The Great Toy Explosion of Aught 8

probably should get
a few wee-sized haz mat suits
for this endeavor

In the spirit of Christmas this year, instead of shaking our heads in embarrassment at the amount of toys and plastic, we are attempting to get rid of a Whole Lot O' Crap before Santa arrives.

Right now there are drifts of toys in the corners of rooms. Piles that are taller than the wee-er one. Sinkholes of building toys.

The daily exposure to lead paint and various other plasticky chemicals must make our house visible from outer space.

So we are cleaning this superfund site up. It is quite an endeavor. We have to take breaks to wash our hands because there is a fine layer of actually palpable germs on everything. Or at least this is how I feel. It is probably just crayon dust and weird lego slime, but it feels like you could hold your hand under a magnifying glass (I have found 3!) and see the germs smiling at you.

I know we're not the only people to do this during the holiday season, but it actually works out really well. All of the birthdays are in the summer and fall, so there is just enough time to play with birthday stuff, get tired of it and get rid of it before the Christmas stuff rolls in. And ditto for Christmas. Once the birthdays roll around, the Christmas stuff that was successful is still being played with, and the unsuccessful stuff is ready to be donated.

When Ike-a-sauru was due in November, this was going to jack with the system. But thankfully (can I say that?) he followed the tradition of summer babies so our toy purging schedule remains in tact.

I just figured out that if we have another baby one day (HAHAHAHA), that baby will have to born in June. Then we will have all the kids birthday's in the summer – May, June, July, August, and parents in the fall – September, October.

Look at me going on and on about things that make no sense. I am procrastinating the end of the toy purge. There are piles and piles on the floor and it is exhausting to think about going back in there and finishing the job.

More M&Ms! Fuel for the marathon!

The Great Toy Explosion must be contained!

Also…

I can't stop dreaming about the space elevator.

It is giving me fits.

In my dreams things come sliding down the space elevator cable to spook us all. Giant, building sized kites are tethered to it for celebration. It comes crashing to Earth.

Why should a space elevator scare me like that? It's the same feeling I get when I see the huge underbelly of an iceberg. I have to run screaming from the room. Seriously. The artist rendition of the cable needed to make the elevator work? Sphincter-tightening.

Carbon nanotubes, be damned. I can't look at it anymore.

so far this morning…

staying on your toes
is much easier to do
when you're not sleeping

I tried to sleep a little extra this morning. Ike-a-saurus was tucked snugly under my arm, the wee one was off at school, and the wee-er one was in my room, sitting on the floor, quietly dressing her baby dolls. This is too tempting of a situation.

So I dozed. At one point I woke up thinking that I heard the bathroom cabinet open, but that couldn't be because it's child-proofed.

I grabbed my glasses and looked over to the bathroom. The wee-er one was in there, having opened (!) the child-proofed cabinet under the sink. She was carefully placing a pantyliner in her pull-up. She stood there for a minute, made some adjustments, and got a concentrated look on her face. Then she reached back into her pull-up and pulled out a peed on pantyliner. She rolled it up in some toilet paper, threw it away and came back into the room to play with her dolls some more.

Right.

No more dozing.

Thank God we anticipated the thwarting of the child-proofed cabinets and put all the cleaners up high in the laundry room. The pantyliners, though, I may never be able to look at the same again.

This is why I love Texas

Today, we broke a record – 81 degrees. Tonight? It is sleeting.

I tried to wake up the wee one so he could run outside. We may not get sleet again this year. But he was sound asleep and not having any of his crazy mom poking at him to come see.

Between this and Ike-a-saurus spitting up perfectly formed logs of cheese out his nose, tonight has been super eventful!

ETA: I just want to clarify that it's not just sleet, but thunder sleet.

Messing with little minds

styles are different
and that's a very good thing
makes a nice excuse

I was just musing over my parenting style after a morning of having the wee-er one rip three keys off of my laptop while I was in another room, and after watching her dump a half package of cheese dust onto the floor while we were making mac and cheese.

My instinct is to not be mad about these things. It's easier to just shrug and laugh and say Whoops and then fix it. Or ignore it until Daddy comes home and he fixes it. This feels a little lazy, though. And I do try to turn things into little lessons here and there, like, "The computer works better when it has keys I can push." And "see that cheese dust on your foot that the dog is licking off? Now he is going to poop on the carpet and none of us like that, do we?"

But is that enough? Am I raising hellions who don't fear repercussions? Children who are unaware of consequences?

I don't think so. I mean, when the wee one body slams his sister, or when his sister pinches the crap out of his ear, there is yelling and finger shaking and the word "disappointed" is thrown around with great abandon. But it's been a really, really long time since we had any time outs in this house.

I am also starting to realize that my parenting style is going to have to shift with each child. The wee one responds to the Mom Look very well. The wee-er one? Not so much. That makes things tricky. Just as soon as I feel like I have a handle on not raising sociopaths, they start needing different things. Pesky kids! Best two out three is not really something to shoot for when you're trying to prevent sociopaths, you know? You really have to go for the trifecta there.

Reading over what I just wrote makes me sound not very yell-y. That's not so true. I am kind of yell-y, and I hate that. But I am also kind of laugh-y, and I'm not sure if that's a great alternative.

Oh well. I could just keep going on and on about this, but I better go rescue the mac and cheese from the stove top, and make sure Ike-a-saurus is still breathing.

What is the wee-er one doing right now?

She's reading a book in my lap.

How did I get her to do that after such a crazy morning? I think it is pretty obvious that I had nothing to do with it. Thank God they can parent themselves some time.

Joking, joking. That was just a joke.

Sort of.

Why does it surprise me?

they are different
small, unique spawn of my loins
this is such a shock

I know it's ridiculous to admit this, but everyday I stare at my children and wonder where they came from. They are so familiar and integral to my daily life, hell, to my survival, and yet, I look at them and wonder how those little faces came to be. How do those little brains work? What must they be thinking all the time?

Sometimes I feel like they are strangers and that is a weird thing to feel when you are looking at their butts all day. But it's true. Wondering how they came to be is like trying to comprehend string theory – you get lost in the possibilities and endless dimensions.

Of course they aren't strangers to me. I feel closer to them than it seems possible. But they catch me off guard with these looks on their faces, or with little declarations, and I wonder who these people must be.

How do all three kids look so different? You can tell they're siblings, for sure, but it is amazing and astounding that the three of them could come from me and my husband and look so different. It makes me want to have a million kids just to see the different combinations we could make.

Maybe all of this is crazy to talk about, I don't know. I just stare at Ike-a-saurus and wonder how in the world we got to where we are right now. I feel such a close bond with him, but when I look at that little face and it is not the face of the wee one and it is not the face of the wee-er one, I find it shocking. I find his baby smell shocking. I find all of him shocking. He is a tiny little person. A unique soul. Shocking.

I feel this way about the wee-er one, too. Carting around her babies all day, putting a burp cloth over her shoulder and demanding that I hand Ike-a-saurus to her when he's crying. Who IS this person? Who is this child with the delicate features and fiery temper and love for shoes?

The wee one does not seem such a stranger to me. Is that because he was first? Because I've been looking at his cute mug for longer? He still surprises me and catches me off guard, but when I look at his face I know him. He is mine. It's not like the others don't feel like mine. Of course they do, they just seem so… different.

Is it weird to realize that my children are all different? I mean, duh. And yet, it is such this cosmic wonder to me, the creation of new people. Actual new human beings with feelings and thoughts and love and pain and all of the intensity of being alive. I find it remarkable.

One is at school, one is sleeping on my chest, one is dressing her baby doll in real baby clothes that were just washed and now will have to be washed again. She is telling her baby she needs to pump. She is telling him, "I love you baby, let me take off your clothes." (I struggle to not say "That's what he said!" when she says this.) She has her baby bundled in the pouch that is way too big and she is trying to carry him around the room. Where did this child come from?

I can't stand it sometimes. How lucky I am.

Love thy moronic possible drug dealers

The child-sized wind chimes
Are not wind chimes for children
They are three feet tall

So we have these new neighbors. Two old-ish dudes in jumpsuits, one much younger blonde lady. They drive a Bentley, a Lexus with tags that say “2lucky,” and a gigantic red truck (a given for Texas).

This is not a Bentley neighborhood. Not even an 80s Bentley neighborhood. It is an Altima neighborhood. A used, but in good shape, Volvo neighborhood.

The Bentley’s house is rented. I know this because Joe, the owner, is in Dallas now, living with his mom and girlfriend, having decided home ownership is too gross for him when it means keeping the gutter clean in order to keep your garage from flooding.

Anyway, I’m wondering if the Bentley’s are only here for a short time. That would be sad because they are fun to spy on.

I am guessing they are mobsters in the witness protection program and the truck is their beard.

Or maybe they are down-on-their luck drug dealers.

Either way, they are attracting way too much attention to themselves. The three foot wind chimes hanging on their front balcony make the entire neighborhood sound like KMart’s garden section. Or like there is a church and it is 759 o’clock. The chimes are so loud they are interfering with nap time.

If I wasn’t afraid of accidentally walking in on everyone dressed in leopard underpants, laying on bearskin rugs, and enjoying some blow off of each other’s asses, I would ask them to please mute the chimes.

As it is I am trying to make the chimes encourage some zen-ness in me.

Except they may make me go crazy. Then I will have to run over there and hack at them (the wind chimes, not the possibly leopard-underpanted neighbors) with a small hand mallet.

Not very zen.

Oh, Joe, why forsake the street gutter? Why? Just buy some gloves, you pansy.

Always plan ahea

That is my personal motto now. I can't think of anything better.

Now I just have to find a sign like the one that Kate has on her kitchen table on the show Jon & Kate Plus 8.

Always plan ahea.

I can't think of anything that describes my life more.