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Friday, February 15, 2013

Odds & Ends

I was reminded of my dad the other night as I drove to the grocery store. I had forgotten that I had let Ella put makeup on me earlier, and I left the house in such a rush that I forgot to take it off. I looked a teeny bit garish. I tried to wipe off what I could in the car, but I still looked like a clown on Halloween. 

When I was little I used to put all my rubber bands in my Daddy’s hair, making little ponytails stick up in every direction. He sat patiently in his favorite blue chair as I worked, I’m sure yanking his hair painfully every now and then. We lived in Africa at the time, and we had electricity powered by a generator for four hours each evening. At 10pm, the missionaries would take turns turning off the generator for the night. I remember my Daddy, in his red African robe, with his hair in fifty ponytails sticking every which way, going to turn off the generator, hoping that he didn’t run into anyone along the way across the mission. Sometimes you do crazy things to show your kids you love and value them.

Yesterday Ella put makeup on a lemon that we had laying around the kitchen waiting to be cooked with. She was very proud of herself. I've never heard of putting makeup on fruits and veggies before, but whatever floats her boat.

I was eating lunch with Ella the other day and we were talking about her dancing. I said God gave her such a gift because she is such a beautiful dancer! She was thoughtful for a minute, then replied that she wants to give God a gift card to say thank you for such a wonderful gift.

Last week Ben and Jonah got their braces off! Their gums are healing well from their oral surgery, and now they are without any metal in their mouths. As usual, I was way more excited than they were. I took them out for a special treat after they got done at the orthodontist. On the way home, Jonah said he missed his braces and if he had to choose he would want them back on. What?!? Crazy kid. As I was snuggling with Jonah before bed, he almost got teary. He said he has had some tics that involved his braces and now he couldn’t do the tics and it felt terrible. I hadn’t realized this. We talked about how Jonah would get more comfortable with the changes in his mouth over the next few days and soon he wouldn't miss his braces anymore.

I told the kids I had to run to the drug store for a few odds and ends. Jonah asked which one- CVS or Walgreens? I told him CVS. He said "Yay! Because CVS has carpet and Walgreens doesn't, so you hear your noisy feet when you walk around Walgreens. I like CVS better." My kids have all kinds of sensory sensitivities that I am not even aware of! I didn't even realize that one store had carpet and one didn't. How oblivious am I? The cool thing is that the kids have learned coping skills to deal with some of these difficult situations, all on their own. It makes me wonder about how many times the kids just seem irritable or grumpy when it is actually related to a valid sensory issue.

One night Jonah was taking a shower. I get the temperature just right for him and then he jumps in. He jumped into the stream of the warm shower this particular night and started yelling at the top of his lungs "SPD!! SPD!! SPD!!" I had no idea what he was talking about. I said "Calm down! What's the matter?" Our shower head can flip from a sharper stream of water to a more gentle stream, and Ben likes one side and Jonah likes the other. Ben had gotten in the shower first and I had forgotten to flip the shower head to Jonah's side. He was yelling because the feeling of the water was so horrible on his skin. We had a good laugh about it, after the shower head was flipped, because it was so funny to hear Jonah screaming "SPD! SPD!" and me not knowing what in the world he was even saying. It was funny that he thought of the term 'SPD' to get his point across to me in his panic.

A few days ago, we got 8.5 inches of snow- our first real snow of the year. Ella has gone out to play in the snow once before this winter with her brothers, and although she had fun, her snow pants "bowther" (bother) her. So she has refused to go back in the snow since then. But this big snow was just too irresistible. Ella's brothers were out in the snow, her neighbor friends, her Mama...she couldn't resist. So Daddy bundled her up and out she came. She had so much fun and conquered her fear of her bothersome snow pants. She still refused to go near the sled because it's "too fast and scary." Even if Mama just pulls her slowly down the snowy street in it. It was a no-go. 

I wondered the next morning as I stretched why my arms were so sore. Then I remembered yesterday: I shoveled the driveway four times, dug three snow forts, and built a snowman. Ahh yes, that's why I'm sore. I love snow. I have such fond memories of playing in the snow with my Dad and brother when we would come back from Africa during the winter. It was like heaven. I love being out in the perfect, still whiteness. Alex laughs at me because I hate the snowblower- it's noisy, stinky, and ruins the ambiance of the winter wonderland. I refuse to snowblow. But I'll shovel any day. What's super irritating to me is when I finally find a good time to go out and shovel, and I'm all excited about the stillness and beauty of being out there in the snow...and then a neighbor picks that exact moment to snowblow their driveway. Ambiance ruined. I understand snowblowers are very efficient, but they're so crazy loud and annoying!
It's been a full few weeks. Many changes, many new milestones. We're so busy that I know if I even dare to blink, my kids will be grown up. They'll be choosing their own drugstore to shop at- a decision based, of course, on their carpet needs. They'll be choosing which type of shower head bests suits their own needs. They'll be deciding what type of snow gear they want to wear when they play in the snow with their kids, or whether they want to shovel the driveway or use a snowblower. Hopefully they'll at least remember to wash off the makeup their kids have put on them before they go to the grocery store, or take out their 50 pony tails before heading out in public! 

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