The Lego Challenge

My daughters and I saw the Lego Movie two weekends ago.  The movie exceeded my expectation to say the very least.  It left us with a message that inspired us, got our imaginations going and had us wanting to be uber creative… awesome Master Builders.

The Lego Movie also left an impression on my girls and they have been non-stop Lego builders.  They have pulled out their books, organized their Legos, built Lego creations, pulled the creations apart, pushed the books aside and started creating their own Lego creations too.

It has been Legos, Legos, Legos!

 . . . . . . . . . . . .

“Mom will you play legos with me,” Francine smiled.

“Sure!” I answered even though it was one of those I’m tired as all get out moments but I know I need to drop everything and play with her moments.

I sat on the living room floor waiting for Francine to bring the bucket of Legos into the living room.

“You coming!!!!” I yelled.

“Just a minute momma!  I’m looking for lights,” she shouted back excitedly.

I looked at Olivia’s Lego direction book that she was working from on the living room floor.  Her booklet was opened to a page  that suggested combining two small kits to make one bigger creation.

“Olivia,” I smiled, as the light bulb lit up in my head.

“What mommy,” she asked looking up at me with a I know what that tone means smile.

“I’m having an idea!”

“What is it?” she smiled excited to hear it.

MOM NOTE:  I love that they still love my ideas and think they are awesome.  I’m soaking this up as long as I can.  I’m not always sure how long this whole mom awesomeness thing is going to last! 

“Lets have a Lego Challenge,” I exclaim.

“A what?” she asks tilting her head and smiling as she asks in wonder.

“A Lego Challenge,”  I smirk at her with squinted my eyes, challenging her ” You ready?!!”

“Ok Mommy!” she says in a here goes nothing, I love my mom but I have no idea what this crazy idea of hers is kind of way.

I smile at her and pause…..

“I challenge you to build a cat transporter out of Legos!

“Ugggg that’s heavy!!!!”  Franicne sighs as she interrupts and  drops the pink container of Legos on the floor next to me.

“Hey, did you hear?  We decided to have a Lego Challenge!!” I smile and say to her.

“I’m building with lights” she frowns letting me know she does’t want to do my idea.

“Do you want to play too?”

“I have all my lights,” she says

“I know!” I smile back at her trying to get her to come around to the awesome Lego Challenge we are having,” I have a challenge all set for you. Are you ready?”

“Fiiiiinnnnnne” she says making sure I know that she will do it but she’s not going to like it because she had lights you know!

“Your challenge is to build a glowing tree house,” I tell her.

Her eyes light up as ideas start to sprout and connect in her mind, “Ok Momma but you have to build it with me!” she smiles.

“For sure!!!” I answer poking her side to get a giggle out of her.

“Mommy, look I’m done!!!” Olivia shouts.

“I’m ready for my next challenge,” Olivia announces. Continue reading

A Simple Note

She left it in a spot she knew I’d look as soon as I got home.

It stared back at me and a smile took over my face. I quickly opened it and saw the hand written note. I knew exactly who it was from. I was instantly warmed by her thoughtfulness and the lovely surprise after a long work week. I clutched and embraced it in delight as I was filled with happiness.

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I yelled to Francine upstairs,”FRRRRAAANNNNCIIIIINNNNNNEEEEE”

“Yes momma!”  I love when she calls me momma…. makes my heart melt

“Come here peanut!”

“In a second I’m putting my cupcakes in the oven!”

Thump…thump…thump…at the bottom of the stairs our eyes meet and we were lit up by each other’s smiles.

” I saw that note,” I say grabbing her hand and pulling her in to squeeze her close and kiss her cheek

“Uh huh.”

“Thank you! It was sooooo sweet!” I say this time embracing her cheek to cheek and adding another kiss.

“You’re welcome momma,” she answers with a straight face

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” she answers.

“Francine what is it?”

“Nothing……” she answers again.

This time with a fake smile. She looks at me. This time hers shouting do you get it momma. Do you know what I need? I paused and stared at her searching her eyes for the answer. The card she wrote flashed in my head.

“You really miss momma don’t you! Has it been hard on you, daddy taking you to practice this season and mom taking Olivia to swimming? We don’t get much time together these days do we?!”

“No!” she bursts confirming my words.

“Mom will be home all weekend! We can spend tons of time together.”

Saturday afternoon came around and my 7 week old nephew was coming over to spend a couple hours with us while my sister and her husband went to a surprise party. Olivia complained of a sore throat and stomach ache. I texted my sister and told her it was probably best if we came to her being that Olivia was not feeling good.  With the ok from my sister I spoke with my husband explaining what happen the night before with Francine and the note.

“Francinnnnnneeeeeee!!!!!!!!”

“Yes momma?!”

“Do you want to come help take care of Callan tonight, just you and me. ”

“Suuuuure!!”

That night at my sisters it was all about her… and a lot about my nephew too… she picked her favorite dinner, we all snuggled and watched Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (one of her favorite movies) and High School Musical (another favorite) were the movies of choice. We snacked on popcorn and played Monopoly. She smiled and giggled and we laughed together in between moments of being a smidge jealous of the time had to spend on my nephew and her buying up all her favorite avenues and street and collected her rent.

At the end of the night as my nephew tried to see if he could out last both of us, Francine laid on the couch snuggling up with me as I fed him. I smiled and gazed into my nephews eyes and took moments to rub Fracine’s back as her eyes opened and closed fighting off sleep. Just as I thought she had finally surrendered to the sand man I looked down to see her staring at me. She looked up and just stared at me and smiled.

“What?!” I giggled as I stared back at her.

“You’re really good at that momma,” answered sweetly.

I smiled at her kissing her forehead her and tucking her in again as my heart melted.

“Thank you sweetie. I try,” and I kissed her good night one more time.

 

 

Overwhelmed By Kindness

The text pinged in on my phone (actually it we do wee wo so…yes yes… R2D2… Stop laughing…I know…I can’t help it) 

TEXT: Can Francine come over for a playdate on Friday?

Francine had been dear friends with this little girl in kindergarten. The change in grades and then into different classrooms for 1st grade had made it tough for the friendship to continue to blossom.

I knew didn’t even need to ask Francine (my 6 year old), though. I knew she would 100%, without hesitation want to go over to her friends house.

MY REPLY: Of course!!! She would love to see her!

As soon as my finger hit the send key my heart sank.  

What about Olivia (my 7 year old)?  

I would be at work and she didn’t have a play date of her own.  She isn’t going to like this!  Telling Francine that she has a play date and then telling Olivia…sorry sweetie you don’t have a play date was NOT going to be fun!

Wait!

I thought for a moment. Olivia has her wonderful, long time, we only get to see on days off, since they go to different schools but are like kindred spirits friend…

Nahhhhhh

Sighhhhhh.

Wait… Maybe…just maybe….nahhhh.

Grrrr…

What was I going to do?!!

Maybe I could.

Nahhhhh I couldn’t.

Could I??!!!…

I just got done telling Olivia that it is rude to invite yourself over to other peoples houses.

Sigghhhhhhhh

How am I going to do this without being rude??

So I took a deep breath and just said it like it was.  I texted Olivia’s friend’s mother and told her about Francine’s play date. I explained the situation and how Olivia didn’t have one.  Then I told her I knew what I was doing was very forward of me but I asked her please could she have Olivia over on Friday.  Then I apologized profusely for my forwardness and told her over and over again that I would make it up to her the next time there was a day off.   I knew I would owe her BIG!

In a couple of hours my phone rang (YES!  it was not a normal ringer…the popcorn song from the Muppets Movie….shut up!).

“Hello….”

It was Olivia’s friends mother. Without hesitation, without concern for me to repay this favor, without any thought but that this is what friends do she said yes.  My heart lit up.  Olivia would be giddy to have a play date with her friend and my world of motherhood with two daughters would remain peaceful and drama free.  Most of all I was deeply moved by the selfless, each word that told me not to worry about it and overwhelmed me with her unconditional kind act she did without hesitation for me.

It is an act of kindness I will never forget.

It is an act of kindness I will seek to pay forward to other mothers.

It is a feeling I want other mothers to know and feel…that we are in this together. That we are here for each other. That sometimes we just meet people that are willing to without hesitate an unselfish act of kindness.

It is an act that I will be certain to share with someone else!

Unexpected Kindness

Francine Cooks: The Parlor

FrancineCooksPOSTTitleOnce upon a time there were two little girls. One was a little sister and one was a big sister.

“Who’s up for ice cream?” The little sister shouted.

And the big sister said, ” OOO OOO! Lets go to the ice cream parlor.”

They were all going to the ice cream parlor.

“Lets go in and have some ice cream,” the big sister said.

“OOO OOO I want strawberry ice cream said the little sister!” Said the little sister

The big sister said,” I want chocolate ice cream.”

The little sister shouted, ” Lets sit down and eat our ice cream!”

They were having fun eating their ice cream. The little sister thought, why don’t we go to the park. So the big sister said,” Why not little sis.”

They walked to the park. When they got there they had fun and played. When it was dinner time they went home to eat and they said,” why don’t we go to the ice cream parlor again tomorrow!” The little sister said,” yeeppie yeeppie!” The little sister thought it was a great idea.

So they went back to the ice parlor the next day. They got four ice creams. There was one for the little sisters mom and one for the little sisters dad. the little sister and the big sister had their own ice cream to eat too. The whole enjoyed the ice cream!

The End

Mommy Disclaimer….All the words and the ideas are completely Francine’s. I only helped with the typing, formatting, spelling and with Photoshopping the pictures. By writing her stories Francine hopes that other “kids” will learn to cook up ideas just like her!
FrancineCooksPOST

A Lesson We Will Not Forget

The clock said 9:30am.

“I suppose I should actually get out of bed,” I thought.

This summer brought a magical gift.  A gift I had only dreamed of.  A gift I thought would never be bestowed on me….the gift of children that sleep in.  Yep! It was 9:30am and both my girls were still asleep.  Feeling a bit guilty for staying in bed that long and wasting so much of the morning (seriously I get to sleep in but now I have to feel guilty for sleeping in. this whole motherhood thing is exhausting)  I rolled out of bed.

“Ahhhh coffee,” I smiled as I walked into the kitchen and turned on the coffee maker.

The first cup always seems to be the best.  As I went to get the creamier out of the refrigerator I paused and remembered that my dad (he lives with us) was at Habitat for Humanity working on a house all day (his hobby…isnt that cool).  That meant he put Kona out in the backyard (Kona is my sisters dog.  She comes to stay with us for a week each summer when my sister is on vacation). Lazily, I peeked out of the kitchen curtain to see if she was on the backyard porch.

“Huh?! No Kona. Maybe she’s still downstairs,” I thought “but I could have sworn I heard my dad leave this morning.  He wouldn’t leave her downstairs by herself.”

Opening the basement door I called, “KOOONNNNAAA come here girl!”

Nothing.

I walked down the basement stairs to double check that she really  was not there.  At the bottom of the stairs I look and look…no Kona.

“Maybe she’s out in the yard and just wasn’t laying on the porch,” I think trying to figure out where the heck she could be.

Back upstairs I go right the kitchen sliding glass door.  I open it and bend to look out.  No sign of Kona.

“KOOONNNAAAA! ”

Nothing.

Scanning the yard for her my eyes stop….the gate…it’s open.  Panic floods me.  Just last night my neighbor and I (during our weekly True Blood viewing session) were talking about how she had lost one of her dogs when it jumped her brothers fence while he watched her dog while she was on vacation. My heart sank.

Oh My GAWWDDDDD Kona is not in the yard!!!

I ran upstairs waking the girls.

“Kona is missing!  Wake up!  We have to go find her!  Go potty and come down stairs we have to start looking for her!” I say delivering orders as I run back downstairs.

I turn to see Olivia walking down the stairs, still rubbing the sleep out of her eyes and sporting her usual bed head.

Olivia, “Go open the garage door and look around out front.  See if you see Kona.”  Inside I secretly hope that she will open the garage door and find Kona sitting there just waiting for us to see her.

Rushing back in the house, “Mom!  She’s not there!  I don’t see her anywhere!”

Fighting back the tears and the emotion that is going to make me completely lose thoughts start to flood me…

My sister had trusted me to watch her dog.  How is my sister ever going to trust me to watch her baby if I can’t keep her dog safe?  My sister had trusted me.  Kona was my responsibility. Oh my gawd Kona is missing.  Kona is gone!

I call my neighbor.

“Kona is missing.  She is not in the yard!”  I say though heaving breaths.

“Ok.  I’ll text friends in the neighborhood.  We are awake and well get out there too to look for her,” she offers without hesitating.

“GIRLS!!  Time to go! Get in the car!” I shout.

In the car I finally lose it.  Thoughts continue to fill my head.

Whispering at me, making it all real…”She’s lost.  I lost my sisters dog.  We are never going to find her.  How will I face my sister. Oh my gawd how will I live with myself.”

Closing the door of the car I turn to Olivia and Francine trying to take deep breaths between the blubbering messy sobbing tears.  I manage to get out my words, “Roll down your window.  I am going to drive very very slow.  You need to shout as loud as you can for Kona and you need to look everywhere on your side of the car.  Don’t miss anything, in front of the house, the side of the house, everywhere on your side.”

“Ok mommy,” they say softly with big, wide eyes focused on me.

Breathing in and out I try to regain control of my emotions as we begin our search.

“KONNNAAAA…KOONNNNAAAA…KONNNNNAAAAA!!!!”

First street done. Nothing.  “We are never going to find her.  This is going to be impossible.  She’s gone.  Who knows how long she’s been out of the yard.  It could have been hours,”  negativity start to invade my thoughts again.

We start down the next block.

“KKKOONNNNAAAAA… KONNNAAAAAAA!!!!!”

Suddenly a tall slender gray-haired man appears in the street waving his arm over his head back and forth.

“Is he waving at me?…  He’s waving at me!… He’s waving at me!!!!!”

I roll down the passenger window and say to him, “We are looking for our dog Kona.  She is lost.”

“I have Kona,” he smiles, “She’s in my backyard,” he smiles holding his coffee cup.

Getting out of the car I am suddenly giddy. I fight back happy tears as I realize have no shoes on, I am in my pajama t-shirt and comfy shorts and oh my…my hair.

“I saw her this morning,” he explained pausing to noticing I have no shoes on,” and I didn’t recognize her so I called her over.  She came right to me.  She’s just been hanging out in the back yard.  She’s had a couple of treats.”

“Thank you! Thank you sooooo much!!!! I can’t thank you enough,” I blubber in shock that we found her..he found her.

“Thank you again. Thank you,”  I repeat dying to give him a hug and sob my thanks into his shoulder (don’t worry I resisted that urge.I didn’t totally want to freak out the guy).

Over come by happiness I smile as I take Kona to the car and put her in.  I turn to him and say, “Are you a drinking man?”

“Aren’t we all!” he smiles.

“What’s your drink of choice?”

“Coors Light”

Hundreds of deep breaths later and all of us resting at home, I sit down next to my girls on the couch.

“Olivia turn the TV off Mommy wants to talk to you. Come sit by me.”

“Ok Mommy!”

“Girls Look at mommy.  What that man did for us was incredibly kind.  He stopped and took Kona in so that he could help someone.  He did that to be nice for someone else.  You know when mommy asks you to be polite to other people, when I tell you how important it is to pay attention to others and be thoughtful to others?”

“Yes mommy.”

“Mommy feels very soooo very much that when you are a good person, when you are kind to others good things happen to you and others will do nice things for you when you need them.  Do you understand?”

“We do mommy,” they say in unison with a nod that tells me they really do.

That night, with a case of Coors Light on a kitchen chair next to me, I sat and wrote a thank you card to the man as a tears ran down my cheeks.  I thanked the man for not only giving us our Kona back but for showing my daughters that there are really truly good people out there, good people who will help complete strangers because it is the kind, thoughtful and nice thing to do and that I still could not thank him enough.

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back home safe and sound

Do You Know What?

Driving around running errands is sooooo not the glamourous life.  Nor is it at all entertaining.

Sometimes a momma has to do what a momma has to do…

“Mommy do you know what?” Francine smiles as she asks from the back seat of the car

“No I don’t know what!” I tease, “I have never met him. What does he look like?  Is he tall?”

“MOOOMMMMMMMMMM!!!” she sighs sooooo not into it.

(sometimes my humor is lost on my little ones….sighhhhh)

“Where does he live?  Is he nice ?  Have you met what?  Does he like broccoli?  Does he wear shoes?” I go on because I can not resist.

“MooOOOmmMMMMMM do you know whhhhattttt?”

“I told you I don’t know what!  I’ve never met him.  Does he live near here?” I answer with a straight face

“Ohhhh mom!!! Never mind!!” she says as she slumps back into her seat.

I give her a smile in the rearview mirror as I catch her rolling her eyes to look out the window.

WHAT?!  I think I’m a hoot!

WHAT

My Husband Thinks I Cheer Too Loud

The sun warmed my skin. The weather  finally decided it might actually start to feel like summer. I tool off my flip flops and let my toes settle into the grass. Looking down to my left Olivia squints, smiles and looks up at me.

“How’s the blanket? Are you comfy?”

“Yep! Comfy mom!  How much longer until the game is over?”

“It just started Olivia,” I answer.

“Can I go play at the park?” she asks.

“No, we are here to see your sisters soccer game. You need to stay and watch.”

“Finnnneee!!!” she says as if she is practicing being fifteen.

“LET’S GO FRANCINE!!!! GOOOOOO USA!!!!!” I cheer.  “FRANCINE GET THE BALL!!’ GOOD KICK JOHN!!! WHAT A PASS MAGGIE!!! WOOO HOOO!!”

“Sighhhh,” I turn to my right and look at my husband. He looks at the field pretending not to notice I’m looking at him. So I pretend not to notice he’s ignoring me looking at him.

“GOOD TEAMMMMM WORK USA!!!” I root.

“KICK IT TO EMILY…errr  MOLLY,” I shout… oops! Hope no one heard me get the name wrong.

“Sighhhh,” I hear it again.  So I turn and look at my husband.  He  looks at the field pretending not to notice I’m looking at him.

“I wonder how long he’s going to keep this up?” I think.

So I pretend not to notice he’s ignoring me looking at him.

“THAT’S IT FRANCINE.  NICE DEFENCES TEAM USA!  YEEEEEAAAAAH TEAM USA!  WAY TO GOOOOOOO!!!!!!”

“RUN RUN RUN FRANCINE GET THE BALL!!!  GREAT JOB MARK.  GREAT KICK MOLLY,” ooooo I got her name right that time. “GOOOOO USA!!!!” I shout and clap.

“NICE KICK JOHN!  GOOOOOOO JOHN!  GOOOO GOOOO GOOOO! FRANCINE GET  TO THE BALL!”

“Sighhhh,” I hear again!  I turn to my right and look at my husband again.  YEP!  He  looks at the field pretending not to notice I’m looking at him.

“OK! What’s with the sighing?” I say to him.

“Nothing,” he says with a let me pretend it’s nothing but really it’s something smug on his face.

“No really!  What is it!!” I say with a seriously tell me look. “What is it! Tell me.”

“You’re so loud,” he answers honestly.

“Other people cheer to ya know!”

“No they don’t,” he replies like he’s right.

“Yes, they do.  Besides, I like to cheer.  I get excited for the team and well…. I like to cheer for Francine.”

“Sometimes you get the names wrong,” he kindly adds.

“Yeah, hmmmmm ya heard that huh?!  Well I still like to cheer.”

“sigggghhhhhhh,” he replies.

“Should I stop?” I think.  And begin to think some more, “I really don’t want to make him unhappy.  I also don’t want to be annoying or obnoxous.  I REALLY don’t think I cheer THAT much more then anyone else.  Pishaw, he doesn’t know!   Plus, I like cheering for Francine and besides that’s what fans do!  I seriously can’t help myself.”

Then I decided…

“Gooooo Francine!!!  Run, run!  Get up the field,” I whisper.

“Nice kick Marc!  Get it!  Get it!” I whisper again.

“WAYYYYYY TO GO USA!!!!  GREAT DEFENSE!!!!” I cheer proudly.

Looking to my left I smile at Olivia.  “Want to come sit up here with momma?” I smile.

“Sure,” she answers with a shoulder shrug added so it looks like she’ll only enjoy it a bit.

“GOOOOOOO FRANCINE!  RUN RUN!! GET T…” I catch my hubs looking at me out of the corner of my eye.

I smile.

“Olivia, mommy cheers really loud!  If you sit with me mommy be ready for cheering.  Mommy likes to cheer A LOT!”

“Yeah you might go deaf,” my hubs pipes in.

I look at him and smile through grinding teeth.  Olivia looks at me and smiles.

“You might have to cover your ears if you sit with me,” I say looking at her.

“Yeah momma {giggle giggle giggle} you cheer REALLY LOUD!”

Meet My Muses and Fred too

“Mommy come color with me,” Francine asks after dinner.

“I’m sorry sweetie mommy has tons of chores I need to do.  You can color and I’ll come when I am done.”

I turn to see an understandably frowny, disappointed face.  My hands reach for the sponge and the next plate that needs to be washed.  The kitchen is suddenly silent.

“Mommy what can I do to help you finish your chores faster?” Francine inquires

After lifting myself off the floor in shock…

I turn to Francine and smile, “Really, you want to help Mommy?!”

“Yes, Mommy,” she smiles and says in the sweetest and most sincere five year old voice.

“OOOOOkaaaay.  You can start by helping make the lunches.”

As I rinse the last dishes, move on to the load of laundry that needs to be washed and the other one that needs to be folded Francine puts pretzels into sandwich bags.  I send out reminders of what to do next from the laundry room.  I pick up my pace, working faster to get these chores done so I could sit and color with her.

With time left to spare and a couple of chores left for later, because seriously how can I possibly let down a little girl down who is willing to help Mommy with chores.  It was time to color!

I still never know what is going to happen when I craft or color with my girls.  I am constantly inspired by them and blown away by their imaginations.  This night at the table was no different.  After taping together and coloring two cardboard toilet paper rolls and a paper towel roll (don’t ask… she’s five… it’s her vision. I don’t ask)  we did some free drawing.  After doodling a bit the pink crayon called for me.  My mind took me back to a note I had made for myself months ago.  My hand faught me.  I had never been any good at drawing with crayons.  Before I know it the crayon is in hand, obeying my movement and Fred was born.Fred1

 Fred has dreams…big pink accessorized, leotard and legwarmer dreams.  Dreams of toes pointed, tutus and twirls and pirouettes…

FredDancesBallet

. . . . .

My daughters inspiration does not end here…

I seriously can not tell you how incredibly..oozing with excited I am for the coming weeks.  My daughters… Olivia 7 and Francine 6 are going to start joining me here!   They are going to take their picture, drawings, stories and life experiences and start to share their words here too!

I can hardly stand the wait… the wait for Olivia to share her words with you.  Her  illustrations will take  you to fantastically magical worlds that intertwine her life’s experiences with creatures, superheros and magical worlds of her imagination.

Olivia2
You can even follow all things Olivia on
Twitter by following the hashtag #OliviasWorld

Francine is also excited to share.   A little of this, a lot of that and who knows what else?!   She loves to help me cook and bake, but dislikes almost everything she helps me make. She can even show you which exact tooth is her sweet tooth.  She is colorful, crafty and is always looking for the next thing to make out of anything she can find.  I really never know what fantastically crafty, imaginative creation she will cook up.

Francine
You can follow Francine on
Twitter by following the hashtag #FrancineCooks

Creativity is oozzing!  We have so much more to share!

 

Bad Word, Bad Word, Bad Word

My daughters and I had just finished a shopping trip to Target.  Items were bought and not too much money was spent.  Sooo hard to walk out of there without a super cute had to have it it was on sale shirt, jewelery and shoes… aka $50-75 later.  The girls each bought something from the fabulous dollar section with their allowance and I had a new pair of earrings.  Coats we zipped, mittens and hats on… we were ready to brave the freeze and head out to our car.

“Hands please,” safety first ya know.

A quick walk across one lane of the parking lot and we were at our car.

Parking1

“Girls lets be quick getting in it’s cold out here,” I urge them… cause seriously it was brrrrr. Continue reading

Saying Good Bye to The Whining Monster

Around these parts Saturday morning means two cups of coffee, a couple of lazy hours on the couch, tweeting with a back ground of Phineas and Ferb and …. cleaning.  When 10:30 rolls around the iPhone gets put down, the Leapsters get put away and the TV gets turned off.

As quickly as my thumb clicks the power button on the remote the sighs, the awwwww moms and the Oscar winning whining begins.   Now I have to give the girl credit… well me credit and Olivia (7 years old) too… just last month we finally had a break through in cleaning.  Break through as in cleaning without her driving me crazy with insistent whining and discovering ways she can delay having to actually clean and seeing how long can she can keep it up before she gets enough of  toys taken away to stop…let me tell you it is exhausting.  She exhausts me!

This particular Saturday the girls had only one chore to do.  They needed to clean the toy room (control you laughing… only chore + cleaning toy room= cleaning a room that looks like a tornado has struck leaving a path of toys covering every space of carpeting).  I told them I would help them today, because it was a big job (and because it was easier then running up and down the stairs as a 7 year old and a 5 year old cleaned a toy room together trying to refrain from complaints, whining and tattling).

We walked up stairs, our spirits high as we giggled and talked about how we were totally going to rock this toy room clean up. We bet on how long we thought it we could get the room cleaned.  We excitedly told each other what we were going to do after we were done cleaning.

The three of us stopped in our tracks at the doorway to the toy room.

“Ugggggg!” I thought,  “That’s a lot of freckin toys!”

“I’ll clean up the food mommy!!!” (aka plastic toy kitchen food) Francine sang as she jumped right in to clean.

“Ohhhhh moooommmm thatttssssss tooo mmmuuchhh to cleannnn!” Olivia whined.

“Olivia we have been through this before…. {insert mommy lecture}… You were so good last week.  Lets work together and get this done!”

“Ok mommy!”

{mini-mommy happy dance in my mind} “Go Me!” I say to myself in disbelief.

After several minutes of whine-less, blissful cleaning (Did I just say blissful cleaning… I really need to raise my standards!)

I hear, “Ohhhhhhhh mmmooommmm thhissss issss tooo muchhhh.  I just cannn’t dooo it anymoreeee!”

I take a breath and pause to contemplate my next course of action.  Suddenly, I catch Olivia studying me.  As I open my mouth to lay out the law and give my usual if you don’t do this you will loose this line, the corner of Olivia’s lip curls into a smile.  Gears turn in my head.  The world slows to a flashing halt.  Visions flash through my head reminding me of all the things Olivia has done lately that I thought she couldn’t do.  The fog has lifted and fireworks go off in a blaze of sparking aahhhhh haaaaaa.

I close my mouth, stand up and walk over to Olivia.

In my firm mommy voice and a n extra stern mommy face Isay, “Stand up!”

With a what the heck is she going to do, how much trouble am I in this time look she stands and worriedly looks up at me.  I make a fist with my hand and bring my imaginary bugle to my mouth. I begin to loudly hum Taps.

“daaa daaa daaaaaaa daa daa daaaaa daaaaa da daaaaa da da daaaa da da…”

Army

I put down my imaginary bugle and place my right hand over my heart.  I look down at the floor and hang my head with a frown in imaginary sadness.

I say, “Today we put to rest the Whining Monster.”

Olivia looks at me studying my face.

“After years of fake whining, award winning acting and scamming mommy, today we bury the Whining monster.

Laughter fills the room as Olivia and her sister comprehend what I am doing. Her hands cover her face as she grins and belly laughs in disbelief and surprise.

“We are sad today to put it to rest.” I continue, “We will miss the Whining Monster.  You  brought us insane amounts of whining, drove mommy crazy and tried to avoid cleaning.  Today I declare Olivia is a big girl.  A big girl that can do way more then she lets on to mommy.  No more scamming, no more whining for today we know what she can really do!  We will not miss you! Good-bye Whining Monster Monster.”

whining

As her belly laughs slow into giggles, I look at Olivia to watch her reaction and we smile at each other.

As I begin to walk back to the spot I was cleaning I see Olivia slowly drop her head.  Her lips make a frown and I hear her mumble,  “Awwwwww man!  Now I am going to have to actually clean!”