Saturday, July 9, 2011

Life with Four Children

I am so adorable as I sit here with my foot on the table, contemplating my chocolate chip cookie.

What do you mean you're going to nibble those little toes off if I don't hide them soon?

Marie was dancing in the bathtub one night, and, just as I was saying, AGAIN, "Sit down or you're going to.....(fall and hit your face on the side of the tub)" she fell and hit her face on the side of the tub.  I should have guessed, after the dime incident, that she would be the first child in the family to get a black eye.
Hi, Mom!  Dad's letting us have cake and crackers for breakfast!! 

Joseph liked to help Marie with her job of wiping the table.
*I was in the middle of trying to put away the new school supplies and organize the school supply cabinet (while Joseph was trying to UNorganize it for me) when the phone rang.  While someone from church was asking me if I could take dinner to a family of 8 in a few days, Joseph was eating ANOTHER marker and dripping black ink all over the carpet...of course, I hadn't quite had time to open the box of WASHABLE markers yet. 
The day before this, Joseph had broken a bowl, pinched, slapped, and punched me, poked me in the eye with a sharp piece of paper, and bit me on purpose.

*Marie came shopping with me, and while we were walking down an aisle she was talking to me about "Bob the Builder".  (For those not well acquainted with Bob and his friends:  "Scoop" is a yellow tractor with a scoop on the front and back, "Muck" is a bulldozer, and "Lofty" is a crane.)  She was telling me, "Scoop's a tractor and Muck's a tractor and Lofty's a....*thinking...thinking...thinking*...hook*r!  Lofty's a hook*r!"  I tried not to burst out laughing while I suggested that she call Lofty a crane instead.

*Nearly every Most Many Several One day, Ian (about 8 years old) was IN A MOOD.  I was doing schoolwork with him, and every time I asked him to do something he would either say something sassy, rip up/crumple his paper, scream at me, or throw his pencil/paper/book.  When he had gotten himself moved to the very bottom of the behavior chart (a BAD place to be), he was thinking he was out of consequences because there was nowhere left to go on the chart.  I told him that his behavior was unacceptable, and he needed to stop doing those things, or he would earn 100 sentences or one extra chore for each thing he did from that point on.  He did FIFTY more things, so he was grounded until he either wrote "I will treat my mother with respect" 5,000 times or did 50 extra chores.  He was grounded for MONTHS;  he missed Halloween that year because he was still grounded when it came around. 
One day (he was down to 3,900 sentences or 39 extra chores) he was asking me something about teenage drug dealers and jail....when could they get out of jail or something like that...and I told him they could leave jail once they had completed their sentences.  He looked at me with a shocked expression and said, horrified, "They have to write sentences in prison too?!"

*It started out as a hopeful Monday morning.  I was trying to get us all to playgroup on time, which involved getting 4 children fed, dressed, and out the door.  Ian poured a second bowl of cereal, took one bite, and decided he was full, so I told him that he would need to scrape it into the trash.  He managed to get milk and cereal all over the floor and the garbage can.  I told him to wipe up the floor and save the cleaning of the trash can for when we got home, since we were running late.  While I was in the back of the house turning off lights in preparation for our departure, Ian decided to go in the front yard and leave the door open so that all of his siblings could follow him outside and be in the front yard unsupervised when the Jehovah's Witnesses came by to discuss "Keeping Your Child Safe" with me.  Of course, the children were all VERY friendly and talkative to the two STRANGERS who approached them...despite the NUMEROUS times we had talked about that EXACT scenario.  How mortifying!

When we got home from the park, I told Ian to take the garbage can into the front yard to rinse it out and close the door and don't talk to strangers this time!  He wanted to do it in the (unfinished) backyard, and I said that was fine as long as he didn't make a giant mud puddle.  When I returned from switching the laundry around, Ian had filled the garbage can with water and was merrily playing with the hose.  I told him to dump the water out, rinse the can off, turn the hose off, and come inside.  Then I went to use the bathroom....and I heard Joseph coming down the hall...and I looked up and his feet and sandals were ENCASED in mud.  So I quickly grabbed him and followed his trail down the hall to his bathroom, to the family room, around the train table, and out the back door, to the backyard where Ian was still playing with the hose.  I hosed off Joseph, Ian and the trash can, sent everyone inside, and informed Ian that he was going to be my carpet cleaning helper later in the day.
What do you mean my new shirt is ruined?
A different incident involving mud and siblings in the backyard.

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