Monthly Archives: July 2011

No, Thank You

I am slowly learning that most things in the world can be solved with a simple “No, thank you.”
“Would you like to eat pureed peas?”
“No, thank you.”
“Would you like to continue to be at war?”
“No, thank you.”
It all sounds very civilized and polite.  And really, it’s much more pleasant to respond with a jovial “no, thank you” rather than a more abrupt “are you out of your effing mind?!’  Honestly, which one would you rather hear?
So we’ve all been working with Jadon and Jordan on manners.  And, being typical 4-year-old boys, I am proud to say that they have impeccable manners.  In fact, picture Miss Manners herself.  Except picture her, say…if she were to stub her toe on the edge of the table, accidentally hit her thumb with a hammer, and then follow all that up with a good ol’ smack to the fanny by that creepy Mr. Rogers guy.  (My point is that she might eventually start to lose some of her cool.)  And the boys, well, they are…how you say…a little rough around the edges.
But Jadon’s latest maneuver has been successful in getting him out of just about anything because it’s just so darn funny.  We’ve been brushing up on the ol’ manners lately because we occasionally enjoy going in public, and it’s more enjoyable if we aren’t on the receiving end of dagger-stares from strangers everywhere we go.  So we try to make nice children.  (Doesn’t always work, but we try.)
So, Jadon’s scheme goes a little something like this:
Us:  Hey, boys, it’s time for bed.
Jadon:  No, thank you.  (In 4-year-old, I’m pretty sure this translates to ‘buzz off’ or something similar.)
Us:  Let’s take a bath since we’ve been outside playing.
Jadon:  No, thank you.  (Again, ‘buzz off, stupid adults.’)
So.  He is flat out refusing to do what we ask, but he’s darn polite about it.
Then there are also the wrestling matches between the two boys.  Well, usually it’s Jordan who goes up and sits on top of Jadon.  Jadon will then shout, “Get off of me, pleeeeeaaase!”  Which is lovely, except for the fact that he says this as he’s flinging his brother off of him and body slamming him into the floor.  Once again, trés polite, but just a smidge on the not-quite-what-we-were-looking-for side.
I don’t know, but this seems to be working for him, so I’m thinking that if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.  I’m considering this approach in my next several conversations:
My boss:  I need you to complete that project.
Me:  No, thank you.  (Of course, accompanied by a sweet-as-can-be smile.)
Or
My husband:  We really need to watch the budget this month because we have a lot of things coming up.
Me:  No, thank you.  (Again, lovely smile to accompany the polite ‘buzz off’ statement.)
I like my new approach to life.  And if all else fails, I’ll just scream at everyone, “Leave me alone, PLEEEEAASSEEE!”—as I cover my ears and stomp my feet.  Hey, if it works for the 4-year-old, it’ll work for me.

Trippin’

We just (fairly recently) returned from our latest family road trip, a ritual lovingly referred to as HolySHITWhyDoWeKeepDoingThisToOurselves!?  It was a lovely, family time…full of beautiful landscapes and rolling meadows and setting sunsets situated above picturesque historic landmarks.  And if you believe any of that bullsh*t, I’ve got some lovely oceanfront property to sell you.
Oh yes, there was a trip, and yes, it involved our family—all gazillion of us, even the ones who are not fully functional in most social situations yet.  But that’s ok, because when we set out, we knew it would be an adventure, and an adventure it was.
We were about 30 minutes from home when the first tragedy struck, and since it happened to strike in the general vicinity of our teenage daughter, things quickly took a turn for the worse.  Let me just say this:  shoes were forgotten; drama ensued.  ‘Nuff said.  After informing our sweet little Doodle Bug that we would not be returning home for the aforementioned footwear, we received the following message:
“Well, then you can just buy me some new Converse when we get there.”  (Followed by huff, sigh, eye roll, and slouchy-spine thing as she sunk into the back seat.  Note to self:  ask doctor about possible spinal alignment problems vs. normal teenage slouching syndrome.)
So, along the road we went.  And we went along without incident, I might add, until we reached our hotel that night…only to realize that one of us (I’m not mentioning any names, HONEY.) forgot Jordan’s medicine.   “Heeeeyyy, no big deal,” we said, although unconvincingly, as this statement was followed by nervous laughter.  We were both secretly thinking, OH FREAKING CRAP IN A BUCKET.
Oh freaking crap in a bucket is right.  Without getting into too much detail, I’ll just say, that by the end of the trip, the adults were in need of their own medication.  Our sweet little Jordan had morphed into…hmmm…let’s see, can you picture maybe a 12-legged tree monkey on crack?  I’m just sayin’.  That kid never stopped moving.  He had arms and legs everywhere.  And they NEVER. STOPPED. MOVING.
Now, we weren’t particularly worried about the lack of medication in the first place because our doctor had just recently suggested that we take him off the meds for a week, just to see if we could see any obvious differences in his behavior.  We were thinking that the medicine was possibly not affecting him or not working like it should.  So we thought, what the heck, no time like the present.  So it was med-free week.
I’ll just say that by the end of the week, I probably would have sold my soul to the devil, Mother Theresa, Dr. Phil, or Buddha for just one little white tablet to hide in that kid’s peanut butter.  Experiment complete.  The medication does something, because without it, the parents are going to need to be medicated.
Oh, and also, it was on this trip that Jordan earned himself the nickname ‘Sticky,’ because I swear, every time I went to grab that child’s hand, it was stickier than the time before.  I don’t know how he does it, but it must be through sheer force of will—he is the stickiest kid I have ever known.  I think there must be a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for him.
Moving on to the rest of the fam, I would like to take a moment to officially thank my children for taking the time out of their busy days to focus intently on DESTROYING MY CAR.  I really, really appreciate the hidden half-sticks of beef jerky hidden in the console and in the door handles, and it’s very handy to have half-used packets of hot sauce at my disposal whenever I may want them.  Also, I’m grateful for the many pieces of gum that, in the 150-gazillion-degree Kansas City heat, have melded permanently with the interior fabric.  The gum really coordinates nicely with the very colorful drink caps that are sprinkled like confetti throughout the interior of the car.  It looks very festive—sort of like a party happened in there.  A party I was unaware of.  And woefully unprepared for.  Kind of like those parties in high school when your parents go out of town and the house gets TP’d and you can’t remember how the toilet ended up on the lawn.  Yeah.  Thanks, kids.
On to the entire reason for our little road trip…drum roll please…Micaela ROCKED IT OUT at Nationals and ended up bringing home a fourth place win, which also secured her a spot at Olympic Development Camp in a couple of weeks.  Yay!  (And cha-ching!)  Haul out the checkbook, Daddy, the girl is going big-time!  She twisted, she turned, she flipped…and SHE KICKED BUTT!  Can’t wait to see what she’s got in store for us in her next routine.  You go, girl!
Oh, and one more thing.  Not a cool souvenir.  Well, it seemed cool at the time, but whoa, Nellie, hold your horses!  It’s the fact that you have to live with this souvenir for a long, long time.  Pop guns for the boys.  Yup.  Because we are geniuses, and we enjoy having little cork nuggets launched at our ears hundreds of times a day.  We’re sorta cool like that.  Can we have our meds now?

Hey, Wait a Minute!

Color is a funny thing.  Not too long ago, Jadon spent a good, long minute studying his summer-tanned little arm and then comparing it to my not-so-tan arm.  He would look back and forth, and he would hold his arm up next to mine.  Now, those of you who know us, know that there is a definite difference in our skin tones.   As in, I’m fluorescent white, and he’s a beautiful tan that anyone would LOVE!  In fact, I’m pretty sure I don’t even have a freckle that’s as tan as this little boy’s skin.  I’m telling you, it’s beautiful.
Anyway, after studying the difference in our arms, he looked up at me, and when he spoke, he had this tone that sort of said, “Hey, lady, I’m onto you.  I know something’s up here.  I’m just not quite sure what it is.”
But the words that came out of his little 4-year-old mouth were, “Hey, I sink I’m bwack!”  (Translation:  Hey, I think I’m black.)
I tried really, really hard not to laugh at his accusing, quasi-A-HA moment.  Instead, I very calmly told him, “Well, you’re really black.  It’s actually more of a brown color.”
Although this moment was funny and cute and charming, and it made me love this kid even more, it also made me think that dang, this kid is smart, and he’s starting to notice things.  The boys are not old enough yet to fully understand the concept of adoption and everything that is part of their history, but one day they will.  One day they will know that there are people in other parts of the world that loved them so much that they let them come be a part of our family.  And they will also know every single day that our family is so very blessed to have them.
My boys are an inspiration and an adventure, and they make me smile every day.  I hope they always know that the color of our skin is not what makes us alike or different.  We are a family, and that’s what really matters.  (But I’m still kinda jealous of that beautiful tan skin!)