Ew. Ick. Gross.

I was in the kitchen cleaning up, or trying to,when I heard this earth shattering scream from Rebecca. A normal mother would drop everything and run out. Since we all know I am no normal mother I went on with my cleaning up, since my cleaning up tends to get interrupted by other cleaning up. Example: I am trying to clean the counters after making the scrumdidlylicious cookie recipe to the right of the page when Alexander announces that he peed on the potty and that needs to get cleaned up. So I abort one cleaning for another. But I am digressing…

So I ignore Rebecca’s shrills which occur so frequently that even a normal mother would tune out. I turn around to see a little girl who has jumped up on to the couch pointing to something on the floor. “OH MY GOD!” She tells me “there is an enormous creature on the floor!” Then another ear-piercing scream. “MOMMY! There’s a poisonous scorpion on the floor!” My curiosity is now piqued, but I continue because I am not worried that such a creature will come and kill us in freezing Southeastern New England. Eventually, after taking my own sweet time — Rebecca still jumping up and down on the couch — I come out to see something that belongs outside in a warm summer garden. Not in my house.

I grew up in Manhattan, home to the cockroach and the rat. But no insects live there. At least I never saw any. I have been terrified of bugs for as long as I have lived. That’s a pretty long time! I used to dread visiting my relatives in Connecticut. I dreaded playing outside more. There were Daddy Long Legs everywhere, for as far as the eye could see!

Once, when I was in Florida visiting my grandparents, an ant crawled up my leg inside the car. I screamed so loudly that they had to stop the car and remove it from my body. This was a teeny tiny black ant. By my antics you would have thought I was facing Death in the face. Hmmm, I guess the apple doesn’t fall so far from the tree, after all. In college, in a Boston suburb, I had come face to face with those creatures with eight long legs again… no, not octopuses you sillies! Once, my room mate was not there to rescue me and I had to figure out how to rid the spider. My double room was not large enough for the two of us. It was the spider or me. One of us had to go. I decided it would be the spider. First I sprayed the heck out of it with hairspray. I figured the stickier it was the harder it would be to run away before I had a chance to suck the life out of it with the vacuum! Eventually it was stiff enough and I ran out to the hall closet, grabbed the vacuum and the longest extension I could find, and called a friend for moral support and screamed like Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween 1 through 31, turned on the vacuum and let it do the work. After all that the spider was out of the room. I have no idea how I ever survived summer camp in the Adirondacks for 10 years.

And I digress again… eventually I finished what I was doing and came out to see what this great big monster was. “A Scorpion!” she continued to shout. I went over to the corner on the rug and saw not a Scorpion but certainly something that would have had me running in the other direction 1o years ago. I still have not gotten over my fear of creepy crawlies, but I have to show that I am the strong one — or put on a pretty good act. I took one of Alexander’s flushable wipes and scooped up the insect with a million little legs and ran — and I do mean ran — in the direction of the toilet. Shivers ran up and down my spine and I did indeed want to scream as loud as Rebecca had. The things we do for kids.

I’ve sure come a long way baby!

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Potty Talk

I am not refering to the “Oh Shit!” that Alexander used in proper context a couple of weeks ago when he knocked over the garbage can sending coffee grinds, dirty diapers and all the other lovely things that scattered across my newly cleaned kitchen floor not an hour after the housekeeper left. I am not refering to Christopher calling his younger brother a Poopy Head. I am refering to the lovely task of toilet training.

We’ve had a potty available to Alexander since the end of the summer. Every once in a while he would show us that he knew what he was supposed to do with it, but it was not something that interested him until the day before Thanksgiving.

With the house on the market and the little potty in no great demand she was hanging out in the basement with all the other toys on our rotating circuit. The kids had no school the day before Thanksgiving and we were all having a lovely, loungy, lazy morning. Alexander decided he would like to use his little potty in the shape of, and closely resembling a small throne. Ready to call his bluff I sent Rebecca down to get it — I really am getting lazier and lazier and lazier and not sure wheher this is getting worse with each and every kid I have, or if it is simply a symptom of old age. She came up and I went in to the kitchen, grabbed bottle of sanitizer, wiped the little seat off, and placed it in the family room. (My kids have all trained in there as well. Not sure why, probably also has something to do with laziness!) Alexander whipped off his diaper and sat down and proceeded to make himself proud. “Come See! Come See!” he shouted! “I went pee pee in the potty!” And with that there was no turning back though admittedly, sometimes I would like to. Again, because I am lazy.

The other two were two and a half when they were trained. Not that they were all that much older but enough to make a difference. It was summer and they could run around naked. Now it is wintertime and the wind is howling and the oil prices are through the roof and so it is important the little guy has some clothes on. Pants and underwear with tight elastic waists are proving to be a little challenging for this 2 year old. I have to get up every time he pees and every time he’s done. I also have to do a little Pee Pee dance. Then I have to empty the contents of the bowl into the toilet, making sure that I do not flush — this is clearly his job now –sanitize his seat and then place it back in the throne. The more he has to drink the more he pees and the more I have to get up and down. Unless I don’t. Unless Alexander decides to have an “accident”. I swear some of his accidents are on purpose. Then back down to the basement I must go to toss another load of soiled clothes in to the water. He is stubborn and he is in total control. I can ask if he needs to go and he’ll say “No!” and yet, the very minute I turn around there is a huge puddle by his feet. Unless candy is involved. My little candy monster will pee on demand for a few little m&ms. That said, I probably could too.

The only time I naver have to worry about him wetting his pants is when we are out and about. No we don’t wear a diaper or a pull-up; we don’t need to. We are addicted to checking out all the new public restrooms. And more importantly, we are addicted to doing this at the worst time possible. Today, in the grocery store a mile from either end, Alexander told me he had to go. I rushed down the aisles looking for a hallway containing a restroom, then I found it and raced faster crashing the cart through the door, tossed Alexander in to the Handicapped stall, unfolded his folding seat cover, placed it on the toilet then placing Alexander on it and guess what? He doesn’t have to go. So I made him sit there and we did not leave that restroom despite the fact the ice cream was melting because I knoew that once we were back out in the Siberian section of our supermega grocery store he really would have to go. Finally we accomplished what we had set to accomplish. I cleaned off the potty seat cover and wash our hands and, tried not to feel overwhelmed by all that was left to place in our cart. I saidno to his request of Lemonade or a juice box or any kind of liquid. Had I left well enough alone and kept the baby in diapers where he belongs, we could have already been home unloading the groceries from the car.

Eventually we got home and I was in the kitchen trying to place all the canned, boxed, non perishable items into the various cupboards and I heard an “Oh no, oh no, I had an accident, Mommy!” I told him I was disapointed and once again had to run back down to the basement to put the soiled clothes in the wash and then back up to his bedroom to get some clean clothes.

We had a couple more accidents this evening. They were what I call “Just Becauses.” They were Just Because he wanted to. There was clearly no reason for him to have had his accidents.

Some kids ask for water when they want to stall bedtime. Not my kid. My kid wants the potty. Nicely tucked in to his crib, diaper securely fastened, ready to give him a kiss and call it a day, Alexander announces that he has to use the bathroom. This is his latest trick. Works for him like a charm. Of course I pull him out of bed and let him go and even though he could have gone in his diaper, he opts for the toilet instead. I don’t get it, I just don’t get it. I suppose I ought to have thought twice about what I wished for when I said I wish I had no more kids in diapers! Oh, Poo!

Where do I begin?

Have I been so busy that I have not been able to sit down and organize my thoughts? Has nothing at all been going on in our lives? Could life with three kids be that dull that I have nothing whatsoever to talk about? Could I possibly be as lazy as anything? That’s probably what it is…

Halloween came and went with a plethora of candy and a new fan of sugar. Alexander got the hang of Trick or Treating immediately. He quickly became King of the Candy. After ringing a doorbell he would shout “CANDEEEEE” at the top of his lungs and take off, on a tear, to the next door. For the next few days all he wanted for breakfast, lunch and dinner was candy. It was cute the first day. He would have major tantrums over his Punkin, where his candy was stored. Tantrums turned into battles and I was determined to hold my own. Candy is not for a 2 year old. Rebecca had no idea what candy was when she was 2. Owie is not Rebecca. Nor is he a first child. Since he has no nut allergy I can not use that to my favor either as I had with Rebecca. Alexander knows what candy is and loves it. It’s sad to say and I wish I could say this was not the case. Funny thing though — all Alexander really wanted to do was take a bite out of his candy. He wasn’t in it for the sugar, but the thrill of wining another victory in the Battle With Momma. He would unwrap a peice of chocolate, take a bite and then spit it out. Not so bad when you look at it that way, right? After a few days I snuck down to the basement while Alexander was napping and emptied the contents into a garbage bag. I did the same thing with the other two Pumpkins. I was now in posession of all Halloween candy. Up in the Christmas corner, above the reach of all children. It’s still there and I have no idea why. In years past I would pay the kids to give me their Halloween candy. This year they did not want to. Their loss. They had been allowed to keep 5 pieces and sell me the restfor $20 a piece. Boy did I I get off easy this year!

Giving thanks is what Thanksgiving is all about right? But the most memorable part of the day was long after our stomachs had been filled… long after the goodbyes had been said… long after the sun had set. We were just down the street from home when I peered into a brightly lit living room window of a house that had been vacant and on the market for quite a long time. I had, a few months ago, poked my head inside to see what our direct competition was. I was surprized at what I saw — a tired looking home in need of some paint, cleaning and TLC. Not too long ago the For Sale sign was gone. A couple bought it for a lot less than asking. I have seen a car in front of the house from time to time, but other than that no life inside that house. Until Thanksgiving Night. In the window of a brightly lit living room I saw a couple dancing slowly, tenderly, most likley celebrating their first Thanksgiving in their new home and I was transported, for a moment, down Memory Lane to our first Thanksgiving in our New Home long before it became the Crazy Crowded House. Rebecca was 10 months old and would be eating her first Turkey as well. Life was so calm and simple back then, just the three of us… so peaceful. Lost in thoughts I smile at the happy memory and at the happy couple in the window and can not help but chuckle to myself if their new home will also become crazy and crowded in a few years time!