Off to school!

Today was Sashimi’s first day of kindergarten.  And his first ride on a school bus.

I have been quite calm about the whole thing because I have been longing for a break during the day from the constant loudness and wrestling and fighting (and loud shreiks of laughter when they are being naughty).  And now that it is quiet in the house, I am not really sure what to do with myself. Yes, the house could be cleaned, and yes, I could be doing lots of one-on-one stuff with Keesadilla while iBean sleeps, but today, I am doing nothing.  I am just taking this whole experience in and realizing that this is the new status quo.  There will be lots of time to clean.

He has been ready for this for so long!

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Do bears poop in the woods?

Whenever Tony wants to answer “yes” to an obvious question, he always retorts with  “Do bears poop in the woods?”

Yes, bears poop in the woods.  But not today.

A friend of mine (and neighbour) had told me that she had found bear poop in her yard a few days ago.  Since we live in an area close to the river, it is not uncommon for wildlife to muck about our yards.  She had a bear living in her yard last summer and it had to be trapped and relocated.  She was not impressed with a new bear friend moving in.

We live in a col de sac, up the road from my friend (who lives on a river-front lot).  We have never had much more than deer roam our yard and decimate our shrubs out front. Today, however, I would have gladly taken the deer.

While making supper, I hear Sashimi call out: ” Mommy!  There’s a bear in our yard!”

Incredulous, I say “Are you SURE? No, there can’t be.”

I looked out the window, saw nothing, then ran outside to check it out.  Smart, I know. Sashimi and Keesadilla both screeched at me “GET BACK IN THE HOUSE!!  THERE’S A BEAR OUTSIDE!” but I figured it was probably just a big dog or something.  I scoped out our yard, then walked to the end of the driveway to see if I could see anything. Then I heard something clanging on a chain-link fence.  I looked over to a neighbour’s house, one yard between us, and a bear popped up and looked at me.  HOLY CRAP IT’S A BEAR!!  And I a pretty sure the bear though “HOLY CRAP IT’S A HUMAN!” because we both bolted a lightening speed.  He scampered back under a bush and resumed clanging on the fence.  I dashed into the house and cried “You were RIGHT! It IS a bear!” Then sat down and hyperventilated a little bit before resuming making supper, which was probably burning on the BBQ by then.

Me: Well, I have to go finish bbq-ing supper.

Keesadilla: NO!  Don’t go outside!  There’s a bear in our yard!

Me: The bear is gone, now. Don’t worry.

Keesadilla: I don’t want to the bear to come in my house and my yard!  Hmph! (arms crossed and stern expression).

Me: Kees, bears can’t open doors.  It won’t come in the house.

Keesadilla, grabbing his lightsaber: I gonna shoot the bear, Mommy! (makes shooting sound effects for enhanced effect).

Sashimi: You can’t shoot a bear with a lightsaber.

Keesadilla: YES I CAN!

Me: No, you can’t.  And you are too scared to go outside and shoot it anyway.  The bear can’t get in our backyard where I am cooking, so it’s ok.

Sashimi: But you’re cooking fish and bears eat fish!!  What if it comes to our yard to get the fish?

Keesadilla: YEAH!  WHATCHA GONNA DO MOMMY?!?!

What did I do?  I called Sustainable Resources to report a bear and a very nice officer came and talked to me about it.  I think he may have thought I was cute because he gave the boys free passes to the minigolf course for “telling your mom about the bear” and then gave me one, too.

The minigolf course is not in bear territory.  Otherwise I don’t think Keesadilla would go.  Unless he golfed with a lightsaber.

Money…that’s what I want

“I LOVE MONEY MONEY MONEY!!  I want to have ALL the money when I grow up so that I never have to work!”

Sashimi had been starting to think that money just appears whenever you swipe the stripe.  It started with the purchase of Angry Birds.  Then Angry Birds Rio.  Once he had passed every level on those two games, he started asking for a new game. Every day, Sashimi would get bored and ask that I buy a new game. We told him no, since the games cost money and we did not want to waste our money on something he would get bored of in a matter of hours.  “That’s ok,” he said.  “Just give me your credit card number and I will buy it.”

A few days later, he was pining over some Angry Birds stuffed toys (thanks to the plug on the game’s home page).  I told him that if he wanted a stuffy, he could help me sort the bottles and take them to the depot and I would let him keep the money.  In the meantime, we went out for Mother’s Day Brunch, where the lucky kid found a $20 bill on the floor under our table.  I told him he could put it in his piggy bank, to which he replied “Now I don’t have to sort bottles AND I can get my Angry Birds stuffy!” Money, in his eyes, was something that just HAD to be spent.

The tipping point came when he became obsessed with a toy he saw on TV.  A toy that cost quite a bit of money.  A toy that I was not willing to go out and buy just because.  So he ran to his piggy bank and dumped it out.  He wanted to use his money to go out and buy it himself.  We counted his money: $4.67.  Definitely not enough.  He thought since it looked like a lot (there were a lot of pennies) that SURELY he could buy it and have money leftover for candy, too.

Sashimi does have a basic understanding of numbers, so we went to the store and looked at the prices on a few toys. All of them were more than $4.67.  He was devastated.

Tony and I decided to start giving Sashimi an allowance in exchange for doing some chores.  He gets $5 every time Tony gets paid.  The first allowance, he was jonesing to spend.  He spent it on crap. Then Tony got crafty.  Being the vigilant investor, Tony told Sacha that every time it was allowance day, they would count his money in his piggy bank.  If he had not spent his money, Tony would give him an extra dollar as a reward for saving his money (interest).

Today was allowance day.  Tony gave Sacha his allowance (and he cried out “Yea!  MONEY MONEY MONEY!”) and we counted his money: $29 and change.  We told him that he had enough money to buy something if he wanted.  He looked at Tony and said in all sincerety: “No, I like money more than toys.”

**Good thing, because that toy he wanted is not even available anymore (unless you want to shell out $300 on amazon.com.  WTF?!

Lemons

As my sister pointed out to me, my kids are lemons. “Didn’t you get the extended warranty on them??” she asked.

Tony says that extended warranties are for suckers.  In this case, we totally should have.  Or perhaps purchased some sort of Child Injury Insurance that pays Tony’s salary every time he has to take time off when one of our kids injures himself and ends up in the ER.

Last week, I posted about Keesadilla’s tooth.  Well, the tooth ended up dying, turning grey, and wiggling in his mouth.  If we could have just gotten the darn thing out ourselves, but that was not the case. The root was too long. So we managed to get an emergency appointment at the dental surgery clinic for Wednesday morning (6 days after the original break). Those 6 days and nights were unpleasant.  Advil around the clock, alternating with Tylenol when the pain started kicking back in well before we could give him another dose. Not to mention night time, when the drugs would wear off while he slept, causing him to wake up sceaming in pain and it was all we could do to coax him into putting more medication in his mouth.  One night, in fact, this process took two hours, during which iBean also woke up and thought it was morning what with all the noise, and Sashimi thought it would be great to start having full-on conversations with us while tending to his little brother’s screams.

Tony left work early on Tuesday, drove the boys to the city, 500 km away, went to sleep, woke up the next morning, brought Keesadilla to his appointment for 8:30 am, Kees was put under general anaesthetic at 9:15 am (by Tony’s cousin, who happened to be the anaesthesiologist at the clinic…small world), was awake again by 10:15 am, and the boys made the obligatory pit-stop at Toys’r’Us before leaving the city and being back home by supper.

Both boys slept like rocks last night.

Today, 19-toothed Keesadilla was back to his 3-year-old antics, and it was a hot day.  We were invited to a friend’s house for the boys to play on their enormous inflatable water-spray-slide thing.  It was seriously cool. Until Sashimi jumped from the top into the water, landed on his foot funny, and crawled out crying.

He would not put any weight on his foot. There was a distinct spot that was inflammed, and his foot was all red.  The mom, who is a nurse practitioner, looked at it and when Sashimi was still complaining about it 15 minutes later, she told us we should go to the ER and have it looked at.

All I could think was: You have GOT to be FUCKING KIDDING ME.

After making arrangements for iBean and trying to get Keesadilla to stay with a sitter (he refused), the boys and I treked to the hospital.  Again.  Wasn’t I just there yesterday?  Oh yeah, I have not told that story yet (that’s another post for another day).

I picke Sashimi up like a man carrying his bride over the threshold and put him in the car.  I had a stroller in the trunk, so I figured that could be my make-shift wheelchair. After two hours in the ER, we had a verdict: a cracked growth plate in his foot. The crack did not go all the way through the bone, so it was not very visible on the x-ray (there were three people looking at it). Since we do not live anywhere near a pediatric hospital, the doctor told us that they did not have the right size of walking cast for Sashimi.  They would have to make him one out of what they had.

He is casted from toes to half-way up his calf, although the cast only runs on the back of his leg.  A tensor bandage wrapped around his leg holds the whole thing in place. They said that once it feels better, he can put weight on it and use crutches for extra support.  Have you ever seen a 4-year-old on crutches?  Let’s just say that their coordination skills are not developed enough to really use them properly.  He tried and tried, but it was so much work he just collapsed into my arms and asked me to carry him back to his chair.

So for now, this means no more going for walks during the day, no park, no splash park, no pool, no running around outside.  In July. It’s like that Simpsons’ episode where Bart breaks his leg and thinks Flanders murdered his wife.  Only with not so much attitude.

Or maybe that will come.

Strawberries

Last spring, I planted 14 strawberry plants in my yard.  They were each one small root and stem.  I let them do their thing all summer, letting the runners go mad.  In the fall, I looked closely at what had progressed: once I separated all the runners that had started growing on their own from the mother plants, I counted my new strawberry patch: 60 plants. I rearranged them all in a row and covered them with straw for the winter.

This year, I have again been letting them do their own thing, tending to the flowering ones and trimming the runners somewhat.  Some plants did not survive the winter, but many others sprung up in their place. Everyday for the past week, the boys and I have checked the patch to pick the ripe berries.  Most days we get about 6-10 ripe berries.  Yesterday, we got this:

Nothing better than home-grown berries

So we washed them up and sliced them for the boys at supper time.  Red smiles for everyone!

Pay no attention to the Kraft Dinner in this photo...

Teeth are nice and juicy red from home-grown strawberries

And that’s why you listen to Mommy

Sashimi & Keesadilla have a habit of  ignoring me.  They love to listen to me when I say things like “Who wants a freezie?” or “Anyone want to have a bubble bath?”  When I say things like “Don’t do that!” or “Someone is going to get hurt!” or “Stop smelling each other’s bums!” no one listens.  It’s all fun and games until someone farts.

Or breaks a tooth in Bouncy World.

Bouncy World is a place where the boys take all of the couch cushions off and place them all around the living room.  They then bounce from cushion to cushion.  It is the closest approximation they get to having their very own jumpy castle.

Normally, Bouncy World is risky, but only risky in the “have your parents sign these waivers” risky.  Not “please leave your Alberta Health Care Number with the cashier for when she inevitably calls 911,” risky. This time, Sashimi decided to create “Bouncy World Table Jumping.”  It sounds dangerous already, doesn’t it?  No amount of motherly warnings could deter these boys from this amazingly fun game.

The boys jumped from the coffee table onto the cushions, and then on cushions all around the coffee table, the same table that gave Sashimi two stitches on the back of his head this spring.  Keesadilla decided to bounce on one cushion while facing the table. He had a bad bounce.  He smacked his chin on the table, pounding his bottom teeth into his top teeth.  Instant tears.  At first, I could not see any damage.  No gushing red stuff, no pieces of tongue hanging off. Slowly, I started to see a bit of red on his bottom tooth. Then I noticed a tiny chip was missing and blood was filling a hairline crack in the tooth.  Oh crap.  Broken tooth.

I called my mom, who is a dental assistant and was working that day.  They managed to squeeze us in for a quick look at the tooth. By then, Keesadilla had stopped crying and the bleeding had stopped.  When they got him in the chair under the light, he barely opened his mouth (he is 3, after all) and from what the dentist could see, she thought it was fine, and that the sensitivity would settle down within a few days. No biggie. Keesadilla got his prize from the prize dispenser and we went home.

Well, this morning, he was inconsolable.  “It hurts me! Ma dent! It hurts! Bo-bo in my bouche!” I managed to convince him to let me look inside his mouth at the tooth.

OH FUCK.

The back half of his tooth was missing and I could see right into the middle of the tooth.  Was I supposed to see that pink and purply colour there? Pretty sure THAT wasn’t good.  And did I mention it was Canada Day, and a Friday, so half the freaking town was gone for the long weekend?

Through my mom’s contacts, I got in touch with one dentist who agreed to meet us and have a look, and one look was all it took: he said there was no fixing it, the tooth has to come out. The nerve is exposed and the tooth is split right down the middle to the gums. And since Keesadilla is 3, the chances of him sitting for freezing and a tooth-yanking are pretty much nil.  We could man-handle him into some sort of full-body sleeper hold and do it, but that just doesn’t seem like a very good time.

Now we are waiting to hear back from a dental surgery clinic (500 km) away that does dentistry for kids under general anaesthetic.  If they cannot get us in quickly enough, we will have to go the old-school traumatic way and hold my little man down to git’er done. REALLY hoping it does not come to that.  If only he would have listened to his Mommy…

Beautiful baby teeth! Last photo I will have of them in their beautiful entirety.

Patience is a virtue that preschoolers do not possess

Sashimi: MOMMY!  I want a microscope game on the computer!!

K-Man: MOMMY!  I want a mmmovie!!

iBean: WAAAHHHH!

Me: FUUUUUUUCCCKKK (to myself, not out loud).

I had not even showered, eaten breakfast or taken my morning pills when all 3 kids started bellowing their requests simultaneously.  I keep telling the boys that they need to be patient, learn how to be patient, be more independent, but my words totally fly over their heads. iBean is not even half a year old, so I cannot blame her for screeching when she wants to eat or sleep.  But finding a new virtual microscope game for my 4 year old on the computer while she screams?  Not a priority.  Putting her down and letting her cry while I wait for K-Man to select a movie (which takes him a good 10 minutes sometimes)?  Not happening.

So I get 2 boys who cry and whine at me while I take care of the baby.  Then when she is fed and in her crib for naptime,  I start on the easiest of the boys’ demands: movie insertion.  Sashimi is mad that I am helping his brother before him, because clearly, virtual microscopy is more important.  Although, in the grand scheme of child bran development, it probably is, it takes way more of my energy to set that up than to pop a DVD into the player.

There.  Two kids satisfied, now to find some sort of game or virtual science thing for Sacha to do online.  Ah…virtual electron microscope. Slide the petri dishes under and try to match them to their identifications.  That should appease him.  Oh wait, he cannot read.  So I start reading the information to him as he looks at the images and tries to guess what they are.  How the hell does he know what red blood cells look like??  Oh yeah, he’s Tony’s son.

Finally, 30 minutes and five virtual microscopes later, he wants to watch Scooby Doo.  K-Man still entertained with his choice of DVD.  iBean still sleeping.  Mommy can FINALLY make her coffee, pour her cereal and get in the shower (nearly two hours after initially flinging my legs over the side of the bed). I let my hair dry on its own – one of the obvious benefits of a pixie cut. I can style it later if I need to vacate the premise.

Now, can I get some of the house tidied before the dictator-club starts calling out their demands? Oh screw it.  I’m gonna sit and enjoy my coffee first.