Play Date Lessons

Play-date Lessons Learned

1) When toddler boys use chalk on the patio they are not simply drawing haphazard blue lines. The intensity with which the chalk repeatedly and steadily hits the pavement and the iron clad clenching grip is actually an indication of a vividly clear and rather violent imagination. Although they have yet to be able to draw figures to clearly express their mental visions to the limited imaginations of adults, the chalk drawing theme was a shared understanding, and far from politically correct.

“Mine is a bad guy,” Bailey said.
“Yea, mine is a bad guy too. This (line that looks like all of the other lines) is his gun,” said James.
“Wow, that’s a good gun.”
“Yea, it is.”

And the implications of early exposure to Darth Vador ensue…

2) Even if breakfast occurs 45 minutes before the scheduled playdate, if snack time is initiated by an adult, 6 children 3 and under will demolish 12 smoothies and a container of peanut butter pretzels before I can get my baby up from her morning nap.

3) Children are ready for the pool as soon as the sun shines for more than 5 minutes. And when the oldest child takes after his mother’s dego side, he will be dripping sweat from his hairline to his toes with cheeks so very bright red and slightly swollen within 45 seconds of sun/heat exposure (referring to my son as “dego,” isn’t actually derogatory because according to urban dictionary “dego” originated from the spanish/italian name for James. Appropriate name if I ever heard of one.)

4) Three year olds and almost three year olds are terrible at sharing. This is an especially relevant lesson in regards to my three year old. He was an awful kind of terrible. My apologies to all playmate participants from today until he leaves for college.

5) My son is not nice to girls yet. Whip lash pushing, ramming riding cars into fences, stealing objects out of hands, hoarding entire bowls of grapes, etc, etc, etc. He will probably apologize once he realizes that befriending his girl cousins will greatly behoove his high school social life. Until that day, however, the carpet on the time-out step is going to wear rather quickly from being sat on so frequently.

6) At a play-date, announcing “I have to Poop” is perfectly appropriate and acceptable behavior. Such an announcement is actually appreciated by the mother as she in charge of wiping, and poop surprises are the worst kind.

7) The first time James said, “I’m nervous,” and thats the reason ” I hit/pushed/was terrible all day” was slightly impressive. He identified his feelings using a descriptive word. The 10th time he said it, however, is only an indication, that I, his mother, was well worked by toddler manipulation and should have kept to “stay in time-out until you are ready to play nice.” From now on, I realize “I’m nervous,” should be put into the same category as “I’m too busy,” “My back hurts,” “My feet are swollen,” and “I have a headache,” as things James says when he wants to get out of doing other things that he heard his mother say first to get out of things she doesn’t want to do and makes Jim do instead.

8) The self sufficiency of Josie and Rita is awesome. Rita pretty much lays down anywhere she is put, and Josie asks for nothing and cleans up granola bars and glasses left on the patio. Josie’s post-play date decision to learn how to open locked doors when she is napping, however, is not appreciated, and if someone, anyone could tell me how to keep her in bed I’d maybe remain sane!!!

9) Play-dates with other moms who put their crawling babies on dirty floors, and don’t care about messes/pushing/hitting/high sugar intake are the only ones I should ever attend or host. They are also the most fun.

10) Children (my children) most want to have a play-date once it is over. While playing with other children who don’t live next door remains an option, its all “she stole my toy, I’m so nervous.” As they are piling in the mini-van ready to go home, its “stay, I want to play, you are my friend, smile/giggle/smile/giggle” Grass is always greener, even when you are three.

Quote the Weekend.

The weekend in quotations:

Following a disappointing and painful run:
Regina: “I’m just feeling so old!”
Jim: “You forgot haggard.”

Regina: “We are having bacon for breakfast.”

Bedtime routine
Josie: “I! OUT!! Bed!!! I OUT BED!! I OUT BED!!!” (repeat x100)

James, Louder than loud during all of Mass: “What he sayin?!  Thomas? Why he talkin bout Thomas? Jesus likes trains?!?!

James’ summary of Star Wars:
“Yea, it was bout a bad faddier (father.) So, the fadder killed people and then he went into the fire. He had to. He is killed. Killed. He is killed.”
Clarification: I did not approve of my 3 year old viewing Star Wars in its entirety. But, at his grandfather’s 65th birthday party where kids outnumber adults 3:1, things happen.

JIm: “Josephine Marie! Get out of the car! Wait, is that your name? Regina, what’s Josie’s name?”

Regina: “James, how was the flower exhibit!?”
James: “Good, I went to dinner and saw a lion.”

Regina: “Josie, would you like me or daddy to put you to bed?”
Josie: “See ya later, mama!”

As Josie spilled juice (on purpose.)
James: Ah, Damn it, Josie!
Regina: No, James we don’t say that!
James: But, mom, look, ah damn it, Josie!

When no one would come down for breakfast at 6am like James wanted:
James: “You guys got to come down!”
Family: Not yet.
James: “No body likes me around here.”

I don’t love you the same.

Dear James,

You are currently sitting in timeout because you refuse to swallow a bite of your chicken noodle soup. You aren’t complaining, just enjoying your right to be extremely and stupidly stubborn. I would just like to send you a friendly reminder that the longer you store the noodle and broth in your mouth, the nastier its going to be to swallow it.

Today you pulled down your pants at preschool to show everyone your Thomas the Train underpants. I wasn’t there to see it, but your teachers were extremely entertained. I just pray that you forgot to say “hey baby, whats your sign?” to the girls like you have in times past while running around naked.

You also tried to feed Rita when Josie was throwing a tantrum and I couldn’t. You made a huge mess, but it was a valiant effort. And, this morning, while on the way to school, you interrupted our prayer to say, “mom, we have to tell Jesus that my lip is hurting and that I got out of my bed.” I’m sure he was very happy to hear it.

Thank you, also, for not waking me up last night when you came into my room at a certain hour that I’m happy to have missed seeing on the clock. When I found you this morning sleeping on the floor without a pillow or a blanket I felt sorry for you. Please, please, please, just stay in your own bed tonight. And, hopefully, by bedtime, you will have swallowed your soup.

Dear Josie,

As Daddy continues to torture your baby sister with the toy helicopter James bought him for Christmas, you are running to her rescue with concern and ability. Its really making up for the past 2 hours during which you insisted I hold you while standing up and walking, “or else!!!”. Even when my friend came over to borrow clothes (its very flattering when a single person still wants to borrow my clothes-they only have a tiny bit of throw up/breast milk on them) you were relentless in your “absolutely under no circumstances are you allowed to put me down.” I’m sorry that I couldn’t give you the whole bag of shredded cheese, like you wanted. And the $12 lipgloss that you stole from me, looks great on your one year old lips. I don’t know why I thought it reasonable to spend so much money on lipgloss, especially since I find it so difficult to keep it out of your reach.

Today you put your boots on just like I asked you, and twice, I found you completely naked sitting on the toilet doing your business. You also were able to throw the basketball much higher than your brother. You did, however, chew through plastic for the second day in a row to eat a whole row of Peeps. Peeps are gross, Josie. And, now, because of your skills and the sharpness of your teeth, they are hidden as well. Thank you for eating 3 bowls of soup and swallowing every bite.

Dear Rita,

I think maybe you are getting a tooth. You are never fussy, but you did yell at me just a little bit today. Thank you for letting your brother feed you in such a disgusting way. And for taking such a long afternoon nap. Your new love for crawling is hilarious and more acrobatic than both your brother and sister were at your age. You have your dad wrapped around you chubby little finger so much so that he insists on picking you up at the slightest wimper. I’m sorry about the helicopter, but you really don’t seem to mind that much.

Mom confessions

1) We ran family errands on Thursday. Stop one: charcoal for our grill. The destination is entirely too far for three year olds still learning how to wear underpants. But, when you buy your husband a Big Green Egg grill, you agree to joining a weird grill cult in which there is only one place to buy charcoal and its really far away. Stop two: Jim “forgot” to eat breakfast. He insisted Wendy’s was our only choice. I have literally never heard my back seat more quiet. I called a “not it” on diaper duty and let it go. Stop three: The health food grocery store. It seemed like the most reasonable of destinations after a visit to the Redhead’s. It had so much great stuff to equalize the french-fry binge, and minus the few hipsters sipping coffee in between bites of kale, it was completely empty. My excitement began to dissipate when everyone started screaming (except Rita of course). James demanded dairy free ice cream (I’m positive he would have spit it out). Josie threw asparagus, James threw some weird type of sausage, Rita laughed at hipsters who looked at her like an alien making them so so so uncomfortable, and Jim’s frustration grew with the number of items I put in my cart. It was most definitely the most children and teary mucus the store had ever seen, and we are most most most definitely never wanted back (shopping carts in those places are small for a multiple baby-carrier not welcome reason.)

2) After a few promising trips to the bathroom, Josie received underpants in her Easter basket. Tonight, I learned, the hard- bacteria filled mess- way, that she is not even a little bit ready for them.

3) This evening marked a very special occasion for the family. We played our very first family boring game: Candy Land. The Lord of the LIcorice is just as terrifying as he used to be. And I am entirely too competitive to ever ever play a game with two toddlers and a baby.

4) I thought that filling our Easter Eggs with agave nectar jelly beans would make the all day candy fest less disgusting/sickening/too many diaper bombs. It makes absolutely no difference.

5) The Easter bunny (the Easter bunny sucks, why isn’t Jesus enough?!) brought us terrible head colds. Today, I fell asleep for 35-45 seconds on the couch while the kids were playing/spreading snot everywhere. I woke up to James and Josie stuffing jelly beans in Rita’s mouth. When I sternly said (loudly yelled at them) “you will make her choke,” James told me, “It’s ok mom, I already chewed them for her.”

6) I’ve known for a while that my youth is dying or is already dead. Today’s friend’s birthday/Easter celebratory trip to Sephora offered further confirmation. When asked, “which free product would you like?” I responded, after counsel from my friend, “the wrinkle cream.”

7) Additional dying youth evidence: I recently bought a new vacuum and was excited about it.

8) And in other vacuum news, the anti-1950’s housewife feminists are really missing out on a few things. Vacuuming is, in fact, much more fun when wearing fancy jewelry and heels.

9) Regardless of my excitement over my new vacuum and discovery of high fashion cleaning, my floors are still really, really dirty.