It Wasn’t a Nut

My 5 year old son, Bency, is a collector of things. Really he is a scavenger of sorts.

I can relate to this. I have been doing this since I was a young child as well. One of my earliest memories is trying to get the biggest toad collection in the world. I would spend all day in search of these creatures and put them in mayonnaise jars. Later I would put the sealed jar in my windowsill. I soon learned that animals needed air to breathe and would bake to a fine crisp in the hot sun.

Bency’s collections usually come from his extraordinary finds on his walk home from school. I am quite certain we have one of the biggest acorn piles in our ownership, despite the fact that we have nary an oak tree in our yard. He thinks he is nearly a millionaire with his growing “jewel” collection. In actuality, they are just sequins that have fallen off some girls dress. During the warmer months, at the height of bug season, you will find many containers and buckets located on our porch of Bency’s growing insect tribes.

The other day, Bency arrived home from school with yet another magnificent find. It was a white marble. I noticed both children were quite wet, muddy and carrying quite a stench mixed with sweat and another putrid odor that I couldn’t put my finger on. I put the white marble on the counter and questioned them about their day and walk home.

As the children walked out of the room to put their school things away, I noticed the smell didn’t leave with them. I began frantically searching their boots and coats to track down the culprit of the thing that was annihilating my nose.

I finally discovered that every time I went near the counter where the white marble was, the smell became more obnoxious. That was when I examined the white marble more closely and found that it was a moth ball.

I quickly put an axe to Bency collecting any more “white marbles.”

Yesterday, the kids and I spent the day at my parent’s house. The kids went down to the woods to play.

After a bit, the kids returned to the house excitedly! They had filled some plastic bags with wonderful treasures.

They showed me the pine cones they found, turkey feathers, pheasant feathers, a stick and then Bency pulled out a very interesting nut and asked me what kind it was.

I examined it carefully. It was unlike any nut I had ever seen so I asked my Mom if she knew what kind it was.

It wasn’t a nut at all.

It was a turkey turd.

I laughed and told him he should bring it for Show and Tell at school. He didn’t find this humorous at all. He was slightly perturbed that his scavenger hunt had produced poop.

In life, there are lessons all around us. I learned at an early age that everything needs air to breathe. Bency has learned that some things aren’t as they appear….not everything is a marble or a nut.

This was a day out in the woods last Fall! I would have included a picture of the turkey turd but we forgot it at Grandma's yesterday!

This was a day out in the woods last Fall! I would have included a picture of the turkey turd but we forgot it at Grandma’s yesterday!

There Might Be a Story There

There might be a story there.

Have you ever witnessed a parent who forbid their child to do something that yourself wouldn’t think twice about letting your own child do? You find yourself wondering why that parent is being so strict.

There might be a story there.

I consider myself a laid-back parent as to what I let my children do. I want them to experience life, take risks and feel free and unrestricted to a certain extent. There is one thing however that I do not let my children do.

It’s because there is a story there.

When I was in 3rd grade, there was a boy in my class that I was good friends with. We sat next to each other and would giggle and laugh during our lessons. He was part of our group that played tag at recess. He was sweet and nice to all of the girls.

One day he didn’t show up for school.

The teacher sat us all down and explained that he had died.

She told us that the boy had been eating a hard candy called Lemon Drops. He had tilted his head back and tossed one in the air in the attempt to catch it. He did catch it but it got stuck in his windpipe. His Mom was sitting right next to him and witnessed this. She was a nurse and immediately began doing the Heimlich maneuver and other things to dislodge the Lemon Drop. She did not succeed.

Two girls and I sang at his funeral. It was the first funeral I ever attended. It was the first death I ever experienced. It was something very confusing to me and I remember holding out hope that he would come back. I didn’t understand the finality of it all.

That story has stayed with me forever.

It became even more profound when I had children of my own.

People have offered my children pieces of hard candy and I have politely declined on their behalf. My children have asked for hard candy and I have told them no. I go through their Halloween bags every year and remove it.

I do this because there is a story there.

 

Don't worry, my kids still get plenty of sweets!

Don’t worry, my kids still get plenty of sweets!

The Most Shocking Easter Decoration Of All

The past few weeks my kids and I have been busy making Easter decorations and decorating the house in an attempt to make it feel “Springy” inside despite the amount of snow still outside.

I instructed my kids to make me lots of Easter pictures to decorate the walls:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We also made an Easter Egg by gluing string to a balloon and after it dried we popped the balloon (My Mom painted the Easter Bunny next to it several years ago for me!) :

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I gave the kids some felt and told them to make me Easter Eggs. In case you can’t tell, my daughter’s is the sweet one with the flower and my son made a “weird guy” Easter Egg.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We also made paper chains of bunnies and Easter Eggs. I had just purchased some really pretty “Springy” paper but my son still opted to use our 4th of July themed paper!?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I really thought we had covered all of our bases with our Easter decorating, especially with our Easter Egg decorating we did here! However, my daughter thought we clearly missed one more important decoration. She really thought we should have some….SNOWFLAKES! I gave her a puzzled looks and said, “Really? Do you really think we need snowflakes?” She was absolutely sure about this. So yesterday, we added the final detail to our Easter decorating decor! It truly is complete now!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Mothers and Fathers

Hi everyone!

Today you can visit me over at MeMyselfandKids where I did a guest blog!

There I am breaking down the key differences between being a Mom and Dad in our house!

Take a minute to go over here and check out Mothers and Fathers!

I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!!

Melissa

Who Am I?

I love starting my days off early.

I love books.

I love making noise.

I love asking questions.

I don’t like the word “no.”

I love helping people, whether they want me to or not.

I love opening the refrigerator door and closing it and then opening and closing it over and over and over.

I love pushing buttons (both figuratively and literally).

I love running.

I love practicing my facial expressions and deciding which ones work best to manipulate people. (I have come to the conclusion that a slight cock to the head, a smile and fluttering my eyelashes generally works best).

I have figured out how to use Netflix and don’t need help from anyone to find my favorite shows.

I love watching other people go to the bathroom.

I love everyone with reckless abandon and am not afraid to show it.

Q: Who am I?

A: I am a 2 year old

I am 2 year old

 

New Olympic Events

My blogging friend Jane, over at Nothing By The Book, recently wrote a hilarious post about how she was capable of tuning out her three children while they all simultaneously burst out in different songs, melodies and their own made up lyrics while riding in the car as she drove. The picture she painted clearly made me visualize this situation that I could very well relate to and I could mentally feel myself shushing them. I told Jane that Coping Mechanisms should be an Olympic sport and she definitely deserved a gold medal.

I have not been able to shake this idea from my head and that is why I am compiling a few ideas to send to Olympic headquarters.

As parents many of the things we do take a lot of courage, strength and stamina. Therefore I would like to see the following considered for future Olympic events:

  • Getting A Child To Eat Lima Beans– You will be disqualified if you sneak these into the middle of an ice cream sandwich. You will get bonus points for getting them to eat a side of rutabagas with this.
  • Diapering And Clothing A Toddler– You will be disqualified if you duct tape the child down. You get bonus points if you get them to keep their socks on for more than 2 minutes.
  • Opening Up Brand New Toy Packages– This idea is thanks to my blogging friend Courtney at EmbracingtheInsanity who recently did this post about it. I don’t care how you get these open…nothing can disqualify you.
  • Showering Every Day During Your Child’s First Year– You will be disqualified if you just shake baby powder in your hair to get out the grease and spray yourself down with perfume. You get bonus points for keeping your clothes from getting messed up with puke and poop.
  • Going 4 Consecutive Days Without Sleep And Still Performing Basic Household Duties With A Sunny Disposition– This is another one that there is no way you can get disqualified, no matter how you accomplish this. If your performance-enhancing drug of choice is an obscene amount of coffee; more power to you!

Okay, there is about a million more event ideas I can send to Olympic Headquarters but I don’t want to overwhelm them. I really think they should take these seriously….I mean they did add cup stacking to the Junior Olympics after all!

I know this looks amazingly similar to my body but it is actually 2012 Olympian Lolo Jones.

I know this looks amazingly similar to my body but it is actually 2012 Olympian Lolo Jones with my head pasted on it!

A Good Ol’ Scolding

Parenthood is full of scolding….

“Why on earth would you stick a crayon up your nose?”

“What would make you think it was okay to draw all over your body with black marker?”

I am a master of finger wagging and dramatic, guilt-ridden tones.

The other day was no different. A good scolding was handed out. However, this time I was on the receiving end. My 5 year old son, Bency, proved he has what it takes to dish out a good ol’ what for?

It started when I got a call from Bency’s teacher. She said Bency was complaining he had a stomach ache, was tired and just wanted to lay down at 10 o’clock in the morning. I told her I would be right there to pick him up from school.

I retrieved Bency from school, gave him a big hug and said, “Hey little Buddy, what’s wrong? Are you feeling sick?”

Instead of melting in my arms and seeking the comfort that motherhood has to offer he stepped back and began his little tirade:

“This is your fault. I am so tired. You kept me up all night with your slurping.” Can you picture the finger wagging at me with the scrunched up eyes and pursed mouth that went along with this?

I stood there dumbfounded with my mouth agape trying to figure out what he was talking about.

He went to explain further:

“I heard you last night. I heard the blender going. I know you and Daddy had smoothies after you tucked me in. Then you kept me up all night slurping away.”

Can you hear my exasperated sigh? Can you picture me standing there at a complete loss for words wondering if he truly just said that?

The truth of the matter is; after we had the kids all tucked in bed, my husband did in fact bust out the blender. They were actually milkshakes that he made using vanilla ice cream and crumbled up Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies. They were so good. Trust me they were so delicious that I think I had it gone in 5 minutes. As for the slurping….well of course there was slurping. Something that good you want to make sure you have every last drop.

I think the real culprit was Daylight Savings Time. Bency had a hard time with the adjustment. Instead of pointing this out to him, I just hung my head and promised I would not keep him up all night with my slurping ever again. I added an eye roll and dramatic sigh that every good scolding needs at the end.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Science 101

My 5 year old son, Bency, changes his mind about his future professional career as often as I change my shirt (that’s not always a daily occurrence).

Since I want to encourage his passions I try to find and do things that will keep him enthusiastic.

When he was 3 years old he wanted to be a pirate when he grew up so I bought him a pirate costume.

When he was 4 he wanted to be a paleontologist so we studied dinosaurs.

Right now he is fluctuating between an artist and a scientist. No problem with the art. I can handle the art. The science is a bit trickier for me. So instead of winging it, I bought Bency a science kit for Christmas.

Let me tell you; we have had so much fun doing science experiments the last few months. We completed the last of the science experiments this past weekend that came with the kit. Bency is normally very serious and it takes a lot to make him smile but as I went through my pictures from the last few months I found so many “smile” photos of him doing his experiments.

If anyone has any “kid-friendly” science experiments please let me know so I can keep this kid busy! (And as you can see from the photos…the messier the better!)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Getting My Report Card as a Parent

As parents, we don’t get quarterly report cards and annual reviews to analyze our parenting skills. The closest thing we have is when we bring our kids for their doctor checkups and dentist appointments.

During these visits I always hold my breath anticipating the “grade” the doctor is going to give me.

When my kids haven’t shrunk and the doctor asks them what they eat for breakfast and my kids don’t respond with “lollipops;” I consider that a solid “A” in my book.

There was however the time that I brought my middle son in for his 3 year old check- up and I told the doctor about some discipline problems I was having with him. She suggested reading a certain parenting book. A few minutes later, I had to excuse myself from the room briefly while I took my older daughter to the bathroom and left my son alone with the doctor. When I came back she told me that book probably wasn’t going to work for me. She had never seen a child with such a mind of his own. I left there feeling like I was teetering on the edges of a “D.” He had grown a few inches so it wasn’t quite an “F.”

I always leave the dentist office with about a “C.” My kids brush their teeth every morning and I help them floss. However, most nights I forget to have them brush. Every night I cook dinner, wash the dishes, give the kids baths, read bedtime stories and then do bedtime tuck-ins with each of the three kids. Then I get really busy patting myself on the back for making it through another day and everyone has survived. This is always when it hits me that I forgot to have them brush their teeth and there is no way I am hauling them out of bed to complete this task.

Apparently, this oversight shows at the dentist office because the doctor always tells me they have some plaque build-up but no one has completely rotten teeth yet. I’m sure if I got a report card from her, the comments would read, “This area has room for improvement.”

My middle son recently studied “Tooth Care” in his Kindergarten class. He was telling me all about it yesterday in the bathroom while I was flossing his teeth. He was throwing the words “plaque,” “hollows” and “cavities,” out there with great knowledge that led me to believe I needed to start setting money aside to so I could send him through dentistry school.

While I was still under my delusional state that my son was going to be a tooth care extraordinaire he made this statement:

“The teacher showed us pictures of cavities that had fillings in them. They get filled up with silver. They look really awesome and give your teeth a really nice look. Then they aren’t just the boring white anymore. I’ve been doing some thinking and I’ve decided that I’m not going to brush my teeth anymore so I can get some silver teeth.”

Crazy enough, this isn’t my first go around with this kind of thinking. When my older daughter went through the “Tooth Care” segment in Kindergarten she made a similar statement:

“You know, if you don’t brush your teeth, they get rotten and fall out. Since I want the Tooth Fairy to start coming, I’m going to quit brushing my teeth so they all fall out and she can come all of the time.”

Thankfully, I talked my daughter out of doing this and we have managed to preserve her teeth from becoming rotten.

However, remember my son is the one with “a mind of his own” that no parenting book has any suggestions for.

I’m sure my next dentist appointment will be a solid “F.”

Eating Lollipops

Just Buy Them the Cotton Candy

I’ve never been to the circus. My Mom swears I was. She thinks I was about 1 years old when we went as a family. My brother told me he hasn’t been to the circus since he was 5 years old and my sister was 9. Since they are 8 and 12 years older than me that confirms the fact that I have never been there. There’s been a lot of things that I said I never did and my Mom assures me that I did do them because I was in her belly or I was a baby. Good try Mom!

So when I heard the circus was coming to town this past weekend my husband and I gathered up the kids and announced we were headed to the “Greatest Show on Earth.” I was equally as excited as the kids to see what all the hype was about that I have only ever read in story books.

Before we left, I gave the kids strict rules not to ask for anything because would not be purchasing any of the overpriced food at the circus, but not to fear because I had stocked my purse full of Raisinets, Goobers and applesauce packets. Besides, I had a little surprise up my sleeve.

When we arrived they had all kinds of things set up for the kids to do. I knew about this ahead of time and had heard there would be elephant rides. I excitedly told the kids that the surprise I had in store was that we were going to pay for them to ride the elephants! They looked at me like I had completely lost my mind. They had no interest in riding an elephant. What?? Who wouldn’t want to ride an elephant?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Seeing as my kids were party poopers and saved us $30 and I kept seeing them staring longingly at the cotton candy carts, I had my husband sneak over and buy them some of the fluffy pink and blue clouds of sugar. Now that was a surprise for them!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Iris eating her cotton candy

Iris eating her cotton candy

Bency eating his cotton candy

Bency eating his cotton candy

 

The circus was pretty great and it was nice to see the look of excitement on the kid’s faces.

When it was all over and done with I asked the kids what their favorite parts were.

Iris (7 years old): When they played the song “Who Let the Dogs Out.” I asked if she meant when all the dogs came out and performed their cute little tricks. No, she just really likes that song.

Bency (5 years old): Cotton Candy

Cesar (2 years old): Elephants. He may have said elephants but clearly watching him rock his chair and try to get himself collapsed in the fold up chair looked like that was his most enjoyment during the show.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My favorite part was when Cesar started puking later that night from clearly eating too much candy.

All in all it was a fun time. I don’t know if we’ll ever go back. I’ve experienced it now. My kids have experienced it. And if my 2 year old grows up and says he doesn’t remember ever going to the circus well…..I have pictures to prove it!

See Cesar...You were at the circus!!!

See Cesar…You were at the circus!!!