Thursday, September 8, 2011

And I know that it's hard, hard, hard when you're loving it's hard...

And the leaves are brown
And they're falling down
And the summer's gone.

*I started this post on August 15th...I shouldn't be finishing it now since it's way past my bedtime, but I don't profess myself to be a smart man when it comes to sleep.*

I figured I'd have plenty of amusing stories to write about over the course of my first summer home alone with all three kids.

Last summer was awesome because Rach was home on maternity leave so we had lots of family bonding time and, with Mickey mostly eating, sleeping, and pooping, we were still in our man-to-man defense.

This summer it was just me and the kids...three against one on Mondays and Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursdays.

It was a beautiful plan and it worked out pretty darn well with the exception that not much got done around the house.
Having accepted that unfinished projects would remain unfinished, I figured I'd at least be swimming in blog related gold. By the end of summer I knew I'd have at least six food-related incidents, five "kids-say-the-darnedest-things" moments, four "I can't believe you just licked that!" gross-outs (The Wubster's sense of choice is apparently taste), three playground adventures gone awry, two "No! Don't stick that on the dogs!", and one sibling wrestlemania battlewound tale.

Instead it became the summer of the "I Hate YOU!"s and the "You're bad, bad, bad, bad, BAD!"s and the "Well, fine, then you're not my brother anymore!"s.

And I don't even have a brother!
Oh wait...the tantrums weren't mine...most of the time.

Mini-Me's emotional swings as he bridged the gap between preschool and high school(?) this summer were intense. For every happy moment we had together there seemed to be three breakdowns where nothing I said or did was right. I know he's five, but I'm a people pleaser. I like people to be happy with me. Thus, I struggled all summer long with doing what was right as a parent and finding the road least travelled to keep him happy.

The negativity zapped my motivation to write because I don't want to write about the negative aspects of our Noisy Little Adventures. For much of the summer that was all I could focus on, despite the immeasurable cuteness of The Wubster and Mickey (although they had their moments, too). It didn't help that bedtimes brought about the brunt of the emotional lashings...I looked forward to doing dishes to relax...look what he's done to me!

Luckily, kindergarten has started and we're all getting back into the school-year routine, which leaves much less time for tantrums. Mini-Me also seems to be handling his emotions better. He's finally taken our advice and pauses to breathe in deeply a few times when he gets upset. It's cute...until he upsets his brother on purpose and then tells The Wubster to "just breathe'll calm you down."

It's also helpful that Mini-Me's focus isn't only on us seems he's already smitten with a girl in his class, a girl he makes sure to refer to by first and last name, correcting us if we forget. He drew a picture for her in permanent marker (a source of a recent tantrum when I took it away to protect myself from adding any unfinished projects to my unfinished unfinished project list). At first I didn't realize the picture was for someone special, but when he got in the van Tuesday afternoon he filled me in on what had happened:
Hey, buddy, how was your day?
"Daddy, I didn't give the picture to Ava M. It's still in my backpack. I was going to give it to her, but I didn't want anyone else to see. I told her she could have it when she came over to my house."
Oh. Do you and Ava sit together?
"Ava M., daddy."
Okay. Do you sit together in class?
Do you sit together at lunch?
"No. Well, she wanted to sit with me at lunch but she didn't. She sat somewhere else."
Do you sit together in Art or Computer?
"No, daddy! We don't sit together!"
Okay, okay...I just was wondering when you guys talk. Does she play with you on the playground?
"No, daddy! Stop asking me questions!"
Fair enough.
[After five minutes of silence] "Daddy, Ava M says she likes Star Wars, too."
I didn't delve for any more information. I just let him bask in the wonderous feeling of meeting a girl who likes Star Wars, too.

Until dinner, that is, when I brought up the picture in front of Rach so she could see his reaction when talking about his new friend. The conversation was less than appreciated by Mr. Mini-Me who turned beet red while talking to his mom and sheepishly smile-screamed at me when I couldn't control my giggling over how cute he was...
I'm not laughing AT you, bud, I'm laughing near you!
No, no, no...I'm not... [Mickey starts laughing] ...but Mickey is...
After that, we've stopped asking questions. After all, I don't have much room to talk...I was once a smitten kindergartener myself.

I hope you've all been well these past few months and that Fall's approach is treating you kindly.

May the coming months bring us many crushes and few tantrums!