Saturday, June 28, 2008

12:53 a.m.

It was 12:53 a.m. I awoke to find that, once again, I had been relegated to 8 inches of my own king sized bed. This situation can be manageable if I lay on my side and cling to my pillow, which is weighed down on the opposite side by a child. I am very good at this - practice makes perfect.

The problem in this case was that I was awake. What was it that stirred me from my slumber?


Keaton was again talking/yelling/demanding in his sleep. In this instance he was complaining about how he couldn't open his Propel - "I can't get it open! Momma! Open it!"

I quickly gathered my wits and decided I would just play along, hoping to solve his subconscious dilemma. "Give it to me. I'll open it," I said. Then I pretended to take a bottle of Propel from Keaton's hands and made the motion to open the top.

Soon I realized that Keaton was sleeping, eyes closed and all, and my hand motions were probably unnecessary.

I think he said "thanks," and then he told me he wanted some juice in a cup and he wanted to go with me to get it. So off we went to the kitchen (he was a little awake, so we went for real instead of pretending) to get him some juice. I was once again reminded of my prowess with holding 26 pounds of person in one hand and, with the other hand, opening the refrigerator, getting a cup, opening a bottle of juice, pouring, and putting a lid on a sippy cup. If they had Olympics for this sport, I am certain I would be a medal contender.

Side note - perhaps I should market this idea as a television show. "Mommy Olympics." We could have events like one handed juice cup making and scrubbing fingerpaint from under tiny little fingernails without making the kid cry and even who can give the scariest "mommy look" that makes the children stop drawing on the bedroom walls with a sharpie in the least amount of seconds (not that that's happened at my house).

Anyway, eventually Keaton went back to whatever dream he was having, and I returned to my eight inches of the bed.

But I awoke this morning with a mission. There must be some way to get my bed back. I should say "our" bed because Trey just pointed out that he had the opposite eight inches of the bed, flanked by Tucker, until giving up at 4:30 a.m. and going to the couch. What shall we do? I don't know yet, but rest assured it will be big. There will likely be stickers involved...and rearranging furniture...and maybe even locked doors (is that legal?)...

Random side note #2 - Trey made whole wheat waffles this morning and the boys didn't even notice the difference! Score one for the healthy eating habits!

Thursday, June 19, 2008


The boys went to bed really late tonight - it was almost 9:30. Keaton asked (okay, he demanded) to watch High School Musical before bed, and I told him no. He started working up one of his very best fits - heavy breathing, clenched fists, a killer look on his face - so in my most soothing voice I said, "Keaton, no screaming. Calm down and use words."

After a moment or two he relaxed a little and took a deep breath. Then, very determined, he said, "If you let me watch High School Musical, I'll give you one of my quarters."

That's not exactly what I had in mind when I told him to use words.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Obstacle Course?

The boys made an obstacle course tonight. It had the usual - two overturned chairs, lots of pillows and stuffed animals. What made this particular evening unique is that they got into our closet to dress up for the event. Keaton (doing his mommy impersonation) wore one of my sweaters and some heels. Tucker (doing his daddy impersonation) wore Trey's shorts and dress shoes. I'm sure you can imagine that the costumes added an extra level of difficulty to the competition. They were having so much fun I couldn't make them stop, so I just chose not to watch.

At some point I walked through the room (or the "course," as it were). I heard constant laughter and this:

Tucker: Come on Keaton, let's do the obstacle course again!
Keaton: YEAH! Let's do the popsicle cups!

Apparently Keaton hasn't yet learned the word "obstacle," so he substituted what he thought was a logical alternative. Tonight's popsicle cups were a hit.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The (Not So) Big Event

There are certain events in my children's lives that I look forward to (or look back on fondly) - first word, first steps, first day of kindergarten, first date, first lost tooth. Well, in true Hickman Household fashion, these events do not always happen with the expected gusto.

On Sunday morning, Tucker asked Trey to look in his mouth. Right behind his two front bottom teeth, he had another tooth almost all the way in. Another tooth! Like - his first big boy tooth! I couldn't believe it! I mean, get out the baby books and call the grandparents! This is an event! How did it come in this far without us recognizing its mile-stonish existence?!

We soon realized that neither of the teeth this one could be replacing were loose. The shark-like nature of Tucker's mouth no longer seemed natural, so we (we being Trey) decided to call the dentist first thing Monday morning.

When I left summer school around noon on Monday, I called Trey to see what the dentist had to say. I expected that they would have scheduled a time to pull one of the baby teeth which was now in the way. Here's how my phone conversation went:

Me: "What did Dr. Badger say?"
Trey: "Nothing, really. They just pulled his tooth."
Me: "WHAT???!!!"
Trey: "They pulled the baby tooth. It wasn't loose or anything so that had to pull it."
Me: "So they just did it. I mean, right then? I mean, it's gone?"
Trey (sensing my elevated concern on missing something important): "Yes. Is that okay?"
Me (never wanting to admit sentimental hysteria): "Of course. I'm just...surprised they did it so quickly."

So then I talked to Tucker on the phone. It was great - he was so proud, "Mom! Dr. Badger pulled my tooth! There's a hole there! Do you want to see it?" I told him how proud I was that he was so brave, and that I was on my home to see the vacated space right that minute.

For just a moment I felt like I had missed out. Then I remembered all of the other teeth he still had in his head. I thought of all the wiggling of teeth and bleeding and jokes about tying them to doorknobs. I didn't miss any of that this go round, so I was okay.

When I got home, I got the whole story. Only I got it Tucker style, cool and calm, and just the facts. It had the following details:
They didn't just give him a shot - they gave him three!
He didn't even cry!
Dr. Badger gave him his tooth, and now the Tooth Fairy would come and bring him money!

He was so excited and so grown up with that little hole in his smile. About every five minutes for the rest of the day he would say, "Hey, does anyone want to see my loose tooth?" And every single time we looked at the tiny little tooth announcing his impending adolescence.

First a tooth. Next kindergarten. These realizations that my little man is growing up are a little much for me. I think I may have to start arranging an appropriate college major now...and marriage...I think a nice Aggie girl who can't stand the thought of leaving College Station would be a good choice... perhaps an application process for these future family members is in order...good thing it's summer...I have work to do!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Father's Day Edition, Part 2

My dad's calf died today. Yesterday, he and my mom officially sold the house that I half grew up in (we moved there before I started the eighth grade). He's had a rough weekend. These incidents remind me how incredibly soft-hearted he is.

There are some great stories that go along with this. There's the classic story of the cat and the squirrel. Once upon an afternoon a cat got hold of a squirrel in the road in front of Mom and Dad's house. Unfortunately, the cat didn't finish off the squirrel, but instead left it alive. Dad saw the poor little rodent (are squirrels rodents?), and he rushed to its aid as only Dad would do, pleading "Come on, little fella." Trey swears that he gave the squirrel mouth-to-mouth. The poor little bugger didn't make it, and I'm pretty sure Dad cried. It was both sweet and hysterical at the same time.

Or there are countless times from when I was a kid that I would be hurt (skinned knees and what not), and he would cry with me. I especially remember when my sister, Wendy, was sick. She had severe asthma as a child and had to be hospitalized on several occasions. I remember being very afriad for her, and also wondering how Dad would hold up. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't that he was weak. It's just that he holds things a little closer to his heart than most people do, and it's one of my favorite things about him.

More recently, when my neice, Peyton, was hospitalized with severe kidney disease, Mom and I often talked about whether or not Dad would ever leave the hospital. The truth is that he was there almost as much as Zach and Wendy. This, to me, is a perfect example of Dad as the caretaker of the world - likely stemming from his soft-heart. When I was growing up, every single one of my friends called him "Pop," and I have no doubt that it was because they knew he loved them like his own. In fact, I can probably count 4-5 teenagers who lived with us at some point because they had no where to go. Mom and Dad just had them bring their stuff on over and stay with us until they could get things figured out.

This care-taking was not limited to only people we knew. One summer I volunteered at the hospital in Dallas where Dad worked. It was there that I met "The Governor," Dad's homeless friend who met him on the same corner every morning so that Dad could give him a cigarette. We would talk about the homeless people because it always troubled me to think that anyone had no other person in the whole world to turn to for help. I will always remember Dad telling me about giving to others. He would say (and I'm sure he still does) that if you give someone something and they waste it, you should never be offended. God calls us to help others, and what they do with our help is none of our concern. We just have to worry about doing our part. I still try to live that way, and I hope to teach it to my kids.

My Dad is also the most capable, hardest worker I know. Poor Trey married Michael's daughter - I thought the husband was supposed to be able to fix anything and build anything . When I learned that people actually call electricians and plumbers and pay them to fix things in their houses, I was incredibly surprised. (I don't know what I thought those professionals did for money...) I've seen Dad build entire rooms, wire a house, even run a water line quite a distance. I even personally helped him rip the roof off of our house and put a new one on. Why would you pay someone to do that when you can do it yourself? This weekend, since his calf died and he sold the house and he was having a rough go of it, he built a front porch onto the new house - probably to make himself feel better. I'm amazed at how much he can get done.

This is getting long, but I would be remiss if I didn't mention the fact that there isn't another person on this earth less judgmental than my dad. He loved to tell me to never judge a person until I'd walked a mile in his shoes. Remember those homeless people? Dad would tell me that I didn't know or understand the circumstances of their lives, and being there on that street might just be the very best they could do. If another kid treated me poorly, he would insist that I consider what things might be going on in her life to make her unhappy enough to treat me that way. He always sees the other guys’ side.

I must mention that this was quite frustrating for a teenage girl. When someone was mean to me, I wanted him to run them over with his truck, not tell me to think about their circumstances, for crying out loud. Most of all, I did not want to "kill them with kindness" as he often suggested. I just wanted to kill them (okay, not kill, but smack, maybe?). These lessons, however, have served me well as an adult when I can remember to put them into practice.

All of these are great life lessons that my dad not only preaches, he practices. They are part of who I am, and when I’m really frustrated I still hear his voice in the back of my head advising me to be more tolerant and understanding (not exactly my strong points).

But my very favorite things about my dad are the little things. I laugh every time I think about his crazy green Bermuda shorts with Popeye all over them. His skinny little white-as-a-sheet legs. His request to have “The Cowboy Rides Away” played at his funeral. How much he loves Lonesome Dove. How proud he is of all of us – even when we just do silly little things. Him dancing with my mom all over the kitchen while she's trying to be busy. Him standing to pray in church. Him believing with all his heart that anything is possible. Him cooking breakfast and singing at the top of his lungs while the rest of us try to sleep. Him showing my kids how to gut a fish, and then cooking that fish right up and letting them eat as much as they want. I could go on forever – I love just being with my dad.

If I could only say one thing about the man, it’s that he loves life. He finds joy and purpose all over the place. That's the part of him I most want to live every day, and the part I want my kids to carry on. That's his greatest legacy.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Tonight I was on the phone with Wendy, and Keaton wanted to talk to her. So I put him on the phone and listened to his side of the conversation. It went like this:

Keaton: "We went to a hotel last night." (we didn't)
Wendy's response about the fact that she stayed in a hotel last night - she really did.
K: "Did they have a alligator there?"
Wendy's response.
K: "Yes. They had a alligator. I don't like alligators."
Wendy's response.
K: "Does Peyton like alligators?"

I told him then to say bye and give me the phone, so he did. I had to tell Wendy he was talking about elevators. I think she felt better about having been confused.

Father's Day Edition, Part One

Note (because I like to leave notes): I have, for my entire life, been troubled by the spellings of Mamma and Pappa (pronounced ma-maw and pa-paw). So for purposes of this most official blog entry, I looked back at a Christmas card my Mamma sent me and spelled like she did. Don’t argue with how she spelled it – she wasn’t often wrong. ;)

I was thinking the other day about Father's Day - who to buy cards for, who to buy gifts for, etc. Every time I buy cards I think about an incident that occurred with my Pappa. Right after my grandmother passed away we were at his house helping to go through all of the stuff they had collected over the years, and he pulled out a box of Father's Day cards. I think every Father's Day card I'd ever sent him was in that box. He flipped through it quickly and said, "This whole box is trash."

I was devastated! - for about half a second. Then I had to laugh at the practicality of this man I hold so dear. What good were those cards? We were staring into a future without my grandmother. In the big scheme of things, those were just pieces of paper. They had served their purpose. They were no longer important. He was right – they were trash.

So on this Father's Day, I have decided that instead of sending a card to my grandfather, I'm going to send him a thank you letter for all of the great memories he's given me. This is it.

My earliest and perhaps best memory of Pappa is musical - not surprising if you know him. He loves music, and I must have recognized that when I was about 2 days old. In fact, he made copies of most of his enormous collection of cassette tapes, I think so that he could listen to the copies and not wear out the originals. Then he built shelves for the tapes, meticulously labeled them, and filed the cassettes on the shelves in alphabetical order. I was in awe of that cassette tape collection. In fact, I remember saving my first two allowances to have enough money to buy my first tape to begin my own collection. (It was Lionel Ritchie's Dancing on the Ceiling, but we don't necessarily have to go there.) Even more impressively, he typed up the lyrics to most of the songs he had on cassette and filed them in spiral notebooks.

Now, this little diatribe about musical organization is to bring about my favorite activity from when I was little. I would stay a week or two every summer with Mamma and Pappa, and every night (or at least in my memory it was every night) he would play his guitar, and we would sing together until I was hoarse. Of course, I would never admit to being hoarse because then we might have to stop.

We sang old hymns - like Beulah Land and The Old Rugged Cross - and old country songs, all of which I loved. I was always so proud when I knew the words without looking at the carefully typed lyrics. My very favorite song to sing with Pappa was Seven Spanish Angels by Willie Nelson and Ray Charles. I still listen to that song regularly because it just makes me happy (Yes, I realize it's a sad song - I'm talking about memories here!)

My next favorite thing about my Pappa is hearing him pray. He was a Baptist minister for many years, and I'm sure I've heard him preach many times, but there's nothing like hearing him pray. I don't know another person on earth capable of that kind of prayer. It made an impression on me even as a small child that this big bear of a man in his loud, booming voice humbled himself before God in the company of others. He prayed at my wedding, and aside from the getting married part, that could be my favorite thing about the whole show. God was there. And God is here in my home. I know because my Pappa asked him to be. There's such comfort in that.

I could go on for years about him, but I won't because he wouldn't. I will mention, however, how much he loved - and still loves - my grandmother. They were married over 50 years, and when she was alive I knew that he knew how special she was. I could just tell that however much I loved her, he understood and maybe loved her even more than I did. When I was kid, that was a pretty big realization.

When Mamma died suddenly, it was like the world stopped for everyone, I think. I had this moment of wondering how anything would ever work right again. But I saw him stand up in his faith and profess that God had a plan. That's likely the only reason any of us found peace. To an avid reader like myself, theirs is the best-written love story of all time. Now he lives with a beautiful portrait of her on the wall and over 50 years of memories, and someday he will be with her again. I can only pray for such a lifetime of dedication to family.

My Pappa is an amazing man of a generation that could certainly show us a thing or two about honor and strength and family. I look at my boys, and somewhere in the back of my mind I see them as his legacy. I suppose that's what Father's Day is all about. Honoring those who, through their blood, sweat and tears, make us who we are.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Bah-Free, Day Three

The last you heard was our desperate plea for help as we took away our son's beloved bah for good. You may have been wondering what happened to us. "Where could they be?" you've wondered. Dead? Arrested? Laying in the floor in a pool of their own drool because they've gone mad in this terrible process? Let me assure you, all is well at the Hickman house.

After that first night, Keaton has hardly even mentioned his bahs. Only once did he lament to me, "Mommy, my bahs are all gone." It was like he realized the depth of what had happened that fateful night when the Bah Fairy came. Other than that, he has been downright pleasant.

Our only real problem now is that he can't easily go to sleep without the bah. He can only sleep after he's so tired that he can't do anything else. On Saturday night, he was up until about 11:30. He wasn't crying or upset or anything. He was just awake.

Last night (Sunday) we tried so hard to get him to go to sleep. We had the radio on to distract him. He had his new bah-sized toys in his hands. When none of that worked, I finally lay down with him in our bed.

At 11:15 p.m., he was almost there - almost asleep - when his new favorite song came on the radio. You may be familiar with it, "Bleeding Love" by Leona Lewis (Keaton affectionately calls it "Keep Bleeding"). I knew when this song came on that it would take all he had not to sing along.

But then I found hope. After the first few lines, I thought we were going to make it. I thought he was asleep enough to not notice the song. Then, with his eyes closed, his lips began to silently move. Seconds later his foot started tapping against the bed. In the next moment, the silent words his lips were forming turned into whispered singing. Finally, at the very beginning of the chorus, his eyes popped open, he looked right at me, and he said almost apologetically, "It's my song, Mommy."

I could only laugh as he squealed "Keep bleedin, keep keep bleeding love."

Random Foot Note: Today when I was at the gym I had an important thought. If any of my former students have the unfortunate luck to need the services of Judge Judy - let's say the student painted a boat and the boat's owner refused to pay for the work, and the student is forced to "television sue" for the $534.27 - If any of my former students have to go before Judge Judy, I will just choke to death of embarrassment if the student begins a sentence with "Me and him was..." End of random thought.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Bah Fairy Cometh...

or as an alternate title, "Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth."

Trey and I love our children unconditionally (scary preface to make, huh?). However, sometimes we make choices that aren't in the best interest of our family dynamic. Off the top of my head, I can think of one of those choices: letting Keaton have a pacifier (which he calls a "bah") until he was 3 years old.

We knew in the months coming up to Keaton's 3rd birthday that it was not a good thing for him to have the bah. Scoldings from his dentist and late nights fits from Keaton himself (because he needed three bahs at a time - one in his mouth and one for each hand) indicated that the bahs had taken some sort of control from us. We knew this had to stop. We had to overcome the power of the bah. We were united in our fight.

Back in March or April, Trey read an article about getting your child to give up pacifiers. one suggestion was to have the "Pacifier Fairy" (whom we called the "Bah Fairy") come and take all of the pacifiers and leave a gift. We decided this was the option for us. We could do this! We scheduled the Bah Fairy's arrival for Keaton's 3rd birthday and began to methodically complete our mission.

We talked about the Bah Fairy every day. Keaton knew she was coming. He was excited. We asked him what the Bah Fairy was going to bring him. Sometimes he said coins, sometimes he said candy, sometimes he said toys. We stored all of these in our memory as we plotted the demise of the bah in our house.

As the big day drew near, we talked it up even more, "Keaton, aren't you excited about the Bah Fairy? You're such a big boy!" I even added my own personal touch of flair: "You know the Bah Fairy is going to take your bahs to babies who need them. You don't need them anymore because you're a big boy." No sense in losing a chance to teach a little generosity, too. I have to admit, Trey and I are quite a team. We were brilliant!

Trey spent the afternoon of the big day preparing for the switch. We were going to replace the bahs with ALL of the things Keaton asked for. Why? We're brilliant, remember? He assembled an amazing cornucopia of gifts - quarters, bubble gum to chew during the day instead of having a bah, a bag of Keaton's favorite Dove milk chocolate candies (individually wrapped, of course), and 3 small toys that he could hold in his hands as he tried to go to sleep - almost exactly the same size as his bahs. This plan was infallible!

Bedtime on June 6 arrived. Since it was Keaton's birthday and already late, we let the boys watch a movie as they went to sleep. After about 5 minutes, Keaton made the statement we were oh-so-prepared for: "I want my bahs."

No problem. We carefully explained that he was three now, and that the Bah Fairy was coming to take his bahs to babies who need them. He calmed down. He remembered. All of our advanced work had paid off! We did it!

For 30 seconds.

Then the screaming began.

Now, when I say scream, I do not mean the kind of scream that one might express when going down a steep hill on a roller coaster. Nor do I mean the kind of scream that jumps out from the depths of your heart when someone leaps out from behind a door and scares you. I'm talking about a gut-wrenching, painful, continual scream. I believe it was the kind of scream a drug addict would make during his first 2 hours of an unexpected rehab. It was a scream that dripped of an anguish never before experienced in our home. I honestly thought my ears might bleed. It was beyond horrible.

And it didn't stop.

However, Trey and I were a team. We took turns holding him down. We tried to soothe him. We threatened to spank him. We patted his back. We rubbed his hair. We got him juice. We offered to feed him. We moved him from our bed to his bed to the couch. Nothing could appease him. The power of the bah was too strong.

After 2 hours, he had worn himself out. It was 12:15 by this time, and I felt as if I had been physically beaten with a wet beach towel. I could barely move. I was broken. The plan had failed, but we were strong. We didn't give him a bah.

So we exhaustedly assembled the Bah Fairy's plethora of gifts to be discovered in the morning, and we fell into bed around 12:30 a.m. We slept peacefully until 4:58 a.m. when it began again.

It was the same as four short hours before. Keaton's distress was so far above and beyond what we ever could have anticipated. He was possessed! I took him into the living room and held him down on the couch, hoping that at least Trey could get some sleep.

Now, I would be lying if I said that I remained a good person during this pre-dawn incident. It occurred to me to just give him a bah. He needed it, after all. I also thought I might throw up, or that he might throw up. I wasn't entirely certain he was breathing through his screams. Looking back, I'm pretty sure I shed a tear. I though to myself, "Labor all night long was nothing compared to this. I can't do it!" I wondered if they issued pain medication for moms of 3 year olds giving up bahs. At least once I wondered if it would be child abuse to lock him in his room and leave him to his own devices.

But before I could act on any of these irrational thoughts, Keaton's hysteria all of a sudden became replaced with a lucid thought. He screamed at me that there was a bah in Daddy's truck and that he was going to get it. He escaped from my grip and ran to our room to tell Daddy that he was going outside for a bah! It was 5:43 a.m.

Trey scooped him up and took him back to the couch. I was thankful that my turn was over, and I collapsed into bed. I learned this morning that Keaton finally gave up again about 6:15 and went to sleep.

It was a night of incredible hell. But we made it without the bah. We have overcome the power of evil and lived to tell about it. There's only one problem.

When we were executing the enemy, we could only find two of them. Somewhere in our house, two of the enemy still lurk. We must find them and destroy them. We've added another soldier. Tucker is on the lookout. I have a terrible feeling in the pit of my stomach that we've won a battle, but we have not yet won the war.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Three Whole Years Old...

My Keaton is 3 today. I can hardly believe it! As I'm sure any other parent can understand, it seems like he's always been here, and also that he just arrived.

I remember when Tucker was little (okay, he's still little, so I remember when he was REALLY little), and he was the only kid in the family (on one side anyway). Everything he did was fascinating to everyone. In fact, he got so much attention that he cried because he didn't want to be held.

It makes me feel almost sorry for Keaton. He constantly competes for attention, so it's a good thing he's so entertaining!

Yesterday I took cupcakes to Keaton's preschool. I wanted the kids to have them for snack today (his birthday), but I didn't want Trey to have to deal with them in the morning. When I walked in and showed Keaton the cupcakes, he was so taken by them. His mouth fell open, his eyes lit up, and he gasped, "Oh, thank you, Mommy."

This morning - the morning of the big day - we made all over him. Well, they must have done the same thing at school because when I picked him up he was singing "Happy Birthday to Keaton," and he sang it all the way home. He did take an occasional break to ask, "Who is the birthday boy? KEATON!" He seemed to be having a great day!

When we arrived home, I was busy pretending to be a pack mule who can load herself by collecting all of the lunchboxes, papers, and various show and tell submissions while Keaton and Tucker ran inside. Just like every other day.

Only today, by the time I got inside, Keaton had completely opened one present and was about to tear into gift number 2. Luckily I was able to convince him that he had to wait until everyone got here before he opened the other gifts. Or at least I thought I had convinced him.

Five minutes later I was putting a few groceries away when I realized my little helper was no where to be found. So I called out to him, "Keaton, where are you?"

"I under the bed in here," came the faint reply from somewhere down the hall.

So I went to investigate. Sure enough, there he was on the floor under the bed with gift #2. He explained he was just holding it and hiding until the party started. That's my Keaton.

As Trey's parents and nieces and nephews and sister and brother-in-law arrived, Keaton explained to them that we were going to "eat his birthday." You see, he still believes that "birthday" and "cake" are the exact same thing. So after dinner, we ate his birthday. I think he started asking to open presents even as we were cutting the cake.

Finally he opened the presents with lots of help from Tucker and his cousin Tiffany. Tucker would have thrown a fit about having so much "help," but Keaton didn't mind at all. I suppose you get used to it when you're the youngest. He got an airplane, a truck, a High School Musical microphone, a Very Hungry Caterpillar board game, and a sandbox. He played with them until we made him stop at 10:15. This playing also included the boxes. Often he could be heard saying, "Hold on! I get my box!" Then he would climb inside them to hide. I have tons of pictures of his head sticking out of the top of a box.

I always tell Keaton that he's my sweet boy, and he always agrees. He reminded me why as he hugged and kissed every person who was here and excitedly thanked them for his presents. He really is just innately a sweet, kind person. Who knew that less than 8 hours later I would need to be reminded of this over and over again. (This is my cliffhanger! See "The Bah Fairy Cometh.")

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Brothers are Always Fun

Tonight the boys have been playing together so well. At some point, they are watching High School Musical (of course) in our room and laughing hysterically. Naturally, the laughter indicates that they need to be checked on.

So I head into our room and find them enthralled by their own little amusement park ride. They've taken all of the pillows off the bed and created a landing zone. They've also turned the ijoy chair (a gift Trey got me when I was REALLY pregnant) on its back so that the seat is standing up. This is where the ride comes in. They climb up the back of the chair, now laying on the ground, to perfectly balance on the end of the seat of the chair, now standing straight up. One at a time - for the most part - they leap, spread-eagle from the chair onto the pillow landing zone, all the while laughing and yelling "I'm first!" and "I'm second!" A brilliant time is being had by all.

When I enter the room and witness this kid-created theme park ride, it hardly fazes me. I tell them, "Y'all are going to get hurt." They assure me they are being careful, which I suppose they are if it's possible for a 5 year old and a 3 year old to carefully dive from the standing seat of a chair onto a pile of pillows.

Then Trey comes in. He explains that they should not do this. He returns the chair to an upright position. He places the pillows on the bed. He and I leave the room as I wonder why I didn't do that. Hmm... I guess it never occurred to me to make them stop. My brain must really be on summer time.

A few minutes later we return to find the ride back in perfect place. Spankings ensue, and they're instructed to get ready for bed, but their spirits don't dampen. Keaton, still cracking up about the ride, flies off to brush his teeth. Tucker notices that before Keaton left he perfectly lined up 3 pacifiers on the entertainment center, so Tucker grabs them to hide them.

Tucker, hands full of "bahs," jumps across the bed to hide them under a pillow, and, wouldn't you know it, his pants fall down. Completely down. He's left standing there in a white t-shirt and underwear with boxer-ish pajama shorts around his ankles.

He's laughing so hard now he can hardly breathe, but he finds enough air to yell, "Keaton has to see this!"

Keaton returns and the demonstration begins. Tucker's pants go up, he jumps, his pants fall down, they laugh. Unfortunately, Keaton's pants aren't stretched out, so when he jumps they do not fall down. He's forced to do these little hops so that he can manually pull his pants down on the way down from the air. Hop - Pull - Laugh. Hop - Pull - Laugh. It's really pretty funny.

Too bad bedtime interrupted the good times. If only it could have interrupted the laughter! They can't seem to get over the giggles. It's 9:34 now. Maybe they'll go to sleep sometime before tomorrow.