He assures me he’s got a plan.
January 28, 2015 by Jennifer Carsen
January 21, 2015 by Jennifer Carsen
My big girl, hard at work on the computer. (She’s playing a game, but I can already see the outlines of her future self writing term papers.)
January 14, 2015 by Jennifer Carsen
January 13, 2015 by Jennifer Carsen
I know, I know – they encourage creative play and require no batteries and are among the innately quietest of children’s playthings, three things I can totally get behind.
But I assure you I was far from quiet yesterday when I slipped on a throw rug in Lorelei’s room – due, granted, entirely to my own clumsiness – and landed directly atop a half-completed LEGO Cinderella castle.
(Let’s just say James Frey would not have had to fabricate nearly as much of A Million Little Pieces had he been there to witness the explosive event – or the million little bruises currently in evidence on my backside.)
There’s just so much inherent incompatibility between those thousands of eminently lose-able tiny bits and the very fact of children, who would lose their own arms were they not firmly attached. Every once in a while the LEGO people throw in a few extra duplicate pieces for good measure (my secret theory is that even they have trouble keeping track of them), but those are never the ones that disappear down the cracks between the floor boards.
For over two years now we have eagerly been awaiting the day when Nicholas – aka The Boy Who Eats Staples – stops putting everything in sight in his mouth. We’re nearly there…but now he’s taken to putting mini LEGO tires (which he calls “black olives”) in his ears. I am just waiting for the day when we all rush to the ER and discover that what we think is a crashing ear infection is actually a tiny LEGO lightsaber lodged in his eardrum.
I am tired of stepping on them. I am tired of falling on them. I am tired of Nicholas festively throwing them around like it’s New Year’s Eve in Times Square.
I am tired of listening to them clank around in my vacuum cleaner when I accidentally suck them up. I am tired of bending down to pick up what I think is a stray piece of Meow Mix only to discover it is a teeny-tiny pizza that goes with a teeny-tiny pizza man yet cannot be easily wrested into his immobile plastic grip.
Constant vigilance, extra cleaning, heightened levels of frustration, the imminent probability of serious bodily injury. Maybe my main beef with LEGOs is the fact that they simply amplify all of the existing problems of living with small children.
January 7, 2015 by Jennifer Carsen
December 31, 2014 by Jennifer Carsen
December 24, 2014 by Jennifer Carsen
December 18, 2014 by Jennifer Carsen
The kids have been a symphony of dry coughs the past few days, following on the heels of a goopy/crusty cold last week. For about half a day they both crossed over into that croupy seal bark, but everything quickly settled back down to “normal” – if incessant – coughing.
This doesn’t mean any of us has been sleeping well, however. Three nights ago, Nicholas had two separate wee-hour coughing/moaning fits that woke us all up. Two nights ago, more of the same, though one of the wake-ups necessitated intervention by Daddy in the form of a midnight delivery of a sippy cup full of water, which Nicholas gratefully guzzled down.
I naïvely thought that last night might be better. I was mistaken.
Lorelei’s cough picked up right as Nicholas’s was slowing down, so Eric brought her a sippy cup of water around 10:00.
We all fall back asleep until around 12:30, when I hear both kids happily chattering away. I go up to find Lorelei hanging out in Nicholas’s room. Both kids are checking out the display his Cars-themed nightlight is projecting onto the ceiling. (The nightlight is not remotely new, mind you; it’s been shining there in his room, unchanged, for at least the past year.) I shoo Lorelei back to her own room and tell Nicholas to go to sleep.
Cut to 12:30 (yes, again 12:30 – apparently the previous wakeup was some unspecified time before that, which I was too addled to register properly), when Nicholas is moaning, over and over, “Mooommmmmy! Mooommmmmy! Mooommmmmy!”
I stumble back into the kitchen, figuring he’s thirsty, and assemble a sippy cup of water that I promptly spill all over the kitchen counter.
“Mooommmmmy! Mooommmmmy! Mooommmmmy!”
Take 2. I more or less successfully fill the sippy cup, stagger upstairs, and offer it to Nicholas, who is now standing up in his crib like a wolf baying at the moon.
“No water! I want cookie! I want cookie, Mommy! I want cookie, Mommy!”
No dice, kid. He may well be hungry – having joined the general familial revolt against the salmon I served for dinner, a choice motivated in part by the fact that I wanted us to start eating better so that everyone would get healthy again (note to self: this doesn’t work if nobody actually eats the healthy dinner). But he ain’t getting cookies.
As I am trying to explain this to Nicholas – which goes about as well as you might expect, given that he’s 2, sick, and sleep-deprived – I notice a glimmer of movement in Lorelei’s room next door. She’s standing to the side of the door adjoining the kids’ rooms, stealthily peering through the crack like a Peeping Tom. She announces that she has to go potty.
She goes and returns as I unsuccessfully try to spell out the “no cookie” situation for Nicholas. On the way back from tucking Lorelei in once again, I place Nicholas back down in his crib, explain one last time that there will be no cookies, and go back downstairs. The bellowing continues. “I want cookie, Mommy! I want cookie, Mommy!”
For the first time ever, I make the conscious decision to turn off the baby monitor in the bedroom. Nicholas may be loud – astonishingly so, come to think of it – but he’s not in any kind of real distress (unless the “O” in “SOS” stands for “Oreo”). Even with it off, I hear him alternately screaming for me, and for cookies, for the better part of the next hour.
Eventually everyone falls back asleep until about 6:30, the kids’ normal wake-up time, when Nicholas rises for the day and immediately requests peanut butter toast.
I turn on the coffee maker and plop him into his booster seat to get the toast together. When it’s ready, I place it before him, where it remains untouched. He is completely indifferent to it, though not at all unhappy.
“Aren’t you going to eat your toast, buddy?”
He smiles and replies sweetly, “No.”
Life with littles. It’s really something.
December 17, 2014 by Jennifer Carsen
We don’t do Elf on the Shelf at our house, though the kids are very big fans of Coppertops in the Cabinet:
December 10, 2014 by Jennifer Carsen