Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Changelings and Other Stories

We're back. What a crazy time.

But it was good. Tonight at dinner my eldest said, "It was fun just being with Mommy on our trip. And we got to save money when we ate out because there weren't so many of us."

Yes, Olivia and I had a great time on our trip to Portland. The appointment went well. And we found out Olivia will be getting braces soon, something she is very excited about, believe it or not.

But that was several days ago now. Ancient history. A past life. In between then and now we were in Boise, Idaho at football camp.

Boy, oh boy!

We had fun, but I am exhausted. There's something about spending three days with four children who all take turns throwing temper tantrums that just clobbers you.

I gave them all nicknames for this trip. Here they are:

I'm Not Getting Enough Sleep Girl: This is the four-year-old who I had to wake up at 9a.m. every morning because the hotel breakfast closed down at 9:15. This is the four-year-old who laid on the floor of the breakfast lobby and screamed her lungs out because I didn't give her chocolate milk in her cereal. Chocolate milk? Are you serious? I've never even heard of that before!

I Hate Football Boy: This is the six-year-old changeling who went from being sweet, adorable, wonderful boy one minute to screaming, kicking, spitting boy the next. Why the change? Because I told him it was time to go watch some scrimmages at football camp. The boy's argument: "I hate football! I hate watching football! It's boring!" My response: "We came all the way to Boise to watch football! Why do you think we came all the way here!" The boy literally snarled at me, ran away from me, and hid in a corner, stiffening all his joints so he was almost impossible to move. Boy: "I'm not going!" Me: "Oh yes you are!" He attempted to punch me on more than one occasion. When he later regained his right mind, I reminded him that nice boys don't hit their mommies. Note: This happened every single time we headed over to the stadium. Once he got there he was fine. Go figure.

Anti-Personal Hygiene Girl: This is the eight-year-old who loves to swim in the pool, but later complains about itchy rashes because she will not take a shower to get off the chlorine. My advice: Next time you swim, we're taking a shower. The time to shower arrived. This eight-year-old was reminded to take a shower. This eight-year-old resisted and had to be dragged kicking and screaming (I'm not exaggerating) into the bathroom and had to be held under the streaming shower by a mother who was even more determined than she was.

Mine Baby: Everything to this 1.5-year-old is "No, Mine!". The gumball her brother just got out of the machine is hers. Me: "No, honey, you're too little for gum." Temper tantrum. Whatever toy any other sibling is playing with is hers. Me: "No, honey, they are having a turn now." Temper tantrum. At least this one I was expecting, because, you know, she's a toddler.
And she's still small enough to hold in my arms while she kicks and screams. That I can manage.

Moral to the story: Travelling as a "single" mom (ie. temporarily minus the dashingly handsome sidekick who was busy coaching football) with four kids is not for wimps.  I would be ready for early retirement, if that were an option in my contract. But it's not. And I guess I wouldn't want it to be.

Wonderful things about this trip?

I got to see the dashingly handsome sidekick a lot more than I would have if we'd stayed home. Big plus.

I got to go to Boise. Beautiful city. Loved the Capital Building. And they have beautiful parks. The drive was also very pretty.

I didn't have to cook.

The atmosphere at the camp was so cool. It was fun to see all the different teams jumping around acting macho. I loved their chants, especially during the Challenge on the Blue. (The Boise State field is colored a bright blue, so the teams would challenge each other "On the Blue." It was sort of like a gladiator match or a giant, organized street fight, with all the players standing around in a big ring with scrimmages going on inside. Electrifying experience, even as a spectator.)

All our kids received presents of Boise state shirts from Grandpa. And BSU quarterback Kellen Moore (former Prosser Mustangs QB, mind you) was there to sign them all! Even Gabe was exuberant, despite the fact that he "hates football."

It's good to be home. I'll be catching up for a few days, I'm sure. Hope you all are doing well. Thanks for all your thoughtful comments on the blog last week. They meant a lot.


  1. Funny. Yes you expect t from a 1.5 yo, but we get those from older kids as well. My 9 yo has started throwing some tantrums when he's angry with siblings, and it;s not pretty. Have fun getting back to normal life. I hope they change back!

  2. Amy, I salute you. You are one brave woman:)

  3. Oh, and Amy, the interview I did last week, with Lauren MacLeod, totally made me think of BACK. You should definitely query her when you're finished.

  4. I'm with Krista here - *salute.* It's incredible that you do so much for those kids and also have time to write. Thanks so much for sharing.

  5. You deserve a "mommie" medal.:)

    I've been to Boise a couple of times. It is a beautiful city.

  6. Ha ha. Thanks everyone! I appreciate the encouragement. Weronika, sometimes I *don't* have time to write. It's a big juggling game. But I squeeze it in when I can. :) It makes me love and appreciate writing even more when I do have the time to devote to it.


  7. Amy-It gives me hope when I read about these crazy temper tantrums happening in other households. Really, truly HOPE! There are moments when I think it is only happening to me and wonder where I have gone wrong. Your post made me smile...I'll think of you and those 4 kiddos tonight when I am holding my two toddlers under the shower head screaming. :)