No, YOU Go Fish

Two year olds do not know how to play Go Fish.

That will not stop a two year old from wanting to play Go Fish or insisting on playing Go Fish.

You will agree to it because a) he’s cute and b) you’re a good parent.

To play Go Fish with a two year old you will need the following:

– cards

– ibuprophen

– wine

– a whistle

– tissues

– bandaids

Once you’ve gathered up your supplies, it’s time to deal the cards. Five, seven, four, it doesn’t matter how many because you are playing against a toddler. The other opponent might care, so do make an effort to pretend to count them out.

Let the game begin!

Little, ask Big if has an eight. No? Ok, then go fish. Pick up a card. Yes, you. Just one card. One. ONE. The top one. Now hold it with your cards. In your hand. You don’t need to pile them, keep them in your hand. Hold them, hold them. HOLD THEM.

I might have an Ace. Let me check.
I might have an Ace. Let me check.

Mommy’s turn.

Little, do you have a four? Yes, you do. It’s right there. I can see it. You need to give it to Mommy. Yes. Yes. Yessss. It’s okay, you’ll get another card. No, not yet, your next turn. Just wait. Wait. Big gets to go now.

Big’s turn.

Mommy, do you have a three? Thanks.

Round Two.

Little, you have a pair. They match. Put them together. Yes, together on the floor. You make a pile. Oh, look! See? They are the same. Yes, they are. No, you don’t hold them now, they go there. Right there. Right. There.

Okay, Big does have them same card, but that’s his match. They stay in his pile. Yes, they do. No, not Little’s. You have your own, see? Those are Big’s. He keeps them.

Keep the bandaids within arm's reach.
Keep the bandaids within arm’s reach.

Round Three.

There is no round three.

——

Ever try to play games with young, ego-centric children? How did that go? Was it a glass or a whole bottle of wine experience?

Advertisements

Responsible Parenting

Once you’ve had kids for a while you can tell the difference between their cries of distress and yelps of pure joy. However, there are some things that no parent wants to hear coming from the basement while the children play. A good mom would intervene or at the very least investigate in that situation.

I’m telling.

Yeah! No pants!

That was your own fault.

Shhh, you’re okay.

This is war!

Don’t tell Mommy.

No, YOU let go.

Hold still.

Well, I didn’t give him the marker.

My turn with the handcuffs.

CANNONBALL!

Uh oh.

You deserved it.

I’M NOT PLAYING.

Are you breathing?

FINE.

A responsible mom would hear those raised voices and rush to check on the little darlings. Then there’s Option B:  Carry on and hope for the best. After all, they will definitely come upstairs to find you if there is any blood.

——

What’s the most frightening thing you’ve heard your little cherubs say. And yes, sometimes silence is the scariest thing of all.

Pesto? No.

I can’t seem to convince our family to enjoy curry (aside from our second born), but we do have a varied and mildly adventurous menu. Our boys enjoy shrimp and seafood, olives, and I do not shy away from adding a little extra heat to the main dish. We regularly try new recipes, and some have become favourites. Gnocchi with pesto is always popular with our crew.

A few years ago our toddler was quietly finishing his lunch, content in his highchair. He was always a jolly little guy, so when I heard a small voice say, “Uh, oh” I turned quickly  to see what was wrong. He held up a chubby little hand and repeated, “Uh, oh.”

Poor little guy. He got pesto on his hand.

I grabbed a cloth and wiped his hands and fingers. Then I carried on with folding laundry and he continued his lunch. Or so I thought.

A moment later, “Uh, oh,” and the chubby pesto-covered hand. I wiped it off again.

Sheesh, he’s really make a mess of it today.

Laundry-folding and lunch-eating ensued again.

Two seconds later he held up his hand and beckoned for help.

Where is all this pesto coming from? Poor little guy keeps getting in on himse–wait a minute. I didn’t serve him pesto today. Where is all this pesto coming from? It’s not pesto. IT IS NOT PESTO.

——

When was burning a wash cloth your only real option?

Playing “Terry Fox”

Today our second oldest and his two neighbour friends started playing a new game: Terry Fox.

One boy would run down the sidewalk with his foot rigged up in a skipping rope to simulate Terry’s prosthetic leg.

Resourceful and creative
Don’t pull too hard, we’re going for authenticity

When he got close to our house “Terry” would call out, “I’m in Thunder Bay, ohhhhhh” and do a slow collapse to the ground.

The second boy would act as his support crew and call for an ambulance. Now it was time for the third boy to jump into action. He zoomed down the street on the kettle car, frantically peddling in the interest of saving Terry. He would jump out and rush to the scene asking, “who are you?” at which point the main character groaned and replied, “Terry Fox.”

Together, they loaded “Terry” onto the makeshift ambulance and brought him back to home. Roles were swapped, and the game began again, with a new “Terry”.

Don't worry, we'll take good care of you, Terry.
Don’t worry, we’ll take good care of you, Terry.

At first I was little bit horrified. I stopped myself from interfering and decided to watch how it all played out and I’m glad I did.

These boys were acting out a piece of Canadian history. It is a story that is familiar to most of us, but they are experiencing and beginning to understand it for the first time. I chose not to say anything, but rather stood back and took it all in. However, I wondered about some of the liberties they took with their reenactment – I doubt Terry drove his own ambulance.

Terry Fox is a Canadian icon. He is a real life hero. I’m actually glad they were playacting someone who inspired and encouraged so many people with his Marathon of Hope. They weren’t mocking Mr. Fox, they were putting him up on a pedestal, among the ranks of Transformers, Superman, and Batman. This is what parents long for and I almost shut it down.

As we honour and commemorate Terry Fox this September with the run in his name, it was good to see things through the eyes of some six year olds. My oldest sister went through a very similar battle with cancer just after Terry passed away, but survived. She is a hero, too.

“Even if I don’t finish, we need others to continue. It’s got to keep going without me.”

-Terry Fox

Thank you, boys.

Thank you, Terry.

Cause and Effect

Cause and Effect

Sometimes, you just don’t know how long you’re going to be.

One of the boys is clearly a very forward thinking child.

It’s good to keep hydrated – even better to keep a 1:1 ratio.

At any age a boy just needs some quiet time away from his brothers, I get it. Snacks help.

I’m afraid to check the contents of that drink box. It’s still sitting there.

Was the call of nature so intense that he couldn’t leave the drink in the kitchen?

All these thoughts and more raced through my mind. Your turn – explain.

Me, The Maze, and My Boys

The boys begged me to take them to a local farm that has some fun attractions, including a corn maze. So one morning we hopped in the van and took off in hopes of high adventure in a corn field. We were not disappointed.

Come see our fortress!
Come see our fortress!

“The maze is ready!”

“This way, Mommy!”

“Come on, Number 3, let’s go see! We’ll show you around!”

“I wonder if they made it trickier this year!”

The Bigs could not wait to get going and rushed ahead, encouraging their younger brother.

“Don’t worry, Mommy, he’ll be with us,” they reassured me.

I was in charge of the littlest Little who was not going to let those big boys out of his sight.

The first time I took them in the maze I had Number 3 in the baby carseat and was hesitant to let them explore. The owner knows me and could see the slight worry on my face as I contemplated how I would schlep the baby and the boys through the mucky field.  She asked her kids to take the boys through and they were thrilled. And I released my hold on my boys a little.

The next year the four of us went in together. Number 3 was toddling after his brothers while I stuck close behind him, catching him before he tripped on a rogue cornstalk or tumbled a little on some uneven ground.  I could here the older boys giggling with delight as they tricked me, hiding between the rows. And I released my hold a bit more.

Wait for me, guys!
Wait for me, guys!

The third year, I had a newborn again, but had grown wiser and put him in the Baby Bjorn so I could venture into the maze with the three boys. Now the games included Tag, Hide-and-Seek, and racing back to the top. I lagged behind, but was able to keep them mostly in my sights. And my tether to them lengthened and loosened again.

Last year, our baby boy was a spunky one-year-old up on Daddy’s shoulders, then Mommy’s shoulders, then back to Daddy. He loved spying his big brothers from his perch way up high. There was no point in trying to hide with him on your team since his excited yelps gave us away every time. My baby was becoming a Boy. And I released my hold on them a little bit more.

This year, we had incredible fun together, me and my boys. The only rule I had was that if I called their name really loud, they had to reply so I knew they were okay. And I promised them that if they needed me or just wanted to know where I was that if they called, I’d stand in one spot yelling, “Right here!” until they found me.

You can learn a lot from a corn maze.

There are many different paths, some short, some long, some smooth, some a tad treacherous, and it’s up to you to choose which one you want to try. It’s okay to double-back and try another path because eventually you’ll get to where you need to be.

You can choose to run, walk, or saunter. Maybe do a little bit of each.

You never know when you might discover a hidden fortress, a secret lair, or an amazing spot for a fort. It’s okay to go off the well-trod path, but not forever. Someone made the paths for you because they knew the best way to travel through.

A corn maze can be fun on your own, but it is better with a friend, and even better with a group. Sometimes it is good to hold hands, but it’s okay to let go, too.

There are dips and bumps and mud and itchy things along the way, but the adventure is worth it.

And if you ever feel alone or afraid or unsure, stop and call your mom.

“I’m right here. Right here.”

Moyerangelo

Welcome to the Sneak Peek of my upcoming Art Extravaganza! You might be surprised to learn I am just four years old, but talent and inspiration can strike at any age.

Currently, this exhibit is housed in my bedroom. I like to think of it as a constant work-in-progress since my roommate has very little impulse control.

This piece speaks to my love of gum. When I was young and reckless, I occasionally left my chewed gum on the carpet. Mmmm….gum.

Tribute to Gum
My Gum, My Love

This next display was a random inspiration I had when Mommy called up that it was time for breakfast. I tossed those sticker frames down and when I returned, I was just as smitten as you are.

The lines, the use of space. Inspired, I know.
The lines, the use of space. Inspired, I know.

It’s funny, when I began this particular piece, I was going to go with one or two sheets, but once I got started I realized more is always better. See how the creepy wooden bear accentuates the pumpkins? And I love how the multi-colured squirrel plays off the green in the monsters.

Haunted Monster Mash Up
Go Ahead, Choose One, But Not THAT One

I feel it’s important to encourage the artistic drive in others, so I let my little brother try his hand. I really like how he played up the different textures here: carpet, bed skirt, paper. He might be ready for his own exhibition soon, that little Picaso.

Sticker Carpet Study
Sticker Carpet Study

Here I tried a little something with metal and wood. I like the contrast of the black sticker against the white canvas of the closet door.

Closet Door: Gateway to Diapers
Closet Door: Gateway to Diapers

A different approach with furniture as my framework. Not as bold as the white, but the warmer look works, too, don’t you think?

Top Drawer
Top Drawer

Now this one I am particularly proud of. I tried my hand at something more whimsical here just for Mommy. “Oh, no, another diaper change – wait! What’s this? A darling sticker from my favourite son.” (I just know that’s what she’ll say).

Diaper Surprise
Diaper Surprise

This final selection has me stumped. I’m not sure which look to use. The first is the safe, classical approach.

Retro Sippy Cup
The Cup

This one is just a little edgier with the dirt clod in the background. Maybe it makes my work more accessible?

Retro Sippy Cup Slumming It
The Cup Rebellion

Please cast your vote to help me decide. Any art forms you’d like to see in my next exhibit? I’m very strong with glitter glue as well and I’m not afraid to delve into papier mache.