I’d like to say a quick congrats to Katie and Kellen on the birth of their daughter Isla. Katie blogs at When Robots Reproduce and asked for some words of wisdom to add to her New Mom Survival Guide. I was only too happy to comply. Enjoy this new chapter of your life, Robots!
And this is the kind of thing that happens when that cute little newborn is a school aged kid with a creative streak and a strong will…
February 18 was Family Day. This is a day when you are supposed to find a way to spend some quality time with your family in the dead of winter. You could have a Polar Picnic or maybe go ice fishing. You might decide to hunt for snow hares or carve an ice sculpture or do some other winter activity that is exiting enough to keep you from realizing your digits are slowly freezing past the point of no return.
While on the quest for some family fun, we decided that Mike would take the kids to a Sting game, as Bailey always wants to go with the boys but the games are far too late in the evening to drag a preschooler to. Kaelum and I opted to stay home as my idea of a good time does not encompass bringing a baby to a hockey game. So much for family time. We were already divided.
We woke up that morning and Hayden announced that he wanted to make a Mooger costume. Anyone who knows my son knows that you rarely see him in regular clothes. He has a whole tote full of costumes and he rotates them with a regularity that would have Metamucil jealous. If he doesn’t have a costume, he likes to make them. Which usually means he tells me what he wants and I have to make it. When I complain to Mike about this, he tells me I have only myself to blame for his crafty and creativeness. I started it by making him a Batman mask out of electrical tape and since then, the kid thinks I can do anything. If I tell him it can’t be done, he continually tells me to “just try” until I have no choice but to whip something together. The time and sheer thinking power involved in these crafts really is a source of stress for me. I’ve spent all day making a shiny tin knight costume, I’ve paper mâchéd an Iron Man War Machine shoulder gun, I’ve cut up so many cardboard boxes for various crafts and costumes that I have a permanent cramp in my hand, and I’ve even tried my hand at sewing for these crazy consume endeavours.
To be fair, lately he’s been pretty good about making his own costumes. He will draw a cute little mask, cut it out, poke holes for the eyes and try to find some string or pipe cleaners to hold it in place. Sadly, the little guy works so hard on his creations only to declare them no good, and no matter how much I encourage him, he generally abandons the project just after completion.
This is how we got to the Mooger costume. Auntie Cassie has not been off the hook when it comes to making crafts, and she made him an awesome Power Rangers costume one night when he slept over. After wearing it for several days straight (the deal is he can’t wear it to bed so that I can wash it), he decided he needed a worthy foe for the Power Ranger to fight. One of the bad guys is a Mooger. He started by taking off his costume and colouring his black pants with yellow crayon to transform them into the yellow legs of a Mooger. You can imagine how ineffective that was. Next, he turned his red shirt inside out to create the top of the costume. As only kids do, he honed in on only one certain aspect of the character. After working hard trying to colour with crayon on the fabric, he finished the task at hand. He turned to me and asked, “Does my nipples look like bad guy nipples?” It turns out the only thing he figured his costume needed was two yellow high beams drawn on his shirt.
Soon after, he had a great little Mooger mask made, but unfortunately, this was the latest one he declared unworthy. He implored me to make a mask for him, but as it was so close to bedtime, we put it on the back burner.
We wake up the next morning and it’s Family Day. Hayden is still stuck on the Mooger thing so we decide that after breakfast I will take him and Bailey out to buy the necessary items to make a Mooger costume.
First stop: Value Village. Sadly, Goodwill was closed so I was stuck paying the inflated prices of the Big Box store. Our mission was to find a pair of yellow or brown pants. Apparently he found two different pictures; in one the Mooger was sporting yellow pants, and in another shot he was wearing brown. So he wanted to find one or the other or preferably both. Like we really needed two pants, but I figured I’d cross that road when we came to it.
We get in the store and the first glaring problem is trying to keep Bailey nearby while we peruse the aisles and aisles of mismatched pants. She is so excited by all the toys that her already poor listening skills have gone the way of the 8-track. The second big problem is finding a pair of yellow pants. Hayden excitedly runs up holding a pair of yellow pants, oblivious to the fact that they are made for a 12 month old. I explain to him that they won’t fit and in typical Hayden style, he dramatically whines and wails like the world is ending.
We manage to find brown pants that meet his approval, but so much for finding just one or the other; he is bound and determined to find yellow pants. I remind him that we weren’t necessarily going to get both, but he is so insistent on wanting yellow pants over brown that we go on a wild goose chase throughout the store. Not a pant is to be found, however, and Hayden is bummed.
By this time, we have been in the store for quite some time. My patience with Hayden’s signature whining is running thin, as is my constant reminders for Bailey to stay where I can see her. We finally check out with the brown pants. Thankful that the episode is behind us, I breathe a sigh of relief as we head to the car. We are almost there when Bailey announces, “I forgot my wand and my penny!” I never let my kids bring toys into stores for this very reason, but somehow her wand escaped my notice. I inwardly groan as we head back in the store to get her wand. We find it on the toy shelf and I pray that we don’t get accused of shoplifting as we exit the store. When Bailey realizes we are leaving, she becomes distraught because we didn’t find her penny. I had forgotten about that wretched penny, and I’ll be damned if I’m gonna search the store again for a mere cent. I tell her I will get her another penny and, placated, we head out the door once again.
We are about halfway to the car when I realize that Bailey’s hat is no longer on her head. Now, this is a cute hat. It’s a white crocheted cap with a big black flower on it that perfectly matches her black coat. She gets so many compliments and looks so darling with her curls wildly escaping that I am instantly in a frenzy to find her hat. Back into the store we go. We search high and low and I am starting to lose hope that we will find it. The kids are getting cranky from wandering the aisles and I am getting cranky, picturing some bargain hunter picking it up and taking it to the cash register to try to purchase it. I am trying to quiz Bailey as to where she had it last but it’s like trying to ask a mouse to show you where he squeezed into your house – I just wasn’t gonna get an answer.
Some kindly ladies must have picked up on my exasperated tone, because they pointed me to her pretty white hat, hanging innocently on the end of a rack. I was looking on the ground and in the toys and never would have found it. Once again, we headed out the door holding our breath for fear of being tackled by the shoplifting police, but we made it out without further incident. Thank goodness and good riddance.
Our next stop is the dollar store because Hayden has informed me that we need a red shirt like Auntie Cassie got him, and she got it at the dollar store. Up and down the aisles we go and not a shirt is to be found. We do, however, come across a grey pull-over-your-head winter hat. Hayden declares he needs it. I remind him that the Mooger’s mask needs to be red but he insists we can paint it. I tell him we can’t, but you can’t argue with that kid and I figure it’s easier to spend the $2 than to try to convince him we can’t paint it.
A text to Auntie Cassie reveals that the shirt was bought at Walmart, so we pile back in the van for another stop. Of course, it was a clearance item in Wallaceburg and the Sarnia store has no such item. We do find a 24 month red shirt, and again, for the $3 it cost, it was easier to buy it than convince Hayden it wouldn’t fit. Yes, being a tired mother costs you money.
We happen upon a lone red pull-over hat on clearance for $1, however, so the trip is not a complete bust.
We stop off at Grandma’s to borrow the sewing machine and the harassing starts. Hayden wants me to make the costume and is oblivious to the fact that I might have one or eighteen different things I need to do that take precedence over his costume. I promise to start working on it as soon as I can.
We get home and it’s a quick lunch before Mike takes the kids to the Sting game. So far, we haven’t spent a single minute of Family Day with the whole family.
Off Mike goes, and while I enjoy a relaxing afternoon starting a Mooger costume, Bailey has fallen asleep before the puck dropped and Hayden doesn’t want to watch the game because he wants to go home to play with the Power Ranger “puppet” he made out of a piece of paper, some crayons and some scissors. So both parents spent this special family day being exasperated at their offspring.
So here we are, a month and a half later. Hayden forgot about it and the Mooger costume never got finished. It was such a job trying to make that crazy mask that I never bothered to remind Hayden about it. I know it’s not the best tactic as a parent, but my sanity must count for something. If he ever asks me to finish it, I will begrudgingly do so, but for now, I’m content that he is onto something else. And don’t think I’m off the hook; at least once a day Mike and I are recruited for drawing, painting, taping, and/or cutting out crafts. Martha Stewart would be proud.