In light of my recent BB and TUMS stories, I’ve been thinking about all the crazy things my children have done.
First, I defensively feel the need to tell you that I do not leave my children alone and unsupervised for long periods of time. However, there have been times throughout the years when I have wanted to sleep or bathe or use the bathroom, and these are the times when my children pounce on all that they are not supposed to do.
Each of my children has eaten food without permission. Each has come to me with a chocolate mustache or white powdered lips or a bright blue tongue and been shocked when I knew they had sneaked a snack. For a few weeks, Lauren and Caleb were obsessed with squeezing icing onto their tongues from those little tubes of writing icing. A can of half-used icing stored in the fridge will disappear one finger-swipe at a time. Once, my sweet children even convinced a babysitter to allow them to drink blue snow cone syrup as a beverage!
Caleb once mixed up some odd concoction by cracking eggs and adding those to some sugar and some water and some butter and I’m not sure what all else. I came out of the shower just as he finished stirring his creation. And when I, appalled, told him it would make him sick if he ate it, he looked at me as if I were insane and said, “Of course, that’s why I was going to cook it in the microwave.” He was four or five.
My children have tossed toys and beads and food and crayons down the vents of our central heat and air system. They have tossed toys at a speeding ceiling fan just to see what happens.
They have, at various times, written on walls with pencils, pens, crayons, and permanent markers. Once, when Lauren was three, she knew she was not allowed to write on the walls with crayons and was absolutely offended when we suggested she had. No, indeed, she had not broken that rule. She had taken her alphabet wooden blocks and rubbed them against the wall until the primary colors had rubbed off the wooden blocks and onto her wall.
Water seems to be a big obsession with my sons. They love to fill sinks with water and see if toys will float. They love to pour cups full of water onto each other’s heads, while standing on the carpeted floor. They love to pour entire bottles of Dawn dish soap into a sink and then dump cups full of water on it. They have, at various times, enjoyed dunking books and dolls and toothbrushes into toilets full of water. And, as I have written about before, some of them have even enjoyed a big drink of water from the toilet.
They’ve eaten dog food. They’ve dumped massive amounts of dog food out onto the kitchen floor. They’ve dropped pieces of dog food into the dog’s water just to watch each piece swell up to form Giant. Dog. Food.
Caleb went through a very impressive Booby-Trap Phase. He would find string or yarn or thread or dental floss. He wasn’t choosy, anything like that would do. And then he would unwind it in intricate paths all around the house, ready to trip the unsuspecting Momma as she put laundry away. The Booby-Trap Phase lasted an unbelievably long time.
Just last year, Jackson had the Powdered Food and Drinks Phase. He enjoyed dumping out anything powdered he could find. Kool-Aid mix. An entire container of parmesan cheese. Sugar. Instant mashed potato flakes. Pudding mix. We lost track of how many times we found piles of powdered substances under our dining room table or in the boys’ closet.
There was the time all four of the older children decided it would be fun to toss a bag of powdered sugar around the living room while I showered. I guess it was like Extreme Beanbag Toss. It took them a while to clean that mess up after the bag popped.
And, of course, they have colored all over themselves and each other. Lauren even painted Silas’ face one day, making him look like a cat. I actually stopped to take a picture before we scrubbed his face. He was a very cute cat.
Lauren cut her bangs once. She didn’t want bangs, and she didn’t understand the concept of growing them out. So she cut them all off. She wore headbands for months and months as that grew out.
Caleb cut his hair too. He just took the scissors and cut random chunks out. It was hilarious! And I didn’t even notice for a while. It was during our soccer month of spending four evenings a week at the soccer field. I was trying to get things done at home that day and scrambling to get dinner and go to soccer and then make it to church. As Caleb was getting into the Suburban after soccer and before church, I looked down and noticed his hair. Oh well, he had to go to church looking like that.
And there are more stories like this. Sadly, many more. I’d like to think my children are creative and inquisitive, that they’ll grow up to be scientists or inventors or famous authors. I’d like to think the root of all this is anything other than pure mischievousness or pure orneriness. If all these shenanigans are because of exceptional creativity and curiosity, then I’m sure it’s because of my DNA contribution. However, if it does turn out to be pure orneriness, let’s blame my husband’s DNA.