Sunday, October 23, 2011


Lizzy got pushed at a playground this afternoon. She has an unmistakable cry, so I started to shimmy up a rickety wooden ladder to the top of a wooden fort of questionable engineering. On the way up-and-over, a little boy told me someone pushed her. Then a little girl said the same thing. Of course Lizzy, trying to find me, had cried down the slide just as I reached the top and I had to reverse-shimmy down the ladder to reach her.

Once I got her calmed down, the "That Boy pushed me, Mommy! He's naughty!" came out.

Now. With my kids, there is a loose interpretation of what a "push" is. They cry foul over true accidents, such when another kid trips and falls into them. I usually end up taking the a-snuggle-will-make-it-all-better approach and then blowing it off because 95% of the time it really was an accident.

But this time Lizzy had two witnesses who had ratted out the little punk before I had reached her, so I felt this was a credible accusation. Still, there wasn't a whole lot I was going to do with this since we were at a farmer's market pumpkin patch for crying out loud, there wasn't any blood, and the guilty party was out of my range of fire.

So to make her feel better (because she wouldn't stop with the "that boy is naughty Mommy! I'm going to be a crossing guard at the slide and let all the big kids down, but not That Boy! He's so naughty!"), I turned to Johnny and said:

"Johnny, when someone pushes one of your sisters down, your job is to yell right. at. that. kid "HEY! Don't push my sister! No one pushes my sister!".

I told him that's what brothers are supposed to do. They take care of their sisters.

Fast forward 5 minutes and Lizzy is much better. So much better that she has run off to play again. I sort of kept an eye on her and Punk Boy who caused the ruckus - fresh kettle corn was involved in my distraction - and...

....I saw her, hands on her hips, jawing at That Naughty Boy who was trying to climb the crappy ladder.

She stopped, turned on her heel, and marched back to us.

Me: "Lizzy. What were you doing?"

Lizzy: "I told That Boy he should not push! It is mean to push! And that's my job as a sister! To tell him! That's my job!"

Me: "Yes it is. That's your job. You take care of your sisters."

Lizzy, who by then was probably known as the "crazy girl on the playground" just stayed on top of that kid for the next 10 minutes, so much so that I had to call her off a couple times lest she became the bully.

Lessons learned?

1. Lizzy holds grudges.
2. Lizzy will greatly struggle with Forgive And Forget through the years.
3. Lizzy is not to be trifled with.
4. Lizzy doesn't need ANYONE to look out for her on the playground.

I can work with that.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Monkey House

Scientists near Geneva recently announced they had broken the "speed of light". They did this by observing my sweet monkeys descend upon and destroy a previously clean room.

Unless children are napping, silence is always suspicious at Chez Laird. Load of squeals and maniacal laughter are also suspicious. Alternating between the two means an uprising is in the works and I should just open a beer now because I'm going to need it to handle what happens next.

An example:

There had been fighting. I intervened and the fighting stopped. But then the chasing began and the oldest four were shrieking like banshees, running laps over and over and over again through the kitchen. When the decibel level surpassed concert-status, I sent them upstairs. Ainsley generously offered up her room (a rarity so of course the trips jumped all over that), so I blah-blah-blahed the usual "if you play in Ainsley's room you have to listen to her or you'll have to leave".

Ahhh...silence in my kitchen. Silence upstairs...wait. Giggling? Laughing? Squealing? Pounding of feet? MORE squealing? More pounding of feet?

No. Please no.

I walked in my room to find this:

Folks, that's 3 loads of laundry strewn all over my room. It had been folded. Duvet and pillows thrown off my bed.

Commence beer-opening.