Saturday, July 25, 2009

Story a la Golden Girl Sophia Petrillo

Picture it. Springfield, July 25 2009, a mom sneaks into a Salad's bedroom for one last check before she rests her tired head. Her smallest daughter is curled, bottom up, in her blanket. Her wild haired daughter, with arms and legs stretched, looks less like a baby and more like a young girl. She pauses over her sleeping son as she does each night, asking God to make her a better mommy for him tomorrow. She brushes her hand over his cheek before opening the door to leave. Just as she closes the door, she hears a tiny whisper rise up from his crib, "Night, Mommy."

The moral of this story? Always try to be a better mommy.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Toys and Toilets

I think at 2 days into naked bottom potty training/learning, it's perfectly acceptable for a little boy to mistake a Fisher Price cash register for a potty chair. That's totally normal, right? RIGHT!!??!!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Conversations between Cribs

A: "Manny? Manny? Manny?" (a close approximation to M's real name, but they just can't get it quite right.)
M: Silence. M is still sleeping.
A: "Manny? You sleeping, Manny?"
M: Silence. Guess he's learned to tune her out.
A: "Manny? Manny?! Manny!" (Panic is setting in.)
M: "Hmmm."
A: "Manny, you awake?" (Pleased as punch to have accomplished her mission.)
M: "Anni."
A: "Manny, you want pasta, Manny?"
M: Silence. The early hour (7:00AM) and suggestion of pasta for breakfast must have him confused.
A: "Pasta. Manny, you want to eat pasta?" (She's persistent.)
M: "Umm. Okay, Anni. Pasta."

Sunday, July 19, 2009

All in 2 weeks Fun

We've had a busy couple of weeks, trying to soak up the sun before the dreaded North Eastern winters take hold again. It's not the cold I mind going out in, but the logistics of taking 3 toddlers anywhere when there is snow on the ground or coming down, makes it damn near impossible. I guess I'm jumping ahead a bit though. Like 2 seasons ahead.

I took the Salad to the beach for the day 2 weeks ago. S hated the sand touching her anywhere and wanted to be seated on someone's lap the whole day. She kept calling it "dirt" and asking me to remove it from between her toes.

This past Monday we went with our good friends to the Please Touch Museum. M ran off only once to go back to the Septa bus display, and the rest of the time, I had well-behaved 2 year olds. They sat on big kid chairs and ate every bit of their lunch. I was a proud momma. Maybe they learned from our mishap the week before when A stood on a chair at the "pizza bus" (Peace A Pizza) and tumbled backwards. She scraped up her back a bit, but what really thew her for a loop was that she was drinking a bottle of water at the time and it shot straight up her nose.

We had a playdate on Friday at Linvilla Orchard with our triplet girl and triplet boy friends. I dressed them all in yellow shirts so I could do a quick head count, "1,2,3. 1,2,3." It really screws with me when some other mom has the nerve to dress her 1 kid in our color that day.

Saturday, Pop-Pop came over and we all went to a Freedom Playground event. They brought in tons of trucks and let kids climb on them and push buttons and honk horns. The Salad climbed on a fire truck, an army jeep, a bulldozer, a dump truck, an ambulance, a school bus, a cement mixer. They stood in a snow plow and ran up and down the ramp of a flat bed. Good, loud fun.
And while I do try to go somewhere most days, we spend many hours just tooling about our house.

The surprise hit of the summer are cheap squirt bottles that I bought the Salad at Target. I fill them with water and let them go to town. M usually want to play "hair dresser." My mom taught him how to sit your client down, say "Hello lady," and ask them what scent shampoo they'd like. Then he squirts the girls' hair and pretends comb it, usually with a plastic fork. The kid's got an imagination for sure, but that's another post, another time.

While we were enjoying the sun and water the other day, A took it upon herself to do my toes. She looked up at me with that little girl face and asked me "Mani and pedi, mommy?" She wielded her squirt bottle in one hand and a little paint brush in the other. She diligently squirted each nail and brushed on "polish." I start them young here.

As an art history/studio major in college, one of the things I am most excited about teaching the Salad is to create and appreciate art and color. Although, I think I may be expecting too much at such a young age. I saw this on a homeschooling website I frequent for craft ideas. So while they napped, I set up what I thought we might need to make adorable finger print art. When they woke up, I changed them into art clothes, sat them at the table and preformed a little How-To.

This is the finished product. While the mother in me sees the beauty, the artist sees, "Well, they're certainly no Ed Emberly."

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Coup de Trois

Everyone please lend your eyes to a guest blog written by my better half . . .

"It started with Mommy leaving to go to a baby shower with Aunt N. First M started screaming “Where mommy go, where mommy go?!” Then A cried “I want Mommy, I want Mommy!”
S looked around at the broken hearts and figured she'd better get in on the action, "Mommmmmmy!” Then she looked at the others to see if she should continue. She got the ok.

Of course the plan of action was to wave good bye to mommy, change some diapers and put the Salad to bed so I could take my weekend nap. Three little people had a different plan for me.

I sat on the steps thinking about what I should do. By this point, all three had thrown themselves to the ground, screaming and kicking. I decided my only chance to quell the uprising and to squeeze my nap in was to calm everyone down. I have heard my wife say she does this with bathes, so I figured that was the best course of action.

“Everyone upstairs, we are taking bathes!” They all stopped crying and walked up the steps. “I’m a genius” I thought. “Now take off your clothes and diapers!” They listened again. “This is a piece of cake!” Then the uprising started again.

“Potty, potty, me go potty?!” M yelled and of course the other 2 fell in line. Now there were three 2 year olds, naked and jumping up and down yelling “Potty! Potty! Potty!” I put 1 potty down and M sat on it. When I turned to grab another potty, M began jumping up and down with a potty full of pee screeching, “Chocolate, chocolate, two, two!” Referring to his 2 M&M rewards for using his potty.
By then, A had also sat down and used her potty. A started wiggling (because she can’t jump) around yelling, “Chocolate, me want chocolate,” as she spills her pee in an attempt to show me what was in the potty.

I quickly dumped the potties, shut the bathroom door so no one fell in the tub, ran downstairs to get their rewards, ran back up the stairs where all three blocked the top of the steps singing, “Chocolate Chocolate, two, two.” I pushed my way though the chorus line, opened the bathroom door, put the M&Ms down on the counter, and turned to shut off the water. When I turned back to get the Salad, I realized they had stolen the M&Ms and M was trying to wash the color off of his in the tub. Oh well, at least they were quiet. Another uprising stopped.

I put the Salad in the tub and decided the only way to stop more civil unrest was with a “Shock and Awe” display of soap, bubbles and rags. All three got water dumped on their heads, then the shampoo and a little scrubbing. They were looking around, trying to figure out what was going on. Washcloth to the back, front, arms, pits, bottom and feet, repeated twice. Finally they are laughing, but I am sweating.

Time to rinse, everyone closes their eyes and holds their breathe. S was the first one out, also the only one not to use her potty and she wanted revenge, “Me potty, me potty.” The bedlam starts again. A is out and screaming, “Mommy dry, Mommy dry.” I never thought a 28 pound toddler could battle for so long, but after a few moments and a creative way to use my legs, arms and 200 pounds, I finally won the drying battle. I turned my attention to the boy, the slipperiest of them all. I threw the towel on him, lifted him out the tub and dried him off before he could say anything. He looked at me, knowing he had been defeated. I nodded, thinking to myself “I win!” Resting on my laurels did not last long.

In my glory, I did not notice S standing with a potty full of pee which I knock into and spill on the floor. S started to cry, thinking she will not get her reward. She sobs, “Chocolate!” Then all three began chanting “Chocolate!” The balance of power was again shifting.

I made a battlefield decision, knowing they only get chocolate when they use their potties. I scream “Everyone gets chocolate….two pieces, one now and one after I put your diapers on," hoping it does not destroy months of my wife’s hard work, but at that moment, really not caring. The cheers erupt, I smile, they smile, and all was good.

Everyone got their chocolate, everyone got changed, and everyone got in their cribs without any problems. The ups and downs of the past 26 minutes (yes, 26 minutes) had made everyone tired. Everyone laid down for their nap, daddy included."

Monday, July 6, 2009

Rockin' and Rollin' and Whatnot

Two Saturdays ago, my doting husband surprised me by arranging childcare (thanks Mom & Dad) and whisking me off to New York City to see Rock of Ages, a fabulously cheesy Broadway show filled with music that only a child of the 80s could love. And love it I did, from the rousting rendition of Sister Christian right down to the "Hooray for Boobies" tee shirts, selling fast at the concession stands. It.Rocked.My.World. The reason I bring it up is that it was my birthday present.

And today is my 33rd birthday. Thank you very much.

It actually was a pretty typical day here in the Salad's compound. My mom (or Gigi as Sophia calls her) and I took the trio to the mall to ride the "carouself" and then to throw "monies" in the fountain. One bag of pennies per child provides 12 minutes of entertainment. It's the little things at this age.

Then off to California Pizza Kitchen for a special birthday lunch. I had looked up the menu online before we left home, so as soon as we sat, we ordered. My 2 year olds couldn't have been more well-behaved. Case in point? The waitress came to our table about 1/2 way through the meal and asked if there were any plates she could clear for us. M looked up from his plate full of mac & cheese long enough to answer "No thanks, lady."

After a lovely long nap, we headed out back to the pool, where Aunt J, "Unka By" and Ian joined us. They are still testing the waters (pun intended) with the pool, so while they all got in, it was short lived. Although A did think she might like it better "nakey," so I let her try skinny dipping. That was a no go, as well. The Salad ate dinner and when everyone left, I took them back outside to feed the birds. S and A got very involved in their sidewalk chalk art, or as we like to call it "toddler war paint."

When R got home, he helped me give them quick baths* and then we took off to another state, to pick up Mexican food from our favorite restaurant. During the car ride, I gave A a Toys R Us ad to read. She studied it for a long time before announcing to the car that she was "reading some pictures, by her big girl self." Miss Independent.

R wrapped up my hair band themed birthday by having S give me a card that read, "Some time to unwind . . . simply divine. Hope your day is Heavenly." Inside it played this song. Listen to it. It's awesome. I know it. You know it. And someday the Salad will know it.

*Stay tuned for a guest blog by R, detailing 26 minutes in his life.