The year 2014 has less than a dozen hours left in it. This year has seen us through many, many things and all along the way we’ve prayed for the strength to choose joy. To that end -the joy part, or in this case, the hysterical laugh-until-you-cry part- I’ve compiled a series of actual status updates from my personal Facebook page; all of which were posted in 2014. I chronicle these things (and have done so for some years) because life is too short and childhood is even shorter and there are too many parenting moments when you’re faced with the choice of either laughing or melting into a puddle of tears — so, as much as possible, we choose to laugh. Many of the scenarios include personal hashtags: from the most common – #lifewithboys, to the most funny [playing off of our secret parenting fear that our children won’t get college scholarships] #notscholarshipmaterial, to a mini-series from our first family vacation for a wedding less than 48 hours before the October MRI – #turningupinTulsa. We’ve asked you to walk many hard things with us, so, for a brief moment, as we close 2014, enjoy our “normal“…
Note: due to the household including the addition of three boys in approximately three years, an abnormally large amount of the quotes have to do with bodily functions or bathrooms. Consider yourself warned.
1. “Don’t walk on the couch with a box over your head, Karsten.” I just said this.
2. My child just pledged allegiance ending in “...with liberty and crustless for all!” We might be in trouble. #nationalismfail
3. There wasn’t enough snow for snowmen, so the kids made snow heads. Can’t decide if the yard looks like Easter Island or a horror film.
4. Someday I will understand the mysteries of the universe and be able to explain why there is a football in the shower. Today isn’t that day.
5. “Well I didn’t throw the toy at him…Uh, I dropped it and his head was just in the way!” #lifewithboys
6. “Look, I don’t care if it IS the Death Star. You need to stop messing around and eat your orange.”
7. “Uh, Mom? Uh, today…today, I’m going to uh, not spill my water three times at the table.” #aidangoals
8. “Mom, I’m keeping this family picture so that when you die, I’ll remember you because you’re old and you’re probably going to die soon.”
9. “I just came down from Kookie’s room to tell you I peed really, really big on the floor.” The official moment you regret telling a child to come here if they want to talk to you.
10. “Now we are engaged TO a great civil war…”: Aidan’s rendition of Gettysburg in which history lives, but prepositions take a hit.
11. “Well, uh, Mom, I didn’t throw a Duplo at his head. I threw the Duplo into the Duplo box and his head was in there because he was messing around.”
12. “Mom, I didn’t trip him. I was just standing there with my leg out and he, uh…fell over it.”
13. “Graham crackers are for eating…not picking your nose!” I need a raise.
14. This is what Aidan does on his day off school. Because when you jump off the toilet lid, you go big or go home…
15. Bob: “Karsten, you need a shirt.“, Karsten: “Can I eat it?”
16. As Karsten watches the Olympics, he yells “Come on, Bears!”…because that’s what you yell at a TV during a sporting event, right?
17. Darcy: “Mom, Karsten’s being a disastrophe.” Grammar takes a backseat to conflict resolution.
18. Early morning questions: “Hey Mooooom?! When I’m 60 or 29, can I pleeease watch ‘The Battle of Helm’s Deep’?” #lifewithaidan
19. Mom Log, 7:09am: Boy enters with teeth marks in forehead and another boy close behind, screaming “It was an ‘askident’!” This should be good.
20. “Yes, he shouldn’t have licked your books, but you should never sit in somebody’s face!” This is how “reading time” goes down. Real talk.
21. “I’m sorry, Aidan, but ‘Hey, look! There’s a giant hamburger falling from the sky!’ is not a viable conclusion to your class presentation on the history of Legos.”
22. Chase and Karsten are arguing about whether “Alligator” starts with “B” or “C“. This should go well. And by “this“, I mean the next twenty years.
23. “If you ever get the kitchen stool and climb onto the counter and drop the watermelon to the ground again…” Well, that was a first.
24. “Mom! I learned how to sort all the laundry and now I know from everything into which thing it should be sorted into.” Next lesson? Grammar.
25. “Mom, if you let me have a cell phone when I’m in college, I’ll totally text you, but first, you’ll have to tell me how to spell ‘good’ so that I can tell you that I am good.” #lifewithaidan #notscholarahipmaterial
26. “Bapa, you never played hockey, but Grammie can still put you in the penalty box, right?” #lifewithaidan
27. And then the training sesh ended with the lesson: “…and that’s why you never run with an anesthesia mask over your face.”
28. Me: Do you know who the president was during World War 2?, Aidan: Abraham Lincoln?, Darcy: Who is the guy with the horse in the picture in the hallway? (George Washington), Me: I’ll give you a *major* hint…it was a Roosevelt. Which Roosevelt?, Aidan: “Oh, oh!! It was John! John Roosevelt!!” #historyfail #notscholarshipmaterial
29. Somebody found the medical supply cabinet… #trouble
30. “Well, Mom, *this* is why you had a daughter…because I’m always right.”
31. “Kookie, you be Dark Vader and I’ll be Fran Cello, okay?” May the force (and the knowledge of actual Star Wars characters) be with you, my boys.
32. This morning, Aidan informed me that he could sneeze in Spanish. So glad we can check that off the list of needed life skills…
33. That time Aidan walked into a dining room chair and split his eyelid open…again.
34. That moment you’ve been in hold forever with the US Postal Service and they finally ask you to say a command and all the phone computer picks up in the silence is the sound of the 2 year old standing next to you saying: “I have poop, Mom.”
35. Darcy is reviewing family members’ names with Chase: “Uncle Dave , Aunt Meg , Captain America…” Say what??
36. “But you NEVER said I COULDN’T throw a chair!” Helloooooo, Monday…
37. Family pictures at the horse farm…, Grandma: “Aidan, did you tell your mom about your experience in the barn?”, Aidan: “I touched a horse!”, Grandma: “…and what else did you touch?”, Aidan [hanging his head]: “Oh yeah… I toucheded the electric fence too.” #lifewithboys
38. “Do not drop your dinner plate on the floor for the sole purpose of doing an air guitar with your leg!” — parenting with Bob Ewoldt
39. “Um…Mom? How old will I be when I’m 25?” -Aidan #notscholarshipmaterial
40. “Hey, Mom? When Auntie Meg has her baby, can I burp ‘Rock-a-bye Baby’ to it? I promise to burp in English!” -Aidan
41. Let me be clear about something…just because I never specifically said “Hey, don’t take the cap off the milk carton, put your mouth around it, and blow into the opening.” does NOT mean it’s an acceptable breakfast table activity. #lifewithboys
42. That oddly poetic moment when the coffee you’re about to make becomes that much more necessary to your day…
43. “Aidan, tonight is your first night in Sparks, and you should be happy about that, and I know that you’re a lot shorter than most of the other kids, but you should try to have fun, and it’s okay, and you’ll grow up some day.” Older sister pep talks are the best.
44. I just walked into a flooded bathroom and two guilty little boys who informed me that it had happened because one was “President Business” and the other was “The Piece of Resistance”. Everything is awesome. So awesome.
45. One of my children really knows the meaning of the phrase “Go big or go home”. In other, totally unrelated news, anybody have a failsafe recipe for getting black Sharpie permanent marker out of anything and everything…hypothetically speaking??
46. As we discussed today’s [Columbus Day] historical significance…, Aidan: “Mom what language do they speak in Spain?”, Me: “Spanish. Why?”, Aidan: “No, I’m pretty sure that’s not right. There’s a Spain language.”, Me: “Yes, it’s called Spanish.”, Aidan: “No, it’s a [emphasis] Spain language…” #notscholarshipmaterial
47. “Mom! Come quick! The boys put toys in the toilet and Chase is telling Kookie to flush them!!” Thanks for the sucker punch, Thursday. #lifewithboys
48. 6:49AM – Chase gets mad at Aunt Carrie for possibly not sharing her wedding cake with him…in two days. Aidan asks when we are going to cross the Mississippi Ocean. #turningupinTulsa
49. 12:20PM – stopped for lunch in a food joint crowded with service people in uniform and while Karsten pointed and called them “Heroes” and we had a patriotic moment, Chase took a swig of the pepper shaker. #turningupinTulsa
50. 1:39PM – pulled out the brand new, educationally promising coloring books detailing things like “Explorers of North America”. Gave myself a pat on the back for thoughtful parenting. Listened to weeping and gnashing of teeth because Magellan isn’t Spider-Man. #turningupinTulsa
51. 3:47PM – left Mo for “The Sooner State” and discovered pieces of blue crayon all around Karsten’s chair. I was informed it had been eaten because it was blue. Having been on the road for 12 hours, I deemed this an acceptable explanation. #turningupinTulsa
52. 8:00PM – Aidan starts doing handstands off the hotel wall. Discussion of appropriate hotel behavior ensues, the finer points of which may include parents lack of knowledge on the nearest ER. #turningupinTulsa
53. 6:42AM – After she let us know she woke up early to “relax on vacation”; we had a lengthy discussion with Darcy on “the wedding party” being a group of people rather then an event. It went something like the famed “Who’s On First?” sketch. #turningupinTulsa
54. 9:05PM – Chase vows to grow up and marry Aunt Carrie. Aidan vows to grow up and marry Darcy. Time for the first “Why you can’t marry your sister” conversation…also the “Why you can’t marry your already-married aunt” conversation. Good talk, good talk.
55. 1:18PM – Tried the educational coloring books again. Got asked if I had a butter churn when I was little. Education is not my friend this weekend. #turningupinTulsa
56. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, some have greatness thrust upon them, and still others chuck the whole battle for a peanut butter sandwich. #lifewithboys
57. “Mom! I got super frustrated and totally freaked out and flushed my clothes down the toilet! …but then I took them out again and they’re on the bathroom floor. Is that okay?”
58. [later the same day as the clothes flushing] In this house, to have one gross, bathroom-related Facebook status per day is pretty standard. To have TWO gross bathroom-related updates in a single day is pretty amazing…even for the Ewoldt boys. Karsten, for filling the sink with water and “painting” the bathroom with the toilet brush… This one’s for you.
59. Just because I never *explicitly* said “Hey, don’t take graham crackers and crush them with a hammer on the living room table.” doesn’t mean it wasn’t implied.
60. Bob: “So children, what did you learn in Sunday School today?“, Aidan: “Hey! Do you guys know how to do arm farts?” #lifewithboys
61. I shook the freshly delivered Amazon box [full of Legos] to give the December boys a birthday present hint today. Aidan’s guess? A box of sweaters.
62. So, apparently, when you hear “Hey Mom! Come quick! Chasey’s all tied up with tape!”, it could literally mean that Chasey is indeed all tied up with tape. In other news, the 6-year-old just had his taping privileges revoked for life.
63. “It’s okay, Mom… I only carry dishes while walking backwards with my eyes open and I’m very careful.”
64. “Mom, we’re really sorry for breaking your ironing board, but now that it isn’t flat anymore, it’s makes a really good slide. Is that okay?” #lifewithboys
65. Bob: “…and that’s the story of the gospel and our advent reading for tonight…any questions?”, Aidan: “Yes! Why don’t we do piñatas for birthdays??” #stayontarget
66. Grief counseling for small boys in traumatic circumstances: “Son, if you insist on bench-pressing a full bottle of ketchup over your head, things like this are likely to happen…”
67. Without a doubt, the best bedtime excuse I’ve heard in a long time… “But Mom, I can’t go to sleep without my forehead on.”
Goodnight and goodbye, dear old 2014…
Moment by moment.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. Psalm 16:6