Spilled Coffee, Spilled Mascara And Lego Trains

My PE schedule changed this year.  Since the dinosaurs roamed the earth, my first PE class has started at 9:15.  I took this for granted with two kids, because I could get everyone up and out the door by 7:45, and then I could breathe a sigh of relief.  I had plenty of time to take my own shower and sip my own cup of coffee in all the silence left behind, after the exodus of the children, and I was never crazy.

This year, I agreed to take a PE class at 8:15.

I know.

I have no idea what I was thinking either.

So now I basically run around the house like a hyper squirrel with a Mountain Dew IV drip on the days that I teach, as I get all the stuff done.  I make the lunches; I set out the breakfasts.  I make sure Thing 2 doesn’t look completely homeless with his daily wardrobe choice.  I rush myself through the shower, and I rush through the application of mascara.  (I’ve learned that this rushing during mascara time is usually a terrible choice, because last week I stuck myself in the eyeball with the mascara wand, and this week I dropped the wand down my face, so that a black trail commemorated the fall.)  I have decided that I have no idea how working mothers get everyone out the door by 7:45.  Who are these women?  Do they get up at 3 AM to accomplish everything that needs to be done before they leave?  I stand in awe of any woman who successfully pushes children and husbands and herself straight out of the front door before the bells toll eight.  As for me and my household, we are going to have to revisit the morning schedule for my PE days, because we are turning into a wide pot o’ crazy over here.

This morning, the boy wanted soft boiled eggs for breakfast, because we have just recently learned how to make them.  Oh, I’ve been able to boil eggs successfully for at least a couple of years now, but last month I saw a recipe for THE SOFT BOILED EGG, which was then dropped onto HOT BUTTERED TOAST, and I said to myself, “I think the party is right there.”  So I  made them one morning (one SUMMER morning, when nobody had to be anywhere on time, except for Hubs, who is fairly independent).  They were delicious.  The following morning, I made them for the boy, because the boy is in love with fried eggs, where the yolk runs free and spreads all over the plate.  He has never been a fan of the BOILED egg, because… well... the yolk is solid.  So, I was fairly certain he’d love this new recipe (*wink wink*).  I made them, and it was true:   The boy rose up, and he called me blessed among mothers.  He complimented me AT LEAST three dozen times on how wonderful his eggs were that day, and then he asked me for “the recipe.”

I simply told him, “It’s a boiled egg that doesn’t stay in the water as long.”

WHO EVEN KNEW?!

Six and a half minutes, in a pot of boiling water, and there you are, people.  Go ahead and thank me now, if this changes your life, because it will change your life FOR THE BETTER.

We have eaten our weight in boiled eggs at the Jedi Manor lately, because soft boiled eggs and hot buttered toast are better than Christmas morning.  Even Hubs has gotten on board with them, which is nothing short of miraculous, because Hubs has always been opposed to ANY egg with a mushy yolk.  If the yolk isn’t pale yellow and hard as a golf ball, Hubs turns up his nose and walks away, commenting that anyone who touches it will develop salmonella.

But one morning, he looked at the boy’s plate of soft boiled eggs and announced, “Those look good.”

Well…

… DUH.

And that’s how I have come to be the egg-boiler in the mornings.  Everyone wants one, except Thing 2, who would rather be stabbed through the gut with a rusty sword than be in the same room with an egg.

ANYWAY.

This morning, there was a lot of rushing and a lot of me yelling out, “Hurry!  Everyone!  Please!  Just… HURRY UP!!”  So… you know… a USUAL sort of work morning for me.  Hubs made me a cup of coffee, because he’s still the romantic man I married, twenty-three years later.  I ran with my coffee to the bathroom, because I had a date with a mascara wand that was going to fall down my face and leave a black trail of horror on my cheek, but FIRST!

FIRST… I had to open the medicine cabinet to get the toothpaste…

… and I knocked a prescription bottle of old eye drops out of the cabinet.

That bottle of eye drops fell straight to its death…

… in my coffee cup.

It landed much like a six year old demonstrating the belly flop at a local neighborhood swimming pool, so… AS YOU’D EXPECT… coffee was displaced (Do you like my smart science term there?!).  It basically exploded out of my cup like a raging volcano, spraying beige-colored coffee and cream all over everything within a twenty-six foot radius.

I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy… down in my heart!”

I had to do some happy singing, before I cried over spilled cream and coffee.

And then I got myself to school, and I was even on time, which was a stunning revelation, considering that I had to clean mascara off my face and coffee off of everything and cook runny boiled eggs.

So now… we play catch-up on the blog, because I have been a negligent blogger, but we talked about that last night.

Long before school started… long before we cut the curls off, at Thing 2’s insistence… our second son decided to work toward earning a Lego train set.  I know that YOUR KIDS are all perfect and adorable, so they’d NEVER need to correct certain behaviors, using a reward system, but we found ourselves smack in the middle of that territory.  So… I bought the coveted Lego train set and a package of neon garage sale stickers.

On days when Thing 2’s behavior choices were pleasing unto me, he got to put a sticker on the box.

And when he had accumulated enough stickers, the Legos were his.

I have never seen such a willing student, who was determined to change, because TRAINS and LEGOS are his love languages.  This was the pinnacle of everything that could make Thing 2 happy in life.  We had a couple of weeks of GLORIOUSLY WONDERFUL BEHAVIOR, and Mama was happy.  And Thing 2 was happy, as well, because every neon dot was one day closer to building that train set.

And then…

… it happened.

He had collected enough sticky dots, according to our notarized contract and legal terms.

He set up shop in the living room, which is Grand Lego Building Central at our house.  This insures that there are ALWAYS plenty of Lego pieces for us to find in the dark of the night, with our bare feet.

Bless.

(On a side note, Thing 2 stepped on a Lego brick with HIS bare feet one day about two weeks ago, and bawled his pain to the heavens and the earth.  I felt a little sorry for him, but basically I just relished the chance to shout, “This is why I tell you to pick up the Legos!  Because I’m always the one who steps on them with MY bare feet, and NOW YOU KNOW!!!”  Fortunately, I said none of this, because I am a very mature parent.)

The little man built and he built and he built.

And then he built some more.

He studied instructions.

He cried when one section didn’t work out, and then he recruited his older brother to retrace his steps in the manual for him, until that eighteen year old had found the error.  Together, they dismantled one section and added the missing brick, which made everything line up right.

Big brothers are worth their weight in gold when it comes to Lego help.

By that afternoon, Thing 2 had a train.

And let’s just take a moment to look at those curls.

Sigh.

His mama begged to grow them long, but Thing 2 shut that dream down the week before 1st grade started.  He likes his hair SHORT… and the shorter, the better, as far as he’s concerned.

Which means that a shaved military haircut… at a military school… instead of a Lego set… might work out fine the next time we need to get rid of some unwanted behaviors!

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

That Little Faithful Blogger Of Yesteryear

Once upon a time, there was a girl who wasn’t very good at scrapbooking.  It probably had a lot to do with the fact that she wasn’t very good at crafts, because crafts made her need to sit down, with her back against a wall and her head hung between her knees, as she drew in long breaths of air to keep herself from hyperventilating.  (She hyperventilates easily, because she is dramatic, but that’s a story for another day.)  Oh, she WANTED to be good at scrapbooking, because all of her friends were diligently using those crimped scissors to make scalloped edges on THEIR photos, to perfectly preserve their trip to Cancun and the arrival of their new Golden Retriever and the time when their kid was five and lost his first tooth.  She wanted to have a fully-finished scrapbook, too, to whip out at dinner parties and declare, “It was nothing.  Just four hundred and seven hours of labor with the glue stick and $14,000 spent on fancy paper and stickers.”

But the truth is, she gave up on scrapbooking because when her boy was five, she had completed the first four months of his life on acid-free scrapbook pages.  There they were, in all of their full-color glory, with every manner of fancy paper involved.  Four entire MONTHS.  She had documented his birth.  She had documented the first night he slept in his crib.  She had documented the first time he had a bath and the first time he ate baby food and the first time his grandparents held him.  But… the boy was FIVE YEARS OLD, and she was behind enough to make her OCD personality need a nerve pill.  And that’s when it dawned on her:  cutting pictures into fancy circles and asking the Lord for a vision on the layout style for her pages (that would impress the world and get her into scrapbooking magazines) was so time consuming, she would never catch up.

And that’s how the boy became a nine-year-old, who was tall enough for the third grade, and the scrapbook still sat in a basement box with no pages to turn after the page celebrating LOOK!!  HE IS FOUR MONTHS OLD NOW!

So she started blogging, because blogging was all the rage, and WAHOO!!  There is no glue involved and no glittery stickers to worry about!  So while her husband was on a business trip, that girl who was every bit as good on a computer as Martha Washington was, started a blog with nary a second’s help from the husband.

Because he was out of town.

She texted the blog link on her old flip phone, when texting took two minutes for five words, to the man she loved and said, “Look what I have done!”

And that husband texted her back and said, “I am so proud of you,” because emojis didn’t exist yet, so he had to use real words instead of his favorite THUMBS UP picture.  And then he came home from his business trip with a book entitled BLOGGING FOR DUMMIES, which she immediately devoured, because WHAT ON EARTH HAD SHE GOTTEN HERSELF INTO?  But, lo!  She was committed, and she faithfully blogged five nights a week, come the first frost in Hell or high waters in Small Town.  She was determined that this blogging endeavor would not be like the scrapbooking hobby.

And it went on and on for years.  The boy grew.  He lost more teeth.  He grew his hair long; he cut his hair short.  He turned ten and then thirteen and… yes!  Even eighteen!  He got a frog for a pet, he had Nerf gun wars with his friends.  He hosted sleepovers with his buddies; he went to prom.  He got a little brother.  The girl got older, and so did her husband, and there she was… still blogging like it was HER JOB.  Look, everyone!  She had quit scrapbooking and she had quit step aerobics and she had quit her George Foreman grill, but SHE HAD NOT QUIT BLOGGING!!

The little brother grew up.  He ate baby food; he crawled.  He lost teeth; he went to kindergarten.  She recorded it all, right there on the World Wide Web, just like it was her digital scrapbook.  She wanted to write a post about how he slept through the night, but that never happened, because she had taken so much pride in how well her firstborn slept, the Good Lord told her to settle down and see what life was like underneath of her pride, where her second child stayed awake more hours than he didn’t.

And then somewhere along the line, during Hell’s trifecta of great hotness, when it was June, July and August in Small Town and she was sweating like a pink pig the week before Easter, she let a few nights slip on the blog.

And then she let a few more nights slip on the blog.

She was tired.  The younger son was always awake.

The laundry piled up like fourteen people were living in her house and taking all their clothes off for showers.  She wondered how four people could generate so much laundry, and how she could get it to stop.  She suggested they all pick a favorite outfit and wear it for an entire week, but… even though she lived with nothing but menfolk who don’t put too much stock in smelling fresh… they declined her suggestions.  They continued changing clothes frequently.  The laundry baskets grew heavier and heavier, until she wanted to cry.

So… she let a few more nights slip on the blog, because she was waist-deep in mounds of freshly washed socks and T-shirts that all had to be folded, and she was living in a time when she considered getting up at 5:30 on a Saturday morning with the little man as SLEEPING IN.

And then there was dinner.  Every single night, they all wanted to eat, and it was so hot, and she was still folding laundry, so WHY COULDN’T THEY MAKE CAP’N CRUNCH IN A BOWL?!  Though they professed their love of cold cereal, they only wanted that in the mornings, like traditionalists.  In the evenings, they wanted meat and potatoes.  They wanted fruit.  They wanted noodles and sauces and fried this and sauteed that.  They wanted everything…

… except vegetables.

So she let a few more nights slip on the blog.

And then sometimes, when all the planets were lined up just right and the wind was blowing slowly out of the east, she and that husband would find a couple of minutes before the washing machine bells chimed to sit on their deck and drink pineapple rum mixed up right with frozen fruit.

So she let a few more nights slip on the blog.

And now… here it is… the middle of SENIOR YEAR and the FIRST STINKING GRADE, and she feels like she’s back at that old scrapbook page labeled FOUR MONTHS.

But, she is a feisty girl, who has been known to pull her act together before.  Even though she walks through the valley of the shadow of little sleep, she will try to blog.  Even though her sprinklers are currently broken and the lush greenness of her front lawn is being threatened by NO DRINKS THIS WEEK, KENTUCKY BLUEGRASS… and even though the husband keeps sending her to the basement to turn handles on water pipes, but she accidentally turns the handle on the gas pipe instead, because WHERE ARE THE DISTINCT LABELS?, she will try to blog better.  Even though the six year old is still a rotten sleeper… even though one of her cats has done an ungodly thing and… AHEM!… WET on her carpet and caused her to HATE CATS and want to SKIN CATS, because OH, HOLY MOTHER OF SCOOBY-DOO!! THE STENCH!!!… and even though the laundry pile is still obscene… and even though she still has to pack a lunch that follows the guidelines of GLUTEN-FREE AND ALSO DAIRY-FREE, but adheres to the term KID FRIENDLY, every single weekday morning… and even though someone at her house used a ballpoint pen to make superhero signs on a T-shirt that must be dealt with… and even though the toilet in her bathroom keeps running but seldom flushing… and even though she committed herself to helping teach Sunday School to first graders on Sunday mornings, FOR THE ENTIRE SCHOOL YEAR, even though this is not her spiritual gift… she will try to be more faithful at blogging.

Amen and selah.

Opening Game

Well… Thing 2 opened up his soccer season late this afternoon with five shots on the goal.

He hit the goal post three times.

He missed the goal by inches once.

And he was shut down by the defense on his last attempt to score a point for Team Red.

But… even though he didn’t score a goal this time around, our little man played soccer like a professional maniac tonight.  He was all over the field, kicking constantly and not really passing when he should.

I believe that would be… well... #ballhog.

After the game, the little fellow who brought snacks passed out tall plastic bottles full of bright red corn syrup, to celebrate Team Red’s win.  (Yes. We won, three to one.) Thing 2 cracked the top off that drink and slurped it down like a dying man in the desert, as he gasped, “My mom NEVER lets me have this stuff!  I don’t even care that I missed all my goals tonight, because we got RED DRINKS!!”

If that isn’t genuine happiness, then I don’t know what is!

Y’all have a good Wednesday evening.

Jedi Mama, Explained

Back in my day (and I really never dreamed that I’d actually reach an age where I could type that particular phrase), technology was limited, and the “Age of Information” was a whole lot younger. We didn’t have the Internet, so we were forced to use the encyclopedias at the public library, because no one had visited our house on a door-to-door sales mission to see if we wanted to buy the A through Z volumes, bound in faux leather and imprinted in gold lettering.

So clearly, although we had cassette tapes of Def Leppard and Rick Springfield (which I played and rewound so many times, they actually wore out), no one had a blog.

But now days, it appears that everyone has a blog, and so, in trying to keep up with technology, I’ve finally decided to take the rowboat out to the big blog ship and get on board. Of course, the older I get, the more I have come to terms with the fact that I believe I have adult-onset ADD. Ultimately this means that I have a difficult time holding onto thoughts for longer than 52 seconds at a time, at which point they sail right out of my pretty little head with the carbon dioxide and leave me with a pleasant, but completely empty, feeling. Because of this syndrome, I have no idea whether or not I’ll even remember that I have a blog, and that I should be posting to it on a regular basis, but I do promise to give it my best shot.

And I know that some of you will ask, “Why the title? Why Jedi Mama?”

Why?

Because the amount of Star Wars that is re-enacted at our house is often overwhelming and leaves me wondering if I have been transported to the Death Star after all. If Light Saber Duals were an Olympic sport, the boy (our resident 9-year-old) would be a gold medal holder, several times over. Michael Phelps would have nothing on him. The boy would need a wheelbarrow to carry all the gold around in.

When we brought that small bundle of joy home from the hospital, I never dreame2009d that he would eventually bring me to a point in my life where I could tell you the name of Boba Fett’s ship. In fact, I admit that I had no premonitions that I’d actually even know who Boba Fett was, let alone be able to pick him out of a line up of motley creatures. Nor did I know that I’d be able to distinguish Boba Fett from Jango Fett.

Ohmylands! There is a difference! And although I cannot accuratel

 

y grace you with a full family tree for the Fetts, I can at least recognize each of them when they zip past me at our house.

Hence…the Jedi Mama.

And this snapshot is just par for the course at our house.