Another Sleepless Night

Yesterday I was officially woken up five times…

  • First:  Milo went nuts when Kaleb came into the bedroom… again.
  • Second:  Kaleb slapped me in the face… again.  Of course this led to me sending him back to his own bed.
  • Third:  Kaleb started singing Old McDonald Had a Farm in my ear… once again he is told to go back to bed.
  • Fourth:  Kaleb tapping me in the middle of my forehead asking for Disney Jr.  Go back to bed!
  • Fifth:  Kaleb licked my foot…  Aaaaannnnd that does it.

This took place between 4 and 7.  Everyone else is still sleeping peacefully – why am I being licked on the foot by a 5 year old?  A 5 year old, by the way, who got suspended from school Friday.  Seriously.  I’m still not even sure how to deal with that – my brain is refusing to accept it.  My little trouble maker, who I found sticking stickers to my good bookshelf and coloring on the walls with crayon when I kicked myself out of bed yesterday morning.  Why???  Why would you do such a thing?  Hmmm to drive Mommy crazy maybe?  Probably.  Of course Mason was not sleeping peacefully after the battle that occurred when I discovered the coloring culprit.

Our neighborhood had their annual Christmas Toy Parade yesterday.  We live around a lot of pilots, so the parade is basically like an airshow.  I thought Mason was going to go out of his mind.  Clapping, yelling, pointing, jumping up and down, and actually using his sign language appropriately for the first time in forever to sign for “more”.  One of the pilots actually saw him freaking out and came over after he landed to say he saw Mason cheering from the sky.  Of course, the guy wasn’t in a plane so Mason couldn’t have cared less who he was or what he wanted.  But I thought it was cool.

On another note – I found something this morning that is too cool for words!  It’s a train ride about an hour from here to the “North Pole” where Santa hops on board after hot chocolate and cookies (and no, it’s not a Polar Express ride – they’re all sold out).  Mason loves trains.  And cars, and airplanes, and anything else that moves.  Taking him on a train – he would lose his mind.  Seriously, his skull would open up and his brain would jump out and do omg omg omg dances.  I’m so excited about this I’m even dancing – and trust me, it’s not pretty when I dance.  Therefore, I don’t do it lightly.

So, as I sit here waiting with baited breath for Daddy to wake up so I can show him the coolest Christmas adventure ever,  Kaleb decided his car is broken and he needs to borrow mine (uhhhm no).  Then he wanted me to draw a bulldozer – he clearly forgot once again how terrible I am at drawing, and is now freaking out because I didn’t draw it right (do I even have to say ‘I told you so’?).  Mason keeps trying to shush him because Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is all about trains and Mason has no interest in listening to Kaleb yell over the sound of a choo-choo.  Of course this only makes Kaleb scream louder.  Once I managed to quiet them both down, Mason takes another ornament off the tree (because I really didn’t want the tree to be decorated this year kid, please take all of the ornaments, they are only there to amuse you).  Kaleb knocks him down to get it back, Mason screams… chaos ensues… I really need to teach myself not to go to the bathroom when they’re awake.  It never ends well.

I’m off to jump in the middle of my family room war zone before the tug of war occurring over a dog toy gets out of control.  *Sigh*

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Ain’t That a Kick in the Head…

Have you ever wondered what would have happened if you did something differently?  I know that’s natural on a grand scheme – but I’m talking little things here.

For instance, If I had gone straight to bed last night instead of watching that glorious hour of television, would I have felt the need to kick Kaleb out of my bed at 5am?   If I hadn’t kicked him out of bed, would I still have been kicked in the head while tying his shoes?   If I hadn’t insisted on Kaleb repeating the steps of what he should do when he gets frustrated would I have met a neighbor in my pink snowflake pajamas and robe with a nice big red spot on my forehead?

I guess I’ll never know.  What I do know is this:  I really hope there isn’t a shoe impression on my forehead all day.  This morning, for the first time ever, I spoke with a woman I see every time I go running – and I’m sure the impression I made on her is going to be more permanent than the one on my head.

Here are a few other things I’ve learned over the past few days:

  1. I really hate getting a phone call in the middle of the day telling me my child is the equivalent of a pint-size nuclear bomb and I need to come get him from school.  I understand the need to protect our children – most of the rules the schools have in place I am glad for.  However, preventing my autistic child’s teacher from telling me just what has caused him to go bananas on all the kids in his class because it is “instruction time” is insane.  HELLO people – my 5 year old is nearly 60 lbs of freakishly strong muscle with the emotional age of a 3 year old.  When he wants to hurt someone – he will.  Would you rather his teacher interrupt “instruction time” for five minutes so we can try and find a solution, or do you just want to wait until he rips the place apart over something that may have been prevented?
  2. Mason is obsessed with water.  Not just the dog bowl, or the bath tub, but the toilet is becoming a problem.  And don’t you dare tell me to start potty training – I have tried, he’s not ready.  And by not ready, I mean he REALLY isn’t ready.  He isn’t just fascinated with flushing the toilet, or making sure that mommy never feels alone when she’s trying to pee, he’s obsessed with the water in the toilet.  We now have one toilet with a mystery clog – and yesterday I found him with about 15 matchbox cars inside the other toilet.  Just imagine how happy I was rooting around in the bottom of the toilet for those bad boys.  Of course, this is nothing compared to the time he took the cup I use to wash his hair and emptied the entire contents of the toilet bowl onto my bathroom floor.
  3. Royal frosting is a bitch.  Both to make, and to decorate with.  Next year we’re buying the pre-made cookie frosting.
  4. Mason’s room is probably going to look like it threw up toys and clothes for the rest of eternity.  I’m going to go on strike.
  5. I am now convinced that there is such a thing as “dog-nip”.  I am equally convinced they rolled the candy canes on my tree in it before packaging them.  Otherwise, my dog would have given up trying to break his neck in an attempt to get the stupid things off the tree by now.

Oh, one last thing:  while being silly with your children, I do not recommend doing a hand stand – it will likely turn into a back bend, and you will most likely injure yourself – and all for nothing when you realized the kids weren’t even watching you act like a fool.  It’s probably best to stick to magic spells, freeze tag, and monkey in the middle.  Unless you are the monkey.

The Mini-Monster is awake now, I have to go and see what destruction was brought upon me while he was “sleeping”.

Arrrrrrg you ready for trouble?

My children love to torture each other.

The problem is – while Kaleb is physically dominant, and academically brilliant, he doesn’t understand people – and has no real desire to.  Mason has been studying people since the day he entered the world.  He is a manipulative little thing, and knows just how to twist Kaleb up to the point that Kaleb does something to get himself in trouble.

Take this morning for example.  Kaleb has a pirate ship (obviously this is a toy, otherwise I would certainly win coolest mother of the year award), named Bucky.  He had been pleading and begging for this toy for months, until my mom bought it for him as “it’s your brother’s birthday but here’s a present for you so you don’t go ape” gift.  He loves this ship – unfortunately, so does Mason.  Mason has “Pirate Island” and Captain Hook’s Battle Boat – but they aren’t Bucky, and he wants Bucky.  This causes problems.

This morning, when Mason woke up, Kaleb was on the living room floor playing with one of his doll houses (yes, there are many of them.  Yes, he’s a boy.  No, I don’t care.  They help him understand family dynamics, express emotions, tell stories, and are overall good for him, so we say yes to doll houses.  We do draw the line at pink princess sneakers though).  Mason stopped, and watched over Kaleb’s shoulder for a minute.  At this point, I could see Kaleb visibly tense and get ready to defend his house.  Mason however, much to our surprise, steps over the house things, and moves on without a sound.  Now, Kaleb relaxes and goes back to setting up his house.  I, on the other hand, know that there is no way catastrophe was averted that easily, so I’m watching Mason with an eagle eye.  In the meantime, Milo steals yet another candy cane from the Christmas tree and I have to scold him and warn about the dangers of diabetes.  I don’t think the dog really cares.

When I turn back to Mason, he’s standing in front of Bucky.  He’s staring at the ship, and giving sidelong glances to Kaleb.  I know full well the kid is trying to gauge if he can get his hands on the ship, and take off before Kaleb can reach him.  Recognizing the catastrophe I had been waiting for, I intervened (I hadn’t even had a sip of my coffee yet – screaming, yelling, pushing, kicking, and so on were NOT going to happen yet).



“Since you are playing with your house, Mason is going to play with Bucky.”

“HUHHH???  OH, um, I’m all done playing with my house mommy, I’m going to play with Bucky.”

“Okay, well, then Mason is going to play with your house.”

“Okay mommy.”

So, all is well and glorious and I get to drink my coffee.  Kaleb is happy with Bucky, and Mason is happy playing with the house – or so I thought.  Kaleb suddenly starts to pay attention what Mason is doing – completely rearranging the house, and is not pleased.  From across the room he is telling Mason where things go, and to put them where they belong because they are in the wrong place.  As he’s saying this he’s moving closer and closer – Mason’s eyes are fixed on Bucky, and I’m thinking oh no.

Kaleb and Bucky pull up along side the house, and Kaleb starts instructing Mason what to do.  Mason reaches out to touch Bucky (at this point, with something that looks like reverence), and Kaleb immediately pulls back.  Mason, recognizing his opportunity, starts to dismantle the house Kaleb had put together with such painstaking care.  Kaleb is getting more and more worked up, and Mason sees his window getting wider and wider.  Odds are, if I hadn’t intervened again Kaleb would have gone after Mason and the house, Mason would have gone for Bucky, Kaleb would have gone after Mason, Kaleb would have gotten a time out to calm his mind down, Mason would have walked away with Bucky, and an evil little smile on his face.

In the end, Kaleb took the house people from Mason.  I gave them back.  Kaleb started to have a meltdown.  Mason gave Kaleb the people and shushed him.  I told Kaleb to thank Mason for doing a nice thing.  Kaleb smacked Mason instead… Kaleb ended up in time-out, and Mason ended up with Bucky.  No two year old should be so good at manipulating the people and situations around him.  But he is, he really is.

Kaleb’s violent meltdowns have and will continue to cause many problems for me.  However, I know at this point that Mason is going to give me grey hair before I turn 30.  I’ve already considered home-schooling the kid – for fear that he will manipulate all the other kids in his class into doing the things he doesn’t want to get in trouble for.  Seriously.  But I’d go crazy.  So, I’m apologizing in advance to his future classmates, teachers, administrators, coaches, and any other person who falls under his “Look how cute and innocent I am – while I completely drive you mad” spell.

Never a dull moment… I freaking love my kids.


What world is this?

I can’t help but laugh at the fact that my 5 year old has my early morning routine down as well as I do.

I have two alarms that go off – one to give me time to wake up a bit, and one to actually get up to so I can get him ready for school.  He crawls into bed with me at 5:50 am, puts his pillow on my arm, mumbles for a minute, then goes back to sleep.  My first alarm goes off at 6:15.  Kaleb wakes up, rolls over and says to me:

“It’s not time to wake up yet mommy.  That’s not the go to school bell, it’s the go back to sleep bell.  We will go back to sleep now, right mommy? The go to school bell on your phone doesn’t ring yet.”

The minute my second alarm goes off, we both hop out of bed and go get him ready for the day.  I get his clothes while he goes to the bathroom.  He gets dressed while I get coffee and fill out his form for the day.  I put his shoes on him, he puts his folder and whatever gizmos he wants that day in his backpack. I grab my coffee, he grabs his backpack, and off we go to the bus.  This was probably the smoothest morning we’ve ever had.  Usually, in between each step of our morning routine there are bouts of whining (but it’s not school today!), screaming (I’m still tired!), and catastrophic meltdowns (my sock is wrong!).  It was like living in a parallel universe this morning he was so pleasant.

Mason and I attempted another shot at the flash cards this morning.  He still just wants to eat them.  We colored with chalk for a while, but then he started to eat that.  We played with the farm and the tractor, first he got mad at me for correcting him every time he “moo”ed the horse.  Eventually he just wanted to lock all the animals in the silo and then started to freak out when they got stuck.  We played airplane, but holy crap that kid is heavy!  I tried to give him a horsey ride around the living room, but he kept sliding off my back and then acting like it was my fault he wasn’t holding on.  He’s brought me three balls off the tree, yelling “Uh-oh!  Oh no!”, just to laugh like a crazy person when I put them back on the tree.

So, basically, I’m just going to hang on the floor and let him use me as his personal playground, since that seems to be the one thing he’s enjoyed the most this morning!  Well, aside from chasing the dog with a fork when he was supposed to be eating his eggs.  That he found to be awesome.  Milo, not so much.

I’m not tired!

A sample of Mason’s crazy laugh:

This is what happens when he gets his hands on the talking cat on my phone.

Yesterday afternoon Kaleb and I decorated the gingerbread house while Mason was sleeping.  I was going to wait for Mason to wake up, but knowing the kid’s obsession with both candy and frosting, thought better of it.  When we were done decorating, we left it on the table to give it time to dry.  When Mason woke up and saw the pretty candy house sitting on the table he went completely ballistic.

Kaleb immediately went into “defend my castle” mode – and Mason immediately went into “Godzilla want candy” mode.  Kaleb stood guard at the table, while Mason plotted a way to get past him, both screaming at each other all the while.  Eventually, I moved the house to the top of the microwave where neither of them could reach it.  This worked well for Kaleb.  Mason screamed for another thirty minutes – until Kaleb offered him an M&M in exchange for silence.

Two hours later, I reach into the boy’s snack cabinet for some goldfish for Mason to munch on while I make dinner.  The only way to prevent him from wrapping his arms around my legs and screaming while I cook is to give him something small to nibble on.  Kaleb catches a glimpse of the bag of gummy bears I keep in the cabinet.  He asks for one, I say no.  He says he’s hungry, I say eat a goldfish, or wait for the dinner I’m in the middle of cooking.  He says he doesn’t like dinner, he only likes gummy bears.  I say he’s out of luck then.

Fast forward fifteen minutes:  He’s stark naked, rolling around my kitchen floor, screaming and pulling his hair like a lunatic.  The only thing I’m able to make out of his screaming is the word gummy bears.  Knowing the only way to deal with this is to let it run it’s course, I continue to step over and around him while preparing dinner.  I prepare the boy’s plates, and put them at the table.  Mason sits down, throws his fork on the floor and proceeds to eat with his fingers (the kid seriously still won’t use utensils).  Kaleb continues to shriek about not liking dinner and only liking gummy bears.

Mason throws a piece of chicken at Kaleb.  Kaleb screams at Mason.  Looks at the chicken that Mason threw at him, gets up and goes to his plate.  I inform him that when he is done eating he is to put his jammies on and get ready for bed.  With a loud screaming whine he responds “I’m not tired!”  Really?  Hmmmm this is what not tired looks like?  I don’t even want to see tired.

Balls, Balls, Balls…

My kid is obsessed with his balls.

Get your head out of the gutter – I’m talking about toys here.  We have bins, buckets, and basket filled with balls.  Of every shape, size, color and texture.   Mason does not go anywhere without a ball, not to the store, the bath, or bed.  Usually he has a whole bucket filled.  So just imagine his reaction when he woke up from his nap yesterday afternoon to discover a tree covered in his most favorite thing in the world.

Now imagine the reaction of my strict ,rule-enforcing, autistic 5 year old when he realizes his baby brother is on a direct route to destroy the tree he painstakingly decorated.  Put it this way – Kaleb is now without a voice, my head still hurts, and my tree is largely without ornaments.  You’ll find said ornaments in my kitchen, living room, bathroom, porch, and primarily Mason’s bed.  At least with the new balls to distract him, Mason isn’t trying to eat the lights anymore.

You may be wondering how the candy canes fared in this.  Ask my dog.  Both of the kids have left the candy canes alone on the tree – surprisingly enough.  However, I’ve pulled more candy canes out of the dog’s mouth than I can count.  The sad part is, I know the kids aren’t giving them to him, he’s jumping up and taking them himself.  If Mason got his pudgy fingers on a candy cane, take my word, Milo would have to pry it from his cold dead fingers.  I found him yesterday eating one with the plastic still on it.  I had to go on a Mason Mouth Expedition in order to pry it all out before he swallowed it.  The kid is a candy cane addict.  Evidently so is my dog.  What are they putting in these things??

On another note, today’s adventures have already begun.  So far we’ve made Christmas shape-cakes with sprinkles, and pulled all the books off the shelf in the living room.  And then there’s this…

Mason dumps out the dog’s water bowl while I’m in the bathroom. Hears me coming around the corner and runs into the living room. Waits for me to start wiping up the water with a towel, before coming over, putting his hands on his face and exclaiming “Oh no!” followed by a lot of pointing and some very sad, shocked babbling. Oh child, I can’t wait to stick you in a drama class.


I don’t like beautiful things

I learned a few things yesterday.  First, Kaleb no longer likes beautiful things.  Second, I really can’t stand Talking Tom Cat.  Third, when the fate of a Christmas tree is hanging in the balance, I can get my kid to do just about anything!

Yesterday I told Kaleb that if his room, the office, and the living room were clean before Mason woke up we would go get a Christmas tree.  Much to my surprise (I really didn’t expect to have to get out of my pajamas) he immediately cleaned all of it.  So, we packed up and headed off to get a tree.  I tried to tell Kaleb all about the Christmas Tree farm my Poppy used to take me to when I was his age, as we stood in the garden section of Walmart.  He just looked at me like I’d grown two new heads.  Wonder what he’d do if he knew Poppy also like to chase me around with recently decapitated deer heads.

Kaleb and I browsed through the trees, until we found a thick one that looked pretty full, with nice soft needles.  We had it cut open, Kaleb declared it to be “Our tree!”, and that was that.  Mason spent the entire time we were at the store chatting up the virtual cat on my phone – by chatting up, what I mean is:  he screamed and shrieked at the thing, then laughed hysterically when the cat shrieked back.  They sounded like a pair of dying monkeys, and I’m sure the garden guy was glad to see us go.

We had to stick the tree out of the back window of the Tahoe, so the lights were on in the car the whole drive home.  This caused quite a stir since I’ve been telling Kaleb for a week to stop turning the light on in the back because it’s dangerous.  As we pulled into the neighborhood, Kaleb noticed that the palm trees out front were all lit up for Christmas.  He said “Mommy, it’s beautiful!”  I agreed, it was indeed beautiful.  Then he said “I don’t like beautiful things.”  I asked what he was talking about.  His reply:  “I don’t like beautiful things mommy, I only like to decorate.  Can we decorate the tree now?”  I will never understand my child.

We got the tree set up, wire cut off, and the boys went to bed with the promise that we would decorate it tomorrow after the branches had a chance to settle.  When Kaleb woke up this morning I told him to go see if he could find where Watson, our Elf had landed after his trip to Santa.  I was quickly told that he was too tired to look for Watson, because there is no school today.  Um, yes there is, trust me.  Thus a fight ensues.  A cereal bar for him and a few blows to the head for me and off to school he went.

All in all, we got our Elf, saw Santa, fireworks, and the big tree lighting, got our Christmas tree, put up the last of the decorations, and made a foam & cardboard Santa.  It was a pretty good weekend!  Though, I will say I’m looking forward to decorating the tree tonight, and doing the gingerbread house tomorrow night.  And I can’t wait until the cookie cutters from my grandparents arrive so I can burn yet another batch of Christmas cookies.