My weird family

On Monday I believe I promised to report back today with a full list of things I noticed about my children in the first half of the week.

Since we had a total of nothing to do last night and Monday night, I’m happy to tell you I did not fill the time with extra responsibilities, and I don’t regret it.

The overall theme of this list can be described as “My Family is Weird.”

Also, this list is a little sappy. I don’t know what’s wrong, I’m off my game today. I can’t even with this list. But here goes:

1. Some kids came over to ask my oldest if he wanted to go bike riding and he said no. Now, before you judge me — actually, you know what, go ahead and judge because I’m immune to mommy-shaming. (I’m a mess and I OWN THAT.) I was happy my kid would rather roam and flail around the backyard by himself, narrating an epic Pokémon battle, than wander away for an hour with perfectly nice kids. And I mean it, they are nice. It’s not because I’m overprotective. I’m just delighted that he doesn’t like to be talked into doing things he doesn’t want to do and has his own mind.

2. My 5-year-old has built the only border wall we will ever need. To hide his cereal. The 8-year-old would rather chew on sand than look at or smell cereal, or even have knowledge of cereal particles somewhere in the vicinity of the kitchen while he’s eating his eggs and toast. It’s a struggle. Using salt grinders, water bottles and preschool crafts, the tiny kid built a screen around his cereal-related activities, out of the kindness of his heart. He would rather do this than let his big brother take his breakfast alone in the dining room.

3. The tiny one has decided to be Pikachu for Halloween, and the oldest one has decided to be another electric-type Pokemon called Minun, that a total of -5 people will recognize when he goes trick or treating. Listen, I’m just happy he picked one with a vaguely human shape for which I can make a costume out of a yellow hoodie and some blue makeup. He’s been begging for months for me to make him into a Pokémon I can’t pronounce, with like five tentacles, to which I said NO. And when I say, “For me to make,” I mean “the one with the advanced degrees in textile chemistry and who knows how to use a sewing machine.” Which is NOT me, but his very talented daddy. I have been begging this child to be Ash (i.e., hat & jacket, DONE) for Halloween. It’s a no-brainer, right? But no, he’s gotta have his own mind. Whoever in the world encouraged this independent thinker?

4. The tiny one has suddenly become adaptable. Up until last week, there were tears and wailing if I didn’t make exactly what he wanted for breakfast, the way he wanted it. Then yesterday, the switch happened.

Me: Sorry, no cream cheese in the house today.

Him: Ok, I’ll have yogurt.

What, no tears? No falling in the floor in silent despair? No calling CPS? No nunchucks? Ok, then.

5. The big kid got his flu shot yesterday and not only did he not cry or resist, he didn’t even ask to stop for a gift on the way home. WHO IS THIS CHILD??

6. Even though he’s been fiercely independent since my epidural wore off, the tiny one has recently been wanting an audience. He’s suddenly asking for people to turn on the light for him when he goes to the bathroom. He wants my physical presence in the room while he’s picking out clothes and getting dressed. He’s been extra clingy at preschool drop-off, just when I thought we’d gotten over the new-school-year-new-friends adjustment period. I’m not totally sure what’s going on, but I’ll take all the extra face time I can get with this kid.

7. I still enjoy carrying the tiny around, and I’ll keep doing it until he’s taller than I am. I might even be willing to do this for the older one if I thought my knees could handle it.

8. The tiny one used an empty applesauce pouch as a phone, and took a call on it, pretending to be me. What I learned from this: I sound like a freak on the phone and I say “definitely” a lot.

9. When left to their own devices, my kids are just as likely to turn on a home makeover show or a baking competition as they are to turn on cartoons, and they will always come and find me if something looks too violent. I’m basically done parenting now, right?

10. My oldest, who is in third grade, carried around his Beginning-Of-Grade standardized test results in his backpack for two days before mentioning it. When we went over the results, his reaction was more or less. “Meh, OK. Snack time?” Again, who is this kid??

I’m sure if I were paying attention every day, I would notice a lot more of these tiny transformations.

Whenever I decide to slow down like this, it invites more slowing down. Case in point: As it happens, I kept the little one home today with a cough. And now, school has been cancelled tomorrow due to a tropical depression.

This is going to be a full week of slowing down, even as my to-do lists get longer and my brain becomes more frantic.

But I’m not going to fuss about school being closed. At least not on the first day.

Instead, I’m going to stay up late with my weirdo self and finish watching Dancing Queen on Netflix, sleep in and invite the kids to make their own weird breakfast with whatever they can find in the fridge. Ham, cheese, rice, caramel apples? Do what you want, kids.

And then we’ll play some Zombie Dice and have an OK Go dance party in our pajamas.

But then on Friday we’ve gotta get back on schedule because Mama has a LIST.

What will your weird family be doing tomorrow?

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