Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Spoiled Chick Camping Part 2

The boys lay sprawled across their sleeping bags wearing only underwear. There I sat between them, the tent lit by only battery operated lantern, fanning them with a plastic dinner plate. An overstimulated CJ had dissolved into a fit of tears a half an hour earlier at the mention of going to bed now lay still. Just when I thought he'd dozed off he would speak. If I could get them cool enough, maybe they could sleep. Then CJ asked me why I was fanning them with a plate. "To keep you cool," I replied. "Stop it and go to bed," he said. Gee, I work and I slave and I sit up in a tent in the middle of the night fanning you and this is the thanks I get. I went to "bed" and attempted to settle in for the night. At first light drops splattered against the outside of the tent. "Is it raining," WC asked. Jay confirmed it was and I waited for the freak out to begin (he's been very afraid of storms since the May floods). But he seemed to remain calm. Then the bottom of the clouds dropped out. I dozed on and off the rest of the night. I'd wake and reach over to the tent floor, praying that I didn't feel water. I'd find all dry and switch on the flashlight to see two sleeping boys across the tent and nothing dripping from the ceiling. And back to sleep if only for a short while. The downpour brought a cool breeze through the vents in the tent. We were comfortable, at last. The sun rose on Saturday morning to drops dripping from the tree leaves and signifying the end of my first night in a tent. Birds fought loudly overhead. I glanced over to find WC laying awake and staring up at the ceiling with a disgusted look on his face. He stayed that way for sometime before grabbing his pillow and diving his head underneath to try and drown out the squawking.
After breakfast we were off for our service project. All the boys piled into the back of a couple trucks to head down to the office. I loved the look on their little faces when they saw the big truck they would ride in. For our service project we were cleaning a new walking trail for the park. The little boys had to pick up rocks from the middle of the trail and line them along the edges. Even CJ participated. But his thing was to rearrange the rocks on the side of the trail. Keeping him on the trail was another time consuming activity. I voted CJ most likely to get poison ivy out there. However, one of the older boys managed to beat him to him by going out and pulling poison ivy directly off the side of the tree with his hands. He was promply whisked away to the office to wash. I'm just grateful it wasn't CJ!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Spoiled Chick Goes Camping: Part 1

I admit when WC asked if he could try scouts I was more than a tad apprehensive. After all, this is the same kid who used to be afraid of ants and butterflies. Not to mention, I'm not the outdoorsy type. I love to go hiking but at the end of the day I'm used to retiring to a rented cabin with a bath tub and a four poster king bed. So I wasn't too keen on the prospect of sleeping in a tent. BUT he's always been a timid child and afraid to try new things. When I put him in karate before kindergarten to boost his confidence, he cried every class for the first six weeks. So when he proposed quitting karate in favor trying something new I couldn't say no. So, I made up my mind to strap on a pair and go for it. I've discovered that the cub scouts is very much a family oriented organization. It is just as much for the parents as the child. There is no dropping your kid off for an hour and leaving (not that I would do that with my 6 almost 7 year old). The parents stay and our participation is vital to the success of the den. It's all about fostering family. I like it. Much to Jay's grumble, all four of us, were heading out camping. Thursday afternoon CJ threw up four times. He never ran a fever or acted sick. So we made contingency plans that one of us would have to take WC and the other stay home with CJ. Jay volunteered to stay home and I called him a little girl.
Friday afternoon I loaded my car and the kids and I headed out. Jay wouldn't be able to leave work early enough to make it before sundown. His only job was to fill the cooler and bring it.
I found the location and even the campsite with ease. Odd for me since I get lost in my own house. It was hot humid and nasty feeling. Unloading the car and setting up was misery compounded with the rapid loss of daylight--which did not bring relief. I could have wrung a gallon of sweat of of my bra easily. A very good chance of rain loomed in the forecast which brought the promise of cold front. At least then it wouldn't be 95 degrees...I mean is September, right? Hello? Fall...Autumn...change of season...where the hell are you?
Armed with their battery powered lanterns the boys headed out to wander the campsite and find people that WC knew. I followed along in the dark. Up and down the paths in and out and around trees. Please, please, please...I have to sit down! They began to complain about being thirsty...Jay still hadn't arrived yet. At that moment I discovered my phone didn't have reception. Phoneless, computerless...I was without any form of communication. A small seed of panic plopped down in my gut. How could I survive? Since my phone was down to one battery bar and pretty much useless except as an expensive clock, I shut it off and threw it into my bag. Inside the tent was hot as hell. Finally, I remembered that I brought their refillable water bottles and we headed off to the bathroom for running water. On our way back from the bathroom a man came from out of the trees and grabbed WC--it was Jay!
Stay tuned Wednesday for more of the spoiled chicks first camping experience.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

This Week In The Nest...

It has been nonstop this week. And I haven't had an opportunity to sit down and compose a cute little story in the midst. Jay had a job interview that would have meant moving away. So after several days of agony we were disappointed and relieved all at the same time when they chose someone who wouldn't have to move an entire family for the position. While it would have been exciting, I didn't really want to leave.
We've been preparing for the Bobcat badge in the Cub Scout world. And it requires more memorization that I have brain cells. He has to learn the Promise, Law of the Pack, motto, salute, handshake, and what WEBLOS means (I'm prob forgetting something). WC is a fast learner...but he refuses to talk to people he doesn't know so getting credit is going to be tricky. We'll get there, we always do.Right now I am preparing for our first ever Cub Scout camp out this weekend. And in my standard fashion, I have next to nothing ready. I find that I'm flying by the seat of my pants more and more these days. I have a tent...and that's it. I admit that it's a very important piece of equipment when it comes to camping out but I don't think we'll be very comfortable with just a tent. So, tomorrow is a whirlwind day of gathering camping supplies. This will be the first ever camp out for 3 out of our 4 family members (aunt cat refuses to even try). So stay tuned for next week there will be stories of this little excursion. And I sincerely hope that none of my stories end with the phrase, "So that's how we landed in the Emergency Room."

Friday, September 17, 2010

Somethings Not Right...

You know the feeling. If you have kids and the house is quiet while they're home and they're not hog tied in the closet and it isn't the middle of the night. They're doing something they are not supposed to. In my household that is pretty much the only time they aren't loud enough to drown out the TV at top volume.
Last Friday night, Jay and I were eating dinner. I decided to allow them to stay up past their normal bedtime. They were watching a Bugs Bunny DVD on the television in our room. That's right, my kids love the old Bugs Bunny and Looney Tunes cartoons. New computer animation be darned, the old classics stand the test of time in the entertainment department. Even though they are allowed to watch minimal television, they are seldom quiet for very long even when it's on. So when they were quiet for several minutes it caught my attention. I'd began to feel uneasy when Jay asked me if I was just as nervous as he was. I nodded and agreed that I felt uneasy. Not thirty seconds passed when WC rounded the corner. "CJ peed in your bathroom floor," he announced. Jay and I stared at each other. "Then I had to take off my sock," WC continued. "Cause, I'd stepped in the pee and my sock was all wet."
"Where's your brother now," I ask (scared of the answer).
"He's standing in front of the potty waiting for you to come whip his butt." (I highly doubt that)
Jay falls over laughing. WC stares at him looking appalled. "This family is disgusting." He declared and stomped off.
Before I reach the bathroom I just assume that he'd stood in front of the toilet and simply missed. He's not supposed to use our bathroom because the toilet is three inches higher than the one in the hall bathroom and he can't reach over it easily while standing. But when I reach the bathroom and open the door the scene unfolded. There stood CJ in front of the toilet-yes. But facing the opposite direction. And the giant puddle square in the middle of the floor. I had to return to the kitchen to retrieve the roll of paper towels and to laugh at the absurdity of the situation.
WC, even more appalled, is wondering aloud how we find peeing in the bathroom floor funny. It wasn't funny but sometimes if we don't laugh...we might go crazy instead.
While CJ was verbally reprimanded for his actions, I did not "whip his butt."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Easy Way to Wake Your Parents: Preschool Edition

In the hour before sunrise on Saturday morning I was in a peaceful, dreamless sleep. Unaware of the jolt that would send me from serene to my hair standing on end. A blaring light entered my consciousness. I thought for a brief second that perhaps I'd died and it was that great bright light we always hear about. Then..."I gotta go pee-pee" screamed its way into my ears. Now, I'm certain that I'm not dead...but I can't see. I hold my hand up to block the glaring light from our ceiling. Jay has jumped up and mumbling some version of what the ****is going on? "CJ, turn that light off," I yell. "But, I gotta go pee-pee," he replied.
I roll from the bed and stumble across the room holding one hand out in front of me. On a good day, I'm visually challenged. Now sans glasses and with scorched cornea's the world is a blurry purple splotch. "You should have just come up to my side of the bed and told me." I say. I switch off the light and he turns to huff away. "You made me sad," he yells. "You blinded me," I yell back. "Now get in that bathroom."
We take of that and I take him back to bed. "But, I'm hungry," he protested. I retrieve a slice of cheese from the fridge. I leave him in bed eating his cheese and return to my room. But my heart is still pounding and the adrenaline pumping through my system, so I'm not sure that I'd be able to return to a peaceful slumber. I lay next to Jay; assume he'd gone back to sleep. A couple  minutes later he says, "I think I may have wet myself a little."

Friday, September 10, 2010

One Lucky Man

Two weeks ago today Jay bought a "new" car. Not brand new but new to us. The decision came about to trade in his already paid for automobile when it began to have transmission issues. We were faced with a dilemma: shell out the money for the work and have to keep the car several more years or take on another car payment (my car has around 1 year left). He wanted to take the route of the buying. While I didn't want another car payment, I also didn't want the car to break down on his commute to or from work either. He drives long rural, curvy roads with little or no shoulder and in the dark. And I also didn't want to pay for a transmission, either. We were faced with a choice of pay now or later but we would definitely pay. Since he works for an auto body shop at a car dealership we chose to go through them and purchase from one of the many the guy owns. Over the past several years he's worked in different areas of the car industry and we've now purchased our last three cars from his last three employers. He came home two Friday's ago with his pretty, shiny toy filled with more bells and whistles than we've ever had on something with wheels. When he told me that his rear view and side mirrors dimmed and the side mirrors also have their own defrost I officially labeled him "spoiled."
The next day we were at my parents house dropping the kids off to attend a church pizza party with them. Their across the street neighbor and long time friend told my mom that he was now proud of us since we had the pretty new car. Without missing a beat Jay replies. "Be proud of us for the way we raise our sons not for the car I drive." This is why I love that man. For him things are still just things. It's a car. A mode of transportation and nothing more. It doesn't represent something we should be praised for.
A couple days ago I hit the interstate for my lovely morning commute when my phone rang. Jay never calls me that time of the morning. "I had a wreck," he said. Earlier in the morning it had rained. Rain no longer fell but the streets were still wet. He swore he wasn't speeding. He rounded a curve on the rural road he travels when he says he found himself spinning in the middle of road; almost like a hand reached down and spun the car. He never hit the breaks, didn't have any control, and all he could do was watch and anticipate where he would land. The car came to a rest about four feet from a telephone pole after sliding over the curb. The police officer later joked that he did a great parallel parking job. Jay found himself stuck in the mud and unsure of what sort of damage happened under the car. This is where he called me while waiting on the police and tow truck. But he came out unscathed. So, I went onto work and waited to hear what the damage was on the barely week old car.
His company's tow driver came out and pulled the car out of the mud pit. Back at the shop and cleaned they found a few scrapes on the underside of the side and bumpers...and that was it. No need to file an insurance claim. We only had to pay for the tow and the guy who looked the car over and realigned the tires.
I'm considering banning him from driving on wet streets. The last wreck he had (before CJ) happened on wet streets. He hydroplaned into oncoming traffic and was hit head-on. He walked away from that too. The car was totalled and he shouldn't have been able to walk away from that. Someone upstairs was definitely watching out for Jay. So many other variables that if had occurred would change this story entirely but lucky for us he's one lucky man.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Love is Blind

A couple of months ago CJ fell in love with a giant zucchini. My former boss brought in a whole basket of really large squash and zucchini that she'd grown. I really like zucchini so I picked up one and brought it home eager to cook and eat it. The next morning, Saturday, the boys spotted it on the counter and decided to play with it. They took it into the living room and played with it mixed in with their real toys. Quickly CJ named it Squash and began carrying it around in the crook of his arm, like a baby. He carried it around and talked to it all day long. That evening as I planned my dinner, the included "Squash" I started to gather my ingredients together and went to retrieve the zucchini. Unfortunately when he discovered my plans for "Squash" included cutting it up and cooking it...he freaked. OMG, I hope he never discovers where his beloved chicken nuggets come from...well, for the time being. It would be ridiculous if say by 17 he still didn't know. So, my dinner plans changed. I figured in a day or two he would forget about it. The next obstacle came when he wanted to take "Squash" to bed with him. And, lets face it, I'm not up for that mom of the year award anyway. If it came to a fit or peacefully drifting off to sleep cuddled up to organically grown produce, I didn't see the big deal. But Jay put his foot down and said we couldn't let the kid sleep with vegetables. Fine. "I'm sorry sweetie, daddy says no." Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know parenting 101 the whole united front crap. Well I lay down the law a whole lot more, so let him take the fall for once. So, "Squash" sleeps in the kitchen where he belongs. And a couple days later CJ is still in love with it. So the third night, Jay hides "Squash." And sure enough the next morning CJ looks around for his beloved vegetable but gets side tracked before locating it and memory of it fades. Fast forward to this past Friday. I move the breadbox to clean and what do I find? That's right a shriveled, dusty, gross and no longer impressive zucchini. I cried a little.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sour Puss

When I arrived home from the grocery store on Saturday Jay and WC were watching a movie on television. CJ slept soundly on the sofa right where I left him. It surprised me that Jay was allowing WC to watch this particular film because I'd heard that it was not particularly appropriate for children. But the original had been a big hit with the kids. But for some reason they chose to use some rough language in the sequel. In less than five minutes of my arrival I counted two words that I didn't wish for my son to listen to. Jay and I glanced at each other a few looks of hesitance. Then after both S.O.B and B***h were used in the next few minutes Jay turned the channel. He explained to WC that they were using words that little boys shouldn't listen to. WC replied very seriously. "What? I'd never call anyone a sour puss."

On an unrelated note I'm now the mom of a cub scout. WC is now old enough to begin scouts. This child of mine that does not like bugs and has had a fit over tree pollen floating down on him wants to try this. He's given up karate for the time being, my schedule can't accommodate both activities. I'm hoping that it will help with his outdoor fears. We went to sign up on Monday and then Tuesday they had their pack meeting where the boys who earned badges over the summer received them. He and I went so he could see that. And I guess I must have blacked out somewhere along the way because I left there the assistant den leader for WC's den. And I must confess that I have never camped out a day in my life. And call me spoiled but unless there's indoor potty facilities this chick will not be involved. I'm willing to get a tent, supplies and give sleeping outdoors in old woods a shot but I am not doing my business in a hole. WC is absolutely ecstatic that I am going to be the assistant and that makes me happy.