Friday, July 10, 2009

Scenes from my week

It's been a rough week here at Chez hokgardner, and I don't have a coherent post. So here are some snippets of what's been going on.

As a result of our half-arsed attempt to potty train Campbell, he's spent a lot of time this past week running around naked. The other night he strolled by naked, wearing stickers on his forehead, neck and belly button, and wearing a ladybug backpack that had a toy guitar sticking out the top. I ran for my camera, but by the time I found it, he had taken off the backpack, which is what really completed the look.

The girls have had Target gift cards burning holes in their pockets for months, so on Tuesday, I finally took them to Target to spend them. I was a bit worried that their brains would freeze up with the wealth of possible purchases available, but they made their selections fairly quickly. Their choices perfectly illustrated the differences in their personalities. Ella picked a science project kit that included instructions and supplies to make little electrical circuits and electro-magnets. Lily picked fancy dress-up shoes and a fairy princess ballerina bride doll.

After a few days of problem-free chore time, we've had a rough patch. On Wednesday I had to drop the hammer and be mean mom again. We had a full slate of fun morning activities planned - a trip to the art school to pick up Ella's pottery from art camp, a stop at the new library for more books, lunch at P-Terry's - but I told the girls that their room had to be clean before we could go. Instead of cleaning, they spent their time bickering over everything. I even gave them extra time, with a warning that the day's fun would be cancelled if they didn't finish in 15 minutes. They didn't, so I had to make good on my threat. Plus I still made them clean up their room. Everyone was upset - the girls because they weren't going on their outing and they still had to do chores, me because we weren't going to be leaving the house. I sort of shot myself in the foot on that one, but I needed to follow through.

Wednesday afternoon Lily couldn't find her shoes even though her bedroom was "clean." I opened the girls' closet to help her look, and the avalanche that buried me was like something out of a cartoon. Dress-up clothes, sweaters, games, art supplies came tumbling out. It turns out that when they cleaned their room, they did it by jamming everything they could find in their closet and wedging the door closed. Sigh. I'll be going in tomorrow and doing a thorough cleaning - including throwing stuff out.

The girls have been playing with baby dolls all week. Both of them came in my room giggling the other night because they had put on the tops to their hula outfits as bras, which they were then hauling up to nurse their dolls. There's something a little off in watching your daughters pretend to breast feed baby dolls, but there's something even more off in seeing your son pretend to do it, too. I walked in the living room to find Campbell sitting on the sofa, doll pressed to his chest. The way the girls were giggling, I have a feeling they put him up to it.

At one point, as Ella was nursing her doll, she looked at me and said, "I don't see how taking care of one baby is so hard. I mean, this is easy so far." To my dismay, I found myself explaining how taking care of a real baby is so much harder than taking care of a doll - "Your doll doesn't cry! Your doll doesn't poop! You don't have to change diapers! You don't have to clean up spit-up!" Ella's response was to shrug and say that it still seemed easy to her.

As a result of lots of visits from family in the past month, we've made a number of runs to the airport. Campbell loves getting to go there, even though he really has no idea what happens at an airport. But he still gets a kick out of seeing all the planes. Yesterday, though, was more than he could handle. We took Ella and B to the airport for their trip to Salt Lake City for climbing nationals, and Campbell was distraught at being left behind. As we drove away, leaving Ella and B behind, Campbell was in the back seat wailing, "I want to go to the airport! I need to go on an airplane! Peese mommy, peese!" Next Saturday, when we go to Atlanta, I think little head will explode when he realizes that he actually gets to go in the airport AND on a plane.

B has started working from home full time. He's taken over what was my office space, and we're waiting on our handyman to install a door so that he can close himself off from the rest of the house and the associated noise. But for now, he has to listen to the chaos of my life as a stay-at-home-mom. One afternoon, as I was sitting on Campbell, who was screaming and attempting to escape from time out, while holding Elizabeth, who was sobbing because I had to stop nursing her to sit on Campbell, B came around the corner, took one look at the uproar, and said, "I could never do your job." I wasn't sure if that was supposed to make me feel better.

With any luck, my next post will be more organized. Plus I'll have the result of Ella's climbing.


Unknown said...

ah, I could never be a SAHM either, I'd kill him quickly. i respect you a lot.

Alicia said...

I stayed home with my oldest two for a year after the second was born. Sounded like a good idea. Heh. It was the most depressing, isolating year OF MY LIFE. I have huge respect for SAHMs now (not that I didn't before, but now I *really* get it).

How old is Ella? My daughter is five and spends practically ALL her time drawing and painting. We've got her in classes at AMOA Art School almost every week now. I think she's doing a pottery class next month.

Ann in NJ said...

My husband has always said he could never stay home with the kids. They'd be dead in two weeks, tops.

Love the nursing story. My sister's twin boys spent some time "nursing" dolls when their sister was born. I don't think it's unhealthy - shows they see breastfeeding as normal. that's a good thing!

hokgardner said...

Ella is almost 9. She took the Clay Creatures class at AMOA in June and loved every minute of it. Lily, who is 6 1/2, took the basic drawing class and loved it, too. They do a really nice job there, even if it is outrageously expensive for only three hours' worth of class time.

Shelly said...

Good luck to Ella! I hope she has a ball!

My boy used to pretend he had a baby in his tummy. I like it when they are still young enough to want to assume those roles.

MadMad said...

Oh, that last one cracked me right up - I remember those days!

Baino said...

All sounds pretty normal to me! Love the breastfeeding thing! We've been having 'big kid' cleanouts here too so that Clare can fit a double bed in her postage stamp of a room. My living room is now an office with four computers, my bedroom has taken on more junk because we're low on storage and the Salvos will do very nicely out of the piles of clothes that are being discarded. . .whatever happed to my 'personal space'. . .sorry, I meant to say that it gets better but I'm not sure it does! Except there's no pooping and spit-up!

bernthis said...

the worst is having to follow through on the cancelling of the plans and realizing holy crap, now we both are stuck in this house all day.

anymommy said...

Arg, the chores. You're telling me it doesn't end? All mine have to do is tidy the play room at the end of quiet time and I've seriously had to cancel the afternoon's activities five times. It's awful. I've thought about giving up, I can clean it with far less frustration myself.