Playing Tooth Fairy

Well, the triplets have reached that age.

No, not the age were we can send them off into the world to fend for themselves, tempting as that may be, that is not the age I am talking about.

The triplets have reached the age where they are loosing teeth. Dropping those little pearly whites like we have never brushed their teeth, taken them to the dentist and fed them sugar since birth.

Ok, maybe not dropping them that fast and so far only Jake and Quinn have lost teeth but I know more are coming. The dam is about to break and soon I may need mash up all their food since they won’t have any teeth left in their heads.

Every day one of them will tell me, “Mom, this tooth is loose or this tooth hurts.” I’m preparing myself to see a lot of toothless grins.

What does reaching this right of passage mean, besides the fact that the next time I blink my three babies will be asking for the keys to the car? Well, it means that Jeff and I get to play tooth fairy.

Childhood is grand for it’s innocence and the belief in magic. I’m all for keeping it that was as long as possible. It’s just that having to play tooth fairy or more honestly, remembering to play the tooth fairy is hard.

You would think that since it’s happening more and more often around this house it would get easier but no, it’s not.

I mean poor Quinn, the second tooth he lost the tooth fairy forgot to come for two nights in a row. How are she do that to him. Poor kid was crushed. And my mommy guilt was at an all time high so much so I begged Jeff to give me lashes with a wet noodle.

I don’t mean to forget and neither does Jeff but for some reason, slipping into their rooms and exchanging that tooth for a golden dollar is one of the most difficult things in the world. I think it would be easier to get Kim Kardashian’s stop being a reality TV star.

We’ve tried all kinds of ways to remember, setting alerts, writing notes, even asking the cat to remind us. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

boy with a lost tooth

This time it was Jake’s turn to loose a tooth. Actually, I pulled it out during our family movie night movie because I was kind of sick of seeing it dandle by a thread. It was his first loose tooth, the first one he lost and judging but the loose ones next to it, it won’t be long until another one can be yanked from his head.

As we tucked the kids in and said prayers, he put that tooth under his pillow and talked non-stop about how the tooth fairy would come. Jeff and I gave each other ‘the look’ and as soon as the kids were all in bed, Jeff retrieved a golden dollar from the hiding spot.

“What are you doing?” I ask as Jeff started up the stairs again.

“Going to make the exchange,” he said.

“Um… they just went to bed. We kinda have to wait until he’s asleep.” I said.

“Oh, yeah” Jeff answered as he walked back down. “Where should I put this so that we will remember to do it later?”

I stopped for a moment, that was the million dollar question.

“Just set it on the counter, then we’ll see it when we head to bed,” I said.

Jeff walked over to the counter and set the golden dollar down but then paused. “The only thing that setting his coin here will mean is that Jake will find it here and not under his pillow in the morning.”

I laughed, he had an excellent point.

“Do you have a better idea?” I asked.

He shrugged and I turned my attention to my phone that was beeping with some twitter love.

The night progressed as planned with Jeff and I settling in to watch a movie together which meant that soon all tooth fairy duties were forgotten.

We were mid movie when I needed a bathroom break.

“Pause it, please” I said as I jumped up and ran into our bedroom and to the bathroom.

I flipped the light on in the room and something on the bed made me stop. I walked over to investigate.

A baking pan?!

At first I was confused, why was there a baking pan on the bed? I almost gathered it up to put it away but then I saw the golden dollar and smiled. Jeff had placed the baking pan on the bed with the golden dollar in it so that he couldn’t get into bed without dealing with the pan and remembering to play tooth fairy.

Sometimes that husband of mine is completely brilliant.

I think I’ll keep him.

 

Six Year Old Sex Ed

Sex-Ed

“Mommy, what’s that circle thingy under my penis where the pee comes from?” Jake asked from the top of the stairs.

It was just after bath time. The kids were getting pj’s on and I was finishing cleaning up dinner. I set the dish down that I was washing, grabbed a towel and walked over to him,  “What?” I said, very confused.

“That circle thingy under my penis has all the lines on it, what is that?” he asked again, not really clearing things up any.

I just looked at him, for the life of me I couldn’t figure out what in the world he was talking about. Circle thing?

“Jake, that is your pee sack,” Quinn jumped in and clarified. “It holds all your pee.”

Finally the light bulb went off and I understood what he was talking about. Jake was asking about his scrotum.

Now, I kinda think that because I don’t have a penis, I shouldn’t have to teach the boys about theirs. I will talk vagina all day long with Claire but I am not the penis expert in the house. I wanted to call for Jeff to field this line of questioning. He has a penis he should answer the questions but I am a nurse for goodness sake, I can handle this. It is just anatomy.

“Boys,” I began, “that is not your ‘pee sack’ or where pee comes from, it is called your scrotum and it holds your testicles.”

They just looked at me and immediately both their hands went south and began to fondle.

“What’s testmacles?” Quinn asked.

Oh man. I totally opened that door. Now how was I supposed to explain what testicles were for without going giving a full sex ed lesson. I was walking a very fine line.

I decided being honest and scientific was the only way. Let the questions come, I am good at dancing around things and confusing them with science and big words if needed.

“You need your testicles because they make something that you will need to make a baby. Then you will need a mommy and a daddy to make a baby.” I said.

“How does that work?” Quinn asked, being ever curious about the way things work.

Oh shit. Deep breathes. I can do this.

But before I could figure out an appropriate answer to Quinn’s question, Jake asked, “Well are they, um… bone or metal? Because I really think I should have some medal in my body.”

Say what?

I tried to process what Jake was asking and stop from self from laugh so hard that I would need to change my underwear as Claire busted from her room, naked as the day she was born.

“I HAVE A VAGINA!” she screamed while running.

Both boys giggled at Claire and I knew that I loosing hold of this little anatomy lesson.

“Testicles are not medal or bone. They are organs and squishy,” I tried to explain but Claire doing her version of naked aerobics was more interesting, then listening to me.

“Claire.” I said, “Will you put your vagina away.”

As the words spilled from my mouth, I shook my head. Oh the things I have to say as a mother. Also, if I ever have to say that again, especially during those teen years, it will be too soon.

I took a deep breath. I wanted to continue teaching them about their bodies. This was good stuff to know. But  now all three kids were giggling and jumping around naked. Body parts were going every where.

I sighed, my lesson was done.

And as the three started scooting their naked butt on the carpet like dogs  I yelled… “ALRIGHT!  PLEASE PUT YOUR PENISES AND VAGINA AWAY!”

Yup, subject closed.

Video Store View

Video-Store (1)

“How about a pizza and movie night?” I texted into my phone to Jeff.

I really didn’t feel like making dinner. Heck, I don’t feel like making dinner most nights but it’s something that has to be done. There are only so many nights a week that I can convince the kids that cereal really is not just for breakfast.

Beside, it was Friday. I’ll make dinner all through the week but come the weekend, I want to be done. In fact, cooking on the weekend should be outlawed unless the restaurant is doing it.

“Had pizza for lunch but sure” my phone beeped with Jeff’s response.

Hot damn. I just figured out dinner.

“Hey, kids!” I yelled causing them to all run to me, “How about a family movie night?”

Yay!!!!” they all screamed and started jumping around.

I smiled at their excitement. I had to admit, I was pretty excited too. It’s just a little something, eating pizza on the floor in front of the TV, but it’s us… all together just being a family. And it’s fun until someone knocks over a drink, steps in the pizza and kicks a sibling in the head but that is beside the point.

“Ok, grab your shoes… let’s go to the video store.” I said getting my purse and keys.

The kids scrambled to find their shoes and then one by one got into the van an belted up.

We don’t really need to go to the video store to get a movie. We have Netflix and Direct TV and goodness knows, when we rent a video we always end up with late fees but there is just something about going into the video store that I like.

It reminds me of when I was kid. First my parents taking me and my brother and sister there on Friday nights to pick out movies then going there with friends to find the scariest movie we were allowed to watch. The video store was where I was asked out on my very first date. He asked me to watch a movie with me while at the video store. Original, huh?

I just like going. I think it’s along the same lines as why I like going to the library. With eReaders and online books, I don’t really need books or the library but I still go. I want to hold that book in my hands and it’s the same with the DVDs.

“Mommy, can we get two bideos?” Quinn asked

“Oh and maybe a Wii game? Please, mommy… Please!” Jake chimed in and begged.

“No, no games,” I said as I held the door open for them to enter the store. “And we will see about getting 2 movies.”

When we entered the store the kids scattered, Hayden and Jake to the video game section, Quinn to the animal section and Claire to drool over Spider Man. I went to walk the wall of all the new release to see if I could find that magical movie that would entertain the kids while not making Jeff and I want to slowly remove our eye balls with spoons.

I took a DVD off the shelf to look at it when Quinn came up and stood be side me. He didn’t say anything, just stood there, kind of dancing around and every now again touching his boys parts.

“Do you have to go potty?” I asked setting down the DVD.

“No,” he said matter of factly.

“Really?” I said as he now stood beside me legs crossed, hand holding himself, totally doing the ‘I gotta pee’ dance. “How about we find a bathroom?”

I took his hand and we walked to the back of the store. There were two doors down a small hall. One was closed and one was half open. I pushed Quinn into the half open one to go into the bathroom alone, while I stood by the door and kept an eye out of the other kids.

Quinn was in the room for a few minutes and then returned still doing the ‘I gotta pee’ dance.

“Did you go?” I asked.

He shook his head.

I began to get annoyed with him because why in the world would he go into the bathroom and not pee? What in the world was he doing  in there?

I opened the door wide to check things out and gasped.

As it turns out, I did not push my newly 6 year old son into the bathroom but into the ‘adult only’ porn room of the video store.

I slinked back into the hall, closing the door and quickly opening the other one which thank God, was an actual bathroom.

Then I waited, chewing on my nail. I knew he was in that room long enough to see things. I knew he was an observant child. I knew he was going to say something.

“Mommy” he said

Oh Lord, here it comes.

“Why was that lady licking that man’s penis?” he asked.

Bam. There is was. And straight to the point.

I answered in the only way possible, “Because. Now why don’y you go pick out some candy but no lollipops.”

Made with Cheetah Dust

“Mommy, can I have some more Cheetos?” Jake asked as he shoved the last five on his plate into his mouth.

“How about you eat two carrots first and then you can have some more?” I said making a deal with him because it’s all about the give and take.

He sighed, looked at the carrots, looked at me, looked and the Cheetos and then crunched down on the carrot.

“Guys what are potato chips made of?” Jeff asked after a moment of silence.

Three little hands shot in the air but Hayden answered, “Potatoes!”

“What about Veggie Straws?” Jeff asked.

Again, three hands shot up in the air but this time Claire yelled, “Veggies!”

“Then who knows what Cheetos are made of?” Jeff asked.

I looked up from my plate of mac-n-cheese and hot dogs, what was he doing? Where was he going with this?

The table fell silent again as the kids pondered the question. It was Claire who broke the silence, “Potatoes?!”

Jake and Quinn voiced their agreement but Hayden shook his head, “I don’t fhink so, Claire. Daddy, are they made of cheese?”

“Yeah! The are made of cheese!” Quinn and Claire said together.

I semi-nodded and returned to eating my lunch hoping that everyone else would do the same.

“Nope, you are all wrong,” Jeff said. “They are made of cheetahs.”

Cheetos

I immediately looked up from my plate and glared at Jeff. Really, he was going to go there?

“No,” the kids said, shaking their heads.

“Yeah, look at the bag… there is a picture of a cheetah right no there. That is what they are made of because on the potato chip bag there is a potato and on the Veggie Straws there are veggies.” Jeff said, arguing his point.

Hayden grabbed the bag and studied it and being that he is 8, almost 9, he turned the bag around to try and read the ingredient list.

“Seriously, dad?!” Jake said, giving Jeff his best ‘ you are full of it’ look.

“Why else would they put a cheetah on the bag?” Jeff asked.

I sat back and listened to the conversation, rolling my eyes a few times. This was Jeff’s favorite game. Telling the kids silly things to see what they would believe. It used to be pretty easy to do. They would never question him but now as they are getting old, they are getting suspicious of him and often turn to me for verification.  If he wasn’t careful, the kids would never believe a word that came from his mouth.

“Dad.” Hayden said in his best grown up voice, “That is just a cartoon character they use for marketing.”

I choked on my drink. Seriously, where is he learn that?

“No,” Jeff answered, pushing the issue, “I think it’s because it’s because they are made of cheetahs.”

The arguing was now reaching ear piercing levels and I did what had to be done before a full out word war and food fight broke out. I grabbed the Cheetos bag from the middle of the table and read the ingredients.

“They are made from corn. Corn.” I said setting the bag back down. “Now, everyone EAT!”

I sighed as the table hushed and people chewed on their food… Yup, mom had spoken.

Jeff reached across the table and picked up the Cheetos bag. I watched him with a look that said, ‘really you are going to challenge me?’ He read the bag and then set it down.

“Ah, see when they say ‘natural and unnatural’ ingredients what they are really mean is cheetah dust.” he said.

The kids all stopped and looked at him.

“I get it now. Cheetos are mostly made of corn but are sprinkled with cheetah dust because cheetahs are so hard to catch being they are so fast and all.” He clarified.

Each child took a Cheetos in their hand and studied it. Jeff did the same and then popped it in his mouth.

“Mmm… cheetah dust.” he said as he chewed. “Yum.”

Day 2

My phone beeped to alert me to a text message. I walked over to it, entered the pass code and read,

“How’s it going? You drinking wine yet?”

It was from Jeff. I scoffed at it and typed back, “No. Things are actually going pretty well. The kids just finished crafting and are now outside play.”

I smiled to myself. Summer break wasn’t going to be so bad. My muscle memory of being home with the kids all day every day had kicked in. I remembered not to let them watch TV all day, made them play together. This was going to work.

Well, that was Day 1. Then Day 2 hit.

calendar2

I realize that some of the happenings of this day were kind of my fault but not all of them.

You see, I was kicking ass and taking names in  morning. Most of the kids were dressed and all were fed, the dishes were done, the laundry was started and the husband was sexed. I even took chicken out of the freezer to put in the crock pot for dinner.

And that was all before I had my first cup of coffee. Sex in the morning will do that to a girl.

It was then that I made my first mistake.

I fixed myself some breakfast and sat down in front of the computer. I opened Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest and down the rabbit hole I went.

I should have known that I was in cyber space too long when Quinn and Claire kept asking me, “Mommy, when are we going to get dressed?” But I was pinning things and retweeting people, I just needed a couple more minutes.

Well, I lost track of how many times that I told them, “in a couple minutes” because when I finally looked up, it was 45 minutes before we had to leave. And I needed to shower and shave my legs if I wanted to wear shorts and not be mistaken for a Sasquatch.

I ran into the shower and cursed myself out the entire time which led me to knick my knee with the razor. I was now in the shower dealing with a small cut that was bleeding like Rob Stark after his throat was cut during the Red Wedding.

Finally the bleeding stopped and I jumped out of the shower. I decided it’d be faster  to air dry as I gathered my clothes. I walked into my bedroom only to be greeted by Hayden. Who’s eye’s, like a good man, went right to my breasts. I screamed, he screamed, I covered and he ran away screaming, “YOU GUYS! I JUST SAW MOMMY’S BOOBS! EW!”

Oh, whatever… I’d deal with that later.

I covered myself and walked into the kitchen. We now had 20 minutes before we had to leave for swimming lessons. I gathered towels, swimsuits and other stuff.

That’s when I made my second mistake. I thought that my children could remember where they had taken off their shoes. It makes sense to me to put them in the same spot every time. To them, this is a foreign concept.

“Guys, you need to find your shoes,” I yelled.

They all began to scurry around the house like little squirrels with their tails on fire trying to find their nuts. They looked up at the ceiling. They looked at the cats. They looked at the TV. But of course, not one of them could find their shoes.

“Did you check in the sandbox, in the yard, under your bed?” I yelled to them as I tried to apply eye liner without poking my eyeball.

There was crying  and more yelling but finally everyone had shoes. Of course Jake was wearing a pair of Hayden’s 3 sizes too big flip flops pretty much guaranteeing he would trip and fall but whatever. Feet just need shoes the cover, fit doesn’t really matter.

I finished tucking all my naked bits into clothes, found my shoes, one of which was in the washing machine thank you kids, and we were off. But not before someone had to quickly go potty, one kid confused to only having one shoe and I forgot to grab my bag.

By the time we reached swimming lessons, my eye was twitching and my knuckles hurt from gripping the steering wheel so hard. World War III Sibling Style had broken out and I wanted to stop the van, get out and run away.

How we made it through swimming lessons and a trip the the grocery store is kinda of blur but I do think sitting alone, sweating in the humid observation area helped but I also have yet to figure out why one of my children dropped their swim trunks in the toilet and peed on them.

When we returned home, ‘World War III Sibling Style’ turned into ‘Ultimate Sibling Cage Fighting’ complete with the throwing of crafting scissoring, glitter and screaming.

So when my phone beeped again with a text from Jeff, asking the a similar question as the day before, “How’s it going?”

You can bet your ass, I responded, ” The bottle’s been opened!! No more questions.”

So yeah, that was Day 2…. only 81 more to go. I guess maybe we all need a bit of time to adjust but all I know is, the jury is still out if we all will survive.

Coffee Shops are No Place for My Children

I really enjoy going to the coffee shop. I just like the sights, the sounds, the coffee… the whole experience just makes me happy. Whether it’s a quick in and out caffeine hit or a lingering visit including my computer, the coffee shop brings me joy.

I think that is why I wanted to share this with my children. If something makes me happy, it is only natural  that I would want to share it with the ones that I love most in the world.

coffee shop and children

We descended upon the unknowing quiet coffee shop for an afternoon snack after playing. I was exhausted and needed my afternoon caffeine hit which I would regret at 12am when I was still wide awake.

“Ok, guys,” I said, “we are going to go into this coffee shop to get some snacks and hot chocolate but there are people here reading and studying, doing quiet things so please try to be quiet.”

The children all nodded at me in agreement.

“QUIET GAME!” one of the children yelled as I opened the door announcing our presence.

“YAY!!!” the other children yelled in agreement, “QUIET GAME!”

I shook my head for when they play the quiet game, no one is ever really quiet. Well, they are quiet for a minute until someone makes the smallest noise and then someone tells them they are out but that noise maker disagrees and the quiet game turns into a screaming match that can be heard seven counties over.

“Shhhh….” I hissed, “No. No quiet game. Just be still.”

I herded them all over to the counter, scanning the menu to find out what choices I could offer.

“What drinks do you have that would be good for kids?” I asked the barista.

“Well, we have hot chocolate or we can make Italian sodas,” she answered.

“HOT CHOCOLATE!” the children screamed, jumping up and down.

“Shhh…” I hissed.

I could feel the glares and eye rolls on my back from other people in the shop. I needed to get food in their mouths if I wanted to keep them quiet.

“We have regular hot chocolate or a caramel mocha, white chocolate raspberry, dark chocolate…” the barista began.

I tried to stop her. That was too many choice…  And the children had heard them all.

“Mommy, I want caramel hot chocolate, no regular, no white raspberry, no… um… regular…” the chorus from the children began.

It was on now, the only thing I could do was get out a pencil and paper I write down each child’s specific choice.

Once each child had ordered, I ask the eldest to find a table so that I could pay. I sent them on their way with their choices of bagel, donut, cookie and bananas knowing that if they were eating, they wouldn’t disturb others too much.

“Your total is $34.59” the barista told me.

I coughed and stared at her in shock,  “I’m sorry… you said 34 as in dollars?”

“$34.59” she corrected.

I could hear the children once again getting restless so I just swiped my card. “These hot chocolates better be laced with sedatives for them to be that expensive,’ I mumbled under my breath.

One by one the drinks appeared and I delivered each small steaming cup to each child with the warning, “Don’t drink it yet. It’s hot and it will need to cool.”

As I turned to grab the last cup, I heard the sound of liquid hitting the floor.

“Mommy, it was hot.” was the response the child gave me who was now sitting on a chair in the middle of a hot chocolate pool.

If my hands hadn’t been carrying coffee, I would have face palmed.

“Did any get on you?” I asked as my first concern was for the child’s safety?

“No,” he said with a shake of his head. “B-b-b-but my hot chocolate is gone. I didn’t get to drink any.”

And with that he let out a wail that echoed through the shop. I could feel the level of people’s anxiety and annoyance rise. So I did the only thing I could do.

I mom’d the situation.

I scooped up the wailing child and shoved a donut hole into his mouth to muffle the wail. I picked up the empty cup from the floor, licked it clean and divided the three remaining hot chocolates equally four ways and gave the owners of those drinks my ‘if you want to see your next birthday you will be happy about sharing’ look. I took eighty million tiny square napkins and mopped up the pool of hot chocolate on the floor. Then I sat down as with my children to enjoy my coffee and the coffee shop I love so much.

My coffee…

That’s when I realized in the chaos I had not remembered my coffee, the soul reason I wanted to share my love of the coffee shop with my children.

From now on, I am just going to keep the coffee shop for me and share my love of naps with my children.

That seems a little less messy.

 

 

French Kiss me, Mom!

don't french kids the mother

“What is french kissing?’ Hayden asked one evening when he was supposed to be writing his spelling words.

I stopped doing the dishes and turned to face him, “Um… um…” I stumbled.

I wasn’t exactly sure how to answer that question and there was part of me that was screaming “NO! My baby can’t be asking questions like that, he is just a baby.” My brain was trying to come up with answer but all I could think about was “Why?” Why did he want to know this?”

We have entered that stage where the children are curious about other people’s bodies and things two people can do together with their bodies.

Don’t get me wrong, they have always been curious about their own bodies, especially the boys. That hasn’t changed. I think I even have an ultrasound picture of one of the boys touching his junk in utero.

No, I am talking about the kids being curious about the bodies of the opposite sex. Since Hayden is almost 9 and the triplets are almost 6, I thought it time to enforce privacy. Everyone must go to their rooms to change clothes, we try to close doors when we pee or bathe and I no longer run through the house naked.

We need to respect each other’s privacy, especially mine, meaning I should get to change my clothes in peace. But this lesson has been a hard one to learn since when I announce that I am going to get dressed, the kids appear all wide eyed and ready for the show. They crawl up on the bed waiting anxiously with popcorn.

Um… yeah, no. Out they go.

I know this is only a natural part of growing up and it’s alright to be curious and want to see naked bodies but that is what encyclopedias, the Internet and National Geographic are for.  Not your mother. Which reminds me, I need to show Claire some pictures of naked girls because one morning while she was sitting at the table, she reached out and grabbed my crotch and announced,

“I just touched mommy’s penis!”

“Claire, I am a girl just like you. I don’t have a penis. And you don’t have a penis.” I clarified but since I said penis one too many times she just ended up in a fit of giggles. I don’t think the lesson stuck.

But I guess when she is the only girl in a house full of brothers, what does one expect? I’m sure there will be plenty of time to set her straight.

Hayden, on the other hand, has taken to these new rules of privacy. While the triplets would like nothing more than to run naked through the woods, Hayden wants to be covered up at all times. He has even asked if he could wear a bathing suit in the bathtub.

I think that is why his question about french kissing surprised me so. I didn’t think that ‘Mr Modesty’ even thought about those kind of things.

Seeing my hesitation, Jeff stepped in to answer.

“French kissing is a type of kissing that two people do. It’s not just a kiss on the lips, it’s when the two people open their mouths and touch their tongues and rub them together.” Jeff explained.

“Ew!” Hayden cringed. To be honest, I kinda did too. The way Jeff explained it, he made it sound so mechanical.

“Why would someone what to do that?” Hayden asked. “Rubbing tongues, gross.”

“When two people love each other, it is a nice way to kiss,” I tried to explain so that someday in about ten years he would want to try it so that he wouldn’t be one of those guys is who is almost 30, still living in his parent’s basement and never kissed a girl.

“Mommy and I kiss like that all the time just before we go to sleep,” Jeff add and then winked at me. “Someday it might be something you will want to try with a girl.”

Hayden shuddered again, shook his head and returned to his homework.

Soon the chaos of bath time and getting ready for bed filled the house and the french kissing conversation seemed to be long forgotten. I tucked Jake, Quinn and Claire into bed and then walked down the stairs to do the same with Hayden.

“Good night, my love,” I said as I leaned in to kiss Hayden on the forehead.

Hayden looked up at me then grabbed my face in his hands. He opened his mouth, stuck out his tongue out and went in for a kiss. I pulled away just in time not to have my mouth violated by an 8 year old’s tongue.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“I love you and I was going to give you a french kiss.” he said.

I looked at him and said,

“Hayden, I love you too but… you do not french kiss your mother.”