Seriously - first shout out to any and all single parents. How do you function? I've been in Iowa watching/babysitting/preventing injury and misfortune of my 3 little nieces and nephew. They are precocious children - and not in the fun Mary Poppins way. Okay, perhaps in the fun Mary Poppins way - but thank goodness that broad had magic - because she needed it!
Isabel has garnered the most Facebook posts because - well, I've spent every waking and non-waking hour with her since her lovely parents ditched the crappy, cold, cloudy weather of Iowa and beat cheeks to Cabo. Lucky them.
Unfortunately for Isabel a lovely case of the creeping crud has settled in her lungs. Also, unfortunate is the amount of liquid that she's refusing to drink - and likewise the "GROSS" medication that works the best for her cough. The 12-hour cough medicine apparently tastes like ant butts, because she hates it. Not to mention that every other medication that she's on, currently is running the table with Bubble Gum flavor which makes the "Orange" medicine even more particularly vile. We've managed to spit out as much as we've swallowed.
It reminds me of when my mother would put pills into a spoon full of peanut butter to get us to swallow them. All the while we would retch and gag and my father the man who has the patience of a flea (assuming that fleas are not really patient at all...) would be yelling at the retching, gagging child, "It's all in your head. Just swallow the damn pill. IT'S ALL IN YOUR GOD DAMN HEAD." Ah, Dad...thanks for the memories.
Of course, now, I wouldn't dream of yelling GD anything - and furthermore, it seems quite inappropriate to yell that at someone else's loin fruit. Instead, I acquiese...when she pouts because the crappy medicine is not "pink" - I pull out the red food coloring. Of course, I know full well that she's looking for something bubble gum flavored - it's kind of sad when I let her stir the orange medicine and red food coloring together. She's excited - see, Stacie, it *is* pink. She insists. Yep, Isabelly, it is pink - and in about 2 nanoseconds you are going to realize that "Pink" in your brain means "Bubble Gum flavored" - only you didn't say that - so I've prepared your "Pink" medication - and you'll start to realize that you must be specific in your requests.
Alas, Ariel the magical mermaid fared the worst in our evening med pass. While we downed about 7/8 of our bootleg Pink/Orange medication - 1/8 of it came hurling out of our lips while we squealed, "AUNT STACIE THAT IS NOT PINK MEDICINE!" - The spittle landed smack dab in the middle of Ariel's sea faring forehead. The spittle, much to my chagrin, was not pink - but rather blood red. It looks like Ariel has been hit by a sniper. Unlike our morning medication trial - which ended up in 2 outfit changes - we seemed rather unaffected by the bloody headed Ariel. Isabel has assured me that the stain will come out and, "Mom won't be mad."
Grace has been charming although she has been sad. She's been a big helper - I thanked her for bringing down her clothes for school tomorrow without being asked, reminded and hounded and she rolled her eyes and me and said, "Um, I do this all the time." Well, thanks anyway Super Trooper. She also seemed surprised when I thanked her for replacing the toilet paper roll. It's the little things. She's been great at reading time, and making sure that Isabel has a reading partner. She even took a bath with Isabel - and what started out as, "I'm just going to put my feet in for a few minutes, okay?" Turned into a full blown sibling bath. They poured enough water onto the bathroom floor to weaken the floorboards - hopefully that will dry out before Saturday and I can get back to Minnesota before the claw foot bathtub crashes into the bathroom below. Denise - I swear that stain on the downstairs bathroom ceiling was there when I arrived.
Henry - dear, sweet, Sass-Back Henry. He's having a tough week...filled with bright spots and life lessons. For example, When Aunt Stacie chooses her battles, she does not lose. Which means when you are constantly battling...you constantly lose. Two days into this gig, Henry's finally getting the hang of it. We've had 2 classic HR fits - the kind with the stomping, the sour grapes face, the ugly words and the screeching. He gets no response from me for this behavior. He doesn't even get reminded that he needs to calm down and apologize. Which it isn't surprising that tonight's tantrum lasted about 1/3 of the time of yesterdays. The first time, he had to get instructions about the apology, the post-fit time out, and the reparation. Oh, reparation - you Catholic life lesson...you're a wench. Again, Henry's been reminded that it's all about choices. Last night he missed a snack... And I'm not a horrible Aunt - I knew that he'd been told that he was foregoing his snack if he couldn't get it together - so it's not like I whipped out the treats that Denise had picked up for Grace & Henry and taunted him. Instead, Isabel had Oatmeal and Grace had Honey Toast. But when we were saying our prayers and Henry said something about not getting a snack I gently reminded him that it was a choice. And he ranted about how, "Yeah, it was YOUR choice" And I said, "No, it was my consequence, which I gave to you. You're decision to not stop the tantrum was your choice. Therefore you decided that you didn't want a snack."
Well - tonight was a battle of wills and also a battle of "Choices" - see, Henry, like my youthful former self - understood that you can't punish someone that doesn't acknowledge the power of the punishment. If you tell a kid, "FINE! That's it! NO MORE LIMA BEANS FOR YOU!!!" - Really? No more Lima Beans? Well, by all means, then I'll keep playing with the matches and I'll be *SO* heart broken when the Lima Beans are taken away. So I upped the ante tonight. If you don't care about not helping assemble Pizza Balls for dinner - and therefore you do not want to write out an apology - that's fine, but if you don't help out with dinner - you won't be able to fly your helicopter either. See how that works? Ouch! Okay, fine, I'll write the apology. Amazing.
And the thing of it is - I "catch" him doing nice things as much it's just him being a 6 year old boy that has listening problems. I don't have as many issues with the mischieviousness as much as I have a problem with the back talk and the "I'm smarter than you" b.s. I'm surprised, actually, given how much I was the kid that these kids are today - that my parents still remember my birthday. And the fact that I haven't thrown them into an early grave.
Okay - I'm rambling - a sign that I have "kid" brain. I still have laundry to do - and a kitchen to clean. I am quite content that Isabel hasn't coughed in almost an hour - so perhaps the apple juice chugging and "Pink" medicine is taking effect after all.