Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Yesterday, Sam was waxing nostalgic about her summer in Utah during lunch.
"Hey, Mom. Do you remember when we were in Utah, and I ate that red snowcone and lots of junk food at the party, and then I came down in the night and threw up all over you in your bed?"

Uhhh, vividly. And some stops on Memory Lane needn't be revisited, Sam. Thanks, though.

Of course, during the same lunch she asked me why food turns into poop and then wanted to know how that process works, so unbelievably enough, I actually began wishing to go to back to talking about her Tiger's Blood snow cone vomit.
Sometimes, I have to either bust out laughing or let out a deep sigh from my toes when I look at my life. I usually choose the laughter, which is probably why Sam seems to have more rather than less of these moments as time goes on. She's working her audience.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Turnabout is Fair Play

Sam loves to get her brother's attention by screaming "PEYTON!!!" at the top of her lungs. It gets him to look or come over about 50% of the time, not that Sam is going to try to find a more efficient method any time soon.
Peyton has decided he's a little tired of it.
Last week, when Sam bellowed "PEYTON!!!" he bellowed right back:

It was the first time I've ever heard him say his own name. Now, if he'd yelled back at me like that, it would probably irritate me to no end, but in this case, I just couldn't stop laughing. Sam looked so confused.

Of course, Sam isn't the only victim of Peyton's mimicry.  I was standing at the bottom of the stairs trying to get Daniel to drop down some laundry for me, so I yelled "Daniel!"
Suddenly, Peyton appears next to me at the bottom of the stairs and yells "Dan-o!"
It looks like we have to be careful what we shout at our house, and maybe when I yell up the stairs, I should stick with "Daddy" instead of "Daniel" unless I'm okay with my husband and son being on a first name basis.

He is growing up so fast!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Early Intervention Therapy

While Sam is pretty good about cleaning up after herself, she prefers to do so accompanied by whining, and several attempts to quit long before the job is done. She ascribes to the kid philosophy that if there are 13 Barbies on the floor, and she picks up 2 of them, her room is magically "clean."  She also has so many "treasures" that have to be visible in her room at all times, that we finally had a long talk and purged the number of stuffed animals she can actually sleep with down to 10. Before the purge, she was pushing 40, and I was afraid she'd fall out of bed in a bid to make room for yet another stuffed Easter duck. For the record, I have absolutely no memory of 90% of these ducks entering our home. Where did they all come from? I blame the grandparents.
In other words, Sam, like virtually every other four-year-old in America, behaves like a hoarder.
I'm not at all concerned about this being lifetime behavior at this point (as a former collector of vast treasures, and messy room keeper myself), but at the same time, I figure it's never too early to explaining the hows and whys of keeping things clean to kids. Plus, my husband (possibly the only kid in history to travel through the preschool period without hoarding and messy tendencies) always appreciates a good word--cough, cough, sermon, cough--on the benefits of tidiness. I figure Sam is better off hearing it from me instead of her father, who gets all glassy eyed with religious fervor when he speaks about Windex and Clorox, and lets not forget Armor-All, the patron saint of proper car care.
It was with all these things in mind that I didn't turn the channel immediately when Sam wandered downstairs during an episode of one of those "Hoarders" shows. Full disclosure: I'm not sure which one it was, "Hoarders" or the other one exactly like it but not called that on TLC, so we'll just call it "Hoarders." I figured I'd wait to see if she noticed it or had any questions.  After a few minutes, I caught her watching and she started asking me about it.
So, we had a really good talk. We talked about why it's important to clean up our things, and how we don't want our house to be more comfy for bugs than people (because unfortunately it was a very infested episode). We talked about how we have to try to make sure not to love our things more than people in our homes, and that is really hard for some people. We talked about how Daddy and I want her to learn to clean up her own things, because someday she'll be big and grown up and we want her to know how to take care of her stuff long before she has her own house. We discussed what it would feel like to come home to a house full of bugs and stuff vs. coming home to a house that is clean and peaceful and full of people that love you. It was a good talk, and she had lots of questions.
She also hopped right to and has been cleaning things much better and without complaining lately! What a difference 15 minutes of a reality show can make! I was even thinking that I might be able to persuade her to prune her collection of egg cartons--each filled with exactly 12 "special rocks" from the yard--down to a more reasonable amount of space taken up in her closet. Like, maybe only 10 cartons. The possibilities were endless!
Then, today on the way to preschool as we wound through our old neighborhood, Sam looked out the window and asked thoughtfully,
"Mom, what do you think? How many of these people's houses are super nasty? Like if they moved, would there be tons of bugs?"
So for all the good we got out of the episode, Sam really is just looking around wondering how many people are secretly disgusting. Which, I've got to admit, is pretty much what I get out of "Hoarders" and those types of reality shows too--how many people in this world are more messed up than me?
All our new found love of a clean home comes with a side of smugness I guess.
Not that any of that is going to stop me from pulling out an episode of "Toddlers and Tiaras" if Sam ever accuses me of being a bad mom. Every time I do NOT spray tan my children or make them wear false teeth, I'm earning that smugness, darn it!