Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Everyday life

Where do I even begin? I feel like I haven't written for days but it hasn't been that long at all, really. That just goes to show how frustrating things have been lately.

Nothing out of the ordinary has happened, really, unless you count Benjamin's unusual level of grumpiness. He's been yelling about stuff all day long. For a quick example, we were reading a bedtime story this evening (just one because my patience was running thin) and he noticed some cars in the very first picture that he really liked.

He was perfectly happy while I was reading that page but when it came time to turn the page he quickly became very upset.

"Car! Car!" he shrieked in my ear, throwing his body against the back of the couch, slamming his body into my shoulder, jumping up and down—you get the picture.

"Do you want to look at the cars a little while longer?" I asked. "There are so many of them! Let's count them: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven! Seven cars! What colours are they? There's a red one, and a blue one, and a green one, and a black one..." and you get the picture.

When we were finished discussing every detail about the cars, when we'd finished admiring their wheels and talking about which house each car belonged to, when we'd stroked them all and made vrooming noises, then I said, "Alright, let's see what's on the next page!" The girls were getting antsy to hear what happened next (it was a ghost story!).

So I turned the page and, "Car! Car! Car!" Benjamin fussed about those cars for several pages until I finally let him turn back to look at the cars again while I went to his room to dig up a board book we have featuring all sorts of trucks: bulldozers, forklifts, dump trucks, etc.

He flipped through that for a few minutes and sometimes paid attention to the story I was reading and sometimes still fussed about turning back to the first page to admire those cars parked up and down the street.


It was certainly grating to my nerves, but he does have a cute side to him as well. Rachel made this little bus in preschool a couple of years ago—it's wooden and she painted it pink—and Benjamin adores it. Last night he was holding it and driving it up and down the back of the couch.

"Do you like that bus?" Andrew asked him. "Give it a hug," Andrew teased, and Benjamin did. He gave it the most genuine, passionate hug in the world. You could see he really cared about that bus. I was almost jealous, really. It was the cutest thing I've seen in days (which might say more about how much of a terror Benjamin's been lately than about how cute he typically is—I don't know...is hugging buses a cute thing or was I just surprised that my little boy was getting his cute on at all?).

Speaking of buses, Rachel's was an hour late today. Today—of all days!—her bus dropped her off an hour later than usual. It's President's Day in the states (Family Day in (about half of) Canada) so even though we were actually going to school for once (snow make up day (actually—maybe it's all the snow days we have that account for my feelings of going-craziness)) my family was enjoying having the day off.

We weren't able to skype with my family yesterday so my mom suggested we call today. I said, "Sure! Rachel usually gets home from school around 4:00—we'll talk then!"

And then her bus was an hour late!

My poor little commuter was suck on her school bus for an hour and a half this afternoon! Her bus broke down so they had to wait for another school bus to finish its route so that it could pick up the remaining children on her bus.

Naturally, I didn't know any of this and just diligently waited by the bus stop wondering where she was. I think Benjamin and Miriam enjoyed their time outside but I was feeling a little anxious—between rounds of tag and too many times playing Ring-Around-the-Rosy—so I finally broke down and called the transportation hotline...at 4:40 (when her bus was already quite late), partly to assuage my feelings of impending doom (was there an accident?!) and partly to let my family know what was up.

"What's her bus number?" the lady asked.

"I don't even know," I said. "They recently changed it. It's 729 or something, coming from [her school]."

"Ah, 792," she said. "Yeah, her bus broke down. We have a bus on the way to pick them up. It should be another 10 to 20 minutes."

Awesome. By this time Benjamin has wet his pants because what should have been a five-minute trip to the mailbox has turned into an hour-and-five-minute romp around the yard. Did I mention we're working on potty training again?

Last night Benjamin, who'd just had a diaper change, looked up at me, flexed his little sphincters—which caused him to pee—and then belly laughed about it. I launched into a tirade. I said, "That's it. You're officially potty training. This is ridiculous. Why would you not tell me that you had to go potty? You had my attention. We were just in the bathroom—and you wouldn't go. All you had to do was say the word and I would have dropped everything and taken you to the bathroom. It is not funny."

Maybe the potty training thing is why I'm feeling frustrated today.

Or maybe it was the three-minute skype call (my mom had promised my grandma a date to the movies and needed to leave about the time Rachel's bus finally rolled in) with Benjamin screaming in my face (because he wanted to be on a stool in front of the computer, pounding on the keyboard) while I was holding the sound cord in place so the speakers would work (the sound has been a little wonky today).

It wasn't an all bad day, though. I did get in seven miles on the stationary bike while Miriam watched an episode of 'Daniel Tiger's Neighbourhood' and Benjamin napped. I told Miriam she could watch another episode while I took a shower if she promised to listen for Benjamin, to open the door if he cried, and to come get me.

I took my shower in peace (which is a rare thing) and even got dressed without being disturbed (an even rarer thing). When I emerged from the bedroom I found Miriam and Benjamin snuggled up on the bike seat (it's recumbent so the seat is rather generous) together, finishing an episode of Daniel Tiger. It was so sweet. And no one was into mischief. And no one pooped in the shower or opened the door on me or got soap in their eyes or left the bathroom and turned off the light on me or anything.

It's all about the little things.

For dinner we had breakfast (since I was out waiting for the bus until it was time to eat dinner). Andrew actually was the one to make it (I was working on an FHE lesson). We had grits, scrambled eggs, an assortment of fruit, bacon, and toast for the toast-lovers.

Rachel could live on a diet of cinnamon-and-sugar toast and nothing else. Miriam likes to follow in her footsteps. We go through a lot of bread, butter, cinnamon, and sugar in this house.

In the middle of dinner Rachel announced she was ready to make herself a piece of toast.

"I have to hurry!" she said. "The toaster's available. I don't want Miriam to take my place!"

We assured her that Miriam was no threat to the unoccupied toaster. Miriam was still obligated to eat her eggs and fruit before she could make a piece of toast. Rachel had finished making her toast before Miriam was even close to being ready but she did eventually finish her food and pop a piece of bread in the toaster.

While she was spreading her butter, Miriam tried to recite a little tongue twister (but got it all mixed up).

"Bread spreaders spread bed spready spreads on bread bed spreads," she sputtered.

Andrew looked at her like she was crazy.

"You know!" I said. "Bed spreaders spread spreads on beds. Bread spreaders spread butters on breads..."

"Dr. Heuss!" Andrew exclaimed.

"Dr. Heuss?" Rachel giggled.

"Yeah, he, uh, travels through time and space rhyming everything," Andrew fudged.

"And solving medical mysteries!" I added.

The kids didn't think it was quite as funny as Andrew and I found it. We sure laughed a lot. It's like Drs. Seuss, Who, and House combined into one character. That would be a charming person to meet (or perhaps not-so charming).

For family night I did a spotlight on the life of one of Andrew's ancestors: Lawrence (Axel Lauritz Theodor) Anderson. We looked at where Sweden was on the map, we measured out a 14x16 foot cabin in the living room/kitchen, and then I went to show everyone how Caroline Bjorkman's midwife was Mrs. Robert Lindsay (not sure which wife—yay polygamy) and how later one of Robert Lindsay's children would marry one of Lawrence Anderson's children. AND THEN...I noticed that Lawrence's wife is listed as Augusta Mathilda Sundstrom in our family tree (on familysearch).

It's totally possible I just presented our family history all wrong! 

Both women are listed as mothers to Lawrence Albert Anderson (or at least both women have a son named Lawrence Albert Anderson listed under their name). Which line do we come through? I don't know!

I'm thinking it's Caroline Bjorkman because that name just seems to be more familiar to my ears and also because Lawrence Jr. was born in 1883 and this Augusta was married to Lawrence Sr. in 1886—so how could she be his mother if she married his father when he was three years old? But it also says they were married in Sweden, which doesn't make sense because Lawrence was only 12/13 when he immigrated to Utah. He got married in Utah for sure.

Anyway, is it Caroline or Augusta? We'll find out (I emailed Karen to ask).

In other funny business, we had a primary meeting last night and at the very end we played Family Feud. I made up the survey and sent it out to the teachers, asking questions such as, "What is the #1 item you always need for your classroom?" (chalk, crayons, paper, etc.) and "What is your favourite primary song?"

Another member of our presidency was in charge of running the game when the time came. She recently had a baby and has been absent from our presidency meetings until recently. We told her she could sit this board meeting out but she insisted she wanted a job to do, so we gave her the game.

She asked the question, "What is the #1 game played in primary?" and started getting answers like jeopardy, hangman, and duck-duck-goose. Then one teacher raised her hand and guessed, "Matching games?"

"Oh! Is that what this means?" our game host gasped. "One of the answers we got said 'matches.' This means, like, matching two things together—like memory? Oh, I'm so glad to hear that! This whole time I was thinking some teacher was bringing matches for their kids to play with and I was like, 'I'm pretty sure that's against policy!' I need to get some more sleep or something..."

Baby-induced sleep deprivation is certainly doing a number on her brain. I can totally relate. But it sure was funny!

Would you believe I have even more stories to tell? It's been only two days since I last wrote and it seems like so much—and also nothing—has happened.

1 comment:

  1. I feel your pain over Benjamin. Natalie now screams and throws tantrums over every little thing. They are adorable but hard too. Natalie unfortunately has no words either and isn't taking to sign very well. Hope potty training goes well! I have to gear up for that one for about a year (I hate potty training). :)

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