$$$

The other day Nanna picked Michael and Matthew up after soccer practice, and they went back to her office for a bit.  Michael arrived home the proud owner of a million dollar bill.  That’s right- one million dollars!  In a single bill!  He became infuriated, however, as Matthew kept announcing to anyone present that it was fake.  Because otherwise it would be totally feasible for an eight-year-old to be in possession of a million big ones.

 

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April 30, 2008. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Matthew’s gift

One of the many things that I find so fascinating about my children is the fact that even though they share the same genetic origins, they are so incredibly different.  It’s like wow, I put the same ingredients in to the blender each time, yet ended up with four different frozen drinks.

The oldest is freakishly smart, in a slightly frightening sort of way.  He could brilliantly invent an artificial brain for the thinking impaired, or he could build a bomb in the basement using rubber bands and safety pins that will blow us all to smithereens.  The twins, with their twinpower cranked to full throttle, have united boyness + terrible threeness + their affinity towards violence and destruction + the fact that there are two of them to create a compound that can decimate entire cities with a single glance.  I applaud their… persistence.

Matthew is boundlessly imaginative.  His action figures find themselves in situations that I never dreamt possible, having conversations that leave me blinking in amazement.  Matthew is also a talker.  He speaks loudly and often.  If he is conscious, he is vocalizing at a furious pace.  Be it a case of middle child syndrome, or simply that his jaw enjoys copious amounts of exercise, he never stops.  And it is not always just mindless chatter.  For he is always right!  About everything!  And he will go to great lengths to inform you of that!

In our house, we generally try to tailor a punishment to the offense (Obviously there must have been an excellent reason for cutting the toe off of your BRAND NEW sock, especially since you are 8 and know better.  Being bored and having scissors in your hand do not count as excellent reasons.  You are paying me the two dollars that I spent on those socks, and if you attempt to whine the next time the ice cream truck comes jingling and you have no money my face will turn all purple as I remind you that you beheaded those socks THE VERY FIRST TIME YOU WORE THEM.)  (Venting anger is good!  Even if it creates the longest sentence ever written.)  So aaanyway, we try to discipline in a teaching sort of way, yet INVARIABLY I am so astounded by some of the misdemeanors my children cook up that my brain goes numb and my mouth croaks “Time out.  Now.”  Considering that my oldest is Hyperactive! and the twins are INSANE (see above), the majority of infractions include physical aggression such as biting, hitting, kicking, pushing, yanking, grabbing, pinching, (this list could honestly continue for paragraphs).  The interesting thing about Matthew is that unlike the rest of his brothers, he rarely gets in trouble for those things.  His time outs are consistently for talking.

Talking, you say?  That’s not a timeoutable offense.  What crackpot parent would punish their kid for talking?  Exercising their verbal abilities?  Creating a connection to the world via speech?  Expressing himself!

Yet 27 minutes in to one of his disagreeable diatribes (typically explaining why mommy/daddy/sibling is woefully stupid and/or inferior), after trying to ignore him, asking him to be quiet, growling at him through clenched teeth to stop talking, one will finally shriek “If you say one more word  you will sit in a time out, mister!”  And naturally, that means he MUST say something.  Because that is not a threat, but a dare.

And as your blood pressure begins to settle back towards normal, as your eardrums melt and leak out on to your shoulders (you didn’t think he would sit in time out quietly, did you?) , you will nod sagely and say “Ah, yes.  A time out for talking.  That makes perfect sense.” 

April 30, 2008. Uncategorized. 2 comments.

Dental discomfiture

Michael lost his top front tooth this weekend.  Good gravy on a tater tot, was I glad to see THAT thing go.  His bottom teeth gradually loosened themselves, and then popped out like gentlemen.  Very civilized, in a tooth-fairy, what-a-big-boy! kind of way.  In comparison his top tooth was a freakish he-beast circus sideshow catastrophe.  The freer it became, the more it stuck straight out of his mouth at a ninety degree angle.  Firmly stuck- I couldn’t even push it back down.  Horribly horizontal!  Even when he closed his mouth, the tooth would protrude directly through his lips. 

Medically speaking, I am not generally squeamish.   When a two-year-old Matthew needed stitches on his cheek I held his head and watched, fascinated (just like embroidering a pillow!)  Vomit does not even bother me (which is useful, daddy has a ‘delicate constitution’.)  So it was mildly distressing to have my beloved first born smile at me and feel my stomach slowly roll over with the heebiejeebies.  That innocuous little tooth totally creeped me out (although naturally his brothers found it awesome.)  The bloody gaping hole is such a vast improvement, I can’t even tell you.

It did not last too long, this hideous oddity, maybe a week or so?  Which was plenty long enough to ensure that the snaggletooth was present for school picture day, of course.  At least he will be easy to identify (“Why, there is my son!  The one that looks inbred!”)

April 29, 2008. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Chicken with a side of crazy

Today was a fairly long and difficult day.  School had an early dismissal, my eight-year-old was acting like a hysterical toddler on crack, and for some reason my coping abilities the past few days have been remarkably diminished.

Everyone was still alive when Daddy got home, however, which under the circumstances was not an inconsiderable accomplishment.  Since everyone was staaarving I figured I should get busy in the kitchen.  The other day I paid ten blooming dollars for one pound of organic free-range antibiotic-free chicken breasts, and spent the other evening painstakingly handcrafting them in to homemade nuggets.  Being as they were free of processing, chemicals, and pulverized chicken toenails, three out of my four children preferred the pain of starvation to eating them.  In the past few years we have consumed more frozen chicken particles than the residents of Kentucky and Deleware combined, and yet the very idea of a nugget containing actual chicken was so horrifying even ketchup could not make them edible.

Did I mention that I spent ten dollars?  For one pound of poultry?  You can bet your horse’s left nut that every single one of those bastards went in to a plastic baggie destined for the refrigerator.  Yesterday I decided to mince them up into atom-sized pieces and hide them in some fried rice.  Genius!  Except that I had no soy sauce or oil.  (My oil was expired.  And smelled of old shoes.)

Undaunted, I dragged all of us to the food store this afternoon.  As previously stated, some of us were being more “special” than others.  Yet I am pleased and proud to report that I brought all four children back home with me afterwards.  Two accomplishments in one day!  I have “Mother of the Year” in the bag.

So anyhoo, Daddy arrived and it was time to cook.  Remember my diminished coping abilities?  It happens, inexplicably, every so often.  My brain will decide one day that it wants to process unholy amounts of rage for no definable reason.  I know it is not the kids’ fault, but more of a chemical short circuit in my skull that is pretty infrequent and never lasts long, so I’m usually fairly decent at internalizing it and appearing normal (enough).  So this evening I’m doing deep breathing exercises while dicing my (solid gold) chicken, heating my pan, unearthing my peas from the freezer jungle, and thinking that maybe I’m feeling better already, without even having to smash something!  I pat myself on the back with one hand, and reach for the eggs with the other when I beg your pardon?  Surely there is a wee trifle mistake?  We have no less than a half-dozen eggs, I know that for a fact, yet my hand pauses in puzzlement.  For that shelf appears empty.  I staunch the crazy and politely inquire “Dearest honeypie?  I am having trouble locating the eggs.  Do you have any assistance to offer?”

I am sure the suspense is killing you now, and as you may have expected, we are indeed out of eggs.  (Yes, I was just at the store!  Unfortunately, completely ignorant of our egglessness!)  But that’s okay!  Iz all good, dawg!  What would a normal person do in these circumstances?  Make fried rice with no eggs!  Or run to the store!  Ask a neighbor!  Viable options, all!

Except that the occasional unholy rage problem hath rendered me far from normal this day.  I have been barely clinging to ‘sane’ with two slippery fingertips.  So running out of eggs, insignificant and inconsequential as it may be?  In my head I ruptured a blood vessel, turned Hulk green (complete with tattered capri pants), and went thoroughly batshit.  Outwardly I turned off the stove, put the peas back in to the freezer, and informed my husband that the kids can eat dinner tomorrow.  Currently I am shut in my room, pecking away at my keyboard in a cathartic fashion.  (Why yes, I feel scads better now!) Do not panic Nanna, I’m sure Daddy is filling them with pizza or something, he is nice like that.  And maybe seeing my eyeballs glowing red will aid him in remembering to mention the next time he finishes the eggs. 

April 26, 2008. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Aboutness

My husband suggested that my writing needs “content”.  That I need to write about something.  Content?  Why on earth would I want to write using actual content?  What’s next?  Checking my spelinng?  Grammatical correctness?  Not manipulating the english language to suit my own purposes? (Why yes, my fabulosity is off the charts, thank you for noticing.  Why no, ‘fabulosity’ is not actually included in my Webster’s New Pocket Dictionary, they must have accidentally forgotten it.)

Ha!  I laugh in the face of content!  My life has too much content already, why would I want to add more?  That would just be silly.  Not to mention that when one gets their informative, hard-hitting news from People magazine, the idea of content is open to interpretation.   

April 17, 2008. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Methinks we have been lax in our religous cultural education

My husband to our oldest son (8 years old) “Stop talking gibberish.”

Matthew (age 6)  “Michael knows how to speak Jewish?!”

April 15, 2008. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Piles

Piles of laundry, piles of dishes, piles of papers- no matter how diligently I toil over them, they always return.  And not as in ‘a day or two’ return, but as in ‘immediately’.  I am currently looking for a welcome sign for the front door that says “Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here”.  Oddly enough, neither Target nor Home Depot carries one.

I heard a rumor that taxes are due April 15th.  Do not be alarmed.  This is only a suggestion, a guideline, if you will.  My husband seems certain of it.  Sure, they are almost finished.  They probably don’t have to be actually submitted, however, until June or July.  The IRS will most likely be busy until then anyway, with all of the people that insist on being legal.  They will no doubt appreciate our reticence.  Italics are quite addictive when applied to sarcasm.

April 11, 2008. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Baby soft children (quadruple roll lasts even longer!)

I was at Target yesterday, perusing the toilet paper selection.  Regular, sandpaper, super ultra deluxe mega quilted 36 pack that was bigger than my car- the decision was not an easy one.  Pressed for time, I grabbed the $1.19 Angel Soft.  (If I’m going to spend twelve dollars on toilet paper, well, that can’t be rushed.)  Yet it had no aloe, no triple ply, no basketweave texture- could it really be right for us?

I took all of 15 hours for my oldest son to accidently drop an entire unused roll directly in to the toilet.

As I gazed at the sodden lump melting on top of the trash can, I felt oddly consoled by the fact that the humble little roll was only twenty nine cents plus tax.  The pennies were negligible, but rather it was the theory of it all.  When push came to shove in the paper products aisle, my mothering instincts did not fail me!  Now if only they should work so well the rest of the time… 

April 9, 2008. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.