Kid quote of the day

…driving the boys home from daycare yesterday, I discovered another thing different about me and CareerMom…

Sitting at the red light waiting to turn into our neighborhood. Tom Petty is belting out “Free Falling” on the FM and I’m mumbling along with it. From the back seat, MLI says, “This doesn’t SOUND like a GOD song. Is this a GOD song?”

I almost said what you’re probably thinking too, but I didn’t. Tags: ,,

The day should get better from here

Under control It was supposed to make it easier on me this week. It was supposed to make the whole process of getting the kids up and getting them off to daycare simpler while CareerMom is off doing Team Building in Phoenix. But alas, it was not to be.

…Sometime this past weekend

CareerMom: Why don’t I just pay for the kid’s breakfasts at daycare this week while I’m gone. That’ll make it easier on you in the morning.

Me: *snort* You fix them breakfast in the morning; I can handle it too (rolling my eyes)

CareerMom: Yeah, but you’re usually here for a while anyway and help me get them ready and stuff. You’ll be by yourself.
(You see what she did here? She mollified my indignation at the apparent assertion that I couldn’t handle getting the boys to daycare. Open chest cavity, push correct button…)

Me: Well, it would make things easier. You sure you don’t mind?

CareerMom: No, I don’t mind and I’m looking at the menu here and it’s decent, so they should get a pretty good breakfast.

Me: OK, thanks.

Back in the present…

We left the house at 7:25a.m. and arrived at daycare around 7:50. They stop serving breakfast at 8 a.m., so we got there just under the bell. Now normally, they bring all the kids’ breakfasts to their classrooms at once, so when I dropped MLE off in his room and didn’t see a breakfast, I was a bit surprised. As was his teacher. So, MLI and I headed back up to the front, where I mentioned to the lady that we had paid for breakfast. She said, “Oh yeah, I’ll get it.”

So, I took MLI on down to his room. At some point along the walk, he figured out that I had NOT brought him breakfast,like we normally do and he started sulking and proclaimed, “I don’t want to eat their breakfast.” At this point, I was like, “Well, that’s what you’re having and if you don’t eat it, you’ll be really really hungry by lunchtime.”

I mentioned to his teacher that breakfast should be on its way, and then I kissed MLI on the top of the head and headed out. As I walked back by MLE’s class, I noticed, “No breakfast” and MLE was screaming his head off because he’s been up since 6:30 and he’s starving!

So, I walk back up to the front, where the same lady I just spoke to is on the phone. When she got off, I said:

Me: Breakfast? (making this little shruggy motion with my arms and shoulders)
Her: Oh, well we ran out of biscuits so it’s gonna be like 20 minutes before I can get him something else.

Me: And what would that “something else” be?
Her: Well, I’ll get him some fruit.

Me: Fruit is NOT breakfast, I don’t care what vegetarians tell you. They need more than just some fruit.

…there was more, but as my voice got louder, her demeanor got more defiant and it turned into me pretty much chewing her out.

I then told her to refund our breakfast money for the rest of the week because I would take care of it since I clearly couldn’t rely on them (yeah, I tend to over-exaggerate things when I’m mad…).

Now before you all take her side, there are things you should know about our daycare. It used to be run by a family, and well run at that. They sold it to a chain and since then, the staff has become about 50% fantastic and 50% craptastic. This lady falls into the latter category.

After my tirade, I stormed out and spent the next 30 minutes in traffic going to Chick-Fil-A and getting the boys a real manly-man breakfast (not any of this gol-darn hippie-crap!) and then taking it back. And I’m glad I did because when I got to MLI’s room, all they had given him (for the $2.50 we’d paid) was a piece of dry toast and some crushed fruit. I mentioned my episode to his teacher and she said (God bless her!) “Was that XY? We don’t like her much. Oh, I shouldn’t say that in front of you kids.” And then under her breath she said, “But it’s true!”

Some days, I think it’s just me. That maybe I’m just too uptight. But there are just some things in life you don’t mess with, and a man’s kids are one of them.

You’re just bringin’ me down dad!

Slow Children When we bought this house two years ago, it was after careful screening of potential neighborhoods. One of CareerMom’s criteria was that it have sidewalks, which this one does. When it gets cooler, one of my favorite things to do in the evening is to take one (or both) of the boys on a walk with me after dinner. It’s usually a 20-25 minute affair, but it settles my meal and gets everyone away from whiney MLE for a bit.

Last night both boys wanted to go and since CareerMom needed to pack for her weeklong extravaganza (read: sucky business trip in Phoenix), MLI donned his Spider man PJ’s and crocks while I put MLE in the stroller so I could push him. Despite having shown severe signs of tiredness previously, MLI revived himself and proved time and time again that, “I’m faster than you daddy” by running pell-mell up the street, only stopping to do a victory dance at the next street corner.

I wasn’t quite ready to head home at the usual turn-around spot, so I suggested we stroll along the busy road just outside our  neighborhood. Normally, MLI would balk at doing something with so much noise going on, but after suggesting it, he surprised me again with, “But, I like loud noises!” News to me…

We turned the corner on the street and as the oncoming cars raced towards us, MLI took off running down the sidewalk. In my head, I envisioned him tripping on his crocks and tumbling head over heels into oncoming traffic, so I yelled my warning, which he either didn’t hear or ignored. But I caught up with him at the next stop sign and warned him about getting too far ahead. We turned around and started heading home and he took off running again.

I let him get about 60 yards ahead of me and then I started jogging with MLE and the stroller. This stroller isn’t one of those big wheeled affairs that rolls easily, so I couldn’t go as fast as I wanted, but I nearly caught up with MLI as he rounded the corner into the neighborhood. Though part of me was laughing hysterically at the site of this four year old running like a madman in his SpiderMan PJ’s, the parental part of me was hollering at him NOT to get too far ahead.

As I crested the top of the hill, I spied him–still running–and I lost him in the bend of the road where the trees obscured my vision. Knowing that he would be nearing the street crossing again–the one where the teenage girls come flying through yapping on their cell phones with their little friends, paying no mind to what else is going on out in the world–I yelled at the top of my lungs, “ETHAN! DO NOT CROSS THE STREET!”

Not hearing anything in response, I picked up the pace and when I was finally able to see around the bend, there was nothing there to see. Which presented a problem because he could have gone either A) across the street and back home or B) on down the hill towards the park. In either case, he was in trouble, but the “amount” of trouble was yet to be seen depending on his direction.

Luckily, another walker came towards me and said, “You do realize your son just ran right past me back towards your house?” Biting back a  snotty retort, I simply responded with a “Thank you” and headed on home.

Five minutes later I walked into the house, already formulating how much anger to inject into my voice and what kind of punishment to give him. I went upstairs and found him lying in our bed watching cartoons in preparation for bedtime. I shut off the TV and told him to go to his room, as CareerMom asked, “I take it you didn’t tell him he could run ahead of you?

Oh, the understatement of the year. I explained to her what happened and even as I explained it, I felt bad about the pending punishment because I know he was just having a grand old time. I can envision me as a kid doing the same thing. The freedom of running away from your parents like that…seeing how fast you can run until your legs, or lungs, give out. I felt him, I really did; but, some things–like crossing the street without me–simply can’t go unpunished. For safety’s sake and all…you know.

In the end, he got away with just having to go to bed early, which wasn’t much of a punishment since we’d planned on putting him to bed early anyway (faking him out using the early darkness as a trick), but at least I kept my calm and didn’t yell. Yeah, a big WIN for me.

But it’s tough balancing letting kids have fun, and disciplining them. Though I’m good with “when” to draw the line, the “how” of it, still eludes me.

Tales from the Yard Sale!

I sit alone in the cool, damp air. As the crickets chirp their final goodnight, and the birds wake up and whistle a welcome to the morning…

yard sale 9:36 a.m.
Whatever…so, it’s YARD SALE day. I got up at the butt-crack of dawn and started moving crap gently used items to the top of the drive, setting up tables and laying out baby clothes and whatnot. It took me all of about 2.5 hours to get ready. This is too friggin’ much work!

But so far, I’ve sold about $50 worth of stuff, so it’s all good. I got the early morning commuters who couldn’t be bothered to even park and shut off their engines. Instead, they’d race in, nearly nudging my displays over with their bumpers in their haste to find that one item they were looking for, and lacking that, they hop back in and race off.

I’ve had a few browsers, some grazers, a lady who bought a bunch of books with quarters (quarters!!). So far, the highlight has been the “just from the gym” hot-mom in her black spandex pants. I tried to engage her in conversation, but there’s only so much you can talk about before it gets obvious (and my cell phone is nearly dead so I couldn’t take a picture…)

The sun is now starting to peek up over the trees, which means that despite the cool morning temps, I’m going to have to start rotisserie’ing myself to prevent a late summer sunburn.

Come on dude…you KNOW you wanna buy that camera…

…more to come I’m sure. Let the people watching begin!

9:48 a.m. Wha? Dude just stole the battery out of my camera!! I saw him take it out, but I thought he put it back in…he didn’t! Holy crap! Who does that?

10:10 a.m. I’m holding my laptop in my lap and the fan is pulling my leg hairs up into it and yanking on them. Ouch! That smarts! (clearly I’m not busy)

11:07 a.m. Oh come on! That’s not even right. Super-hot blonde, with a foreign accent, with a slightly less than average looking dude, with a goatee. I’m thinking…mail order bride?

11:41a.m. My strategy for reducing the amount of change I get (paperbacks .75 cents each or buy 2 or more and get them for $.50 each), isn’t working. I’m gonna have to drag a lot of change to the bank when this is all said and done.

11:47 a.m. Ok, how does this work? The recycle guys came by to pick up the curbside recyclables. They have a big garbage truck looking thing and they hang off the back for quick pickup. One of the guys wanted to buy my turkey fryer. Um…even if you DID buy it, where would you put it?

12:42 p.m. Normally, I wouldn’t accept a check, but A) they’re driving a spanking new Navigator and B) they have that “look.” And if the check bounces…oh well.

12:45 p.m. Second time it’s happened today: A normal looking guy comes by, with his wife. They peruse but don’t spend any amount of time really looking at anything. Then, he sidles up to me and says, “Hey, uh, do you have any unwanted gold or anything…”  I’m sorry, am I watching TV? Did you just ask me to go raid my wife’s jewelry box and hand over my gold (which is worth a heckuva lot right now) to you in exchange for a paltry sum of money? Do I look that stupid? Wait…don’t answer that. Tags: ,