Only the Pups Sing That

One sure-fire way to tease and get a reaction from Joon is to sing a song that is off-limits. And of all the songs in the world, two rise to the top as VERY CLEARLY off limits: Let It Go and Paw Patrol. There are very specific (although changing) rules to these songs:

Let It Go, every single girl's favorite song in 2014. Only girls can sing that. Sometimes she will extend this rule to all women (so I can sing it, sometimes). If Murray tries to sing this, Joon first reacts by reminding him tersely of the rule: "Only girls sing that!" If Murray continues to sing it, then Joon's reaction quickly turns into real anger, screaming, crying, and in general an all-out highest-level protest.

Gulliver also knows this trick (as well as many other tricks that bug Joon) and will use it intentionally when he's in the mood.

Paw Patrol: This is the theme song to one of Gulliver and Joon's favorite shows. The rule for this song? "Only the pups sing that." Never mind the fact that Joon is a girl, not a pup. The funniest thing about this song is that it gets stuck in Murray's head. So it happens that SEVERAL TIMES A DAY, Murray starts singing, "Paw Patrol, Paw Patrol" and usually very, very quietly under his breath.

Joon hears it. Every time. Without fail. It doesn't matter how quietly Murray is singing it.


This has escalated to the point that Joon often simply chooses to HISS like a cat at Murray in warning, before giving him his verbal warning.

For the records of history, here are the words as sung by Joon: "Paw Patrol, Paw Patrol, be there on the double! W'ever there's a problem, 'round aventure bay, Ryder and his team of pups come and save the day! Paw Patrol, Paw Patrol, be there on the double!"

(Murray is sitting beside me as I write this, and he corrected me: "Only the pups CAN sing that." So as I was editing the post to reflect this correction, I sang loud enough for Joon to hear, "Paw Patrol, Paw Patrol..." Right on cue, she responded with "Only the pups sing that!" Thanks, Joon for the clarification. But in the next sentence she reminded us again, "Only the pups can sing that." So we are both right. Murray to his credit hears it WAY MORE OFTEN than I do.)

Wii U, Wii U, Wii U

Back this spring, when we first told the kids that I was pregnant, we made two ridiculous promises. I'll blame Murray. First, Murray promised them that before the baby came, we would take them to Disneyland. Then, Gulliver added to that, "AND we can get a Wii U." And then Murray started agreeing with Gulliver (never mind the fact that I said no to the Wii U last Christmas).

In August, things worked out that we were able to go to Disneyland with Captain Fabuloso, Tin, their kids, and Ootsie and Potsie. Phew. We made good on one promise. Then there was only the Wii U left.

As my due date approaches, I have realized, if we wait to have the baby before getting the Wii U, then as soon as the baby comes, Gulliver will focus on WHEN DO WE GET THE WII U. So I decided it was wisest to get the Wii U before having the baby. Thus, a couple of weeks ago, we got a Wii U for the kids.

The arrival of the Wii U wasn't the big ordeal I would have liked it to be. First a game came in a package, and Gulliver noticed immediately that it said Wii U instead of Wii. And then, Gulliver and Joon and Murray went to the post office to pick up a conspicuously large package. Gulliver is no dummy. He knew what had arrived in the mail. So the Wii U came without much ceremony, and before I was fully prepared with rules. So before setting it up, we sat Gulliver down (Joon is not the problem here) and I started making rules up out of my head:

  • You get 3 Wii U days a week. You can choose the days and you can write them down on the calendar. 
  • Wii U can only be played after homework is done.
  • No whining or crying. Gulliver whines and cries a lot. He needs to stop, or we will cross off a Wii U day on the calendar.
  • No whining or crying when it's time to turn the Wii U off. We will give him warning, like 5 minutes, and then when we say it's time to turn it off, then it's time to turn it off with a happy attitude. 
  • If the kids are playing the game together, there is to be no fighting or cross words. One cross word, and the Wii U is turned off immediately.
So far I have to say, I have been AMAZED at Gulliver's good Wii U behavior. There has been no fighting, despite the fact that Gulliver and Joon have been playing the Wii U together. I thought that Joon would annoy Gulliver because she's not as good as he is, but this hasn't been the case. Also, without exception, he has turned it off when asked with a happy attitude. 

We did have an incident last week where Gulliver refused to do his homework, and was whining because he wanted to play the Wii U. We gave him a couple chances to calm down and do his homework, but when he simply didn't, we told him we were going to cross off a Wii U day. THIS WAS HARD. There was a LOT OF CRYING. A LOT OF CRYING. It took a while to calm down, and it took a while to understand that even though he had calmed down, he still wasn't allowed to play the Wii U. And then he ran and got his homework and did it with me in bed (I was having a sloooooooow pregnancy day and spent most of it in bed), and told me that I was right, it doesn't take him long to do his homework, and he enjoys it. He told me that he understood why he was not allowed to play the Wii U, and he would play it tomorrow (on one of his days). And he apologized. Then he went downstairs, and Murray hadn't crossed the day off the calendar yet. So Gulliver volunteered to cross it off the calendar himself. I was very very impressed and proud of my boy.

As for choosing his own Wii U days? That has been a comical experience. The first full week that he was allowed to choose his days (which happens to be this week), I showed him the WHOLE WEEK on the calendar and told him he could choose any THREE DAYS as Wii U days. He chose Sunday, Monday, Tuesday: Wii U, Wii U, Wii U. I pointed out to him that that meant there were FOUR DAYS of no Wii U, and maybe he would want to space out his days a little more. Nope. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday.

Again, to his credit, he played Sunday, lost his privilege Monday (the above incident), and then played Tuesday, and for the REST OF THE WEEK, he has not once asked us to please play the Wii U or make an exception. He is doing very very well at accepting this black and white reality. Today, he was asking about next week. I told him that yes, starting tomorrow, he is allowed to pick three new Wii U days next week! Oliver immediately announced, "I will do Wii U, NO Wii U, Wii U, NO Wii U."

It didn't take him long to figure out rationing. 

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.