A Non-Snuggler’s Guide to Surviving the Night with a Snuggler

Bubba loves to snuggle.  Perhaps a more precise statement would be that, when sleeping, Bubba loves to have as many of his body parts touch as many of your body parts as humanly possible.

I hate to snuggle.  What I actually mean is, if you’re sleeping in my bed, you better be far enough away from me that I don’t know you’re there.

Bubba usually finds his way into our bed in the unconscious hours of the night.  Thankfully Jay doesn’t mind the snuggling, so he defends me.  It normally goes like this:

Bubba plasters himself to me (or on top of me even).
Me:  “Bubbaaaaaaa…..scoooooooot over!”
Jay:  “Come here, Bub.  I’ll snuggle you.”
Bubba plasters himself to Jay.
Mommy’s happy again.
We all fall back asleep.

Well, this weekend Jay has been banished to Chica’s bed because he has some funky cold that none of us can afford to catch.  I have no trusty bed defender, so I had to get creative.

Guess what….my plan worked!  So in case you need it some day, I present to you…

The Non-Snuggler’s Guide to Surviving the Night with a Snuggler

1.  Scoot to one side of the bed and let your companion fall asleep however they’d like.  It will probably mean a strangling choke-hold and an under-the-cover temperature rising well over 90, but it will be worth it.  Trust me.

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2.  Once the offender has fallen fully asleep, it’s time for your secret maneuver.  Slip carefully out of the bed, walk around the outside all stealth-like, and find the unoccupied, cold side of the bed.  Enjoy it, friend.

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3.  You can count on the fact that your bed magnet will reorient itself and be soon attracted back to your warming side of the bed.  Untitled_3Have no fear…the secret maneuver also works in reverse!  Slip out of the bed again carefully, retrace your steps, and return to your original position.  You are guaranteed at least a few minutes of cold, lonely slumber.

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4.  Repeat as many times as necessary.

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Non-snugglers out there….you’re welcome.

One day I hope to write another expert post titled the following:

The Anti-Co-Sleeper’s Guide to Getting Your Kid to Stay the Heck in His Own Bed

I’m have a sneaky suspicion that it may go something like this…

Step 1:  Wait until he’s eight.

Step 2:  Enjoy.

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(Under the) Bed Inventory

Tonight I banished my family from the house so I could clean.  It’s that bad.

As I was wrapping up my five minutes in Bubba’s room (check here for some unsolicited cleaning advice), I decided to check under his bed.

BIG MISTAKE.  Yikes.

So as I literally raked stuff out from under his bed, I couldn’t help but think of memories of this day, almost 2 years ago exactly.  The bathroom scale?  Really??

Lest Bubba may feel left out one day without his own bed inventory, here ya go:

My favorite pair of maroon flats that are too painful to wear all day at school.
A singing Eric Carle book.
Four juggling balls made on Craft with Daddy day.
A real baseball.
Jake and the Neverland Pirates flashcards that I thought I had discarded.
A cork.
Two of Chica’s socks and one of Bubba’s.  None matching.
A string.
A Kohl’s $2.20 price tag.
Twelve wooden blocks.
A wipes box.
Sunglasses that fit no member of our family.
A pink fireman’s hat.
My old flip phone.
Bubba’s name tag from the church nursery.
A walking chick.
A reminder to, “Brush your teeth,” that probably no one followed that day.
Two gummy wrappers.
Pieces from a dish that Bubba threw against the wall and broke one day during a tantrum.
A lion.
A duck.
Brown Bear.
A bubble blower.
Olivia’s car.
Various drill bits.
A whistle.
The Magna Doodle triangle that cannot stay with that toy to save anyone’s life.
Some strange McDonald’s toy.
Two marbles.
A dime.
A bead.
A car from IKEA (which happens to be one of my top 5 favorite toys ever).
And an eyeball.

_MG_3767You better bet I’m not making that mistake again during the five minutes in my room.  Ha.

P.S.  You know how you get that place in the middle of your back where you can’t reach an itch?  There’s that same kind of unreachable spot in the middle of a bed that’s on carpet and won’t slide.  There’s more to this list, but it’s staying put for now.  Oh well.

What’s In That Bag?

This morning at breakfast Jay noticed a rolled up brown bag on the kitchen table.  I knew that it contained a take-home portion of preacher cookies from Nana’s house the night before, but Jay had no idea.  I also knew that if the little people in my house discovered the bag’s contents, they would be gone before I got any.  So when he asked about it at breakfast with everyone around, I had to get a little creative….

Jay:  What’s in that bag?
Me:  Ummm….circular…..uhh……carbohydrate goodness….of the no bake variety.

You see, Chica can read now.  And when she really wants to, she can decode fairly well.  So my normal answer that has worked for the past six years, “C-O-O-K-I-E-S,” is no longer effective.  After a second or two he caught my drift, and we both had a good laugh over it.

AND they still don’t know we have cookies.  Score.

So we decided we should start preparing our responses for other common situations where the spelling strategy just won’t work.  Here’s the list we’ve got so far….

Jay:  A package came today.  What is it?
Me:  It’s a parcel to celebrate the delivery of our eldest offspring.

Jay:  Did you hear what Nana just asked?
Me:  No. What?
Jay:  She wants to know if we want to deposit our decedents in her care for the nocturnal hours.
Me:  Of course.

Jay:  What should we do for dinner tonight?
Me:  Why don’t we just patronize our favorite local establishment that specializes in the preparation of circular Italian specialties?

Me:  They’re driving me crazy.  What can they do?
Jay:  Can they retire to the subterranean chamber and make use of the cathode ray tube for an undetermined amount of time?

And my personal favorite….

Jay:  What are you doing after the kids are in bed?
Me:  Why don’t we go recline horizontally in the slumber chamber with minimal distance between us?
Jay:  Are you suggesting we do this with a lack of garments?
Me:  Affirmative.

So how about you, friends?  Have any questions that require vocabulary rich answers?  We’ll work on a reply for you if you don’t already have one.  Please share!

P.S. Jay wants to be sure you know that the rectangular prism in our subterranean chamber is so old that it does, in fact, still have a cathode ray tube.  Ok.  Whatever.

P.P.S.  I asked Jay if our last question in the list above was maybe a bit too much for my usually family-friendly blog.  His response?  “Naaaa…..they’ve got to know it’s happened at least twice.”  Man, that guy always makes me laugh.

 

Still Your Kid

As I’ve written once before, Jay and I take great fun in pointing out traits we see in our kids that resemble each other.  “That’s YOUR kid!” we quip quite often.  This week was no exception…

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Chica has been taking swimming lessons for the past two weeks at Miller Park.  Learning to jump in and go under, sliding down the slide, and conquering the diving board were all highlights.  But just as fun for her (and me and Bubba!) were the friends we’ve made through swimming lessons.

After yesterday’s lesson, while we were sitting around drying off, Chica’s friend Levi was so excited about the treasure he had found during the lesson.  Her response was priceless.

Levi:  Look!!!  I found six cents!  (You must imagine him saying this with an excitement level 9 or 10.)
Chica:  Oh.  Well, when you get a dollar, call me.  (This with an excitement level pushing 2.)

Levi’s mom and I immediately begin to crack up, but Chica continues…

Chica:  Cause if you have a dollar, then we can go to the mall and ride the rides.

Even though Jay wasn’t there, I’m sure he would agree that’s my kid.  This is the tell-it-like-it-is kid, matter of factly figuring out a solution to her problem with little regard to the feelings of everybody else.  I want to ride the rides, but I need a dollar.  When you’ve got a dollar, let’s talk.  Love her.

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I must admit I’m getting a little nervous for this guy and the upcoming school year.  He is square in the middle of being two and a half….pushing the limits in every way imaginable.  I’m fearing end of the day conversations with his teachers about screaming when corrected or biting.  Ugh.  We’re working on it, I promise.  He is, at the same time, saying his sweet, “Thank you, Mommy,” or “I’m sorry, Sister,” without being asked.

One morning this week Bubba climbed up in Jay’s desk chair and began to open the drawer with all the fun stuff.  (Ex. The permanent markers which he recently used to color all over playing cards that he also found in the fun drawer.)

Jay:  Bubba, don’t open that drawer.
Bubba:  Why?
Jay:  You know there’s nothing in there for you.

Somehow his tiny little brain could compute that there was just enough sarcasm in Daddy’s answer to tell him that he could get away with being funny.  This is what Bubba shot back:

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Bubba computation was right, and Jay and I both laughed.  (Yes, I know, not the best parenting strategy.  Working on that too.)  But then this happened:

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I know I’ve seen Jay make that face and that point a hundred times, usually in all seriousness and not just mocking Bubba.  But until I saw them do it one right after the other, I hadn’t put it together that Bubba learned it from him.  “That’s YOUR kid!  I know where he gets that face now!!!!”  More hilarious laughing.  Never a dull moment around here.

How about you?  Leave me a comment about your latest, “That’s YOUR kid!” moment.

What I Should Have Said to My Friend Who Doesn’t Want Kids

The threat of the coming snow on Wednesday meant a welcomed lunchtime early dismissal for teachers this week. While I was busy planning out a location in which I could woof down my leftovers and keep working in the few hours before daycare closed, my coworkers were making plans to enjoy lunch out together like normal adults. It took some major convincing on their part to get me to agree to go. My mind was stuck on the fact that I hadn’t accomplished one-fourth of the things I had hoped to get done during the work day AND I was about to get stuck in my house with my crazy little people for at least five days. In a row. “I HAVE TO GET MY WORK DONE!!!!!” my task-oriented brain was screaming.

But they were offering to go to my favorite new restaurant, and they did say we were going to talk about work stuff we need to get done anyway. AND the pork stew in my lunchbox was only so appetizing for the third straight day in a row. Oh, and that still, small voice that often tries to remind me that it’s completely possible that relationships can be more important than work. Oh, yeah, that. So I went.

I’m glad I did.

We talked about work, the drinks were free, the food was good, and the company was even better. As our conversation wrapped up, I attempted to make my exit and eek out a few more minutes of work time before the 3 p.m. daycare closing. Again I said, “I have to go get some work done BEFORE I’M TRAPPED IN MY HOUSE WITH MY KIDS FOR FIVE WHOLE DAYS. AHHHH!”

As everyone laughed a polite laugh, my honest, child-less friend observed, “Wow. Everybody makes having kids sound so bad. I’m just dying to have kids,” she said sarcastically.

Boom.

I don’t really know what I said at that point. Nothing, I guess. But I’ve been thinking about her….and me, and them….often as I’ve been stuck here in our snowy fort: Is it really that bad? And if having kids isn’t that bad, then why do I always talk about the bad parts?

I think sometimes we talk about those hard parts because if we don’t attempt to find the humor in it, then the only other choice is anger. Like the pencil drawings on the wall, the blue paint stains on the floor, and the orange permanent marker to the carpet. I’ve just chosen to find it amusing now that my two year old can find the most destructive item in any given room, in spite of my best efforts to hide all of those things out of reach. He has special ninja powers that help him seek out, find, and acquire the contraband, all while being so silent, you’d never suspect him. It’s either laugh or stay mad. I’m choosing laughter….and those stories are fun to tell.

Maybe we talk about the bad parts because we need to know we’re not alone. I’m not the only one in the world (or likely even my circle of friends) who has been woken up on a snow day by grubby fingers exploring every interesting hole on my face. I’m not the only one who has to check for peanut butter and snot stains on my shirt before leaving for work. I’m not the only one who loathes bath time and pushes the limit each week on the acceptable amount of days between torture sessions. Do you know just how much relief and freedom I felt when I shared this with a friend who then proceeded to tell me she has been known to go two weeks between baths before?? (Don’t worry friend, I won’t blow your cover.) We need to know we’re normal. Our kids are normal. Talking about the crazy parts usually leads to confirmation that everyone else is just as crazy.

I’ve been wondering, though, if we don’t talk about the good stuff because we’re afraid we’ll sound like we’re bragging. Or maybe because we don’t want to give an unrealistic view of what this parenting thing is all about. Even more likely, for me, I just don’t stop dwelling on the icky, mundane, tough, exhausting, painful, confusing, whatthehellhaveigottenmyselfinto moments long enough to recognize and be thankful for the good parts.

So that’s where I am today on snow day number 2.5. I’m busy counting up the good things, trying to articulate what I should have said to my friend who us grouchy mommies have scared kid-less.

This:
You’re right. It’s hard, and I make it sound no fun, but there are so many good parts. Go get another glass of green tea and bag of pita chips, and I’ll tell you about those parts that make it fun too…

Watching your big kid happily play outside in the snow by herself from your warm, sunny window, singing made-up words to a tune from Frozen at the top of her lungs.

Figuring out that the same big kid is now big enough to help with housework. Don’t underestimate the gift of one more person in your family who can unload the dishwasher or push the vacuum.

Seeing your little kid napping snugly on Daddy’s warm lap, both snoring like it’s going out of style.

Hearing either one of them say, “Thank you,” without having to be reminded, reassuring yourself that you are doing at least one thing right.

Being comforted by a little person when you’re the one with the tears and the pain.

Witnessing your kid learning to read. It’s magical.

Catching them playing and sharing with each other without any help from you.

That amazed, fantastic look when they accomplish something they didn’t know they could do. It doesn’t matter if it’s reading a whole book on their own or just stepping off of the porch into the snow unassisted….when they squeal, “I DID IT!” you’re still amazed right along with them.

Overhearing your kid say funny things like, “That’s my fravrite!” when he gets ketchup (with a side of pickles and grilled cheese) for dinner. Right now that same funny kid is saying, “Really? Really??” to the vacuum like it’s telling him a story he doesn’t believe. Last night, as we all watched a movie together, he said, “What the…?” and “Oh my word!” at all the right times. They make you laugh all. the. time.

Your kid (finally) successfully getting a haircut without a need for excessive tears or force.

Oh, and snow days stuck in the house to slow down and remember why you really do like them after all.

But here’s the real thing, friend….aren’t all the things that are really worth doing both really hard and really good at the same time? Wouldn’t you say that about marriage? And teaching? Having a house? Being a friend? Knowing Jesus? Aren’t each of those things messy and frustrating and time consuming and tiring and overwhelming right along with rewarding and stretching and amazing and life-giving?

So it’s worth it friend, and it isn’t all bad. Thanks for reminding me of that. Thanks for reminding me to see and talk about the good parts too.

Ok….off to bathe that kid who just had a haircut. Don’t ask me how long it’s been.

Hey, mommy friends:  Leave me a comment.  Remind me (and those friends we’ve scared kid-less) of the good parts I didn’t mention. 

Bubba’s Dictionary, Second Edition

It’s been 6 months since the latest version of Bubba’s Dictionary was published.  Time for an update:

want not want  verb  negative form of the verb to want:  I want not want buckled. 

anglo mushin  noun  small, round, flat type of yeast-leavened bread which is commonly requested split horizontally, toasted, and spread with peanut butter

brits  noun ground-corn food of Native American origin, that is commonly served for dinner when grilled cheese or mac & cheese are denied

yogrit  noun  1. a fermented milk product produced by bacterial fermentation of milk  2.  one of only a few (relatively healthy) food items that everyone in our house will willingly consume

monsur game  noun  1. a mind-numbingly dumb iPad game in which you feed monsters various food items and observe their reaction   2.  a break for Mommy

akshulee  adverb  1.  as an actual or existing fact; really  2.  a modifier used to express just how wrong an acquaintance may be:  Akshulee, it’s brits.  I want not want brits.  I want yogrit.

 

Dog Food (Or Why Not to Joke With an Almost Two Year Old)

About a week ago….
Jay:  Bubba….what do you want for breakfast?
Bubba:  No.
Jay:  Do you want Frosted Flakes?
Bubba:  No.
Jay:  Cheerios?
Bubba:  No.
Jay:  A bar?
Bubba:  NO.
Jay:  Dog food?
Bubba:  Yeah.
Jay:  ???
Bubba:  Dog foooood.  Bubba want dog food.
Jay:  Bubba, you can’t have dog food.
Bubba:  Doooooog fooooood.  Bubba want dog food.
Jay:  Bubba, Daddy was joking.  We don’t even have any dog food.  Let’s have a bar.
Great, dramatic tantrum ensues on the floor.  Whining, tears, kicking, etc.

The dog food has been brought up at least twice since that day, once by Daddy, once by Bubba.  Seems that neither of them has learned.

This morning…
Jay:  Bubba, what do you want for breakfast?
Bubba:  (Some inaudible whisper.)
Jay:  What Bubba?  What do you want for breakfast?
Bubba:  (Same inaudible whisper.)
Jay:  Bubba, I can’t hear you.  Tell Daddy what you want.
Bubba:  (This time in a barely audible whisper)….dog food.
Jay:  !!!

Jay:  Ok, Bubba, how about a dog food bar?
Bubba:  Yea!

Something tells me we’ll be eating dog food bars for quite a while in our house.