Monday, January 2, 2012

Volume VII, issue xii. December 2011

Hair today.  Faux-hawk Tomorrow

I dragged my feet as long as I could, but the time had come for the tween-age bowl-cuts to go. I had to close my eyes as I grabbed their long, thick locks and sawed away with my shears.  We were all pretty happy (and relieved) with the results.  

Luckily I've still got two more boys for years of bowl-cut enjoyment. I did try and trim Peter's hair before Christmas, but he protested, "If you cut my hair, then me and Charlie won't be twins!"  I don't know.  You figure it out.

To Thine Own Self Be True
 As a nine-year-old, I carefully etched out a list of names for my future offspring in my journal, each one sounding like a protagonist in a Danielle Steele novel, my pre-pubescent heart aching dreamily as I rounded out each perfect syllable.  Sensible names like “Violet Rose” and “Leticia Dawn” graced the nauseatingly lacey list.

Marie, on the other hand, is either less creative or just more self-assured.  Every time I ask her what her current doll-in-hand is named, she says, “Marie.”  When concocting her Christmas Wish List for 2011’s over-indulgence, she said, “I need another baby so I can name it Marie.”

When she’s not playing with her Marie-Babies, she’s doing things like transforming a container into a vehicle and taking it for a drive around the house.

If the Shoe Fits (or even if it doesn’t for that matter)

Herding all of the kids over to Marie and Peter’s Preschool Christmas Program wasn’t easy considering how it had been scheduled on the same week as finals, graduation and the grading of roughly a bazillion research papers (give or take one or two—it’s just a rough estimate).  I asked the older kids to help Marie get into her shoes and coat.  It wasn’t until we were already outside fighting our way through the blustery Rexburg gusts that I noticed that one shoe was hers and one was Eve’s.  Curse my need to have them match!  I did the sane thing (for once) and let it go, hoping she wouldn’t be singing that tune about missing front teeth because of a tragic, clog-caused mis-step. 

Let's Hear it for the Boy 

In the past year, Holden’s voice has undergone a two octave Peter Brady-esque metamorphosis, leading us to constantly tease him about working at Krusty Burger (“Welcome to Krusty Burger.  May I take your order?”).  He’s also grown several inches and adores inching close to my face, raising his eyebrows and looking me squarely in the eyes.  He’s also trying on a pre-teen, sarcastic rhetorical stance, but in an extremely good-natured way. 

Unfortunately, I treat my life the same way I do a good buffet—I pile on everything that looks good, then I suffer later.  During finals week in December I picked up Holden from his Cello lesson as one of about ten things I needed to accomplish and said to him, “When we get home, I’m going to need some help getting things ready for dinner.” 

He gave me his best big-eyed look of compassion and said, “Wow, Mom. . . Well, I hope you can find some help.” 

We both laughed appreciatively at his well-played wit and I said, “Where did you learn how to be such a smart-mouth?” 

Without missing a beat, he replied, “From your husband.”

* * *

A few weeks ago, Eric was doing a desperate two-step-at-a-time dash up the stairs, shouting, “Sarah!  I need a . . . ” and Holden yelled out, “adult-sized diaper?”

Holden’s increasing ability to be a true sarcastic smart-mouth is funny. . . most of the time.  We’ve tried to explain to him that, like the boy who lost his life from crying wolf one too many times, his smart remarks lose their power if those are the only kind of remarks he makes.  After listening to Holden make several quips one day of our vacation, Eric paused and said, “Oh crap.  That’s what it’s like being around me, isn’t it?”

The shield of sarcasm suddenly disappeared the other day when I asked Holden to hold Charlie and he blurted out, “Oh good!  I like Charlie!” 

The Little Prince

Our pint-sized Prince Charming causes us all to swoon on a regular basis.  I overheard Peter playing with Charlie.  He was looking into his eyes and whispering, “Charlie, you're so cute.  Your feet are cute!  And your hands are cute!  And your belly is cute!”

At our house, EVERYONE wants to play with a Charlie in the Box.  No misfit here!

            Pre-school Puppy Love
I’m surprised there isn’t a path worn into the road between our house and Mrs Doggett’s Building Blocks Preschool.  Peter and Marie attend on alternate days and, like the old married couple they imitate, they constantly bicker about whose turn it is.  Often I have to tell them that nobody gets to go to preschool if they don’t stop fighting over whose blessed day it is. 

   One day Peter begged for Marie to walk him to the door because, “I want her to see Annie. . . (insert long, wistful pause). . . She has golden hair.”  Uh-oh.  I asked Mrs Doggett about it and she grinned and whispered, “I think he likes her.”

   I am constantly either ten minutes tardy or locked into a workout of loading, unloading, buckling and unbuckling little bodies, and hadn’t had the chance to witness Annie’s glimmering locks for myself.  For days before the preschool Christmas Program, Annie constantly made her way into Peter’s dialogue. 

At lunch, Peter told Marie and me that “Annie has long legs. . . and long arms. . . and a long body.”  Because I knew that Santa was making a surprise visit to the party, I asked the kids, “Who do you think might be coming to the Christmas Program?”  Peter perked right up and said, “Annie!” By the day of the program, Marie had become Peter’s back-up admirer.  Peter would croon, “Annie has yellow hair like Rapunzel, Mom” and Marie would echo, “Yeah.  It’s golden hair, Mom” and they would both smile and look dreamily into the air even though Marie had never even seen Annie. 

   Even though Eric told me I was being “weird,” I had to capture Peter’s first crush on camera.  As they were posing for the shot, Eric commented, “I don’t think this is her first time.” Prepare yourself for the oozing of admiration on Peter’s face and the utter dismissive smugness on Annie’s (sigh).

 Fast-Foodie Free-for-All
During my pregnancy with Sir Charles, lots of things piled up—laundry, dirty dishes, medical bills.  But the pile that concerned the kids the most was the Everest-sized stack of award coupons they had earned at school for doing their reading and homework.  The week before Christmas we decided to cash them all in in one grotesque fell swoop.  The giggling in the car as the load of fast-food grew could only be outweighed (pun intended) by the groans permeating the kitchen after the feast (urp).  

Christmas Images

Peter was so excited for Christmas that every night for the two weeks preceding the holiday, he would say, "Christmas is tomorrow!"  He was disappointed for several nights in a row until finally he said, "Well. . . MY Christmas is tomorrow!"

Holden and Ethan have been begging for a DS for years, and when one of their friends was selling his old one, we negotiated a deal.  They could get the cursed object if it was all they would get for both of their birthdays and Christmas, plus they could only play with it for as many minutes as they had practiced each day.  I honestly didn’t think they would agree to such austere conditions, but they did and I was stuck.  I think they’re both going to be progressing quite nicely on the piano and cello this year.

Faux-Beard the Pirate

My favorite Christmas morning moment was hearing Eric erupt into spontaneous child-like laughter when he opened one of my gifts to him.  For a full two minutes, his pure laugh rang out in a way I rarely see and Holden said, “I’ve never heard that laugh before!”  He reserves it for only the most especially humorous occasions, which tend to come when he is particularly stressed-out and sleep-deprived.  He needed a good laugh after a rough year of juggling new administrative responsibilities at work. Since he can’t wear “skinny jeans,” he can wear this hat on his more rebellious days at BYU-Idaho.  

Yes, Anne of Green Gables.  I achieved my adolescent dream of marrying a man who "could be wicked but wouldn't."


Stephanie said...

Oh man! Love that beard hat!

Was funny reading about Holden. I still remember back in Provo and he was small and he thought the speaker was talking about the Holdy Ghost.

Joseph and Mary + Six said...

What a beautiful Christmas season you had! Your children are so blessed to call you Mom. I love everything about this post!

Heather said...

Hooray for Christmas! I can not believe how much those darn kids are growing...make them stop.

Christine Gilbert said...

Oh, I am giggling so loud right now that both Clark and James had to come over and see what was so funny. Love Holden's sarcasm, Eric's hat/beard, Peter's crush, the DS requirements and Charlie in the Box. You are such a fun and creative mom and friend that always manages to make me laugh and cry at the same time! Why can't I still live in your neighborhood? Miss you.

Daniel and Lindsey said...

Where do I even start? First - I need a hat/beard! (please email me where you got it) Second, we do Fast Food Free For Alls too - just for FHE (try this alliteration - FHE Fast Food Free For All)! Yum-gross! And finally, I agree with Holden - I like Charlie too....especially as Charlie in the Box.

The Todds said...

I love this post! So informative and fun. I want to chew on little Charlie he is seriously adorable! And I laughed when I read the last line about Anne of Green Gables because growing up I always had the same dream as Anne and it was definitely fulfilled for me with Adam (and you know it's true!)

Meagan Cooper said...

HELLO! I just discovered your blog and the great read that it was. I love the boys new haircuts, very grown up. Peter's crush on cute little Annie in his class is too cute! Looks like you had a wonderful christmas!

Meagan Cooper said...

HELLO! I just discovered your blog and the great read that it was. I love the boys new haircuts, very grown up. Peter's crush on cute little Annie in his class is too cute! Looks like you had a wonderful christmas!

Jessica Welch said...

Oh my goodness, Peter's crush was too funny!!! Glad you had a wonderful Christmas!

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

You. are. the. funniest. and wittiest. writer. Are you sure Holden got his humor from Eric?

Finding a new post from you is like finding a carton of ice cream in the back of the freezer you didn't know you had AND it isn't freezer burnt.

Thanks for sharing your skill, wisdom, and wit with the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

i always laugh out loud when i read your blog... my kids always think i am in this room laughing by myself..

all of those pics are just great.. your girls are beautiful and your boys are growing up so handsome. good job on making pretty kids. thanks for sharing i loved it!

oh and that beard hat is the best. i so need to get russell one.

Audrey and Geoffery said...

Just so you know, Annie is very popular at our house as well! Grant is always talking about her and how she is so pretty. At least they have good taste! She is adorable! Ha! Also your kids are oh so cute!!! That Marie always makes me smile! I tried to check my grammatical errors!! Don't judge me;)

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