The difference between raising boys & girls

Here’s a fun fact you might not know: Strangers love talking to parents.

I mean, LOVE it. Every time I leave my house with my kids, we are bombarded by strangers who ask all kinds of totally appropriate questions, like, “Are those gingers!? Carol, look, she’s got two gingers!” and “How did YOU end up with redheads? You don’t have red hair. Tell me your family’s genealogy.” and “Oh, are you leaving? Hang on, I want to rub your kid’s hair for good luck.”

Once we’ve exhausted the hair topic, however, these strangers almost always move onto the subject of raising boys vs. girls, since the other outstanding feature of my kids is that they are opposite genders. And, man, let me tell you, people have VERY strong opinions regarding this. This gender stuff is some serious business. I have learned so much. Almost all of it against my will.

And yet, all this unsolicited advice has had the side effect of making me pay closer attention to the biological differences of my own offspring.

Here’s a good example. My son, who is 3, always wants to wrestle with me. My daughter, who is 14 months, always wants to wrestle the dog. So, clearly, all those people who say girls are smarter are correct. The dog always lets Mae win. I, however, have a good 90 pounds on my son and do an amazing flying elbow move from the couch.

So far, I’ve won 378 times and Riker has won zero.

And that’s only the tip of the iceberg in the vast ocean of their gender-based differences. They both have very different views of danger, for instance. He tries his best every day to kill himself by jumping erratically around on his bed (in fact, he views that song, “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed,” as more of a how-to guide than a cautionary tale). She, meanwhile, is determined to kill herself by climbing to the top of our tall unsecured bookshelves.

I don’t know how much research has been done in terms of chromosomes and food preferences but I can tell you he loves chicken nuggets and hates vegetables. But SHE loves cheese and hurling whatever else is on her plate across the room. And once she runs out of everything else, she’ll hurl the cheese.  

She is by far the gentler of the two, always making sure to hug me after she smacks me full-on in the face and knocks my glasses off my face. He, on the other hand, will only hug me after hitting me if he draws blood. Although, granted, that could be more of an age thing. He’s a toddler, which basically means he’s a tiny psychopath, and she’s a baby, so leans more toward sociopathy.

Like any typical boy, Riker loves to play with cars. Mae, on the other hand, only wants to play with cars if they are her brother’s cars. She completely ignores the cars we bought specifically for her, choosing instead to use his to repeatedly run over her baby doll’s face.

Riker is definitely the funnier one, but Mae will occasionally do something she personally finds hilarious, like taking off her diaper and peeing on a pile of clean clothes.

Now, my daughter did start walking sooner than her brother…I think. I kind of fudged the facts in their baby books because I forgot to fill them out at an appropriate time (literally didn’t even crack them open before their first birthdays) and so just kind of winged it. As for talking, it’s hard to pinpoint when Riker started because he pretty much came out of the womb talking gibberish, which eventually turned into English, but since he never stopped to take a breath, I’m unsure when he said his first word. I do know his first sentence was “that’s not cheese” and her second word was “cheese,” so that right there shows you that I feed both genders way too much cheese.

Color-wise, they both seem pretty ambivalent about the whole pink and blue thing. When jumping full-bodied into a giant mud puddle, neither one seems to care what color their clothes are. But who knows? Maybe they would care more if their mother wasn’t such a feminist. But at least Riker is the more sports-oriented one. At his soccer games, he is on the actual field when he decides to lay down and play dead while his sister is busy licking soccer balls on the sidelines.

It just goes to show you. Men really are from Mars. And women clearly are from Venus.

And obviously children are from near Uranus. (Heh).

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(Kid)-free at last, (kid)-free at last

Hey, do you guys remember what it was like before you had kids? Like, what you used to do on a typical pre-spawn Saturday, when you had a million hours stretched out in front of you where you could do anything you wanted? And, most importantly, if candy tasted better eaten out in the open instead of while huddled in a corner of a locked bathroom, like a junkie mainlining M&M’s?

Yeah. Me neither. Apparently there gets to be a certain point in parenthood where you can’t remember what it was like before you spent 85 percent of your day refilling sippy cups. Personally, I think this forgetfulness is a survival instinct. Your brain suppresses those pre-child memories so that your head doesn’t explode when you have to get up at 5 a.m. on a Saturday now and get ready and cook breakfast that no one eats and deal with three tantrums before finally getting them to soccer practice and then head to the grocery store because you’re out of milk and then immediately head back to the store when you drop the milk in the driveway and it explodes all over everything and then you look at the clock and it’s only 9:15 a.m. and you cry a little.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately because at the end of this month, I will have four glorious days all to myself. No kids. No husband. No dog. Just me and my questionable decision-making skills, all alone. I’m heading to a beloved friend’s wedding in Portland, Oregon, and there will quite literally be an entire continent between me and my responsibilities.

And. I. Can’t. Wait.

I’ve never been away from my kids. Oh sure, an hour or three here or there but never overnight and certainly never in a long enough time frame for me to permanently ruin whatever is left of my tattered reputation. And I plan to fully take advantage of this particular gift I have been granted by the grace of the parenting gods and my friend Adriana’s airline points.

Because, see, a lot of moms will tell you that “I don’t even know what I’d do with myself without my kids.” Seriously, I Googled “What do moms do when they are away from their kids?” and the pickins were slim. It seemed to be a tie between blogs where moms boringly describe “it was great for 15 minutes but then I just missed the kids so much, so I just sat here like a lump until they came back” and news articles about moms who run away from their children permanently. Because even in motherhood, we women are still reduced down to the sinner/saint, madonna/whore archetype.

But not me. Oh no. I’m hitting that sweet spot right in the middle where I’m going to run off and do awful things and not feel guilty once and then come home to my loving family smelling like happiness and stale beer.

So, first things first, I’m going to start off slow. I want to read a book. Read all the books, in fact. And every newspaper and magazine from the last three years.

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Then I will drink all the booze. ALL OF IT.

Sleep in. Until 7 a.m. Maybe even 7:30.

Take a long, long, long shower. Or hell, a bath. And then actually style my hair into something other than “messy bun.” Like “purposefully messy bun.” And then I will pluck my eyebrow until there are two again.

Eat a cheeseburger for breakfast and an entire cheesecake for dinner. WITHOUT having to share ANY of it.

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Make a huge mess. And don’t clean it up.

Run around my hotel room naked.

Run around the hotel naked.

RUN AROUND THE ENTIRE CITY NAKED.

Smoke a cigar with some old men wearing fedoras.

Steal one of the fedoras and run away laughing maniacally.

Set my daily planner on fire and cover my face with the ashes and do a ritual pagan dance to every known deity devoted to chaos.

Write my novel!

Start a rock band!

Finally learn to juggle those fire sticks!

Buy a bunch of spray paint and become the new Banksy!

Rob a bank and give all the money to the poor!

I WILL DO ALL THE THINGS.

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Right after I buy my kids a bunch of souvenirs and text my husband dirty hotel room nudes, of course.

 

My bartender was a mixologist (& other horror stories)

You know how people are afraid of turning a street corner and suddenly realizing they are in the “bad” part of town? Or walking into a bar and seeing that’s it’s filled with bikers and ruffians? Well, I have the opposite fear. My fear is walking into a new place and realizing with horror that it’s fancy. That they don’t have bartenders, they have “mixologists.” That the clientele all look like they just walked off the set of “Girls.”

Of course, you’d think this would be a pretty rare occurrence but it happens more than it should because they’re sneaky now. Gentrification has ruined everything and everywhere. You innocently walk into what appears to be a dive bar when BAM. They just made it LOOK like a dive bar. Hand over $17 for that fancy beer you can’t pronounce, unsophisticated peasant.

Now, I realize what I am about to write next will give away my age and thus embarrass myself. Not my real age, of course. I’m not embarrassed about that. Being embarrassed about your age is basically apologizing for being good at not dying.

But it will give away my mental age and I AM embarrassed about that. Because I am a 36-year-old with the mentality of an 87-year-old. This is especially true when it comes to money. (You want how much for my gourmet coffee? Why, back in my day, it only cost an arm, not also a leg). But still, I feel I should share my experience because it’s time all of us un-fancy people band together.

And so…ahem…

All these fears culminated last week when my family decided to grab a bite to eat after my son’s soccer “practice” (and I use that term oh-so-loosely because he’s 3, they’re all 3, and so it more resembles extras running around in a disaster movie).

Let’s try a new place, we said. Let’s be spontaneous, we said. This is definitely a decision that will not blow up in our face, we said.

So, we strolled through our decidedly not fancy neighborhood until we came upon an innocent enough looking place. But then, just as we walked in far enough that making a quick exit would have been awkward, we noticed the Mason jars. The exposed ceiling. The iPhone photography on the walls. The white bartender…SPORTING DREADLOCKS.

And we knew, the color draining from our faces, that we had entered into a HIP ARTISAN EATERY (fancy slang for “we cannot afford this place”). It looked like every scene from “Portlandia” had been filmed there. And when we got the menu, which only had five items, plus a drink menu of craft cocktails that was 55 pages long, our fate was sealed.

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We tried to make the best of it. I got what anywhere else would be described on the menu as “the truck stop special” or perhaps “the big breakfast”. Here it had a fancy unpronounceable name that looked like a Spanish word had a threeway with two French words. It consisted of fried eggs, bacon, toast and “holme frites,” which after some Sherlockian deducing, I figured out was pretentious speak for “home fries.”

(When I got home, I Googled “holme frites” and even Google was like “wtf…that’s not a thing.”)

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A small cup of black coffee was $4 (I was too scared to ask for a refill). My trucker special was $17. (See? What did I say? 87-years-old mentally. I have to tell you exactly how much everything costs and then want you to be as outraged as I am. Why, I remember when a pack of smokes was $2 and a gal could get a free cocktail with a little flash of leg, dearie).

And forget a kids menu. While places like these don’t “actively discourage you from bringing in your kids,” they actively discourage you from bringing in your kids. Which is why they ate the ancient Cheerios and raisins lying at the bottom of the diaper bag that had been in there since my youngest was still renting out my uterus.  

But I will give the place this. It was delicious. And the place was beautiful. And the service was impeccable. Because I’m not here to insult these kinds of places.

You want fancy? Great. You want a small menu curated by an actual fancy chef? Fantastic. You don’t spiral into a rage when you have to spend $24 for a cheeseburger? Bully for you!

There is nothing wrong with any of that. There are people out there who will pay out the butt for local, fresh, organic, seasonal fare. And good for them. They will likely live very long lives with very clear skin.

So, I’m not saying get rid of these places. I’m saying stop making them look like a normal place I can afford until I sit down, see the menu and die of an aneurysm. Because the only way I am paying $24 for a cheeseburger is if it also gets me drunk. Very drunk.

It’s simply a matter of timing. I am not mentally, emotionally or financially able to eat at one of these places currently. I am at a place in my life where I need you to fling some chicken nuggets at my whiny toddler and throw some mushy mixed vegetables into my crying baby’s gaping maw so I can take three minutes to choke down something comforting and deep fried. Anything other than this is stressful and confusing and it makes me angry because I am an 87-year-old woman.

So, please, stop making fancy places look not fancy. Or, at the very least, if you have your heart set on that industrial-chic aesthetic, put an old lady out front who whispers to shabby families like mine before we walk in “they call home fries “holmes frites” here, sweetie, keep walking.”

 

Shut up, I’m tired (& other wise parental sayings)

I remember it like it was yesterday. But really it was this morning. I think. It’s hard telling. When you’re the parent of small children, roughly one thousand things happen between now and 30 minutes ago. Most of them involving bodily fluids. So, time is fluid, to say the least. (Shut up, I’m writing this on two hours sleep).

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Awful puns aside, the other day I was playing with my kids at the park when a pair of elderly ladies passed by us. While I was innocently watching my children put things in their mouth that did NOT belong, these ladies oh-so-rudely interrupted our private stick-gnawin’ good time with the unsolicited demand that I “enjoy this, it goes by so fast.” To which I replied “UGH, I’M TRYING!” but the women were already gone because I was too busy pulling the aforementioned sticks out of both kids’ mouths before I could respond. I would have been irritated by the whole thing too, except I then had to immediately teach my toddler to “discreetly” go potty behind a tree and wrassle a squirrel away from the baby (who, despite my best efforts, has turned completely feral).

Is there any phrase we busy moms hate to hear more than “enjoy it, it goes by so fast”? Yes. “Uh-oh, Mommy, I pooped my pants” is pretty high up there. But the former is in at least the Top Five.

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If there is a refrain to the melody that is modern parenting, that’s it. Enjoy it! It goes by so fast! *intense pots and pans drum solo* Repeat 1,000 times. Win a Grammy. (Grammy, in this case, means a grandmother, who you call crying hysterically, demanding they come visit immediately if they want to continue having grandchildren).

I don’t know if it has always been this way, since technically I only became a mom three years ago when a gigantic red-headed Viking baby exited my body, but there does seem to be immense pressure put on parents today to enjoy every single little moment. We are told this by strangers we pass on the street, by our own parents, by friends whose children are now awful, moody teenagers. I was even told to “enjoy it, it goes by so fast” by another mom whose daughter was only 6 months older than my toddler.

So, let me put this in no uncertain terms. I do enjoy spending time with my children. I enjoy the crap out of it.

NOW GET OFF MY BACK.

I put my phone down when they are playing at the playground, lest I miss one glorious minute of them going down the slide and/or eating old cigarettes butts from the ground.

On the flip side, if they even DARE touch my phone to play some annoying game while I am busy staring deep into their beautiful eyes, I throw the phone out the window. What’s the cost of a new phone compared to the possibility I might miss one of their adorable blinks?

I hold them. All the time. At this point, my body is like one of those foam memory mattresses, molded to the exact shape of my kids’ bony-ass bodies.

I once thought about getting a babysitter to go get a haircut and maybe a glass of wine but decided against it at the last minute. What if while I was gone I missed a major milestone? Like my baby saying her 17th word or my toddler discovering that all breakfast foods are not, in fact, icky? I may have stringy witch hair that hangs to my waist and look like an Amish cautionary tale, but I WAS THERE THE DAY MY SON ATE HIS FIRST POPTART, DAMMIT.

And while, and please don’t judge me, I let them watch (gasp) TV, I make sure to record them watching these shows, which I will rewatch while lying in bed instead of going to sleep because EVERY BREATH THEY TAKE IS PRECIOUS.

Ok? Ok? OK!?! IT ALL GOES BY SO FAST. I AM WELL AWARE OF THIS. And even me reassuring you that I am doing my best not to miss a single moment is making me miss a moment. A moment I will never get back! I haven’t even peed since they’ve been born! Too much time away from them! And yet, there you are, making me miss precious seconds with them so I can let you know I don’t want to miss a single second with them!

So, no need to remind me that it’s more important to play with them on the floor than to clean the floor. My floor is super gross. So is my kitchen. So is my entire house. Not an episode of “Hoarders” gross but it definitely is “my kids have wicked strong immune systems” gross.

And now all I want is to sit back and relax and enjoy the fact that I’m enjoying everything. Which I will do. As soon as I finish negotiating with my son how many chicken nuggets lawfully equal a popsicle for dessert and pull my baby out from under the couch where she is currently hiding with the squirrel she stole from the park.

A funny thing happened on the way to New Hampshire

Family vacations are a funny thing. Essentially all you are doing is taking a group of people who are together all the time and plopping them down…

Hi!

Um…hi…

Where was I? Oh yes, and plopping them down into a new location. But this simple act of geography change can…

Hello!

Uh…hello?

That was weird. Anyway, as I was saying, this simple act of taking you out of your element, out of your daily routine, can expose a lot about your character. For example, my family and I are at a resort town in New Hampshire, where…

Good morning!

Oh, um, good morning.

How are you?

Good. I guess.

Have a lovely day!

Ok, sure.

Man, I lost my train of thought again. Um…yeah, so, anyway my husband and I schlepped our two kids to a tiny cottage on the lake up in New Hampshire for a few days to, as they say, “get away from it all.” A great idea in theory, of course. But in practice, leaving your house for even a small period of time with a toddler and a baby in tow is the opposite of relaxing. It’s basically spending all night getting kicked in the face by tiny feet (because, god forbid, they actually sleep in the bed provided for them) and spending all day hurling gallons of sunscreen at their back as they sprint toward the closest large body of water so they can eat sand and practice drowning.

How’s it going?

Huh? What..? It’s fine. Everything’s fine. Just sitting here trying to get some work done.

Fantastic! Lovely day, isn’t it? Well, nice talking to you!

I…sure. Nice talking to you. Random stranger.

Ugh. Why won’t people leave me alone? People around here are so weird. ANYWAY, like I’ve been TRYING to say, there’s nothing like a vacation to expose who you really are. Everything is different and you are constantly tackling unforeseen challenges, like how to tactfully deal with your son who just pooped his pants in the fancy bookstore…

Beautiful day, huh?

Alright, that’s it. What the hell is going on here? Can I help you with something, buddy? Huh?

Oh, my apologies. Just trying to be friendly. Have a good afternoon!

Trying to be friendly? Well who the hell does that? See, it’s just like I was saying, going on vacation exposes who you really are. And someone I truly am is apparently someone who has lived in a city for too long and is now just super rude and glares at everyone who smiles at me with my best April Ludgate impression.

Only it’s not really an impression anymore so much as it is just my face now.

Because we have apparently ended up in the world’s friendliest town and I am confused and angered by this tendency of people to be overly nice even though I used to BE one of these people when I was growing up in a small town. But I have now forgotten how basic human decency works. Meanwhile, my husband, within 30 seconds of arriving here, reverted back to his old, friendly, Midwestern roots as easily as breathing. I think I even heard him blurt out “howdy” at one point.

And so I guess the only thing to do now is to finish up this stupid column of mine and go sit in front of the mirror and have me a “come to Jesus” moment about how I have transformed into a stereotype in just a few short years of living in Boston…

Oh, excuse me, ma’am? You forgot your purse. Here you go.

Oh, and so you just thought you’d give it back to me? Without stealing my money or anything? Of course. Well, thank you, Mr. Nice Friendly Man. And sorry I sound so sarcastic. I am actually very grateful. But I just realized I am a horrible, rude, human pile of garbage.

Have a nice friggin’ day.

 

 

It’s time we had the talk

Hey. Hi. How are you doing? Busy? Yeah, me too. But if you have a minute, could you come over here? *pats couch* Oh, you’d rather stay there? Sure, no problem. We can just do this right here in the kitchen then.

Look, I know this won’t be easy. But it’s time. We’ve put this off for long enough. I know, I know. I’ve been dreading it too. But…sigh…

We need to talk.

How long have we been together now? Going on seven years, isn’t it? And hey, I’ll be the first to admit it hasn’t been perfect. I’ve said and done things I’m not proud of. Flipping you off and throwing spaghetti at you was not one of my finer moments. Nor was that profanity-laced tirade last month when I unfairly blamed you for breaking my favorite wine glass. You know, the giant one that can fit an entire bottle of wine in it? But you’re far from perfect too. Ok? You’ve flooded my kitchen. Twice.

We’ve made it work though. Somehow, through it all, we’ve made it work.

Oh, but dishwasher, lately it seems you are trying to hurt me on purpose. Every night, no matter what was cooked or what was eaten, there is always that one dish left over on the counter that simply won’t fit inside you. I rearrange, and rearrange, and rearrange again. But it just won’t fit. Sometimes it’s a plate, sometimes a pan, sometimes a sippy cup or two. It doesn’t matter what. All that matters is that it’s always SOMETHING.

And I don’t feel I’m exaggerating when I say that the one thing that won’t fit in you is ruining my life.

Now wait, wait, wait. Don’t get mad. Just listen. Because I know I’m asking a lot more of you these days. We have two kids now. We basically doubled the size of our family in just a few short years. And even though it’s only two kids, it pretty much tripled your workload. I’ll be the first to admit those tiny, adorable creatures are super gross. Especially when it comes to food. The sheer amount of leftover ketchup we force down your throat now…I mean, just gallons of it. You really have been a champ about all of it.

But that is no reason to start slacking off. To start being petty and refusing to fit ALL the dinner dishes inside your, let’s be honest, cavernous insides. No, no, no. I don’t mean anything by that. Only that there seems to be ample room in there. And yet, there’s that one pot still sitting on the stove. Unable to fit. I mean, what am I supposed to do? Wash it by HAND? Does the technology to do that even EXIST anymore?  

Oh, well yes, if you must know, I have had a few glasses of wine already, but that has nothing to do with this. And you can take that judgmental tone out of your voice, DISHWASHER. Who are you to judge me? I wouldn’t even let my smartphone talk to me like that and it’s my best friend.

Sigh…look, we’re getting off track here. Let’s just breathe and regroup.

I just want the kitchen clean. For once. Can you understand that desire? Just completely, undeniably clean when I wake up in the morning. It’s a small thing, but thanks to those beautiful ketchup-guzzlers I gave birth to, my life has devolved into utter chaos. And there are days where I am barely holding on. I need just one little, small, tiny area of my life that is orderly and tidy, especially since I have ceded the rest of the household territory to my savage heathen offspring and their army of toys. They’ve even laid siege to the bathroom with their giant militia of bathtub duckies.

So, that space, MY space, has to be the kitchen. But when I wake up in the morning after yet another night of not enough sleep and see there are still dirty dishes, it pushes me into an IRRATIONAL RAGE that I find hard to CONTROL because I spend all DAY trying to be Mary FREAKING Poppins, only WITHOUT THE PAYCHECK, and since I SWALLOW MY ANGER ALL THE TIME IT HAS TO BE UNLEASHED SOMEWHERE AND RIGHT NOW THAT IS ON YOU.

*heavy panting*

Sorry. That was uncalled for. Let’s just calm down and try this again. I’ll move this plate over here…and put this up here…flip this skillet the other way…and…ahhhhhhh…JUST FIT ALL THE STUPID DISHES INSIDE YOUR STUPID BIG DUMB FACE, DISHWASHER! JUST DO IT! DO IT, DO IT, DO IT!

AND BY THE WAY, I KNOW IT WAS YOU WHO BROKE THE WINE GLASS!

*grabs bottle of wine and storm out in a huff*

What My Kids Did On My Summer Vacation

Hey! Hi! How are you?! We are Aprill’s kids! And we want to tell you all about what we did on our summer vacation.

This summer was great! We did so many fun things! And we did all those fun things for roughly an hour and 15 minutes before having dual marathon meltdowns! Mommy said this was because when we get overstimulated we turn into evil swamp demons! She’s so funny!

Like any good summer vacation, ours started early, with a trip in mid-May to visit family far away. We even got to fly in an airplane! Surprisingly, we both behaved extremely well during the flight. So, of course, we made up for that by refusing to sleep in the beds provided for us every night! And instead crawled into the bed our parents were sleeping in, not letting them get any sleep for seven nights straight! Because who needs sleep on summer vacation?! Who doesn’t love waking up to a baby foot in your mouth and a toddler foot buried in your rib cage?!

On Mommy’s birthday in June, we went to a pond to swim. Except neither one of us wanted to get wet. Because we can all agree that the best part of going to any body of water in the summer is baking in the hot sun while sitting on sand the temperature of lava!

There were also a bunch of little day trips this summer to fun and exciting places! Where we’d get in the car and complain, and then we’d get out of the car and complain, and then we’d go do stuff and we’d complain, and then our parents would finally give up and say “fine, we’ll go home!” and then we’d complain about not wanting to go home. Traveling truly is a priceless experience!

We also spent a lot of time this summer at the library. We did so many interesting things there, like pretending to listen to books during storytime but really just trying to steal the other kids’ snacks.

We also did a bunch of fun stuff at home!

One of our favorite things to do was climb all over Mommy when it was 92 degrees out with a humidity level of one thousand. This was especially fun that week that the air conditioner broke! The best part of this game was Mommy would pretend to get mad and holler “get off me!” but that just meant she wanted us to do it more!

And what is any good summer vacation without some cool treats?  Even though Mommy forced us to eat our popsicle outside, sticky melted popsicle juice still magically appeared inside. Mommy said bad words. It was so funny! We laughed and laughed and smeared our disgusting sticky hands all over the TV and then laughed some more. Which is why we repeated this exact same scenario with ice cream.

Speaking of the TV, we also spent a lot of time this summer whining and crying about wanting to watch very specific movies! Even though we have already seen those specific movies 78 times! And when Mommy finally relented, we would watch exactly 17 minutes of the movie before deciding to ignore it because climbing the bookshelves that are definitely not attached to the wall seemed way more fun. Even though this activity was bound to end in certain death!

The best part of this summer is that it’s not even over yet! In two weeks we will actually be going on real vacation even though all the cool and important people of the world are already done vacationing. SOMEONE (and I’m not mentioning names although it rhymes with “if you don’t like it plan it yourself next time”) was a bit late in trying to book a place to stay anywhere close to water and so was stuck with dates at the end of August.

We can’t tell you how excited we are to yet again share a room with our Mommy and Daddy and not let them get a wink of sleep! It’s the kind of stuff memories would be made of if it wasn’t impossible to make memories when you are brain-dead from chronic sleep loss.

Now most people feel sad when summer vacation comes to an end. But not us! Since neither one of us is in school yet, these good times can keep right on rolling into the fall. And winter! And spring! And next summer! And next fall! And next…