Happy Dramatic May Day

I posted this on Facebook this morning:

It’s 8AM. We’ve already had enough drama to fill several days. My children. They were not blessed with calm, unruffled, phlegmaticalness. (Yes, it’s a word.) Bless them.

Who am I kidding? Bless ME. And give us grace on this very dramatic average Wednesday. We could use a heap.

But oh how I love these dramatic littles. Their drama (sometimes) brings me much laughter… resulting in further drama. Apparently, I’m not allowed to laugh. Or at least not at them.

So just a couple examples of the average Wednesday drama:

Child 1, while discussing the possibility of doing May-Day flower deliveries, throws herself on the bed in a heap of tears. Because HOW DARE WE leave flowers WITHOUT SAYING HELLO. When I let her know that is just exactly the point – to surprise people who are expecting to see someONE, but just see flowers – she only cried harder. Because that just CAN. NOT. HAPPEN. Ever. “Mom! I can’t NOT say hello when I am at someone’s house that I just love so much! (sob) I mean, how COULD I???? (sob sob, loudly sob)”

Child 2, while getting his ginormous claws clipped after ripping holes in my skin by accident, announces in his most dramatic tone with dramatic facial expressions and dramatic one-handed-motions (the other was being clipped), “MOM. You HAFTA stop. dis. now. Because I am SO DONE getting my nails cut. I have stuff ta do.” Of course you do, 3 year old. Just cutting me to shreds isn’t on the to-do list today.

Child 1, while playing (dramatically, of course. Because all her play is like a stage production), suddenly bursts into tears again, “MOM! I just don’t understand… WHY would you want me to ring the doorbell and RUN AWAY from someone I love so much? (sobs and more sobs)” Oh dear. We’re still on this. It’s now a thing. Bless her.

Child 2, after I got him dressed and walked out of the room unintentionally leaving him alone, he sings – yes sings (and rather well, I might add) – this song from Les Miserables (Castle on a Cloud”)… “Please do not leave me on my own. Not in da darkness by myself…”

– Let me pause here. Because what just-turned-three-year-old ON EARTH sings songs from Broadway productions to communicate to their mother just exactly what is happening? Mine. MY just-turned-three-year-old does this. Yes. We are dramatic in this house. –

So then I post my comment on Facebook. The one above. A few kind friends post encouraging words. And then this conversation happens:

  • Paul Kuzina Love you Holly–your honesty is refreshing, and you will glean much prayer support as a result of it. Holding you up in prayer—Dad
  • Holly Priestman ^And dad, were you not totally and completely PROUD that I used such a BIG word? Phlegmaticalness. That’s like a dozen syllables or something. I MUST be your child.
  • Paul Kuzina I was wondering if it actually IS a word!
  • Holly Priestman Ummmm…. YES. Although FB doesn’t seem to think so. Whatever. Look it up.
    (I have waited YEARS to be able to tell you that! YEARS!)
  • Holly Priestman ^Probably even decades. Because I am officially THAT old.
  • Paul Kuzina I don’t own a Funk and Wagnall’s. Sorry! (Mom did that to me! She mocked my predisposition to loquaciousness, and this is the result!)
  • Holly Priestman Funk and Wagnall’s? You might be dating yourself. I’m not certain of that, since I don’t know what it is, but I’m guessing so…. Try this new thing called GOOGLE, dad. It’s even better than old Funk.
    And you just trumped me. Because now I have to look up “loquaciousness.” Whatever.
  • Paul Kuzina Okay, I apologize for ever doubting my teacher daughter. “Phlegmaticalness” is, indeed, a word. (Loquaciousness” is also, I might add.)
  • Paul Kuzina Syn: verbosity, garrulous, logorrhea, prolixity, etc.
  • Paul Kuzina I personally think “logorrhea” is a good one. That sounds a lot like “diarrhea” of the mouth.
  • Marie Scanlon HAHAHAHAHAHA! I love this convo. I love words!
  • Paul Kuzina And one last thing…how dated do you honestly think I am, Holly? I just used Google to verify those words. So there! Your old man isn’t too archaic!
  • Paul Kuzina BUH-bye!
  • Holly Priestman I HATE it when dad says a big word that I don’t understand and ask him to define, only to get a string of words that I also mostly don’t know. Dad, you WOULD like logorrhea. (FB doesn’t think it’s a word either. Underlined in red.) I expect it to come up in conversation soon…
  • Holly Priestman My FAVORITE part of this entire conversation: The man who uses the word “loquaciousness” without having to look it up, then leaves the conversation with the “word” BUH-bye.
    I have absolutely NO IDEA where my kids get their dramatic flair.

Dramatic flair? Yes. And maybe also his flair for words. One of my favorite words they say is “butcept.” They use it regularly…

“I LOVE this doll, butcept it’s hard to change her clothes.”

“Mommy, you look really nice, butcept you should probably fix your hair!” Um, thanks.

And so I end with this:

My life is a bit dramatic. Of the 3 and 5 year old kind. It’s the best kind. I so love those dramatic littles (and their just-a-wee-bit-dramatic grandpa who makes me laugh in his wordy drama all the time.)

And maybe, just maybe, I inherited a bit of said drama. And maybe even dumped it by the bucketloads into these children I birthed.

We reap what we sow.

Butcept I am so thankful. Their drama brings so much joy and entertainment. I am blessed.

Now, on with this dramatic Wednesday…

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Feeling old

Some days, the reality of how old I am hits me.

Well, once I can remember how old I am, it does.

This morning was one of those mornings. Today was a family day. No work. No computers. No cameras. Just me, the Hubs, and the kids. We were headed to the Pacific Science Center.

I remember going there as a kid. I remember some of the same exhibits (Touching the sea life? Oh yes. Loved it.) I remember family days and car games and all the stuff we were going to be doing today.

And as I was getting ready and remembering all these things, I started to feel old. The kind of old that starts with this thinking, Who allows young people like me to be a parent??? Don’t they know I’m not ready for that? Then changes to, Oh wait. I’m not young. I’m in my thirties. I remember my parents being in their thirties.

Am I the only one? The only one that remembers things from their childhood and feels O-L-D when observing said things being repeated in their kids’ lives? The only one that has these moments of panic where I realize I’m not just out of high school? But then begins to do the math and suddenly realizes I’ve been out of high school longer than all the years I was ever in school… including pre-school, but excluding college – or at least some of college.

Then this conversation happens in my head EVERY. SINGLE. TIME: Ok. So I’m 33… No wait… I’m not 33…I’m thirty – …34… No wait… I was born in ’78. It’s 199-… NO WAIT, it’s 20–… what year is it, dangit??? Am I that old?… Calm down, old fogey…It’s 2013… That makes me… 33… no wait… I’m 35… no wait… I’ll be 35 when my birthday comes this year… HOLY CRAP. I’M ALMOST 35… I remember when my parents were 35!”

(Funny thing is, I’ve had that same conversation in my head for a few years now. And I went an entire year believing I was 33, only to discover at my birthday that I, in fact, was turning 33. Which was a great birthday present to myself – to not grow another year older. And now, I still think I’m 33. That would make me 33 for 3 years and running…)

Anyway, this conversation that I have regularly in my head gets me thinking (once I figure out exactly how old I am) about what time I have (or don’t have) left. It usually goes something like this:

So, I’m 34. If I live this long 2 more times, I’ll be 112. Not gonna happen. So my life is more than 1/3 over. If I live this long just one more time, I’ll be 68. That’s likely and doesn’t actually sound too old. So hopefully, my life isn’t yet 1/2 over. Which means, my life is more than 1/3 over, but not quite 1/2 over. 2/5 over? That would mean I’d live to be 85. Maybe. Give or take a few (but not too many.) So I still have 3/5 of my life to live. Not too late to make some changes…

This morning, this thought was interrupted right about then by the sounds of children fighting, reminding me that however long I live, I have a job to do now. Which makes me feel just a little bit younger.

The family day was great. The science center was the most crowded I’ve ever seen, but it was still enjoyable. Look at me! I’m not a grumpy old lady! We stopped for dinner on the way home. At the noisy restaurant, we saw a man about in his 60s working with the hostess at finding the perfect table for himself. He apparently requested a quieter area, to which she replied, “I’m sorry. We don’t have an area designated for quiet dining.” And then she sat him directly behind our booth. A recipe for disaster, if you ask me. (Maybe she planned it that way. Just to annoy him for his snooty request.) And despite Annalise’s bumping the back of the booth (also his back of booth), he never once asked us to quiet down or stop jiggling his seat. So even though the waitress spilled Matt’s coffee and dropped a knife on Jacob and brought Matt the wrong entree (he ate it anyway, also a very “not-old” thing to do), and even though Jacob dropped the ice cream right off his spoon six times – three of those times right onto my lap – I’d consider the dinner a success. And I left feeling sorta young again. And sticky. Young and sticky.

Now home, I was no longer thinking about age but was just enjoying reflecting on the moments of quality family time that filled my heart throughout the day. I overheard Jacob talking to his daddy, who was helping him get his PJs on…

“Daddy, I’m starting to get bigger! Den I’m gonna get big… and big… and Big.. and BIG… and BIG. And den, I’m gonna be bigger den Mommy one day! And den I’m gonna pick her up, and put her to bed, and get her all tuckied in. Wight, Daddy? Wight?”

Which, of course, made me teary, and also reminded me of this book:

love you bookWhich also makes me cry.

And I remember this book making my mom and my Auntie Jill and Trish cry.

Another childhood memory I’m now living out as an adult…

…And so now I feel old again.

The apple doesn’t fall far…

The Hubs won’t play games with me. He says I have too many rules. I say games come with rules. Otherwise, you wouldn’t know what to do. Duh. He says I make up too many of my own rules. I say… I say… I say whatever. He’s just a sore looser, I think.

Yesterday, Annalise and I set up an epic MLP playland. Don’t know what MLP is? Well, you were obviously not a child of the ’80’s.* Or at least not a female one. My Little Pony. I had a gazillion. And a stable with a bed for the ponies (as though they lay down in beds. Geesh.) And 2 baby cribs with mini ponies that had designs on their rears that matched their mommies’ rears. And lots of MLP clothes from the early 80’s (including one very hot pink workout headband… Rock On MLP!) And a giant pink castle with a pony’s throne and golden horseshoes. Not even kidding. Annalise inherited them all because apparently I’ve inherited my emotional attachment to things from my mother. She saved all my MLPs. And Cabbage Patch Dolls. And Strawberry Shortcake Dolls. And Little Golden Books. And I’m sure lots of other things I’ve yet to discover. Her garage is like a seriously organized treasure hunt. If you are my age and care to have a walk down memory lane via all the best toys from your childhood, come with me to visit her. I’m sure she’ll hook you up. Along with some seriously mean grub.** She feeds all people who walk into her home. Expected or unexpected.

*Does “a child of the 80’s” mean I was born in the 80’s? Or just that I was a child at some point during the ’80’s. Because if it mean’s I was born in the 80’s, then technically, I’m a child of the 70’s. But I won’t tell you which year. Except that it’s closer to the 80’s than the beginning of the 70’s.

**MOM! Just to be clear, “seriously mean grub” is a compliment. It means your food is delicious. NOT that your food is a bully. You probably knew that already, but just in case… I didn’t want to risk losing out on any of that deliciousness next time I’m down.

Anyway, while my girl and I were playing MLPs, I realized that we were actually NOT playing MLPs. We were setting up. We were organizing. We were planning. We were deciding what each little MLP accessory (i.e. goblets, awards, diaper, roller skates…) would be used for when we played and where it would go and who would hold it, and… Scratch that. WE were not deciding all these things. SHE was deciding all these things. I’d set up the castle. But in the wrong spot. It would get moved. I’d brush a pony’s mane. But with the wrong brush (there’s only 20 to choose from). I’d switch. And then again. I’d set up the horse jumps, but facing the wrong way. They’d get turned.

I finally asked if we could start playing. She said, “Not yet. We have to get it all set up first. Everything has to be in its spot. And then, when we play, we can’t (fill in the blank)... and we need to (fill in the blank)… and don’t forget (fill in the blank) …”

I suddenly found myself saying to her, “Annalise! You have so many rules! It’s not very fun to play with someone with so ma…” She looked at me, wondering if I’d finish my sentence. “Never mind. Your dad is in the next room.”

Have you ever had a moment where you realized that you are very much like your mother, and your daughter is very much like you and your mother? I did. Staring at those ponies my mom saved because she knew how much I loved them and might want to play with them with my own daughter one day. Then staring at my daughter, who is organizing the entire MLP collection – which takes up the entire living room – and making a “plan for playing” before actually playing. Yes, I am like my mother. And my daughter is like me. And I guess that is a good thing, because I love those two girls an awful lot. And if I turn out to be a bit like my mom, and if my daughter turns out to be a little bit like her, too, then I guess we’ve just made this world a little bit brighter. She is one amazing lady. LOVE YOU, MAMA!

P.S. Hubs just read this and wanted me to add that, and I quote, (ahem) “The reason I don’t play with you is because you have too many rules and are OCD… like when we were playing cars with Jacob and you had to re-line up the cars we’d lined up so they were with matching Cars. You ruined our fun.” I would like to add that if you are going to put all the Lightning McQueens together in order from smallest to largest, and you put the Fillmores together from smallest to largest, IT ONLY MAKES SENSE that you put the Maters and Finns and Hollys and other cars in order from smallest to largest. Otherwise they feel left out. And maybe also separation anxiety.

And yes, I’m probably slightly OCD. But I think I get that from my mom, too.

P.P.S. To all you faithful blog readers: WordPress tells me my blog has been going for almost a year. So I’m thinking it’s time for a blog makeover! I might change color (I’m thinking red and brown) and format a bit. Do you have any feedback? Is the font too small? Spacing weird? What do you think? Leave me a comment!

Care to join the club?

Admittedly, I am an ultra-paranoid, over-sensitive, don’t want to ruffle feathers kind of girl. I don’t easily get over it when someone doesn’t like me. Or even if they like me but have just one teeny-tiny slightly-negative thought about me. Not that everyone loves me, or anything. It’s just that I – thankfully – don’t know who doesn’t like me. Ignorance is bliss.

Then recently, I was told that I brag about my kids. Although it was added “I don’t mean that in a bad way. But you do brag about them.” Not in a bad way? Ummm…. okay. That clarifying sentence didn’t do much to ease my mind about the bragging part.

Before I go on, just know there is no need to fill the comment section here with “Please keep posting! I love to read the funny things your kids do!” Or other such ego-boosters. You have all been very kind and have already shared the love plenty. It’s just one comment from one person that has weaseled its way into my psyche and slowly pecks at the loving comments from others. You know how it goes… It just takes one drop of blood to taint the whole batch. No, that’s not it. But anyway…

I don’t like braggers. I avoid them. And I’ve tried to be very conscientious about not bragging. Not that I have to work hard at it or anything… it isn’t like I actually have many accomplishments, skills, talents, belongings, or other good-enough-to-brag-about things.

It’s just that Matt and I decided from the very beginning – when I was first pregnant – that we didn’t want to be one of those parents. You know, the ones that tell everyone each and every awe-inspiring accomplishment of their child more than twice because they forget they’ve told you already, or the ones that genius-ize every basic skill their child has. “My 8-month-old breathed today. Isn’t he amazing? He is the smartest baby I know. Hands down.” Nope, that was not going to be us. Even if our kids learned to crawl at 3 months, walk at 5 months, and read at 2. (They didn’t.) And even if they received countless awards for their cuteness, were smart enough to solve quantum calculations, or could scale Mt. Everest – or even a flight of stairs – while jumping rope. (They haven’t, they aren’t, and they can’t.) Cute? Yes. But not a single award. Not even one. And while I don’t want to squelch their hopes and dreams to “be whatever they want to be” or “do whatever they want to do,” we’ve got to be realistic here… They do have Matt’s and my genes, after all. Quantum physics is not likely in their future (I don’t even know what it is.) And Annalise, my girl, you have many talents. Coordination while walking is not one of them. Mommy is sorry I passed that on to you, baby. Let’s just be thankful we’ve both managed to make it this far without sprained ankles or broken arms.

No, bragging is definitely not something I find appealing.

And so of course, my over-sensitivity and over-analyzing self quickly went into over-drive. I cried. I laid in bed awake re-playing every conversation I ever had with this person. I read every Facebook post and blog post I wrote since… well, pretty much since ever. I asked a few key people just a couple questions, like: Do you think I brag? If so, when? And how? And to whom? And about what, exactly? And if you don’t think so, what kinds of things do I say or write that could come across as bragging? And do you think I should stop writing about those things? Should I stop writing about my kids? Should I stop writing altogether? Do you think I’ve offended someone? Who? Did they say something? What did they say? Do they not like me? Do I talk too much about the kids? Do I talk too much in general?…  You know, just one or two questions like that.

And in all my thinking, analyzing, over-analyzing, and over-over-analyzing, I came to a few realizations.

1. Yes, I agree I talk about my kids. And I write about my kids more than I talk about them. And I take pictures of them even more than I write about them. But I don’t really think describing the countless ways Jacob decides to redecorate the house with marker, vaseline, peanut butter, eggs, and other medium counts as bragging. And sharing stories about how Jacob told his sister he is sorry she is stupid, or how Annalise was super-sassy and how I responded with horrible parenting doesn’t exactly scream, “Look at me! My kids are THE BEST. And I must be THE BEST for having them turn out so perfect! And sharing pictures of my kids – who just happen to be astoundingly cute – isn’t the same as telling everyone my kids are astoundingly cute. It’s just sharing pictures. Feel free to draw your own conclusions about their level of cuteness or lack-there-of. If, after seeing pictures, you decide on your own that they are cute, that was not me bragging. That was your own opinion. Right? Right????

2. I do write about and post pictures of Annalise and Jacob an awful lot. But you know what? Dang right, I do! And why shouldn’t I? They are hilarious. They bring us joy in countless ways. They are our gifts from God. Sharing that joy with others is like bragging about how awesome God is for making such studly little amazing creatures. They certainly aren’t so awesome because of me. In fact, they seem to be that way despite me. And NOT telling others of their hilarious escapades would feel a bit like hiding a light under a bushel. Hide it under a bushel? NO! I’M GONNA LET IT SHINE!

Only, here’s the thing… I really am a wuss. Now that I’ve been called out for bragging, I cringe when I want to post something public. And so I’ve decided that while I will keep writing all the antics that keep us in hysterics, I will do more so on my blog and less so – although not never – on Facebook. That way, if you don’t like the “bragging,” stay out of the kitchen, would ya? And also, I won’t be posting every blog link to Facebook so as to not be any more annoying on there than I already am. So if you are one who enjoys reading about our circus home and would like to continue, you might want to click “follow blog” on the right – at least while I deal with my overly-sensitive hurt feelings and bruised ego. And added bonus!… By clicking to follow, you’re increasing the chances that my ego will recover all the more quickly, because I will be so pleased with myself to have a few more blog followers.

ONE LAST THING…

While I did just write a lot about not wanting to be a bragger, here is something definitely worth bragging about: Mom and Dad.

Married 40 YEARS TODAY. A young love that wouldn’t likely last… Met in April, married two months later on June 9, 1972. Spent the first few years just getting to know each other, I’m sure. They had 5 years to do so before my older sister was born. And now, 3 kids, 8 grandchildren (counting almost-born-Mason and our twin girls in Heaven), and 4 decades later, they are a shining example of a how building your marriage on the firm foundation of Jesus is not only the secret to success but speaks volumes of the love of God. They have shown me what it means to love unconditionally, live sacrificially, and commit to one another fully. They are the most giving people I know. And as a recent guest to their house said, “When you step in their home, you know it is different. You feel it.” And I’m pretty sure she wasn’t referring to dad’s quirky sense of humor or our general dysfunction.

I love you, Mom and Dad. And I’ll brag about you any day.

Wedding Day. June 9, 1972

Easter. April 8, 2012  (That’s right. I slipped in a pic that included my two adorable kids. Get over it, people.)

And finally, the only real reason to boast:

~“Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 10:17

~Psalm 34:1-7 

I will bless the Lord at all times;
    his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
    let the humble hear and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
    and let us exalt his name together!

I sought the Lord, and he answered me
    and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant,
    and their faces shall never be ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
    and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps
    around those who fear him, and he delivers them.

They really should require some sort of license for this job

Another FB re-post from last summer so I have our stories in one place…

August 30, 2011

This note is the same Sassy Sauce story I posted a few weeks ago, which was then deleted when I decided I don’t like people judging me, but is now being re-posted because 1) People keep asking me to email it to them and I would rather they just have access to it so I don’t have to find it and find their email address, and 2) I decided I don’t care about the thoughts of those who are going to judge me based on this silly note and a one-time lapse in judgement. I’m a perfect parent every other day of the week. (Ha!)  And because seriously, this story is real-life, and if you can’t laugh at your real-life-self, then you are going to be miserable. I choose not to be miserable. Judge if you wish. Just keep it to yourself… 🙂

As a kid, my parents didn’t wash our mouths out with soap. Instead, we got “Hot Mouth” when our mouths were naughty. I don’t remember this for myself, but I do remember my younger sister Kylie getting it often for her sassiness. I think I also got it for that, as well as for sticking out my tongue, lying, or biting. (I’m not sure it has effectively rid me of sassiness, but I usually don’t bite. Feel free to sit real close.)

Really, anything that involved naughtiness of the mouth (swearing? Never!) was fair game for Hot Mouth. Hot Mouth is simply the tiniest bit of Tobasco Sauce on mom’s finger, which is then put on the suspect’s tongue. Naughty mouth leads to stinging consequences.

As a young teen, I thought it was so funny that Kylie got Hot Mouth often. Sassy lil’ thing.

As an adult, I figured I’d use “hot mouth” on my own children. Then I married Matt. He was against it. So, it has been more or less banned as a punishment in the house, because we agree on all consequences.

As I parent, I don’t find the sassiness quite as funny as I used to.

I think God must have a sense of humor and used it when he gave us the spunkiest (read sassiest) little 3 year old on the planet… with a great vocabulary and quick wit (think come-backs and last words.) It’s really unbelievable the things that come out of my darling little angel’s mouth. Thus, I have adopted the mantra, “Strong little girls make strong women. This is a GOOD thing.” Thank you, Polly.

Sometimes the mantra changes to “INCONCEIVABLY STRONG little girls make INVINCIBLY STRONG women.” It just depends on the day, really.

Needless to say, the topic of Hot Mouth has worked its way back into our child-rearing conversations. Is it a fair punishment? Is it over-the-top? (I’m NOT asking for your advice here… just sharing the focus of our conversation.) I have leaned towards: fair, not sure if I could do it though. Matt is always an adamant NO.

Rewind a few months. I have been spending time with a friend-who-shall-remain-nameless with a similar situation and a remarkably similar 3 year old. As we share our common issues and frustrations, we have also shared our current solutions. This nameless friend said she took the advice from another friend with children who are a little older now, and used “Sassy Sauce” to combat the sassy mouth. Sassy Sauce is the same as Hot Mouth, just with a much more appropriate name for the issues I’m dealing with.

Hmmmm… Sassy Sauce. Sounds more and more like something I could use. And I certainly am not worse off for having had it as a child, right?

I decided to “try it out” by dropping it into a few conversations with friends and family. Conversations usually morphed from discussing kids and our oh-so-strong girl, to something along the lines of, “So a friend of mine has a similar situation with her girl, and she started using “Sassy Sauce,” or Tobasco Sauce on the tongue as a consequence.” Then I’d quickly read the person’s reaction and decide if they thought it was a good idea or bad one. Just putting out some parent feelers and getting feedback. Although I’m not completely sure why I did that, I think it had something to do with gathering support in case I decided to take the idea of Sassy Sauce back to the table with Matt.

I did. He still didn’t like it.

I bought some anyway. Just in case. (Easy, Matt fans, I told him I had it after I bought it. And I would never use it – or any other punishment – without his permission. We are a team in this parenting fiasco.)

As the summer has progressed and my time alone with the kids has continued – time which I am SO INCREDIBLY THANKFUL FOR – I have also had more opportunity to experience the sassiness of my strong girl… and she has had more opportunity to practice it. Which means she is getting REALLY GOOD at it. You may even say she is an expert.

…Wondering right now why SHE is getting better at it, but my parenting hasn’t seemed to improve with an equal amount of practice…

I mentioned Sassy Sauce to Annalise. Just to put it out there as a possibility. Not even knowing what it is, she was still terrified of it. The second she is sassy, I only have to look at her, eyebrows raised, and she instantly says, “NO Sassy Sauce! Please! I’m so sorry I was naughty with my mouth!”

Now mind you, I’ve never said I’d use it. I simply told her that I knew of other mommies that had it and used it when their kids were sassy. That’s it. I never discussed it again. Apparently it made a big enough impact. Either that, or Annalise has been talking to her friends that have experienced it already.

Fast forward to this week. All in all, it’s been a good week. But the sassiness is still there and is really draining. So I asked Matt if I could use it, just once, to see how it would go. A teeny-tiny drop of Tobasco sauce. It won’t make her sick, it isn’t abuse… Good grief, some people pour it on nearly every meal. (Again, NOT asking for your opinion of the matter here, just letting you know what I was thinking and the arguments I gave him.)

Matt, I’m sure feeling bad that I am getting the brunt of the sassiness as he works so hard with two jobs (which I am so thankful for and proud of him for), agreed…. reluctantly.

I didn’t use Sassy Sauce immediately. Instead, I sat Annalise down after a major sassy moment and told her exactly what would happen if she continued to talk that way. Sassy Sauce was now open for business, so-to-speak.

This morning, a little sassy mouth was warned that if it was sassy again, it would receive it’s first sassy consequence. Threats never deter Annalise, so she repeated her sassy comment, just to be sure I was telling the truth.

I was.

The drama that began in that moment – the moment she realized I don’t lie – wasn’t worth it. The drama that continued after the teeniest tiniest bit of Sassy Sauce touched her tongue (and I mean so-teeny-youcan’tevenseeit-tiny) – wasn’t worth it.

And then my motherly guilt kicked in. I felt so horrible that I caused my child (what I’m sure was extremely minor) pain in her mouth, that I gave myself some Sassy Sauce just to see what she was going through. (Not bad, really, but I do enjoy spicy stuff.) I could see why it would be frightening to a sweet – because she really IS sweet – little girl.

I felt awful. I gave her milk immediately. It didn’t work fast enough. She cried harder in fear (and a bit in drama) saying that “It will NEVER stop hurting! It won’t EVER go away!”

I called my sister. Who better to tell Annalise that yes, the stinging will go away, than the queen-of-hot-mouth, KYLIE? Annalise LOVES Auntie Kye-Kye, and I’m sure she could be calmed down by Kylie’s words of encouragement. “This will be a good lesson, afterall!” I tell myself.

Kylie didn’t answer.

How about I call Grandma? If Kylie is the queen of Hot Mouth, then the deliver-er of Hot Mouth, the queen-mother (that joke was for you, dad) would also have great advice, right? This only caused further howling as Annalise was afraid of her precious Gramma Kitchen finding out she indeed does naughty things and had a sassy mouth. (“What??” Gramma says, “Annalise ISN’T perfect??? -GASP-“)

What to do, what to DO??? Panic. Guilt. Tears…. from both of us. What could make this pain go away so we can actually DISCUSS why it’s important not to be sassy? What do I have the can cover the sting of too much spice???

Ice cream. (Don’t judge. You have not been in my shoes.)

I run to the freezer. I grab the only ice cream that is there… Haagen Dazs Java Chip. I feed the creamy COFFEE deliciousness to my 3-year old. How’s that for good parenting? (Again, not looking for your input.)

Stay tuned for future stories of Annalise being sassy and then quickly asking for ice cream. Even as I write, hours later, she is telling me her tongue “still stings a teeny… I might just need a teeny more….” I cut her off. I don’t even want to hear it. I’m already sulking.

Why anyone would leave me alone with these children is beyond me.

Needless to say, Sassy Sauce will retire. But the Tobasco Sauce will remain… I think I’ll start putting it on my scrambled eggs.