Dec 27, 2006

On Being Watched

12/27/2006 — cori

Today, I decided would be a great day to go down to the DMV to check on my lost license. I felt this would be fun to do with the kids. I actually had the option to leave them at home with Chuck and thought, no, they'll be fine, it's just a quick little trip.

However, that's not what I was thinking an hour later as we were still standing in line. Standing might not be the appropriate term. I was the only one left standing. The kids found many other ways to pass the time. They thought trying to squeeze Chloe between the two of them as they leaned up against the wall was an acceptable activity - until they got 'the glare' from me. Then they decided it would be better to come lavish all their love upon me. So I had 3 children hanging from every available limb smothering me with kisses and hugs and words of affection. Not that I don't love to be loved on by my children, but we were in a small enclosed room with alot of other people standing all around us (I felt as if we were on a stage with a microphone) and we seemed to be the only ones talking.

Then Chloe saw that a Mommy and a baby had entered into the picture. She asks me, "Who dat baby, Mommy? Me go see dat baby?" To say no would be to incite the wrath of Chloe and I already had all eyes on me and my clan, I didn't need to show the world one of Chloe's temper tantrums; so I opted for, "Why don't you and Bennett go say hi to the baby."

The only way to describe the next moment is: awkward. Bennett and Chloe amble hand in hand towards the back of the line examining each person as they go. They make it to the young, unsuspecting mother holding the object of Chloe's affection and just stand there and look at her. The mother stares back at them. They look at the baby. The mother looks at the baby. I'm not exactly sure what the mother is thinking, but she did walk out about 5 minutes after this exchange. I guess Chloe did exactly what she wanted to do - she saw the baby.

Note to self: Need to teach the kids to speak to people and not just look at them. Let's work on conversation starters.

Dec 24, 2006

Fire Hazard

12/24/2006 — cori

A Christmas Eve candle light service scares me. It scares me a lot. Two reasons come to mind - Bennett and his slippery fingers and my innate fear of fire. Add to that Bennett and I sitting right next to each other and you have a recipe for disaster.

As we entered the sanctuary this morning, we passed a basket of small candles. We paid no mind to it thinking they were for other people. They really wouldn't want anyone in our family to hold a fire stick in their nice sanctuary if they really knew us.

We made it to the end of the service without creating too much of a scenario and then the Pastor says, "Now, we're going to light the candles...". Uh-oh. Chuck quickly makes a mad dash for the back to go bring enough candles to make it look like we're a bonfire waiting to explode. He gets back in time for the 'master candle' holder to light his torch. But let me digress a bit and set the scene a little more in focus for you...

Chuck is on the isle seat with Chloe perched upon his lap. Next is Gavin with a goofy grin on his face - a little too excited about holding a candle in a public space, if you ask me. I am next with Bennett lounging beside me. He thinks these chairs are recliners, I think.

Another important piece of information that is imperative for the reader to know is that Bennett drops everything. Just yesterday he spilled his drink at the table. If you give him something to hold, it will invariably end up on the floor. He has just seemed to be plagued by the 'butterfingers curse' since infanthood. Now add to Bennett's 'issue' my fear of fire. I think I'm just as scared of fire as I am of heights. We have never made a fire in our fireplace because of said fear. Oh yeah, and remember, I'm 'worst case scenario girl' - so you can imagine how the fear immediately gripped my mind and starting cranking out 'worst case scenario' movies.

So, when I hear that we are fixin to light a million candles in a sanctuary filled to the brim with little kids, people packed in like sardines next to each other and many flammable materials in too close of proximity to Bennett, my heart starts to race. I am in panic mode now - yet on the outside I try hard to keep my composure together by giving tight lipped smiles to those around me. The whole time visions of the church up in flames is running through my head. I'm imagining the person's coat in front of me on fire. I'm seeing Bennett drop his candle and a fire starting on the carpet and spreading like wildfire. I don't think this is what is supposed to come to mind while the choir is singing 'Silent Night'.

Amazingly, we made it through the everybody-light-your-candle-from-the-person's-next-to-you phase. I am begging the boys to hold on to their candle with their entire fist. Dropping the candle is not an option. And I have declared myself Fire Marshall in this all important mission. I can no longer concentrate on the beautiful melodies coming from the stage, my mind is on one thing and one thing only - keep the candles upright, far enough away from the person in front of us, but not too close to our noses to catch our hair, ties, or shirts on fire.

I'm starting to sweat. I need to sit down. As I sit down, I ask Bennett (trying to keep my voice from shaking), "Honey, would you like Mommy to hold your candle for you for a bit?" He hands it off without so much as a good-bye. He actually couldn't wait to get the object out of his hands and doesn't give me adequate time to position my hand exactly where I would like it. It seems that I caught it more in mid-air. After the transfer of the fire object is made, I am able to start breathing a bit easier. But by sitting down, it seems I have unintentionally invited Chloe to come stand too near the flames. She insists on 'helping' me. 

After inspecting Gavin's holding position and deeming that he is safe, I no longer worry about him and devote my attention to my little helper. My next mission is to not let Chloe's pig tails, which she is constantly flicking around, get in too close of proximity to the candle tip. I allow her to hold the candle under my fingers which are precariously close to the flame. The part that freaks me out. I then find myself staring wild eyed into the flame and forget where I am. I quickly remember as I feel hot wax running down my fingers.

Thank God someone on the stage had the wisdom to tell all these pyromaniacs to blow out the candles. Chloe and Bennett cover the two I'm holding with enough spit for me to also cool down my burnt hands. I quickly pass off the evil objects to Chuck with a look of utter disdain. I proceed to peel the wax off my fingers. Merry Christmas everyone!

Dec 20, 2006

Eating Crow

12/20/2006 — cori

Whenever the kids whine about something they don't have or didn't get they can always count on Mommy saying, "Guys, let's just chose to be happy and thankful for what we do have and not worry about what we don't have." Thus, the background is now set for our most recent adventure.

It was a lovely, mild, fall day and I decided a picnic was in order. The kids and I worked fast to pack a picnic lunch. Gavin put the fruit in, Chloe pitched in the napkins, Bennett put in all the puddings and I donated the sandwiches.

We get the park and are having a glorious time. We sit down at the picnic bench, spread out our red and white checked table cloth and begin to distribute our lunch foods. It didn't take long for me to notice a vast disparity among the food. I was missing my pudding.

I mount a deep investigation into this oversight. I go right to the source. Bennett. I ask him, "Honey, where is Mommy's pudding?"

He does a great impersonation of someone trying to act surprised. He wrinkles his little nose, contorts his face and feigns a thoughtful pose. Then he responds with, "Hmmm, maybe I forgot it. But that's okay Mom. Let's not look at what we don't have, let's chose to be thankful for what we do have. See, you have a nice little tangelo to eat there. Be thankful for that."

Who can argue with such logic. I'm the one forcing it on them. I may as well suck it up and take my own advice. It sure was a good tangelo.

Permission Granted

12/20/2006 — cori

We had to institute a new rule in this house. Not your typical rule. But we're not your typical family. See, Bennett gets a particular urge to use the bathroom - for a LONG time - every time we sit down to eat, that is. Therefore, the new rule is: If one feels so compelled to use the bathroom during a meal, one must limit that bathroom habit to pee only. In other words, Bennett must get permission to poopie. I never thought we'd come to this...but here we are. He takes this rule very seriously too.

The reason the rule is so strictly enforced is because Bennett seems to spend lengthy amounts of time in the bathroom when this urge stikes, thereby, coming back to a cold dinner/lunch/breakfast, be that what it may. Add to that his very slow eating habits and you end up having a little boy who spends an hour at the table for each meal. We like to all enjoy our meals together - but we don't all like to sit there for an hour watching Bennett eat. Thus, Daddy decided drastic measures needed to be taken.

Granted, he still gets his urge, but he is faithful to follow the rule. He is so conscientious that even when he's not sitting down to eat and feels the need to go to the bathroom, he comes and asks permission to poopie. I can't believe I'm even talking about this. This entire blog, since it's inception, seems to have been devoted to Bennett's Bathroom Habits. Welcome to my world.

So, we're traveling for the Holidays. We spent two entire days in airports within the past week. All the boys decide that it's time to check out the bathroom at the current airport we've been waiting at for two hours. Daddy graciously offers to take them to the bathroom. Once they get inside, Bennett asks Chuck, "Daddy, can I go poopie?" very loudly. Of course, they're not the only ones in the bathroom. Chuck is getting some odd stares, but he's the kind to let things roll off his back. Bennett wants to make sure that it really is okay to poopie, so he asks yet again, even louder, "Daddy, can I please go poopie?" Chuck responds, "YES. Permission to poopie is granted." Feeling relieved, Bennett choses a stall. Gavin decides that since Bennett has permission, he must also, and choses a stall next to Bennett.

Of course, this is all hear say, being that I was not in the men's restroom at the time of this conversation. As Chuck is waiting patiently for our beloved boys, he hears Bennett say, "Hey Gavin. Do ya wanna play 'I Spy'?" Chuck can't believe his ears and quickly nips this little diversion in the bud. He does NOT want to loiter in the bathroom any longer than necessary and encourages the boys to do prompt business.

How do you play 'I Spy' when you're not even in the same place as somebody? What is there to see in a stall? Everything is gray. It's not like there's many things to 'spy'. It's not like you need an activity to help the time go by. You gotta hand it to Bennett, there's never a dull moment in his life - or ours either.

Dec 11, 2006

Here's a Good Idea

12/11/2006 — cori

Daddy's birthday was quickly approaching, so I decided to ask the kids what they might like to get him. I never cease to be amazed at what kids think grown-ups like. Gavin wanted to get him a pumice rock for his feet. We happended to just be studying a little geology at the time and he was curious to see what pumice looked it kind of all worked out perfectly for him. Thankfully, Chuck loves pumice rocks.

Chloe still has no clue. If he doesn't want a baby or a stroller, then she's out of ideas. When Gavin was two, I asked him the same question, only for Grandpa's birthday. I actually got exactly what he said, "a glass cup and a blue plate". That has come to be one of Grandpa's favorite gifts to date. So, sometimes it works out well, other times, not so much.

Then there's Bennett...there's always Bennett. His brain works slightly different from the rest of us. I think he heard, "Bennett what would you like me to buy Daddy that you can play with, have, use or watch?" Knowing that this is how his brain filtered my earlier question, you can have a better understanding of why he replied the way he did. "I have a good idea. How bout we get him 'The Emperor's New Groove' [Bennett's latest greatest favorite movie]." I have to admit, that was a good idea. Daddy loves the humor in it. I even tried to find it, but was unsuccessful. On the second go around he said, "Mom, do they make monster costumes for Daddy's? Cuz if they do, I think we should buy him one. That way when we play monster (i.e.- Daddy chasing the kids around on the playground) he can be a REAL monster."

Again, another perfect suggestion - IF YOU WERE BENNETT who loves to wear a costume everyday, for any occasion. But just think about that for a moment...what if you were another child/parent at the playground and saw this Daddy in a monster costume chasing kids around, wouldn't that freak you out a bit? But to Bennett, that would have been the ultimate gift. I told him that they do indeed sell monster costumes for adults, but they're all sold out and we'll have to remember that for next Halloween.

He ended up settling on making his own coupon, that he wrote out himself, giving Daddy one free massage any time he wants it. I kind of ended up throwing a few ideas out there and he decided that one would be the easiest. He likes massages himself, so I figured he wouldn't mind giving one. But as soon as he gives a 2 minute massage, he sits down in front of you and says, "Now you do me." I knew he'd figure a way to get something out of it for himself.

Dec 9, 2006

Words to Remember

12/09/2006 — cori

There are few things as precious as the way a toddler mispronounces new words in her vocabulary. Here are a sampling of some of my favorites from Chloe. The high pitched, whiney sound will fade in time and so will the 'wrong' way of saying things. That's why, for today, I am choosing to live in the moment and enjoy life the way my two year old does.

Bbblllaaahhh = drink
Pooppaste = toothpaste
Flone = phone
Foo me = excuse me
Etmeal = oatmeal
Food me peez = feed me please
Pumbody giga me nink = somebody get me a drink
Pum on boys, it's pime eat = come on boys, its time to eat
Probly me do dis
How me do dis?
I hep you?
I am be doctor
Mommeeee...peez wipe my botton
Me no yike your hair up Mommeee

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