Monday, December 20, 2010

I just took four kids, three and under, to the grocery store.  Yep -- we have an extra friend here for a few days.  She's going to be three next month so she fits right in with Tink and The Captain.  She is pretty sweet and really cute and just jumped in with both feet.  I tried to get her to call me "Tia" as our last toddler friend did but being a white girl, she's unfamiliar with the term and took up calling me Mee-maw.  Heartwarming.

Tink decided to take advantage of the name-calling to try out "Dreena" and "Mee-maw" herself, but I kept looking around like I didn't know who she was talking to.  Finally she said "Maaaaa maaaa" in her sassy voice and kicked me in the shin.  I ignored the kick since I was egging her on so much.

But back to the grocery store.  Sunshine and Pepper are on a Little-free "vacation" in Houston with their friend, so I loaded everyone up and took them to the store.  I managed to find a cart that would hold them all plus the goods, so we just trucked up and down the aisles.   They were good as gold -- no crying, no reaching, no whining.  They were friendly and polite.  The super-sweet produce man brought them each a little box of raisins and that kept them busy for several aisles.

What was shocking to me was how many dirty looks I got.  This I did not understand.   You know, I didn't give birth to any of these kids.  But so what if I did?  Do we have the right to judge people who have more than a certain number of children?  They were all neatly dressed, hair combed; hopefully it is clear they are cared for.  I made an extra effort since I thought we might garner some attention.  They were actually being really darling.

It's good for me to be subject to occasional irrational judgment from strangers.  It keeps me from worrying too much about whether people like me.  The four little people with me like me a lot so I will leave it at that.

Of course I can't post any pictures of our little friend.  I suppose we are going to need a nick-name for her too, so let's go with Peisinoe (one of the Sirens),  because she lures you in and then the minute you say "no" or cross her, she wails.  And it is loud.  But she has waist length hair, big brown eyes and is so blonde, you can't see her eyebrows, so she can get away with it!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Tinker just hearing about bedtime.
Tink is afraid of the dark . .  . and quite a few other things.  Since the time change, when we put her to bed it is quite dark so she cries and yells and basically works herself into a lather.  Dear Hubby and I have had several conversations on the topic and we have tried a number of things. 

Recently I bought "glow worms" for Tinker and the Captain which we call "lullies."  The Blitz already had one and we can often hear him in the middle of the night;  he'll fuss a bit then hit the lullie which lights up and plays about one line of a lullebye and then it stops.  I thought having her very own little light in her little bed might help her.  I think it does help, but the minute that little light goes off, she starts to panic again.

Let me digress to say this isn't our first trip into this particular territory.  Sunshine was much the same -- scared of the dark and lots of other things.  We placated her with nightlights, hallway lights, bathroom lights, etc.  She wound up in my bed 3 nights of the week.  She was 7 before she slept an entire week in her own bed.  At 12, she still needs the hall light on and she wouldn't go outside in the dark by herself even if a giant ice cream sundae was waiting.  We're thinking maybe we didn't do this so well the last time!

Last week after a particularly raucous bedtime and several trips by both of us to try to calm the poor baby down, I said, "Maybe we should just turn on the bathroom light and call it a day." 

But DH said, "No, if we can hang in there, she will develop a way to cope with it."

Which of course makes perfect sense.  And then he went out of town. 

The first night she had a white-hot fit the likes of which I have never seen.  I mean never.  After about an hour of this (while the boys slept peacefully unaware), I lost my temper and told her to hush up and go to sleep because I could not take any more of her screaming which was only serving to make her sweat and make me mad.  She stopped.  Shocking.

Last night I put her to bed with timidity and trepidation.  It had been a long day with no nap and I could not imagine what sort of froth she was going to fly into.  She fussed a few minutes -- quietly -- and then all was silent.  Absolutely silent.  I almost went in to see if she was still breathing.  But instead, I heartily congratulated myself on my fine parenting skills and turned on the t.v.

Very late, around 11:00, The Captain kept knocking into the wall.  I finally decided to go check on him, thinking his legs must be tangled up in his blankets.  Of course it is pretty darn dark in that room.  So I stood there staring at him, on top of the covers but right up against the wall and noticed the kitty was on his bed.  The outdoor kitty.  I scooped her and put her outside and went back to cover him up. 

As I reached for the blankets to pull them back, they moved.  I fought down a yelp.  "It's the dog," I thought.  Nope, as I patted around, I felt a mountain of soft curls.  It was Tinker.  The Captain had let her into his bed so she wouldn't be afraid!  Now that is a good  brother. 

And phooey on the parenting skills.  Maybe next time.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Organization, Oh My

Nine months into having a household of seven, I am still not well organized. The jump from 2 children to 5 really affected the work on every level.  I think I need to start a support group for "sudden mothers of many" so we can all commiserate about how hard it is to wash all the clothes, keep everything picked up and feed everyone!  I should point out that the only one of these I actually accomplish is feeding everyone.   This lack of mastery over the household is contributing to a fair amount of "mind talk."  I keep telling myself that loving them is more important, but I am not yet convinced! 

I think I need to purge a lot of stuff from the house to create more storage space.  That is probably my first step.  I think I also need to re institute my system for focusing on one major task a day (kitchen, ironing, vacuuming, etc.) and not sit down for the evening until I have actually done that one thing.  I notice that I am lots happier when all the floors are clean.  It's weird that clean floors have an impact on my happiness.

What I somehow want to find out is how anyone manages all the people and things without making the older kids do tons of work.  When I look at ridiculously large families, like my dad's or The Duggars, the older kids do a lot of the labor and child minding.  I am trying to avoid that if I can.  Right now, I am working with Pepper and Sunshine to just pick up after themselves, thinking that would help my sanity quite a lot.  I have also figured out that toys with many pieces need to be put away and only played with under supervision, or said pieces wind up everywhere, including being carried around by the dog.  I think we just have too much stuff.  If anyone has any wisdom for me, please share! 

Here are a couple of funnies for you.  Tinker is a huge Sesame Street fan, and Elmo is her particular favorite.  To be fair, it's almost the only TV they watch, so of course she loves it.  About 4 pairs of her panties have Elmo on them so lately, she's taken to calling them "Elmo-ware."  As in, "I don't want it fairy panty.  I want Elmoware!"  Funny girl.

Pepper left her vocabulary cards on the kitchen table so Sunshine and I picked out a couple of words and have been liberally sprinkling them into the conversation.  It's easier than you think to work in  "proclivity" and "rollick" when most of your conversation centers around a bunch of toddlers.   Pepper seems surprised and annoyed by Sunshines' sudden proclivity for using complicated language, but does not appear to have figured out the cause yet.

 I was busy soaking up the love while my folks were here so I did not make many posts.  Pretty quick I am going to backtrack to Thanksgiving and post my sweet potatoes and Cranberry Sauce recipes because I really liked how they turned out.  See ya!