Friday, August 28, 2009

My Literal Kid and My Slave

Last Saturday, I stopped at a grocery store I usually don't shop at -- they have great brats, all beef hot dogs, and bacon that they do there at the I stocked up for the freezer. When I got home, I asked Susanna to take the bacon out of the bag and put it in the freezer. Susi tends to get distracted often, so I didn't think much of it when it took over ten minutes to complete this simple little task.

Fast forward to Thursday morning. We're at breakfast, enjoying a slow starting morning -- I didn't have to be at the market or any where else; we were having "the cousins" over for supper; and the only thing I had to work on that day was a pretty long list of general house hold chores, some Watkins business things, and lots of laundry. Luke, being a typical boy, discovered that if he wets his lips, puts his mouth against the heels of his hands, and blows hard, it sounds like, well, a natural occurring bodily function. Much to his delight.

"hey mom! hear what this sounds like? A STINKY TOOT! Isn't that cool?"

Inside, I'm cracking up. I'm thinking back years ago to arm pit farts, burping contests, flipped up eyelids, and all other manner of inappropriate and hilarious childhood fun (or grown up fun, depending on the company you spend time with). Outside, I carefully maintained my mother face, asking "but Luke, do you think it's appropriate and polite behavior?" (This, as his sister is sticking her face in her plate and licking every last drop of syrup left over from the two pieces of French toast she devoured in a non-lady-like manner in less than five minutes.)

Eyes dart all over, except to my face. A grin surfaces. A quick glance at Mama then eyes zoom else where. Finally, the answer: 'Well, Mama, at this moment (yes, he actually said that), it, um, well, uh, hm. I don't know."


I never did laugh in front of him, or crack a smile. I didn't want "those noises" made all day long!

So after breakfast, it was off to working down the chore list. I headed upstairs and stared with dismay at the kids' did it get so messy and why did it smell so bad? Okay, I know why it smelled so bad, but anyway.....I set them to cleaning up while I headed into the upstairs living room. After they cleaned their room, we headed to the steps and foyer...where they continued to tidy things up along with me. Then downstairs...the biggest job area. As I cleaned the kitchen counters, I handed them each one of Watkins great new microfiber clothes (only $5.99...check it out! and had them start wiping down cupboard doors, kitchen drawers, and cabinets before sending them out to match socks in the sock basket.

Luke finally threw down his cloth in disgust and said, "you really hate us. You just make me slave around ALL DAY! My job is to PLAY, not work!" It startled him when I quickly agreed. "Yep, you're right. I hate you. I never cook for you, never make you treats, never give you cookies, never play with you, never let you have any fun, never let you play with the cousins. All I do is work you nonstop, every day." My son. He loves me. He quickly rose to my defense, this boy who had just accused me of being a slave-master, just like the Egyptians (yeah, he compared me to them!). "No, Mama, you really do love me! You're always doing that good stuff!" And he shut his face and finished wiping things down and matched all the socks he could find.

Meanwhile, I opened the freezer, I don't even remember why now. Much to my shock, there were two rashers of bacon, just sitting there, unwrapped, right on top of everything. "What is this bacon doing here, and why isn't it wrapped up???!!!!" and a tiny little voice piped up, "but Mama, you told me to take it out of the bag....."

Sigh. Maybe that's why she puts a little shimmy in her step when I tell them "let's get shaking!"

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My Husband, My Hero (and a follow up on Susi)

Last Thursday night, around 11:30, as I was painstakingly rolling out the 45 tins or so (seriously) of home made cinnamon rolls for our market, there was a rustle in the kitchen underneath the microwave stand. We live in the country. We had a small mouse infestation before. I started picturing the worst. And I screamed for my husband. My loving husband who had been asleep for at least two hours already. My hard-working husband who is usually up and out the door before the rest of us are even stirring in our sleep. Meanwhile, I stood guard in front of the microwave stand to make sure there were no critters escaping from the corner it was trapped in. And I yelled louder, keeping a close eye out so I could make a run for it if something else did, too (me in the opposite direction, of course!).

Tony stumbled in and I explained there was a mouse underneath the microwave stand and he HAD to get rid of it because I didn't want mice in the house again, especially since I usually have several 25 pound bags of flour stacked up for the cinnamon rolls along with 10 pound bags of white sugar and 7 pound bags of powdered (or confectioner's) sugar. Nightmare scenarios were flashing through my mind.

He went to it right away, moving the stand out of the way. Nothing stirred. Great. Was there a hidden nest somewhere???? I KNOW I saw something scurry under there and definitely heard it as well! In a few seconds, he started laughing. Or at least, he would have been laughing if his wife hadn't woken him from a very sound, much needed sleep. It wasn't a mouse. It was a frog. And he disposed of it.

Hey God? I'm not an Egyptian!!! And I really WOULD like to get away to the wilderness for awhile to worship You.....please don't send the plagues.....

And, for those of you would read, commented, offered advice, and laughed at my post last week about Susanna and her little (wet) problem -- please be assured that I have a strong willed daughter. I will keep an eye out to make sure there aren't medical problems associated with this, but let me tell you the follow up.

Saturday she reminded me that she hadn't peed anywhere but the toilet since I took Cinderella away. Not "since you spoke with me about it", not "since you made me clean it up," no, "since you took Cinderella away." She even started getting up in the middle of the night -- without coming in to get one of us - and going downstairs to go potty in the middle of the night. Yesterday afternoon, she hugged me tight and informed me of the number of times she went potty during the day, and "not even a tiny dribble went on the floor, Mama!"

She got her Cinderella back at bedtime...with a threat, I mean a warning, that next time she pees on her bed, in her pants, on the floor, anywhere not in the toilet (night time being the exception, although I didn't tell her that....we are still working on totally dry nights!), Cinderella was going away.....for good.

Now, anyone want to come help me shampoo the carpets, scrub the floors, and wash her mattress?

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Okay, all you seasoned moms out's the problem.

I have a child who pees all over the place. We won't mention her name. She is a typical "boy" in that she gets involved in playing until it's often too late to make it to the bathroom. Or so I thought. It didn't happen too often, but it had been starting to happen about once a week, which IS too often. Then it started happening even more, sometimes once a day. I'd ask her often, "do you need to go to the bathroom?" And she'd assure me she didn't. And I'd just tell her to go...and if nothing comes out, that's fine.

Then one day last week I discovered the sheets on her bed were all wet. After she woke up. Dry. After she got dressed for the day. And the sheets were dry. "What happened????" "I had to go and couldn't make it." Grumbling, I made her help me change the sheets.

Then there were puddles in front of the toilet. Frequent ones. She was spoken to. She was given a time out. She was spanked. (you have to understand...this was happening almost daily now)

Still, in the back of my mind, I wondered if I was being too hard on her. Granted, she's 4 and she should know better, but maybe.....

Then.....Sunday, we were getting ready to go out to eat. She was wearing her favorite flouncy pink skirt...and a red shirt. She informed me that she didn't HAVE any white or pink shirts to wear, only red. I knew better, so I hauled, I mean, asked her to go upstairs with me to go thru her drawers....but when we got up there, her bed -- her DRY bed -- was soaking wet. So were the underwear in the middle of the room. "What happened?" I cried again (not literally....yet). She informed me she couldn't make it downstairs. Then a light flickered...."Um, Susi (oops, you didn't read that, I wasn't going to name names!), why isn't your skirt wet? Your favorite pink skirt that you've been wearing all day?" "Well, when I felt the pee pee coming, I took my skirt off before I sat on the bed and went potty."


Okay, now the tears came. Literally. WHAT do I do to stop this behavior? A friend, a dear friend who loves my daughter very much, who leads our small group woman's Bible study (again, not mentioning names, you know who you are!) told me that God knew what He was doing when He gave her to me....she'd have killed her by this point (between this and other things you've read in the past week or so and even other things that have not been written). So please know, that isn't an option. I don't want to prove my dear friend wrong.

I'm fine with time outs. With spanking when necessary. With creative discipline (she's already not allowed to wear her princess dresses or twirly dresses for another month because she keeps writing all over herself and everything near her with pens and markers...even though she's not allowed to use them...and since they're all put up, I don't know where she's getting them!!! But it's working...she hasn't written on herself or anything else in two weeks, except for paper, with a pencil or crayon). But time outs aren't working. Spanking isn't working. Talking with her isn't working. Making her clean up the urine isn't working (yep, she's doing that, too, and having a genuine Cinderella attitude while scrubbing things up -- guess who is the evil stepsisters and stepmother all rolled in to one?). I've taken away her twirly dresses and princess dresses. I told her next time she pees in her clothes, she'll wear them wet and stinky all day long -- so now she just pulls her clothes off before peeing in unconventional areas.

I took away her Cinderella doll...her favorite (for today) toy as punishment. No, it doesn't fit the crime, but I don't know what else to do. I did tell her five days without peeing any where except where she is supposed to will get her Cinderella back...otherwise, one of the local cousins will get it...and keep it forever. And I mean it. She sobbed, thinking nothing in the world could be more terrible.

Will it work? I'll keep ya posted.

But in the mean time...give me suggestions!!!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Catching Up.....

Yesterday morning, out of the blue, Luke looked at me and said, "Mama, I love you so much! I love you 28!" Now, I have no idea what that means other than he knows that's alot (well, to him). So I told him I love him 30. He upped it to 50. I topped him at 100. He increased it to 500 I went up to 1000. He impressed me by telling me he loves me a million. I told him I love him a trillion, and he responded with two trillion. I kinda stumped him though when I told him I love him to infinity and beyond. As much as we hear that line here, he didn't know what infinity was. He does now :)

Tonight on the way home from working at the market, I said something about being "Mama the Magnificent" to which Luke informed me that I'm not ALWAYS magnificent, only when I wear a dress. Susanna quickly piped up that she is magnificent, too. Luke, of course, had to burst her bubble and informed her that she isn't always magnificent either. "WHAT did you say? I'm not always magnificent? Luke Michael Cahtay! That is NOT proper behavior. You are huring my feelings. Hmph! Bad attitude, Luke. Of COURSE I'm always magnificent." Wow, was she playing it up with small grin on her face. His grin was bigger as he sought to reassure her that she is beautiful but not always magnificent.

As for Tony and I, we've been super busy with the farm and market and home. It seems the work is never done. Corn and tomatoes are going strong, as are beans, peas, spinach, zucchini, cucumbers, and beets. Muskmelons are slowly starting as are hot peppers. Hopefully, egg plant, green peppers, and watermelon aren't too far behind! Our market continues to flourish; God has really been blessing our business this year...this is my seventh summer here, and financially, this year is the best the market has been so far. I love that I know most of our regulars now, even our "summer only" and "one-week-a-year" visitors that make our market a daily stop! It's fun letting our customers know when we have something special I know they'll like (raw honey, new jams and jellies, certain produce, etc.).

It's also been a weird summer. I've seen news reports about droughts and heat waves around the country, but we've not seen that here this summer. Thankfully, we've had no shortage of rain. And we've only had a handful of days where the temps were above the mid 70s. Even through July and August, there were sometimes full weeks when the temperature would barely get into the low 70s! And then last week, we had one day in the upper 80s, another in the 90s, and I thought I was going to die! I guess when you get used to the cooler temperatures then they sky-rocket up without one getting used to it...well, it's horrible! But the day after the 90 degree temps...things were back to the low 70s. Tomorrow's high....67!

BTW, I've been trying more new recipes after a great new site was created this summer by Ree "The Pioneer Woman." You have GOT to check out this site! It is extremely user friendly -- it's free, you can build your own "recipe box" and add recipes to it, even from other blogs! You can post and share your own recipes, too. If you join, add me as your friend! I'm listed under my full name, LindaSue Carter.

For now...good night! Keep in touch, okay?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Smart Kid

Yesterday in church, Luke snuggled up to me, looked at me, and whispered "My daddy loves you!"

Saturday, August 8, 2009

I Tried Not to Laugh...

This has been another tough week with Susanna. You read about some of the more mild things that happened this week. Then there was yesterday. She went downstairs in the morning not even 10 minutes before me...and wiped out a tube of imported chocolates AND two giant cookies in that short time. Her discipline was no treat at the Market that day, regardless of what Luke got (and I planned to make his treat a REALLY good one). He decided he wanted shortbread. And who could blame him? Well, she saw his treat and informed me quite loudly in front of a market full of customers "Mama, I decided for my discipline I want a spanking. Then I can have a cookie." "Really? YOU want a SPANKING?" "Yes, Mama. I want a spanking." I told her to go outside and wait for me. She did, clutching both hands to her tush. A few minutes later, I followed her out the back door only to be informed, "I decided I'd rather not have the cookie."

Then, we got home in the evening and she was going to set the table. Once again, she grabbed all the plates, trying to balance them in one hand, but this time, before I could tell her not to, that she was going to drop the dishes (something she hears often)....she did. And broke one. Corell. Unbreakable. And it landed on a padded mat. Then I noticed her face. Covered in raspberries and strawberries. The raspberries and strawberries I brought home to make three pies for a family supper tonight at the farm. I brought home just enough, no extra to spare. I cried. Literally. I just wanted out for awhile. This may not sound like that big of a deal to you, but it's just been one struggle after another with her and getting more and more each day. Figure in working full time at the market, trying to keep up with things at home, etc.....well, it's overwhelming. Tony helped, but I don't know if he clearly understood what I've been dealing with.

Until today.

Saturdays our routine is usually a bit different. Today we had a babysitter here while I was at the Market. Friends of ours had a 25th anniversary celebration, and the kids went with the babysitter and her family. Tony was then going to take them to the Logging Days in town to watch the lumber jack competitions after dropping more sweet corn off at the Market. Ha!

About 2:45, I called Tony to see how soon we'd have more corn. He answered the phone a bit out of sorts. "I got home and the girl was running around naked. She got all wet some how and I think there's soap all over. We can't find any clothes, and I have no idea where the babysitter is. I haven't even picked corn yet." I couldn't help it. I tried not to laugh. But I did.

He hung up on me.

(I found out later, the babysitter was upstairs trying to find clothes for Susanna...and it isn't like she doesn't have drawers-full of them....)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Chocolate Band Aids

Before I go further, if you live in the immediate area (or where this wouldn't be too long of a drive for you), please do yourself a favor and go see the local production of "Fiddler On the Roof" this coming Friday, Saturday, and/or Sunday. We went to the show Sunday afternoon and it was fantastic! A friend, David Overly (hi Dave!) has the starring role of Tevya and does wonderful. Our niece Tessa is Hodel, the second daughter, and also does fantastic. The entire cast is outstanding...even our kids sat through it enthralled. No small feat for a 4 and 5 year old, sitting still for a 3.5 hour production (with a 15 minute intermission). You'll be glad you went!

Now, on to chocolate band aids! Yesterday, somehow, Susanna got a small carpet burn on her elbow. You'd think she was skinned alive with all the "ows" and moans and belly aches she's been doing. Don't feel sorry for her, it's all a ploy. See, on top of the fridge, I have a pack of chocolate band aids for the REALLY bad owies. And she wants one. Or three. I told her not last night (yeah, hype up a four year old before bed time, right!), but if it was still bad in the morning, I'd THINK about it.

Well, obviously, I took too long. Going into the kitchen this morning, I noticed the step stool in front of the fridge. I called her to me and asked why it was there with a quick reminder not to lie. "Well, uh,....." I told her I already knew why it was there and I wanted to know if she was going to tell me the truth. We had a situation with lying yesterday and she found it was much less painful NOT to lie, so she quickly told me she wanted to just see the chocolate band aids....and maybe eat them. Okay, I wasn't expecting that full confession, so I asked her how many she ate and she told me two. I banished her to the steps with her wailing, "Don't spank me!" while I cooled down.

I had no intention of spanking her. Really, I didn't. But she asked for it. Literally. I mean, she did! After a four minute time out, I walked out and told her once again she had stolen from us by taking something that wasn't hers to take (we have an issue with stealing things, too). Then I asked what her discipline should be. Honest. I was thinking maybe throw the rest away....making HER throw them away. Getting some money from her bank, something along those lines. Nope, she said "A spanking." So she got a quick swat, and we sat and cried together as I told her I didn't think I was being a good mama because my daughter keeps lying and stealing and having naughty behavior and I didn't know what to do.

She kept hugging me and assuring me I was the best mama and she wouldn't be bad any more (see, I TOLD you we have a problem with lying! about the bad part, not the best mama part!). She grabbed my hand and we headed back to the other room. As we were walking along she looked up and said,

"Can I still have a chocolate band aid?"


Saturday, August 1, 2009

I'm Tired of Being Susanna

So we're eating supper when out of the blue, Susi tells us, "I'm tired of being Susanna. I want a different name." Playing along, I said, "Okay, what shall we call you? I know! Ricky! We'll call you Ricky!" She looked a bit horrified as she replied, "no! I don't want to be Ricky! I want to be..." Interrupting, I told her, "No, you can only be Ricky or Susanna. I rather like Ricky, and that's what I'm going to call you now." "NO! I don't WANT to be Ricky! Just call me Susanna! I LIKE Susanna!"

At least we won't have to get a new birth certificate issued with the name change.....