(Unnecessarily) Sneaky

Today we went and saw Daddy at work. It was big excitement. However, it required leaving the house.... It took 45 minutes to get the kids out the door. They could NOT have been more trying if they were, um, trying. After 30 minutes I lost my temper and the kids found it... in the form of a sarcastic, mean lady who kept saying (quite loudly) "Hurry! Yes, NOW! Hurry!"

Once in the car, I turned the radio UP, drank my coffee, fielded a few questions from the peanut gallery... until the drone of the engine did its work, and mellowed everyone the heck out. Especially Mommy. Listened to Christian radio, heard a certain song, was chastened, coffee kicked in...

Seeing Lee at work was good for H&Y. They were awake for the whole trip and the gist of their comments were "Daddy long drive." I said "Yes, every day." Them, "Wow. Daddy home, water, Daddy home, sleep, Daddy home, eat." (As in "No wonder Daddy comes home and needs water, sleep and food.") The people at work were awesome, and I was so glad to see everyone too! (Hi guys! I know you're reading at work!)

Then a quick drop off at Grandma and Grandpa's and I went to get my hair cut. It was the full color/cut action this time, so it was a 2 hour appointment. It was great while I was under the dryer reading trashy mags, but carrying on a conversation with the stylist became work after a while. I just wanted to stare off into space. Empty, quiet space. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

I was hoping that while I was at the hair appt, Lee would be laying the groundwork with H&Y for us to ditch (I mean "leave them in safe hands") with Lee's folks so we could sneak (I mean "we're adults, we don't have to explain our actions to you") out and see the new Batman movie. He didn't, but we decided to try it anyway. Lee's folks were game, and the 2 of us haven't been out together alone since, um, when was that? We sucked it up and brought H to the clock in the kitchen. (He's got a rudimentary idea about time telling.) We said "Mommy, Daddy, car. Habtamu, Yordanos: Grandma, Grandpa's house. Mommy Daddy at Grandma/Grandpa's house at five-three-zero, then Mommy, Daddy, Habtamu, Yordanos: home, dinner." (That's pretty close to how we communicate. If you throw in a bunch of adjectives, etc... it's too much and they don't get it.) He repeated it all back to us and shrugged and said "Ok." Um, really? We went up and told Y, and she repeated it back to us and said "Ok. Bye!" Um.

They walked us out to the car and we had the usual parent leaving ceremony. They gave us hugs and kisses, and waved us out with smiles. Um. On the road we were in awe. "It can't possibly be as easy as that." Woo hoo! Who wants 'em next? We'll swing by and drop 'em off. (Ha ha, just kidding... I think the reason it worked so well, was because they know G&G very well now, and as Grandma said "Yeah, it's nice here with Grandma saying Yes to everything they ask.")

Anyway, we did see Batman. Not a feel-good family flick, but pretty good if you like dark movies.

We did NOT make our five-three-zero deadline. I was worried about that; H&Y apparently noted it, but didn't fuss. We got in at six-zero-zero and went home. :)

After dinner, we looked at the big family calendar, and H&Y finally showed an interest in it and wanted to know what was happening tomorrow, and, and, and... So we went through it together. It really helps them to know what's going on. (And they understand "Maybe" now, so, boy, does THAT help.) Anyway, I thought I'd try a little "here's what's next, and when" action to bedtime. We've been pretty consistent with bedtimes... usually 9:15, 9:30. (It may seem late, but they just fool around until 10/10:30 anyway, no matter when they get up there.) We told them at nine-one-five, you are going to bed. Guitar and books, yes, if you get pajamas on and brush teeth ahoon (now). Habtamu sure understood... he started pecking at Yordi on his way running up the stairs. They pj'd and brushed in record time... usually it's a struggle. At 9:15, we closed the book we were reading and tucked them in. Huh. How about that.

Every time we've showed them where the lines on the road are, they've complied and seemed relieved even. Remember the banana craze? I finally told them 3 bananas each per day, instead of pestering me all day... and it worked. (Also, bananas are now out of favor.) They used to drench their pasta with sauce until Lee (tired of the slurping) told them ONE ladle full per bowl. Now when they ladle their sauce, they say "Oooooooonnnnnne." H had been begging for new tennis shoes (which he does need - we're not TOTAL suckers) for several days in a row. We set a date on the calendar for shoe shopping next week, and Voila! Happy boy, looking forward to that day.

I showed them when Christmas was too, since Yordi has been asking things like "Christmas Monday?" They seemed a little disappointed with the number of pages I had to flip to get to December. Then I showed them January 2009 and said it's next year. And they promptly celebrated and said "Yay! Bicycles!" Yeah, the fateful words came back to haunt us... we'd told them "Bikes, next year." I tried to explain about COLD and SNOW, but they wouldn't believe it anyway. I pointed to April and May and said "Bikes in Spring."


Katherine said...

I think kids like and need lines or rules. Sometimes they seem to not like or want them, but they really do. Kai was just commenting on how he wished there were no rules, and no one got hurt, anyone could do anything they wanted to. We told him, "yeah, we saw that movie. Everyone turned into donkeys in the end..."

You are both doing a great job. I'm glad you got some time out with each other!

Anonymous said...

Lee & Chris,
I just wanted to tell you that you are doing a wonderful job with these children. Remember...all parents have to set down rules, not just you, and all children work better under schedules...just look at how a school day is set up. I have read your blog since day one and have several people now "hooked". I will really miss it if you ever stop blogging. Hang in there and know that God truly is at work in your home!

christophertadhankins said...

I agree - rules are good, and necessary. It's fun watching (or reading about) you guys experiencing the same mundane issues we face too.
I can tell you were both stoked about getting a "date" away from the kids for a while. Those are SO fun... and ALSO necessary.
Keep up the great work. Looking forward to actually speaking with you guys sometime, say, before fall. ;-)

Lisa said...

Ahhhh...the 'MAYBE'...a word passed down thru the ages by parents not wanting to commit yet wanting kids to stop bugging them about the (insert activity or object of desire here). Yeah, my dad used that one ALL OF THE TIME with us kids. The other day my daughter mentioned that pop had told her "MAYBE someday they would go fishing"...and I had this internal dialouge "oh yeah, been there, don't get your hopes up!" The very NEXT DAY! dad calls to see if she wants to go fishing $#@%$%^%$^#%$ HUH?! That's not the MAYBE I remember?!! ha Just had to share that trip down memory lane!

Jori said...

It sounds like things are really getting together. I love the broken english ~ Hey, whatever works for now. I love that they stayed at G & G house, I think (My parents say yes to everything to ~ almost!)) It is great to read your everyday stuff, I know I will be there one day and you are showing me we will survive.

Nicola said...

Oh, the "joy" of trying to hurry with children. Alannah actually gets more frantic and unable to move as soon as I start saying/hollering, "Come on, we have to hurry!". Awe crud, now we have to super slow back down and find a new tack. Sometimes she'll sort of 'run in place' because she knows hurrying involves moving fast, she's just not sure what to do with it. LOL, poor thing! :) So I try to remember to ask her _very calmly_ to go put on her shoes, etc. cause we need to leave soon. Eh... I'm still learnin' too!

As much as you love your children, those date nights sure are lovely! :D

Lots of love,
Nicola :)