Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Wiggles

As a family we collectively do not like The Wiggles. There I said it. Strange dancing, singing men. I bet they're kind people, we're just not into them. 

Enter yesterday afternoon. 

Me and the kids were scattered across the living room, taking a break from our day. I asked for the remote so I could change the channel because, you guessed it, The Wiggles were on. I hit, "Guide" on the remote to see what else was on. Claire and I instantly spotted, Austin and Ally, one of the girls' new favorite shows. Easy decision. And then, Avery interjected, "Wait. I want to see this." 

What? Hold the phone. Avery is as anti-Wiggles as the rest of us. 

I looked over at the tv and understood why. One of the Wiggles had lost his lovely maiden and was singing and dancing to find her. 


I could tell Avery was lost in the storyline and really loved looking at the pretty maiden's curls down to there, tossed over her shoulder, and tied up in a velvet ribbon. I remember that part specifically because that darned Wiggle sang it over and over as he questioned common people as to the whereabouts of the love of his life.

Claire resentfully sat through the scene...after she obeyed my command to, hush it.

Avery was on the couch across from me with her arm up and her hand covering both eyes. She peeked through her fingers to watch the Wiggle at last find his love. They danced and sang together. I think she was nervous they might kiss. I'm sure she was blushing. She was swept away completely. I'm certain her siblings and I didn't exist for those 45 seconds. She was sucked in. My little hopeless romantic. 

Claire commented on the look of the lady, "She looks like she's like 40. Ugh." 

Avery shot a dirty look at her and disagreed, "She's pretty. Look at her hair." 

"Yeah, I like her hair too," Claire agreed. 

I like watching our kids watch the world. I like watching them participate in the world. I just plain like them. A lot. The more and more I watch them the more and more I wonder if Avery really does live in a fairy tale world most of the time. Party of one, (plus her imagination). She really is the freest of them all. She is flippant about many things. Things I'm waaay uptight about. I could stand to learn a thing or two from her. I'm afraid poor Claire is more like the grown up me. Thorough and thoughtful, careful and obedient. Granted she's the oldest, but sometimes she could stand to let loose a little more. You know, really savor 8 years old for everything it's worth. I may end up eating my words. Hmmm...
(Side note: Avery is A LOT like the younger me. She's sneaky now and then. I get her. I know her games.)

Anyway, thanks Wiggles for yesterday. Thanks for letting my Avery enter into your timeless tale of prince and princess, and happily ever after. (I think Claire came along for the ride too, but you didn't hear that from me.) And thanks for stomping all over our usual disdain for your antics. You succeeded in collectively capturing 4 Trask girls' attention, which isn't easy to do. Thanks for the break from life. Thanks for the memory. Thanks for letting me inhale the uniqueness of my beautiful girls as only their mama can.

And now, back to refinishing furniture. Josh told me to publicly promise to never refinish the girls' bedroom furniture again. I promise. Happy, babe? :) I honestly, seriously, promise. Oh, my aching body. But, on the upside, I did dust off my conviction that power sanders are seriously one of the coolest tools ever. DeWalt, if you ever need a girl to endorse your products, call me. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Good Morning

"Momeeee? Can you curl my hair?"

Still half asleep, I look up from smearing peanut butter all over 2 pieces of bread to see my Avery Grace and her puppy dog eyes, desperate for curls today. She's wearing a long sleeved peach cotton dress with flowers all over it. She's looking way cute.

"Umm, I'm not sure. Maybe. But you can't wear that today. It's gonna be hot today. Remember? Wear something short-sleeved. Go change."

"But! Ugh! Mooommmm! I don't have anything else. I want to wear this."

"Avery. Go."

(Deep sigh trod upstairs.)

I'm at the slicing Avery's sandwich into triangles, and cutting crusts off Claire's sandwich phase of lunch packing when Avery reappears wearing something better. Claire's red and white striped dress, (that's too big for Claire - Claire, her older sister), with a long sleeved red shirt underneath. Topped off with a thick cotton red and pink striped sweater with a hood, buttoned wrong so that it sits cock-eyed on her, and finished off with a winter scarf wrapped neatly around her perfect neck.

Josh and I look at each other, trying not to destroy her with full-on laughter.  I'm awake now. Don't worry, babe. I've got this.

"No, baby. I said it's going to be hot today. You can't wear that. You have a long sleeved shirt on under there. No."

Claire pipes up, "Yeaaaah...that's because that dress goes down to here on her in the front. She has to wear something underneath." (Duh!)

Houston, we have a communication breakdown. Note to self, teach them the value of the saying, "Keep the main thing the main thing." I'm talking weather, and Claire's talking logistics.

Now, I laugh. Avery's not amused. Not even a *smidge. Josh seizes his opportunity and exits stage right. He knows a formidable foe when he see's her. All 48 pounds of her.

* Smidge = Avery's favorite term for measurement. For example, "Are you feeling better?" 
"Um, maybe like two smidges," as she holds up her thumb and pointer finger to show the precise distance of 2 smidges.

I'm getting off subject. (Wonder where the girls get that from?) 

Meanwhile Noelle is taking off her pajama shirt from the neck down so that it sits perfectly on her torso like a strapless halter top, only everything ladylike isn't covered. It's her preferred way of wearing (and destroying) neck holes in any and every shirt. Shirts beware!


"Okay. No. Go change again. Sorry baby. No. Don't cry. Just change."

So help me if she comes down in another long sleeved winter ensemble I might lose my  mind. Bless her heart. She's just trying to find a dress to match her vision of bouncy, beautiful curls, but we are running low on time. And I am specifically growing tired of playing fashion police. Move it girlfriend.

Take 3. Goodwill Easter dress special. Literally. It's a 100% polyester number with straps at the shoulders, no sleeves. Light green with light purple flowers slathered whimsically all over the sheer fabric. She bought it a few months ago during one of our thrift store trips, and she l-o-v-e-s it. I think it's just okay. But I definitely don't think of it as a school dress. Whatever. It will work. I tie the tie at her neck, glance at the clock, and we book it down the hall to get her curls going.

Claire, aka, relentless clock watcher, kill me now if we're going to be late girl, is slowly moving from cool and collected Claire to full-blown panic-ridden drill sergeant sister. She starts subtly asking how many curls are left, and then the checklist begins. "Where are your socks, Avery? Do you have your glasses?" and on and on. I encourage her to calm down and reassure her that she won't be late, but she's not buying it. She checks the clock for the third time in one minute and then starts moving at lightning speed to get out the door. Shoes on, backpack on back, standing in open doorway, swimming in stress, "Let's GO!"

"Claire, hush."

"Avery? Av-ray? AVERY!!! Are you done?"

I wonder if Claire bumped her head and somehow thinks she's now the mom and dad in the house. Hell-ooo? I'll be the mama, Claire. K.Thanks!  "Claire, STOP! We're almost done."

Major, not-so-quiet, Claire Bear sigh.

It's 7:31am and it's loud as all get out in our house. 

Like the guy who says whether the groundhog sees his shadow or not, I finally, at last, announce that we are done. Avery is ready. Everyone is relieved.

Avery and I hurry down the hall. We nearly crash into Josh, who has just returned from buckling our half naked 2-year-old into her car seat. I take that back. Her shirt isn't all the way off. It's now in the skirt position, but she is redeemed by the hoodie she must wear whenever she goes anywhere in the car. She has convictions, and she's serious about them.

I ask Josh to run upstairs to grab Avery a half sweater because it's not quite hot yet. She'll need it for the ride to school. He does a what-the-heck-is-a-half-sweater, and moreover where does one find such a thing dad sigh/grunt and makes a run for it. I clarify, "Get the pink one." He returns with 2 choices. Avery chose the full length hot pink one with fancy buttons. I resign from commenting any further on her fashion decisions. I am Mom. And I am done.

"See you after school. Love you."

For all you Moms out there who keep up with fashion and try to tow the line on trendy, good for you. As for me and my house, we will keep it real. I will not allow my kids to leave the house dressed inappropriately for the season, for fear of overheating and misery on their part, but I will not engage them in fashion wars unless what they pick out falls into the travesty/inappropriate category, which rarely happens anyway. I honestly care only just a little bit about what they wear. The battle's too big for me. Too exhausting. Plus, for the most part, my girls make great fashion choices. Claire rides the wave of conservative and simple. Avery pushes the envelope every chance she gets. Not in the risqué sense, but in the, I know what I like and I don't care if you do or don't sort of way. And Noelle struggles with keeping clothing on her body. She's 2. There's still time to correct this.   We all have our issues. 

(Deep breath.) 

It's 7:40am. Where's that baby boy of mine? It's time to feed him.