Thursday, August 21, 2014

Those Damn Four Letter Words!

Now that we are back to school, we are doing our best to get into the routine in the morning.  Usually the girls are good the first week and then they backslide in the subsequent weeks, but it has been a rush every morning since Monday.  I'm thinking we may need to start at 5AM soon.

Yesterday morning, the girls were getting ready to brush their teeth when Georgia brought me her toothbrush and said,

"I need a new toothbrush."

"Ok," I said, " I will get you new one the next time I'm at Target."  Apparently she meant she wanted a new tooth brush right THEN.

"Look at this one!" She yelled.  "It's all messed up." She help it for me to examine.

"Yeah, that's because you always chew on it," I explained.

"But it's all pushed down!" She protested.

"Georgia, I see that," I told her.  "Stop chewing on it and they won't get like that anymore."

"But I need a new one, Mommy!!"

"Listen," I said, summoning the very little patience I had at that point.  "You have to leave for school in 10 minutes.  Can I get you a new toothbrush and have you brush your teeth in that time?"

"No," she admitted.

"Then I will get you a new one today at Target and you will have it for tomorrow, OK?"

"Ooookkaayyy..." she finally agreed.

She huffed her way back to the bathroom, aggravated with me.   Lana was already in there brushing her teeth and Georgia wanted to let Lana know,

"I am so PISSED OFF right now!!!"

As a parent, when you hear your kid say a bad word a few things happen.  First you think-did I just hear her say that?  Then when you realize that is exactly what you heard you think-just where in the HELL did she hear that FUCKING word?  Then you realize you just answered your own question.  Lastly, you fight the urge to just start laughing, because really, it is pretty damn funny when you hear a six your old say a bad word, especially in such a perfect context.  However, I try to be a good parent and although I apparently let bad words fly out of my mouth for them to hear from time to time, I don't want them saying those words themselves.  I know, I know-do as I say blah blah.  But sometimes I like to swear and I forget that they might be listening to me.  I'm working on it, OK!  

From the living room I yelled, "Georgia!  What did you just say??!"

"Ummmm....." was all I heard from her.  She knew she was busted and wasn't sure how to back out of it.  I walked in to the bathroom and asked her again.  

"Nothing..." she tried.  

"Oh no!" I told her.  "You said a bad word.  Where did you hear that?"

"From you," she replied without missing a beat.  She couldn't have even thought about it for a minute?  Give the illusion she may have heard it from another source?  I know it's something I say, but never TO the girls.   I guess they overhear more of what I say than I thought. OK!  I KNOW!  STOP LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT!  Anyway....

It was at this point Andy heard us and wanted to know what she said. I marched her into our bathroom where he was shaving and made her repeat it.  It was not something she did immediately, because she knew she was in trouble and once Daddy knew, she was afraid it would be more.  She repeated it for Andy, in a more quiet less pissed off kind of way.  Andy feigned shock with a, 

"Georgia!  We don't say those words!"

"I know!" She told him and then ran back to the bathroom to finish getting ready. 

Fortunately for her we let it go this time with a warning.  She was worried enough from me catching her to most likely not do it again, so I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt.  I did let tell her that if she said a bad word again there would be a punishment, and it would be severe.  Like sucking on a bar of soap.  Okay not really, but I did say that. Does anyone even do that anymore?  Seems kind of archaic.  I'm sure I will just take dessert away, which for her might as well mean I've taken away food for a week.  That will probably just piss her off even more.  

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Bug Invasion

A few weeks ago Andy and I were sitting on the couch after everyone had gone to bed chatting when he looked up at the wall behind me and said,

"What the hell is THAT?"

I turned around to find the biggest, weirdest, green bug crawling slowly toward the ceiling.  It wasn't moving fast and it didn't look like a flying variety of bug.  Andy and I stood there in our living room staring at it and assessing how we were going to get rid of it, and trying to figure out what the hell it was.  I thought it looked like a praying mantis, but Andy pointed out it didn't have the front legs for a praying mantis.  He thought maybe a grasshopper, but if it was, it was the biggest one I'd ever seen.  Plus he was crawling and not hopping.  Either way, we couldn't leave it there, so what to do?

Squish it?  No way.  It was too big and it would have made a gross mess.  Suck it up in the dust buster?  Andy thought it was to big for that too.  Plus I didn't really want to kill it, because I got the feeling he was kinda harmless.   Then it was starting to become out of our reach as it made it to the ceiling, so we opted for trapping it.  I found a tall plastic cut to put over top of it to trap it and try to get it inside.  I handed it to my very brave husband who looked at me and said,

"I'M doing this??"

Um YEAH! Okay, I love my husband very much.  He is a great provider, wonderful father and he make me laugh all the time.  But here's the thing about my husband and bugs,  he is a bit of do I put this delicately?  Well, he's a pussy when it comes to bugs.  Always has been.  He hates how they squish when you kill them.  He will kill a fly, no problem, but crawling bugs and spiders.  Forget it.  I don't need him for the flys though, because we have a cat who doesn't let a fly live more than five minutes in our house.  For the most part I don't kill spiders, but pick them up in  tissue and let them free outside.  Unless they're really big, then they might be goners.  Other crawling bugs I usually squish, but yeah, it's the mommy show when it comes to bug wrangling/killing in this house.  However this was one bug I was not touching.  I carried and birthed three kids.  He could trap one weird giant green bug.  I felt that was fair.

"Yes,  you're doing this," I told him.

"But my back...if I step on the couch wrong or something what if my back  goes out?" He was trying to make excuses and I wasn't buying.

"You'll be fine! Now man up and get the damn bug!" I encouraged.

So he reluctantly stood on the couch and put the cup over the strange insect.  It immediately did what we wanted and crawled inside the cup.  Andy took a magazine and placed it on top so he couldn't escape, or fly if he could.  Then we looked at it for a few minutes trying to figure out what kind of bug it was.  Neither of us knew.  It was some weird hybrid praying mantis, grasshopper looking thing.  Andy took it outside and let him free in the front yard to go live again and invade a neighbors house perhaps.  

The next morning I was getting the girls ready for swim lessons.  My in-laws were here and I was telling them our creepy bug story from the night before.  The girls were listening while I was describing the bug and Georgia all of a sudden piped up with,

"Oh!  That's a leaf bug!"

Uh-huh.  Okay cute little girl.  Suuuureee it was green leaf bug.  I thought for sure this was something she made up, especially because she is really good at making things up. 

"Oh, I'm not sure what it was Georgia," I told her.

"It WAS Mommy!  It was a leaf bug!" She insisted.

Then Lana asked, "What did it look like again?"

"Kind of like a praying mantis, but it had long antenna..."

"Oh yeah," Lana said very sure of herself.  "That was a leaf bug."

"What?  Are you guys making up a name for bugs now?" I asked.

"No!  Dat's what it is!  I've seen it at school," said Georgia.

"Yeah, there was one on our wagon one time too," Lana informed me.  

If only there were some device to look up things like "leaf bug" and see if they were indeed correct...Good thing my father in law was there, because a few taps on his phone and he found the exact bug that invaded our house.  Behold!  The leaf bug!  That is the actual name.  

This looks like  the one we found, but if you google leaf bug, there are a whole slew of weird looking ones out there.  You can see why I wasn't going anywhere near that thing.  

So I learned two things that day.  One-I learned about a new insect I had no idea existed, and two-Age 6.  Age 6 is the age when your kids start to become smarter than you are.  Fan-freaking-tastic.  

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Gene That Skipped A Generation

I like to have a neat and clean house.  I, however, do  not like to do things that I have to do to keep that house neat and clean, yet I do it anyway.  You see I was raised by Ann Taylor.  A woman who not only likes things to be neat, clean and orderly, but ENJOYS doing the cleaning and the organizing.  Yeah.  I know.  Crazy, right?

 My mother LOVES to clean.  I mean she really does.  When she's mad, she cleans, when she's nervous she cleans, when she's excited or happy...well you get where I'm going here.  It's her meditation of sorts.  We always like to hear the story of how she was up in the middle of the night before she and my dad got married scrubbing the floors of her mother's house. See what I mean? 

 When she and my dad came for Christmas this past year, I gave her the green light to clean out whatever she wanted, while Andy and I went to get massages.  You would have thought I handed her a giant Publisher's Clearing House check.  She was so excited.  And here is the even crazier part.  She is so damn fast.  In the three hours Andy and I were gone, she had cleaned out my pantry, kitchen drawers, cabinets in the bathroom and the laundry room and still had time to make a home cooked meal with pie for dessert, while doing a fun craft with the girls.  THREE HOURS!!  I can't even change all the sheets on the beds in that amount of time!  I just don't get it.  I swear there is a clone of her she hides somewhere. 

It is unfortunate that I did not get this love for cleaning gene.  I would rather give birth again than clean out someone else's kitchen, let alone my own.  I'm assuming it skips a generation, because as far as I know, my sisters are not so fond of doing the actual work it takes to get things to where they like them to be either.  We all bitch about cleaning and clutter on a daily basis.  There is one girl, however, who does seem to be a little more like her Nona, (my mom)  in my house.  My little Lana.

The day that my mom cleaned out all of those things in my house, Lana was right there to help her out.  WILLINGLY.  One of Lana's favorite things to do is clean out her closet.  I'm not kidding.  She will come to me on a random Thursday afternoon and ask if she can clean out her closet.  Ummmm....let me think about that a minute....Hells yeah!  Okay well maybe I leave the "hell" part out but you get it.  And she will not just reorganize things.  No, no.  She will take every last shoe out of that closet, dust bust any dirt and yuckiness left behind and put them all back in very neat pairs and rows.  Amazing.  Again -ALL ON HER OWN.  Now this is not something I have ever taught her or she's learned from her big sister.  Definitely not from Sonya.  Sonya is completely opposite.  Sonya hates to clean and organize and to be quite honest, doesn't understand why that pile of papers building on her desk since last August just can't stay there.  What?  It's her desk.  Those papers aren't bothering anyone. Sometimes she doesn't even see the clutter and mess I point out to her in her room.  

You think I'm exaggerating?  The child is thisclose to the Hoarders people coming in and taking over her room.  I finally decided at the beginning of the summer to try and put a stop to it.  As much as I wanted to be on TV at one point in my life, I don't want it to be because my daughter can't leave her apartment due to the newspapers piled up in front of her door.   I knew I had to teach her how to clean things out, and not just do it for her like I have in the past.  I had to teach her the ways of Ann Taylor, since she wasn't born with it like her sister. 

I set aside a day for us to clean out her room at the beginning of June.   Silly me thought it would take only a day to clean her entire room.  I had forgotten just how much crap she keeps.  It ended up taking us over a two week period.  Not every day mind you, but a day here and there.  I would say 4 1/2 days total.  I had to break it up for her, because you would have thought I told her, "Time to hang you upside down by your toenails for four hours!" the way she moaned and carried on.  Everyday we cleaned out a  different part of the room.  Bookshelves were one day, closet and under the bed another, and the desk needed a full day of love.  In the end we had three garbage bags of crap and two of things to be given away.  The good part was she LIKED  how her room looked after all was said and done.  She loved how neat it was and how everything had a place.  It was something she begrudgingly admitted to me of course, but admitted nonetheless.  Of course that did not stop her from immediately not putting things away in the right place just two days later.  Baby steps.  

Lana, however, is the kid who had a breakdown three weeks ago, because her clothes drawers were a mess and GG doesn't keep them neat after she fixes them and how is she supposed to put clothes away when they are always messy and what's the point of fixing it if GG messes them up again???  This was the exact thing she said to me.  Oh do I feel her pain.  Yet she turned around and organized them again anyway.  

So on Monday this week I told the girls we were cleaning the house.  My in-laws were coming on Tuesday and I've been wanting to clean out Lana and Georgia's room this summer, but just haven't had time.  No surprise since this is the first you're hearing from me in about a month.  Sonya immediately started whining and complaining, because she didn't want to.  Her desk was spiraling out of control again, but since we had just recently cleaned everything out, I knew it wouldn't take long to get it back to where it was.  Lana was excited and ready to get started.  Georgia falls somewhere in the middle right now.  She wants to be with Lana on this because they are so close, but she's not much for the hard work so she chose to pick a fight with Lana instead.  I ended up banning her from the room so we could get some work done.  She kinda got out of doing most of the work, which at this juncture was fine with me.  I will work on her next summer.   

Lana helped me clean out the toy box and then did the entire closet as she always does.  After her initial complaint fest, Sonya went into her room and did her desk all on her own.  She was even proud of it! It looks like I might have taught her something useful!  Those are always great moments when you realize that they took something from what you were trying to teach them.  I was so proud of her. I'm also so grateful that I have Lana who won't fight me on doing these things and in fact enjoys them.  

Later that night at dinner I commended everyone on the great job they did helping me out that day.  I said how much I appreciated them chipping in to do all that work, how great everything looked, and how impressed their grandparents would be.   Then I said something to Sonya about it not being all that bad to do the work if the final product looks so good like her clean desk.  She admitted I was right, but also said she still hated doing it.  

"I'm not like Lana, mom," she told me.  "She LIKES to do that stuff.  Lana has the gift of Nona."

Yes, I guess she does have the gift of Nona.  Which is good news for me because I can look forward to organized kitchen cabinets and closets in just a few short years without having to do the work myself.  And with the way Lana gets angry and upset, she may just have a career in cleaning out other people's crap.  Thanks for passing on your "gift" to my daughter mom!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Her Idea of Bad

Last weekend we were all in the car coming back from somewhere.  Don't ask me-I can't remember those details.  Anyway, we passed by a billboard for that new movie Tammy coming out in a couple weeks.  Melissa McCarthy plays the main character-I'm assuming Tammy.  Georgia read the name of the movie out loud as we drove by, and Andy kind of scoffed at the movie.  He said something about her being okay in small doses like in Bridesmaids, but that she's not good a lot of the time.  Meaning-she does the same thing over and over again and to carry a whole film and then multiple films playing the same character just gets old.  I can't say I disagree with him.  However, from the back seat all Lana heard him say was that she wasn't good.  Lana was quick to qualify what he meant by "not good."

"You mean like she smokes?" She asked him.

"No, Lana.  I...." Andy didn't have time to answer because Lana jumped in with.

"Ooooh, like she kills people," she said.  

"No. Lana.  She..." and then we started laughing.  Because really my daughter's idea of someone who is not good is either they smoke, or they kill people.  The jump from one to the other is what I found most amusing.  Eventually we explained that he meant she wasn't good in the movie, but I'm pretty certain she still thinks Melissa McCarthy smokes while killing people.  Sorry Melissa.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Aloha (One Month Later)

I feel like lately my life have been in a constant state of go, with about six hours of sleep.  Because if I don’t at least get those six hours, the go is going to completely stop.  That is why I have slacked on my writing the past six months or so and I hate it.  I love to write and love to tell the stories about the girls, but the constant state of having something to do makes it hard for me to find the time.  It's summer break now, which I though meant I'd have more time to write but as it turns out, no.  I do not.  In the two weeks that the girls have been out of school we have gone to the Natural History Museum, the beach- twice,  the zoo, the farm to pick strawberries and other produce, and the Federal Reserve.  A field trip we took with Sonya's girl scout troop where I saw more money than I will ever know in ten lifetimes.  At one point I was trying to figure out who could help me with the biggest bank heist ever.  Turns out I don't have those kind of people in my life.  I digress.  So finally after the first two weeks of school being nonstop, I have all three girls in day camp this week until 1pm and I have time to poop in peace, both in writing and well, for real.  

I have a build up of stories though, so let's just go back to the beginning of May when we did get a short respite from all the craziness of our life in the form of a trip to Maui.  Yes that's in Hawaii.   And yes, it was just as amazing as you imagine  it to be.  And yes there were some antics along the way.  Where to start?

Well, let’s start with the fact that we would never have gone on vacation in the middle of May when we had to pull the girls out of school by choice.  However, one of Andy’s best friends and Godfather to Georgia, Jamie, was getting married.  He and his fiance, Monique, decided on a destination wedding in Maui.  I think I did mention them getting married when I talked about the fact that Georgia was going to be the flower girl and also Andy was officiating.  This is now the third wedding he’s done.  It’s quite the little side business he’s got going.  Except for the not getting paid part.  But we get to go to some awesome weddings in some great places and this one was the best.  I mean you can’t really beat Hawaii.  No offense to the other 2 weddings he's done.  So this wasn’t just a wedding we were invited to, but one my family was an essential part of.  Oh darn, we were going to HAVE to go to Maui.  What bad luck for us.  

Since we were going during the school year, I had to talk to all of the girls’ teachers and the principal to let them know why they were going to be gone.  They were all excited for us.  I know the district will not be when I get that nasty-“your kids have six unexcused absences” letter, but I don’t really care about them.  They are just mad because they did’t get their money for my 3 kids for those 6 days.  Oh well.  

As fantastic as Hawaii is, the time change is hard to get a grip on for some reason.  We go back east from time to time and don’t seem to have a problem when we go that direction, but I knew we were in for fun time when Georgia came into our room the first day we were there at FOUR AM and said,

“Mommy?  Is it time to get up?”

Well yes if we were in Burbank where it is 7AM but not here where the sun isn’t even thinking of breaking yet.  I explained to her that she couldn’t get up until it started getting light out.  That would buy me at least two hours right?  Sure, if you're talking to a 12 year old, but not at 5.  For the next two hours she came to my bed wide awake to tell me, "I need a drink of water, I have to pee, I think it's starting to get light outside- (it wasn't), Can I watch TV?"  So yeah.  Sleeping was not happening past four.  Around 5:45 we were just beginning to see some light from outside and Georgia took that as her cue.  She went around and opened every blind in the room yelling, 

"It's morning! It's morning!"  

It was going to be a long day.  

That first day we took it easy and hung out at the beach that was literally, 100 steps from where we slept.  It was awesome.  It was a gorgeous day and we just relaxed swam, ate, and drank happy hour beach bar Mai Tais.  Well I did anyway.  

The view from our room.

The next day we decided to go to the volcano on the island.  Most people get up at 2am and drive up the volcano to watch the sun rise.  This was something Andy and I had done 10 years ago when we were childless.  We weren't going to punish ourselves with that adventure this time though.  No instead we figured we would just drive up, look a the crater, take some pictures and be done.  Easy peasy.  Sure, it would have been had Andy not thrown out his back 20 minutes before we were going to leave. 

We thought about not going at all, but Andy was determined that this was his vacation and it wasn't going to get ruined by his faulty back.  So he took some muscle relaxers and we decided I would just drive.  Totally fine, sure.  Except have you ever driven on a windy, narrow, the cliff drops off below you, moutain road? Yeah I haven't done too many of those and for good reason.  They FREAK ME OUT.  Not to mention the fact I was driving a rental jeep, a car I wasn't even the least bit comfortable in.  I was fairly certain our death was imminent.  I felt bad that Jamie and Monique's wedding would be overshadowed by the tragedy of the entire Dadekian family falling off of the volcano.  But somehow we made it to the top even if it was only going 20mph.  We got out of the car, Andy feeling completely stiff, Lana a bit green from car sickness, me deep breathing out my anxiety and the other 2 completely oblivious.  

It was beautiful when we got to the top and the girls enjoyed the volcano crater with the exception of Lana who wanted to see a "real" volcano, which meant one that was actually erupting.  We tried to explain to her how bad it would be if this one were erupting, but she would have none of it and continued to whine for about 10 minutes about her unhappiness. 
At the crater. Picture courtesy of Georgia.

 After a few pictures we decided we were done and ready to head back down.  Crap.  I had to drive down.

Driving down was so much more hellacious than driving up, for a few reasons.  First, you're going down which means pretty much riding the break the whole way unless you want to fly off a cliff.  Second, they have this great adventure in Hawaii where you take a tour and go look at the volcano and then bike down the whole thing!  Something I might have considered in my younger years, but I don't think you could pay me to do it now.  Biking down that narrow steepness and having to make sure you don't get hit by some idiot driving down like me? No thanks.  Especially when you add number three in-the fog.  The fog that was so foggy I couldn't see the fog two feet in front of me.  It was just plain old scary.  Andy had been encouraging me on the drive up and started to on the drive down.  I guess I should mention I am not the main driver in the family.  Whenever we go somewhere together he always drives and it's the way both of us like it.  Sometimes, when I do have to be the driver in the car with him, I feel like I'm 15 again and my dad is telling me what to do.  So this was extra fun for both of us.  

When we got to the part where there was fog AND bikers, I had no idea what the hell to do.  I was constantly turning a corner, and didn't want to get over in the other lane to pass the bikers for fear of being hit head on by a car coming out of the pea soup fog.  So I just passed the bikers getting really close to them but not to close.  I guess Andy thought it was to close and yelled at me at one point, 

"You're too close!! You're too close!  You can't pass them on a turn!!"

To which I yelled,

"If I don't pass them on a turn, I'm not going to be able to pass them at ALL!!!!"

I'm happy to say we made it out of the fog and off the volcano with no bodily injury to others or anyone in our car.  Phew! I did sort of feel accomplished later, like I had faced a fear, so that was good.  The great news was we made it back to the beach by 3pm, just in time for my Mai Tais.

The rest of the week wasn't quite as stressful.  We did the Road to Hana the next day, after which point we decided we were done with the sightseeing.  Don't get me wrong, it's a gorgeous drive, but being in the car with the girls right next to each other for 2 full days had led to a handful of fights between them and Andy and I were on the verge of throwing them in to the crater of the volcano.   We decided that we were going to beach and pool it for the rest of the trip, which the exception of the wedding festivities.  And that's just what we did. Oh!  We did go to a Luau one night too, which was also a lot of fun.  Typical Hawaiian tourist stuff, but a great time.  

Hike through the rainforest on The Road to Hana.

At a Waterfall off the Road to Hana.  This was moments before Georgia FREAKED out about a lobster like thing I pointed out that was in the water.  That's a story for another post.

Learning about items used in the Hula.

Learning the Hula

I swear that is not a backdrop, but the real sky and water.  So amazing!

The wedding was beautiful and Andy did a great job with the ceremony.  Georgia was absolutely adorable and took her job so seriously.  She even got her hair done and looked like she came straight out of Mad Men.  She loved all the attention she was getting all day and at one point Andy had to remind her that it wasn't her day, but Monique's.  That didn't stop her from enjoying all the adoration she was getting from all the bridesmaids and party guests though.  

Georgia and her "Mad Men" hairdo.
Oh and then there was this that Monique gave Georgia as her gift for being in the wedding.  Needless to say I cried.

Andy marrying the happy couple. Picture courtesy of Sonya.
After the ceremony.

Our last full day we were there, it was supposed to rain all day.  Something we were dreading would happen.  So in the morning we went into town to buy some souvenirs.  By the time we got back to the hotel all of the angry dark clouds were north of us and we had nothing but sun.  So we spent the rest of the day on the beach.  We stayed all the way until sunset, because even though the weather was nice the whole time we were there, the sunsets always got lost in some lower clouds.  Not this time though.  It was the prettiest one I've ever seen.  I took a bunch of pictures and captured what has now become my favorite picture ever.  (see below)

Wine in a plastic tumbler at sunset.  Don't get better than that!

My favorite picture of all time.  Sonya and Andy-sunset chat. 

It was an amazing week in a beautiful place.  I love that I got to go there and spend that time with my family and not worry about cooking, cleaning, PTA, Girl Scouts, or even working out.  I let it all go.  I got to be fun mommy because I could.  When we were trying to decide months back  if we were going to be able to pay for this trip I told Andy we should just do it.  Yes, it will be expensive and no we will not be able to do any other trips this year or do anything new to the house, BUT we will be making memories together as a family.  Something that can never be taken away.  Money will always come and go, and taking this trip would hurt a bit financially, but not break us.  You know what?  It was all completely worth it.  Ten fold.

Thank you Jamie and Monique for having your wedding in a beautiful place and making us a big part of it.  All the best to you for many many years to come!

Fun times at the beach!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Car Convos With Georgia

I decided to take Georgia out to lunch today for one last time, just the two of us.  We only have three more days of Kindergarten left and then she will be full day school with her sisters next year.  My lunch buddy will be gone. I will be a mixture of depressed and giddy, as only a mother understands.

On the drive to the restaurant this afternoon, there were about five high school age boys crossing the street, right in the middle of the street.  The crosswalk was only about 100 feet up, but you know at 16 you can't be bothered by rules.  

So there they were walking amongst cars and there were the cars trying not to hit one of them, but really wanting to for their stupidity.  From the back seat Georgia observed the whole scene and said,

"Dos boys just ran acrosth the sthreet!"

"I know.  That's not very smart, huh?" I told her.

"I think it's very sthmart," she replied.

Wait-huh?  Did she not get this?

"Oh no, honey, it really isn't, because see they could get hit by one of these cars," I pointed out to her.

Then with all the annoyance she could muster she said, "Um hello! I know that! That wasth stharcastic mom!" 

Who replaced my sweet little kindergartner with a high schooler?  That was not cool.  NOT cool I say!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Losing A Little Bit of Childhood Magic

There comes a time with every kid when they really start to question whether the Easter bunny, Tooth fairy and the big guy-Santa are real.  I remember being about 7 or 8 when I realized the Easter Bunny and Tooth fairy weren't real, but held on to the idea of Santa until 9 or 10.  Sonya is 9 1/2.  The difference between us though is I never questioned my mom or dad about it, because I never wanted the answer.  As far as my mom knows I still believe in Santa.  Sonya, on the other hand, has always been a little to curious for her own good.  

I remember last year after St. Patrick's Day when the "leprechauns" came to our house, Sonya asked me then if I had done the antics she and her sisters thought the leprechauns had done.  I, of course denied it.  Over the year though, she started questioning me about other things, like the tooth fairy and the Easter Bunny.  The Elf on the Shelf in December brought on a constant line of questioning- "Are you moving it?", "Is it really you putting him places?", "Does he really go anywhere?"  She was always suspicious and I just did my best to avoid her questions so as not to blatantly lie to her.  Then she asked the big one, "Are you Santa Clause?"

To which I answered, "Do I look like a fat man in a red suit with a beard?"

"Well, no," she replied.

"Then I guess I'm not Santa," I told her.  See, not lying, just avoiding.  

I was getting tired of avoiding though, and to be honest I hated that she kept asking me in front of her little sisters.  I mean it's one thing for her to get it and know, but they are still little and I'm not ready for them ALL to not believe.  I decided at some point this year we would have to talk about it, but I just wasn't sure when.  Then my opportunity came one night a couple of weeks ago when we were eating dinner.  I'm not sure what brought it up or why.  Perhaps it was talk of the Tooth fairy since they each had a lose tooth.  All I remember is Sonya saying again,

"Are you the leprechauns and the tooth fairy?"

I think I gave some sort of vague, "I don't know why you would think that," kind of answer.   I tried to change the subject, but she persisted and mentioned something about me maybe being Santa and Georgia said to Sonya, 

"Mommy isn't Sthanta!!"  Then she whipped her head over to me and said, "Are you??"

That was it.  I had to talk to Sonya about this.  I couldn't let the little girls lose their magic yet, even though Sonya's was all but snuffed out.  So after I put Lana and Georgia to bed that night I called Sonya into the kitchen. 

"Come here I want to talk to you for a second," I said.

"Oookkkaayy..." she was hesitant.  

"So you keep asking about the leprechauns and tooth fairy." I said.

"Yeah," she said.

"Why?" I asked.

She shrugged her shoulders, "Because I think it might be you doing it. Are you?" 

"What do you think?" I put it back to her.

"I'm not sure, I think you might be.  Are you??"

I sighed and looked at her, "Well, yes."  

"You ARE??!" She was a little upset.

"You knew that already, Sonya.  Isn't that why you kept asking?" I said to her.

"Yeah, I guess.  Wait! Ooohhh,  You are??"  

Then a little light went off in her head,  "Wait! Are you Santa too?"

Well, I certainly wasn't going to say "Those other silly things are totally made up, but the jolly guy who goes around the world, breaks into houses just to leave presents to good kids, he's totally real!" 

So I just gave her a "you already know the answer to this one too" look.  

"You're Santa?!" She said a bit shocked.  Then, then she started crying.  

It was around then that my heart fell out of my chest and shattered into a million little pieces right next to the place where I smashed my daughters.  I'm still trying to find a few missing pieces.  

"You are?!" She said again through tears.

"I'm sorry girlie," I said hugging her.  I explained to her that doing all those things when she was little was fun for everyone.  After all, didn't she have fun believing in Santa and the Tooth fairy?  She admitted she did.  I found a great letter a mom had written to her daughter when she asked about Santa.  I thought the mom's response was perfect and had saved it for this occasion.  I had Sonya read it hoping it would make her feel better.  

It didn't make her feel completely better but I think it helped a bit.  At some point during this wonderful coming of age hour, Andy came home from work and he also tried to help the transition.  We told her how she could help us now with the little girls.  Easter was coming up and she could help with the baskets.  This seemed to cheer her up a bit, although to be honest, I think she could have care less about Easter Bunny, the leprechauns or the Tooth fairy even.  The one that hurt her the most was Santa.  I get it.  I was devastated too when I finally came to terms with it myself.  It sucked.  What I worried about most though, was her becoming one of those people who felt "betrayed" by her parents and that she wouldn't want to do this with her own kids.  So we talked about why we did this and how we were doing Santa's job, like the letter said.  Would she have not wanted us to do this and would she have rather thought there was never a Santa?  The answer for her was no.  She loved every minute of it and was glad she had believed in him, and the others, once.  

I also made it very clear that she was not to tell her sisters about this.  I wasn't too worried about that though.  Sonya likes to be in with the parents and have secrets like this.  It makes her feel important and grown up.  Which is kind of ironic, because one of the things she kept saying  that night was how it made her feel sad and that she didn't want to grow up and know this stuff.  I knew she would keep the secret though and she was excited to help play Easter Bunny soon.

After all the tears and talking for about an hour, we finally sent her to bed.  She seemed to be okay, but a little sad.  Later on that night I was telling Andy how bad I felt.

"Do you think I ruined her for life?" I asked, mostly joking but half serious.

"Yup," he said sarcastically. "She's going to need therapy for a while."

"Andy!" I yelled at him.

"Seriously?  Every kid finds out about Santa at some time," he pointed out.

I guess that's true, I just felt bad that I had to be the one to tell her.  Why couldn't she just have kept her mouth shut like I did when I was a kid? I never questioned my mom.  Mostly because I didn't want the answer I had to give Sonya.  

Then the very next day she and Lana lost a tooth.  It was Lana's 5th tooth and the first tooth Sonya has lost in a year and a half.  It was one of the bigger ones.  Lana immediately when to write her letter to the tooth fairy upon losing her tooth.  This is something the girls have always done.  Sonya did start it.  Then I saw Sonya at her desk writing something as well.  

"Don't come in here!" She yelled.  "I don't want you to see this yet."

"Okay," I said.  

She played along with the whole tooth fairy gig and put her tooth in the tooth bear next her bed as did Lana.  She had put a note and picture next to it like she always had, but asked me not to look until I came to get it later.  I agreed.  

That night  I got this letter and picture:

The letter reads:

Dear "ToothFairy"

This is what my tooth fairy will look like when I'm older.  It's for you to always remember when I lost teeth.  Her name is Sylvia Flower Power.  I love u.


PS She stands!

Yeah, she's going to be okay.  I, however, will not.  I think I cried for about an hour.