Murray's Big Dip

When I heard how hot the weekend was going to be, my first thought was "lake". Despite the fact that Craig had a departmental party to attend, there was no way I was going to sit around in the heat. So on Saturday morning, Maggie, myself and Murray hopped in the car and hit the road. Forty-five minutes later, we were reveling in the beauty that is the lake. With the dogs, Murray and I all away, Craig was happy to enjoy 24 hours of solitude.

It turned out to be one of those "golden days" (as my mom would say). The August-warmed water looked like a sheet of glass, the sunnies were loving their "free" corn dinner from Murray's hook, and I enjoyed a good book and a long nap in the sun.

After nap, Murray wanted to take a boat ride. Grandpa and Grandma were on the pontoon with friends and it's been years since I've driven the fishing boat, so we opted for the paddle boat. The two of us had a great ride; Rudy followed us on shore while Maggie relaxed in the waning sun in a lounge chair. When we returned, I unloaded Murray and began to crank the lift up. I turned around, ran into Murray and the next thing I knew, he was in the lake. Maggie almost had a stroke. No worries here - the kid loves the water - he was wearing his life jacket. I calmly leaned over, pulled him up and after he caught his breath, he giggled. I made light of the situation so as not to scare him for future swimming and lake activities. It worked; he wanted go swimming about 10 minutes later. Poor Maggie; she was scared out of her mind. Hence the reason Murray is not allowed on the dock without his life jacket, which has been our rule since day one. He's been having a blast telling his story of how he "fell in the lake deep!". After all, he is a lake kid.

The Case of the Missing Bike

It all started on Tuesday, August 3rd. I left work at 4:30, eager to ride my bike to Weight Watchers and then get home to my family. As I headed for the bike rack, I noticed that something was missing. You guessed it: my bike. SOMEONE STOLE MY BIKE!!! In the middle of the day, no less. I was so mad I literally stomped over to the security office to report it missing. They said that they would file a report with Moorhead PD. I felt pretty violated.

After my meeting, I walked home, and when I got to the driveway, Craig asked me where my bike was. When I told him the story, he looked at me and said, "I KNEW you wouldn't lock your bike up correctly". That comment was just enough to send me over the edge. I went from mad to steaming mad.

Days go by. Friday morning, I wake up feeling like someone had stabbed me in the chest. I went to work anyway, figuring that it was Friday and soon, I'd be able to rest. At 9am, my two bosses lectured me about taking care of myself, while shoving me out the door with commands to go to the doctor. If I wouldn't have acquiesced, I think President Edna herself would have handcuffed me and taken me in. Anyway, I did as told and was diagnosed with bronchitis. I left the clinic with intentions to sleep the rest of the day away.

Ten minutes after I returned from the clinic, the office calls. "So much for rest", I thought. But it turned out to be good news: my bike had been recovered! A detective with the Fargo Police Department found my treasured Trek 3400 in Fargo at a pawn shop. The men who cut the lock (yes, cut the lock, Craig) were arrested on felony charges due to the value of the bike. It turned out that the morons had stolen a total of 14 bikes all over the city, and were pawning them for drug money. The best part? Craig finally believed that it wasn't my fault. Sheesh. I wonder if I'll always have to get the police involved to prove myself?

As I write this, my bike is safely stowed in our garage. Until I can get a U-lock, that's where it will stay. I'm not taking any more chances.

Dum Dum or Sucker?

Last week, Murray decided that his bed was not as comfortable as ours. We let it slide when he climbed in at 5:00 am; after all, we only had one more hour to sleep (we've been getting a bit lazy regarding this situation). HUGE mistake. We quickly learned that that one extra hour was not worth the pain involved with Mur-Man in our bed. You would think we would have learned by now.

We changed tactics. We explained that he was a big boy and his big boy bed "wanted" him to sleep in it. This idea coaxed him to go to sleep, but sure enough, at 1:30am, little man was crying - make that screeching -to sleep in "mamadaddy" bed. We let him cry it out for three nights. Finally, I was so tired I resorted to bribery (Mama Stubborn + Daddy Stubborn + Murray Stubborn = Sleepless Nights) .

The next part of this story goes completely against my grain: On the fourth morning, I explained to Murray that if he went to his bed with "no crying, no whining and no getting up in the night", he could have a treat in the morning. Worked like a charm.

But (and a big but here), it worked for three nights. The first day, I didn't expect him to remember, so I didn't have a anything special on hand. At a very early hour, Murray was tapping me and asking for his "teet". We ended up letting him pick out something from the gas station (candy corn is his favorite) on the way to Lynsay's.

This brilliant bribe of mine worked until last night. Craig and Murray went grocery shopping and came home with a bag of dum-dums. The problem lies in this: Murray feels he should get a sucker every time he uses manners, washes his hands, or whatever he deems good behavior (in his world, that means a whole lot of things).

Last night we were back at square one. When Murray finally exhausted himself with the stomping/crying/screaming/begging routine, he fell asleep. But lo and behold, the witching hour arrived (midnight), and he woke up and demanded a sucker and TV.

So here we are: the TV is unplugged and the dum-dum supply is stashed.

We try so hard to raise our son with a firm hand, but I'm afraid that we are the "suckers". Who's the dum-dum? That would be us, too.