Monday, May 27, 2013

Monkeys and monitors

I finally decided to take down the baby monitors today.  Given that my first child is 8, the twins will be four in a couple of months, and we haven't used them in months, this may make you wonder, "What the heck took so long?"  It's that silly step that makes you officially say, "I'm all done with babies."  Don't get me wrong - I don't want anymore children.  But there is something about babies...yes, they cry, they spit-up, they fuss all hours of the night...but a baby makes no demands on your mind, your soul.  They are the perfect confident, the best snugglers ever.  Their helplessness and dependence on's both terrifying and endearing, and I can't help but be sad.  We took down the gates last month, the gates that we put up with Princess C, our first child...and now I dismantle the baby monitors...

So why now?  More importantly, what is this woman doing with a baby monitor on her perfectly healthy, intelligent, and capable 8 year old?  Well, when Princess C was 5, we were discussing taking down her monitor.  She is our first, and it can be harder to let go of the first sometimes.  After all, this monitor had been with us for five years, and it was my lifeline at night, when I sprang bolt upright in bed for no seeming reason. I'd listen for the reassuring sounds of her breathing (after I smacked my DH and made him roll over because I couldn't hear ANYTHING over his snoring).  The rhythm of her breathing would soothe me back to sleep. Or I'd realize she was having a nightmare, coughing...for some reason needed me to drag my weary butt out of bed.  That was when I'd curse (but deep down, bless) that silly monitor...

So here she is, 5 years old, and we've got infant twins in the house.  Two sets of monitors in the kitchen and the bedroom.  I'd wake up and strain to figure out who was breathing (all of them, of course, but at 2am when you explode into wakefulness, you are CERTAIN someone has stopped breathing...which was usually my DH, temporarily, thanks to his sleep apnea.  But I digress...)  Do we really need this?  We decided to get rid of them, when Princess C entered this absolutely HILARIOUS stage!

Of course, no child likes to hear no.  And how often do they react with good grace and humor, especially if denied something they MUST HAVE RIGHT NOW or else the world will end and she'll just absolutely DIE!!  (Yes, I'm already in dread of the teenage years).  She'd get the dreaded no, and she'd stomp off to her room, muttering under her breath.  Typically she'd flop down on her bed (right next to the monitor), and she'd start with the most dire imprecations:

"I jus' wanted some dessert and mommy said, 'No!' because she doesn't love me anymore...and if she doesn't love me, I'm not gonna stay!  I'm gonna go...I'm gonna run the zoo!  I'll go to the zoo!  'Cause the monkeys'll let me sleep with them...and I can get a elebant [elephant] to give me a shower.  All I want is one banana.  The monkeys'll share a banana.  They got lots.  Jus' one lil ol' banana...I said dessert, and she said, 'No' without asking what I wanted...jus' a banana...and a little chocolate.  Bet I can find that at the zoo...and I won' hafta shower...'cause the aminals don't care if I'm stinky...I'm not stinky...mama says I'm stinky and hafta shower..."

For the record - "dessert" and "banana" were not synonymous until AFTER the denial.  I'm pretty sure, had I asked before saying, "No," a banana would not have come anywhere NEAR the request.

I'm at the kitchen sink, preparing to do the dishes, when I hear this rant...and I'm transfixed!  I whisper to my DH to come quickly, and we sit next to this monitor, desperately attempting to shush our peals of laughter so we can hear.  We've got this monitor turned up as high as possible in an effort to hear EVERY word.  She just continues going on - I'm sorry I can't remember the rest.  It was AWESOME!  We look at each other, and then DH raises an eyebrow suggestively before grabbing a banana and heading to her room.  He leans against the door frame, peeling the banana, and looks around her room.  "You gonna get undressed for your shower?" he asks nonchalantly, as he takes a bite of his banana.  Princess C is clearly the most picked on child in the world.  "Yes," she gulps.  Taking pity on her, DH asks, "Do you want a bite of my banana?"  She sniffs pitiably, and nods.  He offers her a bite.  She takes it, pride slightly assuaged.  They share some more bites.  DH asks, "Am I as good as a monkey?"  Princess C, now feeling much better, giggles.  "Oh Daddy!  You are the best monkey ever!"

And I thought I married an ape!  ;-)  I love you, honey!!

This stage lasted about a year and a half.  I admit it - there were days when she was driving me nuts and I was sorely tempted to deny her something just to get the rant.  I really tried not to...although I'm not perfect, so I can't say it never happened...Jesus still loves me, right?

And it just worked out that we never took down the monitors until I realized today that I hadn't turned any of them on in months.  Why don't I keep them up for the twins, you wonder?  Seriously?  My house is the size of a postage stamp!  And these girls don't know the MEANING of quiet.  One day they will rant, but I guarantee you it will be at high volume!  If I'm quick enough, I'll record some of it!  Do you think Hallmark would like to use it in a new line of greeting cards?  The outside could say, "Sorry you are having a bad day."  The inside might read, "But there's always a way to make it better."  And then it would play my children, "My parents NEVER let me do anything fun...if they loved me, they'd let me jump outta that ol' tree with a cape tied around my neck so I could be a superhero and fly...stupid broken necks..."

Talk to the monkeys, honey...

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Animal? Mineral? FRUIT??

I like to think we have a pretty good sense of humor in my family.  We like to laugh, to give each other a hard time, and to joke around.  Oh, indeed we can take ourselves a bit seriously at times, but overall, we take a joke pretty well.  My husband and I enjoy teasing our daughters.  My eldest, C, gives as good as she gets.  She's in that phase where she can take a joke a bit far, but she has an excellent sense of humor.  Twin B is starting to get into the spirit of joking around, and is realizing that mommy is not as literal as she thought.

Twin A, on the other hand...she is an awesome kid.  But she is definitely my mini-me.  Such a straight line child!  She makes jokes, but she does NOT take them well, and she is convinced that 90% of my jokes are literal.  And me, being a product of my family (I blame my grandfathers...both of them!)...well...I have to say I really enjoy teasing her.

Our latest family joke centers around the question, "What's to eat?"  My girls are forever asking, "Mommy, what's for (breakfast/lunch/dinner/snack/second breakfast/noonsies...)?"  I swear I have small-footed Hobbits around here!  So my response has become, "Hmmm...let's eat [insert name of family member here.]"  C and Twin B will laugh, saying, "No!  That's crazy!"  Or better yet, Twin B will usually decide which section of her sisters we should eat first.  "Start with the shoulder.  It's yummy!"  If I say we will eat Twin B, she will laugh and say, "OK, but only one bite," or, "No, I haven't showered and I'm yucky!"  Twin A, on the other hand, will FLIP OUT!  "NOOO!" she'll howl, "YOU CAN'T EAT _______!  THAT'S MEAN, MOMMY!!!"  I try to gently point out, "Do you think Mommy is serious?"  Even then, she'll become very upset with me.  "It's not a funny joke!" she'll insist. 

Today, of course, I was teasing my child.  Here is what happened:

Twin A: Mommy, what's for lunch?
Me: Well...hmm...let's have...(casting about for least offensive choice)...the cat!  Let's eat Bart!
Twin A (shocked and offended): MOMMY!  NO!  You can't eat the cat!!
Me (amused): Well, why not?
Twin A (indignant): Because he's stinky!
The cat jerks his head up and gives Twin A an offended look!  Stinky?  Why, he never!  He'll show her stinky, he thinks, as he proceeds to groom his nether regions...
Me: Stinky, huh?
Twin A: Mommy!  He's furry!  Hair tastes bad! 
The cat pauses, narrowing his eyes, tongue sticking out...leave a hairball on my bed, cat, and see if I don't make good on that last statement...
Me: Really?
Twin A (exasperated): He's a CAT, not a MANGO!!

And there you go.  Cleared that one up for you, didn't we? 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Worst return policy ever!

So I decided to see if I could return these allergies.  I mean, this is America, right?  Land of returns and the customer is always right, right?  Nothing ventured, nothing gained...

So I called Mother Nature:
*Ring ring*
"Mother Nature here."
"Oh, I expected a computer."
"No, honey, only organics here.  What can I do for you?"
"Well, I'd like to return my allergies."
"OK...let me see here...hmm, well, according to your contract you have passed the point of no return."
"Wait?  How long did I have to return these?"
"30 days from date of installation."
"30 days?  But...I'd be only a month old."
"Oh, I know dear.  I told God it wasn't a good plan.  But He insisted...why don't I transfer you to His line?  Hold, please."

*Heavenly choir muzac sings softly in the background*
"This is St. Peter."
"St. Peter?  I - uh...oh.  Umm, hi.  I'd like to talk to someone about returning my allergies.  You see, I don't think the policy is very fair.  I have to return them after 30 days, but at a month old, I couldn't possibly make those decisions."
"I see your point.  Let me check something.  Now where did that scroll - ok, here we go.  I see here you were given two very fine guardians.  Your baptism, First Communion, Reconciliation...they are all in order.  I - Oh, did you REALLY lie that many times?"
"Er - I don't...OK, wait, let's get back to my allergies.  What does this mean?"
"Well, your parents filed all the forms, but I see no 'Nix Allergenis' form here, so I'm sorry, but you'll have to take it up with them."
"But...I mean...most 1 month olds don't even SHOW allergies.  How can that be?  It's a flawed system!  There has to be a way to register a complaint."
"Absolutely!  Let me transfer you to our complaint department."

*More Heavenly choir muzac*
Mechanical voice: "You have reached the complaint department.  I'm sorry, but all our demons are busy collecting souls.  Please stay on the line-"
YIKES!  No thank you.

OK, well, if this rests with my parents, let me talk with them...
"Hi, Mom.  How's it going?  Listen, I was talking with St Peter and Mother Nature, and it seems you had a chance to return my allergies in the first month of my life.  Did you know anything about this?"
...Mom is silent..."Wait?  What?  We were told you were non-refundable.  What are you talking about?  Because believe me, there were times we wanted to return you.  Do you remember the time you broke-"
"Mom!!  Geez!!  This isn't about that.  I just want to know if you can file a form to return my allergies!"
"Let me talk with your father.  If we were misinformed about your being returnable, we need to register a complaint..."
"No, Mom, you don't want to call" - *Click*

Think my return policy is expired?