Category Archives: wine

T’was The Night Before School

T’was the night before school

And all through the city,

The mothers rejoiced

Some even felt giddy.

The backpacks were packed

By the door with care,

In the hopes that the children

Would soon be out of their hair.

The children were (finally!) nestled

All snug in their beds,

After whining and crying

And shaking their heads.

Then the mommies* had wine

The daddies* had beers,

And they all clinked their drinks*

And said a big “Cheers!”

*Runaway Mama Disclaimer: Daddies can drink wine and mommies can drink beer.  They can also drink water, coffee, tea, orange juice, apple juice, lemonade, and/or vodka.  Also, mommies and mommies or daddies and daddies can clink drinks and say, “Cheers!”   Aunts, uncles, grandparents, foster parents, friends, neighbors, pets, and anyone else holding the glue together in the family village can partake in this celebratory ritual as well.  In addition, Single Daddies and Single Mamas can hold a glass of wine in one hand and a beer in the other hand and clink his or her own drinks.  What I’m trying to say is that any and all human beings who have committed to caring for children have the right to drink and clink and be merry on the night before the first day of school.  Cheers!

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Filed under school, wine

Brudders

On Sunday night at bedtime, Riley roamed around the house repeating, “I can’t sleep without my brudder. I can’t sleep without my brudder.” It was heartbreakingly adorable. It was adorably heartbreaking.

Dylan has decided he wants his own room. This is big news for a few reasons, the first of which is that our house is small. I mean, it’s not that small. It has three bedrooms, but in my real estate fantasy, I’d have four bedrooms, four bathrooms, two offices (his and hers), a mud room, a craft room, a play room, a safe room (not for hurricanes but for when I need an “I’m going to hurt my children if I don’t hide with a glass of wine for a bit” time-out), a carpentry workshop, a man cave, an outdoor kitchen, a storage room, an IT room for the electronic crap equipment that’s currently buzzing and taking up too much space in my bedroom closet, a padded room for light saber fights, a guest house for my parents, and, last but not least, a wine cellar. But I digress. We have three bedrooms and none of the other stuff, and that isn’t going change anytime soon, which is fine except I’ll never stop pining for a craft room. Never!

A few years ago, the boys shared a room during a summer vacation. It went (mostly) swimmingly, so when we returned home, we made the boys permanent roommates. They’ve (mostly) peacefully shared a bedroom for two years, which has allowed us to use the third bedroom as a guest room, a storage room, and the official headquarters of The Runaway Mama.

Sidebar: We call the third bedroom Harry’s room because he spends most of his time in there lounging on the bed, staring out the window, sleeping, and farting.

It’s been a good set-up – the boys sharing a room, me having an office space, my parents having a place to sleep when they visit, and Harry having a spot to nap and fart, but like most set-ups (i.e. rhythms, schedules, routines, and habits) related to children and child-rearing, as soon as you get the least bit comfortable, they change. It’s the nature of the beast.

The second reason Dylan’s request for his own room is big news is that it was totally and completely his decision. Dylan and Riley are two years and four months apart. When Riley was born, and he was a teeny pooping, eating, and sleeping lump, their age difference was a big deal. Somewhere around the time Riley turned two, though, their age difference became less apparent, or less of an obstacle.

Riley gave up baby-hood early. He walked at ten and a half months, refused to sit in a stroller by the time he was one, and moved from the crib to a bed and gave up naps before he turned two. (I still hold a grudge about the naps.) Dylan, on the other hand, clung to baby-hood for dear life. His fears and anxieties (SPD-related) slowed him down. Not only were the boys similar emotionally, but also physically. They played well together and even shared some clothing. On a few occasions, I was asked if they were twins!

Presently, at ages four and six, the boys share socks, but other than that they are beginning to drift apart. During this life-changing (for all of us) Kindergarten year, Dylan has leaped ahead academically, emotionally, and socially. He reads. He rides big yellow school buses. He sings, “So-and-so and so-and-so, sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g.” Whereas Riley still likes baths, Dylan prefers showers. Whereas Riley is still content with animation, Dylan loves seeing action-packed, 3D superhero movies. Whereas Riley still enjoys shows like “Dora the Explorer,” “Doc McStuffins,” and even “Lalaloopsy” (shh…don’t tell anyone), these “girly” shows cause Dylan to make contorted faces, roll his eyes, shout “Ewww!” and bury his face in a pillow.

With two boys close in age, we’ve had a household-wide sharing policy about toys, books, television, and, well, everything. This has been (mostly) a good thing, but Dylan is beginning to want some ownership of his things and his space.

There were a few times along the way when Mike and I thought about giving the boys separate bedrooms. It wasn’t fair for Dylan to have to endure Riley’s bedtime and/or 4am hysterics or for Riley to have to endure Dylan’s need to sleep with all of the lights on, but we hung on for selfish reasons (my office!) and because, despite the occasional hiccups, the boys liked being together. That, and Dylan wasn’t ready. If we ever mentioned separating them, Dylan would be the first one to say, “No, I don’t want to sleep alone.”

Now, he’s ready. He no longer needs flood lights to sleep, he’s not afraid to get in and out of his bed in the middle of the night or in the morning, and, most importantly, he wants privacy. He’s so excited about the move that’s he’s already started playing and sleeping in his future new room, which prompted Riley’s sad Sunday night announcement, “I can’t sleep without my brudder.”

Admittedly, Riley’s distress caught us by surprise. We sometimes get so wrapped up in Dylan’s challenges and triumphs that we forget about Riley’s. Sharing a room with Dylan is all he knows, but I’m happy to report he’s already adjusting, especially since we promised to make his room feel new. (In other words, we promised to buy him new stuff.)

Alas, Harry’s room will soon become Dylan’s room. There’s furniture to move and rearrange, accessories to purchase (Shopaholic Mama on a mission!), and a new routine to adapt. Wondering where my office will go? The hall closet. True story. I’m actually going to turn a closet into an office, which is funny because I often want to hide in a closet and now I can. The “renovation” will involve lots of shopping at The Container Store, a fresh coat of paint, copious amounts of decorative owls, and, if I have my way, a small wine refrigerator. Ha! Stay tuned for more posts and pictures of this project. (DIY Mama!)

The timing of Dylan and Riley’s needs and wants, likes and dislikes, and interests and activities will draw them together and pull them apart throughout their lives, but one thing that will never come undone (besides their everlasting love and adoration for their Mama) is their bond to one another. Even when they bicker. Especially when they bicker. Because they are brudders.

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Do your kids share a room?

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Filed under bedtime, boys, brothers, Harry, sensory processing disorder, Shopaholic Mama, shopping, wine

Most Bestest

Grandma Irene stayed with us for ten amazing days.  Here are some of the reasons her visit was so special:

There was never a sink full of dirty dishes.  Grandma loaded and unloaded the dishwasher. Every. Single. Day.  Sometimes more than once.

I never ran over the newspaper with my car when I backed out of the driveway to bring the kids to school because Grandma actually put on her shoes and fetched the newspaper every morning.  (She read it, too.)

Since Grandma was there to entertain the boys, I went to the bathroom by myself…with the door closed…several times.

As long as we’re talking about the bathroom… Grandma Irene inspired Riley to pee in the potty!  Unfortunately, she gave him an entire bag of Skittles from our Halloween stash as a reward.  The next morning, when he tinkled in the potty again, I cheered, clapped and gave him three Skittles in a bowl.  Do you know what he did?  He threw the bowl of Skittles at me because my attempt at portion control was an insult.  He wanted the whole bag of candy or nothing at all.  (FYI: He got nothing.)

Grandma chilled wine on a daily basis.  On one particularly stressful afternoon, I returned home at about 4:45pm after a long series of errands and activities with the kids and two wine glasses were lined up on the kitchen counter ready to be filled with cold and refreshing Pinot Grigio.  Ahh…

We went shopping!  (The shopaholic apple didn’t fall far from the tree.  Where my weakness is Anthropologie, Grandma’s is bags. Expensive ones.)  One day, we shopped at Nordstrom and had lunch at Café Bistro @ Nordstrom, and on another day, we shopped at Bloomies and had lunch at their 59th& Lex Café.  We were ladies who lunch!

We saw “The Descendants,” an award winning, Oscar nominated film. (Regrettably, the last movie I saw in the theater was “Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked,” and the only award that movie has a chance of winning is a Razzie.) Our matinee adventure was awesome.  There was no animation and no child sitting in my lap in the theater.  In fact, there were no children insight!  It was the ultimate daytime Mama-escape, and it included popcorn! 

Of course, the most bestest part about Grandma Irene’s visit was the time she spent with Dylan and Riley.  The day before she left, Dylan came home from school and said, “Grandma, I’m going to miss you so much,” and the morning she left, he asked me what day of the week she was coming back.  Riley had few words, but his (adorable) lower lip pout told the story of a little boy who would miss his Grandma with all his heart. 

Speaking of hearts, I often tell the boys that even if I’m not with them, I’m always in their hearts.  Right now, Grandma Irene is in all of our hearts (and the Skittles incident has been forgiven).

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Filed under grandparents, Mama-escape, movie, potty training, shopaholism, wine