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June 2007
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August 2007

July 2007

Up to No Good

I asked Blackstone to keep an eye on the boys while I took shower and got ready to take Trouble to swim class on Saturday. Yeah, I know, I should never take a shower. So I get out of the shower and Blackstone's at the table reading the paper and the boys are upstairs in their rooms. One really wouldn't think this would be too much of a problem. Well, my boys can find and make trouble anywhere.

Trouble discovered that the top pane of the windows can be moved down and that there's no screen at the top of the window. So once he's opened the top of the window, he takes a large container of toys and throws it out the window into the backyard. Where does he come up with these ideas? Then he has the audacity to try to tell us that Little Trouble did it all by himself. Yeah, right. I can't believe a six year-old managed it, I'm certainly not buying that the three year-old did it on his own.

After further inspection we've discovered there are some little gadgets that slide up and down the window tracks that we should be able to adjust to keep them from opening the windows this way. Only thing is there a bit stuck and we need to take the time to unstick them. I told Blackstone we need to make it a priority to get the windows adjusted and child-proofed but he doesn't see why. "It's not like they're going to jump out the window," he tells me.

"You say that like it's never happened before," I remind him. At our old house, Trouble did jump out the window onto the porch roof once. After that we kept him locked out of our room. Trouble was rather indignant about the whole thing and wanted to know why I don't let him have any fun.

"Yeah, but that was different," Blackstone reassures me. "There's nothing for him to jump onto. I wouldn't have done anything like that when I was a kid. They're crazy, not stupid." (I'm paraphrasing here, for some reason I didn't quite process his whole argument.)

Somehow he didn't manage to make me feel any better.


The Reality of Two Kids

Boyseaster I have several friends right now who have children about the age of two and are deciding whether or not to have a second. One couple is already trying but with some reservations, another is preparing to try with even more reservations, and another has basically decided against having more but with just the teensiest bit of doubt. I get their dilemma, though I never felt all that torn about it. I've been there and decided to have a second child. We didn't do a ton of deliberating on the matter. We had basically decided when we had our first that we would have two kids. Two and no more. Whether we had girls, boys or one of each - two was the number. And neither of us ever wavered on that decision.

After having two boys I did not have the burning desire to try for a girl. I'm really not that girly, perhaps the universe decided this was best for me. And the thought of having three boys makes me want to jump off a cliff. I am not criticizing anyone with more kids than me. That's great for you! Just not for me. And boys are fundamentally different from girls from my observations. My boys already have about a dozen stitches between them. They are constantly bruised, scraped and otherwise mangled from their constant running, fighting, falling, and jumping. There is no calming them down or getting them to stop. They are not allowed caffeine and very little sugar. Almost no soda ever. They are wild. They are boys. They love bugs, dinosaurs, cars and dirt.

I have been questioned repeatedly over my decision to have a second kid. Not that anyone questions my decision for myself but they want insight into how I made that decision and how they can make it for themselves. It's not an easy question to answer. I always knew in my gut two. I didn't want to have an only child. I wanted my kids to have a play mate, a confidante, someone to be an aunt or uncle to their kids some day. I wanted a family with craziness and noise and playing and fighting. And did I ever get it.

Is it harder having two? Sure it is. They drive you nuts fighting with each other over every little thing. This one took the other's toy, he hit me, he won't give it back, he got more than me, it's my turn. You want to throw them both out a window most of the time. And being pregnant while you have a two or three year-old is terrible. You can't pick them up when they throw a fit in the store, you're forced to just wait it out. They don't care if you're tired or sick in the morning, they want you up and getting their breakfast and putting on cartoons. They will laugh at you while you're dry heaving. It doesn't matter how much your back or head hurts, you have to help them go to the potty.

But for every way they make it harder, there's another way it's easier. Trouble would hold Little Trouble's bottle so I could go to the bathroom. He learned to re-start the battery operated swing. He would give Little Trouble his pacifier or toy when he dropped it. He would entertain Little Trouble in his crib while I was trying to get something done. Now he will get them each a drink and a snack and put on cartoons on the days I just need to sleep for another hour. Little Trouble threw a fit on me one day at the mall. Trouble and I had to chase him from opposing angles and corner him. Then I had Trouble carry my coffee for me while I carried a screaming and kicking three year-old out of the mall. It was so great Trouble was big enough to help me!

And while they fight with one another and get on each other's nerves, they clearly love one another. One will run if they hear the other crying or hurt. Trouble will hug Little Trouble before he leaves for school. And it slay-ed me when Little Trouble started saying, "Be a good boy," when he left.

But if you decide to have that second kid, don't blame me for it later. That decision is entirely up to you. I recuse myself of all responsibility.


Our Anniversary

Roses_2Today is my eighth anniversary and I almost forgot. I know many women prepare for this day for a month. They will have arranged a sitter, made dinner reservations or maybe the theater, maybe they've even planned a whole weekend getaway. It literally dawned on me three days ago that my anniversary was today. I hadn't given it a thought. I told my husband this and he looked at me with wide eyes and said, "Happy Anniversary, honey." He didn't remember either.

Just about everyone I mention this momentous occasion to will ask what we have planned, what gift did I receive? I plan on making steamers for dinner, maybe even getting a bottle of wine. I bought my husband a card that's still sitting unsigned on a shelf at home. It would be nice if he remembered to get me a card. But honestly, I don't really care much. We went to see John Mayer a little over a week ago, we're going to a "Prom" in a couple of weeks - let's just say that's what we did for our anniversary and call it quits. So many women put all this pressure on their husbands and themselves on this date, and I just don't get it. It's going to be the night you have to cancel because one of the kids is sick or someone had to work late, or you went out anyway even though you were tired and didn't feel like it and the whole event leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Or even worse yet, someone dies. We were sorting through my grandmother's belongings on our anniversary last year. We had to take her off life support. It was awful. And in the midst of this horrible time Blackstone said, "I have something important to ask you. Did you get me an anniversary card?"

"No," I tell him.

"Oh, good. I haven't gotten you one either," he says relieved.

All this pressure for one day. I really don't see why it's so much more important than the rest. And we do this for birthdays, holidays, dare I even bring up Valentine's Day. I HATE going out for Valentine's Day. Every one in the world decides to go out for dinner and you have to fight the crowds, wait for your food, they run out of the special and if you haven't made reservations it could take hours for a table. Why bother? I'll go out next week when everyone's at home.

Not that I don't like a surprise once in a while. Blackstone sent me roses at work on Mother's Day which was nice. He hadn't given me roses since before we were married. And one year for my birthday he bought me this terribly over-priced velvet winter hat that I had fallen in love with but hadn't bought because it was too expensive. But usually I just tell him what I want. I make it nice and simple. Half the time I'll even buy it myself and just say, "See what you bought me for _______ ." He loves it. He'll ask, "So did I buy your ________  present yet?" And I get just what I want and never get disappointed or feel bad about returning something he picked out. I also don't have any terrible guilt or pressure to search for the perfect gift for him. If I'm going to make it easy on him, he gets to make it easy on me.

This year we're getting each other a new kitchen and I couldn't be more thrilled.


Dad a.k.a. "The Hit Man"

Trouble was three years-old when he started pre-school. About the middle of the year, they were asking the kids what their parents did for work, and since the kids are three and four years-old they can get some pretty unusual answers. Trouble's response to this question, "Daddy kills bad men."

Now this answer might make sense if say, Blackstone were a cop or a soldier, but he's not. I think this response came from Trouble watching CSI with us, which lead to a discussion about bad men, which lead to Blackstone putting on the tough guy face and saying he'd kill any bad men that came around. So, when the teachers pressed further and Trouble said that dad was not a cop or a soldier, they were a little befuddled. So, of course they decide to look up Trouble's file and see what Blackstone's employment is listed as, because that will clear everything up . . . or so they thought. Blackstone is an Environmental Consultant and he has his own company. Now I could have written that on the form, but I didn't.

Trouble's teacher was laughing so hard when I came to pick him up that day and she related this story to me. And I, knowing what I had written on the form, knew what was coming. I had listed Blackstone as simply,"Self Employed."


Ball Game and Fireworks

Pawsox We took the boys to their first Pawsox game last night. They had a great time. We went with another family that has two boys and they really enjoyed it. We gorged on hot dogs and beer and orange soda and popcorn. We started off in the bleachers but then moved over to stand in one of the patio areas to get a better spot for the fireworks. The boys ran around, danced the chicken dance, watched for the dozens of amateur fireworks going off around the park. Trouble tried adamantly to catch one of the soft baseballs Sox the Mascot was throwing to the crowd after the game. He didn't catch one, but he did get someone to take pity on him and give him one they had caught. The kid knows how to get what he wants.

Our boys were pretty tuckered out by the time the fireworks show got started. Little Trouble loved it and insisted he wasn't scared even though he was holding me around the neck so tight I almost couldn't breath. Trouble had Blackstone (my husband agrees that this screen name says it all) hold him. He wasn't scared, he had just hit the wall and was done. The fireworks were great. Best we've seen outside of Jaffrey, which is the fireworks show to beat all fireworks shows in the NE. Atlas fireworks company puts on their big commercial show the third Saturday in August and we've been going for years, before the kids were born, I think even before we were married. It's one of our traditions and we rarely miss a year. We even went the year I was limping around in a plastic boot after breaking my ankle.

But the ball game and fireworks were awesome and I highly recommend them. It was even worth it with the mile trek back to the car carrying the kids and sitting in the parking lot for half-an-hour waiting to move.