Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Backyard Beach

Remember when I said my kids had been getting along and behaving really well? Yeah, um, about that...

A couple days ago, I was talking to a friend on the phone while cleaning my bathroom. I always talk on the phone while cleaning. By the time I finish my conversation and hang up, my house is clean and I don't even remember doing any of it! It's awesome! It's a great, virtually painless way to tackle yucky chores.

After my bathroom was all sparkly, I walked through the kitchen to hang up the phone. As I was saying goodbye to my friend, I stopped in my tracks as Clay and Brooklyn, dripping wet and wrapped in towels, came walking out of the other bathroom.

"Bye Jules. Talk to you la..what the??? What are you two doing?" I yelled in my friend's ear on the other end of the line. Of course, Clay and Brooklyn were up to no good. Duh. I should've known this from the start. They were quiet. The whole time I was cleaning the bathroom, I didn't suffer a single interruption from them. Obviously that meant they were doing something like trying to scale the garage, or removing the tires from my van, or lighting the yard on fire, or painting the windows with crayon and smooshed cheese. (In case you're wondering, it's especially hard to get smooshed American cheese off windows.)

Really it's a toss-up. You can have a quiet conversation while the kids destroy the house express their creativity, or you can have a conversation like this:

"So I was talking to my lawyer and he said hold on a minute. Get down from there right now! What are you thinking? Do you want to fall and crack your head open? I'm sorry, Julie, so I was talking to my lawyer and he said that no, I can't paint your nails right now. I know you want nail polish, but I'm on the phone. I'll paint them when I get off. Sorry, Julie. I swear this kid wants her nails painted every day. Every single day! She has so many layers of nail polish that her nails are like 2 1/2 inches thick! I have no idea what I was saying. Oh yeah! My lawyer told me that he'll set up a court date for Clayton, I told you to put on a jacket if you're going outside. It's cold out there! Yes, it is. Yes, it is. Yes, it is cold! Yes, it is! Fine, don't put on a jacket. Suit yourself. But then you have to stay inside. Sure, I'll put on a movie for you. Hang on, Julie. I'm sorry. OK, there we go. Now, they're all set with a movie. So, what's going on with the job situation? Oh, we were talking about the court date? Oh yeah! Well, I told him yes, I can get you some chocolate milk. Where's your cup? Sorry Julie. Hang on a sec."

OK, I know some of you are probably thinking that conversation is horribly rude and permeated with bad manners. And yes, if you're on the phone with the doctor's office, or a business call, or your mother, you don't want to have conversations like this. However, if you're on the phone with your girlfriend who is having an identical conversation with you because her boys are beating each other over the head with golf clubs and running out into the street as she's talking to you, then I say, go ahead! It's understood. It's mutually acceptable. It's what stay-at-home moms do. If we waited for an opportunity to talk in peace and quiet, we never talk to anyone! We'd sit at home all day with no outlet until we snapped and started having conversations with sock puppets named Argyle and Bobby.

Anyway, I digress. I wasn't having the aforementioned conversation so I should have been aware that my kids were up to no good. Back to the dripping wet kids emerging from the bathroom.

"What are you guys doing?"

"We just took a shower, Mom."

"I can see that. Why?"

We just felt like it."

"Uh huh," I said as I noticed the dirty footprints covering the floor, leading from the backdoor, through the kitchen, down the hallway, and into the bathroom. I followed the footprints. At the bathroom door, I stopped in my tracks. There at my feet was a mound of discarded clothing that was soaked in water and covered in sand.




Hmmm, this is a new one, I thought to myself. "What on earth did you two do?" I asked in wonder.

"We made a beach."

"A beach, huh? In the sand box?"

"Yeah, we filled it with water and went swimming like the ocean!" Clay beamed, proud of his clever idea.

I began thinking that perhaps those two watch a little too much Phineas and Ferb. Where was Candace when I needed her?

"That's just..." I floundered for words. "That's great," I said with tons of only a hint of sarcasm.

Every week, I find myself instituting rules I never thought I'd need. This week it was the No Swimming in the Sand Box rule. Now if only my kids' messes disappeared as easily as Phineas and Ferb's...

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22 comments:

Jen@Scrapingirl said...

These kinda days are the main reason we blog in the first place. We need to remember this kinda stuff. :)

Glenda said...

Looove the conversation with "Julie" - that was great!

You should put up a picture of yourself from a few years ago... I bet everybody would think you were Savannah. She looks SO much like you!

Chick Hatchers said...

Oh, Dawn, I LOVE your blog! I have SO MANY of those conversations on the phone and I always feel like I AM being rude to my friend and wonder why the heck my kids can't be polite when I'm on the phone. My friends rarely (or should I say only a few friends) have the same conversations when I'm on the phone with them. I swear (but I try not to), some people must give their kids ice cream out of the container in order to have a peaceful conversation on the phone. If that were me, the ice cream would be all over the house and them! You are so down to earth and normal. Thank you for letting me know that I am not alone in my parenting adventure.

mychildsview.blogspot.com

bearhugg said...

Oh Dawn! I don't envy you with the sand mess, Yuck! but I just have to say that your kids are adorable. They appear to be creative and aventurous and know how to go out and make there own relatively harmless ;) fun instead of sitting around in front of the tv all day. Sometimes you just have to shake your head and have a laugh, and then get down to the business of damage control. You're an awesome mom! Thanks for making me smile once again!

Bridget said...

Haha if you wanted your messes to disappear quickly you'd need a Perry the Platypus and a Dr. Doofenshmirtz to battle and then have Dr. Doofenshmirtz's new evil device destroy the messes. Ok. I'm 23 and don't have any younger siblings or cousins and I LOVE Phineas and Ferb. That's ok right? Hehe. Anyway, I love your writing and blog. I'm a single gal who after reading your blog still wants to have 4 kids. I hope I'm not crazy! =) Thanks for always making my day better with your entries!

TwinsanityMom said...

As soon as I read the title of this post I got that darn song in my head. Ahhhh, the life of a mom!

Sara said...

Maybe you need a "must tell mom before trying something new" rule?

Tammy said...

I'm with you. My kids are doing something disastrous if they're quiet. But here that quiet is usually followed by someone screaming bloody murder. Like the day before Easter when my son hit my daughter just below the eye with a plastic bat. She had a nice shiner to go with her Easter dress.

I like your new pictures of the fam!

aj said...

I was actually laughing out loud reading your blog today....it was like taking a look into my day. I ALWAYS clean when on the phone and am amazed at what I get done during that time. I have 7 kids, 4 whom are still living at home, I also do daycare. There is never a quiet moment here and I have the best friends that understand this. I cannot remember the last time I talked on the phone without interruptions (have to say we never had a swimming in the sandbox moment) but we have had many equally odd mischief. My husband refuses to call me during the day due to the fact that he does not have the same patience when it comes to interrupted conversations (poor man sticks to texting me). Thank God for our friends who understand our lives and love us for who we are! Thanks for the laugh!

Meg said...

OM... The Phineas & Ferb comment had me laughing out loud (the dog now has confirmation that I am in fact crazy). Is it wrong that I could hear Candace's voice yelling "Mom..." when you mentioned her?

At least they had the smarts to know they needed to shower instead of continuing to play in the house in wet, sand-covered clothes. That's something, right?

Jess said...

That is too funny. I currently live in University Grad student housing, and there are about 50 kids that live here also. 2 days ago ALL of them(including my 2 sons) flooded the sandbox and went swimming. So about 25 moms had the same exact mess. Fun Fun Fun

shelby9700 said...

I love love love your blog. You are an amazing Mom, and so funny! When my then 4yr old daughter and niece were quietly playing, my niece ran past me stating she had to hurry and put her bathing suit on( it was winter, in Chgo) and I was getting ready to have a family party in 1 hour. Luckily I heard what she actually was saying as she ran past me. I questioned the suit, and she told me they were gonna swim in the bathroom. They plugged the sink up, left it run, closed the door, and voila! an indoor pool!

Anonymous said...

How adorable, and frustrating at the same time. Did you just throw out the wet sandy clothes and get yourself a drink or did you do then have to call someone else to clean more. :)

Purple Quilter Queen said...

You think they'll get it back 10-fold when they have kids??? You can only hope! Best of luck! LOVE that you've finally changed your "Cast of Characters" pics!! You now dominate the 6-pack! Yeah! Jenn

Shari H said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who has those conversations LOL!!! I totally understood it to. We Mom Rock!!!!! Hope the day ends better for you!!!!

Becs said...

And thanks to you, I have the song Backyard Beach in my head now... even though the kids are asleep and the TV is on something other than Phineas and Ferb. Your kids crack me up. And your work is certainly NEVER done...

mommeeof9 said...

We had several tons of sand delivered last summer, that we are going to move under the swinset someday, if we can get it all back into the semblance of a pile. :)

I thought we sould just buy a new wading pool and put it in the middle of the snd pile. We could stage pictures of our staycation at the beach. :)

Sherry said...

I have conversations like that all of the time!!! Why is it the kids are content and as soon as you pick up the phone their pester mom radar goes into affect???? And, I love the Phineas and Ferb reference. I enjoy that show and my 7 yr old can imitate the "Mommmmm, Phineas and Ferb are making a title sequence" perfectly....obviously, we watch that a LITTLE too much.

Love the new pictures!!!

hot wave said...

I didn't think I would ever have to say "Our yard is not zoned for a mud spa" as I hosed down my youngest. And if you have a shower or tub with slideing doors,take them off now!!! My 2nd son tried filling the tub up with the doors closed. He thought it would be cool to swim in. Love your blog and you are AWESOME.

Christine said...

It's fine to have that kind of conversation and interrupting it with comments to your children. My best friend does it all the time, except she is usually talking to her guinea pigs. That's much more boring since all guinea pigs do is poop, eat, bite each other, and bite her. OH yes, and smell bad. She tells them they smell bad a lot.

The comments you directed at children are far preferable. At least they have variety.

Magda said...

Heh Heh Heh.

To both the beach and the phone conversation.

Liz H. said...

Hey, just be glad the title was "Backyard Beach" instead of "Bathroom Beach". I didn't pay attention to the title & thought they had hauled sand into the bathroom & made a beach in there so they could swim in the bathtub. Until, of course, I got toward the end and saw they only cleaned themselves up in the bathroom. So it could have been worse, right?

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