Friday, February 29, 2008

Mommy's a Rock Star!

I am constantly trying to come up with new ways to impress my children. Pathetic, I know. But lately they have been bad for my ego:

Exhibit A: Carter, working on math homework, started to approach me with a question and then paused. “Do you need help?” I asked, anxious to show him my skills. (I did teach algebra at a local college, mind you. AND I passed calculus, so there!) “Uh, that’s okay. I think I’ll just ask Dad when he gets home from work.” “No, really,” I pushed. “I’m not busy. I can help you,” “Well, uh, no offense Mom, but I think this is more up Dad’s alley. He’s been to college.” EXCUSE ME? Oh, I’ve been to college, Buddy! I waddled around campus 9 months pregnant with you and took the very last final for my master’s degree a week after you popped out, which is a lot more than your daddy ever had to do!!! And you somehow think that seventh grade math is beyond me?!? He sheepishly consented to “let” me help him, but my ego was already beyond bruised.

Exhibit B: Taylor somehow learned about anorexia at school (?) and was asking questions, so I explained a little about the psychological reasons behind it (see- that master’s in counseling actually pays off once in a while!) I told her that a lot of fashion models are anorexic, and explained many of the physical dangers and then launched into a brief discussion of body dysmorphic disorder. She listened attentively and then said, “I get it. That is so sad that models are so messed up. I mean, a model would totally look at you and think that YOU are fat!” OUCH.

Exhibit C: The little kids, after spending the entire day with me, are so anxious to see a new face at the end of the day that they give Quinn a hero’s welcome when he walks in the door and I am pretty much invisible to them for the rest of the night. (which sometimes, admittedly, has its benefits.)

So, in a desperate attempt to save face, I figured out a way to impress my big two: I practice Guitar Hero songs while they are at school. I’ve been working on my repertoire for a while (unbeknownst to them) and the other day I casually joined in while they were having a rock fest. “I’ve never done this before,” I lied, “So don’t laugh at me.” “It’s okay, Mom. We won’t laugh. Moms never know how to play this game,” Taylor reassured me. And then I launched into “Message in a Bottle” (medium level), and got 97% of the notes. Their jaws were on the floor, so I walked away, leaving them wanting more. I overheard Carter say that he must get his natural guitar ability from me. CHA-CHING!

And I stumbled upon a trick that rendered my four tots speechless: I brought home some “Magic Growing Sea Creatures” from the Dollar Store and whipped them out one rainy afternoon. I told my mesmerized little audience, “I am going to put this little pill into the water and say “hocus pocus” and in 20 minutes it will magically turn into something cool!” I unveiled the sea creature- a killer whale- to my children’s glee and was thrilled when Tanner started running around, yelling, “Mommy is MAGIC! Holy Gosh- Mommy is MAGIC!” They begged me for more magic tricks, and I obliged with a few more sea creatures, and then told them that I must rest up my magic abilities for later. The look of admiration in their eyes was worth the entire dollar I spent on that one, and more!

I suppose that some day, later in life when my kids are grown, I won’t need to resort to trickery to impress them. I hope that they’ll look back and think I’m a rock star simply because I mothered them to the best of my ability. But for now, I will pathetically and unapologetically pull out all the stops (and tricks) to soothe my aching ego. (I just hope they don’t find out!)

Friday, February 22, 2008

"You Know You Have a Lot of Kids When..."

Along the lines of "if we don't laugh about this stuff, it just might kill us!", some friends and I started this running list. We got a little carried away, and probably had way more fun with it than we should have! BTW, Mindy has six children ages 7 and under (yes, you read that right!) and Michelle has 5 children under the age of 9. So I went to the right pals on this one! They came up with all the funny ones. :) If you enjoy the list and have any to add, please leave it in a comment, and I'll be sure to put it in for everyone! Here we go:

You Know You Have A Lot of Kids When…

1. you need a mnemonic device to remember all of their names
2. you monitor the price of milk like the stock market
3. you go shopping with a third of your kids and people still say you have your hands full
4. your husband asks for a piece of gum or candy and you automatically unwrap it before handing it to him
5. you consider it a good month because you only had to go to the pediatrician’s office four times
6. you own more sippy cups than drinking glasses
7. your children refer to your family room as “the play room”, no matter how nicely you decorate it
8. your entire life revolves around naptime
9. all of your neighbors pull up lawn chairs and “watch the show” as you load everybody into the van to go to church
10. you find yourself at the store and look down to realize that you are wearing two different colored flip-flops, but move forward with your shopping anyways because it already took you an hour to leave the house
11. the cleaning of your car could be featured on the show “Dirty Jobs”
12. you find yourself envious of the octopus because, boy would it be great to have a few more sets of arms!
13. you never see the bottom of your hamper
14. your children have inadvertently called “911” so many times that the sheriff’s office recognizes your number and has actually threatened to fine you (true story!)
15. your slogan changes from “diamonds are a girl’s best friend” to “wipes are a mom’s best friend”
16. all of your vehicles are minivans, and they’re STILL not big enough
17. the combined ages of your children outnumber your IQ
18. you automatically cut up the pancakes for your adult houseguests
19. you walk around humming the “hot dog song” from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse… nonstop
20. you have more carseats than empty seats in your vehicle
21. you’ve been banned from O’Charleys and every other restaurant where “kids eat free.”
22. every time you go out to eat, the entire restaurant stops to stare in a mixture of curiosity and horror
23. going to the bathroom becomes a public event
24. the dishwasher, washing machine, and clothes dryer are running all of the time
25. 45% of your grocery bill always ends up in the garbage
26. you actually feel a little homicidal when somebody dares ring the bell or knock loudly during naptime
27. you spend a great amount of time “shush’ing” the people around you
28. you are asked, most everywhere you go, “ Wow- you do know what causes that, right?”
29. alternately, you are told, most everywhere you go, “Jeez, you must be either Catholic or Mormon.”
30. you and your pediatrician are on a first-name basis, and you can’t help but notice that you see more of him than your husband
31. your remote control and cordless phone are found in the oddest places… the dryer, the piano bench, the toilet…
32. your favorite movie becomes “Barbie as the Nutcracker”, and you know every line of the movie, including the dance moves (which end up being your only exercise workout for the day)
33. your family snarfs an entire loaf of bread in one sitting
34. the cleaning of your car could be featured on the show “Dirty Jobs”
35. your favorite daily get-away is going out to get the mail, but half-way through one of your kids runs out the door after you, yelling, “MOMMY, WHERE ARE YOU GOING?!?”
36. the only time your house stays clean is between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. (ie- “cleaning the house for the angels”)
37. you wonder if you should apply for “Supernanny”… just to get a break
38. there seems to be a new stain on the carpet daily (and nobody knows where it came from!)
39. your nail polish has been chipping away for four months, and you keep promising yourself, “I’ll paint my nails tomorrow when I have the time.”
40. you wake up in the morning during flu season and are grateful that only two of your children are covered in vomit
41. you could write a 5-page comparative analysis on the merits of each brand of diaper on the market
42. you find yourself being constantly argued over (“My mommy!” “No, my mommy!”) and wish you could be flattered, but instead are so sick of this particular argument that it’s all you can do to say, “I’m EVERYBODY’S Mommy!”
43. you go into a room and lock the door, and suddenly feel like you’re in the movie “Mission Impossible” as your little ones end up breaking in
44. you tell your kids to go into their rooms and please play quietly for one hour and, five minutes into it, they yell, “CAN WE COME OUT YET?!?”
45. strangers automatically assume that you run a daycare

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Is there anything cuter than a 3-year-old? We can't get enough of Tanner, and lately he says the funniest things. I can't help but share a few Tanner anectdotes:

While driving by the park, Tanner says, "Mommy, can you please slow down! I want to see! Drive Adagio, okay?" (hmm... too much "Little Einsteins" perhaps?)

Tanner's favorite church song is "I am a Child of God." After finally convincing Bailey that the song is not "I am a Cheetoh of God", Tanner has pressed on in applying the song to most everything he sees. While playing in the backyard the other day, he picked up a ladybug and serenaded: "You are a lady bug of God..." He told me that I am a "grown up of God."

In a fit of excitement after seeing an ambulance, Tanner yells, "Holy Gosh! We've gotta tell Daddy about this!" (Holy Cow! Oh my Gosh!)

After receiving the bread portion of the sacrament in church, Tanner turns to me and conspiratorially says, "Maybe next time they'll have peanut butter and jelly."

We've been working on manners lately. After I told the kids, "That's enough! I haven't heard a single "please" from any of you," Tanner came running up to me. "Can I have a fruit snack, please? Hey, guess what? I said a single please!!!"

Completely out-of-the-blue, Tanner says, "Hey, Mom! I figured it out! Barney is a hippo!" When I suggested that Barney might be a dinosaur instead, Tanner said, "Good try, Mom. But Barney looks too silly to be a dinosaur."