Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Run to One Billion

Alright, I am changing things up in the ol' Chaotic Kids & Clutter birthday contest. You may remember that I was going to throw everyone's name in a hat, if they were so kind as to share or retweet one of our posts. Then I was going to pull a random person's name out of the hat, and they would win a fabulous prize. We're not doing that any more.

Instead, we are getting very close to a magic number of pageviews on the blog. Could it be a billion? Perhaps...  If you don't know the significance of pageviews, just ask any random blogger. They are like the lifeblood of the blogging world. So, now the contest is going to be known as The Run to One Billion*! If we get to a billion* (or whatever the actual number is) pageviews by our 2nd birthday, May 12th, 2014, we will choose one random fan of ours on facebook to win their choice of one of the following fabulous prizes:
  • One-on-one personalized fly tying instruction (estimated value $75)
  • One-on-one personalized fly fishing instruction (estimated value $100)
  • A day of guided trout fishing on a pristine local river (estimated value $200)
  • One-on-one personalized golf instruction (estimated value $90/hr)
  • A box of delicious, world-famous ginger snap cookies baked by the Wife (estimated value priceless)
So, here's the best way to enter: First, go to the blog (, read any and all of the posts we have had since our inception (that may seem like a lot of stuff to read, but believe me, every single post is gold! The time will fly by!). Then, make sure you "Like" our facebook page, and then tell all your friends to do the same. If we get to a billion* pageviews in the next 12 days, somebody is going to win! What could be more exciting?!?!

You could learn how to fly fish, tie flies, golf, or get some delicious cookies! What could be better?!?!?

Saturday, April 26, 2014

"E" is for Everything I Can't See Without My Glasses

I recently got new glasses. Thanks for noticing. It's my first new pair of glasses in about 7 years or so. I probably would have kept wearing my old ones, but for the fact that the protective UV coating was starting to peel off the lenses in big chunks. This didn't cause me to not be able to see, but when looking at bright lights during dusk and nighttime, there were about a dozen little "hotspots" on each lens that made terrible glares that were annoying, at best. They were the most annoying while playing softball under the lights last summer. While playing defense I spent pretty much all my time hoping nobody hit the ball at me, for fear of losing it in one of the glare spots. Thankfully I never had any major problems.

Before the new season started I thought I better get some new "glare-free" glasses, so I went to our friendly neighborhood optometrist, who also happens to be the Wife's cousin, for an eye exam. Everything was going swimmingly, but then I took my old glasses off to look at the first eye chart. It was a normal, everyday eye chart, up on the wall on the far side of the room, probably 15 feet in front of me. Without my glasses on, I squinted as hard as I could, trying to make out any of the tiny characters in the three lines of letters. No matter how hard I squinted I couldn't quite make out any of them. I tried and tried, but to no avail. Defeated, I finally gave in and put my old glasses back on. I looked up at the three lines of tiny letters I had been trying to read, and was totally flabbergasted to see that it was not three lines of letters, but one giant "E", as big as could be. I knew I was extremely near-sighted, but this was embarrassing. How could I have not have seen that it was a single letter?
How embarrassing...

I muddled through the rest of the exam, secretly still embarrassed by my near-blindness. Thankfully my eyes hadn't gotten much worse, so my new glasses are still only Coke bottle-thickness, and not plate glass-thickness. At least I will be able to see any line drives coming my way this year.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Little Backseat Conversation, If You Know What I Mean...Wink, Wink, Nudge, Nudge...No, Wait, That's Not What I Mean At All...

I assume you've heard of backseat drivers? You know, those annoying people who think they know how to drive better than you do and aren't afraid to say so. Thankfully I don't have any of those people in my life. If I did, I'm sure you would have read about them here on the ol' blog already.
This is pretty much exactly what the backseat of our van looks like, minus the 2 car seats, randomly discarded hats and mittens from throughout the winter, and approximately a boxful of Cheerios that have spilled over the past 5 years...

Instead, there's another strange phenomenon going on in our backseats, and it defies all logic. Or at least, all the logic I have, which, admittedly, might not be all that much...

I have said it before, probably a hundred times. Kids are not born with an indoor voice. They are loud right out of the womb, and continue to be loud until who knows when. I know that none of my kids have reached the age when they start to quiet down. And I have spent quite a bit of time with older kids, too, like junior high and senior high aged. They haven't learned to be quiet, either. I figure it must happen a few days after they move out of their mom & dad's house, whenever that may be. The world may never know.

It doesn't really matter when they stop being loud, though. Let's just all agree that they are loud, and don't seem to be quieting down any time soon. Except, and here's the crazy part, there is a time when my kids are quiet. At least the older two - the Little One is always loud. The Girl and the Boy are both quiet in one place only: the backseat of whatever vehicle they are in. They could be screaming, screeching, shouting and shrieking in the house and while walking out to the car, but once they get in that backseat and I turn the car on, they are like little mice back there, as quiet as can be.

Normally, the quiet would be nice, and when I am not trying to talk to the kids, it is. But no matter how many times I tell them to speak up, I can't hear a word they are saying to me. Here's how a normal conversation goes when I am talking to the Boy while he's in the backseat:

Me: "How was your day at preschool, Boy?"
The Boy: "Mrflmrflmufflemrfl."
Me: "What was that?"
The Boy: "Mrrflmufflemrflmurf."
Me: "Can you please speak up? I can't understand a word you are saying."
The Boy: "Daddy, I said mrflmrflmfflemurfl"
Me: "Oh, that's nice."

The Girl is just as bad, if not worse. No matter what I do, I can't get them to talk loud enough to understand a word they say. What is going on? Why don't they have the ability to talk like that when we want them to? Is it just part of their plot to drive me insane even faster than I already was? Sometimes, I can't wait until they move out...

Monday, April 21, 2014

It's a Battle of Wits, and, Hopefully, I Will Lose

The Wife and I have a real humdinger of a battle going on. It has stretched on and on for several months now, with a new skirmish pretty much every night. I will compare it to Gettysburg, Antietam, and Custer's Last Stand all rolled into one, but, you know, without the guns, cannons, swordplay, arrows and death. OK, maybe comparing our battle to war was a silly thing to do. I apologize.

We are having a heated battle, though. And, instead of weapons we are battling with our wits, which can get pretty serious.

It all has to do with my perfectly-manicured goatee, if I do say so myself. Every night I keep lamenting the fact that I seem to be finding new white whiskers at the rate of about 4 billion per second. It reminds me that I am getting old. It doesn't help that I am excellent at math (notice two sentences ago), which allows me to calculate that I only have 76 days left in my 30s. Yes, in 77 days I will turn the BIG 4-0, and I am not real excited about it. The fact that my facial hair is quickly turning from a rugged and burly dark blonde to the color of the albino squirrels that live in our neighborhood makes it all worse. It's enough to make a grown man cry, even though I'm such a manly man that I never cry. Please don't ask the Wife to verify that last statement...

The Wife, being the wonderful woman that she is, listens to my nightly lamentations about the color of my beard, and then calmly counterpunches with the line "White hair is going to make you so sophisticated and handsome. I can't wait to grow old with you!", which immediately causes me to retreat, for the time being at least. Tomorrow, I'm sure my field officers, Captain Mirror and Colonel Vanity, will talk me into launching another attack. Someday maybe I will give up the fight for good. I'm sure the Wife can't wait...
In our nightly battles, the Wife is essentially the entire United States Army, and I am essentially a black fungus gnat. Yet, I keep attacking her with my wits (or lack thereof) every night. Someday, perhaps, I will learn...

Friday, April 18, 2014

Top 10 Happy Songs

Alright, I have to admit something. It's hard to come up with a new Top 5 List every day. Last week I had the bright idea that I would have a permanent spot on the right side of the blog for a Daily Top 5 List, and I would update it every day, or at least close to every day. Well, I did pretty well for about a day, and since then it's been hard to both come up with new lists, and find the time to update things even if I did. So, the Daily Top 5 List has gone away, but I will still post a Top 5 List here in the blog every once in a while - when I am feeling particularly opinionated, like today.

Today's list is the Top 10 Songs That Make Me Feel Happy Every Time I Hear Them. I don't know if you've heard this before, but it's been proven that listening to fun, happy sounding songs with a good beat can make your heart healthier, your mood improve, and it can cause any bunions or other weird growths to fall right off*. So, I have put together my Top 10 List of songs that have a way of making me feel oh so good inside, and have the ability to make it so I can't stop dancing, whether people want to see me dancing or not. You might have other songs that you enjoy even better than these, but this is my blog, so your opinions don't matter. Check out these songs, and just try not to be happy!

1. Big Me by Foo Fighters

2. Shake, Shake, Shake (Shake Your Booty) by KC & the Sunshine Band

3. Upside Down by Diana Ross

4. Wobble by Family Force 5

5. Shame, Shame, Shame by Shirley & Company

6. Let Your Love Flow by The Bellamy Brothers

7. Celebrate by Three Dog Night

8. You Make Me Feel... by Cobra Starship

9. Shotgun Shuffle by KC & the Sunshine Band

10. Victory in Jesus

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Oh Dear!

Over my last 5 years of being a parent, I have learned that children go through a billion different stages of life in a short amount of time. Some might only last a few days, while other stages last a little longer. Kids can have significant changes from one day to the next. If you aren't paying attention, you might look at your baby one day and realize she's not a baby any more, she's the one checking you into a nursing home. If that's the case, I would try to pay more attention, if I were you.

I think one of my favorite stages is when kids are right around 2. They are just getting better at communicating, but they still say a lot of silly things and have cute mannerisms. There is so much new and interesting that they are learning about, so everything seems fresh, new and exciting. And they still have some of their baby-ishness to them, which can be either good or bad, depending on the moment. It's an exciting time!

I remember when the Girl was about that age. She was so cute, "singing" along with the songs her Mommy and I would sing to her; pretending to read her beloved books but really just saying a bunch of gibberish; and seeming totally awe-struck by the simplest of things. I remember thinking that I didn't want that stage to end, a feeling that gets pounded back into my brain every time she gives me attitude now that she is a sassy 5-year-old. Ahh, the good old days...

The Little One is now in that 2-year-old stage, although she already is showing a lot of the sassiness of a 5-year-old. She does have moments of cuteness, though. Take this past Sunday, for example. She had just gotten up from her afternoon nap, and was quite giggly and huggy, at least by her standards. She climbed up on my lap while I was watching my favorite golf pro, Bubba Watson, attempt a putt at the Masters. Even though she knows nothing about golf, and next to nothing about the English language, she seemed totally engaged as I was explaining that if Bubba hit his ball in the little hole, he would get a birdie and his lead would increase over all the other rich white guys he was playing against. We watched intently together, and as Bubba's golf ball slid past the hole without going in, the Little One let out a very clear "Oh dear!!" It was totally unexpected - everyone in the room who hadn't fallen asleep from watching golf did a double take. She proceeded to say "Oh dear!" several more times throughout the day, and even sang a little impromptu "Oh dear!" song, the entirety of which was the words "Oh dear" over and over again.
This outfit is just one of the reasons Bubba Watson is my favorite golfer. The Little One seems to like him, too...

None of us knew where she learned this favorite new phrase, until last night when she wanted the Wife to read her one of our Winnie the Pooh books at bedtime. It's one of those books with the buttons you push to hear a sound byte every few sentences. Turns out one of the buttons plays a clip of Piglet saying those exact words, "Oh dear" in his nasally, swiney voice. So that's where she learned it! Where she learned to say it right when my favorite golfer misses a birdie putt, I'll never know. Maybe she'll be a golf commentator when she grows up. I'm all for it, as long as she doesn't practice her wise comments when I miss a putt on my local course... 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Birthday Contest!!

Chaotic Kids & Clutter is about to turn two. This makes me wonder where the time time has gone. It makes other people wonder, what is Chaotic Kids & Clutter? Well, I'd really like to get more people knowing about the ol' blog, so we are going to have a contest that hopefully will help get our name out there.

From now until CK&C's birthday, which is May 12th, 2014, anyone who shares any of our links on facebook, or retweets one of our tweets on twitter will be entered into a drawing to win a fabulous yet-to-be-determined prize. You could even go back in time, find a particularly good link from the past, which will be hard to decide on because they are all so good, and if you "share" it, you'll get another entry. Each "share" gets you another entry.

If you remember the fabulous prize we gave out for our last contest, you'll know that we are dealing with quality stuff here, and I promise the fabulous prize for this contest will be even more fabulous than our last one was. You will definitely want to get in on the action! So, get out in cyberland and "share" and "retweet" to your heart's content!

Chaotic Kids & Clutter has the right to cancel or amend this contest in any way at any time, but I don't think we will, unless something goes wrong and there is the threat of a lawsuit. Let's hope that doesn't happen! Thanks for entering! Good luck!

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Game of the Century. I Think...

I am and always have been a big sports fan, and I pay attention to all of our local Minnesota teams, even if I am not actually able to watch the games on TV most of the time. If you know anything about Minnesota sports teams, you'll know that for the past, oh, hundred years or so, all of the sports teams in Minnesota have been horrible, or at least excruciatingly mediocre, with a few rare exceptions like the 1987 & 1991 Twins which won the World Series, the Lynx, which have won a couple of recent WNBA titles, and the Gopher hockey teams, which have both won a handful of National Championships. Sure, the Vikings have been to, and lost 4 Super Bowls and a bunch of NFC Championships, but thinking about those losses just makes most Minnesotans want to weep, so let's forget I ever mentioned them.

This year, in particular, looks to be bad for our local teams. The Timberwolves are irritatingly average, despite finally having some good players on the team, the Wild are actually going to make the playoffs, but as a low seed, so they probably won't even win a series, the Vikings were terrible, and the Twins are looking like they will have another last-place finish. The Gopher men's basketball team made a run and won the NIT last week, which was fun, but nobody cares about the NIT except the teams that are in it.

The Gopher men's hockey team made it back to the Frozen Four, though, so the whole state was excited about it. They played last night, in a tough match-up with their old heated rival, the University of North Dakota. Everyone calls North Dakota the Fighting Sioux, even though that nickname has been deemed illegal and the school doesn't actually currently have a nickname. I was able to watch the game last night, and it was a heated battle between two very good teams. The action went up and down the ice for two scoreless periods. Finally, despite being almost totally outplayed for the entire 3rd period, the Gophers got the first score, only to have the Sioux tie it up just 37 seconds later.

There were just a few minutes left, and the Sioux continued to hammer the Gophers' goalie with a relentless array of shots, but nothing got past him. It was a heart-wrenching game to watch, since I knew the next goal would probably be the game-winner, and my beloved Gophers seemed to be fighting a losing battle. At long last North Dakota got what looked to be an amazing advantage: a Gopher player got called for a penalty with under 2 minutes left. The Sioux would have a man advantage for the remainder of the game. Their offense became even more potent, but still they didn't score. Finally, with 9 seconds left, there was a stop in the play. Just then, Toby, our friendly but annoying dog, started to whimper because he had to go outside, and he couldn't hold it any longer. I thought to myself, "Well, self, I might as well go let him out. The best I can hope for in the game is that it will be in overtime when I get back, but the Gophers will probably lose just like all our other local sports teams..." So I went and let the dogs out. I also heard a call from the Wife, who needed something from one of our rooms to be brought into a different room. I was already up and away from the hockey game, so I might as well help.

Eventually I made it back to the game, thinking I would see the North Dakota players and fans reveling in their win. Instead I saw a pile of Gopher players being jubilant in the middle of the rink, a bunch of North Dakota players sobbing on their bench, and the officials checking out the video footage to verify that the Gophers had scored the winning goal with less than a second left on the clock. I couldn't believe it! It was the most unbelievable finish to any hockey game I had ever seen. But I hadn't actually seen it! I was awe-struck and dumb-founded at the same time! And all because of our annoying dogs...Tomorrow night they will definitely be going outside before the game begins, and I think I will make them wear their doggie diapers during the game. Now that I think of it, I better put diapers on all the kids too. Better safe than sorry!
Doggie diapers for everyone! At least during game time... photo courtesy of

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

My Latest, Top-Secret, Issue

Most of you probably think I have a lot of issues. I'd argue if I could, but I can't, so instead I will talk about the biggest issue that is currently plaguing our household. Really, it's just plaguing the Wife and me. The kids couldn't care less. Ah, to be a carefree youngster again, huh? But instead, I am a quickly graying adult with issues...oh well.

So, anyway, our latest issue involves the van. Yes, we are the owners of a nondescript gray minivan that looks a lot like all the other nondescript gray minivans on the road today, many of which are owned by fellow parents at the two older kids' preschool. You should see all the minivans in that parking lot during drop-off time. It would boggle your mind.

We used to be able to make our gray minivan stand out from the others by putting a bright yellow "Spam" ball on the antenna. Not that it was a ball made out of Spam, although that would stand out too, but instead a foam ball, painted yellow, with the word "Spam" emblazoned across it. It stuck nicely on the end of the antenna, and performed two tasks very well: helped us find our van, and kept others out of our van, because nobody wants to be seen driving around with a Spam ball on their antenna.

I say we used to be able to use the Spam ball, because we no longer can. At some point on our latest trip to Oklahoma, around Christmastime, our antenna broke off a couple of inches above the hood of the van. When we realized this had happened, a wave of sadness swept through us all. We got over it quickly, and now at least we can tell it's our van by the lack of an antenna, so it's all good, as the kids say.

The lack of a Spam ball is not the issue I am writing about, though. No, we have much bigger van-related issues. Last week, the battery in the van died, which is not a huge deal. I have replaced many batteries in my day, many of which were much harder to get out than this one. The whole procedure took about 15 minutes, and that's only because I needed to change a headlight at the same time. Yes, replacing the dead battery went very smoothly. The problem only arose when we went and took the van out for a spin later that day.

Apparently the makers of our minivan seem to think that the radio in said minivan is a hot commodity, for they installed an anti-theft mechanism that turns off the radio whenever the van's battery is changed. So, we couldn't turn the radio on without the top-secret code that it's programmed with.

"No problem. Where might that be?", we both wondered.
"Oh, probably in the owner's manual.", we said.
"And, where might that be?", we also wondered.
"Well, we have no idea!", both the Wife and I exclaimed.
If there was really a key like this that I could push and get our top secret radio code, I would be giddy beyond belief!

Yes, neither of us knew where the owner's manual was, and we still haven't found it. We've looked in all the usual spots we could think of, as well as a ton of rather unusual spots, but we still haven't found it. And there's no other way to cheat the system, at least as far as we have found. So, we have no working radio in the van. It's driving us a little bonkers. In fact, as I was driving around this morning in complete silence, which was not fun, I began to wonder if it would have been better to leave the new battery out, so we couldn't drive the van at all... I told you I have issues...

Oh, and if you have any ideas on where our owner's manual may be, please send them my way. If you help us find it, we will be eternally grateful!

Monday, April 7, 2014

A New Addition...

Yes, we have big news here at Chaotic Kids & Clutter! I am adding a new feature to the blog! Isn't it exciting?!?! I think I will give it a trial run for a week or two and see if anyone likes it. Let me know what you think.

It's nothing flashy. In fact, if I didn't tell you about it you might not notice it. It's a Top 5 List over on the right side of the page. Today marks the first list. I am going to change it every day, or every few days, or whenever I remember to, and you'll never know what might be on the list. One day it could be the Top 5 Songs by Devo (you may be asking yourself who Devo is. They're only the greatest rock band of all time! And, no, I am not on drugs!), the next it could be the Top 5 Alfred Hitchcock movies, and the day after that it could be the Top 5 Boy Names the Wife Didn't Let Me Name the Boy.

There's also the distinct possibility that I will have some guest writers for the Top 5 List every once in a while. I may ask the Girl to write her list of Top 5 My Little Pony characters, or I may run the Boy's list of Top 5 pajamas (he has enough pajamas to fill an entire wing of our house). I may even have the Little One tell me her Top 5 words that she can say intelligibly ("No" would be number 1 by a landslide!).

I'll still write my normal blog posts every couple days, or whenever something compels me to write about it. I won't be sending any links to facebook when I update the Top 5 List, so make sure you check in regularly to see what's going on. Perhaps you should set a Chaotic Kids & Clutter alarm on your cell phone every day at, say, 4:45 PM, to make sure you remember to check it out. Oh, and you might as well tell all your friends to check it out, too. You know, just because... Ok, let me know what you think about the Top 5 List, and if you have any ideas for a list, let me know. Maybe you could be a guest list writer some day. Wouldn't that be cool?!

Friday, April 4, 2014

The Color of Life

We are color-challenged in our house. Both the Wife and I find it nearly impossible to pick out paint colors for our walls. And over the years we have had plenty of walls that have needed new paint. Some because we moved into a new house and wanted to put our own personal touch on things, some because we had recently donned our somewhat-handyman hats and built some new walls. You'd think, with all the practice we've had, picking out new paint colors would be easy for us. But, every time it turns into a big ol' conundrum.

The house we moved into almost a year ago came with a bunch of not-quite-white walls. I'm not sure what the actual color was - it could have been Eggshell, or maybe Oatmeal, or possibly Dirty Milk, or even 5-Year-Old Tighty Whities That Don't Quite Come Clean...whatever it was, if you were to look at the walls, you would think they were white, despite the fact that the previous owner has told me several times that they weren't actually white.

When we moved in, we wanted to add some color. The first two rooms we decided to paint were the two bedrooms that the kids would be in. We wanted to get them painted before we moved in, because we didn't want to displace the kids for a couple of days at a later date. Thankfully we had some wall accessories already picked out for both of those rooms, so finding a paint color that went well was relatively easy. It only took us a few hours of hemming and hawing.

That was about a year ago. Nothing else in the house got painted, until recently. The Wife and I wanted to paint our bedroom next. It came with some nice blue drapes whose best characteristic was that they kept a lot of light out of our room. If we didn't have kids waking us up at Way-too-early-o'clock every morning, we could sleep until well past noon without knowing the day had already started. We love those drapes. So we thought we should probably get some paint that worked well with the blue color. But what works well with blue? A different shade of blue? Some kind of green? A yellow, or perhaps a faint red? How about a rusty medium dark grayish blue? We had no idea. We talked about the paint color of our room for weeks. Finally, we decided on a light bluish gray, and I quickly went to Menards before either of us could change our minds. I am happy to report that it looks great! Will wonders never cease?
How can we be expected to pick out a color for any of our walls when there's so many to choose from? Making adult decisions is hard...

Our latest paint puzzler is in our new office/craft room downstairs. We have put up brand new walls, so they need some brand new paint. It's kind of going to be my office for the most part, so the Wife told me I could pick out the paint color. Already she is looking back on that as possibly the worst decision she's ever made. I was at Menards a couple of days ago, and only had a few minutes before I had to go pick up the two older kids at preschool, so I quickly went through a couple of the seemingly endless amount of color swatch displays, trying to pick out a color. My eyes kept going back to one particular shade of green, despite my brain's better judgment. I made what might be called a rash decision, and took that particular shade of green color swatch up to the desk and bought a gallon. I still like the color, but upon showing it to the Wife, it was quickly apparent she did not share my feelings. I suppose the best part of my decision is that it's just paint - we can cover it up with something else in a few years. Knowing our track record, we should probably start looking for a new color right now!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Slow-Motion Multi-Room Tantrum

The Little One has thrown her fair share of tantrums in her two short years on earth. Actually, she has thrown her fair share, and several other toddlers' fair shares, too. I feel sorry for those poor toddlers who won't get to throw any tantrums because the Little One has already used up their allotment. I don't usually talk like this here on the ol' blog, but it sucks to be them. I probably should have warned you to put on your earmuffs before writing that last sentence. I apologize if I offended anyone.

So, any way, back to the tantrums. All of our kids are fully capable of throwing a tantrum every now and again, and again, but the Little One's tantrum-throwing ability far outshines her older siblings'. She can go off at the drop of a hat, for no apparent reason, and it can last for what seems like decades but probably is only an hour or two. And, I probably should admit that most of her tantrums only last a few minutes, but that doesn't seem as funny, so let's just keep that under wraps.

This is such a realistic depiction of the Little One during one of her tantrums, it's scary. Especially the bright red head...
In all reality, the Little One has turned tantrum-throwing into an art. She knows just how to do it the right way; how to get the maximum annoyance out of us while using the least amount of energy. It's quite the sight to behold. My favorite is when she starts to get mad in one room, then notices that neither her mom nor I are around to see her tantrum, so she calmly walks to a room that does contain one of us, where she comes over real close, carefully gets down on the floor, and then starts the tantrum up again, as if there hadn't been a break in between all the fits of crying and leg kicking. It's pretty awesome. It always makes me laugh when she does that, which probably makes her even more mad. If she could see how cute the whole thing is, I'm pretty sure she would start to laugh, too.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Two Hands, Please!!!

Whatever you do, do not sit next to the Boy if you ever have the chance to share a meal with him at his grandparents' house. For some reason, when we eat at their house, he is completely incapable of not spilling whatever it is he is drinking. It doesn't matter if it's milk, water, juice, or punch, it will get spilled. But, the weird thing is that he hasn't spilled at our house, possibly ever! I don't get it.

The Boy usually sits in between me and his aunt, Aunt S, when we eat over at the grandparents' house for dinner, which is a recipe for disaster, at least for Aunt S. For some reason, he never spills his drinks on me, but often spills them on Aunt S. I can vividly remember three straight meals in which he spilled his drink, with at least part of it ending up on Aunt S each time. She was not happy, which made it all the more memorable.
If you  see the Boy walking towards you with one of these, and you happen to be at his grandparents' house, run as far and as fast as you can!

We recently celebrated the birthdays of both of the Boy's sisters, the Girl and the Little One, over at the grandparents' house, and he set a new personal record. I had just gotten done telling him to be careful with his cup of milk, and to make sure he USED TWO HANDS. I mistakenly thought that my verbal warnings had taken seed in his tiny little brain, so I stopped paying attention to him and started to concentrate on my own plate of food. I barely looked away when his cup went flying, sending milk flying across the table, towards several guests. I reluctantly allowed a family friend to refill the Boy's cup, which again went flying within a couple of minutes, towards the same guests. Thankfully we all learned our lesson and didn't refill it a third time, because towards the end of the meal the cup hit the floor yet again, but this time it was empty, so there was no harm done. But that empty drop made three spills in one meal! That might not just be a personal record, that might be a new state or even world record! That kid...

A couple nights ago we found ourselves back at the same house for a large dinner party. The Boy was sitting quietly at the table, and thankfully there weren't many people seated around him yet. He had a tiny cup of punch, and was made to promise to be careful with it. I should learn to never trust a 3-year-old who makes such silly promises. Well, over his cup went, but thankfully there wasn't much in it, so nobody got wet. None of the guests seemed irritated about it, and in fact some of them had a silly laugh over it. Or maybe they were laughing at the steam coming out of my ears... it was hard for me to tell.