The Advil Years

A bottle of 50 200mg Advil caplets

Image via Wikipedia

I remember hearing everywhere about the Terrible Two’s.  My friends, my family, the t.v., books, all spouting off about those Terrible Two’s.  I also remember when my first daughter turned 2 wondering what the heck the fuss was all about.  Oh, she was headstrong and afraid of monsters but there was nothing unmanageable or terrible about her.  I skipped through the whole aged 2 thing with a breeze actually completely and blissfully unaware of what was yet to come.

Yep, 2 was easy with my two girls but I admit I was completely and totally unprepared for the age of 3.  My daughters’ “age of awakening”, as I’ll call it,  was the realization that they had a voice and the intention of using it to their fullest extent.  The “you are not the boss of me!”, “I don’t have to if I don’t want to!”  and the “you can’t make me!” phrases to which I responded “Yes I am”, ” Yes you do” and “Yes I can!”. Yes, Nightmare Alley with my girls started at 3.  I was soon to realize, however, that boys reach their own Nightmare Alley decidedly earlier than girls do.  While my daughters reached an “age of awakening” at 3 my son reached an “age of destruction” at 2.  His sudden realization was that he could physically alter the environment around him and cause his sisters to run in terror with the simple raising of his arm.

But I have one more name for both these “ages”.  I call it The Advil Years.  I have consumed more Advil in the last 2 years than I have the entire 40 years prior.  Why is Advil advertising their product to people with arthritis?  I am willing to wager that parents of 2 and 3 year olds consume more Advil on average than any other age group in any other stage of their life, not that I’m not willing to share with arthritis sufferers.  It is only a matter of time before the lifting, blocking and chasing of little people causes irreversable damage to my joints after all.

Tell me though when you find a sink jammed with rocks, and a toothbrush so far down as to be unreachable, wouldn’t you head straight for a bottle of Advil? And when you discover the handmade Christmas ornaments, made primarily out of cinnamon, hanging on the tree each with one big bite out them, or the tree strewn with handfuls of popcorn (not on a string) and half eaten crackers strategically placed to compliment the half eaten cinnamon ornaments, that you wouldn’t be looking for a little pain relief.

Yes, when I find my middle child peeing in various bowl-shaped objects, the bathtub, the cardboard box and the baby doll’s little tub, I reach for an Advil.

And, I admit that when I discovered my 2-year-old son using the wall and the box of mandarin oranges like balls in a batting cage, I reached for an Advil.  Even the image of a dozen or so round splats on my wall with juice streaming down to where the squashed oranges lay on the floor below makes my hand quiver towards the Advil jar.

There can be no doubt that when I watch my son chasing his sisters with his arm raised and holding a bowling ball pin, that I’ll soon be reaching for an Advil.

I await in anticipation the time when I can give up my new Advil addiction for something a little more enjoyable, maybe something like alcohol.  Unfortunately, spending my days in a stupour is not condusive to child rearing so I stay true and loyal to my Advil knowing that some day I will escape these years.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel.  Eventually, at the right age, I will go insane.

                                                                                                                                          

*Because I believe in full disclosure I must advise that while no Advil were harmed or eaten during the writing of this blog, the same cannot be said during the events mentioned herein.  Beware that this is an Advil consumption friendly zone.

**Oh, and while I would have liked to have been, I have not been requested, paid or otherwise approached by Advil to promote its product.  I just value pain relief.

***One last thing, I am not actually addicted to Advil. Nor do I consume it on a daily basis.  So no need to set up an Intervention on me…but I do love it!

My “Forever Teenager”

Lego-Darth-Vader vs. Aragorn

After a little hiatus on the whole blogging thing, I’m baaaacckkk! A lousy computer and a fall filled with tragedies and illness somewhat subdued my funny bone for a short period of time.   But, alas, you can’t keep a loud mouth restrained for too long and my need to vent overcomes all obstacles! 

I’ve dedicated this blog to my Forever Teenager.  Got one? Well, I do, as does every woman with a significant male other in her life. Yes, a Forever Teenager that we seem to have adopted along the way in the guise of partner, spouse or boyfriend.  If there is one thing I have learned in my short (or long, depending on the day) 42 years it is that men never really grow up.  Oh, you women know what I’m talking about. 

I added fuel to the fire by marrying a man 7 years my junior.  Yes, he was 24 and sporting a Ricky Martin “do” when we met.  While I like to think that I accept people as they are and for who they are…..that hair do just had to go!  Really, what self-respecting 31-year-old would date a man with black hair and blond streaks? In hindsight, it was a foreshadowing of the child in the man that would slowly exert itself over the course of our relationship. 

But it all starts off as quite endearing, doesn’t it?  They draw us in with that boyish charm.  Somehow we love the childishness in them and thinking back, I can’t for the life of me figure out why.  Somehow they are just so darned cute! in that boyishly mischievous way.  However, after a couple of years of morning breath and flatulence that charming boyishness seems so much less…charming.  

Oh, I knew that my future  husband loved all things Star Wars when we met.  What I didn’t realize was that eventually we would have a room dedicated strictly to housing his Stars Wars and Lord of the Rings memorabilia.

How many of you still have spouses that gather together in groups of 3 or 4 every now and then to pull out their role-playing games or Playstations? (check)

Or still have to find ways of “encouraging” the men in your life to participate in the daily rituals of house cleaning or child rearing? (check)

Or still have to wipe them up off the floor after the annual sports gathering activities? (check, check) – okay, okay, he wiped me up off the floor after my office Christmas party so I guess it’s only fair I do the same for him on ocassion.

I really believe, for men, the draw to having children is the excuse to revert back into their former, true selves and immerse themselves again and without consequence into the world ever lasting childhood.   I admit, there is nothing better than watching my husband rough house on the ground with our children and listen to the ensuing laughter.  There is no better sound on Earth.

I guess there is some consolation in that, when the children grow up and leave the nest,  I will never ever really be giving up all my children to the big bad world.  I will always have my Forever Teenager.

Week in Review – Part 2

my name is mud

Image by diegodiazphotography via Flickr

Here we go again.  You would think wouldn’t you that after 7 years the adventures of raising children would become somewhat redundant.  Well, not in my household.  My children seem to have a way to create, unintentionally I  might add, adventures never seen before almost on a weekly basis. It as usual has been a very eventful week, or weeks I should say. Not all of it at the hands of my children.  Oh, no, if I am being completely upfront I must admit that I am quite adept at creating my own adventures.

The week started off with a bang.  I’ve mentioned  before my 2-year-old son’s penchant for coffee grounds.  I had hoped we had passed that particular phase but I was to be proven sadly mistaken when I discovered him hiding with his treasure (a huge tin of coffee grounds).  How he got a hold of it I still haven’t figured out.  Had it not been for the trail of coffee grounds he left for me to follow (through the family room into the playroom, across the couch and over behind the t.v.) I might have had to take him to the hospital for a caffeine overdose – is there any such thing?

Then came thanksgiving, and MY little bungle.  After a wonderful thanksgiving meal with my family at my parent’s house I proceeded to pack my littlest one up and get him settled in his car seat for the ride home (the older two were going to stay for a sleepover at Grandma and Grandpa’s with their Dad that night).  After getting him all settled, I shut the van door and walked over to the driver’s side when I realized I had locked him in and the keys were sitting on the front passenger seat!  Panicked I ran into the house “Call AMA, Call AMA!!”.  While I and about 10 other relatives stood around the van waiting for AMA to show up my little guy just drank his milk and waved and giggled ..awwwww.  I have to give a shout out to AMA for coming so quickly.  I highly recommend if you ever lock your keys in your car that you have a kid, anybody’s kid, locked in there to. Talk about priority service! 

Later in the week while my 6-year-old and I were making faces at each other and laughing hysterically she porked out the biggest booger I have ever seen right  in my lap!   I should have called National Geographic or the Guinness Book of World Records.  There must be some scientific foundation somewhere that would have been interested in that miracle of the universe.  I couldn’t even move, so frozen in disgust I was, and I am used to picking snotty noses but this was absolutely beyond belief.  I waited patiently with bile coming up my throat while my daughter ran to get me the biggest wad of kleenex her little hands could carry.

Then on one of those very rare occasions, yeah right!, when I was having an “I can’t deal with this” kind of day I sent the kids outside to play so I could have some much deserved quiet time.  I don’t worry very much about them outside.  They are fenced in and my oldest is enough of a tattle tale that if anybody was getting into something they shouldn’t be, I’d hear about it.  But I never considered the option that there just might be something SHE would be getting into with them!  After about 20 minutes I thought I should go have a peek and see what they were up to.  At first I couldn’t find them, they blended so well into the background.  Then I noticed 3 little mounds of mud moving in a very un-mud like way and three sets of eyeballs! There they were covered from head to toe in mud.   They had tossed mud up on the side of the house, washed their hair in mud and I think even rolled in it! 

Some of you already know of the “mask” episode.  My 2 girls were up in their room making crafts.  This time I wasn’t home.  My husband was home and in charge and was himself having some much deserved quiet time (anybody see the pattern  here?).  They had cut and coloured some masks and came downstairs to show off their prowess to their father.  Upon closer inspection, he noticed there were no strings on the masks to hold them in place on their face.  When he asked them how the masks were held in place their response was “we glued them”.

And then there was this morning.  I was up early to catch a solo shower (very uncommon in my household).  After climbing out I could hear a bunch of ruckus going on in the kids bathroom beside me.  My husband was asleep in bed and that could only mean one thing!  They were alone in the bathroom….remember, I have had Polly Pockets floating in an inch of water on that bathroom floor before.  I was much relieved when upon entering the bathroom all I saw was one kid on the toilet and the other in the tub apparently playing without the water.  After a stern warning NOT to touch the taps I left to get dressed.  However,  immediately upon leaving the bathroom I heard the sound of water running so back in a stomped with every intention of turning off those darned taps and giving my 3-year-old what for.  Turned out she hadn’t touched the taps….no sir’ee….she was peeing.  That’s right just standing there with her jammies hiked up, peeing ….in my tub!

And thus complete’s my Week in Review (Part 2)………..to be continued.

A Little Reflection Maybe

joao pedro 4B.BMP

Image by jmarconi via Flickr

Well, seeing as I am all about the whole keeping it real thing, I decided I just had to go back to my original entry “Aw C’mon People It’s All In Good Fun” and revamp a few things.   

After a little retrospection and discussions with a friend of mine, who is uniquely equipped in his ability to not allow circumstances to influence how he is going to feel in any given moment of any given day, I have come to the conclusion that I just may not be the positive person that I thought I was. Depending on your definition of positivity that is. Maybe optimistic would be a better word to describe me.  I believe in the goodness of the human spirit, in Karma and see the world as a generally wonderous place.  However, on a day-to-day basis? Sometimes life just sucks.  Not usually, but sometimes it really just does and I don’t understand the hesitation in the admittance of that fact. Is the effort required to be positive (as in never admitting to having a bad day or expressing that you are having a bad day) really sustainable?  To me, it’s not. You see, I have children.  I lack the time and frankly thanks to my physical and mental exhaustion, the ability and inclination for the self-indulgence required for that level of insight.  Three other little people who lack any control over their own emotions  depend on me entirely for their own happiness.  So my days are taken up managing other people’s emotions and there is little time left over for managing my own.   

I guess I now struggle with the meaning of being positive.  I do like to find the humour in everything that I can.  Humour in the trials and tribulations we as parents experience every day.  I also like to complain about it.  For me, in doing so, I am facing my emotions head on and can then leave them in the old garbage heap spent and powerless over me.  Emotions open doors for us, provide us with insight and wisdom, draw out our insecurities for reflection and can provide us with hours of entertainment.  By allowing our emotions the leeway to be experienced and expressed we are freeing ourselves from their control over us and breaking the confines of restraint.   Happiness is fleeting.  It comes and goes a hundred times a day.  True and sustained happiness is unattainable but contentment, now THAT is a worthwhile accomplishment for even in the toughest of times you can maintain contentment and it will bring you a peace and harmony that no amount of happiness could.  Not that I’m not up for a little happiness and don’t strive to have it in my life but maintaining it is a real bugger!  Nope, I’ll take contentment any time over happiness.  Simply put, it’s just more realistic and honestly, much more satisfying.  

I take a risk when I write these blogs.  You are all seeing my inner most self and many are going to judge, disagree with or ridicule.  But that’s okay maybe I will learn a little more about myself (as in the shocking revelation that I am not the positive person I thought I was), maybe you will learn a little more about yourself.  In the end, it is a journey (as corny as that may sound).  I’ll take my lumps and my grumps as part of this tremendous experience I call life.  If we are lucky, we have that one person in our life who we trust implicitly. We know without doubt that no matter what we say or do we will always be accepted by them.  We could expose our deepest darkest selves, insecurities and fears to them and know that they would stay by our side without judgement…..you know who you are out there…I see you and I’m grateful for you.  

So, I continue to opt for reality.  That way when I get hit over the head with a shovel, I’ll understand its just a shovel, not a dump truck.  And I’ll take a little banter now and then, a good debate,  and a whole lot of passion. 

My Kids are Freaks

Gathering of Freaks

Image via Wikipedia

 

My kids are freaks.  Oh, they come by it naturally enough.  Goodness knows that both my husband and I, freaks in our own right, come from a long line of freaks.  In my family we have a penchant for falling UP stairs rather than down stairs (our gravitational fields work differently than most) and family feuding seems to be some kind of hobby.  And my husband’s family? They are all freaky nice.  Aren’t in-laws supposed to be crazy, possessive, intrusive, meddling sorts?  Mine aren’t, they are nice and THAT is down right freaky!  

Oh in many ways my kids are very normal kids.  They are bright, beautiful, kind, compassionate, loving and thoughtful.  Until they are all put together in the same room that is.  Then I don’t know who, or WHAT, they are.  Something happens and they turn into crazed, out of control monsters whose sole purpose is to pummel their siblings and drive me crazy.  Trust me, crazy has seemed pretty appealing on some days.  There have been times when I have begged someone to put me in a straight jacket and throw me in a padded cell.  Oh, the peace and quiet, 3 meals a day that I don’t have to make, nobody to clean up after and no sensory overloads.  

It’s my fault that my 2-year-old looks like a freak, albeit a very cute freak.  I haven’t yet been able to bring myself to cut his hair.  It is curly and grows out instead of down like some kind of halo gone wrong. Flat on top and Friar Tuck around his ears. 

The other day I was vacuuming the family/living/dining/playroom (it’s a multi-purpose room. I gave up on the whole “adult space” thing) and all three of my kids were chasing the vacuum cleaner like rabid dogs less the foaming at the mouth part.  Really isn’t vacuum chasing something better left for the family dog? 

My oldest should it ever make the papers, would be world renowned for her temper tantrums.  Scientists would come from far and wide to marvel at her stamina and volume. 

The nail in the coffin on the whole “My Kids are Freaks” though was when after an afternoon working quietly in their room on facemasks they came down the stairs wearing them.  My husband curiously asked “how are you keeping those masks on”.  To which they replied “We glued them”. 

…..I rest my case. 

Arachnophobia – Alive and Well in My World

Read more…

A Week in Review

cross dressing

Image by art crimes via Flickr

A little warning to you all.  It can’t all be shits & giggles and I do have some upcoming posts that will be on more serious issues.  You may like my opinions, you may not, but seeing as its MY blog, I get to write whatever I want.  You, on the other hand, get to comment however you want.  I won’t delete your comments.  I love a good debate and don’t shy away from controversial subjects.  It makes the blood circulate to your brain when you are open to other people’s opinions.  Low and behold, every once in a while you, or I,  just might learn a thing or two or maybe even change our opinion when someone shares a perspective that we hadn’t thought of before.  It’s called “expanding your knowledge base”.  I don’t assume to know much of anything about anything in particular but I do have lots of opinions.  I can’t help it, I’m Irish after all!    

But for today, it’s still about the antics of my children.  And, while I haven’t had any entanglements with hair colour this week, or been attacked by blood sucking alien invaders, or sustained any concussions, broken toes or other such injuries, it has still as always been an interesting week.    

This week has seen the emergence of my 2-year-old son’s penchant for cross dressing.  I have caught him playing with my make up (several times) and  running around with his 3-year-old sister dressed up in princess gowns.  I have pictures (poor soul) for future bribery purposes and I guess I had better run out and try to gather up some boy-like costumes lest his poor father be scarred for life.    

I’ve also cleaned up a flood in my upstairs bathroom.  It would seem that my 3-year-old wanted to play “pool” with her Polly pockets.  As parents you always know that when things get too quiet its best to investigate.  I found her in the bathroom with water literally everywhere and her little Polly pockets having a grand ole time floating around in their newly found ocean.  Now I know that bathroom is going to have to undergo a full renovation.     

In the last several years I have had my share of run ins with glue and paint and have come to really dislike shows  like “Art Attack” or “Mr. Maker”  which put hairbrained craft ideas into my kids’ heads.  I try at all times to avoid any craft aisles whilst shopping with the kids.  Oh, at first I was excited to start the whole craft experience but when I realized the time involved and clean up required it didn’t take me long to realize that these were projects better left for playschool, kindergarten and primary school.     

A couple of years ago, in utter ignorance, I purchased several wood letters with the intention of having the kids paint them and put their names on their walls.  What was I thinking?  I had since come to my senses and hidden the letters away.  I’ll buy some prepainted letters, easy, breezy. However, my ingenious 6-year-old, who often gets her little sister to do her dirty work (smart kid) in order to deflect any possible repercussions, found these letters and set up shop with her little sister in my laundry room.    

By the time I realized what was happening, well, you can just imagine.  I will now need to replace the lino in my laundry room.  I hadn’t found the letters they were painting and have since been told that my 3-year-old stashed them under her sister’s bed.  Right now I am working up the courage to go and see what damage might have been done to my carpet.  I guess anything, even red paint, would likely be an improvement on this teal green carpet. but, please, I can only handle one renovation at a time.   

So, that’s my week in review.  I now wait with anxious trepidation to see what next week brings. One thing is for sure, it won’t be boring.  

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