parenting toddlers

Rough and Buff

Thank you, Colleen, for these. Although I didn't actually use any today, they were humourous enough to help me back on the path to sanity.

It's been a heck of a week. On Sunday, I woke up with a sore throat and a runny nose. Bummer. So Jason said we should stay home ("If you go to church, you'll just sing with all the songs, and talk a lot, and then sing on the way home, and then sing while you play the piano this afternoon, and then..."), and I agreed this was probably best. However, this meant that I would not be getting out on my last chance for socialization before he needed to use the van to drive to work again for three weeks. (His car-pool buddy's wife just had a baby, and he's taking three weeks off.)

So. I've been fighting a cold all week. I took most of Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday to sit on my butt as much as possible, occupying myself with watching the boys and our new puppy play in the yard, or making sure Suri didn't have an accident in the house, or making sure Noah wasn't picking her up by the tail, or making sure Jude wasn't chasing her around to the point of utter exhaustion ("Jude, she's just a baby! She needs lots of naps, still!") and reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

I thought I'd finally make up my own mind on the whole Harry Potter thing, since Heather Anne loves the series so much. I have to say, I can see why J.K. Rowling is so successful from it. She weaves a good tale. As far as the controversy--I can see the points on both sides. Jason read it too. I think we're going to have to think about it. However, if I got rid of my copy of A Wrinkle in Time because of the New Age leanings in it, I'm guessing Harry Potter won't be surviving in this house. We'll see.

By Thursday, my cold didn't feel any better, but I knew I had guests coming for the weekend, so I had to make some sort of an effort to put the house in order. So I spent the day working. A lot. And still doing all the same Suri-and-kids-related activities as before.

To make things more fun, I think Jude may have been fighting the cold, too, because he took a nap almost every day this week, even though he seldom takes them anymore. And his attitude has sucked.

And oh, the LIES!! This kid has a serious lying habit that I am at my wit's end about. And he just lies about stupid stuff he doesn't even need to, sometimes. What sucks is that he's the only kid that can talk somewhat articulately, so I kind of rely on him to tell me what happened in a situation I was not an eye-witness to. But how can I trust the kid when he just LIES first thing?

Jabin seems to have been getting up unusually early this week, as well. And the naps have been all wonky--I think there was one day where all three children, and the dog, were sleeping at the same time, so I got to have a little nap--I had been asleep for maybe half an hour and the phone rang. I forgot to unplug it because I am not in the habit of taking naps anymore, either. This woke both me, and Jude, up.

So between the cold, the short nights, the napless days, preventing the kids from torturing the dog, and getting completely frustrated by the liar with the bad attitude in my house, it all built up to the screaming-through-my-keyboard that you were witness to this morning.

Only because if I screamed in real life, it would scare all my kids and the neighbours would call the police.

However, there is a sunshiny end to this dismal week: my brother and father arrived tonight to visit for the weekend. This is the first time Logan has met Jabin, as the last time I saw him was only weeks before Jabin was born at my grandfather's funeral last October.

I found out something really cool about my brother tonight. He entered a strongman competition. And he pulled a bus.

You have to realize: my brother is a self-proclaimed computer geek. He has been a computer geek for as long as I remember. And although he has always been a semi-active guy, he's not the guy I had ever visualized pulling the bus in those strongman competitions.

But apparently, this is one computer geek that refuses to be totally out of shape. (Visualize Dilbert's paunch.)

Instead, he really is buff! Check out this post for pictures of the competition. My brother is the one in the blue shirt that says "I'm made of meat" on it. (You might not have been able to read it in his photo--I only knew that because he is wearing the same shirt tonight.)

Also, he has this interesting goatee look going. Tell ya, Bro--cut your hair really short, add a gold earring or two, and I'd mistake you for a drummer, not a computer nerd. (I'm thinking most people don't guess your true profession by looking at you, do they?)

My baby brother. *sniff* All grown up.

Maybe that's why I keep getting his name mixed up with Jude's: I keep forgetting he's not a baby anymore. Dang it!

This is my song for little Noah, as he goes to sleep...*

"Sleep, no I never get enough,
Always thinking I'm tired!
Sleep, no I never get enough!
If I don't show up I might get fired."
-Riley Armstrong, "Sleep"

After a long Sunday where I could feel in every bone and muscle in my body, I finally slipped between the sheets, settling myself next to my husband. 1:28 a.m., said the LCD green oversized-for-nearsightedness numbers on my bedside alarm clock. Jason and I had both stayed up past our bedtime watching a movie--Jason usually turns in at around ten, but the credits didn't flicker across our television screen until ten after midnight. Of course, at that point, he was able to go to bed, but I, unfortunately, still had some chicken stock to drain, put into individual containers, label, and put in the fridge or freezer. Thus the late hour when my flannel-clad body sank into the enveloping sheets.

I had not been horizontal for longer than 60 seconds when I heard the tell-tale thump of little feet on linoleum (the floor covering in Jude and Noah's room), followed immediately by the creak of their bedroom door and footsteps clumping across the kitchen floor, along with fretting in Noah's little voice. Not tonight! my inner child whined. However, to try and prevent disturbing Jason as much as possible, I got up right away and intercepted the toddler before he even reached our bedroom door. As soon as I picked him up, he laid his little head on my shoulder, and I thought he must have just been startled awake by something outside or some such thing, and would easily go back to sleep after I laid him down.

Imagine my chagrin when I was once again just getting into a comfy position when I heard the whump, creak, clump clump clump clump... Rebelling against the thought of getting out of bed again already, I procrastinated until he was nearly to our door, then once again went to deposit him back into his own sleeping receptacle. On my way out through the door, I noted that the green numbers now said 1:32.

Not wanting to have to repeat this incident again, I decided to sit with him until he settled a bit. I perched on the edge of his blue plastic toddler bed which is shaped like a corvette, tucked somewhere between the front and back wheel-wells. I supported my head on my hands, trying to keep from nodding off completely. After Noah seemed to be settling down (although I knew he was not yet asleep), I decided it was safe to retreat. 1:44 said the green numbers.

Soft, cool percale welcomed me. I tried to resist the siren call of sleep as long as possible, not daring to believe that Noah would actually stay put this time. However, the allure was too strong, and soon I was drifting off.

Before I was completely, utterly unconscious, but after I was deeply enough asleep that I could not easily rouse myself back to full awakeness, I heard our bedroom door creak, then felt Noah climbing up on the bed beside me, then right over me onto Jason.

"Noah, go back to bed," I heard Jason mumble in a rather annoyed voice through a thick haze of sleep. Then, blissfully, he got up and put him back to bed. At that, without even cracking my eyes at the clock, I let myself plunge into the depths of dreamland.

Wouldn't it be nice if that had been the end? I mean, I knew I was going to have to get up somewhere in the neighbourhood of of 7 a.m. with the baby. I knew Jason would have to get up even earlier. We were already creating a sleep debt before we even got into bed last night, simply because we wanted to spend some quiet time together. Why is it that the nights you choose to do that are the nights your kids get you up eighty million times?!!

At 3:14, as I was getting back into bed yet again, I marvelled at the fact that Noah had been awake for roughly an hour and a half. In the middle of the night. What is with this kid?! my brain screamed out in rhetorical fashion as I once again found the path the sandman had left for me, with only a little bit of difficulty due to the fact that I was getting really, really PO'd at our son.

At 6:30 a.m., I heard the back door slam as Jason left for work. (Unfortunately, because it does not hang straight and does not seal well, there is no way to close it except by slamming. Sucks for me, since it is right next to our room, but not so bad for the kids, usually, since they are on the front side of the house. Keyword: usually.) What is the next thing I hear? The oh-too-familiar patter of naked Noah feed on kitchen laminate, flannel pajamas sliding down stairs, the creak of our bedroom door, and a warm, twitchy body climbing up beside me. Too desperate for a little more sleep to get up and put him back to bed, and knowing that all I would likely accomplish by doing that at this point would be to wake Jude up early, as well, I left him there. Eventually, he figured out that Jason's half of the bed was empty, and--blissfully--went to lay over on that side.

When Jabin woke up at 7:20, a small whimper escaped my lips. Heaving a sigh, I finally got up and put on the DVD Noah had been rattling next to my head for nearly an hour.

If that boy thinks he is going to get a three hour nap today so he can do it all again tonight, he's dreaming!

*This is the first line of a lullaby I wrote for Noah when he was less than two weeks old.

Cream of Celery and Potato Soup

Cream of Celery and Potato Soup

Super-simple and way better than canned. You'll wonder why you never tried it before.