Monday, October 1, 2012

On Being Mr. Mom...

Chris's View-

I unshackled her ankle from the stove and gave Maria a kitchen pass today (calm down all of my "woman power" readers... it's just a figure of speech!).

A close friend invited Maria to a girls shopping day, and since I was off work for the day, I told Maria to go enjoy her an outpouring of estrogen & money from my wallet!  It's nice for her to get a break... she works hard taking care of our kiddos, running from one end of Germany to the other for appointments & ballet & school & church events & a myriad of other worthwhile things.  She hardly ever stops to take a moment for herself... well, except to stuff her face with chips & salsa or to watch Days of Our Lives! 

This left me with the kids today... 2 for the majority of the day & Big G after school.  Our day started with the littles having an Occupational Therapy appointment.  I let each child go in with the Occupational Therapist by themselves today.  I was really wanting to see if Maria & I are distractions to them while they are trying to get Occupational Therapized... no, I didn't make that up... it's in the wiktionary, so it must be legit!  Anyway, The therapist decided it'd be best for Little G to go first, since she was more anxious to get started.  So, I unbuckled the straps to the stroller & away she flew!  I heard what sounded like a belly flop on the padded mattresses in the room and several squeals of joy!  That felt good to know that she has a good time in there.  The sessions last right at an hour... well, except the Diva's today!  She got about 33 minutes in and I heard her go from laughing to screams in an instant.  I could hear the therapist try to comfort her, but within a minute the door was opening and out came my little girl with big fat tears rolling down her chubby little cheeks.  The therapist explained that she was fine, then she just sat down and melted down.  He said if she knew him more (they are only 3 sessions into this OT stuff), he would have ignored her & continued, but he didn't feel it was in her best interest to push her any further.  I agreed.

I unbuckled Griffin's seat & he lumbered into the room.  I knew he'd be fine, so Little G & I took off for the bakery that is in the same building as the doctor's office.  We got to the door and realized the place was packed!  Ugh... we had to turn & leave with the smell of freshly baked goodies smacking around our noses!  Man... there is nothing more torturous as a yeast roll uppercut or a giant pretzel right cross!  Top it all off with a fresh brewed coffee clothesline & we were down for the count!  The line was still out the door after the little's OT appointments, or we would have stopped in!  Anyway, we walked around the doctor's building and outside until it had been about an hour, then we headed back in to the office to get Griffin.  The therapist said he showed some "weird behavior" today.

He gave Griffin a rope to see what he'd do.  Griffin decided to surprise him and hung it over a rung on a ladder, then tried to hang it over a hook in the wall.  Both of these actions, according to the therapist, are far more advanced than what he has shown the capability of completing.  In fact, he said they are generally, really tough skills in the fine motor department.  He was really impressed.  I explained to the therapist that Griffin laid in a crib about 1/4 the size of the room that he uses as a therapy room, and he watched.  He's an excellent watcher.  That's why if he is handed an item that resembles a plug, he tries to put it into the wall.  If he is handed a cell phone, he puts it to his ear.  We didn't prompt him or teach him these things, these are things he picked up from his environment in the orphanage.  I remember seeing in the therapy room at the orphanage that they had a ladder on the wall that had a knotted rope that hung down the middle of it.  I guess this is some way that they'd help kids with climbing skills or whatever.  Anyway, this explains a possible reason behind him hanging the rope over the rung of a ladder, but not the hook part.  I can't recall anything in the rooms that was like this, though we did only see the inner sanctum of the Groupa a few times.  He also brought up that Griffin will get into repetitive motions & actions.  Today it was opening and closing a cabinet door.  We know he likes doors, and ultimately, he wants every door closed... except the door to the gate in the living room... neither of our kids like that door closed though!  He said to let him do that to appease himself, then block the door to break his focus on that task... we do this already.  We are becoming pros at redirection.

After the appointments we headed home.  Maria was kind enough to fix us PB&J's & the kids had fruit cups.  They scarfed it down and it was off to bed.  I took this time to fold a basket of the kids laundry and listen to some music.  I nearly missed getting the kids up because the clock on the TV was wrong... by nearly an hour!  I had to rush to get the kids up from naps & get to the bus stop to get Big G. 

After we got back, I had to knock out a "Honey Do" list item... I filled the tires on the jogging stroller with air.  They had just enough air in them to use the thing, and I have just been procrastinating on getting it done.  Maria reminded me about it the other day, so I guessed I needed to get it done so she wouldn't have the need to yell at me!  LOL!  No, she doesn't yell... she's a sweet heart!  We got in and I got the trio a snack... Big G got Zebra Cakes, and the littles were going to split a pack of peanut butter crackers.  Griffin was slow eating like he normally does, and Little G was speed eating like she normally does.  So, Little G finishes first... then starts whimpering, signing "more" and staring a hole in Griffin's cracker pack.  I give in and give her one of Griffin's crackers, I mean, I had plenty of time to get him another one as slow as he was eating today... literally like 500 chews per bite of food!  Painfully slow!  Anyway, she takes a bite & begins to melt down again.  I gave her a warning but she continues.  I take her out of her chair and put her into the living room.  She didn't want this either.  She begins to scream bloody murder!  Not good as I was getting a headache.  I had had enough.  I took her upstairs & put her into her crib with no chew tube or chew brush (or whatever we are calling that nubby, chew stick thingy).  She knew I was not happy!

By the time I got back down stairs, it was time to start prepping dinner.  I tried my hand at cooking Chicken Kiev tonight.  It is the loudest meal  I have ever cooked!  LOL!  I had to use a small sauce pan to pound the chicken breasts flat.  I'm sure the kids were wondering what I was building in the kitchen!  Haha!  Note to self... don't cook Chicken Kiev while you are nursing a headache!  Head is still sort of throbbing!  Anyway, about half way through the prep, I heard Little G babbling to herself on the intercom, so I went up and got her.  She seemed in a 100% better mood.  So, I put her in the living room and went back to fixing dinner.  Before I knew it, I walked in to the living room to find the basket of clothes I folded earlier, strewn all over the room!  UGH!  NOOOOOO!  Needless to say, Big G failed at babysitting because she was paying too much attention to the cartoon on TV.  The rest of the day became a TV Free Day.  I finally got dinner finished about the time Maria was walking in with all her shopping bags... I was wondering why I was feeling lighter today!  LOL!  She emptied the wallet!  We needed the stuff for family pictures though, so it was definitely justified purchases... and the stuff looks great too!  She has a great sense of style.

After dinner, I had to run to the grocery store... me, being the idiot I am... I did not get enough graham crackers for Big G's snack day tomorrow at school.  What a way to top off the day, huh?  On a side note, I did run into a buddy that I hadn't seen in quite some time.  In fact, I thought he was back in the states after his retirement, but he's still here... his wife has a job on base, so they are still around.  After catching up for a few minutes, I headed home.  I cleaned the kitchen while Maria refolded all the clothes, and now, it's off to bed.  I am exhausted.  I knew my wife worked hard with the kids, but it really does wear you out!  I will sleep good tonight, knowing that my wife is safely chained back to the stove!!!!!  What?  I kid, I kid!

See ya'll later!

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