Update October 2015

We've been living overseas since about the time this blog petered out. There are lots of funny Mo-and-Curly-abroad stories to share -- I'm exploring the best way to do that.

Thanks for tuning in!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Introducing Skelator Mama

It's frickin' cold outside. Just like you'd expect in Wisconsin in January. Right now the temp reads 12 degrees F, but they say it feels like zero. Frickin' cold.


So this morning I bundle up the boys and get everybody out the door. We're halfway to preschool when I realize I don't have any gloves for myself. And I needed to stop for gas. Ugh.


Just before heading bare-handed into the freezing outdoors, I glimpsed a spare pair of gloves, bundled up like socks, in my passenger seat. In theory, I try to keep a spare pair in the car for times likes these but I'm not very good about it. So, yeah, score one for Mama!



They looked like your basic, cheap knit gloves. We have about a zillion pairs floating around the house.


But when I unrolled them, well, they were clearly Mo's special gloves. So today, I got to be Skelator Mama.



Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Mo likes the babysitter more than me

Sunday we had it all planned. The babysitter came at 9 to watch Curly. And me, Dad and our ski expert friend were going to take Mo on his first downhill skiing adventure.

I was so excited - and so was Mo.

But then it rained. And rained.

Yuck! Terrible ski conditions.

Since we had it all set up, we decided it would be nice to take Mo out for breakfast and bowling with us grown-ups while the babysitter watched Curly. At least he'd get to do something special if he couldn't go skiing.

Only when she showed up, Mo looked out the window sadly and said, "What are we doing again, Mom?"

Trying to sound chipper, I told him we were going for breakfast and bowling.

"Can I stay here?" he asked, eager to play with the babysitter.

"Really?" I asked, trying not to look too disappointed that he was rejecting our special Mo time.

"Yeah. I just want to stay here and play," he said.

Well, I wasn't going to force him to hang out with me. So we let him play. We had a grown-up breakfast at a not-very-kid-friendly place. It was nice. But I was still a little sad my 4-year-old didn't want to hang out with me.

But I should get used to that, I suppose.

Friday, January 22, 2010

This is Mo, leave a message

I thought it would be cute if Mo recorded the message on our answering machine. As an outgoing 4-and-a-half-year-old, I was sure he'd be up for the task. And boy was he ever.

"Hi. We're not home. I love you. Whoever you are, because I don't really know. I love you. Want to be my friend? Bye."

"Hi. [cough, cough] Oh no, I'm choking. Ha, ha, ha! We're at the doctor's office now, because I'm choking. Ha, ha, ha! So just leave us a message."

"Hi. Sorry I coughed last time."

"Hi. We're not home. I love you. Leave a message. Did you know I'm a rock star? Like Michael Jackson. Michael Jackson is dead! He's buried in the ground. I love you, bye."

Monday, January 18, 2010

Disappointment starts here

At the indoor playground today, Mo declared, "I'm having fun with all the kids except that one girl I don't like."

"Well, just don't play with her then," I told him, and he ran off again.

Soon I saw him chasing a little girl who was maybe 5 or 6, an older woman. She giggled and ran. He yelled and ran after her. It was cute. She was the one he "didn't like."

Only then I noticed him kiss her on the arm. "EW! Stop!" she yelled in response. Then he took off and tried kissing her again.

I pulled him aside and asked him to quit it.

Soon after, I saw him grab another girl in a game of chase. That was my cue that it was time to go.

In the car I told him that you can't just grab girls and kiss them, especially when they've told you to stop. And then I kept thinking, He's four! Are we really having this conversation already?

Soon after, he started getting angry.

"Why is everything pointed?" He shouted. "You're pointed. My teacher is pointed. Daddy is pointed. AHHH!"

Pointed? Did he mean, like, sharp. Like I was being too strict with him.

"How are we pointed, Honey?" I asked.

"Like, telling me I can't grab girls. Or play fight. Everyone is making me so 'pointed," he said.

Ah, disappointed. He's disappointed in his lack of freedom, in the rules we're imposing on him.

Wow, if he's disappointed now, just imagine when he starts getting saddled with chores and homework and curfews.

I wanted to tell him to get used to it, life is full of disappointments. But he's only 4. He has plenty of time to figure that out.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Brotherly love

We were walking in the mall the other day, amongst meandering teenagers hand-in-hand and exercising seniors and no-nonsense shoppers on a mission.

I was pushing Curly in his stroller and Mo was walking beside his brother. They were holding hands.

It was sweet, but Mo kept getting in people's way. So finally I told him, "Please stand back here by me."

He looked at me with those big blue eyes like he was totally crushed.

"What's wrong?" I asked.

"Mom!" he said, motioning toward his brother, whom he could no longer hold hands with, "We are in LOVE."

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Nap time disaster in progress

When Mo woke up me and Curly just before 5 a.m. this morning, I tried to focus on the positive: Now, after preschool, all three of us could take a nap. (Mo rarely naps these days, which means I can't either.)

Well, right now I've been trying for more than an hour to get those two to sleep. Plan A was for the three of us to cuddle together, but the boys kept fighting for my attention.

Plan B, in progress right now, is to leave the two of them alone. I'm hoping in vain that they'll get bored and just go to sleep - at nighttime that works like a charm. But I can hear them up there goofing around as I write this.

My two nap time rules are:
1. Keep your head on the pillow
2. No talking

I threatened Mo that he wouldn't get a Popsicle this afternoon if he broke the rules one more time. So just before I headed downstairs, he got very serious. Laying in bed, he asked, "Is it OK if I blink?"

"Yes," I told him.

"Can I move my head a little bit, side to side?"

"Fine."

"What about if I have an itch? Can I scrape it?"

I sighed loudly. "Yes!" I told him as I headed downstairs.

Well, even as I finish writing this I can hear them up there. I guess it's time for Plan C: Take them for a little drive.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Wake up call from Curly

I don't write about Curly enough, so here's a cute story about him.



Usually he wakes me up by sitting up in his bed and just yelling, "Mama! Mama!" over and over until I fetch him and put him in bed with us. He curls up and goes back to sleep, and that's that. Sometimes he even makes it through the night and wanders in to find us in the morning for his cuddle time.



Yesterday morning, I woke to the sound of him loudly whispering, "Beep, beep! Beep, beep!" over and over. He was also laying next to me and his clammy little fingers were squishing, ur, honking my nose.



And then I remembered how Mo, when he was about 1.5 like Curly is now, would sometimes wake me up by taking his little fingers and actually prying my eyelids open. I wonder how long before Curly figures out that trick?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Watch what you say Mama

My head is still in vacation fog. So, as I was getting ready to take Mo to his first preschool class this week, I realized at the last minute that it actually started at 9 - I thought it started at 9:30.

So we rushed out of the house. On the drive across town I kept having visions that he was going to be terribly late for his first class - and that would make him shy and uncomfortable and give the teacher a bad impression of me, The Mom Who Was Late the Very First Day of Class.

But we actually made pretty good time on the belt line highway.

However, as we approached, I remembered that there's a weird little side street I need to take. It's very poorly marked and the last few times I've been there, I've missed the turn or turned too early and had to back-track.

"OK Boys," I announced. "We're running late, so Mommy needs to turn on the right street this time, not like all the other times."

Sure enough - bingo - I turned on the correct street.

"Woo hoo!" I shouted.

Mo was oddly quiet in the back seat. Could he be getting nervous for his class?

"Honey," I asked. "Did you hear what I said, I turned on the right street. We're not going to be late!"

"I know, Mom," he said. "I know you turned on the right street."

Like his Dad, he's good with directions. Has he known the correct turn-off the whole time?

"How did you know that was the right street?" I asked.

"Because Mom," he explained, "If you turned on the wrong street, you would have said 'shoot' or 'damn it.'"

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Purple nail polish goes with everything

I got my little cousin a sweatshirt for Christmas but wanted something else, something small, to go with it. I had the boys with me at the mall, and we stopped at a teeny bopper store. They had little 5-packs of tiny, glittery nail polish. Seemed perfect.

Mo seemed to think so too. Actually, he thought they seemed perfect for him.

Mo caught me painting my toe nails when he was just two and demanded that I paint his too. Now, just about every time I paint my toe nails, I paint his too. Not a big deal. Got a couple comments at the water park once, but they aren't very noticeable.

Well, when I went to the checkout at the teeny bopper store, the cashier told me the nail polish packs were buy one get one free. So I slyly grabbed another and they appeared in Mo's stocking on Christmas morning. I figured I could use some different, fun colors in addition to my boring (old lady?) reds and pinks.

A couple days ago, Mo found his nail polishes and begged me to paint - no, not his toe nails. His fingernails. Which is funny because I never paint my short little finger nails - just my ugly toes in the hopes of making them a little less ugly. Perhaps this comes from spending the holidays and New Years around his grandmas with their pretty, painted fingernails.

So, as requested, I painted his fingernails a lovely shade of purple.

Mo started a new preschool program this week. So the morning of his new school experience, Dad gently nudged him to get his nail polish taken off. He even promised that I would put on a new color later in the day.

Mo flatly refused.

"Then I won't be a rock star anymore!"

I honestly told him that mostly just girls wear nail polish (gasp - he had no idea). So the kids at school might make fun of him.

He thought about that for a minute and then decided, "That's OK. I just like how it looks, Mom."

So that was that. We let him go with it.

And not only did he wear the nail polish, he proudly pointed it out to just about everyone we saw that day. And so far the response has ranged anywhere from a mild, "Oh" to an enthusiastic "Nice," to another mom telling me that her young son's toes were painted underneath his shoes and socks.

And I must say, I'm really proud of Mo. Already questioning and breaking social conventions. And he has just the right attitude to get away with it.

It will be interesting to see if he's sporting finger nail polish on his first day of kindergarten in September.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Let's go on vacation forever

We just got back from a nice winter escape to Florida. When we got back to Wisconsin it felt so dreary and dank here, and - of course - freezing cold.

In Florida, everything seemed brighter - the green plants, the towering palm trees, the yellow and pink buildings, the orange walls in our vacation home. My parents rented a house and we all got to say there. One day the maintenance man stopped buy to answer some of my dad's questions.

I could tell Mo was having a good time when he asked me: "Can we stay here forever?"

"I wish we could," I told him.

"Well, why don't you just ask the guy?" he asked, motioning to the maintenance man.