Sunday, September 30, 2012

It's Not Easy To Be The Tooth Fairy --spoiler alert ;)

So, sometimes, I'm very impressed with my mom skills...and sometimes, I'm not.  This week was a little of both. 

On Tuesday, as I was pulling into the pick-up lane at school, I could see William running to me, a little unnecessarily enthusiastically.  He was going so fast that all I wanted to do was open the window and ruin his fun by telling him to settle down. 

But, when he got in the van and showed me his tooth in his hand; I understood why he was so excited. 

So, when we got home, he promptly tossed the tooth down on the couch and lost it again.  I would have been more surprised that the tooth seemed to have disappeared from existence, if not for the fact that I live with William.  He's got mad skills in this area.  :)  As he searched, there was a part of me that was relieved that I might not have to figure out how to get some tooth fairy cash.  Especially since, I evidently had the bright idea to leave a dollar before.  (This was something that he happily pointed out, on the way home.)  So, the random change that I had in my pocket wasn't going to cut it.  But, despite my potential to save some money, I still felt bad for him, of course. 

So, he went to bed with no tooth and woke up with no money.  He seemed resigned, but I did hope that the tooth would still turn up.

And, it did.

The next afternoon, he found it in Lizzie's room.  Lizzie's room??  Sigh.  He was thrilled, but by bedtime, I had forgotten all about it.  So, the next morning, when he woke up with no money from the tooth fairy, he was less resigned. 


Not sure how to save this.  I suggested he write the Tooth Fairy a note because maybe she didn't know about the tooth since it was on a different day.  He said that he could see that The Tooth Fairy had moved the tooth, even though, she hadn't taken it with her or left money.  Not sure how to respond, I blindly stuck to my "write a note" defense.  He agreed.

Fast forward to around midnight when I suddenly remembered that I hadn't dealt with the tooth.  But, since I was pretty sure that he hadn't left a note and wasn't sure if he was completely asleep; I took a gamble and figured that I would help him write a note tomorrow.  This was a bad idea.

The next morning, William came out sadly and said that she hadn't left him anything.  Ready with my answer, I said "Well, did you write a note?"  He said that he didn't, so I told him that he needed to write a note.  This is when he told me that the Tooth Fairy had taken the tooth.  What??  Again, I didn't know how to respond.  He added that it was "kind of sad that she didn't leave me anything." 

So, I sent him off to school and rushed home to try to save the Tooth Fairy's (aka my) butt.  My plan was to put a dollar bill somewhere so he would think she dropped it.  I spent way too long trying to decide where to put it and finally just dropped it.  You know, to make it real.  Yep, I managed to drop it in the slit between his mattress and bed frame.   So, instead of a quick fix, I had to lift up his mattress and box spring to find the dollar bill that he would never find. 

I finally got the dollar bill, dropped it on the floor by his window sill where he had left the tooth, and figured I had saved the day. 

William came home and I waited for him to find it.  Nothing.  The day came and went and he never found the money. 


The next day, I moved it to what might be a more obvious spot.  And, still nothing. 

By the end of the night, I was ready to burst.  So, after bedtime, but before lights out, I went into his room and summoned up all my acting skills (didn't take long).  I said, while trying to be casual, "I was just thinking, have you looked around to see if maybe the Tooth Fairy's money fell somewhere in your room?"

He quickly got up and started to look around.  He went right to the spot where I left the dollar.  He was even using his 3DS as a flashlight.  But, he sat back down and said "Nothing's there."

Seriously, kid?  Work with me here!

"Oh, that's too bad" I said as I tried to casually walk over to the magic spot.  Only thing missing was a nonchalant whistle. 

I pointed to it.  "Hey, what's this?!" 

He rushed over and looked where I'm pointing, but still didn't see anything.

"Right there, William."  I said, pointing more and more emphatically. 

Finally, he saw it and happily grabbed the money.  He, slightly anti-climatically, said "yay!" and I left the room, silently cursing the creator of the Tooth Fairy.

I was glad that was over.  Or so I thought. 

The next night, I came into the living room and William showed me his tooth that he found in his room.  Again, with my lack of quick reactions, I said something to the effect of "That's weird" while taking advantage of the fact that I was on the phone with my sister and said I'd talk to him about it in  a few minutes. 

So, a few minutes later, thanks to my sister's ability to think fast (she got it all, apparently), I asked William if he thought that maybe she dropped it on her way out of his room.

"Yeah, she did!"  He said, confidently.  I guess he had already worked all that out. :)

Ok, now it's over! :) 

What have I learned?

I no longer particularly like the Tooth Fairy.

I should confiscate any lost teeth, immediately.

And, yeah, maybe I should get my kid's eyes checked. :)

Not sure that I'm ready to quit my day job yet... :)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Pirates Get The Best Doughnuts

I wouldn't say that I'm a huge pirate fan.  But, when I heard that Krispy Kreme was giving out doughnuts on "Talk Like A Pirate Day," I suddenly became interested.

Thanks to facebook, I learned that they would give a free doughnut to anyone who came in and talked like a pirate.  Pretty cool!  Or, they would give a free dozen doughnuts to anyone who came in dressed like a pirate.  Extremely cool!

Well, it's go big or go home with fewer doughnuts, so I was immediately determined to dress us all up as pirates.  Of course, the question was, what's the limit?  Would they really give us a dozen per pirate?  It seemed doubtful.  But, I was happy with even one free dozen.  So, it was on. :)

So, despite the fact that I got the bright idea to ebay my pirate costume, a month ago, because I was sure that I wouldn't wear it again and hadn't taken the time to get the kids' costumes figured out; I rushed home on Talk Like a Pirate Day determined to pirate us up!  I sent the kids to their costume toy box with instructions to pull out everything piratey that they saw, tracked down Brian's Dread Pirate Roberts' costume, and opened my closet and realized that I didn't really have anything that would work.  That's when I started to panic a little.  I mean, come on, free doughnuts were at stake!

Anyway, there's no room for angst in this blog.  I figured it out and looked pirate enough to pass the Krispy Kreme test.  We had enough components to create three mini pirates.  And, Brian was quickly ready with his costume and his cool Pirate voice. :)  (I don't have a cool pirate voice...)

We went to Krispy Kreme and learned that they would indeed give us a dozen doughnuts per pirate.  Ok, five dozen doughnuts???  Maybe not literally the happiest moment of my life, but it was probably in the top ten. 

We sat down, quickly went through our first dozen, aarghed at strangers, and then headed home with sugar highs.  

Not a bad afternoon.  Not at all. :)

Always posing

All sugared up :)

Dread Pirate Roberts, at your service


Our little Pirate Family

Extremely happy with my loot! ;)


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Clucking for Free Chicken

This is what I love about my family.  Brian came home from work and I was expecting a mostly boring night since he was planning to watch a football game.  I was fine with the football, but didn't expect much excitement in my evening.  So, he comes home and says that someone from work said that Pollo Tropical was having a promotion for International Chicken Lovers Day.  (Did anyone else not know that it was International Chicken Lovers Day?)  Apparently, if you show up in yellow and cluck like a chicken, they'd give you a free chicken dinner.

Free chicken?  All we have to do is dress in yellow and cluck?  These are two things that I can do!
Heck, the kids were already in yellow.  I'm famous for color coordinating them, but this time it was an accident. :)

So, after investigating and liking Pollo Tropical on facebook, Brian and I got yellowed up.  Brian was forced to wear his Spongebob shirt which he never intended to wear outside the house. Who are we kidding?  I'm the one who wears it in the house. And, I ended up in a heat-retaining yellow jacket.  Small price to pay for 5 free Chicken dinners and unexpected family fun. 

We had a brief, but educational, clucking tutorial with the kids and headed for some free chicken!

Getting ready to go in a do some clucking.  Not so sure about Lizzie...

Antwan is giving me his best enjoying his food pose!

The boys walked in clucking and sat down clucking.

Lizzie is lucky that they gave her chicken.  She refused to cluck.  I guess it's because she preferred the butter.

No time to look at the camera!  We're clucking!

It was fun.  Lots of fun.  And, the food was good.  Really good.

When we got home, football was on the tv, but our bellies were full.  And, here's the important part...I didn't have to cook! :)

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Big Brother Visited, part 3.

Last time...Patrick found all my buttons and pushed them, said thank you and brushed his teeth, and  tried to be nice to his little brother...

Part 2---

And, finally, the rest of the story. :)

So, it became clear, pretty quickly that Patrick wasn’t into anything that I planned.  He liked the movies, but anything else that involved us hanging out?  Forget about it.  He didn’t like the park.  He didn’t like the zoo.  He really, really didn’t like the children’s museum.  Even the arcade didn’t occupy him for very long.  It was frustrating.

Since the zoo seemed to be the least objectionable of my objectionable ideas, we ended up going twice.  We have a membership and I was desperate to make time pass. :)  On one of the visits, Patrick found a wallet in the bathroom and turned it in.  I was pretty impressed and told him so.  But, on the way out, he added that he had kept the $5 that he had found in the wallet.  He insisted that it wasn’t stealing because it had been lost and no one was going to come looking for him for $5.  I told him that it was not his to take and doing the right thing wasn’t about doing it so you won’t get in trouble.  Doing the right thing is about doing the right thing because it’s the right thing.  He kind of sighed, but didn’t bother to argue it.

This led to more talking.  Much to my surprise, he started to talk about his failed adoption.  I think they were well-intentioned people, but it was definitely not a good match.  The more he had normal reactions to a new situation (which is admittedly frustrating), the more they tried to make him become the child that they expected him to be.  Yeah, that doesn’t work.  They tried to be firm, physical, and, in the end, he was basically confined to his room with only a yo-yo to play with.  This is assuming, of course, that his recounts were accurate.  But, after seeing his yo-yo skills (Brian bought him one), it definitely seems possible.

What do you say to that?  I wanted to make it better, but, of course, that’s impossible. 

So, I said “It’s not fair what you’ve had to deal with.  I’m sorry that you’ve gone through all of this.  It just plain sucks.”

And, he simply said “It’s all right.”

So, the final days passed.  We hung out at the mall.  That’s when he semi-casually mentioned that a Batman cup would be cool.  Of course, I bought him one.  You know that I have to encourage the Batman love! ;)  We went swimming at a friends’ house.  Turns out that he really likes to swim.  That’s when he started to refer to me as Mommy.  (Instead of saying “Go to your Mommy,” he started saying “Go to Mommy.”)  It was subtle, but seemed noteworthy.  And, on the last night, Patrick put his last $3 from the money that he kept into the kids’ allowance jars.  He said that it was to make up for “what you think was stealing.”  J

He started to make “jokes” about staying.  He started to make plans for coming back for his birthday and Thanksgiving. 

I was feeling attached to him, but I still knew that we were in no position to adopt him, at this point.  (It was also clear that he wasn’t ready, either.)  Our house isn’t big enough.  And, there’s not enough food in the fridge.  Brian and I agreed that it was best for him to go home and we could all see how we felt about things.

It was the last day.  I had spent the night before gathering his random things that had accumulated through the house.  Turns out in this way, he is very much a typical 12 year old.  It took a while for him to start packing.  I guess he didn’t want to go.  I felt bad.  I didn’t want to rush him, but his case worker was meeting us so we had to go.

So, William’s Nintendo 3DS charger had broken and he’d been borrowing Patrick’s.  It had annoyed him, for some reason, when William would ask.  But, there he was, on the last day, telling me that he was going to leave his charger for William.  He said that he could just use his car charger.  I asked him if his foster mother would be upset if he came home without it.  He said she probably would, but he would just say that he lost it.  Now I don’t encourage lying, but I thought his motivation was awfully sweet.  Busted!  You care about your brother!

We got in the car, he buckled without being asked, and I felt like it had been a success.  If I had it to do again, I probably wouldn’t start with such a long visit.  Although it took us that long to figure each other out.  I would somehow figure out some activities that a cranky 12 year old would actually enjoy.  And, I wouldn’t enter into so naively.  But, I would do it again.

We pulled out of the driveway and Patrick quietly said “It was fun.”

I said “Yes, it was.”

And, you know what?  It was.

But, it all shifted when we got to McDonald’s where we were meeting his case worker.  The walls went up.  He got less polite and less interested in anything that we had to say.  He wouldn’t take a picture with us and he barely hugged us good-bye.  He hopped in her van, barely looking back, and then he was just gone.

And, we stood there, watching him leave.  We weren’t sure what to do, so we got in the van and headed home.  I hadn’t gotten the good-bye that I wanted and expected.  And, I was mad.  I knew it wasn't fair.  I mean, I got why he was acting that way.  But, in spite of myself, I couldn't help but be mad at him a little.  

We went home and I focused on the bright side.  It was quieter now.  Not quiet, but definitely quieter.  There was less arguing.  I felt like I could talk freely.  And, I didn’t feel obligated to empty the dishwasher.  I didn’t particularly care if the kitchen was clean in the morning.

As I mentioned, I found out the very next day that my beloved English Setter had Lymphoma.  Between that and getting the kids ready to go back to school, I had plenty to distract myself with. 

I thought of him.  I thought of him when I found out that Ben was sick because Patrick is an animal lover and gave Ben lots of attention.  I thought of him when I found the random things that he left behind like socks.  I wondered if he missed us.  I wondered if he was telling people that I yelled at him in a grocery store.  I thought about him and wondered about him.  But, I still wasn’t really dealing with it.  In fact, I had myself pretty convinced that I didn’t particularly care at all until the other night when I had a dream about him.

I don't remember the details, but he was back at our house.  I woke up and I realized that I missed him.  I finally emailed his case worker.  I know that I waited too long, but hopefully, the universe will cut me some slack for that.    
Turns out that he’s doing mostly ok, but he’s having some issues.  Just like that, all of my maternal, protective instincts kicked in.  I forgave him for not giving me the good-bye that I wanted.  (For my sake, not his.)  And I just wanted to help him.  I still don’t know if we’ll ever be in a position to adopt him, but I do know that I want to be a positive and loving presence in his life.  And, I know that I want to see him again…soon.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

How Not To Be Cool

I often wonder what my kids will think of me when they're older.  Sometimes it helps me remember to take the extra time to have special moments because I know they'll remember them.  Sometimes it's the reason I insist on traditions so they can continue them and look back on them, years later when we are gone.

And, sometimes it just makes me feel like a dork.  :)

So, the other day, Lizzie and I were in the kitchen.  I was busy doing some tedious kitchen activity like loading the dishwasher.  Lizzie said randomnly while pointing to a bottle of water, "Mommy, can we shake this up?"

I couldn't help myself, I broke into song and dance channeling The Beatles "Shake it up, baby! Shake it up, baby! Twist and shout!"

I was enjoying myself tremendously until I was rudely interrrupted by my annoyed little girl yelling, in her best teenager voice, "Mommy!!!"

I looked at her.  Her fists were clenched, in frustration, but she did have a slight smile on her face.

She looked at me, sternly and said "Mommy, shake it down."

Shake it down?  Good play on words, little girl!

So, I've learned two things from this experience.  My daughter is very clever and I'm going to be a source of constant embarrassment to her when she's actually a teenager.  But, I suppose by definition, that is my job. :)
Mom, I'm on the phone.


P.S.  Part 3 to the Patrick story coming very soon!  I'll finish it up this weekend! :)