Life Lessons Out the Wazzoo

I have a lot of time with myself here in Poland.  That means the voices in my head are free to jibber-jabber all the livelong day.  Sometimes, they tell me that all the people here are staring at me in a mean way.  Sometimes, they tell me that my kids are plotting to drive me insane.  Sometimes, they say good stuff.

The boys and I ventured out on their first scooter ride, and the voices were on fire with good stuff.  Here are some things they taught me.

Lesson 1: Just go for it!  I was very worried to have the boys on these bumpy sidewalks and hills on wheeled vehicles with no brakes.  My kids are a bit accident-prone.  Alex has already broken his arm.  Also, I’m kind of a spaz and fall/bump into things/hurt myself mopping the floors all the time.  So, you know, genes are not so good in that area.

In spite of being anxious, I took them anyway.  And, lo and behold, no one broke anything!  Also, they rocked the safety gear like models.

Locked and loaded ladies!

Lesson 2: Exercise really does lift your spirits and make you not so yelly.   I came home in such a great mood.  I wanted to write blogs, watch TV, and read!  All at once!  While tap dancing!

Lesson 3: My kids are pretty easily amused.  Actual quotes that show their happiness:

“I didn’t even get hurt!” (See, we do fall a lot around here.)

“I’m so excited!  They built two paths!”

“Monkey bars Mommy! MONKEY BARS!”

Have you EVER seen 2 paths?!?!?

Left the scooter safety gear on for good measure

Continue reading

Mindblowing Stuff

Please don’t worry.  I’m not on drugs.  (Well, not on any new ones.)  But, dude, my mind is constantly being blown these days.

My twin boys will be four in November.  So, this means I am nearing the end of the freak-out 3’s.  No one told you about those?  You thought 2 was awful?  Ha!  Ha I say unto thee!

Three will make you insane.  The drama here is incredible.  And the kids are a bit over-the-top as well.  The yelling, dear God, so much yelling.  They fall apart when I do everything anything wrong.


(Wait five seconds.)


Alex is obsessed with only using a clean toilet.  Listen kid, in this house, if you want to use the facilities, you are gonna see some dirt.  If you don’t like it, feel free to pee in your pants.  Oh, you already did?  Yes, I would love to change your underwear 15 times a day due to miniscule and/or imaginary wet spots.

Jack refuses to let anyone touch his stuff.  He’s a twin, and we are mean parents, so, technically not too many toys are actually his.  That does not stop him from collecting all the best Matchbox cars.  (I try to tell Alex that the ones that are left are cool, but we both know that’s not true.)  When Jack’s possessions are threatened, he loses his shit.  Screaming.  Veins popping.  Talking like a dolphin.  You want to give in so he’ll not explode into bits of kid all over the living room.  But you know that’s wrong, so you carry him to the other room to ‘calm down’.  Then he sobs like you ran over his lovies with a Mack truck.  You start feeling sorry for him until you remember he’s a car tyrant.  It’s so insane it will make you switch point of view mid-paragraph! (Only funny to teachers and other nerds.)

When we were in Berlin a couple of weekends ago, we tried to be realistic about sight-seeing with small children.  We tried to do things they would like.  We ruled out the Holocaust museum.  At one point, we decided to do ONE thing I wanted to do.  I was desperate to visit this department store called KaDeWe.  Rumor has it they sell American food.  I was hoping for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Dr. Pepper.  I actually passed right by the peanut butter cups…..while dragging a screaming Alex toward the bathroom where I demanded he poop right now!!!!!  I was not going to watch the poo dance any longer!!!!   Needless to say that was not really the motivation he needed, and we left the store.  It was awful.  I’m not exaggerating.  Jack cried because we had a chocolate bar MADE FOR HIM with ingredients he picked.  We actually left Berlin a day early because the boys were so enraged by random things that we needed the comfort of home to deal.

Jack stubbornly stands in East AND West Berlin.

Now, here’s where my mind gets blown.  At the same time the boys make my eye bleed from high blood pressure (true story), they make me smile and laugh and cry with joy.

Listening to them play (the five minutes they let me do something or are not beating the crap out of each other) is pure entertainment.  They are making up great stories and pretending to be and do things that only little boys can dream.

Jack has the most hilarious laugh, and Alex is the person he laughs at most.  They tell the lamest knock-knock jokes and keel over in hysterics.  Sometimes it’s like they are the only 2 people in the world.  They are so in-tune and happy with each other.  Jack tells Alex that things will be okay.  Alex tells Jack that he can totally go potty if he tries!  I truly believe I am witnessing the birth of life-long closeness.

I have always loved their hands, and now I look at them and see them turning into the hands of big boys.  Hands that will write words and complete math problems.  Hands that still love to caress my arms when I read them stories on the bed.  So damn soft and gentle.

They have the best smiles now.  I love a truly genuine smile of happiness or understanding.  They smile when they know I’m laughing at them.  They like making me happy.  I really do get tears in my eyes when I look at them.  They are so beautiful.  Their faces have so many expressions now.  I want to remember them all.  I want to memorize their voices and funny sayings.  I try to mentally record all of it.

I love my sweet boys.

Clearly, this stage of life for my kids and me is a wild ride.  A ride I’d pay for a thousand times no matter how much it makes me puke.