Tuesday, January 19, 2010

MLK and Sorry

This morning as I was driving Bo to school he mentioned how he was excited to find out what other kids did to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr Day. After laughing aloud, I had to gently inform him that his father is just as unique and quirky as he is, and chances are, no one else had cake and learned about the Spanish Revolution and Henry David Thoreau's, Civil Disobedience---in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.

We, on the other hand, partied hard with chocolate cake, friends, and a nice long history lesson from J.

In other news, on Sunday night while I was working, J played a game of Sorry with Danyo. He was so entertained by it, that he grabbed our Flip camera and discreetly filmed the game. I have a lot of videos of my kids. This one is probably my favorite.

In keeping with our MLK tradition, here is a picture of our cake. There are two candles to represent our second year of celebrating as a family.

I'm really looking forward to Groundhog's Day. It's one of my favorite holidays.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Friend Will Not Say Never

So, Avee is at the age where pretty much everything she says and thinks makes me laugh. She's so different, from Bo. Her interests, her perspective, her obsessions...

A couple of weeks ago I got upset with J. I can't remember now what it was about. It was minor. But I was laying on the bed reading, he came to talk to me and I started sulking. I said something like, "I'm just not going to ever _______ again. I'm serious. I'm done." He burst out laughing and said, "Okay, Avee."

I think we've been so perplexed by Avee when really, all along, she's just an uninhibited, unsocialized Me. I was very serious when I was sulking, but realizing how very much I sounded like Avee, made me get over it. But it also helped me understand Avee a little better. It's very real---her sadness, her threats, her need to make us feel her "suffering."

I don't think a day goes by that she doesn't threaten to "never be my friend again". I go back and forth between expressing dismay at this loss of a friendship (I don't want her to feel totally impotent) and confirming that she will always be my friend, no matter what. She is tough though. When I say, "Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that, I really like being your friend." She usually responds with a "Well, that's what you get" sort of answer. When I reaffirm that I will always be her friend she tells me firmly that I will be standing alone in that friendship.

Lately she has been having some tough consequences for her behavior. She kind of throws tantrums when she's mad or frustrated, and she's getting to the age where she has to use words and try a little harder to express herself. Two days in a row she threw the Wii remote when she got frustrated with a game she couldn't immediately master. (The kid's amazing on the Wii, seriously.)

So she lost the privilege of playing the Wii for the rest of the day. She tried to bargain, she whined, she yelled, and finally she told me she was no longer my friend. I told her I was sorry to hear that. She said, "I'll let you be my friend again if you let me play the Wii." I told her, as tempting as this was, she wouldn't learn to treat the remote more gently if she didn't have to go without it for a while and think about her actions more. "Then have fun not having ME for your friend," says she.

Yesterday, she did it again. Threw the remote. This time it was aimed at Bo, and who's to say he didn't earn it, but she broke a known rule, so she lost the privilege again.

She was furious. She knew I would stick to my guns because of the day before, so she didn't bother with the bargaining. She just went right into the threats and verbal tether-ball. I won't ever be your friend. I'm not your friend! I won't ever snuggle you again, I want you to hold me, but don't ever snuggle me! It's awesome.

During a brief break from one of her monologues of all the things I was missing out on, I asked Bo to turn down the tv volume. She jumped to do it. I said, "I thought you weren't my friend and didn't want to have anything to do with me?" She said, "I said I won't do anysing with you or by you, but I'll still do things for you."

She had trouble coming to the table for dinner when she was called, so there was a little drama there.

Then at bedtime all three kids were being turds. After repeated efforts to get them out of my hair and into bed, I finally just yelled, "GET UPSTAIRS NOW!"

My yelling always makes Avee sad. Sometimes she responds indignantly, because she doesn't want me to see that I got to her, but most times she just cries.

She started to cry, stormed up about three stairs, turned to me and said, "Mom, we're OVER" complete with a hand chopping the air. I burst out laughing as she explained, "That means we are not friends anymore!" My laughing made her cry more, but I could not pull it together. I've laughed about it at least 26 more times since she said it last night. I have no idea where she comes up with this stuff.

In the end, I love that she thinks the absence of her love and affection is the worst punishment. I love that she knows we are wrapped around her finger. I love that she always expresses her anger to me. I love that it usually lasts no more than 8 minutes. I love that she wants so desperately to withhold her affection as punishment, but ultimately, just can't do it.

I thought I should write some of this down because of one of Avee's remarks today as we were driving around town. Avee was in the back of the van, her friend Ella was in the seat in front of her. We were listening to one of our Veggie Tales CD's that has the Michael W Smith song, "Friends" on it. You ain't lived until you've heard a gourd and a cucumber sing that! One part, if you aren't familiar, goes, "And a friend will not say never, 'cause the welcome will not end...."
I heard Avee above the music exclaim, "That's not true, Ella you say never to me ALL THE TIME."

Ella is Avee's perfect match. She didn't hear or didn't respond and then when the song ended she sighed, "That is the most beautifullest song I ever heard, could we hear it again?"

Meanwhile, Avee's in the back muttering about how she got gipped out of a friend that never says never.

Friday, January 8, 2010


I have about 15 bags of groceries on my floor and I'm blogging. I've put the frozen stuff away and that's all that matters. No fudge-pop puddles on my floor!

I don't have anything to write, but I was feeling sad this morning that I'm not taking the time to document my life and the kids' stages right now.

But that doesn't change that I haven't a thing to really write about.

I fell on the ice on Tuesday morning. I was holding Danyopants too. He totally yelled at me for falling. If it didn't hurt so badly, I probably would have laughed at his griping. The entire right side of my body hurts at varying degrees. I'm too old and too fat and too tall to be falling like this.

I'm sad that my little Bo is closer to 7 than six. He's just simply not a baby in any way, anymore. This makes me sad. I love his growing and evolving and discovering, but all this is going to lead to is a frumpy, monosyllabic teenager and I don't think I can take that change.

I don't think Bo has a chance in the world to ever become monosyllabic.

Danyo's starting to talk more and more, he has very important phrases like, "Dat's mines" down. I love every word he says. Today at the store I was trying to convince him to let me buy the generic bubble bath, since it's going to get all dumped out when I'm not looking anyway, and I'd rather cheap stuff get dumped. I opened up one of the bottles and he said, clear as day, "Dat smells like juice." I made him say it two more times. I think it was his first complete sentence. He punctuates each word with a slight pause. Avee was inclined to turn an entire sentence into a word, "getout-thewaaaaay", and Danyo seems to make each word it's own sentence.

J went vegetarian last week. Right after his last Arby's splurge. I suspect a good enough looking hamburger shows up, he'll reconsider---but for now, he's all beans and veggies.

Most days I feel like I'm floating through life. We've been waiting for several months to hear about a job opportunity and the waiting is getting to me. I try to live in the moment, but this waiting has kept me from doing that. I'm waiting, planning, hoping, wishing, scheming, dreaming...all of those things keep me from really living. I need to stop. I need to play Sorry more with Bo. I need to play house with Avee. I need to read more to Danyo. But instead I spend my days waiting for a change, dreaming about leaving Iowa winters, and cursing the dadgum people who are taking so long.

Hey, how'd you like that little glimpse into my brain!?

My kids are hungry. They can't heat up their corndogs until I open the package. I can't wait until these kids can do everything for themselves.
Just kidding.