My Little Kingdom

A day in the life of me and my kingdom. Thoughts of a mother of four amazing little boys, a wife of an incredible husband and a woman trying not to forget about herself.

July 26, 2004

A Day in the Life
(This actually took place in February, an email to my friend)
Here's what you missed today. It started out the norm. However, the battle between breakfast and cartoons rapidly escalated into an all out war. And that's when I knew today was going to be a day of days. In fact everything seemed to be a battle today. We somehow were transported and awoke this morning in the middle of a battle field. My husband wishing me luck skipped off to work while I stood there at the bottom of the stairs calling out, "Are you sure they don't have daycare at your office?". We had a few minor squabbles and then I began to sigh a little with relief until I noticed a rather disturbing odor. Just as we were heading out the door to the post office. It was so disturbing that I began sniffing the air to track the source. Soon I was on my hands and knees with my nose in and on everything. I did determine it was time to wash the bathroom towels which led me into the walk in closet. Which is where I found it. Another hidden pee spot from our former cat. Which is why she is our former cat. Back in the corner on a plastic bag(thank goodness) among my husbands shoes. Good thing she was already gone, that's all I have to say.

I began to clean up and headed down stairs to find the cleaners and sprays when I came face to face with reality! I HAVE KIDS! I forgot that I was headed out the door and for a moment apparently had forgotten that I had three little boys all of whom where very quiet. And I in my odor sniffing rage had come face to face with the day once again. My jaw dropped open. LIterally. I gasped and was utterly speechless. I didn't know what to do yell, scream, cry or just collapse in a pile of "I give up". There were my two oldest sitting on the couch scooping out Isaac's formula. And there was Isaac rolling in it on the floor. And when I finallly sputtered out a "NOOoooo", the oldest of the three quickly dumped out the rest to finish the job. At least he's thorough, I'll give him that. I put them in their room and went about stomping through the house. To make matters worse, we were out of vacuum bags so I couldn't even vacuum it up..

We finally made it to the post office and to the store for vacuum bags. Then back for lunch with a huge helping of tantrums. At last I threw in the towel, put the baby to bed and sat on the couch with the other two watching cartoons and sipping milk. I placed an arm around each of them giving them each a kiss and whispering, "I love you, I really do." Now they are all three asleep. Have I won the battle. Oh, no the day is still going and I'm fearful there will be an extra force of grumpies on their side tonight. However, I am hopeful and grateful for this moment of peace and quiet to catch my breath and get my head on straight.

It has been a day. Luckily these only come so often, sometimes in batches and sometimes alone. But, thankfully they go away and we are again one on the homefront.

July 09, 2004

Water Under A 'Bridge'
It's all about perspective. Viewing life through someone else's eyes. In this case my chidren's. I've mentioned how I love being a parent and seeing the world through their eyes, how it brings back memories and reminds me of what's truly important. Well, I've come to realize another important aspect of seeing and understanding someone else's perspective. And yes, my children were the ones who taught me.

Now my children have done some pretty crazy, imaginative and even unthinkable (or so I thought) things. Such as when when my son decided to feed the dog and carefully spread handfulls of dog food on the floor leaving a trail through out the laundry room, kitchen and into the living room. Because that's how Grandpa feeds the deer. Or the time my oldest (all of 18mths at the time) tried to help and do the dishes for me, using my shampoo in the dish washer. And of course you have to feed the cat by dumping the entire bag of cat food into the tub and filling it with water. Why didn't I think of that myself? Oh, and what about the time I walked by the living room window with a basket full of laundry in my arms when something caught my eye. Toys, lots of toys all over the front lawn. Not just any ordinary toys, the toys we keep upstairs. In horror I race upstairs to find my children tossing every toy they can get their hands on out the window. The man installing our highspeed internet on top of the roof(the reason for the opened screen) must have been getting a good laugh out of that one. I'm surprised he hadn't rolled off the roof laughing as I had to crawl half way out on to the roof to retrieve the toys that hadn't making it over. And it goes on, and will continue to as long as I have children. And I almost look forward to their little ingenius plots.

Thank goodness, somewhere in between Stopping dead in my tracks, popping my eyes back in their sockets and pushing my jaw back into place, I am able to get ahold of my self and then act instead of react. And I'm thankful, that that is the case more often than not. It allows me to get things under control, get the real scoop and teach them a lesson, not to mention my kids won't remember me as a raving lunatic (screaming, ranting and raving and foaming at the mouth). And best of all I'm able to see life through their eyes, they always have a logical (to them) reason, if not it's at least an amusing one. Most of the time they are genuinly trying to help.

Some may think I must not keep an eye on my three little boys. That is so not the case. They are just extremly fast.

However, today tops the cake. We live in a quiet neighborhood in the middle of some cow pastures and crop land. There are lots of children who play outside especially next door. So, I have become a little comfortable in letting the boys play outside without me(at times) as long as I have a window or two and the doors open so that I can keep an eye on them and hear them as I clean and get things done. This morning was one of those times. When I realized it was quiet and then heard the hose. I figured they were soaking the lawn and the porch as they usually do. So, I quickly finished my task at hand and went out to tell them to turn off the water. As I came down the stairs I could see straight out the front door. Yes, I stopped dead in my tracks, my eyes popped out of their sockets and my jaw dropped to the ground. Except this time I had no idea what to do, no idea where to begin.

They had taken the hose turned it up as high as it would go and filled the jeep with water. Yes, they filled our jeep with water. They had opened the doors soaked every inch of the jeep inside and out. The dashboard, the console, the seats were sopping wet and the floor was filled to the brim with water. Water was pouring out of the sides and trickling from beneath the undercarriage. Speechless, in shock, I led them to the laundry room and instructed them to take off their wet clothes handed them some dry underwear and told them to go upstairs to wait for me.

Meanwhile, I was still trying to decipher what had just happened and what I was supposed to do and how I was supposed to punish them. I went out to get a better estimate of the damage. Upon returning I must admit I did give them each a good swat on the bum and then a short lecture of why we don't do that. Telling them they were not to go outside for the rest of the day along with no playing with friends, they were never to turn the hose on ever again without asking first and no tv for the rest of the day either.

Just then the door bell rang, it was a neighbor boy asking if now was a good time to mow our lawn. I'm sure the boys thought so. And upon inquiring about the jeep, he thought it was rather amusing, hilarious infact. I told him it would be in a few days. He didn't seem to understand.

There I sat bailing out buckets of water from the inside of our jeep in the middle of a desert. Yes, we live in a desert. It was an odd odd site. I know the UPS man was thinking as he drove by very very slowly 'wait til I tell my wife what I saw today, she'll never believe me.' It literally looked as though the Jeep had just been pulled from a lake.

Now how was I supposed to tell Cameron. I emailed him, my first words being I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry and then gave him the options of I can email, I can tell you over the phone or you can come home and see for yourself. He opted for email, wise choice. This way he could let it soak in (no pun intended) and hopefully find some humor in it all before coming home tonight. He took it rather well and eased my worries. Reassuring me that Jeeps of this age were made pretty tough and he was confident it would still run.

Once things were under way I sat the boys down for lunch and then asked them "WHAT were you trying to do?" Everest's response was simple, straight forward and honest. "We were trying to clean out the car, it was dirty and it's easier to clean out with water." ah, but of course it is. Apparently they do listen, even at ages three and two. Cameron has been on a real clean car kick lately, and for good reason. With three toddlers the cars sometimes get a little messy even though I try to keep them cleaned out. So they took to heart their daddy's pleas to keep the cars clean. And sincerly wanted to help their daddy. I thanked them for their thoughtfulness and explained that next time they needed to ask for help and then had to explain why they needed to ask for help (being the independent little boys they are).

No use fretting over it, it's all water under a 'jeep' at this point.

So, never underestimate the endless possiblities of imagination, the lure of curiosity, the power of independence, the speed of a three year old, a two year old and a one year old(who was not involved, I must clarify). And most of all don't overlook the perspecitve of the other party.
(Oh, and never get too comfortable)