Oct 11, 2005

Little Mr. Tender Heart

10/11/2005 — cori

When God was giving out love, I think Bennett got in line twice. His little heart is so tender, especially towards little girls (and me :) ). He treats his little 'Zoe' like a queen, even though she can be pretty 'catty' to him at times. She can do no wrong in his little world - so he keeps showering her with affection and help and kind words. She has yet to realize the depth of this gift he is bestowing on her. Bennett is especially concerned with the plight of all little girls that are his height or below. He feels it is his job to make them happy if they are sad. Take today for instance...

We were at our local library. As we were coming out, the kids asked if they could throw pennies in the water fountains that decorate the entrance to the building. The boys each got two pennies and Chloe got one. They take this 'making a wish' business very seriously. You don't just fling a penny aimlessly into any old fountain. It requires much contemplation and soul searching before giving up that precious money. They fully expect these wishes to come true.

As we were watching the kids go through their solemn ritual of 'making a wish', another Mom and her little girl approached the fountain Bennett was at. The little girl asked her Mommy for some money. The Mom was digging frantically through her purse. Bennett walked up to them and said, "Here, wu can have my money." He saw a little girl in need and felt the urge to come to her rescue. I watched in awe. It was one of those moments that you always hope you might see from your children - when they are looking out for someone other than themselves. I never urged him to do it, I just sat back and watched my son show someone else love and it was a beautiful sight.

The Mom looked at us in amazement and made some comment about our parenting. I told her it wasn't us...it was all Bennett. I explained the soft spot he holds in his heart for little girls. By then, the other Mom had found her pennies and was offering Bennett some more in return. He reluctantly took them. He didn't do it to get anything back, but out of the joy of making someone else happy.

After they had left, I pulled Bennett to me to give him a hug and let him know how proud I was of him. I told him that through that action, he just showed the love of Jesus to someone else. He was beaming. I asked him what made him want to do that. He replied, "Duh wittle dirl didn't have any money and I wanted to make hur happy."

He always seems so concerned about my happiness as well. Whenever I have to discipline him he always lets me know that, "Mom, I still wuv you even dough I made a bad choice." He doesn't want anyone to be mad at him. And if I ever appear sad or down in any way, you can guarantee he will find some type of flower or leaf or stick to bring me with the tag line, "I just wanted to make wu happy, Mom." He sure knows how to brighten up my day.

They other day, I found him standing on top of the chair trying to reach a flower in a vase that was sitting on our breakfast bar. When I caught him red-handed, he was stammering as fast as he could trying to explain about how he found this flower for me and that he wanted to give it to me to make me happy. Same thing happened at a restaurant. I think I'm going to have to ask Chuck to explain the etiquette about how and where you may get flowers. Stealing them from other people's vases and yards do not make mommy happy, even though they are a flower.

Oct 9, 2005

The Lullaby

10/09/2005 — cori

Last night I was getting Chloe ready for bed. As most parents and children do, we have a little routine we follow to a tee. We change into our jammies. We sit on our bed just so - and we have to be in the exact same spots or everything is thrown-off. We read the exact same flip book. Then we cuddle (my favorite part) as I sing her a few songs. Thankfully, I don't have to pick the exact same song every night. If she disapproves of the evening's pick, she just shakes her head no and I move on to a more acceptable piece of music.

As I was in the middle of singing "You Are My Sunshine", Bennett comes in and asks if he could sing a song for his sister "cuz I wuv her". I instructed him to come stand next to me and rub her back, as I was doing, while he sings to her. He laid his head on her arm as he was rubbing her back ever so gently and then in the highest, softest pitch he began..."Wu are a sweet dirl, Zoe. I wuv wu very much. Wu need to yearn to have more patience sometimes. Wu need to go to bed now cuz its wu bedtime. I wuv wu very much, Zoe." Then he quietly slipped out the door after smothering her with kisses.

He loves without abandon. Thank you, Bennett, for teaching me to do the same.

Oct 6, 2005

Up Chuck

10/06/2005 — cori

This is a rather odd title, I know. It could represent two different things. One being puke. The other being a phrase such as, "Get UP CHUCK....because a child of ours has thrown up." In both cases, the phrase involves a bodily function. Unfortunately, most of my stories revolve around bodily functions and my children in some form or fashion. It has come to be expected, hasn't it?

We seem to have been home to a tummy virus lately. It started with Chloe a week ago. One morning I went to get her up and found her sleeping in and around her own throw-up. Actually, she tucked her self into the farthest corner of the crib she could to escape the horrible stench and wetness that permeated the oppostie side it.

Whenever I walk in and find that one of my children has slept in throw up, I feel that I have somehow failed as a mother. I should instinctively know when my child has thrown up and should rush to their aide anytime of the night or day. However, my children never have felt the need to tell me that their insides transferred to their outsides during the course of their sleep. Evidently, they place a higher priority on sleep and their sense of smell must not be too keen.

This brings me to Bennett. It's always Bennett, isn't it? The other night, I went to give him one final kiss before going to bed. He had mentioned earlier that his 'tummy hurt' but I gave it no heed (my first mistake). Gavin had gone to bed earlier with a tummy ache and Bennett always tends to copy whatever brother does. So, I just figured he was copying brother to get extra attention. Boy, was I wrong!

As I opened the door, the smell of rancid gastric juices almost knocked me over. "What in the world?", I thought. I plugged my nose and continued walking over to the bunk bed in the dark, praying I wouldn't step on anything wet and gooey. As I bent over to kiss Bennett, I discovered where the scent originated from. There was my boy, all squished up at the bottom of his bed. There were at least 3 small piles of throw up in and around the upper portion of his bed, including, but not limited to: his pillow, his blanky, and his quilt. Another pile had miraculously ended up under his bunk bed (maybe it slipped through the slats; I still haven't figured that one out). It was everywhere. He didn't feel the need to inform us of this inconvenience. He just wanted to go back to sleep. The contents of my stomach were deciding that they didn't want to remain on the inside anymore either. I rushed out of there and ran to get Chuck who was already dozing off.

"Uh, Baby...you're not going to be very happy with me right now, but, uh...I need you upstairs for a minute", then I bolted. He would figure it out once he reached the top of the steps. As Chuck was cleaning and rinsing and re-outfitting Bennett with a new place to sleep that didn't reek of sour milk, I was putting a load of laundry in and Lysoling everything in sight. Poor kid, he was serious after all. Live and learn, right?

At precisely 2:16am, I was awakened by Gavin tapping me on the shoulder. Once I realized who he was, who I was and where I was, I asked, "Are you okay, Honey?" He replied, "Now I am." I didn't catch on. So he proceeded to explain, "Uh, I was trying to get to the bathroom and I uh, kinda didn't make it there all the way." Before he was finished with his sentence, Chuck was out of bed and already marching up the stairs with carpet cleaner and paper towels in hand.

This was a bad one. Instead of isolating the accumulated stomach contents in one neat place such as the bed, Gavin spewed them throughout a diameter of at least three feet right outside his bedroom door and into the loft right at the top of the stairway. In typical Gavin fashion, he was trying to convince us that it could have been worse. He said, "Well, at least I wasn't trying to run down stairs to get you and I could have thrown-up all over the stairs. That's a good thing, huh?!". We assured him that he wasn't in trouble and that accidents happen. It's hard to anticipate what and when and where and how your tummy will empty its contents - at least in this family.

We made it back to bed around 2:46am. Thankfully, getting up that second time around gave me time to take the first puke ladened items out of the washer and put them into the dryer. As I lay there pondering the unforeseen drama of this night, I harkened back to my childhood days of not making it to the bathroom in time. This seems to be a genetical problem in our family.

I was once sleeping with my Grandma while visiting with them and threw up all over her. She never showed one hint of frustration or anger over that. Another time, I did exactly as Gavin did to us, but I left a trail from my bedroom to the bathroom. My Mom was the first to reach me and gave me a towel to wipe my mouth. As she sat and consoled me, my Dad did the honors of cleaning up the mess. So that he could stomach it a little easier, he grabbed a nearby towel and held it up to his face to cover his mouth and nose. As the chore wore on, he came up for breath and mentioned to Mom that this time was especially odorous for some reason. Then she happened to notice the towel he was using to shield his face. It was the same one she had previously wiped my mouth with. He was breathing the fumes up close. I never remember laughing so hard while being so sick.

I guess the moral to the story is: what goes around comes around. It's just payback time, that's all.

Oct 2, 2005

I am Pathetic

10/02/2005 — cori

This Mommy Story is actually about the Mommy - the pathetic Mommy, to be exact. Let me explain...

I love cookies. I have a serious obsession with cookies - not unlike the famed Cookie Monster. However, my body has decided that in order to help keep me from looking exactly like the Cookie Monster, it would install a trigger alarm somewhere within me to keep me from devouring too much of my favorite food. This trigger happens to be in the form of a migraine.

I hate my headaches. It seems that my body prefers that I consume a diet rich in bland, boring food such as grass and water. Those have yet to induce the headache trigger. But I NEED my cookies. This is my one vice (okay, my second vice - my other one is buying lots and lots of beautiful furniture). What's a Mommy to do?

But alas, I have found the answer! I stumbled upon the most scrumptious of cookies made my by beloved grocery store's bakery. I was in heaven. I have found the ONE cookie that does not alert the 'trigger'. Life is good. Well, at least it was...until 'corporate' decided that this particular cookie was too unhealthy to keep selling and instructed all the bakeries to no longer make this item.

Trust me, it's not a good idea to mess with me and my cookies. It took years of labored searching until my body deemed that this would be the ONE cookie that I may eat and derive pleasure from. I was not going to just sit idly by and watch as my favorite cookie was being maliciously taken away from me. Like the bakery makes anything that is good/healthy for you?! It was time I took action.

I wrote a nice little letter to 'corporate'. I got no response. I'm sure I'm deemed as 'The Cookie Lady' now. Things were looking bleak. But I'm not worried, I'm desperate and desperate people do desperate things. I decided that 'if I can't beat them, I'd join them'. No, I didn't go to work for the bakery department - at least not yet. I got in real friendly with all the employees in the bakery, though.

Then a thought struck me, why not just special order my favorite cookie. My new found bakery friends were more than happy to oblige. No need to panic any longer about if and when I'll get my favorite cookie. I am the only person I know who has a standing order at the bakery department for cookies. Not only do they know me by name, they bake 12 little cookies each week and have them ready for me every Saturday by noon. Does life get any better than this?

Today I went to pick up my cookies among other items at the store. As I made my way through the checkout line, the cashier noticed my cookies and said, "Oh, you're the one who orders those cookies every week". After turning multiple shades of red, I admitted it was me. I then asked this lady if everybody in the store knew about my little standing order and she gave me a wry little smile as she shook her head up and down. Oh great! How pathetic am I? My bakery friends sold me out. The whole store knows about me and my little headache and favorite cookie problem. They probably have my picture posted in the break room somewhere with a warning - 'Do not, under any circumstances, tell this woman she cannot have her cookies. Do what ever it takes. Customer satisfaction is our greatest goal'.

Not only am I pathetic, I am obsessive compulsive about my cookies and keep them in a high, safe place in case of a flood (or maybe hungry little people). I then retreat into the pantry or wait until all is quiet and then eat my one cookie. It is in that moment that I don't care what all those people think. All that work for one pathetic little cookie. What have I become?

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