Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The mystery sibling

The other night, Chip and I were trying to have a quick chat while I made dinner and he prepared to head out for the evening. We were on the deck, and the kids were playing in the yard. But not happily.

"Daddy, pleeeeeeease come and play with us," they pleaded.

"Guys, you're fine." he responded. "Dinner will be ready in five minutes, and mommy and I need to talk."

"But we are so booooored!" shouted Charlie.

"Play together," he said. "That's why we had another kid."

Charlie* looked up, startled, and said, "Where is he?"

"You, buddy. You're the other kid," Chip responded. "Now play with your sister."

*The look on his face. I wish you could have seen it. Priceless.


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

She has my number

Despite the fact that Mary Clare has to wear a uniform to school, she actually has a lot of options when it comes down to the various components. Red or white shirt, long sleeve or short sleeve, solid red, navy or white cardigans, sweaters and sweatshirts, fleeces and half-zip pullovers with the school logo are allowed with either her jumper or solid navy bottoms. Last year when she started at Holy Redeemer, I had all of the options for her, including navy shorts and navy pants, which she absolutely refused to wear. She carried this refusal straight through the first semester of Kindergarten as well.

Now it is spring, and it's possible that she is getting a little sick of her jumper. With that in mind, last week I floated the idea of wearing a pair of her shorts to school. Daring, I know. She jumped at the chance. Loved it. Thought it was the greatest day ever. Couldn't get enough of the matching plaid belt with the heart buckle.

The next day she wanted to wear shorts again. Now, she has two pairs of shorts, but she had already signed off on the clothes I laid out for her the night before, it was early in the morning, I was tired and I did not feel like looking for the other pair of shorts. 

So I lied.

"Mary Clare, can you please just wear your jumper?" I asked, in what I'm certain was a somewhat whiny tone.

"But why?" she demanded. "I really want to wear shorts. I can run more in shorts."

"Well, you only have that one pair of shorts, and they are in the wash," I responded.

"Well," she harrumphed, as she eyed me up and down. "I find that very hard to believe." 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

IHOP is not playing

Mary Clare had the pleasure of spending Friday with her Gramps and Gram Lindh. While Mary Clare loves Kindergarten, the full-time school gig has cut into her quality time with grandparents, and nothing makes her more upset than hearing that Charlie gets a special grandparent day while she goes to school.

On Friday morning, after Charlie and Chip had left for the day, I walked into her room and whispered, "Do you want to spend the day with Gramps and Gram?"

Her eyes lit up.

"Finally!" she exclaimed. "I have been waiting FOREVER."

Upon her return, she recounted her G&G adventure to us.

"And we went to IHOP for breakfast, and I had pancakes, and I even put syrup on them!" she exclaimed.

"Really?" I said. "And you ate them? Usually you only want butter."

"Yes," she responded. "They had all of these great syrups. Blueberry, strawberry and poison berry. I mixed them all together. It was so good."

"Sweetie," I said, "I think you mean boysenberry, not poison berry."

"No, mom," she firmly answered. "It was poison berry, and it was so good. I love poison berry."

There was no use arguing. If ever there was a syrup that would make her like syrup, it would definitely be poison.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

No idea where he heard this

Yesterday as Chip was driving Charlie to school, they were talking about the day ahead and what Charlie could tell his friends about his long weekend in Columbia.

Chip said he was in the middle of talking about Charlie's visit to the Mizzou columns when Charlie interrupted.

"Calm down, daddy," he instructed. "Just calm down."

It's terrible when they throw your words back at you.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Surprise!

So, the other day Charlie spanked the secretary at Mary Clare's school.

I know.

I was signing us out after library duty, and all of a sudden I heard Mrs. G say, "Oh!" just as the other parent in the room gasped. I looked up, and based on their location to one another and the look on both of their faces, I knew immediately what had happened.

You see, a few days prior, Charlie had started saying, "Mama, I have a surprise for you!" and then he would sneak up behind me and pat my bottom. I guess I should have discouraged it, but honestly, it seemed like yet another one of his passing fancies, and I obviously didn't think he would do it to anyone else, much less the school secretary.

So, anyway, of course I reprimanded him and Mrs. G was very sweet about it (and very good about keeping a straight face), and then we got the hell out of there.

Fast forward to the next week, and Charlie and I had to return to the scene of the crime so I could turn in some forms. On the way, I reminded Charlie that when we go into the office, we only say hello to Mrs. G — we don't shout at her or touch her pencils, and we most certainly don't touch her. There was no mention made of spanking or the Charlie surprise special, but he seemed to get the idea. We walked into the office, and I don't know who was holding their breath more, me or Mrs. G. Charlie, of course, was cool as a cucumber.

"Hi, Mrs. G.!" he said, and hit her with his most charming, innocent smile.

"Hi, Charlie," she responded, and inquired about his day.

I handed her the forms, she and I shared a knowing smile, and then we got the hell out of there. I know when not to press my luck.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

She has his number

Last night was one of those nights where I knew no one was going to bed on time. 

Chip got stuck in traffic, so I picked up both kids, which set us back. Then, of course, we had all of the tedious little duties that seem to take a solid 30 minutes, but I deem necessary because surprise, I need order. So instead of immediately launching into dinner prep, I hung up the coats, put hats and gloves in baskets, unpacked lunchboxes, fed the dog, let the dog outside, turned on lights, gathered the mail and sorted the mail while intermittently stopping to cajole, console and manage the latest crisis. 

Because kids. And kids of Type A parents, right?

So, by the time I was ready to start dinner, it was 6:30 and the kids were fried. And I was making a new recipe.

Of course I did what any sane person would do. Plopped the kids on the couch, gave them something to drink and turned on the television. 

I scrolled through the options and after making their selection, I read Mary Clare and Charlie the synopsis of an episode of Sofia the First, which mentioned something about a shy friend.

"I'm not shy," said Mary Clare.

As I got Charlie settled in, I responded, "No, you're not really shy, Mary Clare. Which is so great."

"Well," she continued, "Sometimes I can be a little shy. If it's somewhere new."

"That's normal," I said. 

Not to be left out, Charlie declared, "I am not shy!"

"No, Charlie," I said, "You, my boy, are definitely not shy. Ever."

"Yeah, Charlie. You are not shy," Mary Clare agreed. "Especially around the ladies."

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Fair and square

The kids are really into sneaking around the house and spying on us. Because you know, Chip and I are always running around doing exciting, top secret type of things worthy of spying. They have also staked out the first-floor closet and the area behind our bed as their not-so-secret secret hideouts, and playing ninjas (sneaky ninjas, obviously) is a favorite pastime as well. 

On Saturday, per usual, Chip got up with the kids while I snoozed for a bit longer. I was just getting out of bed when I heard a lot of "Shh!" noises outside my door. So, of course, I threw myself back into bed, pulled covers up and pretended to be asleep just as Charlie crept into the room.

And then I waited.

And waited.


And waited. 

But still there was no "Boo!"

I opened my eyes and made eye contact with Chip, who was standing at the door and shaking with laughter. Charlie's belly crawl around the bed was apparently quite the production. 

Finally, after much effort and many, many more noies, I heard a "Boo!" followed by a "Hi-ya!"

So, of course I flung my arms into the air and screamed.

I looked over, and there was Charlie dressed in all black with a belt tied around his head.

"I sneaked you, Mama!" he triumphantly proclaimed. "I sneaked you fair and square!" 

It might have been the world's longest, least sneaky sneak, but I had to agree, it was fair and square.