Back by popular demand, I present to you my Tuesday in a vine post.
Today was extra special because I got to mow the lawn.
High times happening up in here. But it didn’t get on video. So please note that. I mowed the lawn.
So today consisted of Luca getting a hair cut, which I temporarily made into a mohawk which made him angry, as you’ll see, since he didn’t even want his hair cut in the first place. But then at the end, when he realized he had “daddy hair” he was fine.
Mae didn’t want to wear clothes at all today. I was fortunate to even get her to leave the undies on for the first part, but after lunch it was all over until nap time. While I was mowing the lawn (because I totally did) she stripped to her underoos. Then we climbed a tree.
It stormed here, and of course, as soon as I loaded the kids into the car to head to the gym so I could teach RPM, it began to hail. That was cool.
Claire got her first cavity filled and did fantastic.
Oh, and we had a “we aren’t scared of a thunderstorm” dance party in Claire’s room.
Sadie was extra annoying today. She’s seriously a silent stalker. No matter where we are, you turn around, THERE SHE IS.
We should count how many times she’s in screen either deliberately or via photo bomb.
Could be fun.
Yes, it’s true. I’ve known about you since I was seven. I was sitting on a black couch with my mother when she handed me a file folder with documents about our father. In it, there were two photos. One of him, one of you three.
I understand you have only known about me for maybe ten years. I just found out this weekend that you even knew I existed. Maybe you had a similar feeling as I did. I felt like the ceiling was coming down on me. I found out that the guy I thought was my father wasn’t and that another man was instead, and he had three sons.
What I found so interesting about it all is that I am technically just as blood related to you as I am to my sister, whom I shared a room with and was my best friend. We played barbies together and told secrets and she taught me how to shave my legs. We, too, had different fathers.
So, since I was seven, I’ve known I was a surprise of mass proportions and that it was OK. I didn’t really set out to find out who my biological father was because I had a dad. Joe took care of me, took me to school, made me breakfast and did all the things a dad should do. So I wasn’t in the market for a new one, and I didn’t really care to add to an already growing collection.
Brother, I know you don’t owe me anything. Any of you. As kids, we just did what we were told and we never asked to have complications set in. We couldn’t control the actions of our parents and life is what it is. But I’m not a bad person, and I’m sure you all are not either.
I was born in Minneapolis not far from where you grew up. I lived there for a few years until we moved to Pennsylvania. We lived here a few years before we went back home for another couple of years, then we finally settled in Clarion, a small town north of Pittsburgh. Needless to say, we moved around a lot. I graduated in 2003. I am 28 years old. I spent a few years in the Army. I learned to drive a stick shift when I was 15 in a parking lot behind my house. I like to draw portraits. I have six tattoos. I don’t consider myself to fit into any prefabbed mold. I am oddly good at rollerblading. I have four kids. I got married in 2006. My husband is a good, honest man. I love to work out probably more than I should. I secretly want to be a general contractor. I like to rearrange my house a lot. I’ve run a marathon and three half marathons and countless other races. I have a dog and two cats. I have a big sister, and two little step brothers. When I was 15 my best friend died and it changed my whole outlook on life. I was a cheerleader in high school, but I swear I wasn’t one of the annoying ones. My biggest regret in life so far is that I’m only fluent in English. I’m a nurse and a fitness instructor and mother. I’m a kind, caring and honest person. I raise my kids with the same ideals that I believe in, which is to always treat others with kindness and the benefit of the doubt. To not judge someone until you’ve walked in their shoes, and to always treat others with respect.
Listen, I’m not perfect. Not in the least bit. Mostly, I have no expectations as to where this will go, if anywhere, and that’s OK. It really is.
I just wanted you to know in my own words who your sister is. I hate that life has, once again, been turned briefly upside down. I know that we’re all in different places in life and things like this are never convenient. It is what it is. Just know I’m here, I’m real and I’m not so bad.
No one ever said you got to pick your family, but sometimes it’s nice to know about them.
So for what it’s worth, I’m glad I know that you know about me.
When I was younger, I used to vow I’d never be a soccer mom.
People, listen. If all soccer could be like what I just experienced this past week, I’d gladly drive a mini-van, iron uniforms and cart the kids off to games every weekend. Because what I saw this past week was kind of incredible.
Sunday, I finally got word back about soccer for Claire this fall, that she would have to participate in a U-6 team that basically involves 30 minutes of kids chasing after the ball in a mob-like fashion. I know, as a parent, we’re supposed to believe that our kids are vastly skilled in any project they undertake, and I get it, but this isn’t like that. Claire is good at some things. She’s OK at some things, too. Sometimes, she’s excellent. One thing I can say for certain is that Claire has natural ability and the drive to want to play soccer. So after I got word about the team she’d be on, I got worried, thinking that if she were to do that kind of soccer, she’d quickly become bored or disappointed. One thing she craves is skill and rules. She wouldn’t get that under U-6. So I asked about U-7 which is an all girls league with actual game play and rules. However, you have to be, you know, seven or at least six and a half. Claire will just be turning six by the end of the season.
I swear, I’m not one to push my kid where I don’t see it beneficial. For example, Claire really has to work hard at taekwondo. It has not come easily to her whatsoever. And it’s refreshing that she has to work so hard, to be honest.
But Claire really, truly loves the sport and has shown Matt and I potential. So the soccer league said that she can be evaluated by a professional on a certain date to see if she’d qualify to bump up. Apparently this happens a lot, however, the director said not to be sad if she doesn’t qualify and has to play U-6.
Of course I wouldn’t be sad. But I’d like to see if she has the potential.
Think of it this way. If you were a fluent reader, but was stuck learning the alphabet all day, you would be bored, too. That’s how I feel Claire is.
So to prove my theory, I enrolled her into a soccer camp for the week. It’s run through PISA which stands for Pittsburgh Indoor Sports Arena. It’s the place that’s literally within a mile of my house. In the past, I’ve had Claire and Luca do their “Happy Feet” program which is a really great way to introduce the sport to kids using songs and little rhymes.
Recently, the Happy Feet Director Coach Ande created a new one for older kids called Future Legends. And this was their first camp.
I didn’t realize they had a camp planned until 24 hours before. Seriously. I emailed Ande and he said it wasn’t too late to enroll and had her show up the next morning. There were only 7 kids enrolled, including Claire. I was happy for this, because that meant more one-on-one with the coaches for the kids, but of course, I know they wanted more kids. But for a first go, I think it was a good size.
The camp was 2 1/2 hours in length and was super reasonable in price (135!) for five days. Claire was the youngest kid enrolled, with the other kids being 6, 7 and 8 years old.
At the end of day one, I emailed Matt to let him know how it went:
“When I got back to PISA to pick her up with about 30 minutes left, Claire was the only kid with any energy left, still running full lengths and chasing the ball. The other six kids were spent and red faced. So what I learned about Claire is A.) she’s determined and B.) she’s got major endurance. She had so much fun. We got home, she ate three chicken hot dogs, drank two glasses of water, took a shower and passed out in bed.
Well worth the money.”
Matt responded: “You made me smile…that’s our girl no doubt.”
Day two, the other kids realized what 2 1/2 hours of soccer meant and they were more apt to playing. The coaches were fantastic, teaching them skills along with playing games – a perfect blend. They’d do simple drills where they’d kick the ball to knock over cones, then they’d play a game involving them to steal soccer balls from a sleeping dragon before it awoke. Then they’d do drills with passing and scoring, then another fun game. It was always interesting – always fun.
Yesterday, they were down to 5 kids because two had strep throat. The one mom informed us that her two kids wouldn’t be at camp today because they were going to be on a plane to California. The other moms said they’d be there, so I planned on showing up, because today was the big pizza party and bouncy house extravaganza.
I got an email last night from Ande saying that during the camp time, there was going to be Happy Feet going on and Mae and Luca were more than welcome to participate in it, free of charge.
So this morning, my mom dropped Claire off while I was at the gym. When I got there a half hour later, Claire was in the bouncy house – and the only kid who showed up.
At first, I felt bad, thinking I was wasting Coach Anthony’s time by having him watch her bounce in a bounce house, but he was having a great time himself.
And here is how today broke down:
I showed up and saw Claire bouncing in the bounce house. Coach Anthony immediately called Luca and Mae over to join Claire and play.
Mae refused to do Happy Feet because she wanted to bounce.
Luca’s age group then had their Happy Feet session and he happily went, listened and did a fantastic job. (Which, yay! Luca likes it! But boo! Now I have to take him to it on a scheduled basis.)
Then they all bounced in the bounce house some more.
How long did they bounce? TWO HOURS, PEOPLE. Two! They were sweaty, red faced and full of smiles.
I chatted the entire time with Coach Anthony. He is a really awesome guy. Maybe two or three years younger than me and clearly loves his job.
He told me that he thinks Claire could easily contend to play with the 7 year olds. He thinks she has a really good shot, in fact. He told me that her skills were very good but more importantly, she asked questions. Appropriate questions and then when she got her answer, she tried to do what she learned. He said all good signs. Plus, he said, “She has endurance for days and the heart to do it. That alone is going to work out for her.”
After the bounce house, Coach Anthony served all my kids pizza and carrot sticks and sat with them and we talked hockey.
He didn’t care that Claire was the only paying client. He had a great time all week and was glad that he still got to sit and eat pizza with a bunch of kids (because that’s what I have, a bunch of kids) and even chat with an adult.
When noon rolled around, I told the kids it was time to go and Claire asked Coach Anthony if she’d see him tomorrow. I told her that today was the last day, but next camp, she’ll be in. Coach Anthony said, “You hear that Claire? This isn’t the end. You’ll be seeing me again!”
And that’s the truth. It was money very, very well spent.
People of Pittsburgh, listen to me! If you have kids, you need this in their lives. I am so impressed with everything. I have not one disappointment whatsoever.
And I look forward to next time.
I was all ready to write a post about the Derecho that came through last night, but truth be told, my brain is too fuzzy to even remember what happened last night. I know it began with thunder at 1 am which lead to Claire sleeping sideways in our bed, to Mae stripping naked to pee in a sort of delirium at 2 and then it snowballing from there. By 6 am, we were all (minus Audrey) sleeping in Claire’s room either on the floor or in her bed in vast disarray, when the power went out.
Needless to say everyone is napping and my head is still on my shoulders far as I know.
There are times when having four kids is really inconvenient. And I’ve learned two perfect reasons why lately. The stomach flu and thunderstorms. There are just too many kids and not enough adults.
The past week, Claire has had a soccer camp that was totally last minute. When I say last minute, I mean, I reserved her spot at 9 PM on Sunday night and showed up for her first day 12 hours later. It’s been wonderful and Claire has caught on beautifully to the sport. On top of that, she is excited about doing a fall soccer league.
Pros, the coaches are extremely good looking so it makes the time pass. And I suppose they’re knowledgeable and stuff – whatever. No, seriously. They are really good with the kids and Claire, since Monday, has improved exponentially.
The camp is literally less than a mile from my house. If I didn’t live on a dangerous back road with a ginormous hill (ask Jess, she knows!) I’d walk. So there’s a con. Another con, it’s 2 1/2 hours long. So there arises the question, do we stay, do we go? Monday, I took the three remaining children to Trader Joe’s for groceries. Tuesday we ran to Dick’s Sporting Goods for some shin guards. Yesterday we came home for Audrey to take a nap. Today we stayed the whole time.
Staying the whole time, when we’re all functioning on very little sleep is no fun. Aside from Audrey who wasn’t affected whatsoever by the storm and ended up sleeping in a 9 hour stretch and then a final 3 hour stretch, Luca probably got the next best sleep with a whopping 6 hours.
Seeing a 2 year old with little sleep playing on bleachers and running nonstop for 2 1/2 hours isn’t fun, people. They get all cranky and annoying. And very, very clumsy. I was surprised, however, that she kept it together for the most part. And when I said bedtime, everyone went straight to the bathroom and then promptly to bed. So there’s an upside.
About a month ago, I started seriously running again. I average running about 4 times a week. So on top of the three spin classes a week I teach and the two body pump classes I take, it’s a lot. I’ve been smart so far and have been listening to my body, so on days like today when my body says, “REST,” I rest. But it’s feeling so nice to be back to it, even if it’s just 20 minutes on a treadmill. I’m currently training for a 5k, which will be the first 5k I’ve run since I was 6 months pregnant with Mae. I’ve got an unrealistic goal of between 24-25 minutes and the more, let’s just try to beat my current PR of 26:02. The race is Wednesday, so we shall see.
The funny thing about having double days is that I actually have more energy. And it usually makes me feel less lazy. The kids keep me company downstairs by spinning in the office chair or playing with random toys that are down there and Audrey loves watching. So it’s doable. Or I just wait until they nap and Claire has her quiet time in her room and I knock out a few miles. Since treadmill running is so boring, I don’t do it for distance. So when I have 20 minutes to run, I try to get in as much distance as I can, but work more on intervals. I’ll warm up at a 6 mph pace, crank it up to 7 mph for a mile, then do a quarter mile at 8 mph and then back down to 6.5-7 mph between bursts. It’s fun and I usually end up with just under 2.5 miles in 20 minutes. Keeps the brain occupied most of all.
And during all of this running and spinning and lifting, it’s been getting warmer outside. So I’ve been avoiding putting on shorts because they were all pre baby shorts and size ridiculous shorts and do I really want to go there shorts.
But yesterday I went there because I found a drawer filled with summer clothes that I haven’t worn in possibly two summers, maybe even longer and wouldn’t you know it? I was able to slip on a pair. Thinking it was a fluke, I tried on another pair that I remember clearly not being able to fit in last summer before I was even pregnant with Audrey. They fit, too.
I shook my head. This has to be a joke. A.) I’ve had four kids. FOUR! I shouldn’t be able to fit in this stuff! and B.) Four kids, people. That takes a toll on your body.
I read the tag. Single digits.
I rubbed my eyes, looked again.
Then I texted my mom.
(Because that’s what you do, people, when something big happens. You always tell your mom first. Especially when you’re 28.)
I feel like I have won the lottery. Because I did NOT want to go clothes shopping. Remember the part where I said I had four kids? Yah, seeing that in three mirrors at every angle under really bad fluorescent lighting isn’t good for one’s psyche. Sure clothes may fit me now a days, but the body under the clothes still needs some work. That’s not to say that I’m not super proud of myself for my personal dedication and results, but let’s get real here. I’ve got stretch marks in multiple places. I’m pale. I have uneven skin and probably when all is said and done, I’ll probably have some loose skin. But I don’t plan on doing much bikini modeling, so I’m cool with that. I’m still strong and working hard and the artist in me loves that my body is a constant work in progress.
So today, when I tried on a third pair of capris that fit easily, I gave a little fist bump and went on about my day like it ain’t no big thing.
But it totally is.
It would have been my day in 3 minutes and some odd seconds, but when I uploaded the videos to my computer, it decided to erase five of them, which might I add were of Claire reading me a bedtime story and Luca eating his vitamins without using any hands. Meh. I’ll get it again tomorrow. We’re pretty routine around these parts.
So yes, my previous post was all woe is me and I’m so sad and stuff, and I still stand by that, but when I looked at my day taken over the course of 7 second videos, it really wasn’t so bad. But in the moment? Yes, it was annoying. It got better as it went along.
On the upside, I taught myself the entire new RPM release in a few hours and successfully taught it last night with only one mistake. So win.
What did Thursday consist of? Rain. Lots of rain. We needed the rain, so that’s good, but still. Rain. So we watched Rio in the morning. After the kids watch a movie it’s customary that they dance through the credits. So you’ll see that. Also, when Audrey is flipping out on me, so is Mae. Double win. When it rains, it pours here, people. It was also plank Thursday, so any time my phone would chirp on the hour, every hour, my kids would remind me that we had to hold planks. It’s a group effort around here. I got to run through the rain to get the car twice for the gym, too. Something about that’s pretty freeing.
Lastly, since my phone or computer or both erased the cuteness of my kids doing cute nightly rituals, I recorded Matt. He hates it when I annoy him. So he burped in protest. Plus I caught him sneak eating the kids’ frozen yogurt.
“A long December and there’s reason to believe
Maybe this year will be better than the last
I can’t remember the last thing that you said as you were leaving
Oh the days go by so fast”
Days like today I get a little down. It’s rainy, it’s chilly, we’re all fighting off some sort of allergy or cold and we’re all a little moody.
I walk through the halls over and over again chasing after one kid or another and barking at them to pick up something that they inevitably will drop again or leave in another annoying location. I feel as if it will never be clean.
I look at the playroom and see boxes of hand-me-down clothes that I sorted through and won’t use, because I got 10 boxes and Audrey’s drawers are only so deep. Where will I put them? Give them away? Give them back?
The dining room needs a fresh coat of paint. Aside from the fact that I should invest stock in Magic Erasers, they can only take off so much crud before it takes off a layer or two of paint with it. But the last time I painted the room, Matt got frustrated with me because I slopped a lot of it on the ceiling.
What do you expect when I have to hurry to get it done because I have a thousand kids? Sure, sure. I should wait until I have time. But when is that time exactly? Where is it that I can dedicate a solid two hours of paint time so I can get perfect edges? Clean lines? No mess on the floor? I guess I could finally get around to figuring out how to install crown molding. That’s been on my bucket list for … how long have we lived here? Seven years? OK, seven years.
And then I sit in the quiet nursery with Audrey laying on me, asleep, where I think about where I was this time last year.
Oh yes. I was done having kids.
Now, I wouldn’t trade Audrey in for anything. She is absolutely fantastic and I love her to pieces. But again, a year ago, I was almost to the point where I could do things. Leave the house without it being a giant hullabaloo. Perhaps NOT be in the house during the afternoon hours. Not have to physically strap a kid to me just to get to the grocery store, and if I forgot something while shopping, I could easily go and get it.
Does bringing four kids into a grocery store at four in the afternoon for a can of beans sound like fun to you?
And I know I could put my kids in preschool and such, but for me, personally it’s A.) a nuisance having to pick up kids at various hours depending on age and nap times, B.) they have the rest of their lives to be in school if they so choose, and C.) I’m cheap.
I’ve been cranky lately. It’s no one’s fault but my own. Partly because having an infant around makes me lazy. Where can we go when she has to nap in an hour? If she doesn’t get her nap, then she’ll be cranky for the daycare ladies when I teach. Walking around the neighborhood is boring. The kids are having too much fun building Legos and I got over that excitement a month ago. Maelie wants to go to the playground. Luca wants to build. Claire wants to bike. Audrey wants to sleep.
But then I notice the female cardinal perched on the ceiling fan outside on the deck from the silence of the house. She’s just sitting there. Enjoying her view and cover from the rain. It can be that simple.
I’ve tried long and hard to figure out what my malfunction has been lately. Why am I so annoyed by every other blogger coming out with these long winded tales of how they’re good parents despite the fact that they aren’t doing it to some code that I missed? It’s a long winded tale of truth, yes, but we get it. I get it. I’m there with you. Slogging through the muck. Wishing days away. Praying for nap time or bed time or Matt comes home time. For what? Why? Is there something I could do better with my time?
I looked back at some old videos from when it was just Claire and me. Simpler times. Times before I blogged, before I used facebook. When I had no idea half the time where I left my cell phone and could care less. When we would go for long walks and drives to Clarion to see my mom. When I made time for others. I used to get my hair done professionally and I’d even indulge in a sending Claire to my mom’s overnight so I could enjoy time to myself.
But who wants to take four kids at once? And when I’m sitting for the tenth time today breastfeeding, what am I supposed to do with my time? I look up races I’d love to take part in, but then realize that it’s a stupid idea because I hate asking someone to watch the kids at 6 AM just so I can pay to run. And days like today when it’s cold, rainy and we’re all a little off from feeling coldish, facebook is the only view into the outside world that I’ll get.
I consider often deactivating my account and getting rid of my iPhone thinking that’s the reason why I’m feeling this way. Then I think about what I’d do instead. Would I instantly want to hang out with my kids more than I already do? Probably not. They’re older now and like playing with each other and I have to let them. It’s been my mantra since Claire was a wee one that I was going to let them figure out how to function in society without me being there with them every second of the way. As morbid as it sounds, if I were to die tomorrow, I’d like to know that my kids will have each other and truly love each others’ company. Growing up with a single mom who had to work a lot to get by, Carly and I relied on each other for friendship and for that I’m thankful. She’s still the one person I can always rely on no matter what. I want that for my kids. So I facilitate that.
Will getting rid of facebook make me feel less isolated? Heck no. More than posting, I love when other people post. I love Instagram for the actual views into other people’s lives. I love Vine to see it in motion. It makes me happy to see how other people spend their days and know that I’m not alone or that I’m at least not doing it all wrong.
Sure, I’m grateful that I get to stay home with the kids and feel as if I’m in control of how they’re being molded. I’m very fortunate for that. I’m also super fortunate that Matt absolutely loves his job so I feel no guilt bringing in less than him by a million. True fact: every year when I do the tax returns we both giggle at my income versus his. I’ve jokingly called it the “Wow, that’s sad” income. But then Matt brings up some sort of article he read once where it said that if SAHM actually got paid hourly, we’d make 115 dollars an hour or something of the like.
And no, I don’t find the whole getting paid in hugs and kisses a cute term.
Gosh that felt good to vent. By this time next year I’ll be back at it with older kids. Claire will be finishing her first year of school, Luca will be about to enter Kindergarten and Mae and Audrey will be a little bit bigger. And who knows, Mae might even listen to me a bit better.
“And it’s been a long December and there’s reason to believe
Maybe this year will be better than the last
I can’t remember all the times I tried to tell myself
To hold on to these moments as they pass.”
Guys, have you heard of Vine? I poo-pooed it in the beginning when Jessica told me about it. I thought, lordy, I hate watching these 10 minute long videos from people on facebook, let alone a whole app designed for it.
But it’s NOT! It’s only 7 second long videos that you can pick and choose of what you want to record.
And record I did.
I then took all my videos (22 in total) and put them into one movie.
Here’s what a day in the life of Cassie looks like in 3 minutes! (Though I’m sad to report I completely forgot the portion where I corral 4 kids into the gym because that’s like herding cats and well, yah. Sorry. Just imagine me going to the gym and teaching spin. There you go.)
Anyone else on vine? Let me follow you! I love being nebby. And honestly, it’s so much fun to have a glimpse into someone else’s day.
For some reason or another, while sitting on the deck enjoying the beautiful day, Matt felt reminiscent. He started talking about how when he was a kid he had something called a Pocket Rocker.
At the time, he called it a pocket rocket.
This is when I started laughing uncontrollably.
The kids, catching on that Mom thought something was funny started dancing on the bench singing, “Pocket rocket, pocket rocket – yah!”
Let’s back up, shall we?
Take a look:
Apparently that’s how Matt learned the words to “Manic Monday.”
Now, I can assure you, Matt didn’t own a pocket rocket, nor does he today that I know of.
But the damage had been done and the kids were happily singing, “Pocket rocket!”
So this lead me to text my sister, Jessica and Jen. Because that’s what you do when your husband has an epic fail.
My sister immediately started texting lyrics to Manic Monday.
“I wish it were Sunday, ’cause that’s my fun day.”
“My I don’t have to run day.”
Then she said, “I like to listen to my music two songs at a time from my pocket. Oh yeah.”
Jen and Jess had similar reactions with the “OoooooooooooMG,” and “That’s awesome.”
Jen demanded a video.
That is the after effect.
Carly posted the original commercial (seen above) on my facebook page, which Matt smiled and nodded to the entire time because a.) he was right about there being such a thing as a pocket rocker (because there was some heavy doubt) and b.) they are incredible.
So. Now that you all think we’re dirty, dirty people, I’ll leave you with some cuteness:
When I was a kid my grandmother loved to read us the story of the Poky Little Puppy. In it, there are five little puppies who dig a hole under the fence and go out into the wide, wide world. Four of the puppies stay together, but there was always that fifth one who would lag behind. In the beginning his independence was rewarded because he would come in late after the other four puppies were in bed and ate up all the dessert that they weren’t allowed to have because of the fence digging incident.
By the end of the book his siblings get sick of it and when the puppies are sent to bed without dessert a third time, they wait until they think their mother is sleeping, then sneak out of bed and fill in the hole they’d dug under the fence, thus leaving the Poky Little Puppy without a way home. She sees them doing this and rewards them with strawberry shortcake.
Now imagine if you will waking up and getting dressed only to hear your husband ask if Mae is upstairs with you.
“No, she’s not,” you reply.
Then you hear the words no parent wants to hear.
“I can’t find her.”
Maelie is a very independent child. She hates to hold my hand when crossing the street, doesn’t like to come in when I say to and hates being told no. Her new favorite thing to do is repeat things I say. I’ll say, “Go to time out,” and she’ll say, “No YOU go time out!” Then crosses her arms across her chest and gives me her muss face.
See, I’m sure most of you smiled thinking that was so adorable.
It used to be. It used to be hilarious the things Mae would say and do. But in the past few months, since I was about 7 months pregnant with Audrey, she started pushing those boundaries and I feel like my head is just barely above water to keep up with her and her defiance.
She is the child that you have to physically stand over to make sure things get done. You have to squat down to her level and get your nose up against her nose just to get your point across. Because, if you don’t, she’ll flush down a full roll of toilet paper down the toilet and then try to plunge it herself.
This morning she showed Matt just how far she was willing to go to prove her independence. It started at 8:20 when Matt said the house got too quiet. Claire and Luca were upstairs getting dressed and bothering me and he did a quick search of the house to see if he could find her.
See, Mae doesn’t answer when called for, either. So we physically have to go room to room just to find her half the time. She’s just that sneaky.
When Matt said he couldn’t find her, Claire looked out the window and said she saw her going through the neighbor’s yard.
We both ran outside looking for her, but by then she was nowhere in sight. My neighbor has an above ground pool. She recently put on a new lock on the gate so that none of my kids could get in, but still, the first place I checked was in that pool. Matt shouted the gate was closed, but I didn’t care, I still looked.
He went to the front of my neighbor’s house and I took the back, thinking maybe she wanted to go to the field behind our house.
My mind was racing. What if someone picked her up? What if she fell down a hill? What if she was lost? What if she got near the back road where people drive too fast?
Barefoot, I started running. I looked all over. Frantic.
Where the hell was she?
Luca was behind me shouting, “Mae Mae! Come home!”
Right when we were about turn down the path to the field behind our house, I looked to my left and there she was – a block away wandering in the middle of the street by the trailer park. (It’s a nice trailer park, I assure you.)
What the map doesn’t show is the fact that it is very hilly here. The drop from behind my house to the field is about 10 feet.
She was looking around, almost as if she realized she was lost, but powered on, towards the busy road a block ahead.
I screamed her name at the top of my lungs and charged towards her.
She immediately burst into tears.
I’m not sure if it was the fact that she knew she was busted or thought she was lost, I don’t care. I scooped her up and she cried into my shoulder. I started walking back home all the while telling her I was so scared when Matt ran up to me, took Mae and marched her back the house faster than I could gather up Claire and Luca to go back home.
When I got home, the front door was opened and she was sitting on the kitchen counter getting quite the talking to.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen Matt so scared. Ever.
While Mae cried and rubbed the tears over her face, Matt looked at me and plainly said, “I had no idea she was outside. I didn’t even know she had left.”
That, my friends, is Mae. There is no other way to describe her or explain her. That is just who she is.
Once everything calmed down and I stopped shaking (about an hour later) when I got to my mom’s house, where mom had a chat with Mae as well, I was reminded of the things I did as a child.
One involves me walking into the middle of the street by our house when I was Mae’s age. When my mom realized I was missing she found me there, talking to a guy on a motorcycle who was saying, “Where’s your mommy?”
When I was 9 or so, a friend and I went to an elderly man’s house (a friend from the church) to play cards. He lived 5 blocks away and Mom had no idea where we went.
I’ve also been known to hide in clothes racks at the mall. I remember, clear as day, hearing her frantically calling for me and me crying to a sales rep because I lost my mom.
I understand that this is some sort of karma and what not, but seriously. I’ve had enough.
Matt apologized to me, but I simply looked at him and said, “I never once blamed you. It could have been me that happened to.”
People can judge me all they want. But when a two year old makes up their mind to do something, they’ll find a way to do it. And it always happens when you have to pee or are changing the laundry or making lunch. I can’t watch them 24/7 and still get things done. Matt wasn’t BSing on his iPhone. He wasn’t watching TV. He looked away for a minute and things got quiet. It could have happened to anyone.
So right now, the kids are sitting on the floor in front of me playing with Legos while I write my tale. We’re good parents, but we have a sneaky, determined two year old.
Though, judging by the fact that she’s been listening to me very well today, I think she may have learned her lesson.
Audrey likes to tell stories to me. She’s quite chatty for a three month old.
Did you know she’s three months old already?
Great photo, no? Well too bad I keep taking them with my iPhone. You can’t blow those photos up to an 8×10 for the wall. Such a shame. So today I tried to take some photos of her. Problem is, she can see my face when I’m holding the iPhone up to her, but she can’t see me beyond my bulky DSLR.
So I make funny faces at her and smile big and she starts to tell me a story.
It starts with an “Oooh!”
The other day a friend asked me how’s it’s going with Audrey and I replied that I just can’t get enough of her.
I mean, really, could you?
Didn’t think so.