But, I made sausage!

This morning I got up early to make sausage and blueberry pancakes for the kids before school.  I woke them up by opening curtains and gentle nudges.  Three out of four came down to the kitchen dressed, so that was solid.  I helped Diana and Chance wrap their teachers’ flowers (Teacher Appreciation week) in wet paper towels, handed them lunch bags, and watched them get on the bus.  Sylvia was all ready with brushed hair and teeth.  Time-wise we had two minutes to spare.  I sent Evelyn upstairs to get dressed while I labeled the water bottles for preschool, grabbed their lunch bags, and checked that their bookbags were filled with washed sheets for nap time.  Sylvia had her handmade card for her teacher and I shoved Evelyn’s card in my purse.  We were exactly on time and I felt like getting up early was totally worth it.

Evelyn came down dressed and I told her what a wonderful job she had done when I noticed that she was shoving her brother’s pokemon cards into her purse.

“Nope,” I said.  “You can’t go into Chance’s room and take something that doesn’t belong to you.”

Big tears, gulping sobs, total meltdown.  One minute late.

Sylvia called to me from outside.  I went to the garage and used the remote to open the minivan door.   It’s parked in the street because we’re having our driveway worked on, so I stand there to watch her get in safely.  Then I went back inside and find Evelyn scrunched under the bench in the play room.

“Just grab something else for naptime.” I tried to keep my tone chipper.  Seven minutes late.

“It’s in the basement,” she said from underneath the bench.

“Fine, just come on.  Hurry so Mommy’s not late.”  I run to the garage to make sure Sylvia is still in the minivan and not wandering in the street.  Construction workers are coming down my driveway.  Lots of them.  Trying to get the rock settled before the rain.


I walked outside so I can see both the garage door through which Evelyn needs to come and the minivan door that is opening and shutting as Sylvia played with the buttons.  I have zero control over this situation.

Evelyn finally comes outside carrying the whole plastic bin of My Little Ponies.  On top are two Barbie horses.

“You’re not allowed to take all that, Evelyn.”

“You said I could get something from the basement.”  She sat down in the wet grass, crying again.

Construction workers are huddled together watching us and talking.  My face turns red.

“I’ve got to get to work, come on.”  I look at my watch.

Now Sylvia is calling from the minivan asking if I’m coming or not.

“Let’s go,” I yell.  I pick up the bin of toys.  “We’ll figure this out at school.”  I feel the construction workers judging me, thinking I should get spinach and coal for mother’s day.

Evelyn followed me, sniffling.  She cried the whole way to school because I was so mean.  I didn’t look out the window at the construction workers as I drove by.  If I had, I would have rolled down the window and shouted, “I made sausage this morning.  And pancakes.”  I might have honked my horn, too.

At school the teacher tells Evelyn these toys are not allowed.  Evelyn shrugs like it’s no big deal and goes to play.  Both girls give the cards they made for their teachers.  I carry the bin back to the car.  I’m exactly on time because I didn’t take the sandwiches out of the twins’ lunch bags, label them, and put them in the preschool fridge like I was supposed to.

As I pulled out of the preschool parking lot the song “I Need a Miracle” by Third Day comes on.

Gentle reminder.




Mr. Potato Head

Quote: “I consider conversations with people to be mind exercises, but I don’t want to pull a muscle, so I stretch a lot. That’s why I’m constantly either rolling my eyes or yawning.”
Jarod Kintz, It Occurred to Me

During the heat wave a couple of weeks ago, Mike and I took the kids down to Port Discovery in Baltimore.  We had a great time at the museum and we spent the whole day in the air conditioning.  Best part was the kids didn’t fight at all and that is RARE in my house.  In fact, the only one who got in a fight was me…over a Mr. Potato Head.

 Chance and my husband went to the ground floor to play soccer and I took the three girls up to the third floor where there was a special exhibit. HUGE bin of accessories and mounted potato bodies around the outside of the bin. The girls immediately became engrossed in the game.  Other parents came by with their kids for a few moments and then wandered off to another section of the museum, but my kids kept going so I went over to a bench a few feet away.
I did some people-watching, but mostly just enjoyed sitting there watching my kids getting along.  Eventually Sylvia walks away from the table to get my hand and lead me to her creation.  But there is a problem.
She tips her head and then looks over at her neighbor’s creation.  THERE ARE THE LIPS FROM HER POTATO HEAD.  Sylvia reaches over, takes the lips, pushes them into place, nods her head and says, “Here’s the Potato-man I made, Mommy.”
     “That’s great, sweetie.  I really like it.”
Sylvia goes back to creating.
Now, it’s been a couple of weeks so I don’t remember the exact words, but this is pretty close.

Father-Dude:  That’s really great.
Me:       I’m sorry, what?
Father-Dude:  Your little girl just took a toy right off my daughter’s and you didn’t do anything.
                      I look at the cute little girl, smaller than Sylvia, and then at Sylvia.  Both are playing.  Neither is upset.  Neither is complaining.
Me:  It was on her Head first.  Your daughter took it off of my daughter’s.
Father-Dude: Well, she shouldn’t have left the table.
Me:  She left the table to come get me, to show me what she made!
Father-Dude:  Maybe you should have been right here with her.
Me:  The bench is five feet away!  It’s my height if I were laying down.  And she was playing nicely.
                    I wanted to say that I wasn’t a helicoptor parent, but I couldn’t think of the word.  So I rolled my eyes.
Father-Dude: No wonder children are rude.  They learn it from their parents.
Me:  (more eye-rolling)  Whatever.

So I cross my arms over my chest and stand there, helicoptoring, while my girls play. I do a Junie B. Jones huffy-breath a couple of times.  He leans forward to ask his daughter if she needs help.  She doesn’t.  Then Diana asks if I’ll come to her side of the table to look at her Potato-Man.
  I look at the Father-Dude.  “No,” I say in a snotty voice.  “I’m scared to move from here.”
Father-Dude sets his jaw.

Well, now I feel bad.  I’d like to apologize to Father-Dude.  Just because we disagreed didn’t give me the right to do all the theatrics and eyeball rolling.  I stated my case — my daughter didn’t “leave” the table and thus didn’t “give up” her right to the toy.  He was concerned that his child was being robbed.  I get it.
And, I also finally heard what my husband said about how we don’t have to always agree, we just have to communicate.  Dude and I were squabbling about our kids —- the ones who were ignoring the silly adults and getting down to the serious business of play.