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Another day in the house of humdrum

January 7, 2010
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This morning Rose woke me up from a dream where I was standing in our kitchen spreading honey on a peanut butter sandwich. Apparently my dreams are now as exciting as my real life, because I seem to spend half the day smoothing globs of honey across the gravel road of peanut butter sandwiches. (Except when I rise up and boycott this one menial task and simply pack the entire jar of peanut butter and one spoon for our lunch). I will probably go to bed tonight and dream about spilling coffee on my bedspread, another staple moment of the day, which occurs while the kids nap and I fall into bed, balancing my coffee mug on my laptop while I read blogs. (Because why stop multi-tasking just because the kids are sleeping?).

After my mundane dream, the kids had their first, highly ordinary fight of the day.

Col was collecting “badges” in a basket. He had the Division of Wildlife star badge (which irreverently sat on the top of our Christmas tree), and the two new, white badges (really buttons that you pin to clothing) the kids received at a party we attended last night. And when I say received, I mean they would have walked through the icy parking to our car naked as long as they still had their badges clutched in numbed hands.

Ho-hum morning squabble:

Rose: “Coley, can I have my badge?”

Col: “No, I need all these for my work.”

Rose: “But the white one is mine. Give me onnnnnnne!”

Col: *Gives her the wildlife badge*

Rose: “Nooooo, I don’t want thaaaat one.”

Me: *Checks clock. 6:48 AM. Sighs.*

Rose grabs Col’s shirt and sounds her jungle alarm cry; Col frees himself, smirking, while Rose pathetically swipes at the air as if trying to push some dust motes out of her way. Tears and snot streak her face. I contemplate what to address first. Rose’s whining and grabbing? Col’s snarky behavior?

In a shocking twist of absolute predictability, I encourage the kids to use their words and to share. Col (with some prodding) hands over a white badge. I go to my room to put on a bra, because well, gravity has the last laugh.

When I come out, Rose has the wildlife badge and the kids are sitting about a half centimeter away from each other, happily examining their goods.

Col: “She changed her mind after all that and wanted the wildlife badge.”

Me: “Oh okay. Rose, did you say thank you to Col?”

Rose: “Thank you Coley.”

Col: “Thank you.”

Rose: “No Col. You supposed to say welcome.”

Col: “Okay. Welcome.”

Rose: Thank you.”

Col: “Thank you.”

Rose: “You’re welcome Coley.”

I wonder—as I do at least as often as I slap pb &j’s together—which is most pressing: the stabbing wound they could receive from the sharp metal pin on the badge, or the fact that they’re serenely occupied for the moment.

Serene moment wins and I grind some oily beans for the coffee I will later spill on my bedspread.

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. January 7, 2010 4:53 pm

    Their ability to be present in this moment and not the last is stunning, isn’t it? My girls, too, will be clawing at each other one moment, and then giggling and singing together the next. It reminds me not to react too quickly, and to intervene in ways that allow them move on to the next moment and let go – the way only kids can. If only we could remember to keep that skill as we grow up…

  2. January 7, 2010 5:35 pm

    Love your blog…very refreshing! i was just in Durango a couple weeks ago for the Polar Express…we live in Rio Rancho, NM and plan on going to Durango again…very pretty!

  3. Michelle permalink
    January 7, 2010 9:33 pm

    Wonderful! Sometimes I worry about the amount of pb&j I feed my boys, so it is nice to read that I’m not alone in this.

    I also really enjoyed your earlier post about Cole – Happy birthday to him! Such a strong little guy.

  4. January 7, 2010 11:37 pm

    It is the way you write it… ahh you have me laughing!

  5. January 8, 2010 8:58 am

    That ability to hold no grudges? I wonder when it’s lost. Mine was certainly gone by motherhood.

  6. January 8, 2010 10:03 am

    “(Except when I rise up and boycott this one menial task and simply pack the entire jar of peanut butter and one spoon for our lunch). ”

    I love that line….what a terrific post.

  7. abozza permalink
    January 8, 2010 11:35 am

    There’s a certain comfort in the mundane. I’m not sure I’d know what to do if there was a day without the predictable argument over the bear spoon in my house. I could find another but where’s the fun in that?

  8. 6512 and growing permalink*
    January 8, 2010 2:49 pm

    You all crack me up too. I love that mothers “get it:” the excessive peanut butter, the comfort in the mundane, the way siblings can war and then truce seamlessly. Thank you for your comments!

  9. January 8, 2010 4:53 pm

    Congratulations on reaching 10,000+ hits on your ‘blog!!

  10. January 8, 2010 9:29 pm

    that is a TOUGH call (sharp pin vs. serene moment) and i’m glad you opted for the serene moment. good girl.

    we would perish without peanut butter and i thank my lucky stars every day that neither of my kids are allergic! i don’t know what i would do!

  11. January 10, 2010 4:48 pm

    A few friends and I were discussing 5 minute moments…the ones where a sharpie marker attacks a wall or the fridge but but the five minutes of quiet was worth it. Or the sheet of stickers are now stuck all over their bedroom wall…5 minutes of quiet – worth it. LOVE YOUR BLOG!

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