The Peanut Place and the Popcorn Place

Our kids have two favorite sit-down restaurants that they request: The Peanut Place (Texas Roadhouse, where they serve unlimited peanuts) and the Popcorn Place (Wingers, where they serve unlimited popcorn). Of these restaurants, Murray and I like the Peanut Place, and I dislike the Popcorn Place. Because both parents like it, it's usually pretty easy to convince us to take a trip to the Peanut Place.

Recently, Joon requested to go to the Peanut Place. That sounded like a GREAT idea. So we loaded the kids up into the van and drove to Orem to go to Texas Roadhouse. Joon fell asleep on the way there, which she sometimes does between 4:00–7:00. When we got to the Peanut Place, Murray picked up Joon and carried her into the restaurant. We requested an extra long booth so that we could lay her down and she could keep sleeping. She slept through our entire meal. And then she slept as we carried her back out to the van and buckled her in. She woke up on the way home and cheerfully requested, "Can we go to the Peanut Place???" Sad, sad day for Joon.

More recently, this past week, I wasn't feeling well and spent the day at home in bed, making Murray be my slave and get me anything I requested. (I have a few more weeks of pregnancy where behavior like this is acceptable.) We were all getting hungry, and a grilled cheese sandwich sounded wonderful to me. Joon, in bed next to me, asked, "Can we go to the Popcorn Place?" I said no, I didn't want to go. I wanted to stay home. Again, she asked, "Can we go to the Popcorn Place?" I said no, I just wanted to stay in bed and eat a grilled cheese sandwich. "Well," said Joon, "the Popcorn Place has grilled cheese!" There's no arguing with that logic. Maybe Joon has politics in her future? In any event, I got what I wanted, and stayed in bed with a delicious homemade grilled cheese.

A Miracle Cure!

Yesterday Murray took the kids to get their immunizations so that we can get Gulliver all registered for preschool. It was kindof a parting thought I had as I was running out the door in the morning, and I didn't stop to think that maybe we needed to mentally prepare the kids for this.

Instead, Murray just took our children to a nurse who first stuck big needles in Joon while Gulliver watched. And then Gulliver had to take his turn. Apparently both Murray and another nurse had to hold him down to get his shots. Whoops. We maybe could have handled this differently.

On the other hand, Murray still remembers going in to get his kindergarten shots with his mom, who DID prepare him for what was to come, and Murray said it made it so much worse for him. So who knows what the right thing to do was.

Murray and the kids later came to pick me up from work. As I got into the car, BOTH kids wanted to talk to me about WHAT HAPPENED to them. Joon was trying to pull up her shorts to show me the band-aids. Gulliver announced "We got SHOTS, mumma! It hurt!"

But I was going to make everything better. We took the kids up Payson Canyon to see a really cool grotto waterfall. The trail is easy, but fun with lots of rocks, logs, roots, steps, and bridges (so many bridges!) for the kids to enjoy and for Murray to stress about. At the end of the short hike is a cool little waterfall in a grotto. The water at the bottom is about 4 inches deep at its deepest, and the kids can splash and throw rocks to their hearts' content.

After visiting the waterfall, we made our pleasant journey back to the car. Here are the kids, holding hands. This wasn't prompted or staged. They just decided to hold hands and hike down together.

When we finally got to the car, I took off Joon's wet clothes. I had come prepared! I had a nice clean dry cozy shirt for Joon! No pants because I had been too busy to find a pair of pants. But who cares? Joon was nice and dry in her dry shirt and new diaper.

We drove home and Murray went to get Joon out of the car. When he picked her up out of her car seat, she started wailing and crying inconsolably. This is pretty rare for Joon. She's a tough girl. "It's pretty ouchy!" she cried, again and again.

Murray brought her inside where the only way to keep her from crying was to hold her on his lap and give her a popsicle. He put on something to watch, and there they stayed.

If Murray shifted his weight, Joon would cry terribly again. If Murray adjusted Joon, she would cry terribly again. I made dinner and spoon-fed Joon, still on Murray's lap. (And I got her some tylenol!). Poor, poor Joon. It's berry ouchy!

Bedtime came and we couldn't bear the thought of putting Joon in her crib all by herself. So Murray, Joon, and Gulliver went to sleep in Gulliver's bed. I went to sleep in my bed, and Murray joined me later. Then Gulliver joined us in the middle of the night. Poor, poor Joon was all alone in Gulliver's bed. I woke up at some point, and decided to go and sleep with her.

When she woke up in the morning, she was paralyzed. Just lying there on her back with her shirt and diaper. Normally she is one to pop right up in the morning. I'd been sure that by morning it would be better. But it was still "berry ouchy!" I got her some more medicine, read her a book, and generally snuggled and loved her. When I was getting her medicine and was in the other room, she cried out, "Mumma! Mumma! Don't go away!!" Poor Joon was immobilized on the bed.

Murray and I talked about whether we needed to start worrying yet. I said that I was kindof assuming that although it is sore, it's probably still mostly in her head. Murray said, come to think of it, she only started acting this way when he accidentally made a surprised face to see her bandaids when he was getting her out of the car, because he'd forgotten about the shots already.

So we came up with a cure. Murray carefully lifted Joon from the bed, and gave her a fresh diaper and a pair of PANTS. That COVER the bandaids. She cried during the process. He brought her downstairs and put her on the couch where she stayed.

Until she forgot about her bandaids and jumped up and started running and playing around the house.


Joon, the Comedian

We have enjoyed Joon's explosion of personality over the last year, and it's been so fun to see it continue to grow and develop. Everywhere she goes she is admired. Of course we think that our kids are cute, but we're the parents. It's also nice to hear our feelings validated by friends, family, and strangers.

Last night, we came home from a day of fun and fireworks, and because I wasn't feeling great, I asked Murray to put the kids to bed. Gulliver has a double bed, so when the kids are put to bed together, then we all pile into Gulliver's bed, and tell one story and sing two songs. That's my drill, anyway. Murray is more easily coerced into more songs.

Because it was late last night, Gulliver fell asleep quickly, and Joon, who normally goes berserk at bedtime and is all riled up, was pretty slow-moving. And so it happened that both kids fell asleep, and Murray got to enjoy the stillness and the cuddles.

This was the first time Joon has slept in a BIG BED all night. Which may account for the fact that when she woke up, she was full of life, vim, vigor, and unbridled happiness.

She came running into my room (followed by Murray who ended up spending the night in bed with the kids), and I picked her up and brought her into bed with me.

She said, "I wanna cuddle you." Then she cuddled me very affectionately. Lots of patting, cheek rubbing, thumb sucking, full body cuddling.

Then she got on top of me, straddling me laying down, and said, "I wanna wiggle you. Wiggle wiggle wiggle." You can guess that she was wiggling while doing this. And I should point out, this isn't anything that anyone has ever taught her. This was her brand new idea as of this morning.

Then she sat up, still straddling me, and said, "I a coyote! A-woooooooooo!"

Then she started rocking on me and saying, "Rock-a-moose, rock-a-moose, rock-a-moose!" (Our rocking moose is one of her favorite toys.)

It was an impressive display of stream-of-consciousness mumma-loving and I enjoyed every second of it. I am curious to see who this little girl becomes, but I can wait. I just want to hold on to today.

Light Clothing

It's summer and it's HOT. Every day is above 100 degrees. I'm dying.

Murray-bless-his-heart keeps putting the kids in long pants and long shirts. He does this because 1) he's not thinking it through and 2) he's pulling from their drawers instead of the nicely-folded-stacked piles of laundry that are waiting to be put away. (Want to guess whose job it is to put them away? I love you, honey!)

So as I was folding laundry the other day, and as the children were both naked, I threw Murray a light-weight shirt and some light-weight shorts for Joon. I said, "Here. These are some nice LIGHT clothes for Joon." Emphasis on light. Trying to reinforce the point that in 100-degree weather, we don't give our children sweaters*.

Murray started to put the clothes on Joon, and she started crying and prostrated herself on the ground. "Noooooo! I want LIGHTS SHIRT, Daddy!!" Oh shoot. Apparently Joon had an entirely different understanding of what "light clothes" meant, and had briefly enjoyed the anticipation of wearing something truly exciting.

All dressed, Joon was still upset. Gulliver loves to take care of his sister, and eager to help, he jumped up, and said, "No, Joon! Look! It GLOWS!"

He then whisked Joon away to the bathroom and closed the door where, once again, her clothing performed well below expectations.

* Murray got a little beat up in this post, so I'll add for his peace of mind and for everyone else's benefit and full understanding, the sweaters comment is a comedic exaggeration. 

Shut Up

About 2 weeks ago, Murray and I were having a conversation congratulating ourselves on being amazing parents. Gulliver NEVER says the following words: hate, shut up, stupid.

We talked about all the reasons that this makes us really good parents. 

Then a couple days later, as we were leaving the house and getting into the car, Gulliver said "Shut up" to Joon.

I looked at Murray. Did he just say what I thought he said?

"What did you say, Gulliver?"

"Shut up?"

"Gulliver. We don't say that. That's a bad word."

We loaded the kids into the car and resumed the discussion:

"Where did you learn that word, Gulliver? Who taught you that?"

He named one of the older kids at the home where he is tended twice a week. The older kids (who are really good boys, and very personable) are home from school now.

"Well, it's a bad word. We don't say that word, Gulliver."

"Oh. Okay."

Then after a few minutes of silence:

"Mumma? I sorry I say shut up."

"Gulliver, that makes me so proud that you said sorry."

"We don't say shut up."

"No, that's right. We don't say it."

"T says shut up. But we don't say shut up. Shut up is a bad word. We don't say shut up. But T says shut up. But we don't say shut up. Shut up is bad."

"Okay... Gulliver, just stop saying it okay? Let's just not say the word at all."

"T says shut up, but we don't say shut up."

"Let's not say it at all."

"Mumma... why we don't say shut up?"

"It's a bad word. There are good words and bad words, and that is a bad word."

"Oh. Just like there's good spiders and bad spiders."

"That's right."

So that was the end of the story. Except that at Young Men / Young Women the following week, I pulled the boys aside and let them know that we were teaching Gulliver that "shut up" is a really bad word, "So if you use that word around him now, he's going to think you're really bad boys. So you'd better not use it around him."

Apparently it wasn't the boys I needed to worry about. Murray says "Shut up." Of course he says it totally differently. And the context is totally okay. But now that Gulliver's ears are finely tuned to the bad word "Shut up," he catches Murray every time.

Like in the car, when I say something incredible, flabbergasting, exciting, surprising. This happens all the time because I am a very interesting person. Murray's first reaction is often to say, "Shuuuut up!"

Now that is closely followed by a voice in the back that says,

"What you say, Daddy?"

We are going to need to break some habits.