Friday, June 27, 2008

Overheard: Wishes

Well, you turn your back for one minute to do something as unimportant as making dinner for eight people and... you look up to see your three-year-old sitting proudly atop the very tippy-top of your playset! In only his underwear. With a storm brewing over his head. And, after you gasp in horror, instead of getting the three-year-old down, you call out to your husband to get the camera so you can first take a picture. Now that's good parenting!

And, for all the wild and crazy things our kids do, it seems that they are just as often saying wild and crazy things. Here are a few more silly things they have recently said:

Tanner: "Hey, Mom! I found your machine for your wishes!"
Me: "My what?"
Tanner: "Your wishes machine! You know, the thing to open and close your wishes."
Me: (totally stumped) "Uh, I don't really know what you're talking about. Could you show me?"
Tanner: (runs in and holds up an eyelash curler) "See- your eyewish machine!"

(has he really gone his entire little life thinking that eyelashes are eyewishes?!?)

Sydney, trying to put her shoes on by herself holds up a shoe and asks, "Mom, is this shoe for my right foot?" "Yes," I tell her, "Good job! That's your right foot!" "Oh," she says, very knowingly, holding up the other (left) shoe, "So this is the shoe for my wrong foot."

Apparently our air-conditioner is running a little cold because Tanner came in and said, "Mom, I'm so cold! We'd better go to the pool to warm up!"
Me: "I think we're going to skip the pool today. I have a little stomach ache."
Tanner: "Oh, we'd better go to the pool, then. It'll make you feel so much better!"
Me: (guffaw) "I don't think so, buddy. Swimming right now would make me feel worse."
Tanner: "But Dr. Dan told me that when you have a stomach ache you should go swimming to get all better."
Me: "Nice try."

Bailey, playing in the backyard with a pretend lawn mower (which is obviously the most action our lawn has seen in a few weeks) calls out to me:
"Mom! Scooch over! I am trying to move the lawn!"
Me: "You're trying to do what?!?"
Bailey: "I'm trying to move the lawn with my lawn mover. Just like Daddy!"

p.s.- would somebody please email my husband and tell him to move our back lawn? Or perhaps I should just wish it into existence with the help of my eyewish machine?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Lost & Found

I have found that the one major pitfall of finally living in a house big enough for all of us is that there is a lot more space for things to get lost! (More beds for small little princess crowns to fall under, more cabinets for things to slip behind, and-quite frankly- more junk accumulated from the sheer size of our family.) It's a constant challenge.

But as summer presses on, I've noticed an interesting dichotomy between my big two kids and the younger four. Allow me to illustrate through recent examples:

Taylor: "Mom! I can't find my glasses! Where did you put them?"
Me: "Well, let's see. Hmm... the last time I wore your glasses was... Oh, yeah. Never."
Taylor: "Seriously, Mom. I need to find them, and you're the only one that ever puts stuff away!" (she actually said that.)
Me: "Well, that's interesting! But I really didn't touch them. So let's think through some alternate explanations: Maybe you left them on the entry table and they fell behind the plant? Maybe you put them by your lamp and you just can't see them? Maybe you left them in the car after piano lessons? Maybe you-"
Taylor: "Okay, Mom, I get it. You don't know where my glasses are." (Sigh) "I'll go look for them, since I have to do everything!"


As we're leaving the swimming pool Carter approaches me:

Carter: "Hey, Mom! Um, you have my yellow Notre Dame t-shirt, right?"
Me: "You mean the one that you wore over here and then peeled off as soon as we got here?"
Carter: "Yep. That's the one!"
Me: "Hmm... well let's see... I have approximately eight wet water shoes, four soggy water vests, 5 sopping wet swim shirts, 7 soaking towels, 8 water noodles, and 4 tired toddlers. Nope! It would seem that I have everything BUT your shirt."
Carter: "Seriously? You don't have my shirt?"
Me: "Carter, you are thirteen years old! Why would you expect me to keep track of your shirt?"
Carter: (sigh.) "Okay, I see how it is. I'll go find it."


So here's the dichotomy: the little four NEVER come to me, asking where stuff is. This is, quite obviously, because they are the ones who lose the stuff. Therefore, ironically enough, I find myself approaching three-year-olds in the quest for finding lost items.

Me: "Okay, guys! Mommy can't find her cell phone. Does anybody know where it is?"
Sydney: "Oh, I will save your day, Mommy! I know where your cella-phone is!"
Me: "Great! Where is it?"
Sydney: "It's in my purse. I was keepin' it safe for you." (She dug through 3 toy bins before finding the right "purse" underneath an avalanche of toys.)

Me: "Okay, guys! Mommy can't find her sunglasses! Does anybody know where my sunglasses are?"
Tanner: "Me! I know right where to find them."
Me: "Okaaaaay..." (as he pulls me into the backyard and behind the sandbox near the fence.)
Tanner: "See! They're right there on the fence!"
Me: "Okaaaaay... why are my sunglasses on the fence?"
Tanner: "Cuz we was tryin' to put them on a lizard. The sun is very bright today and the poor lizard was gettin' squinty eyes."
Me: "Um... well, I guess that was very nice of you? Next time, ask, okay?"
Tanner: "Okay! Next time I will ask... unless it's a lizard emergency!"

Well, all lizard emergencies aside, you can see how there is no way I can find anything by myself once the little ones have decided to put that item to good use. I am completely at their mercy. And I'm stumped as to why my big kids seem to think that I should be responsible for every item they use, and know where their stuff is at all times. Hmmmm... this should make for a very long summer of seeking and finding. (In the oddest of places, of course.)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

"I Got My Baby Back, Baby Back, Baby Back..."

Well, we finally got Carter back! He's been away at the LDS Scout Camp at Camp Shands all this past week. They left right after church on Sunday (which I raised a stern eyebrow at), and just returned this past Saturday afternoon. This was a long and slightly lonely week for me! I've gotten used to having him home now for the summer, and I found myself a little bored during the day without anybody around to crack a sarcastic joke to! (Somehow, the crazy/funny stuff the little ones do is crazier and funnier when Carter's around to roll his eyes about it with me.) And who else is there that will do something as zany as, while Quinn runs in to grab his car keys, hop on top of the van and stand there in "karate kid" pose, just to crack us up?!?

I know that such absences are really just the beginning of the end... Carter will be fourteen before we know it, then driving and dating and gone all the time, then off to college and a mission and... this really freaks me out! I'm not done with him yet!

This point was further driven home when my dear friend from Hawaii, Kelly, emailed me a recent picture of her kids. I couldn't believe how GROWN UP they are! And this was particularly weird to me because her son, Caleb, has always been just a few years older than Carter, so I would look to him and Makana as my guides for what would be coming up for me around the corner with Carter. (For example, when Caleb started Scouts, I would listen closely to Kelly as she talked about all that this entailed because I knew that in just a bit I'd be going through the same thing with Carter.)

Funny... it seems like just yesterday that I parked our white minivan outside the playground at the elementary school in Virginia where he began afternoon kindergarten. I waited (with toddler Taylor strapped in, and growing impatient as the minutes ticked on) simply because I HAD to see my little guy playing at recess. I HAD to make sure that the other kids were being nice to him- that somebody was playing with him, and that he wasn't sad without me.

He wasn't sad without me. As is his way, he had a throng of new little buddies and didn't even look my direction. But seeing him throw a ball around with a grin was enough to steady my overprotective heart. We drove home.
Only to come back again the next day at the same time to make sure that the first day wasn't a happy fluke.

It wasn't. And, frankly, I'm lucky that I wasn't pulled into the police station (conveniently located across the street) for questioning because I'm sure I looked like a real weirdo stalker, parked out in front of an elementary school playground like that.

And so I am reminded of that famous Elizabeth Stone quote: “Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” For a control freak like me, I am very uncomfortable with my heart walking around outside my body, beyond the scope of my control.

And the older they get, the more that heart walks around outside of your presence! Carter is one busy kid with all the stuff he's involved in, so often I feel like that part of my heart is running- not walking- around all over the place without me!

Quinn and Carter were wise in not telling me much about Scout Camp until we'd already paid and had him packed to go. You see, Carter signed up for the following merit badges: canoeing (in a lake that is sure to have alligators), life-saving (same lake, same alligators), water-skiing (again with the alligators), and... SHOTGUN SHOOTING. Are you kidding me? Who puts a gun in the hands of a thirteen-year-old and teaches him how to shoot it without me around to wring my hands in worry and dismay?!?!? This was most certainly not my idea.

So on top of me worrying about the alligators and, uh, bullets (is that what they use in shotguns? or is it shells?) On top of those worries, I missed the little guy and found myself singing along to that old Chili's Babyback Ribs song... you know the one: "I want my baby back baby back baby back, I want my baby back baby back baby back.")

Well he came back in one piece- stinky and tired and loaded down with a ton of dirty laundry. He came back full of interesting tales of shotguns and up-close encounters with alligators. (Be still my heart!) And he came back, happy to be home but excited, of course, for his next adventure. (Sigh.)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Overheard: and the silliness award for the week goes to Bailey!

Me: Hey, Bailey, we're about to have a very special, special Family Home Evening about Faith. Can you go tell that to your sisters?
Bailey: (yelling out, while running to find her sisters) Hey guys! We're havin' BROWNIES!!!!

Me: Bailey, you're so silly! Maybe I should sell you to the circus! Or maybe I should just sell ya to the gypsies!
Bailey: (big grin) Not the circus! Sell me to da gypsies!
Me: Do you even know what gypsies are?
Bailey: Yeah, they're the green teletubbies. (Dipsies) But I don't like dat kind so much. Sell me to the "La La's" instead! (those would be the yellow teletubbies.)

Bailey asks me at least four times a day, and usually following one of her many outfit changes: "Mom, do you think I look like a pretty princess?"

I've been teaching the kids about being "share bears" and "care bears" to each other, and I have been giving out "awards" (a picture of a CareBear on a necklace that they get to wear) to the little kids when they do something particularly sharing or caring. This was working very well at motivating them, and the level of sweetness in the house was down-right sticky for a while. Until Bailey had a realization: Sharing and Caring isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Me: Hey, Bailey! You can't take that away from Riley. Is that being a Share Bear?
Bailey: No. (sigh)
Me: How about you be a Share Bear and give the toy back to her?
Bailey: (about to give the toy back, then hesitating.) Umm, no. I don't think I want to be a Share Bear anymore. It's no fun.
Me: (flabberghasted) But it IS fun to be kind! And you feel so good inside when you share and care!
Bailey: No. I only want the toy. (grab.)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

From the Mouths of Babes (Part II)

Quinn here. I loved Kel’s Fathers’ Day entry so much that I wanted more. Here are the fearsome foursome’s uncensored responses to a second round of interviews, this time by Daddy:

Me: What’s Mommy’s favorite color?
Tanner: White
Sydney: Pink and blue
Riley: Black
Bailey: Brown. No! It’s yellow! (correct)

Me: What’s Mommy’s favorite food?
Tanner: Noodles (same answer Bailey gave for me)
Sydney: Bananas (same answer she gave for me)
Riley: Pineapple (same answer she gave for me)
Bailey: Bananas (same answer Sydney gave for me)

Me: How old is Mommy?
Tanner: (shrugs)
Sydney: 2!
Riley: 2
Bailey: (Tentatively holds up 4 fingers)

Me: What does Mommy like to do for fun?
Tanner: Go to a parade (??-we've never been to one)
Sydney: Running
Riley: Play with games
Bailey: Eat gum. She eats it all gone

Me: What’s Mommy’s job?
Tanner: To clean her room and clean the playroom
Sydney: To sleep
Riley: To give some clothes onto you (Daddy)
Bailey: To get a shirt

Me: What does Mommy like to do after you go to bed?
Tanner: Talk to people on the phone
Sydney: Go to sleep
Riley: Go to draw numbers (one of Riley's favorite pasttimes)
Bailey: Put me back in bed when I get out (correct again)

Me: What does Mommy say to you?
Tanner: “No going anywhere unless you tell a grownup!”
Sydney: That she loves me and, “thank you for being such a great helper!”
Riley: “Always I like Riley”
Bailey: “Bailey Boo! Bailey Boo! Ah Silly Silly Boo!”

Me: What’s Mommy’s favorite thing to do with you?
Tanner: Making silly faces
Sydney: Playing and running
Riley: Playing hiding and making some snowmans
Bailey: Play with me, and be mad at Tanner

Me: What’s your favorite thing to do with Mommy?
Tanner: Kissing and hugging
Sydney: Running and playing and taking me to the swimming pool
Riley: Give her some nice treats
Bailey: Play with her, and it’s a very good job for her and me and you!

Monday, June 16, 2008

"We're So Glad When Daddy Comes Home, Glad As We Can Be!"

We have had so much fun putting Quinn up on his rightful pedestal for Father's Day! I say this without one whit of sarcasm: I can't imagine a father more deserving of high praise and lots of smudgey presents. (we'll get to that.)

Here's the thing: Quinn's last birthday was a little underwhelming. We barely managed cake, and his big present is still on back-order. (He was born on tax day, so cut me a break here! Sadly, I am sometimes thinking more of Uncle Sam on this frenzied day, then I am of Quinn's birthday. Shameful, I know. It's just a good thing that it wasn't a "big" birthday, like he was turning forty or something!)

At any rate, I decided to make up for things a bit, if you will, by going big on Father's Day. And we had a blast! We let him sleep in (probably the best gift he's had in a while, thanks to Stake Conference today!). Carter brought him breakfast in bed that he made all by himself, including chocolate-dipped strawberries. Swanky. Taylor created a multiple-choice menu for his lunch and served a four-course delectable meal. And I made him dinner which was not quite as fancy but adequate nonetheless. We topped it off with a huge family-sized cupcake! (What will Wilton think of next?!? And though I am certainly not as gifted at baking cakes as my clever sisters, I found this was a rather no-fail procedure that even I could barely mess up.)

Then we moved on to presents! I went a little overboard on the home-made present thing, but Quinn is a sentimental guy, so I love to do sappy things that make him tear up. (Hee hee.) I had each of the kids do a painting on canvas for his office. (Part-way through this project, I was pretty sure that it was the dumbest- and messiest- idea I'd ever had!) But the paintings were so fun, and such a snapshot of each child's personality. (Think of the MasterCard commercial: "Art supplies at JoAnn's Craft Store: $35. Cleaning supplies for getting paint out of the carpet: $15. Cost of Therapy for the mother who had this lapse of sanity: $100s. Cute little paintings on canvas: priceless.")

Next we did hand and foot prints (or "pawprints" as Sydney calls them) of each child. Again, on canvas.

And, with the help of my brilliant, cool, and crafty friend... I created a "business sign" for Quinn using vinyl letters cut on a Cricut machine. (Thanks, Christy!) This sign was something Quinn and I had joked about doing for a year now- ever since one of our neighbors was almost arrested for running a "daycare" that turned out to be her six children.

Of course there was the usual hodge-podge of "World's Greatest Dad" t-shirts and the like. Carter opted out of painting on canvas (stinker!) but spent hours making him a CD mix of his favorite songs.

Again, I'll close with a little "Quinn Quiz" and the little fours' uncensored answers:

Me: What is Daddy's favorite color?
Sydney: pink!
Riley: red!
Tanner & Bailey: blue!

Me: What is Daddy's favorite food to eat?
Sydney: bananas!
Riley: pineapple!
Bailey: Easy Mac
Tanner: that's easy- I know- CHOCOLATE!

Me: Where does Daddy work?
Sydney: Uh, with all the teddy bears? And then he comes home for dinner.
Riley: He works at the sidewalk.
Bailey: He works at a school.
Tanner: He works on the highway! You go on the highway to get to his work on the highway.

Me: What does Daddy do at work?
Sydney: He plays with toys.
Riley: He likes to park his car at work. At the sidewalk. Then he plays.
Bailey: He loves Mommy when he's at work. Maybe he calls you on his cell phone?
Tanner: At work, Daddy teaches about Jesus and watches TV.

Me: What do you love best about Daddy?
Sydney: he's so cute when he smiles at me!
Riley: I love that he takes care to me and he teaches me not to cut my hair.
Bailey: he's my favorite kind of daddy and I love him.
Tanner: he is my best friend.

Well, said! We sure love the man of this house. Quinn, you are the tops! I feel so lucky to have you as my husband, and to see you in action as a father. Our kids adore you, and for very good reason. You're the best! Happy Father's Day! (And happy belated birthday- ha ha!)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Ode to Gwampa

I had an idyllic childhood. I really did, and I owe so much to my mom and dad for giving me that gift. I hold them in the highest regard.

Both of my parents made a visit at the end of May, which sent all of my children into fits of joy! And there's nobody better at riling my kids up into a frenzy than my own dad! (particularly when it's right before bedtime.) He's a real joker. (We're talking about the man who walked off the plane to visit us once, wearing a pair of kid underoos on his head just to make preschool Carter laugh. And laugh he did!)

My dad came out to help when we first brought the triplets home from the NICU and were simultaneously moving into our new house. (Ugh- I'm tired just remembering it!) He was so funny, doing little "pop quizzes" by holding up a baby and saying, "Quick, Kel. Which one is this?" (Believe it or not, they actually looked a lot alike as newborns!) When I'd return the favor and "quiz" him, he'd have to lift off their little newborn hats, turn them sideways to see their profile and the shape of their head to make his determination. It was very endearing!

There's lots to love about my dad. His honesty. His integrity. His commitment to family. His devotion to the gospel. His wacky sense of humor. The way he seems to make every stranger his friend. (My neighbors, whom I barely know, are always asking about him, and he remembers their names each time he comes to visit.)

And then there's the quirky stuff: the way he stops to practice his golf swing, multiple times throughout the day and without any warning. (Recently we were on the beach at Hilton Head. My dad was walking up the pier when, abruptly, he stopped midstride to take a couple of golf swings. Tanner turned to me and said, "I love it when Grampa does that! But why does he?")
I love the way my dad watches conservative news stations with the same zeal with which I follow "Lost" and "Survivor." And gets just as incensed by the characters and storylines. I know that Dad gets a lot of guff for being a "conspiracy theorist," but everything he says on such matters makes perfect sense to me. (And fills me with not just a little alarm.)

But I love best the amount of effort that this man puts into keeping our large and geographically spread-out family together. My parents drop everything to be regular visitors and constant players in our life out here in Florida.

So I'll close with a little "pop quiz" of my kids, listing their uncensored answers to the question: "What do you like best about Grandpa?"

Carter: (currently away at Scout Camp- he will "phone in" his response.)

Taylor: my favorite thing about Grandpa is that he married Grandma! And that he calls beans "chipmunk doo doo."

Tanner: my favorite thing about Grampa is that when I was a baby he took me for a silly ride to see Superman. And I love it when he tucks me in.

Sydney: I love that Gwampa takes good care of me when I was a baby and I love him forever 'cuz I'm a big kid now.

Bailey: Gwampa is my favorite silly friend and he sang me a song when I was a baby.

Riley: I like Grampa to play silly giggle games with me. He is my best best friend.

Out of the mouths of babes . . . .We love you, Dad! Thanks for everything, and Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Somewhere Over the Rainbow . . .

Okay, in honor of the four beautiful years we spent in Hawaii (2000-2005) and my love for all things Iz, I started a playlist with one of my all-time favorite songs as the header. ("Somewhere Over the Rainbow"). Now if you have only heard the Judy Garland version, you are in for a treat. Somehow Israel Kamakawiwo'ole (let's go with Iz) has managed to make even a show tune achingly beautiful.

Which brings me back to Hawaii. Achingly beautiful. But even more than the beauty of the island, I miss my beautiful Hawaiian friends. Some, like us, have moved away. Some are still there- along with a sizable chunk of my heart. (You know who you are- you who I think of often, and always as my family.)

So I'm in sentimental Hawaii mode, which was exacerbated when my good pal here was telling me about her daughter's birthday party plan: she is having a Hawaiian luau. So as we talked about fun Hawaiian things, she told me about a website that gives you literal Hawaiian translations for names. I was stunned that I was able to find every single one of our names on the list, along with their Hawaiian counterparts.

And so before I wax melancholy, here's a little matching game-- let's see who can figure out which Hawaiian name belongs to which of my kids (Carter, Taylor, Tanner, Riley, Bailey and Sydney):


Stumped? Well, try saying the names out loud. It won't help any, but it's fun to do. (Wish I could be there to watch!) You should have seen us when we first moved to Hawaii and tried to read the road signs: "Wait! Are we on Kamehameha or Kapiolani? Punalu or Punahou? Are we in Waikeli or Wahiawa?" Ugh! It didn't take long before the vowel-dominant words were bouncing off our tongues with relative ease. (And much more easily for Carter and Taylor who looked and sounded Hawaiian before we'd even been there a year! In fact, Taylor still thinks of herself as "part-Hawaiian," and I will have to set her straight before she marks the "Pacific Islander" box on her college apps and gets busted for scholarship fraud.)

Shockingly, we even miss the way our kids would giggle at innocuous Hawaiian words: "The waiter just asked us if we want to eat pupus!!!" or "Look! That street is PupuMomi! Poopy Mommy! And that one is PupuKaki!" Yes, for word nerds and four-year-olds, the fun was never ending.

But back to the sap. I miss the way that people in Hawaii seem to embrace everybody- both physically and emotionally. (I'll never forget our first day at church when the bishop introduced himself and gave us each a big hug and kiss on the cheek. Carter, then 4, said indignantly, "Hey! That guy just kissed you, Mom! That was totally inappropriate!" I couldn't shush him fast enough. He outgrew it and was used to being kissed and kissing within no time. Wish that one would have stuck!) And when somebody gets up to the pulpit at church, the first thing they say is, "Aloha, my brothers and sisters!" and the entire congregation says it right back to the speaker: "ALOHA!"

I miss the way everybody in Hawaii is "auntie" or "uncle." You go to the grocery store and the 16-year-old bagger whom you've never met before says, "Would you like help out to your car, Auntie?" Your kids call every last one of your neighbors and church members "Auntie" this and "Uncle" that, and there is just this huge sense of community and family that comes from it. I loved that.

And I love the tradition of the lei. Mother's Day was a sight to behold as every mother entered the church building, with multiple leis swarthed around their necks. The smell of ginger and gardenia was overpowering! And when a child is baptized or graduates, they are so covered in dozens of leis that they can barely move their necks! (Carter was the happy recipient of this tradition when he was baptized there.)

And I am forever grateful to the people of Hawaii who embraced us when we suffered our greatest loss imaginable- for their love and support and for the way they wrapped their arms around us and held us up when we didn't know how to make it through another day. The Mozos. The Prados. The Bishops. The Smiths. The Clarks. The Bradys. The Chongs. Sally Lee... and so many other friends and neighbors, too numerous to list. I can't imagine grieving and healing anywhere else, with anyone else.

Like the sharp contrast in the valleys and peaks of the mountains in Kaneohe, the depths of our sorrow were startlingly contrasted by the sky-high reaches of our joy. Hawaii also brought us the greatest gift we'd ever received: we left paradise with four-month-old Tanner in our arms. (And with newly-conceived triplets in my belly.)

Speaking of whom, here are the answers to our little game: the Hawaiian names are listed top to bottom in the order of my children from oldest to youngest. (That is, Carter is Kakeli, Taylor is Kailolu, Tanner is Kaneli, Riley is Lilei, Bailey is Pailei, and Sydney is Kikenei.) That was a lot of work for something that is probably only interesting to me! But it's definitely worth checking for your own Hawaiian names on the website.

So ALOHA (which means hello, goodbye, and love) to my wonderful friends from Hawaii! We love and miss you all. It seems like we were all brought together at a magical time and place. I'll leave you with a beautiful shot taken by the late Jon Mozo, photographer extraordinaire, and our dear friend forever:

Friday, June 13, 2008

Overheard: the blind leading the blind

Riley to Tanner after he took a toy away from her:

"No! Tanner, you have to be nice! Jesus says for you to be nice. So give that back or Jesus is gonna zap you." (hmmm... maybe our FHE lesson on Justice and Mercy was a bit too heavy?)

Bailey, hugging me tight as I put her to bed:

"Oh, Mommy! I love you so much too much! (squeeze.) Now go away."

Tanner to me this morning:

"Mom! Your boys are back! You can talk again! The frog went out of your froat and now your boys are back!" (I think he truly envisions my "boys"- ie, voice- battling that mean old frog out of my throat?)

Tanner to Bailey after she grabs his swim trunks to wear:

"No, Bailey! Jesus sent you to earth to be a girl! You can't change your mind!" (this ironic from our boy who was wearing a tutu last week.)

Sydney approaches Grandma during their visit in May after Grandpa was teasing her

"Gwamma- Gwampa said "Pee Pee Spider" to me! Make him stop that out!" (for the record, he said "creepy creepy spider" and she wanted him to cut it out. Grandma is the authority on making Grandpa stop things out.)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

You Don't Mess With the Tanner Zohan

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAGHHHHHH!!!!!!" This is the scream you would have heard if you were anywhere within a mile radius of my home Saturday night. I'd spent the afternoon hefting around food storage boxes and decided to plop down on the floor to read for a minute while the triplets were in the tub when... my back decided to stop working. (Now if anything will make you feel old, it is throwing your back out by sitting down on the floor. What the heck?) But I found myself in a very strange position: I couldn't stand up and I couldn't fully sit down, so I was kind-of "matrixed" mid-air in excruciating pain. Thus the scream. Quinn came bolting across the hall from the other bathroom where he was bathing Tanner, certain that I'd somehow lost a limb. And he was not just a little freaked out by how messed up that back of mine was. Long story short: I spent Saturday night, Sunday, and most of Monday flat on my achey-breaky-back, doped out on valium and Lortab, on advice of our good friend Dr. Dan, the ER Doc. And it worked: my back feels good as new.

But somewhere between Sunday and Monday I developed a horrible sore throat and lost my voice (quite possibly from Saturday night's scream), and I felt downright crummy. With the amazing help of Carter and Taylor and my good pal Christy (wife of Dr. Dan), the little four were well-cared for. And I assured everyone that I was fine, but had vastly overestimated myself because on Tuesday I felt rather thrown to the wolves as I tried to muddle through the routine by myself. I still felt rotten and I still had no voice, so I called Quinn at work and croakingly begged him to stay home and take care of me the next day.

Which brings us to Wednesday: The day started sweetly enough. I leisurely awoke at 8am. With Quinn asleep by my side. "Hmmm," I thought, "That's odd. The children are all usually up by 7am." My ears perked, but I heard not a sound from any of our six children.

And that's when the panic set in. You see, there are few things more startling than the sounds of silence in our otherwise raucous abode. I jumped out of bed (despite slight protest from my back) and raced down the stairs to see what was the matter. And this is what I found:

Huge chunks of hair- long, multicolored strands of it- all over the kitchen floor. Along with a bunch of chocolate wrappers. And four very wide-eyed three-year-olds with chocolate smeared all over their faces and lots of weird-looking haircuts.

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAGHHHHHH!!!!!!" is what I screamed again, probably louder this time than before. Quinn was downstairs in a flash, certain this time that I had thrown my back out again AND lost a limb in the process. "What is the matter?" he cried. But I was rendered speechless. I hadn't even assessed the true damage yet. All I knew was that somebody was in very big trouble.

That somebody turned out to be Tanner. Apparently Taylor had left her school scissors within his agile reach and he decided to play barber shop. Sydney- a willing victim, I'm sure- got the worst of it. (In the past, I could write sonnets about the mane of hair that child has, but those days are gone for a while. She now looks a lot like Angelina Jolie's child who sports the mohawk. And I'm pretty sure he's a boy.) Riley is not a whole lot better. And Bailey got off the easiest, but not unscathed by any means. Tanner turned scissors on his own head of hair, lobbing uneven chunks throughout, but this turned out to be a benefit as he was in need of a haircut anyways.
It's Thursday and I still feel pretty crummy, I still have no voice, and I now have three little girls with horrendous home-made haircuts. (Please, oh please, let the mullet come back in little girl fashion!) My food storage boxes are still not all put away (and I'm certainly not feeling very blessed for trying to keep up on this duty!), and I owe my husband, friends, and oldest two children a lot of favors for all their help this past week. Not to mention Dr. Dan. The only thing that is actually better right now is, ironically, my back. And back pain was the only thing that they'll prescribe valium for. Sigh.

Okay, okay. Time to stop my little pity party. I am sure that I will someday find the humor in this little incident. I give it three years. By then, the girls' hair should be grown out.