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Journey To the Finish Line

PR's, 4 children, hopes and dreams; I'm always running after something

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humor

Do it Yourself

A few days ago, I read a really eye opening article.

A typical morning around here consists of about 23432897 million requests for something, from me, made by the twins. It doesn’t matter if daddy or grandma or freaking Santa Claus were around, it is me they are asking.

Mommy I need apple juice. Mommy I need yogurt. Mommy I need peanut butter. Mommy she took my toy. All before I’ve even managed to scoop the coffee out of the container and into the pot.

Bryan works way over the “full time” number of hours each week and has to add even more than that over the next three. Combine that with pending shoulder surgery that is going to leave him one handed for who knows how long (he can’t lift more than a cup of coffee with his right hand for 6 weeks, at least), and I was beginning to feel a bit overwhelmed.

So, this article.

It talked about this 4 year old who gets up each morning, brushes her teeth, gets herself dressed, makes her own waffle and eats while her mom gets ready for the day. The night before she helps pick out her outfit for the next day. The twins are almost four, so I think to myself this is perfect. It is time for more independence. I will simply require them to do more for themselves. I share this idea with Bryan, and come Sunday night, I am ready to tackle the week.

That is, until reality hit me.

Monday morning rolls around. No one helped pick out outfits the night before because we were all up late at my parents watching the Superbowl, so instead I figure I’ll have them help me pick out an outfit this morning. I have some extra time. No problem. Miles is easy. He wants a t-shirt and we fight a bit over shorts vs pants, but otherwise his outfit is complete in about 2 minutes. Next is Abby’s turn. My sweet Abby. She turns down every.single. shirt or dress suggestion I make. All of them. I literally go through every option in her closet. Finally a little frustrated, I tell her to choose her own. She says no, and sits on the floor. I pick out a dress myself, telling her if she won’t pick one I will, which results in a tantrum because she didn’t want that outfit either.

So this is going well.

Step two is teaching Miles how to make his own waffle. This actually goes ok, and Miles seems excited about the idea of doing this on his own. Except when it comes to spreading the peanut butter. Then he just simply “can’t do it”. I make him try anyway. Abby chooses yogurt and picks one from the shelf, and hands it to me to open, asking for a spoon. I tell her to get one herself. No, she tells me. *sigh*.

WHY CHILD WHY?

After breakfast, I try to catch them and encourage them to get dressed before they start playing, but no luck. I’m pretty sure I ask them to “please put your underwear and clothes on” a dozen times to deaf ears, each request slightly louder than the previous one. Finally I give up before I lose it, lay on the couch and scroll through Facebook for a few minutes, before I end up helping them get dressed. This lady with her independent 4 year old must be living in an alternate universe.*

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*I will say that after a couple more days of attempts, each day is getting a little better, so it is a work in progress and I will take it. Abby even picked out her dress last night after rejecting only 10 or so other choices. #winning

 

 

Getting on Board

One of the things I looked forward to, when I was daydreaming thinking about the fun things I’d do with my future kids, was sit around the table as a family and play board games.

When the twins turned 3, I bought them the game Candy Land – hopeful but not expecting much. I’ve played the game more times than I can count at work, but always with a kid that was at least 4. When I pulled it out for the twins, they promptly started turning over ALL the cards and placed the pieces wherever the hell they wanted.

I put the game away for awhile, wondering who actually managed to successfully play it with a three year old, since its rated 3-6.

Unfortunately, so many of the cards got lost that I had to throw it away before I could even try again.

Today, I made a random run to Target, thinking maybe they’d be old enough. The twins have really been into “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” story lately, so I picked up what is essentially the caterpillar version of Chutes and Ladders. In the car, I told the twins I had a present for them, which of course elicited some excitement. I pulled the game out and Miles asked to see it, prompting Abby to ask where “her game” is.

Yeah, I should have seen that one coming.

Abby is still throwing a fit when we get home and I open the box, while I correct Miles by saying it is for BOTH of them, not just him. Abby still doesn’t want to play.

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I don’t want that ONE GAME!

But I set it up anyway, putting together the blue caterpillar for Miles and the yellow for myself, when Abby predictably walks over, sits at the table, and steals my caterpillar.

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notice she has the yellow one

We each take a turn, both placing their caterpillar on the correctly colored space. What they won’t do, however is leave it there. Instead, they “walk around” the board. Then, once they figure out the food pieces flip over (it changes the slides), its all over and has turned into a play acting game involving feeding caterpillars fruit.

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would you like an apple?

So no, even though the game is rated 3-6, we are NOT at the point where we want to play it as written, however they have spent the last hour pretending to be their various daycare teachers, lining up the kids at the fence and to go outside (FREEZE! LINE UP!), so it isn’t a total loss.

I guess family game night will have to wait ūüôā

Oblivious to the Obvious

I may be somewhat biased, but I feel like my kids are pretty smart. They have great pretend play skills, they’ve mostly mastered third person pronouns, they (mostly) use plurals and correct past tense. Most of the time their questions, albeit repetitive (mommy can I have milk? Mommy can I have milk?) make total sense.

At least until recently.

Most of the time I aim to fit my workout in between the time Bryan drops the kids off at daycare on the way to the high school and when I have to be at work. But sometimes they are at home with me, as was the case twice this week.

After a bit of encouragement, the two joined me on the third floor for my 5 mile tempo run. A tempo run (or what is supposed to be “comfortably uncomfortable”) is challenging enough in itself, so I was hoping they could entertain themselves with the IPAD for 40 minutes and leave me alone.

Right. Dream on.

After a blissfully uninterrupted half mile warm up, I cranked up the speed, and almost immediately noticed I had company. Miles walked up to the treadmill. He looked at it. He looked at me. He asked:

“Mommy, what are you doing?”

Uh….*pant pant*, I’m running *pant pant*. What does it look like I’m doing? *gasp gasp*

Satisfied, he walks away.

About 15 minutes later, and much more out of breath than before, Abby walks up to the treadmill.

“Mommy, what are you doing?”

…..I’M RUNNING.

“OH.”

Today I’m trying to squeeze 30 minutes on the bike trainer. The twins have seen me on this thing already at least 25 times. I get on the bike, I start pedaling, and low and behold Miles walks up and asks

“Mommy, what are you doing?”

*facepalm*

But wait, it gets better.

Unfortunately, although the twins are daytime potty trained, Miles STILL refuses to poop in the toilet 98% of the time. Finally recently he’s started feeling motivated by prizes. Over Christmas Bryan bought some trucks on clearance and showed them to him, telling him he could have them once he pooped. He’s earned one so far. Trying to follow in Abby’s footsteps, Miles decides he’s going to try, but then decides he can’t. I tell him that if he does go, there is a truck upstairs with his name on it.

“There are no names on the truck, mommy”

Well buddy, you got me there.

Something Yucky This Way Comes

Dogs do gross things.

As it turns out, so do toddlers.

I fully expected to scold the dogs for doing disgusting things. In fact, just a few days ago when Miles had a random vomiting spell, Bryan told me that Chance ate all of it while the two of them showered (ew, EW EW). What I didn’t expect was that I’d be scolding the toddlers for similarly odd things (no toddler ate vomit, I assure you).

Comment with ¬†your guesses, and I’ll post the answers in a later post. Some are¬†applicable to both.

Ready?

 

1. ” _____, don’t lick the oven.”

2. “Bryan, ____ got into the dirty diapers again.”

3. “Um, thanks for the dead bug.”

4. “_____, don’t eat Sadness.”

5. ¬†“Bryan, ______ peed on the floor again.”

6. “UGH _______, why did you eat that?”

7. ¬†“EW! _______ GET OUT OF THE GARBAGE!”

8. “I’m pretty sure ____ gave me something that was out of ____’s mouth.”

9. “I really wish_____ would stop licking the floor”

10. “_____, that’s not food”

 

Remind Me

I have a weird memory.

I can remember mile splits and training times. I can remember that I ¬†have to buy Valentines for daycare.¬†I can remember every single time Bryan throws his clothes on the floor instead of the laundry room. My family might disagree, but I’m actually good at remembering birthdays. I just don’t remember it when I need to (like 2 weeks early or 3 days late).

Oddly, if I a) write it down or b) tell my phone to ¬†remind me, I generally end up remembering on my own. I’ve used Siri on a number of occasions, particularly when I know I’m already going to have to remember several other things. Generally, they go off without a hitch. I tell Siri to remind me to pack a puzzle tomorrow at 7am and she does.¬†Siri can be a fabulous resource, but like voice texting, she doesn’t always hear me correctly.¬†Also, I¬†sometimes¬†almost always talk too fast, but that can’t possibly be part of the problem.

So sometimes, I get reminders like these:

  • Buy ponco prices and candy (Bunco prizes)
  • Us to buy a card for mom’s birthday
  • Get the pressure best (vest)
  • Call candy doctors (I have no idea but if the doc gives me candy, sign me up)
  • Record doomsday propers (again, no idea)
  • Tell my sister happy birthday (no, this one isn’t messed up, but the fact that I have to remind myself is)
  • Qqe (uh….)
  • Put the asthma pamphlet in my bed (a little light reading)
  • Copy the bison love it cards (bisyllabic)
  • Let Johnson dog out (John’s)
  • Pack the crusty to pick the crusty to pick the crusty crab (WTF?!)
  • Send the twins to school and the jets (in pajamas)
  • Grab the bag of swim (Slim)

If I ever show up to your house with ponco prizes in your bed to pick the crusty crab, well, it’s Siri’s fault.

A Walk With Toddlers

After breakfast, some playing, and maybe a movie (that they usually ignore half of) over the weekend, there typically comes a time when meltdowns start to happen and so its time to go outside. Miles likes to “go for a walk”.

Here is what a typical walk looks like:

Miles is excited and happily puts on his coat and shoes. Abby, who usually could care less, runs away. Once I ask Bryan to watch her so I can take Miles, she decides she wants to go, but as I’m putting on her coat, she plops onto the floor, exclaiming “no walk!”

So, I pull out the little stroller and strap her in. We make it down the driveway and one house down, where Abby then declares she wants out.

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“I push!”

We, by some freak of nature, make it half way around the block when Miles, who has walking happily 10 seconds ago, decides he’s done.

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I convince Abby to turn around and by that time, Miles forgets what he was protesting and joins us. He runs towards me saying “hold hand mommy!” Just as my heart is about to melt a little, I stick my finger out for him to hold and he says “no!” Abby stops to look at some acorns.

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Then, he asks to cross the street, and I know what this means. Our walk has turned into a trek to grandmas. “Go to Gee-ma’s, mommy”.

Abby, who has been pushing the stroller still, begins to get frustrated the more it gets stuck, but when I try to help her, I am met with this:

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Or a scream. Then suddenly I have the stroller:

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That is until Miles wants it. Abby, who didn’t give two shits when I was pushing it, is suddenly chasing him screaming “mine!”

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Finally, we make it to grandmas, where we fight over who gets to go inside first.

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In the end, we covered 3 tenths of a mile in about 20 minutes.

Who wants to join us next time?

Toddler Cat

So, I’m really more a dog person, but recently I’ve decided that toddlers are a lot like cats.

  • They only cuddle when they want to
  • They hiss at you when you try to touch them or something of theirs and they don’t want you to
  • They are moody
  • They don’t like to wear socks
  • They look at the food you put in front of them as if it was worse than death

But mostly:

The Dammit Diamond

I’ve been saying that I’m impressed with the twins vocabulary. There are days (like today when Miles correctly labeled an octagon) that they identify and label things I had no idea they knew. 

I, too, have a decent vocabulary. Anyone who knows me,though, knows it isn’t always clean. 

Monday morning we are driving to daycare. I make a right turn, accelerate and then hear Miles say:

“Dammit.”

Ugh. This one, unlike the time I swear he uttered the f-word when he accidentally turned the TV off, was completely out of context. Great, so not only is my toddler swearing, he’s doing it for no apparent reason. I ignore it hoping it’s a fluke.  Soon though: 

“Dammit.”

Yup. Mom of the year right here in the front seat. My award is rescinded for all time. I’m just about (silently) curse myself for not watching my more colorful language more closely when Abby says: 

“Diamond.”

Wait. 

Dammit. Diamond! They are talking about the road work sign! He is saying diamond! 

Phew. Mom of the year lives to see another day. 

Till the Brown Leaves Town

The twins are rapidly approaching (many would say are probably already there) potty training age. Me, the one who swore up and town she was potty training early, has been lazy. Clearly, dealing with diapers is less annoying than dealing with all of the fun early potty training brings, like wondering if I should even bother leaving the house because one will be bound to say he has to use the potty as we turn out of the neighborhood.

Still, I don’t want the twins to be the only untrained ones in their daycare class, and while we were “trapped” in the house this weekend I thought we might give the”run around naked watch like a hawk and carry to potty when someone starts to pee” method.

Saturday, after my run, I thought.

No, after nap.

Ok, Sunday.

I meant Monday.

Monday I really did finally rip a diaper off Abby and proceed to stare at my 2 year olds butt more than I ever stared before. Ironically, it was then that Miles decided he, too, needed his diaper off. He actually sat on the potty a couple of times but of course nothing happened.

All day long I said the word potty more than I ever cared to. Bryan found potty songs on you tube, and we played them until I heard this:

I feel it, I feel it, I feel it. I know what to do when I have to poop. I go to the potty, pull my underwear down then I sit & wait sit & wait sit & wait till the poop plops down. Then I wipe & wipe till brown leaves town, put it in the toilet & flush it down. Bye, bye poop. Bye bye poop. Then I pull up my pants wash my hands wash my hands & do the potty dance (instumentla)) I DID IT !

I’m sorry, but till the brown leaves town? No. NO NO NO.

No.

I never realized how much time my kid spent sitting on the couch until I found myself hoping she wouldn’t pee on it. It was after the millionth “no pee on potty!” exclamation that I put a diaper back on her before I left town (ha).

Abby peed a total of three times during my experiment. The first time, it was turing the 2 minutes I spent cleaning up lunch, when Miles announced “Abby pee on floor!” The second time was during nap (diaper on, thank you), and the third time was in the high chair.

Clearly they  I am not ready for this.

Universe: 3        Me: 0

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