Four Is Not Fun At Four A.M.

NOTE:  Edited for the hog/hug mistake.  I'm sure there are more typos, but please, overlook them.  I'm certainly not a winner at writing.  I just love it.

Most of the time, I'm the parent with the most patience.  Having patience also makes me the parent most likely to give in.  We try to raise him with a firm hand, and I feel like we're doing a pretty good job. 


No one told me that child rearing a four year old would prove more challenging than a fussy newborn, or a curious toddler, or an inquisitive three year old.  The minute Murray turned four is the minute he turned naughty.  Exasperatingly naughty.  Whiny, demanding, bossy, demanding, whiny...I think you get the picture.  Oh., and this 'silly' phase is for the birds.  C'mon Mur, you're cute enough the way it is, no need to put on your goofy hat. 

I've spent a lot of time on the phone with G.K. for parenting advice.

Sometimes, I find it easier to give in to just "one more snack" instead of listening to wails of "but, I'm SO hungry, Mom!"  Then there are the crocodile tears that he seems to be able to turn on at the drop of a hat.  The kid could win an Oscar.  I think he's the next Dakota Fanning. Hmmm....maybe I should look into that?

This morning, at 4:00 a.m., I woke to said child yelling from his room.  "Mom, Dad!  I'm awake!  Can I sleep in your room?"  Craig replies that yes, he may, but on his crib mattress on the floor and not in our bed. 

Murray skips across the hall (who skips at 4:00 a.m.?) blanket in hand and lies down.  Thirty seconds later:  "Mom, I'm cowwed (cold)!"  We groggily explained that if he wants to sleep in our room, he would have to bring in his pillows and more bedding by himself.  BIG sigh from Murray.  He stomps - so much for the skipping - to his room after a litany of complaints and returns with a flimsy blanket.

"Mom, I need my wittwah (little) bear and a hithow (pillow)."  Again, he needs to get those himself, I explain.  "WAAAA!!!  BUT I WANT YOU TO GET IT!"

This is where I give in.  FINE.  Now I'm acting like the four year old; stomping into his room to retrieve the darn bear and a pillow.  I finally get back into bed and I hear a whine, "Mom, you forgot my Pooh, and my dowphin, and my car, and my bobber, and moose."

You've GOT to be kidding me, I'm thinking.  I haul myself out of my nice warm bed, and off I go again. I grabbed pretty much everything in his entire room and dumped it on the floor next to him.  I snuggle him back in, then myself, and think, finally, some sleep.

"Mom, he whispers.  Can I have a drink of wadder?" So, I grab my water mug, hand it to him, he drinks, and I hiss, "I don't want to hear another word from you until morning."  Craig rolls over, looks at me and says, "Marie, that was kind of mean."

So, I burst into tears, apologize to Murray profusely, give him a big hug, and try to explain that Mama is just really tired and we all need some sleep. 

I felt terrible.  And guilty.  And terrible.  Soon, all three males in the house are snoring, while I was wide awake. I sighed, grabbed my book and settled on the couch for a good read.

At seven, when the house began to stir, Murray buried his head under the covers, asked me to turn the light off, and demanded the he sleep longer.  Go figure.

It's time for Mama to take back control.

He Knows, She Knows

Note:  Blogger must be having trouble.  Excuse the confusion.

After seven years of marriage, Craig and I seem to have each other's habits and preferences down pretty well. For instance:

He knows that margarine is not allowed in this house.  Butter only.
I know it drives him crazy when I don't refill the ice cube trays.

He knows that dog poop makes me vomit. 
I know that vomit makes him vomit.

I know that he hates it when I leave my reading light on at night.
He knows that I have a love/hate relationship with his snoring.

He knows that 'Roseanne' is one of my favorite TV shows.
I know he hates 'Roseanne'.

He knows I hate mayo and milk.
I know that he loves smoked oysters (those disgusting ones from a can).

I know that he is seriously in love with Kate Beckinsale.

Photo Credit:

He knows that I would run away with Jon Bon Jovi.

I know how proud I am of his hockey/skating abilities.
He knows how funny it is to try to watch me skate backwards.

He knows how to make me laugh.
I know how to make him mad.

We're still learning about one another, in fact, every day comes with surprises. 

I wouldn't trade him for anything.

Grandpa Doug

I can't breathe.  I'm laughing too hard.  Murray + Grandpa Doug (my Dad) = HILARIOUS.

When my Dad arrived last night, Murray was beside himself.  After they hugged furiously, the first words out of Murray's mouth were, "Grandpa, how many sleeps are you here for?" 

This morning, the second Murray woke up, he exclaimed, "Dad, Mom, I'm going to wake up Grandpa, but you can go back to sleep."  

These two have packed more adventures into 24 hours than I could in a week.

There was the breakfast date.  The two of them walked to McDonald's, ate 'pamcakes' and sausage and walked home. 

We went skating and Grandpa Doug pretended to fall down every time Murray fell.

We celebrated Christmas (a bit late, but hey, at least we were together).

Now, the two are eating 'copporn' (popcorn) and watching a movie, while snuggling on the couch. Murray keeps asking his Grandpa to say the word 'poop' - oh happy day - and he just finished explaining to my Dad that if Rudy finds another rabbit in the yard, he'll play with it too hard and it will have to go to heaven. 

Good grief.  What will tomorrow bring?

What A Husband Will Do To Make His Wife Stop Crying

When I was growing up, I had a blanket that my mom embroidered for me while she was pregnant.  I kept it until I was at least 24 years old.  Mom finally (but gently) reminded me that it was probably time to let it go.  After all, I was about to become a wife. 

I'll never forget how pretty it was.  She had hand-stitched four quilt blocks and sewn them into a soft, fuzzy, yellow fabric. 

Before Mom got sick, she taught me to embroider.  I was pregnant with Murray, and I wanted him to have a blanket that he cherished and loved as much as the one I had.  Mom's embroidery wasn't fancy; just simple, beautiful stitches.  When we found out that she had cancer, I would sit next to her at the hospital or at home, and work on quilt squares for my own little one.  Those little tiny stitches even helped my when I was at home and worried sick about Mom, and couldn't have wine - oh the horror - because I was expecting.

I never did finish the quilt (I can't sew, so our deal was that if I finished the stitching, she would put it together for me).  After she died, the idea of completing the project was just too much.  So I packed it all away, with the promise that someday, I would go back to it.  I didn't realize it would take me this long.  Today, I unearthed those pieces with the idea that I'd finish them for my the next addition to our family. I want to get that last square done so that my niece, who will arrive in April, will have a blanket that she loves as much as I loved mine.

I tried all day to get the stitching just right, the way Mom showed me. But I couldn't.  I Googled it, I I tried the 'over under' approach, and I attempted a back stitch (I don't even know what the heck that is).

Look at this:  Can you tell the difference between then and now?  Even back then, my embroidery wasn't great, but it was a heck of a lot better than it is today.


When Craig came home from work today, he found me with a pile of embroidery floss and needles, drowning in tears. I wanted my Mom.  She would have been able to help me.

Craig gently pulled the hoop from my hands, sat in his chair, and worked on my failed stitching until he figured out my mistakes.  He didn't get it perfect, but he got me back on track.  As I was weeping for my Mom, I was giggling. I don't know very many men who would work on a sewing project just to stop his wife from being sad.  What a guy. 

I've said it before, and I'll say it again.  I married well.

Driving Mr. Murray

Riding in the car with Murray is always an adventure in conversation.  You just never know what will pop out of his mouth.  For example, today's 7-minute trip went something like this:

"Mom, you picked me up early?  Why?  Mom, why is it cloudy?  It's not too windy for me. Hey Mom! I sure love Rudy. Mom, who's in that car next to us?  Mom, I made a snowman puppet today.  Mom, the cops are nice, right?  Mom?  I know how many more sleeps until we go to the cities with dad. Mommy, why didn't I get a snack at Linsay's house today?  Mom, are you driving the speed limit? Mom, Gordon is the fastest engine on Sodor! Mom, I didn't tell the secret to anyone!  Oh, Mom? Will you help me set up my sticky trains when we get home?" Mom, why do you love me? Mom, what are we having for dinner? Mom, guess what? Well...I forgot. Mom, how did I eat all the pudding?  I know, let's have homemade mac & cheese for supper!  Okay, Mom?  Will you make me that please?  Mom, I didn't share my Hero because my other friends have their own trains."

Who needs talk radio when you have a Murray?

Bah, Resolutions

I've never been one to get excited about a new year.  Resolutions?  Not for me.  Too much pressure.  For example: Lose 40 pounds. Go to church more often.  Be a kind person.  Get organized.  Volunteer. 


All of the above are great things to resolve to do, achieve, accomplish.  But I find that my New Year's resolutions tend to last for a few days and then are cast aside like a used tissue. 

So, instead of ringing in the new year with promises to myself and others, I strive to be a better person each and every day.  I really do.  There are days when I resolve to do something simple, like smile at a passerby; when in reality, I feel like growling.   Or maybe I'll send DH a short email reminding him that I love him, even if we're arguing. Or, I'll give Rudy some extra TLC, despite the fact that he just had a rabbit for breakfast, and I'm not happy with him. 

Then, there are the bigger resolutions:  Go for a walk.  Reach out to a friend.  Take more time to sit with Murray and play a game, read a book, or sing a song. Stop talking so much and listen.  Slow down.  Help someone in need.  Spend more time praying.  Be kind.  Stop worrying about what everyone else thinks and enjoy life.

I'm not perfect. I don't want to be. My "everyday resolutions" often fail. I'm a work in progress.  Aren't we all?