The Mischief of Minions

Kids, Family, Insanity…

Hockey girl!

My husband is a crazy hockey nut, especially a fan of the Chicago Blackhawks. Their convention is this weekend, and my excited husband and his hockey pals were gathering in the kitchen, examining their “game-worn” and making plans for their big weekend.

My daughter, all excited at their arrival and caught up in the fun, immediately ran upstairs and started digging through drawers to don herhockey jersey. She was one of the boys all night – but by far the cutest!!

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Bedtime anguish – can you help me? Please?

So cute when she’s sleeping -but so hard to get her to sleep!

Seriously, this is ridiculous. The pain of knowing I am losing a war with a three-year-old is humiliating. And costly. I am an awful parent. My daughter has giant black circles under her eyes. WE have giant black circles under our eyes.

When it was just one child, things were easier. I had more hands. I had more patience. We could attempt the bedtime routine thing with books and music and it was enough. It isn’t anymore.

I admit it: I struggle somewhat with structure in my own life. I know that I should start putting her to bed at 7:30pm, walk her to her room, get her into her pajamas, brush her teeth and read a book.

But when I get home at 7pm from work, that makes it hard: I want to see my kid; I want her to know me. So we play. We dance. We color. We talk. We eat. I lose track of time with frequency in the midst of having some quality time with my family.

But even when I try to get her in bed by like 8:30pm? It’s a battle. And we’ve been weak: we’ve let her go to her room and read books on her own. On occasion, she’s managed to slip into bed with an iPhone and play games. We’ve done whatever we could do to keep her away from her brother long enough for him to actually go to sleep, and it is backfiring miserably.

She gets jealous that he is getting the attention. She cries, she yells, she bargains; we threaten, we wheedle and cajole. Last night, I found her downstairs watching the TV we had left on, bug-eyed because it was a seriously scary show and the poor thing couldn’t look away.

I’m near the end of patience with what to do. I’m out of ideas.

I am pulling out my already predominantly gray hair (you know, under the awesome highlights). So this is a plea: Readers, those of you kind enough to read my musings and struggles, how do I fix this? How do I solve the bedtime problem before she hits puberty??

Please, your comments and wisdom and advice are desperately needed!


One Liners: Captain Hook

S: “Mommy, you’re Scully and I’m Captain Hook!”

M: “Well, Captain, where’s your Hook?”

S: ::looking down:: “I don’t have a hook. I only have this bag…”. ::dramatic sigh::


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Plotting mischief

I took this the other morning watching the kids play. It is a story without legitimate ending but amazing potential: the look on my son’s face combined with the dangerous elements of a full roll of toilet paper and the limitless imagination of his big sister… Oh the havoc they will wreak together!

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Creative Watercolor

My daughter LOVES to paint and color, and spends most of her play-time doing so – sometimes painting for hours at a time.    One of her favorite mediums is watercolor: she loves to mix the water with the brush and swirl it around; she loves using her easel.  She seems to have an innate sense of color (like her mama!) and gets better all the time at shape and structures.  She made this for me a while back, and called it “Rainbow House” – I keep it at my desk at work and find myself staring at it and smiling.

Last night however, when I returned home, my little artist had found a new object to paint: her one-year-old brother.   He was all smiling, toothy grin on the front, but had a bright red paint line bisecting the length down the back of his skull.  When questioned, my darling girl enthusiastically assured me that “he really wanted her to paint his head” and that “it made him really happy” when she did so.

In fairness, I suppose he does make pretty good canvas: at one his very round head is still very bald.  I can see the appeal.

She should enjoy herself now, I suppose, while he doesn’t know what’s going on.  I suspect she’s going to be in real trouble in a year or two when he catches on!

“Rainbow House” – by S. Age. 3

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A picture of childish innocence…

Approximately 5 minutes after I took this picture, my beautiful daughter (clearly all sweetness and light) purposely sprayed her baby brother in the face with the hose and proceeded to start to dig up the lawn.

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Our iPhone, our nanny…

I could lie and say we are great and highly interactive parents all the time but let’s get real: we’re exhausted. A few moments of peace or a second to close our weary eyes is welcome relief.

Enter the iPhone, chalk full of engaging kiddie games and interesting programming. My 3-year-old can download apps and order movies from Netflix; my one-year-old flips through pictures with ease.

Now don’t get me wrong: my children play a great deal. They have way too many toys, dress up clothes, and art supplies. They run and laugh and chase.

It’s just SCARY to me how fast they pick up technology though. I mean, I think myself pretty savvy personally but I have books and articles to go on, while their learning is all intuitive and figure it out.

I am a little scared about what that means down the line. Does it mean that the children are smart or that technology will end up making us all dumb?


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Destroy and learn?

My son’s morning typically begins with the same mission: “search and destroy – eating optional”.

The picture below was taken just this morning: besides systematically examining and deconstructing the play mat, my son also makes a beeline for anything that looks like a marker, preferably one my daughter was kind enough to leave uncapped: the messier the better. His other love? He will pass a giant pile of toys entirely if there is some kind of tag or receipt on the floor. Perhaps he is doing cost analysis?

This is one strange kid. He has, since birth, rubbed and patted his own head when drinking a bottle. He examines his hands from every direction, as of putting together some odd baby Rubik’s cube. He has a laugh like a braying donkey and speaks in pterodactyl and you would think forcing my eyelids open with his chubby fists is the coolest thing ever (my eyelids disagree): is he trying to figure out how they work or does he just like to hear me squeak?

I admit it, I don’t understand it but I cannot help but admire the little chap. I love the heck out of him and he fascinates me daily. I just hope that once his verbal skills move past “mama” he can explain some of this to me. In the meantime, I choose to believe it is all a part of his strategy development for eventual world domination.


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