Toy Questions Answered

May 25, 2012 by Rieshy

Have you ever awoken wondering,
Burning, aching to know....

What is the world's grossest and most inconvenient toy?
It's taken 20 years of research, but my husband and I have finally discovered the truth.

It's not Slime with lumps that look somewhat like boogers.

It's not silly putty.  It's not even that disgusting lollypop built like a ring that is the bane of any parent that prefers not to hold sticky hands.

It's not the Barbie who's chest measurements grow if you twist her arm.

It's (drumroll please) the Grow Shark.  We  know this because my 6 year old bought one on vacation with his grandparents.  My husband and I laughed when we read the instructions; place shark toy in bathtub full of water and let grow for 6 days until shark fills the tub.

Oh, sure.  I'll give the Grow Shark a bathtub... for 6 days.  because I want my son to play with a 4 foot long, wet and slimy shark made of unknown chemicals that smells overpoweringly of spray paint.  Don't mind the snail trail it leaves behind after it touches something...

Poor thing only got a enormous stainless steel bowl from Target, it stunted its potential.

It made up for the indignity by being extra slimy and looking quite real submerged in its murky water.  My 6 year old checked it's progress everyday.

I had to live with the huge bowl out on my kitchen counter.  Don't laugh- that was hard for me and it kept startling visitors who wondered about our diet.

Maybe next time my son goes on vacation he can pick up a Happy Fun Ball.


Weighted Wait

May 23, 2012 by Rieshy

Fluorescent ballasts hum,
test results hang,
fish swim round
and round the tank
maintained by an independent firm.

Please do not touch.
Por favor no toque.

Mom's legs go numb
with the weight of a fevered one,
waiting, wondering.
Why does one say No Tocar and the other No Toque?

Thoughts swim round and round the tank
anesthetizing with repetition until it becomes a sort of prayer:

Por favor no toque, no E.R. no toque,
Por favor no E.R.


Traffic Jam, Jam

May 18, 2012 by Rieshy

Take one traffic jam,
add 4 and 6 year old boys,
play this song by Harry Nilsson,
experience hilarity.

Warning:  If the Madagascar song I Like To Move It held mysterious powers of repetition amongst your children while simultaneously threatening your sanity, this song may not be your friend.


Molecular Cohesion

May 17, 2012 by Rieshy

Brimmed waiting,
choices pending.

Perpendicular to a splat,
or smooth descents
to places unknown.

Odd to watch your
children and not your own
decisions in the making.

Families swell with each addition until
with polarity's strength perched,
poised on utmost brink of cohesion.

Brimmed waiting,
choices pending

The cup overflows.


Ongoing Conversations and Childhood Chronic Illnesses

May 15, 2012 by Rieshy

Last night my husband and I went on an impromptu date. We came home to still awake Littles who both, "needed another drink," and an older sister who was frazzled around the edges.  My 6 yo was sweaty so I gave him his Frog Tog Chilly Pad* to sleep with and then threatened them both with exportation to Siberia if they got out of bed again.  Well, I thought about Siberia, for myself.

This morning my 6 yo was so tired that I told him I'd have to do a blood sugar check if he didn't wake up and eat something.  After breakfast I sat next to where he was slumped on the sofa with his Bionicle in hand and asked him to think about how he felt.  "I'm really tired." he answered.  I explained that when he gets really tired his body doesn't work as well.  I patted his stomach and explained how his digestion slows down when his body is tired- and that makes his tummy hurt and makes him feel even more tired and then he doesn't want to eat.

I verbalized it all for him because he is going to have to take care of himself one day.  I asked him if he knew why he was so tired.  "Well, sister didn't put us to bed on time."

Hmmm, the designated sister-babysitter had most definitely put him to bed on time.  I knew this because she and her other older siblings wanted to eat homemade ice cream after the Littles went to bed.  Homemade ice cream is a great motivator for time-conscious babysitting.

"Well..... "

I didn't realize several siblings had joined us until his 10 yo brother spoke up, "If you don't eat it's really bad and you'll get sick."

My 6 yo smiled and responded, "But I get to watch movies all day long.  I kinda like the hospital except for the I.Vs."


I so often lose complete control of conversations.  Teachable moments?  More like verbal train wrecks. Here I am trying to get him to take responsibility and instead we are skating on the thin ice of professional convalescence.

"I don't know mom, my hair was all wet."

He has an extraordinarily high pain/discomfort threshold and a low tolerance for heat.  All sorts of slow boiled frog needs it's frog tog combination of rhymes started to roll through my head. "You were hot, your hair was wet because it was sweaty.  You needed your frog cloth.  You need to remember how that felt and next time do something about it, something besides aggravating your sister and making yourself too tired."

At this point in the conversation I'm picturing a gentler version of the far side cartoon.

I'm just hoping that short discussions over the years will add up to a confident, smart and capable young adult; ready to take care of himself and conquer the world.

* I don't sell these and I only wish I got financial compensation from my blog. However, I will say theses things are fabulous for a child with heat intolerance.  Here's a nifty link to the issue.  I found Frog Togs to be a bit more expensive but far more durable and effective than many other type cooling cloths and bands.  Best of all my son can use one while sleeping and it doesn't get his sheets wet.


Marketing Oddities

May 13, 2012 by Rieshy

My sample population of ages 6 and under think that the above emblem means that panda is being served at the above restaurant.  This troubles them.

Twice Dailys

The marketing campaign at the Shell station that says "Fresh Coffee" under the twice daily sign, leads to a van full of children musing about the impossibility of fresh twice-daily coffee.  This troubles me.

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Hope For Breakfast

May 10, 2012 by Rieshy

Hope springs eternal
in the heart of my 4 year old.

Waking he sang, "May we have Sherbet for breakfast!"
The exclamation point is not a mistake.
He, so sure of the glory of the day, used "may" merely for form's sake.

He's a glass-full type person
often heard asking, "Isn't this the Best Day?"

Hope springs eternal
in the heart of my 4 year old.

Even when oatmeal is for breakfast.


Sleep, Precious Sleep

May 8, 2012 by Rieshy

I have a great life, a blessed life; so don't pick up rocks to throw thinking that I'm whining.  I'm not.  I'm merely stating facts; I have been sleep deprived for 6 years now.

6 years.

6 years ago my 6th child was born.  He nursed poorly and often.  Later he drank from a bottle poorly and often.  Then in a blur his little brother was born.  Two Littles.  Two precious Littles plus older children and a life full of family and school and work.

I burned the candle at both ends.  I often felt like I was the candle, a messy molten mess.  My two Littles were diagnosed with a metabolic condition that required them to be fed at night, long long looonnngggg after typical children give up night feedings.

After 6 years my 6 year old is finally cleared to sleep the night without any night feedings!  He just has to take 7 T  of raw corn starch mixed into milk before bed.  Yeah, I know that's weird, but it's normal for many of those with a Fatty Acid Oxidation Defect.



I can now go to bed at 10:30 or 11:00 and sleep till 5:30.  7 hours. I've averaged only 3 to 4 hours in a stretch for years now.  In fact for over a year I lived on an average total of 3 1/2 to 4 max.  Talk about going mental...

What do I plan on doing with all this extra sleep?

Rejoice.  Thank God for the grace he's given me over the years.

My two sons are healthy and thriving.  We made it through their early growth spurts.  I plan on sleeping well until they hit puberty.  I got my hair done.

What else do I plan on doing?

I don't know, I feel giddy with energy so for now I'll stick with Philippians 4:4

"Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say Rejoice."


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Broken Dishes

May 7, 2012 by Rieshy

My husband and I try to walk each night after dinner.  Partly for the exercise, partly for the opportunity for uninterrupted conversation but most of all for the escape from the noise created by our troupe of children doing dinner dishes.

As we left the house hand-in-hand I thought contentedly about our children working together, chatting and interacting all while making my kitchen sparkle.  Negotiation, discipline, cooperation- how could their time be better spent?

We walked in the front door about an hour later.  All the children but the 10 year old were sitting around big brother's computer laughing their heads off.  Everyone hopped up and went back to work. The six year old came up to me and said, "Awww, everytime you get back the big kids stop playing funny videos."

Unwittingly ratted out by a sibling, but not actually.

It only takes a few times of having your younger children randomly begin chanting, "I want to rendezvous with you!"  or "I want Malk!"  or "I throw it on the ground!"* or "Peanut butter jelly time!"  or "Backwards on a pig baby monkey," before you figure that YouTube is somehow a part of their lives.

That's o.k. my husband and I like to randomly shout, "More Beans!"

Children doing dishes.
If you love your children and you are not too attached to your dishes, have them do the dishes together every night.  It's a life skill- cultural literacy and all.

*The older kids do censor- this video has crass language at the end.