. He was so proud.

So creativity wins out this time. I couldn’t bribe the kid to take a crap, but I was able to scare the shit out of him!

What kinds of trials and tribulations have you gone through with potty training? What worked and what didn’t? What did you find yourself doing that you couldn’t believe you actually did?

I once bribed Collin that I would let him use my computer if he went…kind of glad he didn’t that time because I probably wouldn’t have a computer left after that one.

My other favorite “creative” story was with my nephew, Jonas, when he was two or three. He was terrified of fireworks and would freak out. I asked him if he knew who Tinker Bell was and he did. I told him that Tinker Bell ate a lot of beans and that was her up in the air flying around and every time she farted it made a big bang and all those pretty sparks. He thought it was hilarious and totally forgot about being terrified. He was just looking for the little fairy flying in the air with exploding farts.

Sometimes you just have to be creative. And even though I kind of scared my sweet little blonde boy; we had fun, it worked, and I should get a gold medal for best creative story for taking a shit.

xxx