Look closely, Raph is in the laundry basket cage and Colin's
shirt is on backwards and there is a pullup on the floor
and a breast pump part and other random scattered crap. Sigh.
When your kids make you crazy because of a certain phase they are in for a looooong ass time you must often repeat, "This too shall pass". Unfortunately, though, if you have more than A child then "this too shall pass" right on to the next child in line. Damn. Maturity is a miraculous thing. Sometimes it sneaks up on you and other times its like a switch is flipped and *poof* your child has matured into normalcy!
Raph has always been fairly easy to manage and discipline. Certainly he is not perfect but the good days to bad days ratio is pretty favorable. He did go through that phase of about 2-3 years where he could not make it through Mass without some sort of forcible extraction and muttered threats in his little ears. But, by then we had Colin who was turning one and the gig was up. Raph sat in his seat with me and Mike took Colin to the back. Guess who's next!? **Ding ding ding** Heidi's turn! Since they are 6 months closer in age than Colin and Raph were there was more over lap. This of course meant that Raph would fidget in his seat and nearly have a panic attack because he would be left in the pew by himself. Now, for the most part, Colin is well behaved enough to make it through a service. Heidi sometimes doesn't make it through the opening prayer. After years of standing in the back with Colin Mike told me, "You get Heidi". Fair enough, for the next 2-3 years you will see me in the foyer of our church.
Its not just church though. I know its hard for kids...sometimes its hard for me too. Yesterday I was at the grocery store with Heidi and Colin. Last fall Colin would reduce me to tears in the parking lot because he was just. so. bad. in the grocery store. Well, things have changed. I had the two of them in the shopping cart that looks like a rocket. They are up high with their own steering wheels. Heidi has long sense mastered the art of Houdini-ing her way out of the straps of a shopping cart but this time she nearly took a header off the top of the cart. She had crawled out of the rocket and onto the ledge where you push the cart. She was making her way down (4 ft drop) the side of the cart when I caught her. My hands were full off food and she landed on top of my selections. I had to put her down on the floor while I gathered the things I dropped and put them in the cart. Meanwhile she took off at a full sprint squealing and laughing down the liquor aisle. I had to chase after her so she didn't break bottles of whiskey and tequila. A couple was looking in the beer cooler when the man said, "Yeah! This is my favorite aisle too!" I prefer jokes to smug glares from other shoppers. Or worse yet "helpful" suggestions implicating me as a pitiful excuse for a mom. They can take those comments and shove it.
I put Heidi into the food part of the cart for the remainder of the trip. She used the food as a step stool and attempted to climb out of the cart. Then scream when she couldn't make it out and fell on top of the food. And merrily throw things out onto the floor. ::palm to forehead:: What was Colin doing you might ask? Happily talking to me about his fuzzy drink and yogurt and whatever else popped into his head. All punctuated by exclamations of, "NO HI-EEE! NO!" By the time we got to the check out I looked like one of those crazed moms from commercials with goldfish in her hair, mismatched shoes looking for a drink. Heidi had thrown papers out of my bag onto the floor countless times. Food items onto the floor. The entire contents of my bag were dumped into the floor area of the rocket ship and I had some smashed boxes of food. Hey, at least this time she didn't throw yogurt cups onto the floor having the contents splash out onto the sushi counter...that was last week.