I’m baaack! I apologize for the long hiatus. Life got in the way of me writing a blog about my life. But here I am with 2 kids back in school and no I haven’t gone to Shoprite or CVS yet today so my kids won’t have chicken nuggets, B won’t have the clipboard he needs for first grade, and J will be the last one to bring in a family picture for his PreK 4 classroom. But I swear I will get this blog up and going again! Here goes…
What better way to kick off the 2015 school year than with a post about all the things my kids fight about? Seriously. Name any situation, experience, activity, basic part of our daily routine and my kids will find a way to fight about it. General caveat that they don’t fight about every single thing and sometimes they really do love each other and I know this because they laugh when they pummel each other with pillows before they scream for mercy. But for my purposes here, here are some of the top fights:
Bath: who sits in the front of the bath closest to the faucet. Yup.
“JJJJJJ!!!!!! I want to be in front! You got to be in front last night!?!?”
“No BBBB! I am never in front! I don’t have any space!!!”
Yes they won’t squeeze next to each other in the vertical space of the tub and if they sit one in front of the other then that means they fight. Why? Because B and J both want to be closest to the faucet. Why? Um, to play with the water as it comes out of the faucet? To stick their heads under it? Mainly it’s because whoever gets to sit closest to the faucet gets to rub it in the other brother’s face that he got the bathtub first rank seat. Once he gets there, it’s kinda boring. Unless the other reacts, then there’s not much going on in the front of the tub.
If there’s no reaction, that means they need to fight over one of the grungy bath toys that probably have dirt and grime build up from years of marinating in bath water. Yes. I know! Let’s bounce this ball off the tile and see if the suction on it sticks to the wall. Let’s bounce it off each other until someone cries. Better yet let’s slam it off the wall and see if it lands inside the bath when we all know it lands right on mommy who’s now soaked head to toe. That got boring? Well then maybe B should insist on spreading out the entire length of the tub, head at the top, heels at the bottom, and practice holding his breath underwater. J is then required to smoosh up against the side to not make any physical contact with his brother for fear of, wait for it…another fight.
Elevator: goes without saying, but I’ll say it
My only comment is that we live in an elevator building. This means we have a MINIMUM of 1 entry and 1 exit per day. This translates to 1 opportunity to press and up button and 1 opportunity to press a down button every single day. This is if we only leave and return ONE TIME per day. This also does not include the interior elevator buttons to press our floor and then back down to 1. Let’s review. One outside button, one inside button upon leaving. One outside button, one inside button upon returning. MINIMUM. 1 button for each. Fair’s fair. No fighting. Bull.
Me getting into the lobby finally after a day of school and soccer and a 20 minute walk home at dinner time: “J, can you press the elevator?” J not fast enough for B. B flies like a speed rocket road runner to the elevator to slam the button before I finish the “tor” in elevator. J screams his brains out. B: “WHAAAAT??? I didn’t do anything! J was never going to do it.” J still screaming. J gets into the elevator and refuses to press the “4” even though B has been spoken to and we have cleared the area for J to get another chance at the button. He will not remove the frownest frown and will not press the button himself yet squeals with frustration if anyone else goes to the press the button. Me: “OK, I can’t deal with this. I’m pressing it.” J has a mild heart attack.
Multiply this similar scenario times however many times you can multiply in various permutations of the same general idea. Shame on you adults of the world if you ever pressed an elevator button if a child under the age of 15 is in the elevator with you. Unless it’s your own child. Then don’t give it more than 4 seconds, then exercise no tolerance and move on with your life no matter what the consequences, which is most likely dragging a 4 year old out of the elevator and into the hallway.
Turning off the TV: say what?
Yes you heard me. This is how it goes:
Me: “Can someone turn off the tv?” After ignoring me 40 times, at my final warning, both boys fly at the speed of light to the cable box to the on/off button. Whoever gets there first, slams it off. The other boy starts screaming. “She asked ME to do it!” “No, you got to do it last time!” SCREEEEEEAAAAAM. “MOoooommmy!”
Me: “Ok, [boy #1 who turned it off first], back away. [Boy #2 who lost the TV turn off competition because that’s clearly what it was] you can turn it off again.”
Boy #2: presses the TV back on. Presses the TV back off.
Parking meter: urban problems
Pretty much everywhere you park in Hoboken requires paying a parking meter. How could this possibly relate to children? How could my kids possibly find a way to fight about anything relating to parking? Where there’s a will…
Here’s the scenario: I drive around forever looking for parking. Find a space and do a bang up job of parallel parking in a narrow space and not hitting a car doing it. I usually ask for some props from B and J, some applause, some kudos for 1) finding a space and 2) getting in the space. “Guys, did you see that parking job mommy did? GUYS???” “Good job mommy.” (Maybe)
Ok, everybody out of the car and head to the meter. There are so many buttons on the parking meter. Green, yellow, red, arrows, triangles, enter button, cancel button. There’s a lot going on. Oh and the credit card reader. “Can I do it Mommy? Can I press the buttons? J did it last time!?! Not fair! B always does it! Can I put in the card? I know how to do it Mommy. I really do. I can do it!”
“GUYS!!! CHILL!!! No, you can’t do the credit card. B, let go of it! B!!! Let me do the card. Ok, J you can do the buttons but that means B gets to put the ticket in the window. Deal? Deal guys? Unless I hear you both say ‘deal’ then we can’t start.”
“Deal. Deal.” Bull shit.
I put the credit card in and lift J up and try to direct his finger without actually making physical contact for fear of J crucifying me for providing legitimate help. J is to quick to press the one button and only select 30 minutes. “J!! We need an hour. Come on! J, you gotta listen to Mommy if you want to press the buttons.” Now we all stare at the machine and wait for the screen to go from “Authorizing payment” to “Printing.” I think we wait 7 hours. I’ve taught J, who can’t read, to wait for it to go from “A” to “P” so he knows when it’s starting to print. The ticket ejects and he gets to lift up the little plastic window and grab the ticket.
B grabs it like a hot potato and runs to the driver’s seat. Climbing in the driver’s seat is pretty exciting. You get to stomp all over the seat, hit the dashboard, mess with the windshield wipers, and drive the wheel. It takes a million days. So B reaches over the dash to put the ticket in the window. Just like so. He carefully places it and then re-places until he’s perfectly satisfied with the placement and then slowly and snail-like climbs back out to end his driver’s seat ticket-placing experience for today.
Scooter: “Not a race!?!”
The boys love to scoot. B is almost 7 and J 4 so we all know who can school the other one with one foot on the scooter and a straight glide. And he uses his age and ability advantage whenever possible. This isn’t a country time lemonade commercial with two loving brothers scooting side by side smiling at each other, wind in the hair, smiles on their faces, holding hands. J gets going first while B is distracted. B notices J’s in the lead and charges like a bullet to leave him in the dust. He will get past him no matter who else is coming towards us on the sidewalk, regardless of whether a huge tree is in the way. He will risk everything to edge his way past his younger brother. J sees B fly past and screams, “IT”S NOT A RACE!!!” Then, I scream on top of it, “B! Who cares! It’s not a race!” J comes to an abrupt halt and glues himself to the sidewalk. He sits on the scooter and won’t move. He quits. It’s not fair. The screams get louder and more high pitched. “IT’S NOT A RAAAAAAAAACE!!” Now begins the old and tired mommy angle of trying to get J to race me so he can actually make it to soccer before it’s over. That works for a half block. Quit again.
We catch up to B. B, can you just let him beat you for a block? B exaggerates how incredibly slow he’s going to let J win. J is now moving again and thrilled to be in the (fake) lead. B scooting slowly beside me whispering, “Mommy, I’m just pretending to go slow so J can win.” I get it B. Thank you for this block, B. I know it’s a fake race buddy. I get it. You are fast. You are the fastest. But J is moving now and we still have 8 blocks to go. Let’s get there bud. Thanks for fake racing.
Oh wait. No one wants to scoot anymore? Ok, everyone hand Mommy a scooter and at the same time ask for water and for help removing the sweaty helmets. Ok, got it. Let me dismantle one scooter and put it under the stroller. Someone hold this soccer ball for a second. Just one second. Ok, let me balance the other scooter over the hood of the stroller. Yes, you can get in now. Here’s your water. Here’s your snack. This double stroller has probably 150 lbs of weight in it now. Let’s proceed. It’s definitely not a race. I know this because I’m at a 45 degree angle trying to push this stroller down a curb and across the street while putting a water back in the stroller cup holder.