last night my (formerly) sweet, 9 year old baby girl was temporarily
possessed by the devil, slamming doors and shrieking the dreaded, "I
HATE YOU!!!!" (directed toward me) as well as, "YOU'VE RUINED MY
LIFE!!!", all teary and red puffy faced.
A half hour later she
was right back to normal and asked me sweetly to read her bedtime
stories and cuddle. I asked what brought her back to reality, and she
told me Niko talked to her and made her feel better. Niko the six year
I felt that this moment was some sort of bench
mark in child development, such as first steps, first tooth, first day
of school, first "I HATE YOU MOM YOU'VE RUINED MY LIFE (DOOR SLAM!)"
Shouldn't I get a certificate or plaque or something?
I just wrapped up work and decided to vacuum a bit before the kids got home from school. I noticed the sofa cushions in our TV area had some crumbs on them, so I becan to suck them up with the vacuum extension hose. Then, I lifted the sofa cushions. Not only did I find crumbs under there, but I found BACON and TWO INTACT CHOCOLATE COOKIES way down in the crack.
Maybe the sofa in the other room is the healthy one? I'm going to go check it now for spinach and tofu.
This morning I awoke at 2:30 am and decided to go downstairs to my home office and get all my business taxes in order - because I am crazy. Or, maybe it was partly because Niko had crawled into our bed sometime between when I fell asleep and 2:30 am - and was wedged between Jeremy and I, flailing around in his sleep, hitting me in the face and kicking off the covers. He'd kick them off, I'd pull them back up (it's Michigan, it's damn cold) and Niko would cycle his legs in the air while sleeping and kick them off again.
I was awake and had a busy day of meetings, logos, dishes, website plans, emails, laundry, music lessons, and unpacked lunches ahead, so I decided, what the heck. GET UP. (I've chosen productivity over sleep maybe one other time in my life during college when I had a term paper due the next day and decided I'd better start it at 11 pm the night before.)
Any way, I got up, I was productive. Very productive, and somewhat cross-eyed. At about 5:30 am I received a text alert notifying me that the children's school was delayed for the five hundred millionth time this winter due to the fact that Michigan is a frozen hell and it's too dangerous to drive anywhere during the months of November through April.
So, feeling pleased knowing I didn't have to wake my precious angels from their slumber, I tip-toed upstairs into the dark hallway and very quietly closed the bedroom doors, thinking how sweet my sleeping babies are and how lovely it is that they don't have to be awakened/(awoken) for school - rather, continue their blissful slumber (SLUMBER THAT WAS STOLEN FROM ME!), er, because it is so peaceful and wonderful to let them get their rest, the little dears.
At about 7 am the 6 year old boy genius popped out of my bed and, naturally, his older sister awoke shortly after ...because that's just what they do. Wrapped in their blankets, they plopped on the sofa in front of the cozy warm wood stove and flipped on the TV. I noted to myself how angelic they looked and how much I adore them, then, walked over to give them each their morning mommy "I love yous" and kisses on their bed-heads.
I decided to be an extra good mom and cook my overgrown babies a hot breakfast, since having an extra two hours (due to the school delay) doesn't usually happen on a normal Wednesday. Let's seize the moment, right? I whipped up cheesy scrambled eggs, buttery toast, bacon, and orange juice with cloth napkins and silverware delivered by their sweet, over-achieving mother at the coffee table in front of the sofa where they sat. A special treat for two special kids.
Within 5 minutes of finishing their celebratory school delay breakfast they were at each other's throats. Yelling. Fighting. Kicking. They've been doing this lately and I don't like it. I DON'T LIKE IT ONE BIT. Do they have cabin fever? Is this normal brother and sister behavior - maybe clashing hormones? (I only had one sister who I treated like shit, I don't know these brother/sister things.)
It might have been my lost hours of sleep, or too much coffee, or the hanging stress of work projects, or simply the slightly psycho 34 year old fed up woman in me, but I lost it.
"YOU!" I yelled, in a deep, demonic voice, looking and pointing at Niko.
"YOU!!" I yelled equally as loud and vicious, pointing at Kyra.
"STAND HERE. NO, HERE. HERE!"
"LOOK AT ME."
I think they were actually frightened. I'm usually really nice. Really. As I yelled, I heard the freezing Michigan "snow day wind" and ice whipping outside the windows. I thought of the front sidewalk that was buried in white stuff, and in desperate need of a shoveling that I had to do myself after I cleaned up the breakfast dishes.
"GET YOUR COATS! GET YOUR HATS! GET YOUR MITTENS! GET OUTSIDE, SHOVEL THE SIDEWALK,
AND (then my voice got even more evil and deep)
DOOOO NOOT COME BACK IN UNTIL IT'S FINISHED!!!!"
They ran for the coat rack.
I chased after them, ranting, "DO YOU WANT TO FIGHT MORE???!?? GREAT!!! I'LL FIND MORE CHORES. FIGHT AGAIN, I DARE YOU. YOU CAN WASH OUT ALL THE TRASH CANS NEXT. THEN YOU CAN ORGANIZE THE BASEMENT."
They shoveled that sidewalk perfectly. Kyra came in and packed school lunches. Niko went upstairs and made his own bed himself.
I drove them to school and they were happy. We all sang to the radio together in the car. We saw a huge hawk kill another bird in our driveway and stopped to look at the blood and feathers after it flew away. They even kissed me goodbye. I told them I love them and hoped they have a wonderful day.
I've been in a great mood ever since. And my taxes are in exquisite order.
This morning's Niko-ism: I was watering the poorly cared for, dry, pathetic looking plants in our dining room window, I told the children that maybe THEY should take over the plant care, show me responsibility, and if the plants start thriving, then maybe they can get a pet.
Niko says, "Yeah, I want an ANIMAL. I REAL animal pet.
Perks of having children is the excitement of FIRSTS. First solid foods, first pee pee on the potty, first steps, first day of school, etc. etc. etc. As I was sitting here at the computer in my PJs and robe just now, shaking slumber from my head and too lazy to move, I decided it was time for a new first:
"NIKO... WILL YOU PLEASE REFILL MY COFFEE?"
He looked at me, confused. "How?" he asked.
"You take THIS empty coffee mug in front of me, you walk over THERE, you remove the hot coffee pot in the coffee maker, you TIP it veeeeeery carefully and pour the coffee into my mug, remember, it's very HOT, then you walk it back to me without spilling."
He looked at me again. He slowly picked up my empty mug. He walked toward the kitchen.
"Where is it?" he asked.
"THERE." I said. That thing with the coffee in it."
"How do I do it?" he asks.
"There's the handle, pick it up." I said, from across the room.
He picked it up carefully, and began filling. "Should I fill it to the top?"
"Yep, all the way to the top."
He put the empty coffee pot in the sink, picked up the cup of coffee filled all the way to the brim, and began his careful, slow, strategic mini-step walk with my hot coffee filled to the tippy top (this child is prone to spills) - staring intently at the cup in his hands, successfully delivering it back to me at the kitchen table.
First refilled hot cup of coffee.
I've decided for the rest of the day, we'll try a few other new firsts - I am going to introduce the leaf blower, the dishwasher, the vacuum cleaner, the paint brush, the taking out of garbage, and the folding of laundry with a bonus matching of socks session!