Bruises

We all know the popular Train song “Bruises.” In it, the band endears that bruises make for better conversation . . . ain’t that the embarrassing truth if you are a mom of boys.

black eye

Yowza!

Jack, who seems to be a magnet for the law of threes, recently came down with a case of bruise-itis. In my family, this law applies with every. single. injury. This time, it was the fault of the trampoline. Three times. In one day. At least this time the law of threes wasn’t drawn out at all. Nope. Quick, clean, bloodless and to the point.

Early in the morning (let’s say nine am because that seems to be an acceptable time to let a preschooler jump and yell in my backyard. Because eight am would be annoying and rude), my young lad began his day full of jumping, banging on the patio door, jumping, asking for a snack, jumping, ringing the doorbell (picture Caillou hyped up on Mountain Dew and Pixie Sticks). Saving the day like coffee at sunrise were my neighbor boys, jumping for joy (literally, on the trampoline) over their day off from their school and the prospect of playing with little Jack all day. Halleluia. There should have been peace in my house.

Injury numero uno – Jack banged his ear against one of the other kids. “It huwts.” I brushed him off and sent him back out with the credo, “every owie takes you one step closer to being a man.” I’ll be regretting that for a while.

It was mere minutes after I sent him out that I could hear the definitive “I am really hurt and not just crying over nothing” cry piercing the backyard. I looked out and saw him holding his eye and scrambling off the trampoline. When I was able to pry his hand off his eye, all the while praying he hadn’t popped it out (it can happen – I saw it on Grey’s Anatomy), I unintentionally gasped at the immediate swelling of the orbital floor (or “bottom eye socket bone”, as I googled it). When I had convinced myself it wasn’t broken and he was dosed with Advil and exiled to the couch with an ice pack, popsicle and cartoons, I grabbed my camera to document this injury for the whole lot to laugh at later and perhaps learn from.

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The best part of him throwing a fit while I photographed his owie? His stupid shirt. “Assemble” is not an appropriate word for tiny clothing.

Apparently, I didn’t learn from it later, because I let him go back out about an hour into his ailment. And he came in again, crying and holding his chin. Beneath it was a red skidmark, a friction burn from the mat. Geez Louise.

So when a friend I babysit for dropped off her toddler and was greeted by Jack’s shiner, she said immediately, “Whoa. Not good when you’re trying to run a daycare!” I laughed right along with her because we’re friends and it was no biggie . . . until that sweet little toddler of hers fell backward and sat down hard against the corner of the wall. Telling her mom in front of my bruised and battered child was a lesson in embarrassment! And the cashier at Bath and Body Works (“What happened to your eye?”) and the cashier at Meijer (“Hey buddy! Where’d you get that bruise?”) and the stranger at the library (“Ouch! That looks like it hurts!”) Yes, it hurt. Yes, we see it. Yes, he knows it’s there. Yes, I know I was irresponsible to let him jump on the trampoline with three older kids. Poor little guy is now embarrassed to go in public. He said he didn’t want to go to t-ball because they’ll all see his eye. He told me as we left Bath and Body Works, “Mom, I don’t wike how ev-we-one talks about my eye.” Me neither, kiddo. But you know what they say about bruises . . .

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Wash your mouth out . . . with blueberry sauce

We are a family rife with loud voices, discontent, arguing and lots of moments where I am telling someone (most often the hubby), “That’s inappropriate!” I’d like to think, too, that we are a fun family, but when it all comes down to it the kids rarely have fun that isn’t overbore by Dad or myself.

Case in point – pretty much every single time the boys decide to placate me and put aside their differences and play together inside the house, one of the disembodied parental voices yells, “Knock it off!” or “No wrestling in the house. How many times do I have to tell you?” or “Take it outside.” Or “what are you doing? Pull your pants up!”

It doesn’t make much sense, I know. We tell them to get along and then the second they are, we’re telling them to stop the noise. Sometimes, I swear that the sound that ruffles me the most is the sound of their laughter. Why does it make me so annoyed/vexed/exhausted?

These poor kids can’t catch a break. I’m always thwarting their fun, whether it’s halting the jumping from one couch to the other, pulling out a kid hiding in the dryer or snatching a ten pound steel (steel? Aluminum? Iron?) sword from swordsmen fighting in the basement with Dad’s annoyingly ritzy display swords. Even during playtime, I’m constantly admonishing them for rough play or potty talk. I am annoying my own self with my harpy-ness, so I’ve been sneakily letting my kids get away with stuff. Liam’s been staying up late every night listening to music on his iPod. Connor has studied for his weekly spelling test only once a week for nearly a month (and has probably skipped a worksheet or three). I watched four-year-old Jack hanging out by the fence and discussing life, poop and all things boy with our neighbor kids. I saw him pretend to pull his pants down and pee on a tree, all the while grinning while the other boys hooted and howled with laughter. Should I have stepped in? Maybe, but then what? What would I have said? “Don’t pretend to pee?” I was thrilled that he kept his pants up and only pretended. Should I be suppressing that behavior and potty talk? I can understand putting a limit on it, a la not in public, but your own backyard is fine; but I really can’t see putting the kibosh on it altogether. It’s unreasonable for me, as a mom of three boys, to expect potty-less behavior out of them. Heck, even I indulge in a little bathroom humor every once in a while, especially when cooing to the baby I babysit for (“There! Your witto butt-ski is all clean!” “Lets do the poopy dance! Poo-pee, poo-pee, poo-pee!”). Yeah, I don’t think that’s beneath me, so why would I attempt to hold them up to standards that even I don’t reach (even with platforms)?

The other night, Liam’s 11th birthday, our family threw caution to the wind and indulged a little in some sweets and some swearing. After Liam blew out his candles on his delicious-looking blueberry cheesecake, we all sat around stuffing our faces and pondering how quickly another year flew by. Out of the blue, Connor solicited a free pass to say a swear word. “No,” I said through my third bite of cake. I didn’t even have to think about it.

“C’mon, please?”

And then I astonished my hubby and myself. “Okay, sure. You guys each get five seconds to say any swear word you want.” I paused for a second and considered imparting a ban on a word or two, but then thought, ‘balls to the walls, let’s do this right.’

Squeals of delight, and perhaps a gasp of disbelief, made me smile. I was going to take a step back and let these boys be boys, even if it meant quite possibly doing the wrong thing and being a less-than-stellar role model.

Connor immediately piped up with three words and when he paused to think, I may have done back handsprings in my mind when I realized he used the three most overused and overlooked swears there are (a$$, $h*t and d@m&). Life could be worse. If Connor used these, and he exhibited self-control, then there is no way any more are going to be said. I know my boys, and –

“A$$! $h*t! D@m&!” Peals of laughter encircled the table. Holy buns! Did my baby just say that? Of course he did. He’s the parrot of the group, always looking to Connor for comic relief and material to be used at a later date.

“Go ahead, Liam,” I sighed, smiling. “Your time is almost up.”

“Mom! I can’t say a swear! I’d be too embarrassed.” His face was already pinking as he grinned crazily through his purple mustache of blueberry sauce.

“Really. It’s okay. Your brothers did and they aren’t in trouble.”

“No! I, I can’t. I’m . . . too . . . embarrassed.”

“Okay then.” I turned to Dad and began to talk about some mundane aspect of my day.

Liam cleared his throat. He coughed. “I mean, it’s not every day a kid can say a bad word like fu^&!”

According to my husband, the sound I made at hearing the holy grail of swear words come out of my innocent birthday boy’s mouth was a little like a foghorn mixed with a squeal . . . and lasted for an entire count of six.

“OOooohhaaaahhhhhhaaahhhoooh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Liam’s face was deep red. He was smiling, but scared. Yes, it was a scared smile. “Mom, you said-”

“I know what I said! I just didn’t think you’d drop the f-bomb like that in front of your brothers! In front of dad! In front of meeeee!” Now my face was red. I shook my head and stared at him in horror/humor. Where did this kid come from? Is this puberty? A new kid every week? My sweet boy resurfaced a few times later that night. Every time he would see me, he’d say, “I’m just so ashamed of myself!” Looks like I may be raising that one right.

The picture of innocence will be shattered in 5, 4, 3 . . .

The picture of innocence will be shattered in 5, 4, 3 . . .

So, I tried my hand at stepping back and letting the kids have a little free fun and it wasn’t too bad. Do I think I’ll do less of it? Maybe. The kids won’t be swearing anytime soon, and pulling down pants and showing off peepees is a definite no-no still, but letting them play chicken on their bikes in the middle of the road sans helmets and spray each other with the Weed-B-Gone will still be allowed. As long as they’re having fun. And not making messes. And quiet. I have to pick my battles.

A Case of the Broke-sies

Well, another broken TV has once again slapped this family in the already red-cheeked face.  If anyone out there is counting, this is the fourth TV from our household that has had a very short lifespan.  I’d love to say we’re idiots and keep buying the same type of TV and the short lifespan has to do with the crappy quality, but no.  That wouldn’t be as fun as, oh, the truth.  Which is, may I add, that we keep breaking them.

A few years ago, when Number Two was in all his undiagnosed and unmedicated glory, he climbed atop a very ridiculous microwave cart-turned TV stand and proceeded to pull our 30-inch, fifty pound Magnavox off the stand and nearly onto himself.  Luckily, he was able to sidestep injury and certain crushing with the maneuverability of ADHD boys that must be a defense mechanism they are ingrained with, because otherwise, there would be many more hilarious albeit grave injuries around here.We never replaced that TV because at the time we had a newborn slumbering in our room and didn’t require a TV – we were much too tired at 8 pm to watch anything.  When we moved to a new house, we not only bought a small TV for our bedroom, but a 55-inch flat screen for our new living room.  After the newborn was older and mobile, he started climbing onto the stand and behind the TV, scaring the bejesus out of me for more reasons than just the impending owie.

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Notice the smudges – this was not the first time he got up there . . . nor the last.

Eventually I taught him not to climb up there (spray bottles are not just for cats) and TV life was a bit more relaxed . . . until I started babysitting on a regular basis.  Every single toy was a weapon and the target was a thousand dollars of electronic heaven.  I saw stuffed animals flying through the air and pictured grenades where their eyes should be.  Toy guns were bazookas.  Building blocks were, well, building blocks and I was having tiny heart attacks nearly every time I had to duck into the next room for a blankie or to prepare a snack.  I was sweating the fact that every second of the day when there were multiple children in my home was a potential threat to my relationship (how does one tell her hubby about another broken TV?).

Well, one day near naptime, I filled two sippy cups of milk and gave them to the twin boys I was babysitting.  I went back to the kitchen for something, leaving them watching Disney Jr.  Within seconds, I hear banging and yelling and honestly?  I had been hearing banging and yelling all day and was at the absolute end of my rope with the noise level that seems to surround boys.  Marching into the living room to put an end to the yelling, I spied with my little eye two two-year-old boys smashing their sippy cups into the TV screen . . . that no longer had a picture.  Lesson learned: milk sippies and ten seconds can completely change a life.  Another lesson learned:  telling hubby and telling the parents was extremely awkward.  Still don’t know exactly how I got through it.

We bought another TV within a few days and I was back in my hubby’s good graces after I stopped babysitting, because, in his defense for sounding a bit like a lunatic for suggesting I quit after suggesting babysitting to make money to earn back the cost of the TV, more kids in the house equals more mess and more destruction . . . and more cost.  It was 11 months later when I was blow-drying my hair in the bathroom and Number Three comes in holding a Nerf bat that his brother had just gotten for his birthday.  He was babbling something that sounded a lot like, “wook at da bwoken TB.”  My heart thudded . . . thump, step into the hallway . . . thump, thump, thump . . . turn the corner, see black screen . . . thump, thump, beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep . . . see very large cracks all over the screen . . .

“What did you DOOOOOO?!?!?!”  I semi-yelled, semi-cried.

“I hitted the TB wif da bat.  It bwoken, wight?”

Oh. My. Goodness.  Eleven months.  How do I tell Hubby that our infant of a TV, the third in three years, is destroyed?  Honestly I cannot recall how I told him, but I do recall lots of tears and a sore throat . . . that small TV we had in the bedroom was now to be moved to the living room much to the very vocal chagrin of Hubby.

A few short months later we put that house up for sale and Hubby and I decided that I’d start babysitting again once we moved to earn money for a new TV.  But Hubby, being the type A person he is, went ahead and bought a new TV to be delivered when we moved in to the new house.  Another 55-inch beaut, set atop the same TV stand we love (you know, the one the youngest liked to stand on). Sadly, the poor thing stood no chance at all in the Wilson house.

A few nights ago I asked Number Two to close the blinds in the living room.  He surprisingly surrendered to it, mutely and without a moment of opposition, shocking me into silence as he closed the first one.  Reach up on tiptoes, pull down.  I turned and bent to pick up some mess and heard a yell and crash . . . and upon turning around found Number Two standing on the TV stand which stands in front of a window, alone, with his hands over his mouth and eyes wide.  “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m soooo sorry!”  The TV was upside down on the floor.  The TV was upside down on the floor.  The TV was upside down on the floor.

“It’s broken.” I said in disbelief.  “It’s broken.”

“I’m sorry!  I’m sorry!  I’m sorry!”

“It’s broken?!”  I may have been in shock.  And all I could think was, “These things happen in threes.  These things happen in threes!”

“I’m sorry!  It was an accident.  I didn’t mean it!”  His hands were still on his mouth.

“Ohhhhh no.  Oh no.  You have to call Dad.  Oh no.  I cannot tell him about a fourth broken TV.”

“Noooo!  It was an accident!”

“Help me lift it up so we can see if it really is broken.  Oh jeez.”  We lifted it up and set it back down on its base.  The screen was blue with shards of colors jutting out of the point of impact.  Geometric art.

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The TV may be broken, but at least the blind behind it is closed.

“Get the phone now.  You’re telling Dad.”  I couldn’t stop myself from repeating.  And I’m making myself sound waaaay better that I actually was.  I may have damaged my throat from screaming in terror . . .

So folks, this is how you tell your Hubby that the fourth TV in four years has been broken:

“Dad?” My crying third boy said.  “I broke the TV!”

You pass the buck.  I’m not super ashamed of this.

And kudos to Hubby for not freaking out on him.  He asked which one, with great trepidation I’m sure as his pride and joy is the 80-incher we have in the basement.  When he heard it was the small one, he asked if it was an accident and, being assured there were no shenanigans going on – no toys being thrown from the catwalk, no wrestling in the living room – he asked to talk to me.

What does he want with me?  What am I going to say?

“Hello?”

“Are you crying?  What are you crying for?  It’s just a TV.”

Utter shock and disbelief.  Who is this guy?

“Yes, I’m crying.  Our TV is broken.  The fourth one.  I know how much it cost and I know it’s my fault.  I should have known he would try to stand behind the TV to reach the blinds.  I’ve been his mom long enough to know that everything is a playground.”

“No.  He was doing what you asked and it happened.  We’ll figure it out, but maybe no water park this spring because the cost of the replacement is about the same cost as the trip.” Great.

I got off the phone and went to hug Number Two, who was still crying about his impending punishment.  He was shocked when I hugged him and told him that I knew it was an accident.

“Mom, I need to go to my room,” he said, pulling away from me.  “I gotta get my expensive toys and sell them.  My iPod, my DS –”

“Yeah, me too,” Number One interrupted, “and I want to contribute this.”  He handed me a five dollar bill.

My heart grew three sizes that day.  We went to the kitchen and found a mason jar.  The boys put their money into it and I dumped out all the change from every change magnet in the house.   It’s a small jar and a small amount of money, but the thought is mighty.  Now, I’m not going to let them sell their expensive toys, but I will let them put their hard-earned money into the jar.  In the face of adversity, I love that they decided to work together to solve a problem.  Until the problem is solved, I’ll be babysitting again.  No sippy cups in the living room and no Nerf bats anywhere.  And I’ll be doing all the chores myself for a looong while.

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Although it serves as a reminder that something was destroyed, it also reminds me that my boys will give to benefit the entire family.

Mug Shot Monday

While I spent a long while on the phone with my mom, Number Three spent a long while making this little scientific concoction - ice cubes and ranch dressing.  I don't believe he dipped his apple in it, but I wouldn't put it past him.  If you look closely, you can see his reflection in the countertop - he's standing in front of the sink, on the counter, after washing his hands.  It never ends around here!

While I spent a long while on the phone with my mom, Number Three spent a long while making this little scientific concoction – smiley face ice cubes and poppyseed dressing. I don’t believe he dipped his apple in it, but I wouldn’t put it past him. If you look closely, you can see his reflection in the countertop – he’s standing in front of the sink, on the counter, after washing his hands. It never ends around here!

This year's Halloween costumes proved true to their personalities - Number Three is a cop, ready to tattle on his Gangster brother (Number Two.  Notice his gun . . .) and Number One seems to blend into his surroundings as to not cause any ruckus he may be blamed for!

This year’s Halloween costumes proved true to their personalities – Number Three is a cop, ready to tattle on his Gangster brother (Number Two. Notice his gun . . .) and Number One seems to blend into his surroundings as to not cause any ruckus he may be blamed for!

Why wouldn't there be a football in my tree?

Why wouldn’t there be a football in my tree?

Nothing in this house is used solely for it's intended purpose.   And I doubt they were wiped off afterward.

Nothing in this house is used solely for it’s intended purpose.
And I doubt they were wiped off afterward.

It seems I have entered the twilight zone . . . where not one, not two, but ALL THREE of my boys are reading.  Voluntarily.  Thankful for the Diary of A Wimpy Kid series!

It seems I have entered the twilight zone . . . where not one, not two, but ALL THREE of my boys are reading. Voluntarily. Thankful for the Diary of A Wimpy Kid series!

The secret to well-behaved kids

I just read an article about the secret to well-behaved kids.  Of course I read that article.  Probably every mom that came across that news link read that article, hoping to attain the secret.   Is it medication? Drugs?  Regular beatings?  A sugar-free diet?  Private school?  No.  It’s a real letdown of a secret: a regular bedtime. 

 Are you kidding me?!  My children (and yes, I know they probably aren’t the best example for this argument) go to bed at the same time every night. In an attempt to create a more harmonious household, I thought this year the kids should have a better bedtime routine; a la bedtime snacks at a set time, showers at a set time, tooth brushing at a set time, stories at a set time and bed at a set time.  With the implementation of this difficult-to-live-by-at-the-end-of-the-day-because-I-have-no-more-patience-left schedule, bedtime is now my favorite time of day (after they are sleeping, of course)!  I can’t stand when I (I mean the kids) miss a second of their sweet slumber.  Not because of their bad behavior the next day, but because that is MY time.  My time to paint my nails, watch hours of bad TV (and good TV, too, I’m an equal opportunity watcher), read, play laser tag with the cat, drink as many cups as I want of piping hot tea without the worry that someone will a) spill it on themselves or b) want to share . . . Seems I’m a bit of a loser. Huh.  It makes up for the hours during the day when I’m picking up a dish of half-chewed grapes from beneath the table, a bag of Goldfish crackers from the bathroom (god, boys are so gross), countless pairs of dirty socks (and when did their cute toddler feet turn into man feet?  I literally pinch the socks with the tips of my fingers and try not to touch too much of them with my bare skin), empty plastic cups from the yard, Band-Aid wrappers sprinkled from one room to another, candy corn smushed into the carpet, Pringles littering the garage floor, etc.  They need their sleep to rejuvenate themselves, and I need their sleep to rejuvenate me from their daily and nightly shenanigans.

 Case in point, yet again:  last night, the little guy rolled on the floor for ten minutes, screaming and kicking because I wasn’t going to let him have the iPad right before bed.  The cat got kicked (okay, accidentally, but still), the candle fell from the end table and the entire pile of folded laundry on the floor was knocked over.  My fault for letting it sit there since eleven am. 

 Anyway, he is no stranger to the bedtime routine.  Every night at 6:50 pm, I warn him that he has ten minutes until bed.  “How many books, one or two?”

 “Two!”

 “A big milk or a little milk?”

 “Big milk!” Big as in one inch of milk in the bottom of the glass.  In my experience with multiple boys, one should not actually give a kid a literal “big milk” at bedtime.  Unless they have an expensive mattress protector.  One that actually works.

 I even go as far as to employ a special parenting philosophy I read about a while back (1-2-3 Magic) – if you give a kid choices that you already agree to, they feel that they are in charge and the power struggle one may expect will actually vanish.  It works, if you’re not me and use it correctly (meaning, say only the choices and nothing more.  Don’t go on and on and on, warning and bickering and changing your mind like me).

 Even though the choices went off without a hitch, he was still crying and fit throwing, begging for the iPad, which I knew would cause another fit when it was time to turn it off. 

 “Do you want to run up the stairs or walk up the stairs?”  I asked, hoping to turn the night around.

 “iPad poopy.”

 “Okay, my choice.  I choose that you walk up the stairs.”  Again, a little tidbit from a book.  When the kid doesn’t make a choice, you make it for him.  

 “Poop up the stairs.”

 Baaa!  At what point can I give up?  When can I have the hissy fit?!  Is all this really necessary?  Am I really expected to continue having a conversation with no one, essentially? 

 He was watching me with a defiant glint in his eye.  His foot was inching toward the base of the coffee table – one good thrust and the glass top would be the glass bottom.  “Poop.” One word and all I can think is: Is this what my life has become?  Must I be the hostage negotiator, hoping to get the coffee table out in one piece? 

 “Walk. Up. The. Stairs.”  I said, pointing.  What a joke.  How can one make a child walk?  Trust me, I’ve had my fair share of experience with trying and have some shin bruises and dents in the walls to show for it.

 In the end, as the youngest child is often the martyr, he was carried up the stairs, kicking and screaming and sobbing about his loss of reading time and unceremonious tuck-in.  The elder two watched in disappointment, as well they should have. There is not a chance in heck of them getting away with anything on a grab and carry night.  Sometimes you just gotta take matters into your own hands.  Literally. 

 This bedtime/behavior study has me flummoxed.  Are kids really better behaved with a regular bedtime?  If so, mine should be pretty good.  But . . . there’s always that trip to the store where two kids are physically fighting before we get inside, one runs off and hides in the racks, one is crying because they were counted down to no treat, one pushes the cart into my heels (three times in one trip.  And not accidental.), and yet another feels the need to take the opportunity in public to tell me of all my shortcomings as a mother. There’s aways the youngest locking his friends out of our house or the older two sneaking off to the neighbor’s and playing Minecraft on a school night.  

 Bedtimes here are sacred, but certainly not the path to enlightenment and perfect kids.  Sometimes I even think my kids would be better behaved in the mornings . . . while they are still asleep . . . so I wonder if I should allow them to stay up later? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bad to the third power

My littlest guy and I sat outside in the warm October sun this afternoon.  He cuddled on my lap for no good reason for a good fifteen minutes before the ants in his pants took over.  He bumped the table and spilled hot tea, he knocked my brand spankin’ new book to the ground (Follow me on Goodreads!) and he missed stepping on the same sugar-fiending wasp by millimeters about twenty times.  As I was stressing about the impending sting and wondering if we should just go inside, I ruminated on the old saying, “bad things happen in threes.”

 My most memorable taste of the physical destruction of boys happened when my second monkey was nearly two.  He was jump-jump-jumping on the bed and just when I told him to stop, he fell off and cracked his eyebrow on the corner of the dresser.  I saw red – literally.  Blood was running everywhere, he was screaming and I was sweating it – a trip to the ER with a hyper and hurt toddler was going to be anything but fun.  Surprisingly, as rambunctious as this boy normally was, he was calm and still for the entire episode of the show I was watching – “Stitch: The Big Owie”.  It was mere months after that that the same boy ran head first into a corner, creating a gash (no stitches this time!) and a h-u-g-e goose egg right on the middle of his forehead.  As if that wasn’t enough pain for him, a few days later he backed into a roaring woodstove, sans diaper, and burnt his little baby butt cheek.  I have a picture of this, but isn’t it unsavory to post a picture of a little boy’s bare booty on the internet?

 It seemed that my life was going to follow the saying and I was given a reprieve for a few years until both my older boys suffered from Lyme disease.  Yeah, what are the chances that these bacteria would infect both boys at the same time?  Imagine my surprise when they woke with crazy bull’s-eye rashes all over their bodies and suffered debilitating body aches and fevers . . . lo and behold, Lyme disease was the culprit for both (don’t tell my dad that, though.  Although three blood tests came back positive, one for each boy and one for the naysayer himself, he still claims it hogwash). 

 It was another year of a peaceful owie break before all hell broke loose.  For real.  Looking back, I don’t know how I stayed in one mental piece.  In the course of one week, I was in the ER twice with two different children and could very well have been in three times had I not been more embarrassed than certain that my child needed emergency medical care. 

 Day One:  Aforementioned middle monkey doubles over in pain hours after eating an entire tin of chewable mints (but I didn’t know that little factoid until it was unnecessary), screaming that he is going to “blow up”.  A CAT scan, four wasted hours and a few thousand dollars later the kid is giggling and grinning as he is blasting gas out of his nether regions at a rate even the surgeon couldn’t believe – though that didn’t stop that classy guy from making jokes about my monkey’s talent.  Imagine my embarrassment.  Here I was thinking his appendix had ruptured and all he had was gas.

 Day Four: Baby is running through the dining room like the madman he was when BAM!  Smack into yet another corner of yet another wall with yet another goose egg.  It must run in the family.  Trip number two to the ER results in another few hundred dollars long gone and three stitches – not to mention the discomfort and poor confidence in my parenting skills when the same doctor from the last visit enters the room and recognizes me, a la, “Hey, I know you.” Puzzled glance at the chart.  “This isn’t the same kid . . .” Puzzled glance at me. 

 Day Five: Same baby launches himself off the table and bites through his lip.  Listen to my phone conversation: “You need to get home now.  Baby’s bleeding again and someone else has to take him to the ER.  I can’t see the same doctor three times in one week!”  I was borderline hysterical.  After dad arrived, we determined that he probably didn’t need a trip to the doctor just yet.  Or, to be brutally honest, we determined that neither one of us wanted to go back a third time and possibly suffer the shame of inattentive parenting.

 Day Six: Again, the same little guy (at this point, the reader ought to know that he was almost two, which should explain everything to those who have had two-year-old boys) climbs onto a fire hydrant and tries unsuccessfully to jump off.  End result? Two big scrapes on his thighs.

 Day Seven: (Need I even mention who this is about?)  Yes, the baby fell and bit through the almost healed part of his lip.  I probably could have laughed that part off (oh, haha, another owie for the toddler! What next?!), but then he opened a drawer in the bathroom while I was wringing out the bloody washcloth for his mouth, found the tiniest vial of sample perfume and sprayed that sucker directly into both of his eyes. I sat in the corner and cried . . . after washing out his eyes for what seemed like an eternity. Trust me, that was no small feat and deserved the tears shed by the both of us.  Mothering can be a thankless job.

 In the tentative end of all the commotion of destruction, as we’ve been pretty lucky for the past few months, I smile about the comment the doctor made after she handed the littlest monkey a sucker after taking out his stitches.  “Just don’t fall and split it open again!”  Are you serious?!  If she knew what had gone on since those stitches came out, she’s be prescribing me Xanax like candy and offering the kids ten pound bags of pixie sticks because after all, the same way the sucker was a peace offering, a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down – or in our house, dulls the pain – in the most delightful way!  And with three boys, I’m potentially looking at nine bad things happening at a time.  Now where’s my Xanax prescription?