Friday, August 24, 2012

The Attack!

The Attack!

It’s 4:44 a.m. I am awake because I can’t sleep.

I had a girl’s night with some of my friends and we ended our time together talking about ghosts. WHY we got off on that tangent is beyond me, but we DID. And if it hadn’t been after 1 a.m., then we would have changed the subject, and I would probably have forgotten all about the matter and NOT dreamt about ghosts. BUT, everyone was like “it’s after 1! We HAVE to go!”

I climbed into my cozy bed next to Brighton. Brooklyn was next to Starling. (I was actually shocked to see Brooklyn in bed at all because I left her NAPPING at 8:30p.m. and she’d been asleep since 5p.m. I assumed she would be wide awake). I fell asleep quickly, exhausted from a looong day.

I dreamt I was with my girl friends shopping in Florida. One of the girls had her three kids in her Suburban. One of the kids got sick and so I offered to take the other two kids shopping with us while she took her sick kid back to the hotel. My friend said, “Take the Suburban and I’ll take your car.” (Because, in my dream I was in my car without my children. None of us had kids with us except this one girl). My other girl friend climbed into the passenger seat and we headed off with the two kids. I noticed the kids looked terrified. I assumed it was because they didn’t know me. (I met the mother of the kids for the first time in my dream. And she isn’t a real person that I know in real life, either. Just some random girl and her three random children. Visiting me in a dream). When we got to the first thrift store, the kids practically jumped into my arms out of the van. Confused by this, I carried the little two year old boy and held hands with the little girl that was four. The kids were fine. They didn’t get antsy until we had to get back into the Suburban. The little one started to whimper and the oldest one started wringing her hands.

I buckled up the baby and shut the door. The baby started screaming. I looked at the six year old. Her eyes were wide with terror. “What’s wrong??” I asked her.

“Get him out! Get him out!”

My friend and I exchanged panicked expressions and I tried to open the door. All the doors locked with a loud click and I couldn’t open the door.

I looked back at the girl who was SHRIEKING, “Oh no! Oh no! Its going to get my brother!”

And my friend and I were banging on the doors, yanking them, crying, and an evil feeling came over me and I couldn't save the kid.

In real life, lying in my bed, my heart rate was increasing. I was getting short of breath. And suddenly I felt a presence loom over me and then a physical body lie across my chest. My eyes slammed open and I couldn’t move my arms because I was being held down.

I let out the “ahhhhhhh.” (You know the one. The precursor to the full fledged AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!). Starling, hearing the panic in my voice, sat up on the other side of the bed. “What’s wrong? What is WRONG?” I wanted to say, “I’m being held down by an evil spirit! I can’t move!” But all that came out was, “Ahhh!! Ooooeeek!”

And just when I thought my heart was going to beat out of my chest, a little voice whispered, “I’ve got you, Mommy. I won’t let anything happen to you.” I would have jumped at the voice, but I couldn’t move.

Then I realized that the physical being holding me down was, indeed, a Physical. Being. It was Brooklyn. Starling was still staring at me asking, “What is happening?”, when Brooklyn finished climbing over me and took her place on the edge of the bed. I gulped in air like a drowning cat, sputtering out words.

“I-I… Brooklyn just… I’m okay.” So Starling asked NO questions, flopped over and was asleep before his head landed with a thud on the pillow. Brooklyn pulled my arms all the way around her and kept saying, “It’s alright, Mommy. I’ve got you. I’ll protect you. I won’t let anything happen to you.” And I really felt a peace come over me like I had my little guardian angel chasing off the remnants of that awful dream. After a moment, I lifted my arm to my forehead. Suddenly little hands gripped my arm, and YANKED it back down. I jumped, still jittery.

“I’m sorry, Mommy. Don’t worry. Your arm almost got away, but I saved it. I’ll protect you.” So I didn’t move again until 4:42 when I thought my bladder might burst. I thought I’d sneak out of Brooklyn’s iron grip, but she was just laying there awake, still guarding me. Charkley was lying sound asleep on the other side of Brooklyn. He was sleep- whimpering. I touched him, going to shake him awake, but instead he yelped and jumped. I wonder what HE was dreaming.  

“I have to pee,” I explained. She nodded and whispered, “Me too.”

So we got up. Charkley beat us to the bedroom door. I made my way to let Charkley outside and Brooklyn fetched her “stomp” (which normal people refer to as a stool). She used her stool to turn on the hall light, her bedroom light, the bathroom light, the living room, and both kitchen lights. And after we peed, Brooklyn said, “Mommy, I’m getting hungry.” So I heated her up some spaghetti-o’s at her request and now she is giving her hands “a bubbly bath. Just a little one.” While singing at the top of her lungs. At least I didn’t send her to the master bath. Maybe Starling isn’t being disturbed too terribly.

 And I know that Brooklyn is up for the day. But what about ME? I had a whopping 3 hrs of sleep! (Day two of getting up this early, mind you. Last night Brighton woke up at 4:20 in the morning crying about who knows what. I gave him Tylenol and chocolate milk to get him back to sleep. But once I’m up digging around in the medicine cabinet and the fridge, I have an impossible time falling back to sleep). But I think I’ll at least give it a try. But if I find another kid trapped in a vehicle, I’m giving UP on sleep indefinitely.  

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Preschool Day 1- Hurricane

August 23, 2012
Well, I finally got off my lazy tortoise and started preschool with Brooklyn again. (We did some preschool before all the kids got out for summer vacation, but with all the rig-i-miro, WE sToPped). NOW- it’s back to the fun of learning. After attending an AMAZING home-school conference in Virginia, starting back is EXCITING- not TERRIFYINGLY dreadful.
Brooklyn and Brighton LOVE learning! (Brooklyn likes to learn how things are put TOGETHER… Brighton likes to learn how fast he can destroy whatever it is we are working on. Brighton, so far, is a DANG quick learner)!
Since I found out we have a tropical storm coming that may turn into a hurricane (yesterday- better late than never), I decided that we should learn about hurricanes. Brooklyn has already learned about “cumulonimbus clouds” and really enjoys storms now. (She used to be terrified). So I looked up some fun facts for kids on the good ole’ GOOGLE and she gleefully listened while I told her about how hurricanes are formed. (Of course, the MAIN thing she got from my little lecture was not from me. It was this little simulation on the website showing water rise up over the land and push a house away. SO. “Brooklyn, what is a hurricane?” Excitedly, “It’s a GREAT big STORM that moves like THIS (swirling motions with the arms in a giant circle). It’s in the OCEAN! And it pushes HOUSES DOWN!” OH WELL. I guess that is part of it). THEN, we did a science experiment.
I have to tell you, my LEAST favorite part of school was science class and ESPECIALLY the lab. I didn’t mind the actual LAB, I suppose, I just CAN NOT follow a set of directions. (The same reason why cooking is beyond my capabilities. I can NOT follow directions)! So setting up this ONE step project to simulate a hurricane was actually CHALLENGING for ME. I think the details about how to duct tape the straw onto the glass 9x13 pan were a little TOO detailed. (The directions were 8 sentences long. Why didn't it just say- "Duck tape straw to side of dish."?) And I still don’t know if I taped it on right. They should have shown a dang picture. But it worked for us! (Mostly).
It also gave us an excuse to go OUTSIDE and wear swimsuits so we could get WET! (Because you expect to get wet when playing in a hurricane).
I showed Brooklyn how to “create wind” by blowing in the straw. If it’s a little wind, it makes a little storm. But if it’s a great BIG WIND, it makes a HURRICANE. Then I let her blow. (And then we put a little doll in front of the straw to blow her away. Just for fun).

It was hard to observe from her stand point AT the straw. I took pictures so she could SEE the hurricane she created. She was, of course, ECSTATIC! (And she made hurricanes until her face turned blue. And then she started wanting to make hurricanes in other places- like her kiddie pool. And of course I’m like- SUPER! Go ahead! Learn away! She hasn’t asked to watch the t.v. NOT once)!

And my major concern with homeschooling has never been Brooklyn. It’s been BRIGHTON. What to do with that little booger head while I’m trying to teach Brooklyn? Well- he loved making hurricanes just as much as Brooklyn. Every time Brooklyn would BLOW, Brighton would laugh until tears streamed down his face. Then HE wanted to blow. And he “blew” as HARD as he could. Too bad he doesn’t know how to blow. He sucked up half of our experiment and choked. BUT. He's learning!
And the cutest thing was Brooklyn's excitement in SHARING her experiment with her Daddy as soon as he walked through the door.

After we had fun playing/drinking our experiment, I shuttled Brighton off to the Night-Night for a nap so Brooklyn and I could focus on letters. She already knows all of her letters and the sounds they make from our previous schooling. NOW we are learning to READ. We bought the Your Baby Can Read ages ago and that's what I was using for her "schooling" but I really don't think its a great program. At. All. So I use the flash cards for FUN but not as my curriculum. (I'm actually not following a curriculum. I'm doing what makes sense to ME).

I bought a bunch of wood letters for $3 a while back so that we could spell as MANY words as we wanted. (We were using blocks but its very frustrating to turn the thing over to see FOUR sides to find a letter you are looking for. THEN have to destroy words to make new words. This is heartbreaking to my VERY O.C.D. child. "Don't BREAK my NA-AME!"). So, now we have gobs of every letter. And, as with EVERYTHING I teach, there is a song involved. We are working on the word AT. (Not a hard word. Not a fun word? WELL). Here is my song. (Watch out. Its very complicated and difficult to learn). "If you have the word AT (pause) and you want to make RAT?" and then Brooklyn finds the appropriate letter and sings, "You add an R!" "If you have the word AT- and you want to make CAT?" "Add a C!" And we made Mat, Fat, Cat, Bat, Rat, Hat, Mat, Nat, Pat, Sat. NOW- in THEORY- Brooklyn should be able to READ those words. I'm sure it'll take a minute. But I'm patient. ;-(actually that is a blatant LIE, but I am WORKING on being patient). And I'm not stressed about Brooklyn's schooling as of yet. She is three. I just have to know that "I" can teach and be a patient, loving human being before I commit to homeschooling my beloved hulligans. 

After "I" tired of letters (because Brooklyn NEVER does), we moved onto numbers. Brooklyn loves numbers, also. She can count to ten in Spanish and twenty in English. BUT recognition of numbers, NOT so great. So I started with number 4 (bc 1, 2, and 3 she recognizes fine), and said, "TODAY our SPECIAL number is FOUR! Find me the number four!" She brought me the four out of her number puzzle and the four from her magnets. 

"Okay. We have to find FOUR of something. I need YOU. To bring ME... FOUR CARS as FAST as you CAN!" Giggling she brought me four monster trucks. (Eh- we'll leave her learning of automobiles up to her Daddy). Then we did our math lesson as follows.

"If you have FOUR trucks on top of the piano bench and one drives off, HOW many are left?" She drove one off and yelled "THREE!" And I clapped and said, "That's RIGHT! Four minus ONE equals THREE!" And she looked at me like I was speaking French, but smiled and nodded, "Your right, Mommy!" And we continued adding and subtracting trucks.

AND I actually have MORE free time doing school with her. After each "lesson," for lack of a better word, I wander off to work on other things and let her free play with her newly learned idea. She and Brighton played SO well together with the hurricane left overs. (Seriously. I would never have thought duct taping a straw to a cake pan and filling it with water would allow me two HOURS of free time). Granted they weren't playing "hurricane" the whole time, but who CARES? And Brooklyn played with the letters for a good thirty to fourty-five minutes after I was sick of playing with them. And she was still making words. And she never plays with Brighton's trucks- but BOY- she drove them off the piano bench and back up the piano bench at least fifty times. And she's happy because she's got LOTS of one on one attention with Mom, and she's not bored. So, I'll say, First day of Preschool? Success!  

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Brighton's first words...

Two weeks ago Brighton was only making noises.
“What’s a horsey say?” And he’d say, “EEE-ha-ha” and “Brrr.”
“What’s a rooster say?” “er-er-er-er-WOO!”
“What’s a monster say?” “ARRRRRRRRRGHGHGHGH!!!!” (By far his favorite noise to make).
He could say a few words- car, Paw Paw, Da da, Ma Ma, GO!, Bye Bye, uh-oh, ca-at (which he calls our rabbits), Cha-Chak (Charkley), hot!, and he’d express everything else he wanted/didn’t want with a powerful scream that communicated his point. PERFECTLY.    
Last week? Wa-la. He decided to OPEN his mouth and SPEAK. He shocked us one day when we DRUG him inside SCREAMING. (That isn’t the part that shocked us. That is ALWAYS his reaction to coming INSIDE. He would rather have been born a dog… a horse, a goat, an earth worm that spends its days crawling through mud.... And live outside. No tent. Just OUTSIDE). It was also NOT shocking when he THREW himself against the closed door and stretched his little arm up to the door knob and attempted to open it, getting more and more frustrated by the second. What SHOCKED us is when he yelled at us angrily, “WAN Fo-gi-ga! Wan FO-gi-ga!” That probably sounds like pure gibberish to you. BUT, to the expert ear of a parent of BRIGHTON, we immediately said, “You want the four-wheeler?”
He gave a nod that nearly toppled his head off his little neck. Starling opened the door (because who can resist a little dude’s FIRST spoken request??) and Brighton tripped three times RUNNING to the four wheeler. He was on it in less than two seconds yelling, “Wan RI-IDE!” Starling took him riding. At eleven thirty at night. (Our neighbors LOVE us. Really).
Perhaps he liked the reaction he got from us when he talked. Later that night when I tried to get him to lie down REPEATEDLY, (to which he kept refusing), Brighton finally yelled, “Wan Boot-lan!” So I let him go and he grinned as he tackled Brooklyn and climbed in the bed next to her, pulling the covers up to his chin.
Last night he pointed to one of Brooklyn’s besties and said, “Lay-la!” And Sunday, while we were TRYING to keep his little hyper bootie on the PEW instead of climbing the stairs in the front of the congregation, he kept reaching towards the back pleading, “El-das! Wan el-das!” (The missionaries live in our apartment behind our house. They have completely won my children over with popsicles and other treats they bring them. Brighton ALWAYS wants to escape Ma Ma in refuge of elders that play with him outside and push him around in his cars).
Today he kept telling me, “Ma MA! Wan ou-side!” and “Wan wa-da.” (Which translates to “want water.” And he didn’t mean to drink. He said this while being pulled OFF the bathroom sink where he had CLIMBED and was PLAYING in the “wa-da”). So that’s awesome that he’s decided to talk. EXCEPT, I am left wondering, WHY can he say “four-wheeler,” a word I have NEVER tried to teach him, but he REFUSES to say the word PLEASE, which I chant to him about 678 times. A DAY! When I say slowly and very articulately, “Pu-leeeeeeeese?” He cocks his head and laughs at me. Sometimes he’ll humor me and whisper, “puh. Puh. Puh.”
Brooklyn certainly tries to help him talk. She always prays that he’ll learn to talk. (Although she might regret that. Especially if he talks a fragment amount of how much SHE talks).
UGH! I must get the kiddos to bed. Brooklyn just ran to me in a panic and said, “Mommay! My eyes are turning BLACK!” I suppressed a laugh and told her to HURRY and get to bed and I’d come get her ready.
My little angel takes EVERYTHING so literal. When she doesn’t want to go to bed, I tell her, “We HAVE to go to sleep. If we don’t go to sleep we’ll get big, black bags under our eyes!” Which is the truth. She WIGS out at the thought of it, though, and it makes her go to sleep.
She just ran to tell Starling her eyes are turning black and we have to go to bed NOW. And she also ran to the back door because the missionaries just left and she wanted to go tell THEM her eyes are turning black. And Brighton is tripping backwards trying to get away from me because I asked him if he needs a bum bum change. I’m surprised he didn’t yell, “NEVER!!” back at me. Maybe tomorrow.  

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The New Daddy

Today was just too disturbing and/or funny not to blog about. Sooo Starling and I took the kids to Louisiana to look at a little Maxima that Starling wanted to flip. He decided the car’s ailments were within his expertise, so he purchased it and was driving it home. He pulled over on the interstate to clean his windshield so he could see. (It was covered in white shoe polish saying ‘for sale’ and blab la). I pulled over behind Starling since I’m not brave enough to drive home without following him. (BEcause I still occasionally get lost driving to Petal).
Brooklyn was extremely fearful for her father’s safety. Cars were driving by him and she was about to have a panic attack. Finally, Starling finished his window washing, opened his car and ZOOM! An 18-wheeler passed.
“MOMMAY! Did DADDY just get runned over by a CAR?!” I was only half paying attention, using the moment of being parked to return a cuzillion text messages.
“No, honey.”
Well we continued on the road, singing “If You’re Happy and You Know It Clap Your Hands,” “Hi, My Name is Joe,” “Rudolph,” “Jingle Bells,” etc. Brooklyn was belting out the words with gusto and Brighton couldn’t stop giggling and shouting Hooo-Waaa, throwing his hands in the air even though we were long done with “Shout Hurray!”- that being part of the FIRST song we sang. (Better slow than never I say).
Brighton let out a soft Hurrah, then slumped over in his car seat unconscious. I turned my mirror to Brooklyn, who moments earlier had been ecstatic and merrily singing. I noticed her face was scrunched up in thought and she looked rather melancholy.
“What’s up, Brooklyn?” I asked her.
“Well, Daddy got runned over by a car and so that I am sad. But, well… I’m not crying. But my daddy is just runned over right now.”
 Bewildered at her little comment, I ask, “He got run over? Well where is he?”
“Well, just- he is gone. He got runned over by a car to go live with Jesus and that he’s not okay. He’s just gone.”
“How awful! You don’t seem too upset. What are we going to do without our Daddy?”
This perplexed her greatly. But finally she sighed.
“Well. But we have to go to Wal-Mert to get a new Daddy.”
My eyes bulged and I suppressed a giggle.
“What kind of Daddy will we get at Wal-Mart?”
“Well, I’ll just have to ask one of my friends at Wal-Mert to let me have their Daddy.”
“Which friend’s Daddy do you want to be your new Daddy?”
She thought long and hard.
“Well, I’m just going to ask Alayna’s Daddy to be my new Daddy.” (Alayna is Brooklyn’s cousin. Her daddy, Eric, is about as close to a clone of Starling as you can get). I tried not to cackle.

“Can you just call Eric so I can ask him that my Daddy got runned over and he can be my new Daddy?”
I called STARLING and said, “Hey- Brooklyn’s DADDY got hit by a car and she wants to ask uncle ERIC a question.” Giggling I handed the phone to Brooklyn. Not once did she consider the person on the other line to be her ACTUAL dad. Nope; she was talking to Eric and that was that. She told him ALL about how her daddy got “runned” over and that “she was sad but NOPE- not crying.”
Starling said, “Well, your Daddy can get fixed in the hospital and…”
Her face fell and she slung the phone at me. “Uncle Eric doesn’t WANT to be my new daddy.”
I hung up with Starling and said, “Don’t you want Daddy to get better?”
Brooklyn's arms flung to her sides and she yelled utterly destraught, “YES! I do want him to be my Daddy and get better. BUT HE CAN’T! He GOT. runned OVER. by a CAR!” As in DUH mom! Are you an idiot or are you an idiot??
She fell asleep and I had to meet someone at The Barn to sell something for $75 and then fill up my van at the gas station for $65. (I love making that dough). I had a meeting at the church, so I drug two sleeping kids out of the van and made them walk.
When I finally got Brooklyn to walk KIND of in the right direction, more TOWARDS the church and not toward the random field to the side, I footballed Brighton under my arm and we made our way through the doors. Every person that Brooklyn knows had to hear about her daddy getting hit by a car. People's reactions varied, but they were ALL video worthy. Wide eyes, dropped mouth, immediate gasp and turn to me. (My smirk was probably confusing to them).
Someone asked her, “Well where did he go?”
Exasperated, she proclaimed, “We can’t FIND our FRICKIN’ Daddy ANYWHERE!” Yikes! I’ve never heard her say freakin before and it sounded AWFUL coming out of those tiny, innocent lips. And that is a SENTENCE that’s exited my mouth like a thousand times. Yes, I am ALWAYS losing my husband. WHEN we are both home.
Then Eric came through the church doors and, of course, Brooklyn thought she’d called him on my phone. He was clueless. And it was a great interaction of his niece, out of the BLUE, asking him AGAIN to be her new daddy.
She was, no other way to put it, SHOCKED to walk into our house and see her daddy sitting at the computer. She just stood there. Staring. BUT, as soon as Starling spoke to her, she went into a ninety to nothing recount of her time at church and showed him her “treasure” box that she found that she’d left. NOOOO comment about, “OH GOOD! You’re alive!”
Later she climbed on his lap and said, “I really missed you while you were DIED.” 
I’m glad to know parents are so dispensable. I wonder how much they run at “Wal-mert.” I’d be interested in purchasing a parent that likes cooking.