The Dawkter's Wife - It's all champagne and caviar now … dahling

The Loony Bin

April 11, 2011

Burping, farting, booger fairies …

In case you missed the newsflash (in the form of me dancing naked in the streets), Spring is here.  Really …. as in … the snow has completely melted everywhere.  There is no ice left on the pond and the sun is shining.  We only have a high approaching 50F today, but to me it feels like 80F.

Andrew is almost done with his private baseball lessons and is already entrenched in actual school baseball again.  He’s sort of bummed to be on the JV team, but I can’t wait to take the kids to the games.  He has improved by leaps and bounds.  He can really crush the ball now when he hits it.  This is huge for him.  I can’t wait to see how this plays out on the field!

Amanda lost her cell phone for 3 weeks due to texting too much and not working on school projects.  After she buckled down, we saw the most productive weeks of her schooling.  Now that she has her phone back, I’m seeing a return to the slacking.  I am SO completely and totally exhausted by her laziness.  She has zero motivation when it comes to school.  None.  I am much more interested in seeing her become academically successful, and I don’t know what to do.  I am truly at a loss.

Alex is moving into the home stretch with Andrew for the school year.  They actually only have 1 more month of school!  I can’t even begin to express how happy that makes me!  He was informed that he will be continuing on into Algebra due to his performance this semester.  I feel really relieved about this, because his laziness the first half of the year nearly caused him to have to repeat the year of math!  I’m starting to see signs of puberty emerging in his attitudes and behaviors (someone hold me!).  I’m wondering how on earth I can possibly do this with 3 teen-agers.

As an aside, I also started doing some research on the cost of college for Andrew, and I’m appalled to report that a run-of-the mill school in this state is between 38,000-45,000 per YEAR!  Holy CRAPOLA!  He doesn’t want to go far from home and I’m encouraging him to look at the state school now.  You just can’t convince me that a bachelor’s degree from any institution is worth that kind of money.  No. Way!

Aidan is still marking time when it comes to school.  He has told everyone that he knows that I’m homeschooling him next year for second grade.  I’ve been contemplating it, but … sigh … I just don’t know.  I don’t know why he dislikes school so much!

Zoe is getting ready to turn 5 on Sunday.  This is a sort of huge … lump in my throat moment.  Yesterday marked the 5 year anniversary of my last chemo.  Sunday she will be five …. and it feels really overwhelming to me.  On May 27th I have my 5 year anniversary of the end of radiation AND a visit with the U of MN late-effects cancer clinic.   Lots of big things coming.  I feel ok about all of it for the most part … just a little bit contemplative.

Beyond that …. I am nearly done with my Virology course.  I put on a pair of big girl panties, got my paper done … finished exam 3 … and am racing to the finish for my final exam in two weeks.  When this course is over, I’ll be thrilled.

I also had another article accepted for our local paper … so I’ll end with that:

Burping, farting, booger fairies

It started out innocently enough.  My five year old daughter, Zoe wouldn’t let me brush her hair … ever.  No amount of bribery or magical princess hair spray could convince her that it wasn’t ok to run around with her hair looking like Scrummy-L. Despite my best efforts, whenever I pulled out her hair brush, the tears would begin. They say that necessity is the mother of invention the most humbling, jaw-dropping mothering mistakes, and solving this particular problem proved to be no exception. One morning, while I was pleading with her to let me gently work on the knots, an idea came to me.  I announced that if she went to school with a rat’s nest on the back of her head that the hair fairy might show up.

“Hair fairy?”

She squirmed on my lap and waited for me to continue.

I don’t know what inspired my complete lack of judgment, but before I could stop myself I blurted out that hair fairies shave off people’s hair if it is full of tangles.  Just like that, the hair fairy put an end to our morning hair struggles.  She was eager each night to apply a special anti-fairy “hair tonic” made of flower-scented conditioner and water to detangle her curls. Before school each morning she demanded that I hurry up and brush her hair.

It only seemed natural then a few months later, when I couldn’t get her to stop picking her nose and then putting her fingers into her mouth, to tell her about the booger fairy.  I’m not proud of myself, but the story was easier to make up this time around, and Zoe was eager to fill in the details.  Booger fairies, you see, watch you pick your nose and then they slime you with boogers from head to toe.  According to Zoe, you stick to the floor and then have to take a bath in order to walk again.

The effect was immediate.  Not only did she stop picking her nose, but to my delight she began working on other behaviors too.

I felt secretly pleased with myself when she rebuked her brothers for burping at the dinner table.

“If you burp out loud, the burping fairy will come and burp you across the room!”

They looked at me cross-eyed before excusing themselves.

The situation started to get a little iffy when we went out shopping and she loudly announced to me that public … ummm … breaking of wind would result in a humiliating visit from the farting fairy (my apologies).  I will spare you the gory details, but let’s just say that I won’t be visiting our local Target anytime soon.

I knew that things had spiraled out of control though when I picked her up from preschool a few days later to find her in a complete state of panic. Her wide eyes were filled with the level of fear usually reserved for finding an ant in the sandbox or a ladybug flying around the back of our van.  It is often accompanied by ear-piercing screams and uncontrollable sobs, so I was quick to pull her close to me to find out what had happened.

“I accidentally picked my nose, but I wiped my finger on my shirt as fast as I could.  I washed my hands.  Is the booger fairy going to slime me?”

I admit it.  The first thing that I did was look around to make sure that no one could hear our exchange.  I didn’t want anyone to know that I had something to do with the various fairies that had been effecting such positive changes around our house. The second thing that I did was to hug her tight and let her know that everything would be fine.

In my heart, I knew that I had to come clean.

Later that night, I told her that there weren’t really any ‘bad’ fairies.  We talked about ‘good’ fairies and then I listened while she told me about fairyland and wondered out loud if the good fairies live in the woods near our house.  As she jumped off of my lap though, she announced, “I’m going to be the booger fairy for Halloween!”  Thank goodness I have some time to talk her out of it.  I don’t know how I would explain THAT to my neighbors!




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