Kids: Never a Quiet Moment

IMG_0781Why do kids make parents mad?
Why do they behave so bad?

Kids are kids they say, its true
It seems they make me crazy too

All the times they misbehave
It’s just attention that they crave

Attention good or bad they’ll take
From morning to night – I need a break!

At 5 in the morning they wake me
Only 6 hours sleep they need

What happened to all the naps in day
Those stages of sleep are far away

Each day they test me on another thing
My heart melts – did I hear them sing?

The ups and downs of parenthood
not every day is going to be good

Today is quiet as they watch cartoons
The silence will be broken again soon

A Vacation at the Lake

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From the desert to the forest with the evergreen trees
A trip from coast to coast and I know where I’ll be

To the lake with the water splashing on the dock
The dirt road winds ’round the lake to walk

A trip so long by road, yet short by plane
Back to a place I grew up – so far, far away

Not just in miles but in years gone by
I long for the cool crisp air of night

The lake was always my second home you know
I traveled the world, always on the go

Not sure how I traveled – car, plane or boat
I am ready to return to the cabin down the road

Camp is a place in my heart and soul
It made my childhood memories like gold

I long for evenings sitting on the porch
The barbecue over and marshmallows scorched

A place still seen through my child’s eye
It looks so different as a grown-up, but why?

One computer, two kids

One red Thinkpad for a family,
We have one computer but we need three.

The kids like games, I like Netflix
The noisy game music – it makes me sick!

So many electronic devices to cruise
Why a laptop everyone has to choose?

Tablet, Kindle, Droid we have,
but the old laptop is what they grab!

How am I to get anything done?
I can’t pay my bills or order from Amazon.

They say that laptops are going away
In my house it is the device to play!

With a bonus from work or with money from the sky
What can I see? More devices in my eye.

My laptop I bought for writing blogs
I’m resorting to paper, like an old ships log.

Today we time each person’s 30 minute turn
Don’t touch that timer, I got more time to burn!

Scheduling time to use an electronic device?
Instead we should all play Sorry! – that would be nice.

The Feeding Habits of Children

Today I made the mistake of letting my 5-year-old take a nap. She had a tough morning of soccer in 100+ degree heat, swimming in the pool and then a trip to the grocery store. She was exhausted. Everyone knows that you don’t wake a sleeping child (why interrupt perfection?). My daughter awoke in time for dinner, but ate almost nothing. She ate the cheese off of a cheese dog. I didn’t think this was possible, but she figured out how.

Now it is 9:17 PM and she is not sleepy at all. She is sitting at the kitchen table munching on a bowl of Rice Chex. Where was this appetite at 6:17 PM? Why couldn’t she have eaten the hot dog then, instead of deciding she is hungry now? Clearly children’s appetites are not limited by time or food availability. They don’t care that you just made dinner, they will simply tell you, “I’m not hungry.” Now it is over an hour past her bed time and she ‘has’ to eat. At least according to her, she ‘has’ to eat. It could just be a ploy to further extend the already late bedtime.

This incident made me wonder if our country’s obesity problem might be better served by getting people to listen to their bodies and asking themselves if they are truly hungry when they eat. Even a baby knows when it is hungry (it will cry to inform you of this) and children still have this ability to understand their level of hunger, yet we tell them, “Eat your breakfast (or lunch or dinner) now!” when they may have no hunger at all at that particular moment. As adults we seem to just eat at pre-specified meal times. But why is this? Is this healthy?

Maybe we should all learn something about the feeding habits of children to discover healthier ways to eat that are closer to nature instead of the man-made invention of ‘3 squares a day’. I just finished a chocolate square myself and feel satisfied with that. No need to eat the whole one-pound bar. I am not really hungry for that. So eating food at 9:17 PM isn’t a crime, but we do need to listen to our bodies to determine if this is what our bodies really need. What? You can’t hear what your body needs? Maybe it is time to listen a little more closely because the more we practice, the better we can get at it. Are you hungry, or are you eating just because you are expected to?

Ladybugs…not just the solution for aphids

The kids found a ladybug in the yard today and spent the afternoon entertaining it. They let it walk up their arms, crawl from hand to hand and built a rock playground for it. I can’t imagine how the ladybug survived (entertainment-wise) before it met two kids to occupy it.

What is funny is that I was sitting here trying to think of things to do to entertain the kids today. Where could I take them? How was I going to keep them occupied for the afternoon? For some reason it seems like if we stay in (or around) the house too long the kids go crazy. They get cabin fever. They fight and fight and they can’t seem to get along. Usually my options (to keep them out of trouble) are to go outside (go for a walk, play at the playground) or to someplace inside (the library, bounce house, or a toy store).

Today I discovered a new solution to my child entertainment problem and it is called the ladybug. What was great was that the ladybug was free of cost and provided hours of fun. Even a 993 piece Lego set could not surpass the value I got from this ladybug. One challenge was that there was only one ladybug for two kids, and obviously they don’t want to share anything. My other fear was that the ladybug would die or it would get lost. Unfortunately, the poor ladybug did succumb to a tragic case of ‘too much attention’ or maybe it was suffocation in my 4-year-old’s daughter’s sweaty hand. Oddly she didn’t even notice, because she thought it was sleeping.

I decided that next time I go to the garden store I need to pick up some ladybugs (not just one, maybe hundreds). The ladybugs aren’t only good for my garden aphid problem, but will save me from having to cart the kids from place to place to prevent war from breaking out in my living room or in the back seat of my car. The kids will be able to each have their own ladybug to entertain so I can entertain myself with a glass of wine and a good book.

Your Brunch is Ready

Today was Mother’s Day and I was awoken by an aroma that wafted into the bedroom. The smell reminded me of my favorite breakfast restaurant. Next, there in my bedroom was Tucker declaring, “Your brunch is ready!”. ‘Daddy’ and Paige stood behind silently with huge grins across their faces. My eyes could barely open beyond slits, but I could see the enormous smiles. Apparently they were very proud of the brunch they were about to serve me.

I peeled myself out of bed and took a look in the mirror to make sure my hair didn’t look too scary. I followed the kids and ‘daddy’ into the kitchen to see a perfect place-setting just for me. A glass of juice with ice, a cup of coffee, a brunch menu, and a perfectly folded napkin. The napkin could only be the work of Tucker, ‘master place setter’. Surrounding my place setting were cards – mostly handmade from the kids. They were wonderful. The interpretations the kids had of how ‘mommy’ looked was amazing. I never knew my arms came out of my ears like that? Or that my lips were quite that red! At least it seemed as if they liked me (and my looks) enough to make me this nice breakfast and beautiful cards.

After perusing the cards, including one store-bought card from ‘daddy’, everyone got hugs and kisses from ‘mommy’. Maybe this had been their plan all along – bribe me put me in good mood so they could get extra hugs and kisses today. Either way, I think we all came out winners. Next what was placed in front of me was a beautiful egg and cheese omelet and toast with strawberry jam. It was delicious. I was wondering if it tasted so good because I didn’t have to cook it or because ‘daddy’ really was a better cook than me. It is nice to know your family cares about you, especially on Mother’s day. I can only hope the kids are this nice to me for the rest of the day. I can hope can’t I?

Toxic Aroma

The whole family was sitting together on the sofa looking at some old photos and movies clips of the kids when they were babies. Daddy (Chris) kept asking,”What is that smell?”, and, “Who farted?”. Apparently the odor that was passing by his nose was not good. Not good at all! I was on the other end of the sofa, so I couldn’t smell a thing. (I actually thought he was imagining things.) Finally Chris realized the origin of the odor, our 4-year-old daughter’s feet. “It is her feet!”, he exclaimed. It seemed that this stench was so terrible that it couldn’t even come from a men’s locker room, never mind our dainty daughter’s feet.

Unfortunately, I am the guilty party here regarding the smelly feet. It isn’t because I let Paige wear shoes without socks today, but instead because I have passed on to her the ‘stinky-feet’ gene. For years this gene has been a real problem for me. So many times I have found myself scrubbing my feet with anti-bacterial soap in an attempt to wash away the smell. If you can call it a smell. A smell can sound nice, like roses ‘smell’. “What a beautiful smell!”, someone might say as they walk by an aromatic rose-bush. What I ‘sensed’ through my nose now, was anything but beautiful.

Realizing that Chris is suffering from the odor of Paige’s feet caused by my faulty gene, I take Paige into the bathroom and scrub her feet clean. How sad is it that Paige already knows the routine for ‘cleaning her feet’? An overall bath, sure, but how many kids run a bath for their stinky feet?

I return to sit on the sofa with Paige and her feet (that now smell like flowers) and suddenly I am overcome (actually my nose is overcome) with another vile odor. It isn’t my feet (I don’t think?). Then I notice my son Tucker and his feet that are actually covered in socks. Too bad the socks didn’t cover the odor like they did with his feet. Now the harsh reality hits me that he also has the ‘stinky-feet’ gene. Chris promptly instructs Tucker to enter the bathroom for his feet fumigation. Tucker removes his socks and Chris says, “Your feet have a toxic aroma. Let’s take care of that.”

I never heard anyone say ‘toxic’ and ‘aroma’ in the same sentence. Aroma is what you experience when you enter someone’s house after they baked cookies or burned a vanilla candle. It is too bad the ‘aroma’ of my children’s feet wasn’t more like the baked cookies, but you just have to deal with the genes you are given. I am just thankful that I live in a time and place where water and soap are plentiful (along with scented bubble bath) and I don’t always have to suffer from breathing air with a toxic aroma.