Monday, September 17, 2012

Smart Kids

I always thought I wanted smart kids. I thought that right up until Lucy scaled the steps on the outside of the railing at about 15 months old, in an effort to get past the baby gate.

Then she started using her toy "activity table" as a stool.

 This was useful as she could use it to empty my pantry so she could use canned goods as blocks.

Or she could use it to empty bookshelves.

Or she could use it to retrieve sensitive electronic equipment (like the telephone) from high places, and call Grandma and 911 all by herself.

I kept putting the mess higher and higher, and behind more and more locks, and Lucy kept getting better and better at climbing and getting past my locks. I always thought locks and gates were "baby proofing" but in my house they seem to be in the category of "mental stimulation."

Then Tommy was born. And then Tommy went mobile. And he makes Lucy look like an amateur.

At about 15 months old he discovered batteries. I was not aware of the extent of his discovery until I tried to turn on the TV one day and the remote didn't work. So I decided to change the batteries, and when I opened the battery compartment I found on AA battery and one AAA battery. Extensive searching revealed several other remotes and battery operated toys that had their batteries switched. I'm sure there are still more I haven't found.

My iPhone has so many passwords and locks that it takes me several minutes to log on to it. But Tommy figured out how to make it play music.

He has no fear, and his climbing skills reflect that.

This is Tommy on top of the table:

 This is Tommy on top of the desk:


This kid is going to give me heart failure one day.

But Tommy's stunt last night took the prize for sheer destructive genius in a minimal amount of time. I made soup for dinner last night. SOUP. From a can. Takes about five minutes of heat on the stove. Takes about 30 seconds to prep. While I was making the soup, Tommy was playing under the table. I knew where he was. I was checking on him. Harmless, right? Wrong. I hollered at the kids to go sit at the table because dinner was ready, then walked into the dining room to find Tommy sitting under the chair, holding the SEAT of the chair and several screws in his hand. When I walked in he looked relieved, concerned, and then burst into tears. "I broke it, Mommy." This is the chair:

Now what am I going to do with it? How do you child-proof a chair?!

I want smart kids. I do. But holy cow are they exhausting!!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Crisis Intervention

Tommy had a rough day today.

First, I served him bananas for breakfast, at his request.
And milk, at his request.
And cheerios, at his request.

A fifteen minute tantrum ensued. All the food landed on the floor or in my hands. My reflexes have gotten quite good since becoming a parent. I salvaged most of the banana. I let him down from the high chair and he flung himself on the ground. He kicked. He screamed. "I WANT NANA!!" Dude. You had a banana. You threw it on the floor. And now it's next to your head. I should probably pick that up before you roll on it and smush it into the carpet.

After he cried himself out I put him back in the chair. With the same banana. The same milk. And about half of the original cheerios. He ate them happily.

Then, I stole his Blankie.


He didn't find out until after Blankie had made it to the dryer. I was super sneaky. I almost managed without him being the wiser. But he happened to go upstairs about 10 minutes before it was ready to come out of the dryer.

And, well, you can see for yourself what happened. Being the bad mom that I am, I ran for the video camera to video tape his woes. Luckily for your ears, you missed the best of the screaming. While I was getting the camera, Lucy stepped in and talked Tommy down from the cliff.

Thank heavens for big sisters. Lucy deserves an award for that one. 

And I deserve an award for catching it on tape. Because not only is the video 47 seconds of charming toddler comedy gold, but it provided HOURS of entertainment this afternoon.

"That's CiCi! That's my Tommy! He's crying. My Tommy is sad. But I talked to him about the laundry and he's all happy now. See Tommy. That's you. But you don't need to cry. Your Blankie is okay. Hi Another CiCi! Hi Crying Tommy! Mommy play it again! Again! Again!"

And Tommy's comment: "Blankie! Baby! Again!"

After that, I made five more videos. You never know when you'll have a crisis.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Meet Baby

This is Baby.

Baby's gender is unknown. Baby has a blue hat. Boy. And a Princess onesie with pink flowers and butterflies. Girl.

Lucy's birthday was a couple weeks ago. Baby's gender became an issue because we wanted to buy Baby some new clothes.

"Lucy, is Baby a girl or a boy?"
"He's a girl."
"SHE is a girl?"
"No, she is a boy."
"Does Baby have a name?"
"Yeah. BABY." 

We never established gender, so Baby got a gray hoodie and gray pants. It coordinates well with both the pink onesie and the blue hat.

Here's a picture of Baby in his new clothes:

Today we had the conversation again.

"Lucy, is Baby a girl or a boy?"
"Oh really? What's his name?"
"His name is Daddy." (Note: Lucy has a different doll that is a "Daddy Doll, with a picture of Daddy on it because Daddy is deployed).
"No, that's not Daddy. Your other doll is Daddy."
"Right. Daddy Doll is upstairs. This is my Baby Daddy." 

I have since officially christened Baby "Peter" - "Daddy's other name."

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Drama Queen

Today was Lucy's first OFFICIAL public performance.

She, and the rest of her daycare class, dressed up like flowers and sang a flower song to the tune of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" for the amusement of lots of doting parents who took off work early to see the big show.

There was the kid who refused to wear his costume and threw a tantrum before the performance even began. I don't blame him. I wouldn't want to wear a gigantic flower on my head either.

Then there was the little girl who was all happy in her flower costume until she walked out "on stage" and realized there was an audience. She burst into tears and bolted down the aisle to her mommy.

Then there was MY kid. She walked out on stage and paused dead center to scan the crowd while the rest of the class lined up. She spotted me, pointed, and announced to the audience, "THAT is my Mommy." Then she ran down the aisle to give me a hug. I hugged her and sent her back up to the front of the room to sing. As she was walking back to the front of the room she paused to greet people. "Hi! I'm Lucy." "Hi! I'm going to sing!" When she got back to "the stage" she told the audience. "My Mommy came to see me! I'm a pretty flower." She spun in a circle to model her costume. "I'm going to sing now." Who needs an MC when you have Lucy to narrate?  

I never heard Lucy sing. She appeared to be lip syncing while dancing around the stage. After her class sang they left the stage to bring flowers to their parents. Lucy brought me the flower, showed it to me, and kept it. Then she took her flower headdress off, handed it to me, and joined the class of five year old students that was up next. They performed a re-enactment of the story of Stone Soup. Their performance was delayed while Lucy was escorted from the stage...twice.

At the end of the performance, Lucy found me again. She also found Tommy, and pushed him in his stroller down to the stage so he could sing too. I heard her encouraging him, "Come on Tommy. Sing the flower song with me." The World's Biggest Tantrum ensued when I made them leave the stage and come home with me.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Bedtime: Bring it!

This is a post about how NOT to do bedtime.

The Teams:
Parents: Peter and Kristin
Kids: Lucy and Tommy

The Game Plan: 

We ran the bath.
Dumped Lucy in the bath.
Dumped Tommy in the bath.
Score one for the parents.

I forwarded the laundry.
Score: Parents 2, Kids 0.

I folded one shirt.

"MOMMMYYYY!! I need to go PEE!!"

In case I didn't mention, we're potty training Lucy.

Those are the magic words.
Lucy is out of the bath.

Parents 2, Kids 1.

Peter monitored the peeing situation.
I went back to folding laundry.
Folded three more shirts.
False alarm. Lucy is back in the tub.

Parents 3, Kids 1.

Peter started putting laundry away.
"DADDDEEEEE!! I need to PEE!!!"
Lucy is out of the tub.

Parents 3, Kids 2.

Twenty seconds later...another false alarm. Please sit on the potty for more than 20 seconds Lucy.

Thirty seconds later.
Lucy is running around the house naked.

Parents 3, Kids 3.

I dump Lucy back in the tub.
I Finish folding the laundry. Peter is putting away the laundry.

"MOMMMEEEEE! I need to PEE!! I need to PEE in the POTTY!!"

Parents 4, Kids 4.
I cleaned out a drawer. Peter supervised the bath.


Parents 50, Kids 5.

Tommy is washed. I'm feeling empowered, so I decide to vacuum the upstairs while the kids are happy in the bath.

Parents 51, Kids 5. 

Tommy climbs out of the bath.

Parents 51, Kids 6.  

Tommy pulls the clean towel off the rack and throws it in Lucy's potty. With the pee.

Parents 51, Kids 26.   

Tommy is running around the house naked while Peter chases him with the towel.

Parents 51, Kids 27.

Tommy pees on the floor. 

Parents 51, Kids 127.

Peter cleans up the floor.

Tommy is pajamaed and put to bed.

One down, one to go.

Parents 52, Kids 127.

Lucy is washed.

Lucy gets three M&Ms for using the potty.

Lucy is pajamaed.

Parents 55, Kids 127.

Lucy gets a bedtime story.

Lucy gets another bedtime story.

Parents 55, Kids 128.

Peter cleans out the potty. There is pee in every crevice from Tommy's towel adventure.

Parents 55, Kids 158.  

We tuck Lucy in. Peter steps to the left. He squishes.

Peter: "Why is the floor wet?"

Lucy: "I peed."

Peter: "When?"

Me: "Why didn't you tell us?"

Lucy: "I did! I peed my pants!" (To be fair, she did wet her pants earlier and she did tell us. She didn't elaborate that the floor was wet too, but I guess she thought that was obvious).

Parents: 55, Kids 17580.

Peter cleans the floor.

Lucy decides that in the interest of full disclosure she'll list off everything else in her room that could possibly be peed on.

"I peed my bed."
"My pillow is wet."
"My blanket is wet."
"My doll peed on her bed."
"My bed is wet."
"My doll is wet."
"My panties are wet."

I check every blanket in Lucy's bed. She has half a linen closet in her bed. She likes blankets.

Lucy runs around the house like a maniac. The bed is dry.

 Parents: 55, Kids 309857902.

A full hour past bedtime, everyone is snug in their bed.

We suck.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tommy Is Not a Stool

Our kids are good at charming strangers. They would make great panhandlers.

Today Peter took them to the grocery store. They both came home with free balloons.

Then Lucy's balloon floated up to the ceiling.

She jumped to reach it. Too short.

She stood on her Diva Chair to reach it. Still too short.

So she put Tommy on the Diva Chair, and then tried to stand on top of Tommy. Tommy was not pleased with her problem solving skills. Lucy was still too short. Peter had to intervene and rescue both Tommy and the balloon.

And speaking of the Diva Chair, later this evening I walked into the living room and found this:

I asked Lucy what was going on.

"The bike was tired. It's sleeping now."

Obviously. Why didn't I guess that.

When I went to take a picture of the sleeping bike, I discovered that my camera had also been tucked in for the night. Nite Nite Camera. Who needs dolls when you have expensive electronics to play with instead?!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Monsters Inc.

A couple nights ago Peter was reading a bedtime story to Lucy titled, That's Not My Monster.

In case you haven't read it, it's a touchy feely book. It goes along the lines of "That's not my monster, it's nose is too bobbly," and you can feel the bobbly nose.

"That's not my monster, it's horns are too rough." 

Then Peter got to the page that says, "That's not my monster, it's eyebrows are too fluffy." The monster on the page has gigantic fake fur eyebrows. Lucy pointed to the eyebrows and said, "Like Mommy!!"

I guess it's time to pluck them.

This morning Lucy woke up and was playing in her room. She was pulling toys out of a box and explaining them to Tommy.

Lucy, demonstrating Vanna White style: "Look Tommy, it's a dinosaur. ROAR!!"
Tommy the obedient pupil: "ROAR!!"
Lucy: "Look Tommy, it's a rubber duck! Quack Quack!"
Tommy: "Quack Quack!" CHOMP! Rubber duck goes into his mouth.
Lucy pulls out a Shrek doll. "Look Tommy, it's Daddy!"

And now we know what our daughter thinks of us. I'm a monster with poorly groomed eyebrows, and Peter is an ogre. Who also has poorly groomed eyebrows.

She's not even thirteen yet.