all images © Meghan Boyer Photography

Friday, March 22, 2013

Camp Twistypants

That first wiggly tooth.  I couldn't help but check.  Before a single tooth was even wiggly.  But then one wiggled.  Finally.  And I got all wiggly inside.

Lil was going to lose her first tooth.  Three weeks after it first wiggled.

Lillian began teething at three months old.  At Camp Twistypants.  An annual camping tradition, with many beloved friends, on Labor Day weekend.  I can't tell you why it's call Camp Twistypants.  I'd have to kill you.  But I can tell you, pants get twisted.  And pants come off.   Lillian was conceived there.  So it was only fitting that her first tooth would erupt in that exact same spot.  On a 370 acre Christmas tree farm.  In a tent.

The night before her tooth fell out, I tried to pull it out.  I was that excited.  And so was she.

She climbed up into the bathroom sink.  "I'll be in charge of pulling out the tooth."  Grady told us.  I put him in charge of the camera instead.  This is what we got...

A big, black ass.

No idea who this guy is.

How does he keep getting back in?

I told her to jiggle it.  Front and back.  Side to side.   I suggested she twist it.   I tried to grasp it with toilet paper.  Clean, of course.  You never know in this house.  I yanked it with tweezers.  I fed her an apple.  I roped it with dental floss.  And pulled.  I squeezed her neck.  Hey, like I said, you never know.   She got mad.  Then I sat my big, black ass down.  And gave up.

The tooth fell out the next day.  At school.  Lil came home with it.  In a tiny, blue treasure chest.  Taped shut.  I warned her.  Do not untape the box.  Do not show it to your brothers.  Hide it.
Grady begged.  "Please tell me where you're going to put it!" 
Lil headed up the stairs.  She turned to me and said, "Mom, he looks like he's thinking of a plan to get it!  Look at his face!"
Grady found it.  Separated the treasure from its' chest.  And lost it.   I found it.  Lillian hid it again.  Dempsey found it.  And took his turn losing the tooth.
My mom, the infamous nanny, texted me that night.
Nanny  And did u have her rinse several times with warm salted water?
Me       No, you nut ball.
Nanny  That is what u r supposed to do...just like I did 4 u when u were little...u nut ball.
Moral of the story?  Pants get twisted.  Pants fall off.  Teeth get twisted.  Teeth fall out.  And without pants and teeth...we're all a little bit nutty.  At least that's what I keep telling myself.


Friday, March 15, 2013

The Mall

When Lillian was a baby, the two of us would stroll the mall for hours.  Walking.  Looking.  At people.  At window displays.  Stopping to nurse in dressing rooms.  Trying on clothes.  I didn't buy anything.   Not even lunch.  I would pack a turkey sandwich and eat it while we rambled.  I didn't buy coffee.  I wasn't a coffee drinker at the time.  I couldn't grasp the fascination of coffee.   I didn't like hot drinks.  Until Lillian was two.  And we were still calculating Grady's age by months.  And I got knocked up with Dempsey.  Then I started drinking coffee.  While I was nursing.   And pregnant.  Sounds about right. 

Fast forward four plus years.  And two additional kids later.  The mall sucks.  And the kids love it.  Of course they would.

Santa Claus is there.  And the Easter Bunny.  There is a playground.  Chick-fil-a.  Ice cream.  Candy kiosks.  Water fountains.  Penny fountains.  Naked mannequins.  That they like to molest.  While calling her 'mommy'.  Oh, and there's open space.  To run.

Did I mention they like to run?  Head first into trash cans.  They shoulder bump with the shoes.  Displayed atop large blocks.   That fall over easily.  When you run into them. Just sayin'.  Because I know.  They hide amongst the clothing racks.  Grady makes faces at the Easter Bunny.  From afar.  I'm pretty sure that furry white guy still saw him.

That Easter Bunny is going to kick Grady's ass. With his big, fat, fluffy feet.  While Grady sleeps.  On Easter Eve. 

I'm going to leave directions to Grady's room.  At the front door.  Just so he won't be confused.  And I'm pretty sure that bunny will leave him something wrapped in shiny foil.  But it won't be chocolate.  It will be poop.

The worst part?  He was wearing a rosary.  Grady.  Not the Easter Bunny.  The one Father Jeff gave him at preschool that morning.  Doesn't work Father Jeff.  Just thought you should  know.  For future reference.

They like to perform.  On stage.  In the food court.  They're free.  Just in case.  Just in case you may be hiring dinner time entertainment.  Or know someone that is.  They do breakfast too.  The butt shakes are extra.  That will cost you an ice cream cone.

I need a drink.  And it isn't coffee. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

That's Not My Breath! That's My Butt!

Kindergarten is hard.  For Lillian.  And even harder for me.  The teachers?  It's hard to believe that they come back. 

It's tough.  Every.morning. 

The 'kiss and go' lane is brilliant.  You pull up to the front of the school.  Remaining behind the wheel.  With your under four crew, still buckled into place.   You kiss your school aged kid.  And they go.  Into the school.  Except when they don't. 

One day recently, I pulled up to school.  Kissed Lillian.  And she refused to get out of the van.   I had no choice but to drive away.  There was a line of parents just waiting to shove their offspring out the door. 

Oh, don't mind us!  We just forgot our underpants!  Just running back home for a quick sec!  What?  Oh, no, no, no.  My kid isn't refusing to get out of the van.  Why on earth would you think that?  Maybe the fact that she's grasping onto the seat's headrest for dear life?  What is wrong with you people?  What is going on in this place?  Kindergartners can't get ice cream at lunch?  Well this place sucks!  I wouldn't want to go either!

The night before, Lil had asked me, "So, do we get to just play all day tomorrow? Or do we have to learn stuff?"  This is going to be a long year. 

The ride to school, leading up to this particular drop off,  was no indication of what was to come.  She had never actually refused to get out of the van before. 

It was the usual.  Lillian turned to Grady.  "Your breath stinks!  Did you brush your teeth?"  To which Grady calmly replied, "That's not my breath, that's my butt!"  Great.  Just great.

So I pull out of the 'kiss and go' lane, and into the parking lot.  What to do, what to do.  Lillian still has her fingers tightly wrapped around the metal rods holding up the head rest.  I look at Grady.  He's a mess.  Pajamas.  No shoes and socks.  Jacket-less.  And hair that looks like it was brushed with an egg beater.  I look at Dempsey.  He's dressed at least.  But there's something green hanging from his nose.  And a Frosted Flake is stuck to his eyebrow.  At least he still has eyebrows.  No one has shaved them off yet.  They'll save that for next week.  He also has no shoes and socks.  And is without a jacket.

I call the school.  "Um, hi.  I'm sitting in your parking lot and my kid is refusing to get out of the van."  I describe my vehicle.  In case they might miss the two, half naked boys covered in boogers and Frosted Flakes doing the Chinese Fire Drill.  And the girl being yanked from the van by her ankles.  School sucks.  We all hated it kid.  Get over it.  When this part is over, you get to be a grown up.  It sucks even more.  Then you die.  Blah.

A mom comes out.  One that helps in the drop off lane.  We see her every day.  She rocks.  And even laughed a couple of days earlier when Grady told her his stuffed dog's name is 'poop'.  Because what else would you name your stuffed dog?

She coerces Lillian inside.  With the promise of a pop the next day.  I'm so thankful for my kid's pop addiction.  It works.

I think Lillian worries about what she misses all day while she's gone.  When I'm home with the boys.  Alone.  This is exactly what she misses...

  • Grady finding a screwdriver and unscrewing the light switch covers.  Because he wants to replace them.
  • Grady and Dempsey stomping off with their blankies while Grady tells him, "Come on bud, we don't really like her."
  • Grady taking pictures of me, with my phone, while I'm in the shower.
The shower.  And the shower curtain.  There I am.  Behind it.  Hi.

Me.  In the shower. Behind the curtain.  Wait.  The phone is ringing.  I think it's the Victoria's Secret Model Department.  Nope.  Just the neighbors.  A kid got out again. 

  • Dempsey escaping into the back yard while I'm showering.   In the rain.  He escaped into the rain.  I wasn't showering in the rain.  Although that may be more efficient.  I run after him.  In my bath towel. After being alerted of the emergency.  By the kid who unlocked the sliding glass door for him. 
  • 'Playtime' in the gym's racquetball court
What do you mean you can't get out?

And she's right.  I would miss all these things too.  If I weren't here for them.

But I'm the grown up.  I'm supposed to pretend this sucks.  Go to school kid.  Because before you know it, you'll be grown up. 

Some people feel lucky when they find money on the ground.  Me?  It's a sign of good things to come when I spot a Magic Hat beer cap. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Just Kidding.


This was the first of a slew of texts I received from our babysitter last night.  jk.  Just kidding.  About what?  That the triple threat has finally pushed her to the brink?  She's run away to never return?   Leaving the Triple Threat to start gnawing on each other when they run out of pops? 

I've know Miss Rachael since she was in the fifth grade.  She's now in her twenties.  And the official Triple Threat Babysitter.  She's been our sitter since Lil was born.  I heart her.

The next text comes in. Actually the first one.  I have an old phone.  It flips open.  And the messages come in pieces.  Sometimes the last one comes first.

You all owe me.

Yikes.  This can't be good.  Is she still seething over the time the Triple Threat locked her in the bedroom and Sean and I had to return home to set her free?  Or is this just a general statement?  Since we do owe her.  More than we could ever pay her.  For agreeing to be our babysitter.  And coming back.  Or is this about my push for our eleven o'clock curfew? 

Then came the picture.

The nemesis.  Way worse than the Triple Threat.

Miss Rachael is deathly afraid of spiders.  And we have lots of them in our basement.  I don't even notice them anymore.  I kind of like them in fact.  I talk to them.  And they don't talk back.

And here is how the rest of the spider story plays out.

Me:  Have Grady flush it!  I'm sorry!
Rachael:  He won't go near it!  It's a big one!  We tried to go out the back door but the deadbolt is on.
Me:  Oh no!  Will Dempsey get it? 
Rachael:  He's in bed.  Plus this thing has big punchers.
Rachael:  Pinchers.
Rachael:  Lil and I are trying to construct a big spider whacker. 
Me:  I bet the kids are loving it.
Rachael:  Lil is about to cry.  Grady is chanting KILL KILL.
Rachael:  And Doc McStuffins, that bitch, is singing about checkups!
Rachael:  We just smashed the crap out of him and broke our spider whacker.
Rachael:  He's dead.  And smashed well.  We shoved him in the corner of the top step.  I told them he's in spider heaven.

The whacker.  We've already put in for the patent.  So don't even think about it.  And the sofa stains?  Mine.  All mine.  Patented for years now.

RIP spider. 

And Doc McStuffins, please be a little more compassionate next time.  You have your own show.  You don't have to be so cocky about it.  You heal stuffed animals.  You don't save the world.   Humans need help sometimes too.  Your bedside manner sucks.

Grady practicing spider avoidance.

Top Ten Reasons Why I Heart Spiders
1.  They don't talk.
2.  I've never seen a spider poop.  Not once.
3.  They don't count the number of beer caps scattered around me. I'm so thankful I never taught my    children to count higher than ten.
4.  They squirt venom into things that annoy them.  Then liquify the sucker who pissed them off.
5.  They have eight legs.  Not one of which has a foot that requires a shoe or sock.
6.  You can lock them out of the house and the neighbors don't call the police. 
7.  When you're tired of being around them, you can squish 'em.  And people think you're brave. 
8.  You can flush them down the toilet.  And they don't get stuck.  Sorry Dempsey. 
9.   I know exactly where to find them.
10.  If she's having a bad day, the female spider eats her mate. Because she can.

My moving out pack.  For when the spiders take over.  Because that's how I roll.  Three for them.  Three for me.