Monday, February 27, 2012

Losing My Marbles

It's Monday morning, and I'm sick. 

I think I've come down with one of those when-the-heck-will-it-be-spring colds that is potent enough to make me feel like I'm talking with a trash can over my head, but weak enough to prevent me from waiving the white flag of surrender and going back to bed.  I'd really like to, but I know how these kids behave when I'm not looking.  And I really don't want another house flood or for the boys to conjur up any long-dead spirits.

As is the case with most Mondays, the boys are restless and bored with the lack of entertainment and activity taking place at the house.  If I were feeling better, I might have more ambition to provide an activity that would captivate their attention, but every time I go out of my way to do so, it seems to backfire.

For example, a few weeks ago, I gave in and decided to let the kids play in the backyard during an unseasonable warm stretch for late January.  Aside from my kids' extremely low tolerance for extreme heat or cold, we don't play outside often this time of year because the melting snow creates a mud and slush pit so intense that the WWF would very quickly send out a bus load of scantily-clad women to roll around in it.

Why can't us ladies ever catch a break?

When I set them free in the yard, they immediately gravitated toward the muddiest spot available, dragging their boots, coats and hands throughout the sludge. 

"Mama!  Dirt here!"  Graham yelled as he held up a pile of mud across the yard.

"Nope, that's poop!"

So much for outdoor play.

Other sources of entertainment seem to yeild a similar result.  If I set up the pop-up tents and tunnels for the boys to build and explore, I can guess with great accuracy that, within 8 minutes, either the dog or the cat will be trapped within its polyester walls and subjected to experimental procedures involving tongue extraction or crimped whiskers.

With this playtime history, I shouldn't have expected perfect behavior from Cael and Graham when I pulled out one of my favorite toys from childhood, Marbleworks.  We purchased a similar set for the boys when Cael was Graham's age, but not suprisingly, the quality of the newer and flashier set paled in comparison to the sturdy contruction of Marbleworks.  Even the box reminds me of my house and when I hold it, I can see where it sat on the shelf in my basement.

I pulled the pieces out and assembled a structure that would be sturdy enough to withstand being pelted with marbles like a tornadic hail storm, and I sat back to supervise and make sure the dog didn't eat any marbles.

After a few minutes, however, my Dad arrived after picking up my repaired computer (hallelujah!) and we chatted for a few moments before he left and I returned to the living room and noticed that something was different.  The boys stood still and looked at each other, trying to devise a way to play with the toy sans marbles.

"Where are the marbles?"

"By the couch."

"I don't see them.  Are the under the couch?"


"Show me where you put them."

Cael started peeling the cushions off the sofa before I realized that they had not only shoved the marbles under the cushions, but forced them back so far that they fell behind the coil innards of the furniture and were suspended below the couch by the fabric that covered the underside.

"This is unbelieveable.  Why would you put the marbles in there?"

"The marbles were popcorn.  'Member that time we had popcorn and I put it in the cushions?"

"Unfortunately, yes." 

I guess I can add watching a movie to the list of forbidden activities.

I flipped the couch over and retrieved a pair of scissors to slice open the protective fabric and reach inside to blindly locate the lost marbles amongst an obstacle course of sharp coils and rough-edged wood.  I excised as many as I could and sealed the sofa up again, deconstructed the marble tower and stowed the pieces away in the box. 

I collapsed on a chair, tired out and mentally exhausted from the most recent of a string of fiascoes, ready to relax.

"Mommy, can we paint with our fingers and our tummies?"

Fat chance.  I didn't lose all of my marbles...


  1. Haha....Love that last picture of Cael---you can just see that evil twinkle in his eyes! ;-)

  2. Heeee Heeee!
    Hope you feel better soon!


Leave your own "ism". Cael and Graham double-dog dare you.