It was mostly a regular Saturday, with the bonus of a friend staying from L.A. who has come to mean a lot to us. He was with his adorable 2-year-old daughter while his wife was at a Women’s Conference. In the morning as we woke up, Angel asked him what a women’s conference was, and he told him it was where women get together and pray and learn about God. A responded coyly with, “Ohhh, that is like sooo weird….”
We had a lot of fun talking, playing with the kids, walking the beach, and of course eating together. That evening our friend left and the kids were put to bed shortly after. A while had passed when Z, our resident comedian, topped off the night by asking if he could come out from his bed and show us something. It’s one of his regular stall tactics, but this time instead of displaying his usual lego contraption, he got in front of us and proudly turned his back for us to see. Then he pulled down his underwear and revealed one large orange sticker on each butt cheek, exclaiming, “Look! I have stickers on my butt!!” Now that is sooo weird….
Z. 6 years old. Sits in the very back of the mini-van. Mom. Forty-something years old, sits in the drivers seat of said van. Hallelujah. Song by Heather Williams comes on the Sirius station. Mom turns it up. It’s one of those songs that moves her to raise hands in praise, even in the car. Z, who because of past abuse has to control any and all situations, orders mom to turn the song down. Mom, just as determined to be in control, tells him she loves the song and if he doesn’t want to hear it he can plug his ears. Wrong? Maybe. But she’s been dealing with his controlling nature 24/7 for four and a half years now and is not about to let him tell her at what level she has to keep the radio. Both dug in their heels. Mom singing Hallelujah with passion. Z screaming continuously that she must turn it down, or off, or listen to him. And since she wasn’t, he was just going to ruin it by trying to scream over it. So, for 3 minutes and 59 seconds, mom exuberantly (o.k. maybe somewhat obnoxiously) sang and praised the Lord, and Z screamed his voice raspy. Pia and Al sat trapped, in the middle, silent and wide-eyed, just hoping the whole thing would end. It did end, finally, and mom turned it down, but she had stood her ground. And then the very next day while in the van again, Z barked out from the back like the ringmaster he thinks he is, “Hey mom! You can turn up this stupid song. Turn up this dumb song. I want you to turn it up!” Somehow…he still thinks he’s in control of that volume knob.
I don’t know if it’s because we live a mile from Legoland, or it’s just their age, but my kids are OBSESSED with Legos. Believe me, I am grateful that they have something that can keep them busy for at least 10 minutes straight, but seriously, there has got to be some limits. It started out with a couple tubs at Christmas and now has grown to an amount that is out of control! I know what the problem is; it’s those little Star Wars or emergency vehicle “kits” we keep buying as cheap rewards. What’s the point of these really? First of all, dad is the one who actually has to put it together, and then in less than half an hour, it gets taken apart, only to be mixed in with the millions of other Legos, never to be made sense of again as that police car or jet fighter. But the worst, I mean the absolute worst, is the fact that Legos plague my very existence. I can’t get away from them. They are everywhere. They show up in the washer, the garden, hidden in the shag rug, under the couch cushions. Today I found some in the bottom of our shoe basket, and yes, I’m not gonna lie…once we were interrupted by one in our bed…ahem. So if anyone should hear me screaming from the boys’ room, it’s not because I’m trying to get them to pick up the tornado of those tiny plastics on the floor, it’s because I’m screaming in agony from stepping on another @#%&* Lego!
So Pia has decided she wants to be a vegetarian. It started when we lived in Cleveland, Ohio. We often went to what I think is the most fabulous farmer’s market in the country, the West Side Market. The kids were mesmerized by the butcher’s counters, fascinated by the dead pigs, chickens, and cows, and every body part that was on display; feet, tongues, brains. But the most disturbing sight was the whole pig, hairless and pink, spread out on its stomach and smiling at us. It was not long after that I noticed Pia pushing her meat aside at meals. Then she started asking me, “Is this pork?” What I made the mistake of doing, however, is mentioning my observation to a friend in front of her, joking that she wants to be a vegetarian. What followed was a more blatant refusal to eat most forms of meat, and then anything that she deemed not worthy to put in her mouth (a pizza crust that was a little too brown, or a vegetable that wasn’t exactly the right color.) Now she separates things out, eats super slowly and dominates the conversation so we won’t notice her lack of eating. It’s like her permission slip to be able to decide what she’s going to eat now. I will remind everyone too, that because of the prior neglect, for a very long time my kids would literally eat anything I put in front of them. It’s not that I mind if she wants to eat healthier, of course that’s a good thing, but she is 9, and I am not the mom who’s going to make separate food for the “princess vegetarian” of the house. The funny thing is though, if it’s meat and it’s something she likes, she’ll eat it. Sooo…Pia has decided to be a vegetarian…or has she…??
Is it me, or do all moms race through the day thinking they are handling things pretty well, only to be slapped in the face by the reality that if anyone actually kept track they would be found completely incompetent? Take last week. J.R. was out of town, so I admit, I had a larger load than usual, but I’m not so certain that was it. In any case, here are some of my not-so-shining moments:
1. Found the missing salt in the refrigerator.
2. Took the boys to gymnastics only to realize they were in their jeans.
3. Forgot A’s doctor’s appointment.
4. Bought both boys new sneakers with laces (of which neither of them can tie).
5. Discovered blood smack-dab on the chest of my white shirt in the restroom while Mia was in speech therapy.
6. Left the gas burner on Lo for about 4 hours until the next meal.
And if that wasn’t enough, today, I had A’s Education Specialist conference (she checks our home school work) and totally forgot his Math workbook, which has all the worksheets he’s done all year. AND I left my purse out in the waiting room the whole time, not even realizing it until I reached the van and went for my keys. I think I need a break, or maybe an assistant!