I could handle five

There are times when I wish Jon and I would have kept making children. After all, our kids are quite gorgeous…!

And wouldn’t it be great to have five kids running around the house, and huge holiday celebrations, and a security net when Jon and I got older – if two or three of them refuse to take care of us at least the other two or three will….
But then reality hits as it did Wednesday night. I agreed to have the neighbors’ three kids over for dinner. So there’s my five kid wish. Within 40 minutes, I was thanking Jon for his adamant refusal to have more children. Just feeding them was a task. I’d need two jobs to pay for the food. I made macaroni-n-cheese in a giant pot and felt like I was a cook in the army, or back in college after a night of partying.

But then there they all sat – so sweet – like little toy soldiers eating their meals and laughing at Mario’s silly faces. Ok, I could handle five.

But it wasn’t two minutes after the macaroni dinner that I heard crashing in the family room, and then wails of pain. Someone was hurt. Yelling ensued. While I cleaned up the hurt kid, the others continued to scream at one another. My kids always stand up for one another and the neighbors’ kids stand up for one another so it’s like the Hatfields and McCoys. Then Rocco entered the mix barking like a mad dog because of the commotion and I was ready to head to the attic and jump off the roof.
I needed a plan. What would calm them down? Drawing. No, too boring. Playing a game? No, to much potential for a fight.
How about acorn crafts?
We’ve had a bowl of acorns for a month thinking we’d color them and put glue inside to watch them turn into “gems” but we still hadn’t done it. Well, that did it. The girls and Pax engaged in the activity while Mario and Quinn played Wii. Then Mario and Quinn and Pax did it while the girls played Wii.
Quiet and art in the house.
I could handle five. Easily.


Dreaming of first

Mario is a competitor. He wants to win. Always has. His grade school, Robert Louis Stevenson (RLS) is hosting a Yearbook contest. Kids from kindergarten through third grade are able to draw a picture and enter it into a contest to try to win the prize – having their picture grace the front cover of the 2014-15 yearbook.
Now, if this was the extent of the prize, he would likely have blown off the contest. But I believe you also win $25 (I told him this without verifying so $25 may be coming out of my pocket). Any contest where money is the prize automatically sucks Mario in.
He sat at the table and thought about what to draw. He wanted silence. He looked up Bobcat images on the computer (the school mascot). He began to draw. Frustration set in. Then muffled yells. Then tears. He gets so upset with himself when he doesn’t do something exactly as he sees it being done. He’s gotten a lot better at calming himself down and I find if I just talk in a soft voice to him, he starts to mellow. I had to do this a lot last night. He went to bed with half of the drawing done. I told him I was proud of him for trying his best. He told me he wanted to win the contest. I rubbed his head and told him to have sweet dreams.
I got up early this morning and slowly walked down the hall towards the steps to go for a run.
“Yeah, dude-man. What’s up?”
“Kiki is really good at drawing. I think she’s gonna win the contest.”
Seriously? He’s thinking about this when he first gets up? A sign of perseverance and determination or obsession with winning?! I told him that all he could do was give his all and just let things fall as they may.
When I got home tonight, he finished his drawing.

Not without some tears and screams. At one point, I was helping Ri with her multiplication exercise and I heard a muffled cry. I walked in the kitchen and he showed me where he drew with pen on his paper. He had tried to draw a bobcat and he did not like it.
“I can’t believe I used pen!”
“It’s ok, we can use white-out.” A glimmer of hope came over his face.
“I used it all”, shouted Maria from the other room. Mario plopped his head into his hands.
“We will buy some after we vote, dude-man. Why don’t you practice drawing the bobcat on another sheet and then you can feel comfortable drawing it on your paper.”
He drew an amazing bobcat on a separate sheet of paper. Then I had a great idea, which I usually never have when it comes to art. We cut out his bobcat and taped it over the one he messed up so that it almost looked 3-D. He loved it, and smiled as he stared at the finished product.
A win no matter what. Now we have to talk about winning … and possibly losing – gracefully. That could be a little tougher than the bobcat art.