Bedtime tears

Everyone at my house has been tired today.

We did not do a ton of stuff… picked up the house, bought vegetable plants and seeds, attended a birthday party complete with face painting

Picked up our “click list” groceries, then the girls followed Lynn planting sweet corn, supervising.

Next we planted onion sets, and tomatoes, peppers, as well as cilantro, oregano and rosemary.

When I write it all out it seems like more…so maybe it’s ok to be tired after all.

When I tucked the girls in at bedtime I noticed Claire’s face was wet with tears.

Me: Claire what is the matter, do you feel ok?

Claire: I am sad because I don’t want to go to sleep. Maybe I should stay up so I can be happy??

Then she batted her eyes at me pitifully and broke into a grin.

Less than 5 minutes later she was asleep.

Silly kid.

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Scrappy sisters

Y’all know I love my kids.

Caroline is smart, organized and amazes me with the things she notices. (I never timed commercials on TV. But she does. Did y’all know that the Andy Griffith show has commercials exactly 15 minutes into it?)

Claire is snuggly and polite and constantly compliments me. It’s like I have a little cheerleading squad following me around. That is pretty cool.

But. Oh. My. Goodness.

They have been fighting non stop. Arguing about every little thing. Sometimes it comes to wrassling and then someone comes wailing to me. That someone is usually Claire, as sassy as she can be she refuses to fight back…unless there is a stick. She will/has totally hit Caroline with a stick…then it’s Caroline doing the wailing

Mommyyyyyyyy – she won’t let me use the pink crayon!

Mommyyyyyyyy – she’s not sharing the paper!

Mommyyyyyyyy – she tried to wear my socks!

It’s enough to drive a sane person batty. And I’m not sure I was sane to start with.

The craziest part of it is, if I separate them, within minutes each is hearbroken missing her sister. And the tears and wailing start again. I miss sissy! If only I could play with my sister I would be so happy! We will never fight again!

I’ve totally tried to teach them positive conflict resolution. None of it has ever been heard.

So waving the white flag on teachable moments and clinging to my lucidity my solution is typically to send them outside, where their shrieks and complaining are muffled by the great outdoors. Usually I ban them from the back porch where I perch to survey them and only intervene if bodily harm looks imminent.

But they are learning conflict resolution, right? Right?!

But at the end of the day when I’m at my wit’s end, they say their bedtime prayers.

Caroline says the prayer, and Claire with her eyes closed puts her hand on her sister and prays with her. It’s a glimmer of hope that someday, the things we are teaching them might sink in.

Maybe.

I think my next step will be to make them wear a big “get along” shirt and do things together every time they fight. We’ve not done that in a while.

Y’all pray for me!

Piece of junk

It’s no surprise to anyone who knows me that I am terrible with machines. Copy machines, lawn mowers, all weedeaters… whatever. They just quit working when I come around.

It’s not my fault! I swear! Machines just die when I come close. I am innocent of any wrongdoing. It must be my elecromagnetic field or something. That’s a real thing, right?

Needless to mention, if there is an expensive thing to drive…I don’t get to drive it.

The absolute worst is the terrible old 4-wheeler. On a good day it splutters and jerks with the farmers. With me it’s much worse.

Today I was delivering lunches and rather than good old fashioned healthy walking, my well meaning but terribly wrong husband insisted I take the piece-of-junk … I mean 4-wheeler. It never, never, never goes well when I take this 4-wheeler.

Lunchtime!

I don’t know why I didn’t argue.

I get to the bottom of the hill to drop off a lunch and BAM it jerks to a stop while simultaneously dying.

I tried, and tried and tried to restart it. NOTHING. It’s much easier to walk up a hill than push a broke down junk heap up.

I so wish I’d walked.

My father-in-law came over, punched the same starter button I had been working on what seemed like forever and the wretched, evil thing sprang to life.

It makes me grouchy to have to be rescued. Even worse when it makes me seem inept.

Off I went, halfway up the steepest hill and BAM the thing jerked to a dead stop again….but THIS TIME it started furiously rolling backwards. Oh fun.

I squeezed the hand brakes as hard as my hands would let me. Nothing.

Oh yeah, that’s right. This glorious chariot has non-working brakes. Fabulous.

I was by this point picking up speed backwards down the hill.

So I cut the front wheels to the right as fast as I could.

After precariously leaning over to the left and almost tipping down the hill the awful scrap-worthy thing stopped.

Ugh. I wished I could just get off and leave it in the field. A HORSE would never do this to me. Neither would my feet. Definitely never driving this worthless trash again.

Despite being an office-working, nearing middle age, deadfully out of shape, mother of two I’m decently strong so I tried to push it up the hill. Big fat NOPE. I didn’t even move it in the direction I wanted to go.

Drat.

Wish I’d walked.

Finally, I got it started. I gave the rickety-old-bucket-of-rust heck and got back to the barn as fast as I could. The motor jerked and sputtered the entire time.

I silently dared it to die, like Arnold Swartzenagger I challenged it to “Go ahead, make my day”. I wished I could make it explode like on the movies so I’d never have to use it again. The farmers wouldn’t be thrilled with me about that though.

Lynn was walking my direction with a smirk on his face. HE KNEW. When I got closer to him, I could hear him chuckle.

Glad I could be of some entertainment at least. Must be boring driving the tractors in circles for hours spreading fertilizer.

Not that I’m ever asked to drive a tractor…I wonder why?!?

Next time? I’m walking. Or riding a horse. For sure I won’t be taking the 4-wheeler.

March 11th 2018

We helped Lynn feed cattle today. After all the rain it is muddy. So muddy.

Claire has established her interest in tractor driving. Sometimes she forgets where’s she’s going though and Lynn has to get it back on track.

At one point neither Lynn nor Claire had their hands on the steering wheel and panicking Caroline yanked the wheel screeching “nobody is driving the tractor!” The tractor jolted and bounced and Lynn steadied it.

Caroline is thrilled to get out and take net off the bales of hay. I’m pretty sure her goal is to get as muddy as possible – and she is very good at it.

She tried to climb the hay…but had to stop when it was time to feed it.

After that it was a good day for a very long Sunday afternoon nap, especially since we lost an hour of sleep due to daylight savings time.

Wild child

After work I enjoy being outside. The girls do too.

Current they are playing with dirt, worms, sticks and a dog.

And it’s chaos.

Lots of yelling and mentions of “worm poop”

Very unladylike.

Yet very appropriate.

I am happy to have girls that are girly and wear flower crowns and ball gowns and love glitter.

I am also happy to have girls that play with worms and get actual dirt under their gnawed off fingernails. They smell of dog every evening when they come in.

Both things are good, and today I’m thankful they are both.

Well, until I start doing that laundry with ground in stains!

Have a good week friends.

Pot-head

Due to snow in the forecast, school was cancelled Friday. No snow arrived, but schools were closed.

I took some leave from work and Caroline helped me clean the house. Claire opted to go to daycare which was open.

I asked Caroline to unload the dishwasher, and went to scrub down the bathroom.

From the next room I hear her laugh. She yelled “Guess what Mom?!”

Me “Whattttt?”

(Because at this point she had wanted me to check/praise her progress a minimum of 6 times already on the dish unloading. Which I had dutifully done. But my enthusiasm for praise was waning)

Caroline cackled “I’m a POT-HEAD”

She had my attention now. That’s not a phrase she should know.

I scurried into the kitchen and saw this…

Whew!

She was talking about an actual POT on her HEAD….not making a reference to drug culture.

The innocence of children.

Have a good week friends.

Sunshine, sticks and dead mice

After Caroline and I had a classier than usual evening at a friend’s party then the theater last night it was back to life as usual today.

After early church we went with Lynn to feed hay to and check the cattle, and then watch a truck come to load out soybeans.

It was beautiful, sunny and nearly 70. A welcome change after last week’s single digit temps.

Caroline enjoyed balancing on a downed tree while Lynn speared hay to feed.

And then the girls discovered a dead mouse that had just met it’s demise under a falling round bale of hay.

Of course they had to poke at it with sticks, because they are kids.

Kids do weird stuff.

Here is an example of a “farm gate”. This one separates the cattle from the hay so they don’t trample it down. I don’t like gates like this. They are a hassle to open, and a bigger hassle to shut.

Then we took unsuccessful turns trying to use this highly technical tool to break ice in a water trough in a currently unused pasture.

I need to buy the man a hatchet or something.

Then another farm gate. These broken gates make me bonkers.

While waiting for more hay to be loaded Claire found a stick and chased Caroline and I with it, while laughing like a maniac.

Then they struggled over who got to have the stick until it broke in half.

Claire did not give up willingly. I got tickled and couldn’t stop laughing and that made it harder to take it away.

Since she was whipping it around fiercely Lynn got involved and took it away and threw it over the fence. That made her pout.

She got over the pouting when she sat on and pretended to drive the old tractor hooked to the grain auger.

I found a robin’s egg while waiting for the soybean truck. A dispute ensued over who got to hold it. It ended when Claire tripped over a dirt clod and smashed it in her hand.

After the truck arrived I took the girls home to nap while Lynn kept on working.

So that’s our Sunday. Have a good week friends.

Sunday Bulletin

I occasionally, on Sunday mornings wonder if it is worth it.

Do the kids hear anything at all in church? Aren’t they too little?

Wouldn’t my time be better spent catching up on sleep so I can be kinder?

We brush hair, tell them to brush their teeth at least 6 times, and as the mean parents we are we insist on them wearing a jacket. Then I try to get myself dressed while settling kid arguments as I hurriedly slurp down my coffee.

It can seem like a lot of hassle. ESPECIALLY since we go to the “early” 8:30am service.

I don’t like mornings.

This morning Caroline sat with my father-in-law. I heard them giggle several times in the row behind me. I heard candy wrappers rustle. Once, during a prayer Caroline said “R!” I turned around and gave her the stink eye. To which she smiled sweetly and batted her eyes.

After service was over she showed me what they had been working on so furiously.

With Papaw’s help she spent the service taking notes on the bulletin.

It made me grin. She definitely had a lot of help with those words thanks to her partner-in-crime…but it appears she IS paying attention.

That makes getting ready Sunday mornings easier to manage.

Have a good week friends.

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