Monday, May 21, 2007

Pencils, Chalk, Crayons and... Chocolate Milk?

May 21, 2007 - "Pencils, Chalk, Crayons and... Chocolate Milk?"

It has been the month of wall decor. These stealthy, sneaky, scalliwags have had their way with our walls.

It all started when Jadyn managed to sneak some sidewalk chalk into the house - oh, and it was wet, too, having been forgotten in the rain. Ot perhaps it was pre-planning on her part. Sure, it sounds easy, to bring a small chalk inside, but I am super-vigilant about coloring implements. Strict as can be, eagle-eyed, finger-shaking, doom-predicting, well, you get it.

You have to know Jadyn, aka The Phantom. She has way of traveling so stealthily that she can pass right by and go unseen. And that's what happened on this day. Only she left her calling card, as she apparently had a chalk in each hand, yellow and orange. Like airstrip tape in the night, she marked parallel lines down the front hallway carpet, by the kitchen, and - here's where it gets ugly - on our heretofore pristine den carpet. Ahhh. Did we need punctuation marks along the floor? A solid double line to demarcate a no-passing zone in the hallway? Well, we got 'em now. And carpet cleaner holds no power against rain-soaked, ultra-bright chalk.

Next, enter pencil art. Take 2 thick yellow preschool pencils, wielded by 2 mark-happy toddlers, and what you have is a playroom walled scribbled from stem to stern. From baseboard to the length of an excited toddler arm. Ahhh. Let's all hum the theme song to Magic Eraser. Who is responsible for this?? The reply comes from, who else, The Blame Phantom - "Sissy did it." And poor sissy takes it like an innocent Little Bear - all angelic naivete and wide eyes: "I need to sit in time out."

We've come full-circle, back to The Phantom, and a handful of crayons. Though I am wise to her sneaky ways, I have failed to factor the one-up the 2 of them have on me: 2 determined toddlers ace one harried parent any day. They have gotten into Cole's crayons, pretended to be all obedient and compliant ("Yes ma'am, we sit at the table"), and I have let down my guard. Rick comes in and as we chat, The Phantom hurries off to do the deed. But a new twist is added! She comes right back, so we suspect nothing! It's not until I walk down the hall moments later that I spy Picasso's piece. Slightly rushed in execution, but enough pressure to warrant some true scrubbing. Beautiful. Magic Eraser come on down.

Incongruously, chocolate milk makes it's appearance in this tale. Can you guess? Yep, it's our dear little Phantom. Once again, down the hallway I go, and I spy some suspicious puddles on the foyer tile... and some spatters down the bathroom door... and some drips down the hall. Oh my. Jadyn runs up - "I need a towel." Yes, you do, as you have chocolate all over your chin, and running down your shirt. From the look of things, Cole's milk was not to her liking, so she walked down the hall, spitting and shaking the straw. Particular care was taken to splatter the bathroom door, in order to get the drips to run down and collect in puddles underneath the door. Nice. This child needs a hobby.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

We've reached the 2 year milestone!

I don't know where to start this time, as we've moved into a new dimension. A brave new world where babies have become people, and cooperation is replaced by exclamations of disgust and squeals of discontent. Is this the twilight zone? Has someone absconded with our sweet-natured angels? Well, I'll admit that my head does spin at times. And from the looks on the kids' faces, my eyes must bug out a bit when some particularly heinous mess has been made.

Cole is Squirrel Boy, dashing to and fro. Jadyn is smiling dress-up girl, marching around with a backpack, hat and stroller. And Isabella, well, she still prefers to perch on a lap with a menagerie of stuffed animals & a book.

And when mishaps occur, the children all have their acts down. Cole:deny, deny, deny! Three times deny, and I hate this house! Jadyn: blame, blame, blame! Anyone but me, and usually it's "Bewa." Isabella: stare, stare, stare! Eventually my cuteness will distract them, and they'll bring a snack.

Mealtimes? Cole: I hate this! Yuck! This is disgusting... may I have dessert now? Jadyn: Scarf it down, pass anything unwanted over to "Bewa's" plate. Isabella: she's been waiting in her chair ever since someone mentioned eating, oh about 20 minutes ago.

We looked through our photo album of the first months after the girls were born. Thankfully I have this journal, because those days have been smitten from my memory! I have to concentrate to remember the exhaustion and overwhelming needs of 2 infants plus Dr. Demando (Cole, not Rick!). Ah, the trick of nature, lest every mother avoid a repeat performance! Just an observation, not a hint. Settle down.

So here we are, still standing, after 2 years. A little frazzled, slightly scattered, definitely blessed. And still watching over these 3 when they don't know we're looking. These are the sweet moments of reflection that sear into memory. Somewhere along the way our life started, and rather than hurry to the next scene, we are content to rest here and enjoy the noise. The commotion. The graham-crackery smell of a toddler. The sink full of dirty dishes...-ok, not those. Somebody please wash up. I'll pay you.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

January 31, 2007 "With a Bang and a Boom"

We've entered the Age of Two with a bing-bang-boom. Keep in mind these are actual events, and no creative liberty has been taken. Really. Sometimes truth is funnier than fiction.

7:15 am We are awakened by a loud crash from the girls room. I sort through the possibilities in my mind in a split-second, discarding unlikely sources or events (i.e. a crib has completely collapsed, or the garbage truck is collecting in the nursery.) I listen carefully to the babbling for a second, awaken fully, and dash in there. Entering the nursery is like stepping into a warm, dark cave. Their noise fan is on, it?s pitch-black, and the first wrong part of the equation emerges: Jadyn greets me at the door, delightedly. She somehow catapulted herself out of the crib, banging her head on either the closet door, or Isabella?s crib. She?s not upset by this at all, just rubs her head and says ?Bump head, Mommy.? Isabella is exclaiming excitedly, and much more worriedly "Sissy fall! Bump head! Oh no!" Oh no is right. I'm not ready for this.

9:45 am The girls are safely downstairs, going on with the day. They are watching a show, I am out of the room for a moment. Loud crash Number Two occurs, followed by loud screaming from Isabella. I leap down the stairs in a single bound, over the baby gate and into the room. Isabella has apparently climbed on top of the TV, and toppled it from the stand to the floor. She is terrified but unhurt. Jadyn is sitting just beside the over-turned TV, yelling "No Bewa! Bewa climb show! Show down!" Did I mention Jadyn is naked? Yes, she will not keep any clothes on, in fact the only reason she leaves her diaper on is because she doesn?t like messes, so peeing on the floor disturbs her. Soothing, hugging, admonishing complete, I wonder what in the world else could possibly happen today?

9:50 I am again attempting to get something done, anything done - dishes, laundry, dusting - things that require leaving the room momentarily. The girls are happily playing or reading in the playroom, so I sneak away. I peek out to check on them, and they have silently dragged a chair to the kitchen counter. Isabella is fiddling with the CD player, Jadyn is sitting on the counter wearing Rick's prescription sunglasses, grinning back at me, still naked. Rick turns the chairs over, next to the wall, out of commission - we think.

9:56 am Another peek to check on them, and once again they are on the counter. They have pushed, pulled and wrestled a chair from ACROSS the room, into the kitchen. I say sternly "Girls! Get down right now!" Isabella hightails it off the counter into the playroom and hides in a corner. Jadyn sits right where she is in the middle of the counter, opens my cellphone, grins at me, puts the phone to her ear and says "He-wo?" We remove all the chairs to another room, safely behind a gate. Whew. Really, what else could they get into?

10:15 am Like the fatalist lemming off a cliff, I continue my attempts at getting things done around the house. Surely the little imps will tire of their impishness and play with actual toys. Ahem. The sounds of clinking and clanking ring from the kitchen?s tile floor. What are they doing?? Making a souffle? Opening a bottle of wine? I ignore and console myself with the thought that I have locked the drawers that have dangerous items in them, so how bad can it be. One laundry load later, the banging is louder so I have to go check. There?s only so much household damage I am willing to repair, after all. Tweedledee and Tweedledum have all the silverware out on the floor ? and Isabella has had her way with it, placing the pieces neatly in rows. The wine thought was not too far off - they both have corkscrews and are tapping them on the windows, giggling. Isabella quickly puts hers back in its case, and Jadyn throws hers in the drawer. They're on to me now, and pull all the cuteness strings to stay out of trouble. For Jadyn, this means scooping up all of the silverware, and yelling "No Bewa, No Touch! No no!" while tossing it all in the drawer and slamming it. Jadyn's tactic of "blame and clean" is definitely funny, but I prefer Isabella's look of guilt.

Day's End: I have child-proofed the remaining kitchen drawers. Rick's idea of tying the chair legs to the table legs, a la public park, has been implemented. Dare I say bring it on? No, I don't dare. Because even as I type, they have dragged some other climbing tool into the kitchen, and are even now plundering the counters, dialing foreign countries on my phone, and pouring water into my purse. It's much too quiet down there. The sounds of guilty, furtive activities are usually quiet and echoed by "No, sissy I need that!" They must be drinking my water, I hear slurping and "Ah!" They are mocking me. Isabella repeats my line of "Girls, that's not funny" only she say "Dat's not dunny." Her "f" sounds are "d" - particularly "dunny" when she says "Ouch, my dinger!" Or "Wook! Wook! A dish!" "I wanna deed me." But that's another story. Oh well. back down into the trenches I go.