Wednesday, August 29, 2012

There's A Fire Burning In This One

Gracie is a funny kid.  She exudes a certain bravado around the house and other places where she's comfortable, but most people see a generally shy, mild mannered introvert like her oldest sibling.

Mild mannered except when there's even an eensy  weensy hint of competition in the air.  After that, it's all the Katie Bar The Doors and Whoa Nellys one can muster because Gracie likes to win.  Gracie needs to win.  And Gracie is tormented if she does not.  It can be about anything, from getting in the car first, to finishing breakfast/lunch/dinner first, to racing to the bathroom, etc, etc.  She competes even when she's the only one in the race.  And it's all or nothing with this kid; second place isn't worth her time and is the emotional equivalent to dead last.

The latest example:

Every night before bed, the kids pick books to read (duh).  Since "being fair" is hyper-important among the bairn, Lizzy and Gracie take turns every night on who gets read to first (John always reads to Johnny, so it's a non-issue with him).  Sometimes I forget whose turn it is, and sometimes they forget, but the point is that last night Gracie thought she was first in the queue and it ended up being Lizzy instead.  Instantaneous combustion.  Sobbing, hysterics, hyperventilating, screaming, etc, etc.

The funny(?) part was what she was saying, or rather what little bits we could make of the words tumbling over each other in between sobs.  Some of it was the usual "but it was my turn to be first!" and "I only like to be first! Ever!". But two morsels were the choicest, uttered in tears from my lap:

"I (sniff) Will Not (big shaky breath) Sleep All Night (sob) Because I Am So (cry) Annoyed!!"

and perhaps my all-time favorite

"My (choke) Happiness (gasp) Is (sob) Ruined!!"

Her happiness was ruined.  Golly, I love this kid.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Multiple Questions

All of us were at PetSmart a couple days ago when someone asked me the usual "are they all yours?" question (as my children were racing around like banshees).

Me: "Yes."  then:

Me: "Lizzy and Gracie!  Do NOT climb on the cat playhouses! Yes, I think it would be cool to have one our size as well."

Other Person: "Well, how many ages are they?"

Silent Me: What in the world??? Ohhh...I think I get it.

Me: "Well, the oldest is 7.   Johnny. We do NOT climb in dog crates. These three are 4, and the littlest is 1 1/2."

Other Person: "Are the 4 year olds triplets?"

Silent Me: Be kind. Be kind. Be kind.

Me: "Yeah, ummm...yes.  Yes they are."

Other Person: "But one of them is a boy!  How did that happen?" 

Me: "Well [deep breath], isn't that funny!?  God just decided to make one a boy. I suppose that happens sometimes. Sort of strange, isn't it?"

Awkward staring at each other

Me: "Hmm...okay then!  Annie?? Hey guys!!  Where is your sister?!?!"

Honestly. I get this sort of stuff all the stinkin' time.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

And They Thought They Were Just Buying A House

We have new neighbors and I feel sort of sorry for them.  They obviously didn't read the fine print on the contract and missed the part where we were included in the package.  That their property wasn't completely theirs. That sound-proofing was not included. That when they go outside they will be waved at and queried about anything "Mr. M - why don't you have any hair" (true question to a neighbor) and told anything from what was eaten here for breakfast to something as interesting as the size of guinea pig poop (not joking about that one).

Anyway, they moved in last weekend and it has been rare that we have been outside and someone hasn't been crying. Loudly. Or we've been yelling at them to get inside for reasons such as "Why did you think it was a good idea to smash your sister in the car door!?!??!!?!". (Also true)

Five kids ages 7 and under means weeping and gnashing of teeth is common, but tears of this frequency and magnitude is unusual...even for us.  And I'm sure they're thrilled to be living next to Chez Laird with our bikes and trikes and shovels and hula hoops and soccer balls and sidewalk chalk strewn all over the place.  Maybe they even feel a little duped because we tried very, very hard to keep the yard in acceptable condition while the house was on the market and now they're getting us sans make-up. 

Did I mention they're newlyweds?  Yikes. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Triplet Logistics: Of Frogs and Rabbits and Cats

So far the Big Three have been in the same classroom. I had considered splitting them up this coming year until an innocent conversation about what room they would be in for pre-K started (would they be Frogs, Rabbits, or Cats and please oh pleeaase don't let the girls be Frogs.  I'm not up for that freak out). Lizzy and Gracie are adamant about staying together.  Surprisingly, Johnny wants to go alone (only for school - he's still 100% planning on moving in Ainsley's room when the girls do, which is fine).  I asked him Why? and the reason I got was "so I can have my own guy friends".  Well, okay then. I can accept that one.

The problem with the girls is, and this sounds sort of silly, there's this whole social world we haven't had to deal with yet.  Social in that, they are in the same room, a friend in their class might feel obligated to invite both girls over to play (well, the mom will) because they wouldn't want to hurt feelings if only one is left out.  Or one is generally liked and one is not. Or if they're in separate rooms and one girl makes lots of friends in her room and the other doesn't have any friends at all.  I'm definitely not looking forward to the explanations that not everyone is invited to the same birthday parties.  Because so far and with very little exception, they have been a package deal. Johnny has had a couple just-boy play dates - and as much as the girls don't care of it they get it. Other than that, they stick together and that is their normal.  Their normal is in jeopardy and that can not be a good thing.

One a random note:  John just asked if I was blogging about how awesome he is, and I said "yes".  So I have. Feel free to tell him next time you see him that you think he's awesome, too.

Aagghh! Why am I agonizing over this? (Not about John being awesome.  I am not agonizing over that.)

I'll probably let the girls be together one more year.  It's only preschool...good grief.

Monday, August 13, 2012

An Example Of The Little Things Which Make Me Happy

John and I were sitting on the comfy couch a couple nights ago (shocker), watching the Olympics (another shocker), specifically Track and Field (oh, I so heart the track rats).   I was a little stressed because it was the men's 4x100 and the USA boys are not known for getting the stick around the place without catastrophe.  My brain was already jacked up on caffeine, so I was all out of Logic and Perspective to keep my blood pressure stable.

And then something caught my eye that made me smile.  One of the Jamaican wonders had his back to the camera and his race number was all wonky.  It's hard to pin those babies on and that bitty thing, that lopsided race number, humanized one of the fastest men on the planet.

Why?  Because we can go to any road race in the country, from the New York Marathon to the local Seize the Day 5K my sister and I just did, and you'll see race numbers all askew, on everyone from the most amateur of amateurs to the men and women who clock in 100 miles/week on their legs.  My favorites are the little kids who, in their minds and wearing their crooked bib number, will be the next ones crowned the fastest on the planet.  Of course they probably won't, but while these guys are running,

They probably have a picture of these guys in their minds:

Even down to the wonky race numbers.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

So Incredibly Sweet

So I'm saying prayers with Gracie tonight and she chose me as her main subject.  The prayer went as follows:

Dear God, I thank you for Mommy.  She is a great Mommy and takes good care of me.  Please help Mommy have a good shower tomorrow morning so she isn't so stinky.   Please help Mommy teach me about Jesus.  I love you God. Amen.

Hint taken.