The Softer Side

Things quieted down for a few days… maybe it was something in the water making these kids crazier than usual.  Maybe it was the fact that Ryder had his tonsils out and was taking tylenol with codeine.  Oh yes, and Peyton slept at my mother’s house for two days… so there really weren’t too many opportunities for the moonstruck kids to strike.  I promise to keep you updated as things progress back to normal.  There is sure to be something that will rock my type A, OCD persona very soon.  

On the softer side… Peyton and Ryder really do love one another.  Tonight while teaching a class, Peyton wanted to tag along.  I teach the course at the school where I work and the boys both attend.  In Ryder’s preschool classroom, each child has a jar that gets filled with pom poms for behavior incentives.  When they fill their jar, they win a prize.  Peyton was playing quietly, so I thought, and when I took a break from the class discussion, I decided to check on him.  I found him near the pom pom jars and immediately noticed that Ryder’s jar was stuffed with pom poms and the lid was back on and tightened.  I looked at Peyton who smirked back up at me.  “Did you fill Ryder’s jar?”  “Yeh mom, I want Ryder to win his prize.”  To this I reply, “Did you put pom poms in any of the other jars?”  “Nope, just Ryder’s and he is going to be so excited,” responded Peyton.  

I didn’t have it in me to preach about not touching things that aren’t his.  I actually felt proud that he was wanting something good for his brother and the joke wasn’t on me!  So, we left the pom poms.  I’m not sure how Ryder’s teacher will react in the morning, but it warms my heart when the boys look out for one another.  These moments of good faith have seemed so far and few between the last few weeks… so I decided to not pick this battle, but instead, chalk it up as a victory!  1 Point for Peyton- the tin man got his heart!

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Happy Monday… Not.

Mondays have a bad reputation- as they should.  My Mondays are always full of surprises- at work, in my personal life, and of course with the kids.  Who am I kidding, every day with these two boys is a surprise.  I have learned to expect the unexpected and always, ALWAYS anticipate the worse when you hear silence.

I hopped out of the shower to a banging noise against the bathroom door this morning.  I swung the door open to find Peyton and Ryder constructing a fort with the chase lounge chair in my bedroom and the blankets and sleeping bags that they collected from the hallway linen closet.  I’m still tired from yesterday so I softly say, “Clean it up.”  Some resistance came from them both and I saw their mouths moving, but I don’t think I really heard the words, as I repeated “Clean it up.”  I closed the bathroom door so I could actually put some clothes on and I closed my eyes hoping when I opened them, and the door again, that the mess would disappear.  Slowly, I opened the door, then slowly I opened my eyes… and the room was spotless.  Nice… Monday is going to be better.  However, it’s quiet and there are no kids in sight.  I think I jinxed myself.

Oh crap, I hear ludacris rapping in playroom North… I call from the top of the stairs for the boys to come up.  Peyton stands at the bottom of the stairs with his microphone firmly planted in his hand ready to serenade me with some “Never Say Never.”  I cut him off and with instinct that only a mom has, I ask “where is the dog?”  Ryder replies, “We put her outside!”  He even jumps up and down as if he is excited to tell me that they “helped.”  I ask if they used the leash and the answer comes in unison: “no.”  I tell them to go up to their rooms and sit on their beds while I let the dog in and put together their lunches.

I’m making lunches now, and thinking to myself… is there something in these lunches that might be causing my children to have an allergic reaction?  No Red 40… Gluten?  I don’t freaken know!  Whatever, I don’t have time to start the “elimination” diet today.  I am not super mom.  I never claimed to me.  Time is not on my side, so I am all about convenience at this stage in the game.  It’s quiet.  The kids never stay in their respective rooms quietly. Shit, silence… I’m expecting the worse!

I creep up the stairs to see Ryder’s room vacant and Peyton’s bedroom door shut.  THIS is not a good sign.  I open the door and it looks like Barnes and Noble.  No exaggeration, it looks like Mo Willems threw up stories all over Peyton’s room.  “What are you doing?!” I exclaim.  Oh dear, the expressions on their face- no, not fear of being busted, but instead, their perfect faces radiated pride.  At that moment I told myself to breathe and I gave them a chance to explain.  Peyton says, “Mom, we made a book fair!”  Honest to god, they made a book fair.  My school just had the Scholastic book fair last week and so the boys were around it daily.  How do I even get angry at that? How do I, a Daycare Director with a Literacy certification, get mad at my boys for creating a book fair?

I didn’t.  In fact, I didn’t even insist that they clean it up.  Ha, I work late tonight anyway, so it’s not my problem.  😉  The book fair was a cute idea.  Just not on a Monday morning… but I kept my cool.  I’m learning to pick my battles…  I love those kids.  How is it possible that kids slowly kill us, but at the same time, they give our life meaning and give us a reason to live?!

Hello world!

Today was the day i decided a black cloud is following me.  There have been two weeks of insanely crazy kids moments, I’m talking one after another.  You know those stories that are so outrageous, people tell you that you should write them down because they will be funny again to retell someday?  Well, those types of stories aren’t quite as entertaining when they begin happening multiple times a day.

Take today for example.  Sunday, ahhh… the day of rest.  Bullshit.  When you have two “spirited” boys- ages 3 and 5… there is no time for rest.  They climb into my bed bright and early and then Peyton (my older son) takes it upon himself to drag my laptop into the bed.  He is fascinated with Justin Bieber- please, keep your comments to yourself.  He wants to look like him, he wants to sing and dance like him… in fact, Peyton has perfected the Ludacris rap from the Bieber song, “Baby.”  Anywho, he wants me to play you tube music videos at 6am.  Negative.  Then the pouting begins and I am the meanest mom ever.  In fact I believe his direct quote was “You always like to say no to me.”  He is so on point, I absolutely LOVE saying no to him.  It’s my favorite thing to do.  Add that to my “All About Me” description.

The boys ask if they can go outdoors and I firmly tell them that once they clean up playroom North, we will go outside.  Yes, playroom North.  I’m so mean to my kids, that they have so much shit, they needed two playrooms.  What once was my dining room is now playroom North.  Errrr… I continue organizing drawers and catching up with laundry (it reproduces more than octo-mom), and I hear the sound of a bike in my driveway.  I peep out the window and there is Peyton riding his bike- outside- with no adult supervision.  Maybe I should make him watch an episode of Nancy Grace with me- he thinks he is invincible.  He once told me that if someone tries to take him, he will just “beat the man up.”  Good, awesome, great plan Mike Tyson.  I march downstairs, I yell for the boys to come indoors and order them to sit on the couch in a quiet time for a few minutes.

I finish up a few things around the house and Peyton asks if they can use my money to play store.  I tell him that money is not to be played with but that he can use scissors and paper to create his own money.  No complaints, no stomping or grunting, that was easy.  We go outside, they dump 3 gallons of bubbles in the driveway.  I mention that possibly they shouldn’t have done that because now they won’t have bubbles to play with.  Peyton reassures me that they don’t really like bubbles.  Oh, good, I’m glad… no sweat off his back.  The boys run to the back yard to play on the swings while I finish cleaning up the disaster that was left in my driveway.  MAYBE 5 minutes have lapsed and I come around the back of the house to see my angels in their underwear (mind you, it’s 60 degrees and cloudy today) and running through the sprinkler that Peyton took upon himself to start up.  In more actuality, Peyton was running through the sprinkler and pointing it at Ryder (my younger son) who is crying and screaming “STOP” as he goes down the slide that now resembles a water ride.  I pause for a moment and decide to record this scene with my iphone.  Not because I’m proud, not because I even think this story will be funny, but because nobody will ever believe me and I need proof.

I round up the troops to come inside for lunch.  One wants EZ Mac, one wants chicken dino nuggets.  I know it’s not a diner, but I took requests because I’m human and I didn’t have the fight in me.  During lunch I suggest we go the movies.  Chimpanzee looks cute and if the kids aren’t in the house, they can’t destroy it.  Aha!  I’m one step ahead of them.  I rush around the house to get them dry clothes and we jump in the car.  Well, not exactly jump in the car-  there were a couple minutes wasted while they argued over who got the green booster seat.  This is a daily occurrence.  There are two booster seats, both black, but one has red seams and one has green seams.  Every time we get in the car… we have to negotiate who gets what seat.  If I wasn’t so cheap, I’d go buy another green one.  Or better yet, another red one so that neither one of them gets what they want.  😉  Sort of twisted, I know, but we do get to that point when our children push us.

We get to the theater and I get to the ticket window.  Now, the movie starts at 1:30pm and it’s already 1:35pm.  Not to mention, the concession stand line is a mile long and the boys want popcorn.  I reach into my bag to grab my wallet and I can’t feel it.  I reach around, I open the bag and put my whole face in it and it’s evident that my wallet is not there.  I suddenly remember the request Peyton had made earlier in the morning to play with my money.  I look right at him and ask “Where is mommy’s wallet?”  His blue eyes get big as saucers and he responds “In our playroom.”  I turn the troops around and we head back out to the car.  I make it very clear that we are not seeing the movie because I have no money and the reason I have no money is because “NOBODY LISTENS TO ME WHEN I TELL THEM NOT TO TOUCH THINGS!”

At this point, I want them to feel a little pain for what they did, but after weighing the odds, I realize that by not going to the movie at all… I’m really just inflicting more pain on myself.  I go back home and grab my wallet.  We go to another theater in the area.  The movie was great.  The kids behaved.  Hallelujah!  Peyton had a minor stand off with me after the movie when he wanted to play video games and I said “no.”  Upon leaving the theater he told me that “it’s not fair and you’re so mean.”  I let him know that he would be going to his room for a few minutes when we got home and that the proper response to leaving the movies should have been, “Thanks mom for brining us to the movies and getting us popcorn!”

At this point, I’m exhausted.  The husband comes home and I decide to take advantage of this “break” and go the grocery store.  My favorite thing to do when I get an opportunity for alone time is grocery shop- NOT!  Ugh.  I shop.  I get home.  I open the trunk.  One bag falls out. It’s the one with the eggs.  One out of fifteen bags and it had to be the one with the eggs.  I unpack groceries.  We eat dinner.  It’s now 8pm and I’m trying to clean up dinner as we finish.  I go to put the salsa in the fridge and it slips out of my hands and shatters.  Glass everywhere.  I look at Jim (the husband) and I say “There is a black cloud following me.”  He replies “Maybe it’s you.”  Great.  I feel hopeful.

Here’s to hoping you had a better day than me- here’s to hoping my Monday isn’t quite so crazy.  On second thought, it’s 10pm as I wrap this up and my 3 year old just came into my room, wide awake, telling me he is making a wish on a star for money.  He is rambling on and on about the money plant he wants.

Oh Ryder,  if you get your wish… please remember days like today when I spared you and Peyton your lives.