Last Day

It’s March 31st-the last day of March!  That means:

  • April Fool’s Eve–very exciting for my four year old son who learned about it from preschool.  He has been “practicing” on his dad and me the whole week.
  • Pay Day–YIPEE!
  • End of the Slice of Life March writing challenge–how do I feel about this?  A mixture of pride, relief, and sadness.
    • Pride because I did it!  I wrote a slice of life story every day for the month of March.
    • Relief because I don’t have to watch the clock and make sure I get my slice done before midnight.
    • Sadness because I really enjoyed this journey!  I think the reason I liked it so much is because for a few minutes every day I did something for me.  I think that’s healthy and much needed as a mom of three.  I plan to continue writing once a week (maybe more often) with the Slice of Life writing community.  And I’m already looking forward to March!

So this might be the last day, but really, it’s just the beginning…

 

A Close Call

My son and I planted tulip and dafodil bulbs last fall.  The daffodils bloomed first, sweet little buttercups that proclaimed, “Hang in there, spring is coming!”

Now the tulips have fully bloomed, deep red. My favorite flower in my favorite color.  I see them out the window, walk by them on my way to my car, and I can’t help but smile.

This evening I took the kids on a walk, pulling the Baby Girls in the wagon.  When we got home, I took Baby Girl B out and set her down on the walkway to the house.  I went back to the sidewalk to get Baby Girl A, when I heard my son yell, “NO BABY!”

I spun around to see Baby Girl B reaching for a tulip.  I felt like I was in slow motion, her hand reaching towards the delicate petals, my body not moving fast enough.  “STOP!” I called out, startling her and buying me enough time to make it to her side.  I scooped her up just as she grabbed the top of a petal.  A small piece of red fell to the walkway, a bright drop of blood against the gray cement.

“Ohhh, she broke it!” my son said sadly.  Having helped plant the bulbs, he’s very protective of the tulips.

“It’s okay, it’s just a tiny bit.  The flower will be alright.”

Baby Girl A’s call reminded me that I had left her stranded in the wagon.  Taking Baby Girl B with me, I went back to the sidewalk to get her out.  I took both of their hands and marched them past  the tulips to a place they could play away from the flowers.

“That was a close one,” I told my son.  “Thanks for watching out for the tulips!”

He nodded, smiling, proud of himself, before joining his sisters to play.

 

Not Easier, But More Fun

The kids and I spent the evening at the park.  While my son played in the sand box with a friend, making “popcorn, macaroni, strawberry & mango stew” out of dirt, I was following the baby girls around.   Now that they are confident walkers and climbers, the park is a very exciting place.

First, they wanted to swing.

Then they wanted to slide.

Then they both tried to fit in the Cozy Coup at the same time (didn’t work).

Baby Girl B discovered a ball, so Baby Girl A found one, too.  They both tried to join in the big kids’ soccer game.

Finally, they wanted to climb up the big toy.

The girls had a blast.  They giggled, smiled, and laughed all evening.  All this playing is no problem when it’s one-on-one.  But when the ratio is one-to-two (or really, one-to-three, but I’ll admit my son wasn’t getting much supervision) it gets more complicated.  By the time we loaded up the stroller to head home, I was exhausted.

As I pushed the stroller up the hill, my son on his bike next to us, I was thinking about a recent exchange between my husband and I and a friend.

“Is life getting easier?” our friend asked.

“Not easier, but more fun,” my husband responded.

He got it right on.  Life with three kids, two of them twins, is still hard.  But it’s definitely getting to be more fun.

Bathroom Breaks

I stopped by the bathroom on the way to my meeting with the first grade team this afternoon.  While we waited for everyone to arrive, I wondered aloud, “Why can I go until 2:00 without using the bathroom when I’m at school, but I could never go that long when I’m at home?”

“Do you drink more water at home?” one teacher asked.

“I actually think I drink more water here at school,” I responded.

“Maybe you go to the bathroom at home because it’s the only time you get some privacy,” another teacher suggested.

My mind flashed to yesterday when I went to the bathroom and closed the door.  Not ten seconds later, Baby Girl A was crying at the door, soon to be joined by Baby Girl B trying unsuccessfully to turn the doorknob.  My son, thinking he was being very helpful, came to let them in.  And then decided to come in himself.  And that is how my “private” moment turned into four people in the bathroom (one of them on my lap) singing songs.

I gave a little laugh.  “Nope, that’s definitely not it.  No privacy at home.  I think I just get busy when I’m at school and don’t think about it.”  The rest of the team arrived and we got started analyzing writing data.  But now, whenever I pass the bathroom at school, I smile.

Joy

Purple Easter grass

EVERYWHERE

Across the floor

In the babies’ hair

Stuck to my feet

EVERYWHERE

Except in the baskets

Evidence

of Easter morning

JOY

What a Difference a Year Makes

My son had a T-ball game this morning.  As the innings progressed, I was pretty impressed with how much he has improved since last year.  Granted, he was only three and a half years old last season, the youngest player on his team.  He also didn’t know anyone on the team, whereas this year there are four other friends from his preschool on the team.  But still, he has gotten a lot better.

Last year he threw the ball underhand.  This morning he threw the ball overhand from short-stop to the dad acting as the first-base coach well enough that the dad could catch it.

Last year he took the bat with him to first base in the first games, and then moved on to flinging it hazardously later on in the season.  This morning, after hitting it pretty hard for a four-year-old, he simply dropped the bat and ran.

Last year, after learning that you were supposed to “tag” the runner, he began tagging/tackling the runner even when he didn’t have the ball (and he usually didn’t). This morning, he stayed on first base and waited for someone to throw the ball to him before tagging the runner properly.

Last year the field turned into a big sandbox after the first inning.  This morning, he stayed in the game all three innings.

Last year, at the first practice of the season, the coach told him to go to the end of the line after his turn. My son started wandering the field, looking sort of lost.  I thought he must have to go to the bathroom, so I hopped off the bleachers and went to check.

“Are you looking for the bathroom, buddy?”  He shook his head.  “Then what are you looking for?”

“Mom,” he asked, looking confused, “what’s ‘the end of the line’ mean?”  I burst out laughing and showed him the end of the line.

This morning, when the coach told the team to line up to give their opponents high fives, he did not get in line like the others but started wandering the field.  Well, he’s learned a lot since last year, but he still has a lot to learn.

Ever-Optimistic

My ever-optimistic friend planned her daughter’s 5th birthday to be at the park today.

In March.

In Seattle.

For the second year in a row.

Last year it was raining sideways and the adults were huddled under a tarp while my friend led the kids on a “discovery hike” through the woods.  So I was a little surprised when this year’s invitation said it would once again be held outside.

In March.

In Seattle.

For the second year in a row.

But this year, today, was one of those Seattle Spring Days that makes you forget about the other 300 days of the year that are gray and rainy.  The sky was bright blue with puffy white clouds and it was warm enough to leave your jacket behind.  I left the baby girls home sleeping with my hubby, enjoying a couple of hours of quiet, while I took my son to the birthday party.  While the kids played, I soaked up some sun and caught up with a friend I haven’t seen for a couple of months.  It was a perfect afternoon.

So thank you, my ever-optimistic friend, for planning birthday parties at the park.

In March.

In Seattle.

For the second year in a row.

Use Your Words

I decided to surprise my son and pick him up from his Cubbies program at church last night.  I don’t see him much on Wednesdays because he goes to Grammy and Pa’s house before I get home and then to Cubbies.  My mom helps out at church during the program and then brings him home afterwards.  Yesterday I hadn’t seen him at all because he slept in and was still asleep when I left in the morning.   So I wanted to pick him up so we’d have a little time together before bed.

“Hi, Bubby!” I smiled and gave him a big hug when I got there.  They had just turned the lights back on after playing a game with glow sticks in the dark, part of “Star Wars” night.

I had expected him to light up when he saw me, give me a big hug, yell, “Mommy!” But instead he got that look on his face that says, “I’m not happy with this situation,” turned his back to me and stomped down the hallway.

“Bubby?  What’s wrong?”  He had stopped at the end of the hallway, his arms folded across his chest.  His jaw was set, chin pushed slightly up in the air. “Bubby, I came to get you because I haven’t seen you all day.  What’s wrong?  I thought this would be a good surprise.”

I went to give him a hug, but he slid to the ground and started crying.  “I need you to use your words and tell me what’s wrong,” I said, kneeling down.

“I wanted Grammy to get me,” he wailed.

“But why?” This is not the happy reception I was expecting, I thought to myself.

“Because she was going to get a game for me to play.” The mention of this game brought on a new wave of sobs.  I had no idea what he was talking about, but I could see it was clearly something important to him.  I was feeling frustrated and disappointed with the situation, but took a deep breath.

“Okay, well, let’s go find Grammy and find out about this game.” I helped him up and held his hand as we walked back down the hall.  He sniffled a little, but the tears had stopped.  We went back to the Cubbies room to get his jacket and found my mom in there.

“He’s upset about some game you were going to get him?” I asked.

“Oh,  yeah, one of the volunteers was going to bring Ker-Plunk for him.” My mom found the person with the game and then handed the game over to my son.  He was suddenly all smiles.

“Are we ready to go home now?” I asked.  He nodded, chatting away about how we was going to set up the game before he went to bed so that we could play it first thing in the morning.  “You see, Bubby, you’ve just got to use your words.  I didn’t know what you wanted when you stomped off, but when you used your words to tell me about the game we solved the problem. Next time you feel frustrated, remember to use your words!”

“Okay, Mommy, I’ll try to remember,” he replied happily.

I know he will try, but I also know we will have this conversation again in the near future because this isn’t the first time we’ve had it.  Growing up is a lot of work!

Waiting for Dinner

5:00 “What’s for dinner?”

5:01 “I’ll make spaghetti, you take the kids outside.”

5:02 “Everyone put on their jackets!”

5:05 “No, Baby Girls, you have to have shoes before you go outside.”

5:08 “Mom, can you pick up this big rock so I can look for worms?”

5:13 “Sister, want to see a worm?”

5:15 “I’m going to weed while you look for worms.”

5:16 “Meow, meow, meow.”

5:20 “Careful, Babies, don’t step on my flowers!”

5:23 “Haha, dirt is not for eating Baby Girl.”

5:24 “Woof, woof, woof.”

5:26 “Mom, can you kill this slug for me?”

5:29 “Dinner’s ready!”

 

 

The Airplane Mystery

I will never understand the tastebuds of babes.  The baby girls are, thankfully, very good eaters.  But I never know what they will eat at any given time.  Something they devour and demand more of on Monday turns into something they will not touch on Wednesday.  And when they don’t want something, they make it very clear.  Upon being presented with the undesirable food, they shake their head from side to side or crane their mouth as far away from it as possible.  If you dare put the offensive food on their tray, they will grab it quickly and fling it across the room, as if to say, “Do you get it now? I don’t want that!”

I can understand that, somedays I don’t feel like something that I usually enjoy.  What I don’t understand are the two situations when the detestable food becomes suddenly delectable:

1) The Airplane.  How does flying the food around on the spoon and making buzzing noises change the flavor so much?

2) The Ground.  I never cease to be amazed that when I take them out of their high chairs and set them down, they drop to the floor and begin eating the exact food that minutes before (or sometimes the day before if I didn’t sweep) they sent hurtling down in disgust.

Maybe it’s the rush of air the food experiences while flying on the airplane or sky-diving to the ground that makes it taste so much better?  I’m not sure why, but for whatever reason, it happens.  I think the next time I have cauliflower I’ll give it a try.