Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Spring Break is ON.

Oh Spring Break is ON.

It's ON like Donkey Kong.

Actually, I have no idea what that above statement means. But thanks to a little movie that we rented the other day called, "Alvin and the Chipmunks: the Squeakquel," my kids now think that everything is hilariously ON like Donkey Kong.

How did the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences skip over this gem of a movie, by the way? Perhaps it was because the Oscars lacks the categories, "Best Farting Scene", or "Most Annoying Voices in a Movie. Ever." I guess we'll never know.

Spring Break is among us, and we are loving it.

I don't like to brag, but I'll have you know that we have been breaking this Spring at a lovely exotic locale known as Our House. Sure, it's not exactly the Ritz Carlton, but we dig it. And the weather? It is HOT in my neck of the woods as of late. Not just warmish, but HOT. And since every good, respectable vacay deserves some water-based activities in a bathing suit, guess what we did yesterday?

We broke out the sprinkler.

Not that I'm exactly parading around the backyard in my bathing suit or anything. The water from the hose is damn cold. C-to-the-O-to-the-L-to-the-D. And I don't do cold water. Or sprinklers. But I'm more than happy to sit in the sun reading my latest issue of "People" while I sun myself so that I can fake people out and make them think that I took a real vacay to the Bahamas. Also, with their current age disparities, it's not often that I find all four of my kids participating in the same activity all together and enjoying it, so it was great watching them frolic in the squirting plastic flower on the lawn in the backyard.

Simple pleasures.

There are a few things that Spring Break has reminded me.

1.) I really like my kids. Of course I love them, but I really like them too. I love who they are becoming,  and I enjoy spending time with them. I miss them during the school year when we see less of each other and extracurricular activities pull them in their own independent directions. I'm cool with their growing independence, and I encourage it, but I still like snuggling with them on the couch, even if it means I have to subject myself to the voices of SIX chipmunks to get said snuggle time.

2.) Vacation is tiring. Every muscle in my body is sore from going. And going. And going. We have been to two parks, on several walks, to various stores, out to eat, had sleepovers with friends, played baseball, kickball, and MY personal favorite, we cleaned out the entire garage. Organizing is fun, peeps. Don't knock it.

3.) Even though I wrote about it last year, I am still fervently anti-popsicle. However, that doesn't mean that my kids don't eat popsicles. Last week, we bought two boxes containing 24 popsicles each. Of those 48, about 16 are left. Dude. That's a lot of stickiness. However, I continue to shut my mouth about the aforementioned undesirable stickiness and I clean it up anyway. Heaven forbid I turn into "Anti-Popsicle Control Freak Mommy, Queen of the Buzzkill", because she sucks. Nevertheless, the stickiness is everywhere. Drips of coagulated popsicle juice are stuck to my hardwood floors, even though most of the popsicle eating is done outside. The little wooden sticks make their way to the grass, no matter how many times I say, "Promise you'll throw away your sticks when you're done!" It's always answered with a sweet little,"Okay, we promise, Mom!" Who knew I gave birth to such popsicle-eating liars? 

What is a downside to Spring Break and all this gorgeous weather? We have four sticky kids who have been playing outside from sun-up to sundown, which means showers or baths EVERY night. Bill and I are not strangers to the Battle of the Bathers, so we have prepared ourselves to rage through these battles nightly. However, the shocker is that my kids have actually looked at their own dirty hands, fingers, knees and toes and said, "Eh. You're right mom. I'm dirty," and bathed of their own omission! Without threats! Without acting like soap and water was going to burn their skin clear off!

Can I get a what-what for clean kids?

So this is what progress feels like. Yes, I do realize that by saying that out loud, I just jinxed myself.

But get a load of this NASTY rumor I heard yesterday. It's a doozie, I assure you.

My kids have been playing outside so much that my 9-year old literally blew through his pair of Crocs. For realsies. They're about a year old, and his big toe just busted right through, breaking the plastic. Or foam. Or whatever the heck space-age material of which those wondrous shoes are crafted.

I understand that not everybody loves Crocs. Yes, they're kind of funny-looking, and yes, the holes in the front are the cause of "Croc toes", an disgusting ailment that I wrote about last year, (refresh your mem here) but I will smack your mouth if you come into my home and say, "I hate Crocs."

Because Crocs rock.

I know tennis shoes are good for serious playing, but Crocs get my tush out the door faster, and really that's all that matters most days. Of course, my kids can't wear them with their school uniforms, but to most other places we go, they slip them on their feet and we're out the door in two seconds flat. And Mommy is happy. And the world is nag-free.

So we headed to the sporting goods store yesterday (which shall remain nameless, because they are the harbinger of the aforementioned NASTY rumor, which has yet to be verified) for our Crocs-buying expedition for the kids, because two of my four were in need of new pairs.

Sporting goods stores are just one big playground for kids, and I usually avoid them without the assistance of my husband. Imagine dropping four marbles on the ground and watching them roll in different directions. Yeah. That's my general experience at a sporting goods store. I turn into a shrew, yelling for my kids to come back to me, but all they see is balls! bats! golf clubs! more balls! and they hear nothing.

I yelled, "EVERYONE OVER BY THE BASEBALL PANTS. NOW."

Baseball season is starting up, and my three boys all need new baseball pants, which happened to be on sale. Mama likes a good sale, so I decided to put off our Crocs-buying until after we were done with baseball equipment. However, did any part of the above sentence say to you, "EVERYONE OVER BY THE JOCK STRAPS AND PROTECTIVE CUPS"? No, it did not. But did I mention that I have three boys? And that is where their brain goes?

Now, of course they all need protective cups. But I do not like to participate in the annual "Ceremonial Buying of the Protective Cup". Let's just say that for obvious reasons, it's not my thang.

But the boys were drawn to that aisle, and Mama had a coupon, and they were on sale. I'm a sucker for a coupon AND a sale (the double-whammy of shopping)...so...our Croc-buying expedition turned into a Crocs-Buying Expedition/Baseball Pant-buying expedition/Protective Cup-buying Expedition. And let me just say that it is not often that I wish I had a video camera with me when shopping with my children, but this is one golden time that I wish I did, because hilarity ensued.

OF COURSE, being male, my 8-year old picked up the BIGGEST protective cup in the whole store and said, "I found it, Mom!" Did I mention this cup was enormous? Like not suitable for humans? I started cracking up, which offended my son at first as he said, "What, mom?"

"Sweetie...um...this one isn't exactly your size." I said. "Let's look on the back of the package at the size charts to see what size you should wear."

My boy turned the package over in his hand and started laughing as he realized what size it was.

The chart indicated that my young boys fell into the "Pee-Wee" category.

Righteous indignation ensued with shouts of, "I am NOT Pee-Wee!!!"

Really, marketing genius at the protective cup company? What male, of any age, wants to fall in the "Pee-Wee" category? Think about that for just a minute.

I assured my boys that none of them are Pee-Wee, and, "It's just a silly name."

"Right on!" they all agreed.

My three-year old daughter picked up a yellow protective cup and exclaimed, "I like the pretty yellow one!"

I directed her attention the the pink baseball helmets.

My five-year old son innocently asked, "Mom, why do I need to wear one of these?"

Never missing a chance to scare their younger brother, my two oldest boys giggled and immediately interjected before I could answer and said, "Because if you don't wear one, and you get hit, your (piece of male anatomy) will fall off and you will DIE."

My five-year old looked fearful, and I said, "Zip it, you two. Sweetie, your brothers are lying to you. Nothing is going to fall off and you won't die."

After that, a loud argument began, with each boy asserting that he was "bigger" than the next. Seriously? The competition starts this young? Oy.

Protective cup-buying. Always good for a laugh.

But that is not the nasty rumor that I referenced earlier. We headed over to the shoe department, where the usual supply of Crocs is plentiful. However, it was sparse, with barely any kids' Crocs. I asked an employee what was up. He said, "Yeah, I think Crocs is going out of business. We're probably not getting anymore Crocs."

DUDE. Be still my beating heart. I kid you not, one of my kids shouted, "NOOOOO!!!"

That's how much this sometimes-lazy Mom loves Crocs. Now I'm going to have to tie four pairs of shoes (that's eight shoes, math freaks!) every time we have to leave the house. Of course my older guys can tie their own shoes, but they whine that they can't, "get them tight enough", or "it takes too long," and let's face it. I need to get out the door most days like five minutes ago; therefore, I have become an enabler. A shoe-tying enabler. I'm not proud of it.

I still don't know if the nasty rumor is true. Anyone want to issue a denial? Pretty please?

Despite our fear of a Crocs corporate collapse, Spring Break is good. Really good. And if it's a preview of summer with this gorgeous weather, I know that summer is going to be one, big, fun, sticky, baseball playing (with all important body parts protected), Crocs-wearing (hopefully), totally exhausting, good time.

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