Tag Archives: foibles

Too Tall

At a recent trip to the mall, we were shocked to discover our kindergartner is apparently too ungainly and mature of a kid to use the mall play area.
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That’s right, she’s above the height limit for the mall play area.

She’s 6 years old!

Apparently being 6 means you are too big and dangerous to play at the mall. Admittedly, that area is usually full of toddlers, but a small kindergartner is too big for it? Really?

What exactly am I supposed to tell her when she accompanies me to the mall with her two appropriately-sized-for-the-mall-play-area sisters?
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Is the 6 year old supposed to sit on the sidelines instead of climb and play? Are we just not supposed to use the mall play area when she’s with us?

I’m usually a stickler for the rules, but here’s one thing I’m not listening to. What are they going to do if she does play on it? Kick us out of the play area? Are the security guards at the mall going to come yell at me for allowing a child to play in a child’s play area?

Somehow I doubt that.

But seriously? A kindergartner is too tall for the mall play area? Really? She may be an older kindergartner thanks to her fall birthday, but she’s still one of the shorter ones!

Next they’ll put a sign on the playground at the city park that says 6 year olds shouldn’t be playing on THAT.

Insane.

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Operation Decapitation

Before Hanukkah started, I showed Rose a big pile of wrapped presents in my room to get her excited for the coming week. Her reaction?

“Where’s my bunk bed?”

For months, Rose has been complaining about her toddler bed. Every night when she went to bed, she’d say “I’m just going to go POP! And Boing! And I’ll fly out of the bed and break it! I don’t fit!”

She was right. She didn’t fit in that bed anymore. I mean, she had a couple inches before the bed would actually explode, but it was definitely time for her to upgrade to a twin bed. We kept putting it off because even when you get the cheapest set of bunk beds ever, it’s an expensive investment. The beds require two special 6 inch thick mattresses in addition to the cost of the frame (and extra sheets and matching comforters).

We finally ordered the bunk beds without a discount on Black Friday and assembled them late into the night while the girls slept in OUR bed. We didn’t finish assembly until the next day and it wasn’t until everything was set up and perfect when we realized we had a problem.

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Do you see the fan blades? I never got a proper picture of it, but the way the bed was set up the blades lined up perfectly to decapitate a kid if the kid was on the ladder on a hot day.

Brilliant set up, really.

Needless to say, we had to move the bed to the other side of the room in an attempt to prevent our children from dying.
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There. Now you can climb the ladder without being decapitated. It’s the little things, really.

But since children are children, even the new arrangement wasn’t working great. I could just imagine someone clowning around at a weird angle on the top bunk and getting the top of their head lopped off by the fan.
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The fan’s cord broke at the end of summer and we hadn’t replaced it yet. You couldn’t turn on the fan without standing on a chair and reaching inside the light cover, so despite the somewhat awkward placement, we briefly thought we were ok.

But of course, children are children and our kids couldn’t stop playing with the blades of the fan when they were sitting on the top bunk. We could picture some kid someday thinking it would be fun to grab onto one of those blades and swing around the room on it and kill themselves in the process. We had to resort to more extreme measures. This is what our once pretty white ceiling fan looks like now.
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Gorgeous, right?

Buying an expensive bunk bed apparently means you also should probably invest in a new light fixture.

It’s going to be hot in their room in the summer even after we get clip on fans for their beds, but at least the kids can’t decapitate themselves anymore!

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Two Stories

The girls asked me to tell true stories to them today and I wasn’t feeling very creative, so I told them about the things that were bothering me. Here are the two stories of the day.

Story #1: Once upon a time, a mommy ordered a package from Zulily. For more than a week, Zulily said they were “preparing to ship” the package, which is the final stage in Zulily holding your order hostage. The mommy doesn’t understand why Zulily takes so long to ship, but she tries to be patient. Then Zulily’s status on her order went two steps backwards to just “processing.” The mommy freaked out worrying that the package would not be here in time for Christmas, so she emailed Zulily to find out WHY? WHY?!

Magically, within two hours, she got an email from Zulily that her package had been shipped. When she tracked the package, she discovered that it had actually been shipped several days ago and Zulily sucks at updating order statuses. The package was now only 20 minutes away from her house at a UPS facility in the Toledo area. It was magical! She thought perhaps the package might even appear on her doorstep that very day since the website said the package was on a truck RIGHT THEN. But then, for some bizarre reason, UPS sent the package almost 2 hours away to a facility near Cleveland. Why, UPS, why?

Allegedly the package would be there the next day, but why would UPS send the package so far away when it was so close to her house? The mommy was sure there was some reasonable explanation involving efficiency and main shipping facilities, and yet she sees UPS come to her neighborhood multiple times a day, sometimes more than once to the same house. So UPS just doesn’t make any sense sometimes, now does it? The mommy was very confused and also isn’t sure if she really can wait until Christmas to give the present that is inside the package, especially when you consider the fact that her children are Jewish.

Story #2: Once upon a time there was a mommy who went to the grocery store earlier today to get some syrup so she and her little girls could make pumpkin muffins. When she and the little girls took out the ingredients for baking, they discovered they were out of sugar. Now the mommy remembered running out of sugar, but also remembered seeing another bag of sugar up in the cabinet. This was why she didn’t buy more sugar the last two times she was at the grocery store. But when she and the little girls got what she thought was a bag of sugar out from the cabinet, they discovered it wasn’t a bag of sugar. It was a bag of all-purpose flour.

And that’s why the mommy and the little girls made microwave s’mores instead of pumpkin muffins.

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Who’s the Tooth Fairy?

My husband apparently still believes in The Tooth Fairy.

Earlier today Lily lost her first tooth. We’ve been aware of it being loose for about a week. It seemed like she should have been able to pull it out the first day she noticed it, but she was a little slow in the process and it finally popped out today.
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She was very excited, obviously. We all were!

After she went to bed, The Tooth Fairy, otherwise known as me, wrote her a special note about her first lost tooth and slipped it with a dollar into her special tooth holder owl (pictured above) after retrieving her baby tooth.

When I came back downstairs, I made my husband look at how tiny the tooth was and asked him what I should do with it. Should I just throw it out, or am I supposed to keep the thing?

“Aren’t you supposed to put it under her pillow so The Tooth Fairy can come?” he asked.

I stared at him for a minute. “Where do you think I just got this tooth?”

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Shoe Pile

So this just happened:

The big girls were giggling away doing something, I wasn’t sure what, when the baby woke up. On the way upstairs, I noticed our coat/shoe closet was wide open and the shoe rack was askew. I tried to shut it, but it just wasn’t lined up right. The rack was now over the inside doorknob.

“Was one of you messing with the shoe rack? What happened here?” I said.

“No. We weren’t doing anything!” someone said.

I realigned the (empty, now that I think about it) shoe rack and firmly shut the closet door. When I came back downstairs, the shoe closet was open again.

“Ok, someone MUST have messed with the shoe closet. Why?!” I asked.

“We didn’t do it!” said Lily.

“Here’s a boot, Mommy!” said Rose, handing me a boot from 2 seasons ago.

“Why do you have a boot?” I said. “What are you doing with it?”

“Just playing!”

I rounded the corner to the living room, the room I had just been in, and the floor was completely carpeted with EVERY SHOE IN THE HOUSE. It was about a foot thick and a pile so large that it was breathtaking. I failed at blogger here because I didn’t think to take a picture of it.

“OH MY GOD. Where did all these shoes come from? Did you put them here while I was still in here? How did I not notice this when I went to get the baby? How did this happen?!” I gasped.

“No, we just put them here while you were gone. They were still in the hamper when you left.”

“But why were they in the hamper?!”

“We’re just playing ‘Shoe Pile,’” said Rose.

Of course, the time-honored traditional game of “Shoe Pile.” I should have known.

“That’s way too many shoes! You have to put them back! This is freaking me out!”

Rose to Lily, “We have to put the shoes back. It’s freaking Mommy out.”

It really was. It was SO MANY SHOES. It gave me a headache to even think about managing that mess myself. WHY? WHY? Why did they put ALL of our shoes in a pile? It was five people worth of multiseasonal shoes as well as outgrown sizes waiting for two kids to grow into them. It was an ungodly amount of shoes.

They got right to it, and for that I’m relieved because getting people to clean around here is like pulling teeth.

The whole time they cleaned, Rose was singing, “Who let the shoes out? Who? Who? Who? Who? Who let the shoes out?” to the tune of “Who Let the Dogs Out” by Baha Men.

When they finished, it occurred to me I hadn’t given them good instructions.

“Did you pair them up?”

“What’s ‘pair’?”

“Here’s a new game for you: It’s called Sort the Shoes. Put each shoe with the shoe it matches.”

“Ugh. Do we really have to?”

Yes. Yes, you really do.

They are still playing that “game” right now. May the game of “Shoe Pile” forever rest in peace.

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How to Tell You Married A Smart Kid

This morning at the bus stop two nine year olds were telling me their spelling words were easy this week.

“One of the words is ‘girlfriend!’ Isn’t that weird?” said one of the girls.

“Well, actually that’s kind of hard for some of the kids. I know ‘girl’ and ‘friend’ can be hard words to spell when you are just starting out,” I said. “‘Girl’ is really confusing at first.”

“I can spell ‘girl’!” said a 7 year old. “Is it ‘G’… huh. Um… ‘G-R-I-L?’”

“That’s really close, but it’s ‘G-I-R-L.’ See how that’s confusing?” I said.

When I came into the house I told my husband about the conversation and he immediately said “Why would ‘girl’ be hard?! It’s easy!”

“Well, when you are a kid, ‘girl’ is really confusing because when you sound it out it sounds like the ‘R’ comes earlier than it does. It’s easy to mix up where to put that ‘R.’”

“I never had that problem!” said my husband. “Are these kids just stupid? It sounds like a vowel comes before the ‘R!’”

“It’s a really common early spelling mistake. And it’s also easy to flip around the ‘I’ and ‘E’ in ‘friend.’” I said.

Because, really, it is. I remember being confused by those very words. I remember my friends (or “freinds”) screwing up these words over and over again long past when we had them on a spelling test. Also, when you sound it out “friends” sounds like “frends.”

“I just can’t imagine spelling that wrong! Why? Why would that be hard?” said my husband.

“For some kids, those words are really tricky!” I insisted.

“No wonder I won all those spelling bees,” said my husband.

Indeed.

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How to Lose An Hour of Sleep

There was an annoying beeping sound coming from my downstairs at 6 am the other day, and I usually don’t wake up until at least 7 am. Our digital weather sensor has the most ridiculous built-in alarm clock ever in that none of us know how to set it, but if someone presses the wrong button, the alarm ends up going off at a really inconvenient time, such as one hour before you need to wake up.

I planned to go right back to bed, but the dog heard I was up and wanted to go out.

I waited for THAT to finish before I headed upstairs and used the bathroom myself, where I ended up using the last bit of toilet paper on a roll. I really wanted to get back to bed and debated replacing the roll. I was supposed to be asleep! Sleep time is NOT toilet paper changing time. I thought about leaving the empty roll there for the next person to take care of, but then I realized that that person was probably me. By leaving an empty roll, my future self would be inconvenienced and mad.

So, one hour before I needed to wake up for the day, I went under the sink to get another roll of toilet paper.

Only, there wasn’t another roll there. We were out under the sink.

We have three bathrooms and keep packages of toilet paper under each sink. We buy toilet paper in bulk, so there is also always a larger package of toilet paper packs in the hall closet.

One hour before I had to wake up, I had to debate whether I wanted to go out to the hall to get more toilet paper. Getting the pack can be noisy and I was worried about waking up the children, whose room is right next to the toilet paper closet. All these bedtime obstacles were making me more and more alert. If I could just lie down right then, I’d probably be able to go back to sleep again. But if I didn’t get toilet paper from the hall, I would probably be the one paying the price for my 6 am laziness.

So I stumbled out to the hall to get a new pack of toilet paper.

A giant empty bulk toilet paper plastic wrapper stared back at me from the closet. We were out of toilet paper.

We are NEVER out of toilet paper.

I was outraged. NOW what was I supposed to do? Go downstairs to get some from under the sink there? Or leave it? Was there any extra in the girls’ bathroom? How could we be out of toilet paper? What was my responsibility to this toilet paper at 6 am? Should I continue my quest?

I tried to go back to bed at this point, but I was so outraged by the toilet paper shortage that I couldn’t sleep. Now I’d have to go to the store and get toilet paper first thing in the morning, even though I had other plans. The toilet paper was clearly a priority. And how did we not notice we were so low before the last time we went to Costco? We were there recently enough that we should still have toilet paper!

I couldn’t stop thinking about stupid toilet paper. I lost an hour of sleep over toilet paper!!!

So the lesson here is, if it is 6 am and you run out of toilet paper, go back to bed before you look for some more.

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Stairs, Violet’s Evil Temptress

On a trip with Violet a couple of months ago, I almost lost my mind for reasons I wasn’t quite expecting. I knew she wouldn’t sleep well. I knew it would be hard to feed her without a high chair. What I didn’t know was that I would spend every second of the entire trip chasing the baby away from stairs.
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What is it about stairs that makes them so alluring to babies? I know climbing up them occasionally can be fun, but why non-stop? Why would you want to go up something you can’t come back down without cracking your head open? Why? At every house we visited on this road trip, Violet would make a beeline for the stairs the second we set her down. She didn’t want toys or books or attention. She wanted stairs. We couldn’t sit in peace for a second. In fact, after a while we found it easier if one of us just made camp at the bottom of the stairs. Since it was my husband’s parents’ house, I let him do the duty.
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He spent a lot of time like that. That man is comfortable no matter how uncomfortable the situation. He could sleep on jagged rocks. It’s not fair.

As the trip went on, even the big girls took part in Stair Watch 2013.
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Violet doesn’t like it when people get in her way, even when it’s for her own safety.

Even at a children’s fun room at a museum, Violet was only interested in one thing.
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She spent an hour going up and down those stairs. And we spent that whole hour making sure she didn’t fall down those stairs. It was torture.

Even when we were visiting the rental house my parents were updating for new tenants, Violet was after stairs.
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Basement stairs AND regular stairs.
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By the end of the trip, all I could dream about was a world where baby gates existed. I guess this trip showed that every house in America needs to be equipped with baby gates just so people with toddlers can travel peacefully.

And no, I can’t just travel with baby gates. A) They would take up too much space in our already cramped car and B) not all hallways and staircases are standard sized so even if I brought the gates with me they might not fit. It took us several tries to find baby gates that would work in our home.

So, basically you are screwed if you are traveling with a toddler and there’s no barrier between the living room and the staircase. I even tried to block the hallway to the staircase with boxes, but she managed to climb over them or move them out of the way. Nothing can stop Violet from getting to staircases! Nothing! (Except baby gates.)

I hate you forever stairs!

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Stupid Timing is Stupid

The last two years, we have had a combined birthday party for Lily and Rose. Their birthdays are only a month apart and since they are only 2 years apart and went to the same preschool class last year, at this point they share all their friends. Having two birthday parties would be redundant and expensive. Maybe once they start having friends independent of each other we’ll give them independent birthday parties. Maybe not.

This year we are having their party at a lego building place. It’s actually a lot less expensive than I thought, and I don’t have to clean my house. All I have to do is hand over a check and the entire birthday party is planned for me, including food, activities, goodie bags and thank you notes. Stressfree. Or so I thought.

I did a stupid thing.

I play bunco with 12 women in my neighborhood. Once a year, I have to host bunco at my house, which means I have to clean my house beyond recognition, set up two extra tables with 12 chairs and cook a huge amount of food.

For some idiotic reason, I signed up for September.

And then, even stupider, I made bunco at my house the same week as the birthday party.

And my parents, their two dogs, their pig AND my sister have decided to come to the birthday party, which means they will be staying with us. Which I technically enjoy, but man, that’s a lot of stuff in one week! And I had the birthday party elsewhere to avoid cleaning and crowding– well guess what I’m doing this week? Cleaning and crowding!

So– stressfree birthday party NOT in my house has turned into birthday party with houseguests including two extra dogs and a pig and a giant neighborhood event with tons of cooking and cleaning by me in my living room a few days beforehand.

Man, I’m idiot.

Oh well. It could be worse. We could be having the birthday party HERE with two extra dogs and a pig. And I could be cooking for the birthday party!

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Facebook Saves the (Birth)Day!

Today was Lily’s sixth birthday. When Lily came home from kindergarten, Rose gave her a present that Rose herself had specifically picked out for Lily. (Man, it’s hard to deal with pronouns in writing when all your kids are girls.) Rose and Lily are obsessed with the Cutie Mark Crusaders on “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.” They are obsessed with My Little Ponies in general, but the Cutie Mark Crusaders are their favorites by far.
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In case you are not a brony (adult fan of My Little Ponies, or “MLP” as those in the know call it), the Cutie Mark Crusaders are the little sisters of three of the older ponies. A cutie mark is the decal most ponies have on their flanks. It apparently shows your true talent and comes when you hit puberty discover your passion. The Cutie Mark Crusaders are three ponies who have formed a club with the intent of getting their periods cutie marks as soon as possible.

My girls spend most of the time they are not playing with their many MLPs pretending that they are the Cutie Mark Crusaders. When Lily saw a friend open the Crusaders at a birthday party recently, her eyes got really big and she ran to me and said “MOMMY! LOOK! It’s them!”

I knew what I had to do. And needless to say, the Cutie Mark Crusaders were the highlight of Lily’s birthday. She was so very pleased to finally add them to her collection. She and Rose immediately ran off to play with them.

Five minutes later, Lily yelled “Mommy! HELP! Scootaloo fell down a hole in the piano!”

We have a converted player piano and the music stand/front cover of it was unstable and unsafe to be around kids, but we are too cheap to hire someone to fix it. We have taken off the over and you can see all the strings and hammers inside the piano. It’s kind of educational looking, but occasionally a toy/book falls in the top of it. It’s easy to reach in and get it out. I told Lily to just pick up the pony and move on.

Don't mind the mess. The piano is in the playroom.

Don’t mind the mess. The piano is in the playroom.

“I can’t reach! I can’t even see her! She’s WAY down the hole!”

“What do you mean you can’t see her? What hole?”

I came in and discovered the hole Lily was talking about was nothing I had ever noticed about the piano before.
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How? HOW? How did Scootaloo even fit?

She claimed it was an accident. I looked down the hole and could see nothing. It was a pitch black cavernous hole to the bottom of the piano. I looked around the piano and could see no way into it. Then I informed Lily that I would try my hardest to fish Scootaloo, who is not only a Cutie Mark Crusader but Lily’s FAVORITE Cutie Mark Crusader, out of the hole, but the truth was we may never see Scootaloo again.

Lily burst into tears. She was so upset that Scootaloo was lost, and so was I. Scootaloo is only available in a Cutie Mark Crusader 3-pack like the one I bought for $25. I didn’t want to pay $25 to replace a pony (but I think I would have because it would be SUCH a bummer to have only 2 of the 3 characters they love SO MUCH).

I honestly thought Scootaloo was lost forever. I got a flashlight and I could see Scootaloo looking back up at me. “Help me! I’m inside a piano!” I rigged a wad of duct tape to a couple different poking apparatuses and tried my best to get her, but no luck.

And that’s when I posted a picture of the piano hole on facebook and told a shortened version of this very distressing birthday tragedy. Within 15 minutes, a friend of mine popped up and told me she knew how to open my piano. Her father was a piano tuner, so she knew that if you pulled up on a metal bar hidden below the keyboard, the front panel of the piano would flip forward.

I ran over to the piano, found the bar, yanked it and the next thing I knew I was staring at a lot of dust, Scootaloo and a Little People doll (how long has THAT been there?).
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Facebook totally saved Scootaloo! If it weren’t for facebook (and my friend), Scootaloo would probably be trapped in that piano forever and I would be $25 poorer for it because my girls HAVE to have all three Cutie Mark Crusaders. HAVE TO.

Thank goodness for facebook miracles! Also, always friend the piano tuner’s daughter! You never know. It just might save a toy’s life.

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