Friday, March 2, 2007

Highlights and Random Thoughts - March 1, 2007

Highlights from today:

I was trying to get #3 to decide on what kind of cereal he wants for breakfast. It goes like this:

Me: (holding up a bag of cereal) This one?
#3: No.
Me: (holding up a different bag) This one?
#3: No.
Me: (Reaching for yet another bag, knocks over open bag of salad macaroni, which is a small cylindrical pasta about 1/4 inch high and 1/4 around, which falls to the floor making a spectacular crashing sound as most of the pasta leaves the bag, and due to it's roundness and the fact that we have wood floors, bounces and rolls every conceivable direction. I heard them skittering down the stairs and I wouldn't be surprised if some bounced up the stairs as well just to increase the mess. The family, sitting at the kitchen table, watches this silently.)
DH: That's going to make a great story.

I need to apologize to the Qwest company for lampooning their DSL service, because, as it turns out, DH made some changes to our spam filter, which when he reset those changes, my email magically worked again. I guess the spam filter must have thought I was sending spam or something and was protecting me from the rest of the world. Well, I've been unleashed on the world again, so world, brace yourself for my spam.

I put #3 down for a nap at 1pm like usual, and by 2 he was still playing, jumping, banging around like a herd of elephants, clearly not sleeping. But I wasn't too eager to go get him either, and he won't leave his room until I come get him, so I just let him hang out in there a little while longer. #1 came home from school, slammed the door and I yelled up to him to go get his brother. #1 bounded up the stair, shouting the whole time, threw the door to the room open and told #3 it was time to get up. #1 came back down and told me he was awake. Well, he never came downstairs, so at about 2:30 I went up to check and there he was, fast asleep on the floor, with the light on and the "curtain" (a sheet thrown over the curtain rod - I've got to buy a real curtain one of these days) on the floor. So maybe I'll start putting him to bed later or leaving him in longer.

I called DH on the iChat to talk to him about work, had a question or something. In the middle of our discussion, the dvd player on my computer starts playing, really loud, the theme song to Alias, which completely blew my cover of being hard at work! I couldn't stop laughing but I don't think he was quite as amused.

This morning the First National Simmons Bank was open for business. The boys have TV Tokens that they receive every week, every token (poker chip) is worth 30 minutes of playing video games, watching tv, or 25 cents. This was an effort to control the inordinate amount of time they were spending playing Lego Star Wars when #2 got it for his birthday at the end of January. Boy #1 was the worst offender, he could easily never leave the chair in front of the computer, but the token system has worked miracles. Turns out #1 would rather have money than play computer games, and neither of them use their tokens to watch tv, ever. So today was the day to turn in leftover tokens from last week and collect new ones. #1 started with $7 worth of tokens and collected $4.25 today. #2 started out with $10.50 worth of tokens (because I love him more - just kidding!! He's in kindergarten and is home an extra 3 hours every day) and had none leftover. #3 doesn't participate, obviously. So #1 collected his money, paid his tithing but didn't have exact change so I gave him change, then he brought up some other coins and traded them for pennies so he could fill a 50-cent penny roll, then he handed me the penny roll and 50 cents but I was out of dollars, so he found a $5 in the car and I traded the $5 for 5 ones, then traded the change for a one. When it was all over, I had this feeling like I've been shorted somewhere but I don't think so - #1 is just practicing his scam on me before he tries it at a store with a $20. I wanted to make a comment about moneychangers, but all the ones I could think of were sacreligious so I figure I just won't go there. You can fill in the inappropriate joke here.

It wasn't until 6pm today that #1 realized that he doesn't get as many tokens as #2, and no matter how many times I tried to explain the situation to him, he just won't buy it. "It's not fair!" is his pre-teen mantra, if he can be considered a pre-teen at age 9. "No, it's not equal, but it is fair" was my response, which he basically ignored. I remember similar not-fair things happening to me as a child, and the not-fairness being a huge deal to me. I don't know if my brothers felt it the same way, or if it has something to do with being a firstborn, which is my guess. I remember being absolutely outraged in the singles ward when we had a road rally - my team came in on time and had the highest points, but a team who came back way late had higher points so the guy in charge said they won, when they should have been disqualified because they weren't back by the specified time. After all, if the time limit didn't matter, my team and the other teams would have stayed out later to do the high-point things that this team did. Anyhow, I was quite vocal about the unfairness of the situation, which even though I was right, frankly made me look like the bad guy. I doubt I would have gotten so bent out of shape if we hadn't been the team that should have won, if we were a distant 3rd anyhow then the battle for first may not have caused me to get quite so worked up. I don't handle losing particularly well, although I do work on that. The point being that I understand that feeling of injustice, of being hard done by, even when, as in Boy #1's case, it's not like I'm taking tokens away from him and giving them to #2, so the amount that one has doesn't affect the amount that the other has. I'm open to opinions on this one, just not from Boy #1.

Sometimes doing something nice for the kids doesn't garner the rewards that one feels entitled to. Last night we were all just sitting around, #1 was moping about the unfairness mentioned above, so DH took him upstairs to spend some time together playing a game I never played with my dad (wherein DH tells #1 what to draw, like the Easter Bunny's head, or Harry Potter on a broomstick) while DH folded some laundry. #2 wanted some attention as well, so I sat at the kitchen table and he kicked my butt at 4 or 5 rounds of Uno. He's okay when he loses, which is rarely, because the loser gets to go first, my mom really taught him well. Anyhow, I decided, just on the spur of the moment, to go out to Wendy's and get some frostys for everyone. A special treat, since barely anyone ate my dinner, which was so tasty and delicious that DH stood at the kitchen counter eating every bite that the kids rejected. So #1 and I went out and picked up the frosties and we all sat around the kitchen table eating them watching the American Idol results show. (If there was ever a show to be taped and watched in fast-forward, it's that. An hour to tell 4 people they are no good? And then the pain of listening to people whose dreams have just been crushed in front of 32 million viewers sing one last time. hello, earth to A.I. producers - we didn't vote for them because we don't want to hear them sing anymore!) Well, I'm not going to go into the details, but over the next 30 minutes or so, we wanted to kick all of our kids off the Simmons show because they were so - argumentative, whiny, bickering, annoying, etc. The piece de resistance was at scripture time, when we all troop up to the living room and grab our scriptures, #1 sits on the piano bench facing the piano and #3 comes over to sit with him, so #1 wisely closes the keyboard and #3 throws the biggest fit of the day. I wish I had gotten out the video camera, not that anyone wants to watch that over and over again, but because he was so incredibly melodramatic about the whole thing - #3 is sitting on the piano bench, wailing, rocking back and forth and occasionally resting his head on the closed keyboard and crying. Like a true sensitive artiste who has just had his heart broken. Boys #1 and #2 and I could not stop laughing, while DH sat on the couch with his baseball cap pulled low over his eyes, you could tell he wanted to cover his ears and run out of the room, but he stuck it out. Top all that off with another tantrum later over putting on #3's pj's and more sulking by #1 who wasn't allowed to stay up to watch tv wtih us, and all in all the evening kind of stunk. But the frosties were good. Oh, and for the record, the new vanilla frosties have the exact same flavor as a McDonald's ice cream cone, so I'll stick with the chocolate ones.

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