Voting, As Understood By a Six-Year-Old

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R: We’re going to have a new president soon.

Me: That’s right.

R: Is it President Lincoln?

Me: No, he was president a long time ago and he died a long time ago.

R: Is it President Obama?

Me: Yes, President Obama is our president right now, but his turn is almost over and then we will need a new president.

R: President Obama will die.

Me: No, no, it’s just that his turn as president is over and someone else will take a turn.

R: And then he will die.

Me: No, no! He will just get another job.

R: He will be a worker?

Me: Um, yes.

R: And then President Lincoln will be the president?

Me: No! He died a long time ago. But he was a great president.

R: And Jesus was a great president too.

Me: Hey, who wants a snack?!

 

***

Not much has changed in the two years since “Voting, as Understood by a Four-Year-Old

3-Year-Old Kid Quotes, Part 2

[This is the censored version. Sorry.]

Just like DaddyR: Don’t sing that song to the babies. They don’t like that.

R: The babies will be baptized? They will need floaties?

R: This is the fall-down potty. It’s okay. We can go to Lowe’s and get a better seat.

R: Momma, cut your poop-ons. [coupons]

While running to his blankie after lunch:
R: Blankie, I’m so happy to see you!

Daddy: Give me a hug.
R: No.
Daddy: If you’re sick, a hug makes you feel better.
R: [Hugs Daddy] I all better now.
Momma: Give me a hug, too.
R: No. I alde-ready got all better.

R: Daddy sucks the leaves up with his leaf vacuum. That’s what he ‘doos’.

R: I’m gonna go on a date. To Harbor Freight. [A tool store]

R: I will go pee-pee by myself. Momma, you come with me.

While pointing to our old black dog’s white whiskers:
R: Cleo has too many whites.

First-ever lick of a lollipop:
R: It’s like a binky!

Me: What did you today at preschool co-op?
R: I cried.

While I was pushing the triple stroller (which weighs much more than I do) up a hill:
R: Why you tired, Momma?
Me: Because this stroller is heavy.
R: You have a lotta kids. 1, 2, 3.

In bed:
Me: Don’t worry. Jesus will watch over you tonight.
R: Jesus can’t watch me. It’s dark.

R: Will you sleep with me, Momma? Not with Daddy?

Me: Who will give me a hug?
R: Not me. I alde-ready give you a hug.

R: I will dream about Fiona Apple. (!)

R: I don’t want to go outside.
Me: I do. I need fresh air.
R: I don’t need fresh air. There’s fresh air coming in the window.

To his brother:
R: Shake your booty!

About his brother:
R: Where we buy him?

R: Jesus is not our brother. Our babies is our brother.

While laughing hysterically at his brother:
Me: What’s so funny?
R: He has a PENIS!

R: Who gave you this toy? God?

To his brother:
R: Don’t be happy right now!

R: This house is dirty. We need to vacuum.

R: The washing machine is broken, Daddy. I think we have to go to Lowe’s. Oh no! They only have lawn mowers at Lowe’s!

R: I think we need a new baby.
Me: I don’t know if I can grow a new baby in my belly, but that would be nice.
R: We can go to the hospital. I can go with you.
Me: Oh? Is that where we get babies?
R: Yeah. Only 1 baby this time.
Me: Not twins?
R: No. I will give the babies back to the hospital.

While clutching his favorite book about Jesus that we had lost:
R: I FOUND JESUS!

While pointing to my shirt buttons:
R: Momma, I like your butt.

 

[Apparently, I am raising a semi-religious manly man who is a bit grouchy. I love him!]

***Bonus clip: Typical parents-of-multiples ridiculous mini-fight:
“Every time something important happens, you’re always making a salad!”

 

Setting the Record Straight

Sometimes people misunderstand my snarky tone. I hope I can write well enough that everyone understands my intentions. My intentions are to convey the absurd in my daily life. I want to be truthful. The truth is:

1) I love my kids. This is indisputable. Everyone loves his or her kids. Every parent wants to do his or her best for  the children. If I wrote a blog about that, it would be really boring.

2) What I do is really hard: There are only 2 people on the whole planet, besides myself, who have done this job alone all day (my husband and a friend from church). Usually it takes 2-3 grandparents to replace me for a day. Having three children under three, or three children in diapers, does not occur often in nature. Number 2 does NOT NEGATE number 1.

3) What I do is really ridiculous: My daily life is absurd. It’s weird. It’s crazy. Normal people do not live this way. If I didn’t find humor in what is happening here, I would crack. I might literally crack in half from being tense. Number 3 does NOT NEGATE number 1.

My blog is trying to tell the truth about numbers 2 and 3. I have mothers all over the world messaging me about how grateful they are that I am telling the truth. I have infertile women all over the world telling me that they are sobbing while reading my story because someone finally understands them. I have friends telling me they are crying with laughter or crying with tears at something funny or sad that I wrote. How are we supposed to help others if we don’t tell the truth? How can we relate to others if we don’t show our weaknesses?

If you have read my “about me” page, you know all this already. I have overcome trials as we struggled to build our family- some of which include infertility, miscarriage, adoption, IVF, carrying twins, and almost dying. I want to tell my children what it was really like to “acquire” them.  It was hard, sad, funny, ridiculous, embarrassing, and wonderful. I also want to record what these early days were like for us. Soon enough, they will be in school, and none of us will really remember these painfully beautiful and painfully hard days. I have a bad memory, and I am seriously sleep-deprived –  both of which indicate that I will not remember the majority of what is happening here.

A friend of mine has a sign on her wall that says, “The days are long, but the years are short.”

This blog is written for my children. A question I answered in my “What Happens When You Start Blogging” post was, “Why are you writing in a public forum if the information is really for your children?” The answer is that I have discovered that I am incapable of keeping a private journal for them – I just don’t make the time. However, when I am blogging, I know I have followers who are waiting for my new posts. I currently have just shy of 1500 followers. People tell me that they eagerly anticipate the email notification that I have posted something new. That knowledge is excellent motivation to keep writing. So, yes, this information is recorded for my children, but you readers are the motivation. And I thank you for that!

With all that cemented, let me set the record straight by doing something I never do: brag about my children. Here are some amazing things about them… just so you know they are loved. wink wink.

My oldest son (R, age 4):

  • Has a very long attention span
  • is obedient, despite tantrums
  • has excellent motor skills, both fine and gross
  • can recite some scripture stories and knows how to pray
  • can talk about Jesus and Heavenly Father
  • is very thoughtful
  • has favorite foods that include salmon, blueberries, falafel, quinoa, and veggie juices
  • doesn’t know what a “Happy Meal” is (even though he loves french fries, I admit)
  • does not watch TV (but does watch a limited selection of DVDs)
  • does not know how to manipulate any sort of smart phone, computer, or device (this is my choice)
  • protects his babies from all sorts of dangers
  • has an above-average vocabulary (according to a speech therapist) and even understands a bit of Farsi

My middle son/oldest twin (E, age 16 months):

  • looks exactly like my husband’s baby photos, but with lighter eyes and hair
  • is a hugger. He will even pause to hug the stairs, the wall, or a boot
  • has a lower lip that slays me
  • rubs two fingers together when he is nervous
  • is much larger than almost all singletons his age
  • is already learning to share and take turns, because he has no choice
  • has favorite foods that include avocado (he can eat a whole one every day), eggs (he can eat 3), salmon, falafel, and plain yogurt
  • does not watch TV
  • knows a small amount of sign language and says many words

My youngest son/youngest twin (G, age 16 months):

  • looks exactly like my baby pictures, but with darker hair and eyes
  • is quick and sneaky, like a ninja – or a chess player.
  • has the most kissable head… His oldest brother calls him “baby doll head” (he made that up)
  • was in charge in the womb and is in charge now
  • is much larger than most singletons his age, but is way smaller than his twin
  • has favorite foods that include all the same healthy foods that his brothers like
  • does not watch TV
  • knows a small amount of sign language and says some words

I love my kids (duh, boring), and what I do is really hard and really ridiculous. There you have it. The record is straight.

Screwing Up Christmas: The Stories Behind the Pictures

I cannot stress enough to my readers – or to my children – how much effort it takes to do normal things in this house. If unloading the dishwasher is nearly impossible, the idea of Christmas is, um, whoa. “It was like trying to borrow a dollar, getting turned down, and asking for fifty grand instead.” (Although, don’t Google that High Fidelity quote, because it’s about sex, not Christmas.) You can look at the pictures of our Christmas season, and think, “Oh how cute/picturesque/normal…” BUT IT’S NOT! It’s only okayest, at best. I want my children, as well as other overwhelmed mothers, to know that providing anything “normal” these days takes great strength, planning, and patience. The pictures do not tell the whole story in my house, and I sure hope they don’t tell the whole story in your house either. Here are a few normal things that took Herculean effort in this house.

First snowman

Photo: Perfect cute snowman

Photo: Perfect cute snowman

Wow, so cute. So normal, right? Well, Daddy had to be home for this to get done. Momma couldn’t quite manage to get all three kids dressed in boots, coats, snow pants, hats, and mittens. I break out into a sweat just getting them dressed in a diaper with regular clothes. Plus, I don’t think we even have enough snow gear for all of them- they might have to share.

Reality: Babies hide snow gear and get stuck inside while crying "BUBBA!"

Reality: Babies hide snow gear and get stuck inside while crying “BUBBA!”

So, when Daddy was home, I asked him to take R outside to play in the snow. Getting him dressed involved about seven trips up to the bedrooms and down to the basement to dig out appropriate-sized snow gear (to include two boots that are the SAME). Meanwhile, the babies ran amok. I finally got all of R’s gear piled in one spot, and, while we wrestled him into these clothes, one baby managed to run off with the boots and hide them. The other baby took off with the mittens and dumped them behind the dog crate, I think. We finally got R dressed and out the door, and then the babies stood at the window, crying “BUBBA!” (“Brother!”) My mommy-guilt was sky-high. Daddy built the snowman with him, though, so I’m gonna go ahead and call this a victory.

Christmas-Tree Farm

Photo: Cute family at the cute Christmas Tree Farm

Photo: Cute family at the cute Christmas Tree Farm

Looks so picturesque, right? Looks so easy, huh? Let me impress upon you the amount of planning it took to even GET to the farm in the first place. Here is a window into the conversations going on between Mr. and Mrs. Okayest before and during the tree farm trip:

1)      What vehicle would we drive? We used to take the 1988 pickup truck. I used to squeeze in the middle, between Mr. Okayest and a carseat. Now, our family is too big. I would prefer just to throw the babies in the bed of the pickup, but we’d probably get arrested. So we would have to take two cars this year. Wait, no, maybe the tree could just fit on top of our VW? My husband found an old yoga mat to use as a pad on top of the car. Yep, we’re good to go. We would just take the VW to the Christmas tree farm this year so we could all ride together.

2)      When would we go? Every Saturday is filled with obligations and/or chores and/or homework. Okay, we could go on one of Mr. Okayest’s Fridays off. Yes, that would work. Wait, what do you mean the tree farm is only open from 2-5 PM on weekdays? That’s naptime! We have to skip nap to get a dang tree? Uh-oh. It’s worth it, right? It’s only once, right?

3)      How would we get around the farm? Hmmm. Our babies can walk, but they can’t exactly cover great distance on uneven, snow-covered, mud-puddle-ridden ground. We usually take the triple stroller with off-roading wheels for situations like this, but we knew that with the recent snow melt, it would be far too muddy for that. Hmm. Maybe we could use the Ergo carrier and the hiking backpack? What is the weight limit on those things? We haven’t used them in a few months. Would the babies still fit? Would they tolerate not walking? How would we wear an Ergo with a coat again? Would the buckles of the hiking backpack fit around my big husband and his coat?

Reality: Daddy has to saw the tree down with one twin on his back, while R saws with a plastic saw and cries.

Reality: Daddy has to saw the tree down with one twin on his back, while R saws with a plastic saw and cries.

4)      How would Mr. Okayest cut the tree down with a baby on his back? Maybe he could take the hiking backpack off and set it on the ground, with the baby still in it? Oh, wait, it’s too muddy this year. He could just cut it down with a 28-pound kid on his back. Saws and babies – that’s cool, right? Yes, that would work.

5)      How would we make sure  R is included? R insisted on bringing his own saw to the tree farm. He has three toy saws (hand saw, hack saw, and chainsaw), and he knew the right one to bring. How could we argue with that? (You can see him using it in the pictures. He got a face full of sap for that.)

6)      How would we even pay? What do you mean you only take cash or check? Holy crap, we never carry cash or check. Ugh.

It would have been so much simpler and cheaper to get a tree from the grocery store. I’m not even going to write about how long it took us to get loaded up to go home.

Putting up the tree

Photo: Perfect Tree

Photo: Perfect Tree

1)      First, where would we even put it? We bought one of those baby fences (actually two), but we ended up using them around the fireplace and the speakers and other untouchables. Hmmm. With one kid, I totally trusted him (or could just watch him well enough), so this wasn’t an issue. With three kids, I can’t manage. I just can’t. We decided to put it in the dining room and keep the whole room gated off.

Reality: To get this done, we had to gate ourselves into the dining room during the babies' nap, while Momma had a migraine. R put a million ornaments in one cute spot.

Reality: To get this done, we had to gate ourselves into the dining room during the babies’ nap, while Momma had a migraine. R put a million ornaments in one cute spot.

2)      How would we do the ornaments? There is no time – or, more accurately, no energy. Last year, we put lights on the tree, but never got around to the ornaments. This year, R was old enough to be excited about decorating. (He says  the word “decorate” in about 17 syllables.) I had to find the energy to do this. I had to. Mr. Okayest put the tree in the dining room and got all the lights on it – but the ornaments were up to me. I had a 4-day migraine. I could barely see or handle basic life, but I had to do this. I got the ornament box from the basement, gated R and myself in the dining room during the babies’ naptime, and started to unwrap the ornaments. R was tremendously interested and gentle. He helped me for a good hour with his lengthy attention span. He put about 25 ornaments into two square inches of tree, but it looked cute and I left it that way.

I fail at a lot of things with this many small children. I can’t make the cookies I used to make; I forget to put Christmas music on; I am not reading them Christmas stories; we have no Christmas lights on the house this year; all their presents are hand-me-downs or consignment sale toys. But, THIS, this is the one thing I did right:

Photo IS Reality: My son plays with the nativity that his Great-Great-Grandma made by hand, and learns about the birth of Jesus. Win.

Photo IS Reality: My son plays with the nativity that his Great-Great-Grandma made by hand, and learns about the birth of Jesus. Win.

And it’s the only thing that matters. Here is a picture of R playing with my nativity set that my Great-Grandma made – and by “made”, I mean she hand-cast the porcelain and painted it. He was playing with his Great-Great-Grandma’s nativity, and learning about the birth of Jesus. It’s the only thing that matters. I did it.

Momma Quotes

kid stuck under tvWell, I gave you 2-year-old quotes. And then I gave you 3-year-old quotes. What I forgot was 34-year-old momma quotes. You’re welcome.

Moms say things in combinations that have never been tried before in the history of the world. Ever chastised your kid and then wondered, “Has anyone ever said that sentence before? That was a weird thing that just came out of my mouth.” You just witnessed a completely original moment in history. Here are some things that I (may) have remarkably invented, and  that made me laugh. Later.

“Don’t sniff your brother’s bottom when he’s naked.”

“We don’t put potties in the kitchen.”

“Your hair is not a napkin.”

“No, sorry, we can’t get another Jesus even though he died.”

“Doesn’t underwear feel cozy on your penis?”

“If you don’t finish your french fries, you can’t have any more blueberries.” (Don’t ask, cuz I don’t remember.)

“Um, that is just where my peepee comes out.”

“Um, that is just where my milk comes out.”

“Yes, you can play there if you promise not to step in dog poop.”

“We don’t poke the dog in her bottom.”

“No, you will not get baptized with a floatie.”

“Why do you have to put avocado in your ear every day?”

“I’m allowed to laugh.”

“I’m allowed to sing.”

“I’m allowed to run.”

“I’m allowed to talk.”

“It’s good to poop, but we can’t touch poop.”

“Yes, you can have some dog food.”

“Kick your leg like Aerosmith.”

“Honey, one of the babies snotted in my eye today and I finally got the booger out just now! My eye still burns though.”

“All right, who threw up in the toy box?!”

And, lastly, the best one ever:

“We don’t put turtles in our brother’s bottom.”

3-Year-Old Kid Quotes

I am writing these down for R. You can read them or not.

tie dye 1

(he is trying to hold their hands)

From when he was 3-years-old…

R: Can I lick the baby?

R: G crying. Oh dear.

While sticking his nose to my butt:
R: I goosed you, Momma.

R: Momma, you no sing! Only sing at church!

R; Momma, I like cleaning. I a good mopper.

During a power outage:
R: [arranging a pretend pizza] I making dinner.
Daddy: How are you going to make dinner with no power?
R: The generator will help.

Coming home from church:
R: Thank you for church, Momma. You’re welcome.

To the dog:
R: Stop spitting up! Only throw up on deck! Now we have to clean it!

In the bathroom:
R: Momma, come see Daddy’s pee pee!

Looking at the cover of Rolling Stone with Mad Men’s Jon Hamm on the cover:
R: That my Daddy?

Holding his cup to mine:
R: Can you cheers me, Momma?

After a tantrum:
Me: You need a tissue, honey.
R: No. I still crying.

R: Daddy, you wanna wear unner-wears with me?

When I put a baby down to put R on my lap:
R: Thank you for holding me, Momma.

While squatting on the grass:
R: I’m pretend pooping.

While we were reading his adoption story:
R: [pointing to his chest] Who gave you that R?

R: You wanna go on a date with me, Momma? You wanna sit on my lap on the motorcycle?

While pointing to Daddy’s chops:
R: Momma, look what Daddy got!

R: Dance like this! It will make you feel better!

At church:
R: Where Jesus?
Me: In heaven.
R: He died?
Me: Yes.
R: We get ‘nother Jesus?

R: I’m so fast.
Me: Yes, and bigger. You’re getting faster and bigger.
R: I just right.

While making a hole in his play-doh:
R: What the hole happened?

R: What is this music?
Me: It the Beastie Boys.
R: I like Yeastie Boys
[Much later, he asked to hear “that children’s music again”. It took me a while to get it.]

Me: Doesn’t underwear feel so good and soft?
R: Yes, underwears feels good on my penis.

R: Yay, I pee-peed in the potty! Can I drink it?

R: I coughed. I need coffee.
[We’re Mormon. We don’t drink coffee. WTHeck?]

Me: What should we pray for?
R: Hot dogs.

2-Year-Old Kid Quotes

I am writing these quotes down for R. You can read them or not.

sarahs pic

From when he was two years old…

Me: Where’s your smart brain?
R: In my head.
Me: Yes!
R: Can you open it?

At church:
Me: This is Jesus’ house and we need to be reverent and quiet.
R: [thinking] Jesus come R’s house?

Me: NO!
R: Time-out?
Me: I didn’t say you had to go in time-out.
R: PLEEEEEEASE TIME-OUT?!

R: R so happy. R show Daddy smile.

After a bath:
R: Water go bye-bye? Water go home?

On the way to Grandma’s house:
R: Grammy so happy see R?
Me: Yes. Are you happy?
R: No. R not happy. R big boy.

To the dog:
R: Don’t goose Momma. No goose.

Talking to Daddy on his toy phone:
R: Hi Daddy. How you? You all done work? Fireplace on. Babies crying please.

After a diaper change:
R: Let me see it poop. Looks like hot dogs. Hot dogs Costco.