Friday, October 30, 2009

Hair-brushing time is one of the most trying here in my house. There's fine hair, thick hair, coarse hair...and all of it curly! Small Fry seems to think that the brush is an instrument of torture. Large Fry will sit relatively still and let me brush and comb out her hair.

And then there's Medium Fry. All those tight curls wind themselves into often tight tangles, so even liberal application of detangling spray solution doesn't always make it easy.

It's not unusual for her to scream and cry when I'm trying to brush out her hair.

Today was no different. She screamed. Cried. Pulled away (which only makes things worse). Hollered at the top of her lungs. Demanded her Uncle D.

I'm working on a small section of particularly stubborn tangles when she wails, "I want my kitty cat!"

I lean around to kinda look at her face. She often says this when she wants the diaper that has Periwinkle the kitten on it. "What kitty?" I ask.

"I want my Popoki!" she demands.

I decided that telling her that "her" Popoki wouldn't want to be around all that screaming wasn't a good idea.

I also decided that telling Po she's been annexed by Medium isn't a good idea either.

Although...I suspect Po already knows, given the number of full-body hugs she's endured.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Things you never thought you'd do as an adult...

...until you became a mother...

...and even then, you're surprised.

~De-lotion your couch. Not once, but twice.

~Have your four-year-old throw a tantrum because she doesn't WANT to use the big potty. With the Disney Princess toddler seat that she picked out herself.

~Sacrifice two of your plastic Christmas cookie bins because the Fun Foam one broke spectacularly, and nothing else you have is big enough to store all the Fun Foam.

~Have your 2-year-old refuse your help with her pants, only to turn to her twin, and then they both get in a fight over how to fix the pants, and you have to do it anyway.

~Your other 2-year-old hates her pants because they "tickle." And thusly, they're "scawwy." Same with tall grass in the yard. And fallen leaves in the autumn.

~You answer semi-panicked "Owie!" screams from that same two-year-old, forty-five minutes after putting her to bed, only to find that *nothing* hurts, there is no blood, and nothing is wrong...except a fuzzie in her hair.

~Most days, figure that motherhood beats out the Peace Corps for being the toughest job you'll ever love. Until all three of your kids have screaming fits at once. And then you'll want to sell them to the first Gypsy caravan that comes through town. And you'll feel guilty that you don't feel all that bad for thinking that.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Bedtime Music

When the girls first came to live with us, they had a very difficult time settling down to sleep at night. As they cried that first night, scared and not understanding why their lives had so suddenly changed, my dad made a suggestion: music. Perhaps that would calm them. Help them sleep. Soothe their fears, even if temporarily.

We found a clock radio, and located the classical station out of the Maryland/D.C. area. I figured it would be the station most likely to lull them to sleep. All classical station DJs that I've heard have soothing, cultured voices that lessened the shock between music and voice. Not to mention that classical pieces are generally longer than the 3.5-minute songs on contemporary radio. And some studies have shown that classical music is brain food. (Or my astronomy professor is wrong about the effects of "Eine Kleine Nacht Muzik" on astronomy exams.)

Innyhoo, what started that first night is a pattern that continues today. Both rooms have clock radios in them, tuned to the same station. The sleep function lets the music play long enough for the girls to fall asleep.

I told you all that to tell you this story.

The kids have gotten hooked on the Playhouse Disney morning programs. I can handle these, so we watch them.

In particular, they really, really love Little Einsteins. I love it for several reasons. One, they're learning about the music. Two, they're seeing classic art. Three, they're learning different problem-solving skills without really knowing it. Large Fry will actually sit and watch an entire episode without running off to play with something more interesting.

Today's episode was a Halloween special, where they're going trick-or-treating and singing along with "In the Hall of the Mountain King" from Grieg's Peer Gynt Suite, Opus 46, to get enough candy for their party. To find the candy, they listen for the melody line from "Morning Mood," the first movement of the piece. The "ghosts" that seem to be following them are also signaled by the haunting melody line from "In the Hall of the Mountain King." As it turns out, the "ghosts" are merely their instrument friends. They have a marvelous party. Large Fry sang along with the trick-or-treat song after hearing it once or twice.

And I told you that story to tell you this one.

We're tucking the girls into bed tonight, and Large Fry started crying as soon as she got sent to her room after prayers. I told her I'd be in to hug and kiss her in just a minute, and hugged and kissed the twins good night. They did their usual stall tactic and wanted another round of hugs and kisses (it's such a hard thing, really), and Hubby went in to tuck Large Fry in while I finished up with the twins. As I closed their door and headed for Large Fry's room, I hear Hubby saying, "Auntie J will be right here and you can ask her then."

"Ask me what?" I say as I walk into her room.

"She wants you to lay with her for a little bit," Hubby tells me.

I smile down at Large Fry. "I think I can do that."

So I lay down with Large Fry for a bit, thinking that happiness is your four-year-old big girl wanting you to stay with her a bit in her big-girl bed and throwing her little arm across your shoulders because you have your arm wrapped around her.

The DJ comes on, speaking in a smooth and mellow voice, telling us about the piece we'd just listened to and a quick weather report before she announces the next piece. She says the name Edvard Grieg, and I perk up a bit. I wonder if the piece name she's just mentioned is the one from this morning's Little Einsteins show. I think it's the same, but they only mention the piece name once in the show, and I'm not sure it's the same.

The sweet, happy notes of "Morning Mood" begin. Large Fry picks up her head off the pillow, eyes wide as she stares at me. That she knows this music is all over her face. "You know this music, huh?"

Her grin widens as she nods.

"Do you remember where you heard it?"

She thinks, and I say, "Little Einsteins."

She nods again.

The music changes after a few minutes to the second movement. "No more Little 'steins?"

"I think it's still the same piece. We just haven't heard this part."

We lay there quietly and listen. She asks the same question as the third movement begins, and I give her the same answer.

As "In the Hall of the Mountain King," the fourth movement, begins, the same look of wonder appears on her face and she whispers, "Little 'steins," in an awed tone.

We listen through the rest of the piece, and then I give her a kiss and a hug and come downstairs.

I wouldn't have missed that for the world.

Conversations. Again. Really.

Large Fry: Pee-hani, I'm going to go ask Auntie J.

[footsteps as Large Fry walks from kitchen to living room]

Large Fry: Auntie J, Pee-hani didn't listen to me.

Me: That's okay, he doesn't listen to me, either.

[footsteps back to kitchen; Pa'ani meows]

Large Fry: I'm gonna go ask Auntie J, 'cause I'm in trouble.


Large Fry: Auntie J, I'm in trouble because Pee-hani didn't listen to me.

[footsteps back to Pa'ani; clearly a response from me is not needed]

Large Fry: Pee-hani, come here! Come here!

Honestly, I think she has about as much chance of getting Pa'ani to "come here" as I do getting her to do the same....

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Conversations, Part the Millionth

Hubby: Did you go poopy in your diaper?

Medium Fry: No!

Hubby: Did you go pee-pee in your diaper?

Medium Fry: No!

Hubby: Are you sure?

Medium Fry: No!

Hubby: I think we should check.

Medium Fry: No!