Time Outs- Can I just Take Yours?

Have You Ever Seen a Two Year old imitate a dog at the grocery store?  On his hands and knees?

As I was trying to fold that last load of laundry tonight as Mignonne was screaming her head off, I thought to myself, “I know why people stop at two”. I guess I have met my threshold of tolerating motherhood, and I’m at my brink. Where do all of the weeks go? I’ll tell you…they go driving my kids up and down the road, picking up and dropping off from pre-school, and pleading with the boys not to embarrass me and to be on “their best behavior” whenever I’m brave enough to take them out in public.

The most ridiculous punishment our generation has inherited is the “time out!” Ooohhhh, that’s SOOO scary. “Yeah mom, make me sit on the staircase for a few minutes while you compose yourself not to beat me senseless.” It’s supposed to be a minute for each year of their lives, but I just wish that I could get a 33 minute time out and let them figure out how to do laundry, feed themselves, bathe without drowning, change their diapers, wipe their butts, let the dog out, and best of all, pick up all of the little trains that have multiplied like rabbits all over our house. I know how John and I got ourselves into this, two kids is cake and it seemed a rather good idea that night, besides, our family dreamed of a little girl, and now we have her, and THREE KIDS! Four, two and a half, and 7 months old.

Mignonne joined our rowdy clan this year. Currently seven months old and always wearing the most adorable outfit I’ve ever seen, the Gerber baby weighs 22 pounds and looks bigger than most two year olds. This is not out of line with her two brothers. Jack is in Pre-K 4s this year and although he is the youngest in his class, it’s not surprising to mention that he’s taller than some third graders. Jack is very sweet and sensitive and loves to snuggle and tell stories of trains. His partner in crime, Mr. Ashton turns three this March and is consistently up to “NO GOOD”. He has a wicked sense of humor and creativity and a strange addictive love-affair with his best friend, “Baby Dog”. This security blanket/dog goes everywhere with him, and has a regular appointment with the washer as it gets dragged daily through parking lots, grocery stores, play grounds, restaurants, and sleeps with him. Like my American Express card, we don’t leave home without it.

Have you ever seen a two year old imitate a dog at the grocery store? Up and down the aisles he goes, barking, growling, whining, and giggling, ON HIS HANDS AND KNEES! The meat department is always a treat as I squirm thinking about some leaking chicken or pork that didn’t get cleaned up very well. It’s my weekly opportunity to evaluate where I’ve gone wrong as a mother. I would also like to mention here that Baby Dog’s bath time is no picnic. It usually involves Ashton convulsing on the kitchen floor screeching, “I WANT MY BABY DOG!!!” Baby Dog has been removed several times prior to the dry cycle completing, as I can only tolerate so much and the wine runs out fast in our household.

John has had a great year. He continues his career with The Firm, and is really now starting to reap the rewards of all the marketing and early morning breakfasts and Rotary meetings. We fled Tampa for North Carolina for Hurricane Ivan, only to have it slam the Gulf Coast and miss us completely. Mr. Firm has a home on the Outer Banks and the company evacuation plan (Tampa was going to get hit with a predicted “4”) was for everyone to relocate and work from condos they rented for the duration. As John and I were dealing with our three hellions, we left early Saturday morning to beat the flow of traffic destined to compete with our Mini-van, pee-pee parties, and diaper changes. Fifteen hours later of pure hell drive time (we spent the night in a random motel) we arrived on Sunday to absolutely splendid weather and the news that the Hurricane wasn’t hitting Tampa and that no one else from the company was coming. We stayed an entire week, and John worked on the patio while I managed the kids. Afternoons we spent watching waves crash in the Atlantic while Mignonne slept, Jack played in the sand, and Ashton ate sand. It was blissful.

John just informed me that he got the boys down and it’s time to drink some wine. We’ve had a regular scheduled date on Sunday’s to watch Desperate Housewives, and this week it’s off because we’re supposed to learn about the “Five People you meet in Heaven”…I’m just trying to survive and death is too pessimistic. But we have wine, the laundry is done and put away, the kitchen is clean, and the baby doesn’t squeal for another two hours. Gotta get while the getting is good. Get your mind out of the gutter; we’ve got a Four Year old roommate at the foot of our bed.

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