Friday, October 16

Love and Marriage

Thanks to Disney Princesses, Katie is obsessed with marrying her prince. She is sweet about it. Although the identity of her "prince" changes depending on her mood, she always maintains that she will have three baby girls. She will name them Necklace, Necklace, and Diamond. She wants me to buy them all sorts of clothes and books. She has already given me a detailed list of items that I can purchase for her children.

Bethie hasn't bought into the fairy tale. She doesn't want to get married. They other night, Katie was trying to convince Bethie to get married when she was "all grown up". Bethie was having none of it. She stood on Katie's bed and shouted "When I get married, I am going to break all of my promises. If he doesn't do everything I say, then he can't stay with me! Mummy! Why are you laughing?".

I laughed. I laughed until my cheeks hurt. I laughed until I had both girls were laughing too. They didn't know why I was laughing, but they were happy simply to be enjoying this moment with me. I was laughing because Bethie is Bethie. Bethie does what she wants, when she wants. Bethie has issues with authority, real or imagined. She is strong-willed. She doesn't tolerate opposition. Bethie is her mother's daughter. And that cracks me up...most of the time.

Sleep Training

I never knew that human beings needed to "learn" how to sleep. I thought that sleeping was something that came naturally. Like breathing. No one has to teach babies how to breathe, they just do it. The same should be true of sleeping. But it's not.

My twins were miserable about going to sleep. As infants, they had to be walked to sleep. Dan and I would each grab a baby, heave her over our shoulder, and do laps around the house. This happened every time we wanted to put them down. Initially, we had to do about 11 laps around the house before the baby would fall asleep. But they grew a tolerance to the walking. Like drug addicts, they needed more and more to get the same effect. By five months old, they had worked themselves up to 72 laps.

I cracked. I was at my wits end. I couldn't physically keep up with the lack of sleep and the constant walking. I asked Mum for advice. She told me to stop walking and simply put the babies in their cribs. Sounds rational, but I had to point out to my mother that the babies would cry if I didn't walk them around and around and around the house. She said, "That's okay". She picked up a baby, and put her in the crib. The baby cried, but she stopped after a minute. I was shocked! Not only because it worked, but also because Mum never mentioned this trick before!

A couple of days ago, Sarah slept through the night. For the first time. She's almost 18 months old. However, Bethie did not sleep through the night. She seldom does. That night in particular, she woke up the first time because she had a bad dream. The second time she woke up was because her water bottle was empty. I complained to Mum again. I would like to sleep through the night. Sometimes, I am up 4 or 5 times a night, and I don't have a newborn. All of my children should be in bed by 7:30pm and sleep for about 12 hours. That's my rule, but none of them obey me!

Mum said "That's ridiculous! Tell the twins that you have had enough of their nonsense!". It sounded like good advice to me. Within minutes, Bethie was calling me upstairs. I marched up those stairs ready to give 'em Hell. I walked right up to Bethie's bed and said "I have had enough nonsense tonight! I don't want to hear from you until tomorrow!". With dancing eyes, my baby looked at me, smiled and said, "Will you listen to my nonsense tomorrow?". Sigh. She's funny like her Daddy.

Wednesday, October 14

Same Place, Different Year

Some things change, and some things remain the same.

Katie and Bethie - age 2 (almost 3)

Bethie and Katie (4 years old)

Sunday, October 11

Lookin' Good

Mum got the girls some new dresses. They are super cute. She also got identical dresses for all three girls. I love it when I can dress them up as triplets! It also makes me chuckle to think of 10 years from now when Sarah looks back at the photos of her growing up. She will see a picture of herself at 17 months wearing a little red dress with little Scottie dogs on it. Flip through the album, and she will see herself at age 4 wearing the same dress (a hand-me-down from the twins). Cracks me up!

Anyway, the dresses Mum got for the girls were a big hit. The twins wanted to wear them right away. I told the twins that they had to wait because I had to get them stockings first. I would go out this weekend and get them the stockings so they could wear their new dresses on Thanksgiving.

Katie freaked out. She said "Why are you trying to trick us?". I was surprised. I had no intention of tricking anyone. I meant it when I said that I would get them stockings this weekend. Katie cried "We get stockings on Christmas, not on Thanksgiving!". She was quite right. I clarified things by saying "I will buy leotards this weekend so you can wear your dresses on Thanksgiving. These leotards will not be stuffed with chocolate and other treats. Instead, you will put them on your legs. You may not wear your dresses before I have purchased leotards."

Turns out that I was wrong. They wore their dresses on Friday, without leotards or stockings. Instead, Katie work polka-dot socks. Bethie wore white and pink striped socks. Both girls had their socks yanked up to their knees. And they were thrilled.

Friday, October 9

Easter In December

The other night at dinner, I asked the twins what they would like for Christmas. Katie was very specific. She asked for a chocolate on a stick that was in the shape of a heart and had Disney princess foil on it. I knew exactly what she wanted. Big Sarah got them each these chocolates last year. They were a hit, I guess.

I said that the chocolates on a stick were an excellent idea, and asked if they would like anything else. Katie said that she would also very much like chocolate covered raisins. Not a problem, I reassured her. Again, is there anything else she would like? Katie replied that she would like any kind of chocolate.

I sighed. I explained Christmas to them again. I left out the Baby Jesus part (because of Bethie and her obsession with the little boy down the street), and focused on Santa coming while they slept to give them gifts. I said "Santa brings gifts like books, or toys, or clothes, or pyjamas...". Bethie interrupted me and said "...or food".

At this point, I feel the need to reassure people that I do I feed my kids. Lots. Many times a day. Also, they used to get so many "treats" that we now refer to them as "staples". That is until I banned desserts altogether, except on Saturday evenings. So why they are praying for food like starving children is a mystery to me.

I was now annoyed with the children. I said that Santa would bring them some chocolate, but the focus would be on gifts. Bethie got upset. She said "Last time Santa brought chocolate. He left little bits of it at our bedroom door going all the way down the stairs". Dan said, "I got it. You want Easter for Christmas!".

Thursday, October 8

An Apple A Day

I forgot to take the sticker off the apple. This barely slowed Bethie down!

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Tuesday, October 6

The Digestive Process of Our Children

The digestive process of our girls begins with me lovingly preparing a healthy meal for my children. Dan insists that every meal have "a carb, a veg, and a meat". These items are beautifully arranged on plates, and presented to my little ones.

The partial breakdown of the food begins at this point. Some of the food flies through the air as they heave their plates away from where they are sitting. Some of the food is placed directly on the table with the announcement that it is too disgusting to go down their precious little throats. Most of the food is smeared directly onto the glass table. Very little of it is eaten.

From the table top, the food then proceeds to the floor. Here it will remain for varying amounts of time. It is at this point that "muscle group" (aka our little angels) is introduced. These rogue muscles scatter the fallen food across the entire kitchen. The three muscles then churn, squash, stomp on, and grind the food into the linoleum. After approximately 15 minutes, the mushed up food hardens like granite.

Chemical agents, such as Lysol and Mr. Clean, are then introduced. These chemicals help to further break down the food. However, Lysol alone won't do the job! It requires a whole lot of "elbow grease". For particularly difficult bits, threatening and yelling will motivate the muscle group to cease and desist from the further speading of the food. But not always.

The digestive process ends with the "processed" food being scooped up and tossed into the garbage. The most obvious sign that dinner is over occurs when I freak out. I swear up and down that the following evening I am going to cook the dinner and then throw it in the garbage, thus bypassing the entire digestive system and saving myself the grief.

Monday, October 5

The Hard Life of Dan

Murphy's Law rules my life. Everything that can go wrong, does. Dan has the opposite luck. Things just seem to work out for him. Not that he notices. I often say he is Mr. Magoo. He walks blindly through life, oblivious to the scrambling done by everyone else to ensure that he feels happy, safe, and loved.

Yesterday, Dan was moaning about the rain. He claims that it only rains on his days off (he's also a bit of an Eeyore). I looked out the front window and said, "Isn't it funny? It's pouring rain but it's also sunny". I couldn't get over how beautiful the rain looked in the sunshine. Dan wasn't impressed. He seldom is.

I left him to sulk, and walked into the kitchen in the back of the house. There was an enormous rainbow. It was absolutely huge! I called the twins to come and have a look. We all enjoyed the beauty of the rainbow. Except Dan. He, of course, was bored by it.

It was then that it occurred to me. It wasn't raining in the back of the house, but it was still raining in the front of the house. That's pretty cool! I raced out the front door and realised that it the rain seemed to stop on our property line. Our neighbours were getting rain, and we were getting sunshine! I couldn't believe it! Dan said that he has seen this happen all the time and didn't know why I was so amazed. Whatever.

I pointed out to Dan that it was pouring rain, except on our property. It was as though God heard Dan's plea for the rain to stop and said, "Okay. Only for you though!". Dan couldn't enjoy it. He only focused on the rain elsewhere. He was being too much of an Eeyore to realise that this was another Mr. Magoo moment.