Monday, October 27, 2008

Don't Worry, Be Happy

The other day I was outside in the blazing middle of the afternoon, hanging out laundry to dry as fast as I possibly could on the drying rack up on our balcony. Bethy was at school, and Thomas was happily playing trains inside. I had the sliding glass door closed, since the hot air enters very quickly. You can always tell if a door or window is open anywhere in the house.

Sometime between my hanging up the socks and picking up the hamper to bring inside, Thomas stealthily locked the door.

This was a bad thing. You can imagine. Thomas thought it a great game, running back and forth between the two glass doors to the balcony, making faces, peek-a-boo-ing, giggling and watching Mommy sweat.

Stay calm, I told myself, stay calm. Don't scare him away. Though it is very easy to pull down the handle and lock the door, it is not so easy to push it back up to unlock it. I began to calmly (outwardly) demonstrate what he needed to do to unlock the door. He put his little hands on the glass and pushed and pushed, pulled on the handle, tried his darndest, and then, like any two-year-old, lost interest.

OK, I thought, he'll come back. I pulled a almost-wet towel back off the rack and put it on my head, and sat down in the shade from the clothes still on the dryer rack. The concrete of the balcony was radiating heat, even in the shade. I sat there, keeping an eye on Thomas, who was at least staying close, and pondered my choices as the minutes ticked by and the sweat trickled down my neck and legs.

Kid in, Mommy out. Mommy feeling increasingly like a rotisserie chicken.

Even if I went Mommy extreme and dropped off the balcony, (in bare feet, of course), some 15-20 feet up, I'd still be locked out in our backyard. Even if I did that, scaled the garden wall and went around to our front door I'd still be locked out. Not good.

Inside, Thomas had discovered that I'd taken the protective cover off the 220 volt outlet and plugged in (but thankfully not turned on) the iron. He began to fiddle with what he calls the "ouchlet".

REALLY not good!!!

Pound pound pound went Mommy on the glass door.

Ah! A new wonderful game. Thomas abandoned the ouchlet for Mommy again, and I entreated him anew to push the handle up, please, please baby push the handle up.

Finally, after many tries, he did.

For locking Mommy out and letting her back in he got his choice of lollypops. ("Bop-bops") Hopefully he'll only get the idea that he's a good boy for listening!

Mommy will never again close the door all the way while she's outside. Lesson learned.

Thomas further distinguished himself by jumping on the glass of a still-wrapped 12"x35" frame from IKEA, placing it on the floor and leaping with abandon, ker-smash. Really a wonderful game; fortunately for him the nice folks at IKEA had wrapped it well enough that none of the broken glass penetrated the plastic wrapping and his little feet.

It's still a nice frame. You never heard Mike bellow as he did when he realised what Thomas was up to. Too late, the kid was already airborne.

Such a boy!

"What happen?" he said beguilingly, looking down at the shattered glass crunching beneath his feet in the millisecond before he was swooped up.

To give both candidates equal time, here is an "interview" that I did with Bethy. Thanks to our friend Cheyenne in Olympia, WA for the idea. You can read her interview with her 5-year old daughter here:

1. What is something mom always says to you? You need to get ready for school and eat breakfast.

2. What makes mom happy? Cards with a picture of a dragonfly like the one I drew for you.

3. What makes mom sad? Me not listening. (giggles when I tell her that was a good answer).

4. How does your mom make you laugh? Tickling. Remember when you did "I'm going to get you and THROW you on the ground and tickle you?"

5. What was your mom like as a child? I know. She was good. (For the record, I have not told her this!)

6. How old is your mom? Um, I don't know. Give me a hint. (Do you think I'm 10, 20, 30, 40, 50?) You're definitely not 40 because Daddy is 40. You're 20!

7. How tall is your mom? Very tall. Taller than me.

8. What is her favorite thing to do? Read. Play with her kids, me and my brother, play with the family.

9. What does your mom do when you are not around? You play with Thomas and give him a nap and lunch and take care of him and go to the store. When we're at Grandma's house(!) and Thomas is with Grandma too you go do things with Daddy (What kind of things?) Fun things, and we do fun things too, but with Grandma.

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for? Winning a race!

11. What is your mom really good at? Running. You love to run. And reading me a story.

12. What is your mom not so good at? That's hard. (good answer, but came back to it). Reading in the dark when there's no light, and she's not so good at buying things. (can you explain that?) She sometimes doesn't have enough money to buy things.

13. What does your mom do for her job? A doctor. Remember you go to a work back at home and it's a doctor place? You work in whatever that's called and that's where I like to go.

14. What is your mom’s favorite food? Mushrooms. (OK, so I was thinking chocolate).

15. What makes you proud of your mom? What does that mean? (Something Mom does that makes you feel good inside) I like it when she reminds me to wear my clothes and go to school and reads me stories... (This monologue went on and on and on...)

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be? Elastigirl from the Incredibles.( the best fictional Mom EVER!) Dash too, that's a really good idea. He's a fast runner too.

17. What do you and your mom do together? We watch the Incredibles together, play games like tickle.

18. How are you and your mom the same? Curly hair!

19. How are you and your mom different? Um, um, (looking me over), you have bigger feet.

20. How do you know your mom loves you? Because she always tells me. (Awwwwwwww.)


halfbreed said...


i love that interview idea... though the girls are a bit older, i think it would be an interesting one to try out on both of them.

goodness mom... like i said... mini-stroke!! glad you got inside.

Natalie said...

You'll have to do it separately so that you can compare your girls' answers. I seriously didn't think I was going to get such a good review from Bethy, as she had called me "stupid and mean" an hour before. That I get a good rating overall makes this Mommy very happy!

Will & Cheyenne said...

You need to have a sitcom made of your life! Cute interview!