Monday, November 18, 2013


Tater and Spork are learning to tag team.  While I'm changing Spork's diaper, Tater is pulling Boogie Wipes out of the package and wiping her (not runny) nose on each wipe.  While I'm wiping Tater's face after lunch, Spork is pouring his milk cup onto his plate.  When I take them both the the library, Tater is de-shelving books while Spork is hollering loudly and gesturing wildly that he wants to use the computer station.  Anytime my hands are full with one, the other takes advantage to make mischievous messes.  It's much easier to throw my hands up and laugh than it is to constantly follow the devious duo with a bucket of cleaning supplies, so until the Cat in the Hat shows up with his miraculous house-picker-upper and lends me his crates for my Thing 1 and Thing 2, I'm going to make peace with the messes.

Photo credit: Diane Kolacz

When Spork cries (as he is wont to do), Tater soulfully states, "Beavs sad," then suggests what might cheer him up.  "Binky?  Snack?  Banky?"  We think Spork has nightmares; he will sometimes cry out in the night but not fully wake, even if he has everything he needs.  During one of these spells, I heard him cry out and then heard Tater over her monitor, "Beavs sad."  It was so sweet, though it certainly would have felt sweeter if it hadn't been 3am.

On his part, Spork will spontaneously shout, "Where mah sis-say?! Mah sis-say!" anytime Tater is out of view.  He often finds her Hippo or her stray left shoe lying about the house and retrieves it for her whether she wants it or not, whining and twisting the found item to and fro, his arm outstretched in a gesture of generosity, his face screwed up in confusion when she refuses his generosity with a flippant, "No!"  Eventually, he will wing the damn thing at her in frustration, as if to shout, "Can't you see I'm helping?!"

I have no doubts that they'll continue to scrap and tussle with each other for many years to come but that they will always, always have each others backs.

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Ball

The Nugget at 9 months:  "We've got this, Mama!"

Back when I was a Mommy of one, I used to be a very on-the-ball person.  Birthday gifts or cards sent out early.  School permission slips signed way in advance.  Little celebration days at school plotted out for a full week, including a coordinating outfit and something to contribute to the classroom.  Volunteer jobs taken eagerly.
Spork at 2 years:  "It's kind of a lost cause, Mama."

Now that I'm a Mommy of three, I feel like I'm constantly fumbling the ball.  Birthday gifts sent out a week late.  School permission slips signed in the nick of time.  Little celebration days and even a dance recital totally spaced.  Volunteer jobs?  You've got to be kidding.  Coordinating outfits?  Well, the Nugget puts away his clean clothes each night and picks out his clothes for the morning, so in the interest of efficiency, he basically takes the clean clothes from his laundry pile and triumphantly states, "Here's my outfit for tomorrow!"

Don't get me wrong, we waited and waited and prayed and pleaded for the opportunity to grow our family, and welcoming 2 babies in 2 months was definitely double the blessing.  My complaint is not with the kids nor the energy drain that comes with them, but the disappointment in myself for not being able to "do it all".

But lately, when I find myself berating my poor 'ol brain for grabbing a wet and torn Maple leaf off the front sidewalk on the way to the car for Leaf Day, I remind myself to laugh and cut myself some slack.  We all have seasons, and this is my season to be a bit spacey.  Although to the naked eye, I've accomplished nothing in the last 24 hours, in my reality, I've wrestled a tantruming Spork into his car seat 2 times and successfully coaxed him in twice.  I've made 3 meals, 2 snacks, and cleaned all the dishes.  I've run and folded 2 loads of laundry, hand-washed swimsuits, and treated jam stains.  I've wiped drippy noses with 13 tissues.  I've doled out allergy and reflux meds on time.  I've reminded toddlers to use their gentle hands, and I've walked the 6yo through non-violent problem-solving more times than I care to remember.  I've bathed and re-dressed 3 children.  I read Hi, Cat 17 times and Baby Faces 22 times.  I've changed just under 2 dozen diapers and plunged 1 clogged toilet.  I've scheduled a dishwasher repair and earned myself a free box of Larabars by calling customer service to report an unsealed wrapper (yes, I'm my mother's daughter).  I've applied 2 ice packs to invisible yet apparently highly painful child injuries and I've pried 1 of those ice packs out of a teething baby's gator-like jaws.

The numbers of my day are trivial and small.  But they're not insignificant.