Friday, October 25, 2013

Murphy's Law of Motherhood #8-When the Baby's Down for a Nap...

When it comes to siestas, two Murphy's Laws are in effect: #7 an #8.  As a general rule, IF you can get a child down for a nap, something ridiculous is going to happen to wake them up, y'know, like the apocalypse. 

Nap time in our household usually ends with two big kids fighting and screaming in the hallway just outside of where Little A is sleeping.  I think that's really the only time they ever go back there together.  Total conspiracy.

My friend Trish's lament on facebook was classic nap-time Murphy's Law.

10-24-13 Big E fought taking a nap, finally gives in and goes to sleep, neighbors start up chainsaw and wood chipper. -Trish Ridout Ramsey

I suspect that she wanted to jump out of the window and beat the offenders with a log.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Murphy's Law of Motherhood #16-If There Is a Crack, They Will Put Money In It

Many five-year old boys have an inherent need to sit in the driver's seat to "drive".  J-boy is no exception.  When we're sitting in the vehicle waiting around for someone to run an errand, we'll often humor him and let him take the wheel and play with the controls.  When you have a child that has to be doing something ALL the time, it's nice to let them enjoy themselves while you zone out for a moment or two.

Yesterday, J-boy and Uncle Brian were hanging out in the van together while Aunt Rachel, Dad, and I shopped.  At some point, J-boy decided it would be a fabulous idea to run a quarter around the outside of the steering wheel.  Little did he know that there was enough space in the crack that the quarter could slip down into the steering wheel.  I think Uncle Brian saw it coming, but by that time it was too late. It was in there and it wasn't coming out.

As we started out of the parking lot, we hear "HOOOOOOOONNNNNNNKKKKK!!!!"  The quarter had apparently completed some kind of circuit in there, so then every time we turned a corner or hit a bump, the van would honk.  Oh, joy!

We live in a small town with a lot of "walkers" and bad drivers.  "Walker" is not a term for a zombie in this case (though sometimes we wonder).  It is code talk for shady characters who walk around asking people for money.  They are generally the non-combatant variety of folks, but if you're driving down the road with your horn blaring, you really wonder what reaction they're going to give you.  In an effort to not get shot, we chose to use a technique employed by beauty contestants far and wide: smile and wave.  We drove for miles smile and waving around every corner and over every bump.  I've not seen that many toothless grins since the last first grade picture day I attended.

After laughing ourselves sick on the drive home, Uncle Brian was successful at wiggling the quarter out of the steering wheel.   How thankful I am that we did not have to take it in to have a mechanic dig it out!  I'm also very thankful that J-boy did not decide to put the quarter in the CD player.  (Though I'm pretty sure he's thought about it a time or two ;)

Note to self: Start putting change in purse and not in the change divider.

 Here's a slice of a honkin' good time:

Murphy's Law of Motherhood #27: Never Trust a Stroller

Honestly, I think Romeo has cursed me because of my stroller obsession.  In my quest to obtain the ideal stroller over the past 6 years, I honestly think my husband has had it with me and placed a curse on me.  

I'll be the first to admit I have a problem.  I think we've been in possession of at least ten different strollers (two doubles, one jogger, three umbrellas, and four singles) at various times.  Most of them we acquired free or spent very little for them (one was actually sitting by a dumpster, several were given to us by friends or through generous freecyclers, one was a Salvation Army purchase of $7.50).  I think the most I've paid for one is $50 and that was for a practically new Sit N Stand with lots of bells and whistles.  However, in my quest for an inexpensive, cupholder-laden, rolls-through-the-potholes-and-gravel-in-the-street stroller, we've had our share of duds.

The first incident occurred as E-girl, J-boy and I traversed our town to deliver a small bag of treasures to a friend.  The walk was only about a mile in each direction.  It was sunny and warm outside, the perfect day for a stroll, but it turned out to be a nightmare due to the stroller wheel falling off every time it hit uneven pavement.  I think in the two miles, the wheel fell off 12 times, each time scaring J-boy and me half to death.

Our second incident took place as we were walking to Bible study one sunny Friday morning.  Of course, we were late as usual, so I was walking at a quick pace.  E-girl and J-boy were moving as fast as they could to keep up as I cheered them along.  Baby A was the only child with the luxury of riding.  About halway into our little journey, the stroller hit a bump and bottomed out.  Unsure of exactly what had just happened, we stopped and I inspected the front of the stroller.  To my surprise, the entire front wheel assembly, including the post that the wheel attaches to, had snapped in half.  My heart sank.  As I recovered from my disbelief of what had just happened, I realized that the incident couldn't have happened at a better time.  We were standing directly in front of a friend's house!  Thankfully, she was home and we tossed the stroller and the children into her pickup and sped off toward home.  

I was so sad that that particular stroller had met its end.  It was the first stroller we had owned: given to us by Romeo's sister and brother-in-law when we had E-girl.  We had given it to his middle sister when they were expecting since we had acquired a double for the same reason.  I never anticipated seeing it again.  To my surprise, when we were visiting the sister who had originally given it to us, the stroller was on a trailer full of materials to be sent to the dumpI loved that stroller's ability to change from child facing forward to child facing backward for walking in sunny weather, so I asked if I might salvage it.  They gave us the go-ahead, so we stuffed it into the van and proceeded to trek from Georgia to New Mexico.  Romeo grumbled about having to transport it, but his tone changed a bit after he got pulled over by the highway patrol.  We had the front seat and floorboard of the family carriage so crammed with boxes and the stroller that he could not get the insurance and registration paperwork out of the glove compartment without totally tearing the van apart.  I think the patrolman had mercy on us and let us go with a laugh and a warning.  Whew!

The latest stroller fiasco occurred in San Francisco while we were using a dear friend's jogging stroller.  Romeo got the bright idea that we should walk back from the end of the trolley route to the beginning of the trolley route.  Yes, uphill both ways! As we neared the top of the hill (funny how the hill just keeps going when you reach that point), the front wheel lodged itself down in one of the trolley track ruts.  Of course, Romeo was going at a good pace, so the momentum of the stroller and the power of him pushing it popped the wheel off and forced the frame into a strange, mangled state.  Thankfully, complete strangers came to the rescue since we were in the middle of an intersection.  We wheelied over to the side to see if we could remount the wheel.  (Of course, while we were working on the stroller, J-boy had to get his knee lodged in an iron fence.)  No luck.  So what did we do?  Catch the next trolley?  Nah, what fun would that be?  With much whining and complaining, mostly from moi, we trudged back with Romeo dragging the stroller rickshaw-style in wheelie position.  I have to admit, though, after we FINALLY made it to the top of the hill, I did rather enjoy the walk back.  We got to see the crookedest road in the U.S. (Lombard Street) up close and personal.  (I completely refused to walk down that one!)  In addition, the views of the bay were amazing, and we had the ability to soak it in a little as we walked.  Even with the stroller handicap, I can say in retrospect that the sightseeing was completely worth the sore quads and mild backache the following day.

 Lombard Street
 author and copyright holder, Jon Sullivan

Murphy's Law of Motherhood #57-The Power of the Shower

Recently posted by a friend of mine with two little ones:
"How is it my sweet baby girl can sleep thru the dog barking, her brother's meltdowns, the tv, the doorbell, etc but my turning the shower on wakes her up within 30 seconds?"
 I can totally relate!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Murphy's Law of Motherhood #5: Ur-in(e) Trouble!

"Mommy, I peed!"  Yes, this phrase is a daily occurrence for parents of potty training children.  With any luck, it is candy to the ears (meaning the child is in a restroom hovering over water), but it can mean utter disaster.  Two instances of this sort come to my mind from personal experience.

The first was in Alaska.  For some reason, I thought it would be an excellent idea to take E-girl (then 2 1/2) and J-boy (7 months) to McDonald's by myself.  I believe it was the only restaurant with an indoor playland within 15 minutes of our home.  Call it cabin fever if you will, but I was about to go stark-raving mad being at home at the end of a long winter with two children under the age of three.  (For those of you who do not know us, my husband was rarely around due to his schooling, and E-girl was known to
regularly assault the poor infant with a pink plastic teapot.)  After settling in at a table, E-girl headed off to play as I tended to the baby.  About ten minutes later, I heard, "Mommy, I peed!" come from the very top of the over-sized playhouse.  I was so thankful that I still carried an extra change of clothes, but God bless the poor woman who had to climb up in that tunnel of nastiness to clean it!  I imagine there was probably a trail from the apex down, and I'm certain our daughter was probably the first child in history to do such a thing.

Thankfully, E-girl was a pretty quick learner, so we dealt with few accidents.  The boy, on the other hand...makes me want to slap the Potty Train Your Child in a Nanosecond authors in the chops with a wet pair of pants.  All the signs of readiness were there, but every child is different.  His training has not only cost us double the laundry loads and a small fortune in nitrile gloves, pullups, and carpet cleaner; it has nearly cost me my sanity.  Since summer has entered the scene, I've been allowing him to choose to use the toilet or a tree.  Yes, I know it may seem rather barbaric, but what man does not enjoy watering the lilies?  The child rather liked having the novelty of choice, so it did work in our favor (i.e. he voluntarily went more often, and I had less bathroom messes to clean up).  Off and on throughout the last year, we have gone to using "big boy underwear." In retrospect, maybe we should've just pulled the plug on the diapers/pullups altogether to avoid confusion, but after cleaning up mess after nasty mess, I succumbed to self-preservation mode. One can stick their hands in the toilet only so many times before losing one's mind! 

During one underwear season, I heard "Mommy, I peed!" from the den.  My only thought was, "Aw, geez!  Not again!"  I walked in to find him standing in a puddle on the built-in bookshelf seat.  A quaint, sparkling stream was flowing off of his foot, into the puddle, and onto the new carpet.  Joy!  As I was soaking in the scene, E-girl pipes up, "Mom!  He peed on my library book!"  I snatched the sopping book out of the stream and sprinted toward the kitchen, hoping to save it (because only the Lord knows how much they're going to charge to replace that thing.  What's a little pee after all we'd been through the last year, right?)  As I ran past the trashcan, my brain finally decided to function, and I realized that one drop was enough to consider it a loss.  Thanks to J-boy, our library will now have one Henry and Mudge book without dogears and boogered pages.


Saturday, June 30, 2012

Murphy's Law of Motherhood #10: When in the Presence of a Garden Hose, Something's Going to Get Wet

As we were unpacking the van after hitting a few irresistible yard sales today, I heard a shrill scream from E-girl (5 1/2) as she rounded the corner of the house.  My friend, who had accompanied us started yelling, "Put it down!  Put it down!"  I should have known J-boy (3 1/2) had taken the liberty of turning on the water hose.  After a verbal reprimand, I tried redirecting him toward the lilacs in front of our house (since he was so repentant toward his sister).  He proceeded to listen as I instructed him to fill the ring of rocks that surrounded each of the lilacs bordering our front porch.  He seemed to understand that he was to water the plants and not his siblings at that point, so the rest of us packed our new-found fodder into the house as he happily watered away.  A few minutes later, a higher, more alarmed scream emerged from the living room.  "Stop...stop!  STOP!"  I darted down the hallway to see what was happening, only to find water streaming down our front window, a puddle on our window seat, drenched carpet, a soaked answering machine and several now-mushy books.  At that point I had to ask myself what I was thinking allowing J-boy to continue use of the water hose, especially with the front window cracked.

Thankfully, I think the books and answering machine survived; however, I'll not be giving the boy permission to use a garden hose (without my hand on the valve, anyway) for a long time.  I suppose I should have known better than to trust him to just water the plants, especially considering that he turned on me with a water hose in the produce section of the grocery store this past winter.  That was a very chilly trip!  (I just wish I had thought to turn it on him after he had gotten me with it.  ha ha)

(Photo actually taken in 2012.  Due to being blond and sleep deprivation, I accidentally set the camera to the wrong year.  Oops!)

Friday, June 1, 2012

In the beginning....

I seriously do not know what compelled me to start this blog other than the crazy occurrences of everyday life with children that make us laugh and want to pull our hair out at the same time.  If you are a parent, I KNOW you can relate!  This is the stuff of life that makes the ride interesting.  Murphy's Law is what happens when the natural curiosity, unbridled energy, and unfiltered truthfulness of children mix with our will to have the days planned out to perfection.  Let's face it, while traveling through life with children, Murphy is going to strike, so you may as well find the blessing in the moment.