Today I took my boys to run errands. Lots and lots of errands. In the rain. I don't know if it was the rain, my nausea or the laundry list of errands we had to run, but things did not go well. Twice I found Wyatt before me on the floor, belly down, full-on tantruming. In public. More than twice the twins hit one another, and even more than that I found myself feeling embarrassed about my lack of control of my offspring.
That said, this is the first time in four years they have had to run an entire days' worth of errands with me. And a lot of what is "normal" to me or you is, in fact, foreign to them. So it is going to take days like these for them to acclimate to our surroundings. And while I understand that mentally, emotionally, taking the time to teach them my expectations and all the social rules to go along with each errand we run, is exhausting.
Midday we took a break for lunch here at home and I gave them some much needed quiet time to watch a movie and relax before we finished the rest of my never-ending list. After our respite, things picked up, thankfully, and we managed to get everything done.
Then at bedtime, it was like, we had clicked. It took a lot of arguing and parenting and quite honestly frustration, but I think we found our "city stride" by the end of the day. As I sat reading to them, I could feel it. They were calm, knowing who was in charge and what the expectations were; and I was calm, knowing that despite the challenges, I can indeed run errands with three rambunctious boys and come out smiling on the other side.
That said, I am working really hard on what I want the fall to look like. Part one involves me waking up before the children. (Cue crying...) But seriously-- I am such a better mom when I'm awake before them. During that time I will alternate meditating with journaling and bible study. Part two involves going outside or working out everyday. I know it will help me have more energy for the boys, and is also really good for pregnancy. Part three is making water consumption and sleep a priority. Early bedtimes and my hot pink water bottle will be my new best friends.
I want to be the best mom I can be so I can enjoy the boys every moment. I want to keep gathering funnies (like those I am about to share with you) and keep laughing along with these hilarious people I get to raise. A plan for the future makes that about a hundred times more likely.
And now on to the funnies:
My nephew got a new cat a while back and the twins talked a lot about the new cat at Nanny's house. Jack could never get Bamboo's name right and called him "Bambooba". I don't know why, but this tickled me to no end.
One week we learned in homeschool about the Venus fly trap (a plant that eats live insects). While we were talking about the Venus fly trap, Wyatt said, "It's called Venus. Like Venus the moon." He meant the planet, but I thought it was cute. He was so close!
Wyatt says a lot of grown up things that just sound adorable coming out of his four year old mouth. "Of course" and "Actually" are two of my favorites.
During homeschool at the end of the year the boys spent a lot of time messing around, not focused, stretching their blessed mothers' patience. I called them on it, announcing I had had enough of them "farting around', and let's just say that did not rectify the situation. The boys thought I was hilarious and would not stop saying "farting around" and giggling uncontrollably. Sigh. Boys.
During school one day I was asking the boys a question from their grammar book:
What are boys with the same mother and father called?
"Twins!" they shouted in unison. It was hilarious.
Brothers, of course, was the correct answer. So we had to talk about the distinction between twins and brothers.
In Alaska in the spring I caught Jack stacking a stool on top of a kitchen chair so he could reach something on top of the refrigerator. I said, "Jack! Do you think that's safe? What do you think will happen if you do that?" He looked at me, more than slightly disgusted, shook his head and murmured, "Poke plane". There is, of course, no hospital in our village, so our kids know that if something severe happens, it will require a Medivac flight and we have attempted to minimize dangerous behavior by telling them they will get shots (AKA "pokes") on the medivac. Can't blame a girl for trying... even if it doesn't seem to be working!
The boys love hearing stories about my childhood. Their favorites are the ones where I was naughty. I told them one story about how my brothers' alarm was going off one morning and it was driving me nuts. So I snuck in his room and turned it off. Later, when he was late for school because he never woke up, I kept mum about my involvement. So when my parents were planning their visit, Logan wrote them the note above to tell on me: "Nanny and Papa, mom turned off the alarm."
Logan & Jack are "colorblind", and most recently Logan tried to convince me that since he is colorblind, he can't read word "color". Nice try, kid.
Wyatt's favorite thing to ask (anyone, any time) lately is, "Will you play with me?" He doesn't care who you are or what you'll play. If you're willing, he wants you to play with him!
In addition to the boys making me laugh or making me proud, I've had a few moments where I've been proud of myself. I think as a mom it's important that we keep track of our awesomeness (as it were) just as we do our kids. Back in April Jack was trying to fill their bedroom humidifier. He got it all the way full, then it slipped out of his hands and shattered into pieces on the bathroom floor. I looked at his face (broken in it's own way) and told him, "It's alright buddy. You were just trying to help." The funny thing is that by reacting in grace, I fueled good parenting for days afterward. I loved how I felt about myself when I didn't automatically lose my temper. I saw what happened for what it was-- an accident-- and extended him what I myself would have wanted-- love & forgiveness. It was great.
When we ride bikes to the post office in our village, I always find Logan looking back for me. He's never out of my sight. I love him for so many reasons, but one is his ability to always be looking out for everyone else. He's constantly counting heads and making sure he's got all his ducks in a row. And if one of his brothers ventures too far? They will for sure hear about it. I just love his caring nature, and that sweet head check he does when we're on a ride.
Wyatt hit the whole independence thing a bit late, but now he is big into "doing it myself". I am trying really hard to have the patience to let him, because how else will he learn? But sometimes he will undo what I just did because he had wanted to "do it himself" and that is incredibly frustrating! Especially when it's the shoes I just put on him so we could head out the door!
The twins were eating something we didn't think Wyatt would like (and quite frankly I didn't want him to have for fear he would choke) and Jack told him, "Wyatt, it's too hard for you cause you don't have your molder teeth yet."
Wyatt still wears diapers at night, so in the morning when he takes it off, we sometimes just throw on his pj botoms without any underwear. One morning he was laughing when he told me, "Mom my pants are being stickable." I asked what he meant and then he showed me. He had a wedgie. It was pretty adorable and hilarious!
Wyatt was playing with these tiny minions he has when he sneezed. He looked at them and said, "There's some achoos for ya, minions".
We were driving to the mall the other day and we drove under an overpass. He said, "Mom, we're not going on the highway? Only the low way?"
Another time we were driving he said randomly, "Papa has no hair," Then thought for a minute and followed that statement with, "He's blind???" Bald, I corrected him. Papa is bald.
The twins were talking about playing with something they weren't supposed to, and Wyatt confirmed what they were telling him asking, "So you "snook" it?"
Driving with the kids this summer has been interesting. They don't remember the rules of the road and have spent nine months riding only occasionally in the school truck a mile down the road to the co op. They are constantly asking questions about the law, about traffic lights and police officers. Wyatt's new favorite is to ask if I'm going the "right speed miles an hour?"
There are some things the kids say that I just know I'll be sad about when they correct them. The other day Logan was so excited about a ball he caught, he ran over to me shouting, "Mom, I catched it!"
At the grocery store the other day, Logan was asking for a sap apple saple. I was like, what in the world is this child talking about?!? Finally it clicked. He was asking for a Snapple. It was so cute that he was so close.
A lady at the park was visiting with Logan (the kid doesn't know a stranger) and he told her were from Alaska. When she asked what part of Alaska we lived in, he responded, "We live in real Alaska." I don't know where he got that, but I have to say I agree with him.
The twins have become quite the little fish this summer and while at the river, Jack was seeing how long he could his breath under water. My dad counted and when Jack came up, he was disappointed with the number. So he told him, "Count faster this time, Papa!"
Wyatt and I found a ladybug who was not doing so well at the beach while we were camping. He was very concerned for her and we did our best to let her wing dry out and kept her out of the sand. Later at campfire he was telling Josh about it and he said, "She only had four legs and a broken wing, the poor little bugger."
As I said, every time we get in the car is an adventure with the kids. Well, the other day a woman thought I was too far past my stop line (admittedly, I was past it, but not that far, and not on purpose) so she drove by with her window down (as were ours) and she screamed, "Idiot!!!!" at me. We talked a lot about how people make mistakes and that doesn't require name calling, and that we weren't going to let it ruin our day. Logan said, "Yeah, but it does kind of make you want to do it back." Then he thought for a minute and followed with, "But then you'd be acting just like them." I was so proud of him for making the connection that being mean back doesn't make you even, it just makes you mean, too. After that, Jack said, "The lady that called you an "idiot" was a g-r-c, mom." It took me a minute to figure out what he was phonetically trying to spell. (j-e-r-k)
My goal to keep the kids hilarity in the forefront of my mind this fall (when I am in the trenches alone). It will get me through!