Compassionate Creatures

Have you ever had one of those days where things were just hitting you from every direction, all at one time? Normally, I tend to take things in stride;  If I have a missile fired at me, I may be a bit wounded, but I dust myself off and carry on.

Yesterday, was one of “those days” where everything kind of comes at you at once- physically and mentally. My brain could only handle “INCOMING!!!” so many times. Call it a meltdown, call it just being spent, or call it what my mother would call it, “The Change” (too early, Mom!).  Whatever it was, it consisted of many tears streaming down my face, and my children not really sure how to handle me because they don’t normally see me this way. In fact, they never see me this way, so they had no idea what to make of it. So, given the spontaneous creatures they are, they simply sprung into action.

Here’s how it went:

  • Tons of hugs from the both of them. PRETTY AWESOME.
  • Dylan : Threw together a “Snack Bowl” consisting of Annie‘s pretzels, cheddar rabbits, yogurt, applesauce, and a kid’s drink. He promptly brought it to me, as if I was starving for snacks. Even though I was the opposite of hungry, DEFINITELY AWESOME.
  • Honey Badger: She made beautiful pictures of an Invisible Car, and a Spider Web. I’m not sure I would have guessed each of those on the first try, except Dylan labeled them in cursive. 🙂 DEFINITELY AWESOME.
  • While I’m “eating” (pretending to enjoy, rather) my snack, Dylan disappeared to his room and wasn’t to be heard from for at least 15 minutes. Hmmm, I’m a little curious.
  • During those 15 minutes, HB ran circles around me – from the kitchen, family room, and dining room, it’s a perfect oval for children to run. In her case, she KNEW it would make me feel better if she ran that course, chucked the Twister “board” at my feet, continued on, and then chucked the Twister Spinner board at my leg. It definitely made me feel kinda better. On her final lap, she dumped “Baby” in my lap. I was pretty verklempt at that point.

By this point, my tears had dried up, and I was thinking that, as usual, my kids were pretty amazing.  I got up to go to the other room. and Dylan stopped me in the hallway. He was genuflecting, Tebow style, head down with something on his palm lifted up to me: He made me my very own Rainbow Loom bracelet.

Man.

That was pretty strong. I gave him a giant hug, because I thought it was so sweet. He grinned at me, because he knew I loved the bracelet, and I grinned back.

BUT.

The Honey Badger witnessed my embrace with Dylan.  All of a sudden, she let loose a gut-wrenching cry, and ran out into the family room with her arms covering her eyes in disgust and sobbed:

“I was going to make Mommy a bracelet, BUT SHE’S NOT CRYING ANYMORE!!!!!!!!” and the heaves and heaves of sobbing that went along with this was so very sad. Oh, man. I tried to talk some sense into her. IT HAS NO SENSE!

MOMMY ISN’T CRYING ANYMORE, SO I DON’T GET TO MAKE HER A BRACELET!!!!!”

Sean walks in the door:  “I was going to make Mommy a bracelet, BUT SHE’S NOT CRYING ANYMORE!!!!!

Dylan tried to comfort her and offer some ideas.  She cut him off:    “MOMMY ISN’T CRYING ANYMORE, SO I DON’T GET TO MAKE HER A BRACELET!!!!!”

Oh, man. I am NEVER crying in front of the kids again.

It’s hard out there for a Honey Badger.

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The Bacon Standoff

Wow, time has flown by. I have been busy, busy, busy. My mother-in-law came from Georgia to visit for almost two weeks, and Erin, consequently, turned us on our heads. It was a great visit, but the person/thing that profited most from the visit was definitely Flash. He’s currently suffering from PTSD, however, he had a bit of a reprieve given that Grandma Vicki brought two furry little Shih-tzu puppies with her : Hannah and Sadie. They might be able to get a discount on group therapy, if it weren’t for the fact they live 11 hours away from each other. Misery loves company. Oh well. Anyway, Grandma Vicki slept in Erin’s bed, which was perfectly fine since she vacates her bed every night to form the letter H formation between her father and I in our bed. The draw of the puppies was too great, though, and she spent many a night in her sleeping bag, hunkered down on the floor next to Grandma Vicki, right where the puppies slept.

Here is a pic of the happy camper. (Singlular, not plural.)

I called the puppies for a comment, but they are still  working through their own PTSD issues.

I called the puppies for a comment, but they are still working through their own PTSD issues.

Then there were nights like this, when she refused to sleep anywhere, so we had to put the gate up in our bedroom to keep her in there.

She's picketing. On the floor in front of Rudy's crate. She's smart as shit.

She’s picketing. On the floor in front of Rudy’s crate. She’s smart as shit. Plus, she got caught 1) not being in bed like we asked and, 2) enjoying herself reading books. Double whammy.

Ok, so her sleeping situation became a bit unglued, no fault to anyone, it’s just that there was too much excitement with Grandma here! She did manage to bust out gymnastics in her usual fashion. The usual fashion being, a giant smile, stories for her teacher about how her Mom with one leg cannot do cartwheels (oh, but I can! And my husband told me to stop because I was going to hurt myself…..), picking her wedge gratuitously every 5 minutes, and the best of all – Honey Badger Jumping Jacks. Oh God, they are THE BEST.

Most kids get a stamp on their hands after class. Erin sticks her foot out and makes them stamp her foot. Can't see it here, but that's how she rolls.

Most kids get a stamp on their hands after class. Erin sticks her foot out and makes them stamp her foot.

We had a super time with Grandma Vicki!! Grandma Vicki is super organized, on time, and totally on top of everything. She was a part of our chaos for just enough time to spur her to get the hell out of dodge back to her organized, clean and on time lifestyle.

So, here we are and we’re getting back into our routine. I thought we did pretty well for a Monday morning yesterday. As usual, Erin and I were about 10 minutes late to school. Today was an entirely different story. I spent 45 minutes trying to wake her up, while I rushed around and got ready. Nope. Shirtless in my bed, she snoozed comfortably while I finally decided we weren’t making it there today. I had a Dr’s appt at 10:20am, and I’m trying to get her dressed 15 minutes before we absolutely have to walk out the door.

Me: “Erin, it’s time to get dressed.”

Erin: “Bacon.”

Me: “Erin, you need to get dressed RIGHT NOW.”

Erin: “Bacon.”

Me: “Are you saying blanket, or bacon? We don’t have any bacon, but you can bring your blanket.”

Erin: (Stomps foot on ground), “BACON.”

Me: “Come onnnnnn. I need you to get dressed. Santa Clause is watching you!”

Erin: (Stomps foot again, just once, because less is more), “BACON.”

Ok, this was almost as much fun as last week, when she did the same thing, but the super cool word was : “Daddy”. Same exact scenario, different key word. Also, this went on much longer than you see here, which is sad. I just argued with a complete crazy person who repeatedly said the word “Bacon” in response to my begging and pleading.

I have lost all threatening power with regards to Santa. She doesn’t flinch. I have no leverage. I’m over Christmas. What good is it if you can’t use it to threaten your children?

It doesn’t matter anyway, because Erin summed it up tonight to Dylan. “I don’t really like Christmas. I like Halloween much more better.”

“MOM-MEEEE! WILL YOU WIPE MY BOT-TOMMMM?!”

I yelled this from my Mom’s bathroom the other day. I wanted her to relive the moment as I live it, EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. In ways like this, I try to remind my Mom just how much fun I (probably) was when I was little!  It’s always awesome to hear that phrase shouted from the bathroom. Daily. Our little Erin is quite predictable when she trots into the bathroom and shuts the door. We know exactly what she will yell, and we wait for it like a countdown, but sometimes we don’t know “who” will be the Chosen One. Mommy? or…..Daddy? Always on the edge of our seats!

Anyway, my Mom recently turned 70. She’s a long way away from those good ‘ol days of raising us kids. She and my Dad sit back and marvel  at chuckle at me and my siblings as we rear our own. Actually, my Mom still enjoys parenting all of us to the utmost of her ability, while my Dad has been known to wink at me a time or two and say, “What goes around, comes around.” So, when it came time to plan for the party, my sister-in-law and I tried to talk my Mom into a nice, quiet dinner for Adults Only for her birthday; we know how rowdy our bunch can get. “Nope!”, she insisted. “I want to be surrounded by my grandchildren and just have pizza, and play games!”

We indulged her. Except, only half the grandkids could come. (The loud ones.)

Grandma is 70! 062

This photo was taken before multiple Flash (the hamster) “pettings”, a mostly mild concussion from son hitting his head on the floor while roughhousing, and serious shirtless dance moves to current music + Michael Jackson music (ALWAYS current). (The caterpillar dance move is still a hit at parties, by the way.)

Grandma is 70! 088

Example of shirtless dance move by the Honey Badger. Skirt is also on backwards.

Flash makes an appearance at the party. Erin is showing him her orange while he watches "Elf" with her.

Flash makes an appearance at the party. Erin is showing him her orange while he watches “Elf” with her. He LOVES that movie.

At one point, the noise in the room from 4 hyped-up grandkids was just too much, and I looked at my Mom & Dad and yelled, “We could be having a really nice, QUIET dinner right about now!” And, my Mom replied, “THIS is what I wanted!” Truly, she did want all of the chaos. And, that is beautiful.

My Mom’s heart has taken a licking, and keeps on ticking. Despite the many challenges she has faced, she is with us still. And, her grandchildren are the MOST important part of her life. Eight grandchildren – from 21 yrs. of age, to 3yrs, she’s had a major impact on all of their lives. I think she had a fabulous time on her birthday. PLUS, she got to go home to her own peace and quiet, and hop right into bed. And, that’s how it should be. (My husband would stop me right here and say that I was lying. That she didn’t really hop into bed, she climbed.)

So, I wonder what it was like for my mother, being a “Mom” to my own 3 year-old Me. Was I the original Honey Badger? Was I a complete lunatic, like Erin? Did I talk incessantly without taking a breath, as well? I doubt it. She broke the mold. I think it’s absolutely bizarre how tiny we are when our personalities develop. Erin is only 3, but she is just the absolute most fun. I just wish I could get inside her little brain for a second and see the world through her eyes. I bet I would be amazed at what I saw.

Poor Baby

Christmas is drawing near, and so is the end of Baby’s stint here on earth, I’m afraid. Baby is Erin’s doll. She goes practically everywhere with us. (See example from Halloween here.) Baby has had it pretty good, despite being perpetually dirty, and never having any clothes on. These small imperfections matter not. She is lacking in a couple of areas, though; she doesn’t eat and she doesn’t crap her pants. Erin is asking for Baby Alive for Christmas. Or, Baby Shits Her Pants, as my sister calls her. It’s only a matter of time before somebody puts Baby in the corner. Permanently.

Yesterday, Erin, Baby, and I went to the park. I took the time to document what might possibly be one of Baby’s last hurrahs. I feel kind of sorry for her. As you will see, she had a really great time with us.

Baby on the slide. Weee!

Baby on the swing. I think she likes the swing best because HB sends her flying so high.

Baby on the rings. She doesn’t really care for the rings, but she rarely stands up for herself. Like never.

Sadly, I think she will miss the choke hold from the Honey Badger most of all.

Well, that’s it for our fun day at the park. We have other pictures, but those are just between us. It’s been a fun ride, Baby. We’ll see you on the flip side. Or we’ll see you flipped over, or on your side, under the bed, or stashed in the corner closet, come December 25th.

You’ve been a heck of a pal.

Pants on Fire

The Honey Badger and I head into the girl’s restroom on our way out of preschool today. There are two stalls. She clearly strides towards the one on the right, so I head to the one on the left. Disgruntled, she says from her closed stall door, “*I* was going to go in THAT one.” Oh well, I say, she can choose this one next time.

A minute or so later, I’m washing my hands at the sink. It’s awfully quiet in the stall on the right. One might actually be pretending to be a statue in there, based on visual evidence of two legs firmly planted on the ground, not moving, and certainly not dangling from the toilet. I can tell that we are having an impromptu standoff. Suddenly, I hear and see commotion between the two stalls. There is a blonde haired honey badger on all fours: stomach, hands, legs and feet gratuitously touching every nasty ass square inch of the tile floor, army crawling from her stall on the right, to the more desirable one on the left.

“ERIN!!!! NO! We don’t CRAWL on the ground like that! GROSS! Come on, honey!!”

“Yes, we do! It says right here on this door, Mommy! It says, ‘Please, everybody, crawl on the ground to the other bathroom’. It says it right here on this door!”

She set the bar for bold-faced lies today. I’d like to see what might top this. It was pretty impressive.

Heavy Petting

Erin is completely, utterly, recklessly, 100% infatuated with Flash, her brother’s hamster. Dylan has been at his ‘other’ Dad’s house this weekend, so he has been spared the flagrant love affair. So far. He has no idea the extent of her crushing devotion to his pet. I am awakened every morning to a tiny, sweet whisper, and a tug on my arm, “Mommy?…… Mommy? I wanna go pet Fuh-lashhh!”  It’s such a simple statement. With many, many, many inconspicuous undertones. Such an awesome thing to wake up to. Of course I would love to torture the hamster, in the name of petting, prior to my first cup of coffee. Sean had the pleasure of hearing those sweet words Saturday morning and early this Sunday morning. I get to do it 5 days a week and he’s only relegated to 2. That’s not counting the multitude of times during the day that she requests to pet Flash. She’s under his spell. And, poor Flash, he’s under lock & key. He’s in the slammer until he gets monitored visitation from the Badger and her keeper.

Definitions of “To Pet” as per the Honey Badger

1) To fondle, grope.

2) To remove from cage by manhandling.

3) To place into her brother’s toys for amusement, such as: A-Team Van, and Military Transport Helicopter, and, well, see #4.

4) To nearly decapitate in the “Back to the Future” DeLorean (with working lights and actual swinging doors!).

5) To kiss, despite our pleas. “Erin, please don’t kiss Flash on the lips, or anywhere else for that matter.”

6) To fly in her pink airplane.

**Hang on, I need to take a swig from my Banana, Blueberry, Avocado, Kale, Flax Seed, Psyllium Husk, Almond Milk Smoothie that my husband made me a moment ago. **

Ok, I’m back. Erin just asked her Daddy if she could go “Pet Flash” again. We said he was pretty worn out from their playdates yesterday and this morning, sooooo he’s sound asleep.

Before I post pictures of their love in action, I will close with a quote from HB herself. Sean had to leave her alone with Flash for just a second to run into the other room. He shouted to her, “How’s Flash doing, honey!?”.

Her haphazard response:

“He’s still alive, Daddy!”

The exercise ball is intended for….wait for it…..exercise. I suppose he is getting exercise when he is scrambling to get somewhere, like OUT, while she holds it and colors in her coloring book, does a puzzle, or watches a movie.

In case you couldn’t see him before. Here’s his head shot, or profile, or whatever.

“1.21 gigawatts!” I bet Flash would really enjoy watching “Back to the Future” from solitary. I mean, from his exercise ball.

Flash could stand a little bit of a makeover. I wonder if I can find some gold chains, Mr. T style, that would fit around his little neck. Might help his self-esteem.

It’s not fun for Flash unless he has NO WAY OUT of anything, ever.

HB is a gentle giant.

“HE’S FLYYYYINNNGGGGGGGG, MOMMY!!!”

Ahhh, playtime is over and he’s back in the Clink. Erin will stand there and watch him until we drag her away. Bye, Flash!! See you in few, when Erin pleads with us to “pet” you again!

You Must Be 3 Yrs. Old to Read This!

Seriously, if you are reading this, then you are breaking the rules. The nerve! Oh well. It’s OK, I break the rules every day. I typically forget that I’m 37 and start singing songs to “Annie”, then I’m quickly chastised by the Honey Badger: “Mom!! You’re not 3!! You can only sing that song if you’re 3!!”. I almost ruined Halloween for my Little Orphan Erin…in a couple of ways 1) by singing and 2) trying to curl her very, very fine hair, especially when we were already under the gun for time. I’ll illustrate with pictures.

First of all, let’s start with a pic of how the Honey Badger gets her beauty sleep the night before Halloween, to allow her to beautifully transform into Annie the following day:

Not only does she don her PJ’s, robe, and slippers after we return home at 1:00pm in the afternoon, but she wears said clothing, including robe, to bed.

Next, we can’t forget “Baby” when it comes to Halloween. She needs a costume too. HB was sooooooo busy crafting Baby’s costume AND her little puppy’s costume, it was so sweet watching her.  As it turned out, they were so spooky!!!….in a horror movie sort of way.

Baby and Puppy (in the green costume) are “ghosts”.
Translation = “Horrific murderers with sinister costumes, posing as children’s toys.”

Now that those ^ yahoos are set, it’s time to get Annie’s hair curled.

Right about now I think I’m doing a pretty magnificent job on her hair. 🙂

Here is what her hair looked like when I was done:

I’m thinking: The one curl on top turned out really, really nicely. She’s thinking: Don’t you dare start singing.

These guys are ready to get the show on the road.

Me: “Smile guys!!!”
Dylan: “Seriously, Mom, do I really have to smile?”

Now then. After all was said and done, Annie went running door to door and very sweetly sang, “the sun will come out toMORROW!” ; the one little voice that is actually allowed to sing, because she’s 3. It just might be the sweetest voice I’ve ever heard, even when she is disciplining me for not following the rules. Speaking of sweet, she was blown away by all the sweets in her basket. Her loot might have been the most glorious thing she’d ever seen. She was purely in a state of bliss:

*Only hears angels singing and sees bright light upon discovering this piece of candy.*

I’d say it was a pretty successful haul. And, she even let me sing a little bit on the way home because she was in a sugar coma and couldn’t speak. 🙂