Mar 31, 2008

Impressive

3/31/2008 — cori
At some random point in the day today, my sweet boy came up to me and declared, "Mom, I don't know why, but I really like to impress the girls." I guess he's been having a few deep thoughts lately. I smiled, rubbed his head and said, "I know, Sweetheart!" At the same time, Chloe, who was close by also responded, "Bennett, you impress me." What greater compliment could a sister give a brother who likes to impress girls. The world is in perfect harmony today...let's try to keep it that way.

Mar 21, 2008

Tooth Fairy Issues

3/21/2008 — cori
I come from a family with a long line of tooth fairy issues. Growing up, I never knew when or even if the magical fairy would come. I even had a beautifully embroidered pillow with my name on it and a teeny, tiny pocket made especially for my tooth. I remember waiting as long as a week in some cases for the tooth fairy to grace me with her invisible presence. Not that I'm bitter or anything...just that that little piece of background information is crucial for understanding this story.My sweet boy just recently lost both of his front teeth - in the same day no less. That's an interesting story right there...let's detour for a bit and retell the tale...

Last Wednesday, Bennett pined away all day about his wiggly, danglely, loose, front tooth. I offered multiple times to pull it out for him. He refused. Gavin offered to tie a string to it and the other end to our dog's tail. He still refused. He much more enjoyed the 'whine all day so that everyone knows' method and hoped it would painlessly fall out as he sat upon his bottom doing nothing. He dislikes pain, even the slightest bit. Actually, he dislikes the thought of pain more than the actual pain.

Miraculously (and this could have only happened to Bennett), as he sat down for dinner, he reached up to wiggle his tooth one last time with his fingers and it just sort of fell out - no blood, no fan fare, no fireworks. Just...there you go...even a little boring, if you asked me. But, we made the customary fuss over it and took pictures. It was a wonderful dinner getting to eat in peace and quiet without hearing about Bennett's wiggly tooth for the umpteenth time.

But after dinner is when the good stuff happens. I went out running and wasn't even gone 3 minutes when I get a phone call from Chuck. I started to panic cuz he never calls me when I'm running, so there must have been a true emergency. Turns out, as the story goes, Gavin and Bennett were out front playing 'kill the carrier' (a rough and tumble football game that I've never had a desire to play). When all of the sudden, Gavin decides to stop in his tracks as Bennett is sprinting after him, obviously with his mouth wide open. Bennett rams into Gavin at full force and blood gushes everywhere. Come to find out both front teeth were actually loose, but the one that came out this time, needed a little bit more pressure before it decided to tear free from it's home for the past 6 years. Chuck said the tears lasted a good 30 minutes. The high-pitched piggy squeel, which he is well known for, went on and on and on.

You would think he would be thrilled that now he would get to put 2 teeth under his pillow. But no, this is Bennett. He is still seething over the inconsiderate act of his brother suddenly stopping in the middle of the playing field and for making him bump into him, thereby causing the premature loss of his other front tooth. It's all Gavin's fault. He knows how to play the victim well.

So, before bed, I told Bennett that I wouldn't mind writing the tooth fairy a note explaining that his brother actually caused the other tooth to dislocate sooner than expected and should get part of the reward money. He wasn't falling for that one either. I told him that if he wanted all the money, then he would have to stop blaming Gavin and just enjoy the fact that he was going to get a visit from the tooth fairy tonight. How exciting! He bought my psychology and went to bed a happy, front-toothless camper.

Might I add one side note that is also crucial to the story. A few days prior to this turn of events. We read "The Berenstain Bears Go To The Dentist". In this lovely little dram that my children take as gospel truth, Sister Bear looses her tooth and wakes up to find a shiny, new coin under her pillow. This is now the gold standard, anything less or different - wrong.

So, that night, the tooth fairy actually showed up! What do you know! In all my years I'd never seen such a punctual tooth fairy. This fairy decided to leave a whole dollar bill in place of the two teeth set precariously under his pillow. From what we gathered by later discussing this issue with the fairy, was that he/she assumed that because of the traumatic loss of one tooth and the ordinary loss of the other, a little extra compensation should be involved. Normally, we were told, a single quarter would have sufficed - but this case was filled with extenuating circumstances.

At some undetermined time in the middle of the night, the recipient of this new found wealth, stormed into our bedroom, marched over to my side of the bed and with a teary lisp shoved the folded up dollar bill in my face and said, "I only got a one! Mom, I only got a one and I losh 2 tooths. And I can't find them anywhere. I've looked under my pillow. I think they fell under my bed and its too dark and........waaaaaahhhh." I had no comprehension of what was just told me. All I know was that I could vaguely make out a dollar bill somewhere near the tip of my nose and I indeed saw a "1" on it. So, I concluded, this must be the "1" Bennett was talking about. I told him that a "1" was alot of money, that the tooth fairy was extra nice to him. He didn't care, it was still a "1". He said, "...but Sister got a shiny, new coin...".

Oh...I see where this is going...so now I'm having to explain math concepts in the middle of the night. "Honey," I use my most calming voice, "the tooth fairy must have thought you might like a whole dollar which would have been the same as 4 shiny, new quarters, but evidently the tooth fairy didn't have any quarters." He was so distraught, he laid his head on my chest and cried and cried. I told him to go back to bed and sleep tight. Which he did. The dramatic moment of the night before was never even mentioned at breakfast.

In order to prevent tragedies such as these in the future, I hereby decree that there should be some Global Standard that tooth fairies everywhere should follow thereby, limiting the number tooth fairy complaints taken by us innocent parents.

Mar 19, 2008

Family Nomenclature

3/19/2008 — cori
Of course this story is set at the dinner table...aren't most of our crazy stories? This one is no exception. Everyone (except the adults) seemed to be in a goofy mood and felt like describing themselves and their siblings with many interesting adjectives. I was not liking where this was heading so instead of revoking speaking privileges I opted for a more creative, organic method to get my crazy, parenting advice into their still susceptible, little minds. I chose to tell them a story.

I recalled how, in a bygone era, maybe 12 years ago, when I attended college (in actuality it seems more like 20 years ago!), I had a class where we were supposed to introduce ourselves to everyone. Not such an odd request. But this teacher wanted us to really remember everyones' names, so she got creative. She explained that we were to stand up and say our name, but we were to precede it with a character quality of ourselves (preferably a positive one) that started with the same letter as our first name. Once the class was finished introducing ourselves, we played a little game of memory to see how many people could remember each others' names. Surprisingly, we all remembered because we had something to associate it with (obviously, this was a marketing class).

Not that I'm trying to teach my children to 'market' themselves, but I do want them to remember that their words have meaning. I also wanted them to think about how they want others to remember them. So we collectively tried thinking of character qualities for each person in the family. Each person decided on their favorite; thankful for the input from the others. Interestingly enough, most of us chose an adjective that someone else suggested.

Without further ado, let me introduce my family (and me):
Careful Chole
Benevolent Bennett
Good Gavin
Considerate Cori
Challenging Chuck
Excellent (Exiled) Elizabeth

A few of these need explaining, I know. First of all, I did not call my husband a 'challenge' as in a negative term. I came up with the word challenging because he loves to challenge the norms and think outside of the box. It was between 'challenging' and 'chivalrous' and he chose the one he liked best. Gavin does not like to mince words. He prefers to get right to the point. Chuck and I were spitting out G adjectives left and right. Instead, he chose his own, no-fuss, simple description which fits him perfectly.

Bennett was delighted when Daddy suggested 'benevolent' he didn't know what it meant, but it sure sounded good. It was better than his idea of 'bouncy'. I tried to explain that a character quality describes who you are, not what you do. Maybe this is a concept a bit above his head. Either way, who he is is definitely summed up beautifully in his character description. Chloe has an amazing attention to detail at just 3 years old. I'm always astounded. She's also not a risk taker and she is very precise. I think 'careful' depicts all those qualities perfectly.

Elizabeth (the dog)...there's a whole other blog. The kids came up with 'excellent'. Chuck and I, on the other hand, chose the word 'exiled' because...well, let's just say she's not in the 'inner-core' of the family and she's outside alot. And I just chose the old stand-by from my college days, hoping it would still apply. The family agreed and voila!

Maybe tomorrow night at dinner we'll come up with an acrostic for each of our names (NOT!).

Mar 12, 2008

Moron

3/12/2008 — cori
You know how they say a picture is worth a thousand words...well, unfortunately I don't have a picture of this happening but luckily I have the 'thousand words'.

Yep, I'm the moron. This is not my typical modus operandi, but for whatever reason, I threw all sanity out the window tonight.

You see, my friend and I were running this course in preparation for our 5K coming up. It is not where we typically run, so we're trying to prepare for the terrain difference and extra distance it involves. It's a beautiful run, gorgeous, upscale area, very neat, trim and manicured. So, we're running along when all of the sudden I feel a 'plop' on my leg. Oh my gosh - a bird just pooped on me! I was SO grossed out! (I know I'm starting to sound 'valley girl' again). Oh yes, and I'm wearing shorts.

I could think of nothing but this gross mass on my thigh. I kept looking at it and begging my friend to let me stop and get it off (she's a tough, but awesome trainer). She finally relented and I went running off to a nice green patch of manicured grass just off the side walk and threw myself upon the green patch face first. The 'grossness' was on my upper thigh near my knee. The only thing I could think of was lay on the grass and wipe it off. But being that it was on the front of my leg...hmmm...this created quite an obstacle. Picking up pieces or clumps of grass was out of the question because much of the grass around here is still dormant for the winter. I had already claimed the only green patch around.

So, I just started writhing around on my stomach on the ground dragging my leg behind me like it suddenly went limp. It didn't all come off on the first try. So, I had to wiggle around and pretend like I was a worm a little while longer. All the while my friend is standing on the sidewalk trying to pretend she doesn't know me while laughing hysterically at the scene I'm causing. And yes, there were cars passing by.

Obviously, I could have cared less what people thought of me, I had poop on my leg that was the only thing on my mind - I could not stand for that! After a few awkward minutes we resumed our run without a hitch, as if it never happened. You just never know what you'll do in a situation until it happens to you. Well...I can now assume that whatever the situation, my response to it will most likely be moronic.

I can only pray the same bird doesn't target me during our 5K. I'd hate to have to pull that stunt in front of all the participants. This is NOT supposed to be a comedic event.

Mar 8, 2008

No Gnawing

3/08/2008 — cori
Should I even have to make this a rule?

Of course it is Bennett that it applies to. He's like a little woodchuck over at his place just gnawing down on a piece of....anything...he can gnaw a sanwhich, a cookie, an apple slice, a strawberry. You name it, he can gnaw. It takes unprecedented skill. Obviously, we've given him ample opportunity to practice.

It's just one of those things that hits you one day. Wait a minute there, did I just see Bennett gnawing that piece of meat? How long has this been going on? Why haven't I noticed this before? Have I been tacitly consenting to cavemen-like eating habits? Do I have one ounce of parenting ability in my body? How could this have slipped through my 'parent radar'? Of course this is all about me.

Therefore, I add one more utterly unexpected rule to my list of "Random Rules for Kids". The first rule: Do not bite the armoire, I learned that one the hard way. The second rule: Never say you don't need a stroller when you're going on a walk with 3 kids and one of them is only 3 months old and the other is not quite potty trained. (again, learned the hard way). And now my third ridiculous rule: No Gnawing.

If my 'learning things the hard way' can relieve the suffering of just one, new, inexperienced, gullible parent, then maybe I can continue to live with myself. Maybe there's some bigger, deeper reason to all my perils. These children will take advantage of as much as they can if they think you don't know 'all the (mysterious) rules'. Watch-out!

Mar 6, 2008

Snort Fest

3/06/2008 — cori
Another dinner in my house equals another night of unexpected surprises. For whatever reason, Bennett was standing by my chair during dinner and I reached over and planted a kiss on his nose. My children love to "rub them in" although, it would appear to any outsider, that they are wiping off their beloved mother's kiss.

As Bennett is rubbing his kiss in, he snorts and says he's rubbing it in extra good. We all bust a gut laughing. This, of course, was the last thing we expected from him. He's well known for his little piggy squeal cry, but I never knew he also had the capacity to snort so well and realistically. It was a kodak moment.

So now that he knows he can elicit a laugh from all of us, he starts snorting up a storm. He wants to have a contest to see who can snort the loudest. In the midst of our little 'contest' I stop and ask myself, "are these manners I hoped to be instilling in my children at the dinner table?" The obvious answer is "no" - but it was just so funny.

I so wish I had my camera. The face he makes when he snorts like a piggy is beyond funny. He looks up, tightens his neck and jaw muscles and then channels one of the loudest noises he can find within himself. We all had tears in our eyes from laughing so hard. Truly, there wasn't anything that could have been funnier to us at the time.

It appears Bennett gets this skill from Daddy.

I was awarded the 'quietest snort' award.

And Chloe, she got it all backwards. She couldn't snort in, she kept trying to blow air and noise out her nose. Something always ended up coming out of her mouth in my direction each time. Obviously, we need to spend a little more quality time giving Chloe guidance in this area.

Thankfully nobody choked on dinner during our little snort fest tonight.

Mar 4, 2008

The "Other" World

3/04/2008 — cori
"Hi Mom. Marsupial Garfbull would like some cornelius abstract with that please."

"Huh?"

"Actually, if I don't get some ketchup soon, I might get earwax disease."

"Huh?"

That is my son, Gavin and I having a lively conversation about his "other" world. Often times, I have zero clue which world he is in when he begins a conversation with me. I am easily confused, highly gullible and have horrible short term memory. And you can bet they use all these lovely traits against me and for their benefit more often than not.

So, back to that little nonsensical conversation...Marsupial Garfbull is Gavinworld language for Gavin Eddy (that would be my son, I assume). He likes salt. He evidently likes it so much he gave it a little, pet name...that would be "cornelius abstract". Between Chloe calling pepper "black salt" and Gavin referring to it as cornelius abstract, I get a little confused and tend to give blank stares allot when I'm being talked to.

After asking multiple questions (which is exactly what he wanted me to do...I just played into his little mind game like a circus monkey), I learned many other (useless) facts such as: ketchup is the highest rank of foodstuffs and includes candy, sugar and salt. You can only get earwax disease at 16, but eating plenty of ketchup keeps it at bay. Oh yes, and if you're ever in need of wood that rebuilds itself after being destroyed, you can find that as well; just be sure to ask for tartanium during your little visit to Gavinworld.

I'm just sitting here contemplating how much imagination is too much. This "other world" is all fine and dandy, but when will they return to MY WORLD - the REAL WORLD? I don't know Gavinworld language yet. I can't keep all the Star Wars characters straight along with appropriate powers and light saber colors. I'm not even smart enough to understand, let alone speak 'pig latin' and I actually took Latin in high school. I never know which world they're in when they talk to me. I'm treading new waters here. This was never in any of the parenting books I read when Gavin was 3 months old. I guess there's just some things parents are better off not knowing from the get go.

Mar 3, 2008

Advice

3/03/2008 — cori
Bennett had a sweet, little friend over this weekend. Evidently, come to find out, this little 5 year old confided in Bennett some 'friend' problems he was encountering on the t-ball field. I had no clue 'sports talk' started this young. From what I heard, Bennett's little friend told him that he didn't know what to do about this 'bully'. So, Bennett searched deep in recesses of his brain and pulled up advice he heard somewhere, sometime. He can't quite remember the source...but I think we should credit either Star Wars or Superheroes in general, since that is the genre of t.v., books and movies he prefers. The simple, sweet and compassionate advice he felt compelled to give his friend was this: "Well...whenever that bully bothers you, just put your cheek up and walk away."

I'm thinking he meant, 'turn the other cheek', but either way, his friend was grateful and told him he couldn't wait to try it out. I just love watching the seeds of friendship grow in little minds and hearts.

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