we got back from the beach saturday evening. i have already done myself a favor and repressed the last 3 hours of that drive home. 60 year old keight can deal with it in her spare time if it decides to flash back in the form of night terrors. (so. much. whining.)
sunday morning was back to routine. jesse up at -4.65 AM to get to church and me waking up with the kids, doing our morning stuff and getting us all ready for church.
i dont know if it was the stress of the drive, the countless kilos of seafood and sugar consumed on the trip or just plain laziness, but i COULD NOT get up when my creepy little munchkins came to wake me. i say creepy because their method of alerting me that they are now conscious is to get out of their beds, quietly creep (see? creepy) into my room and stand silently 6 inches from my face until i notice.
some archaic evolutionary device has been passed down to my most primal systems and despite being dead asleep and earplugged, my brainstem senses a threat and wakes me. i open my eyes and damned if the pint-sized creepers arent standing silently RIGHT THERE looking at me. it's unsettling.
i've sort of decided that 2.5 and 4 are the correct ages that my children should NOT wake me up ahead of my body's natural desires and that they can go play productively by themselves until mommy is rested and ready to face the day.
did i decide this during lucid daylight? did i instruct them ahead of time on how to play quietly in their rooms? no and no.
i made this decision shortly after exiting REM sleep while seeking desperately for any possible way to return to it at once.
so rather than getting them set up with a hearty breakfast and a game or activity and explaining to them that i need more time to sleep, i just mindlessly throw technological devices at them. (please dont feed the bears...yeah, it's like that)
my normal "screen time is BAD" hippie mama mindset is gone; a sacrificial lamb of my need to sleep. in the fog of exhaustion it truly feels like survival and not just selling out (it's probably just selling out).
rather than conversing with my cherubs when they wake me prematurely, i react like someone being mugged, "here take my iphone, take daddy's ipad, would my engagement ring satisfy you?...TAKE ANYTHING YOU WANT JUST PLEASE LEAVE!!!"
i'm really a committed parent, yall.
but miraculously it works. they [unfortunately] love the screens and greedily take them. i fall back asleep in .5 seconds.
about an hour passes and i wake up naturally to a quiet house. this is awesome and i congratulate myself on "knowing when is the right time to give the kids the freedom they are clearly ready for, while drawing a boundary for my own benefit. way to go, keight. you are crushing this parenting thing!"
as i am lying there waking up i hear the little cat burglars come back in my room. with more sleep i am now ready to greet them. they round the corner of my bed and enter my line of sight.
every. single appendage and surface was tattooed in red, thick-tip permanent marker.
the brown end was dried out, but at least they had the red to refine their ARTSKILLS! with.
i really wasnt mad at all. yes, they know 100% that they arent supposed to draw on themselves, touch "mommy's markers" or even get out their washable ones without asking me. however, i had totally been busted and burned by phoning it in and trying to catch an extra hour of sleep. i'm pretty sure this is a total rite of passage for kids anyway. it was more of an "okay, so that happened. no one tell daddy and we'll just call it even, okay?"
i did want to see how they would react to me seeing them like this so i calmly told judah to go get my phone and come back (so i could document it all).
i'm actually going to give them props here because they did an AWESOME and thorough job of covering each other. they didnt touch a wall or clothes or furniture, but they did methodically and completely manage to work together to get the back and front of every limb and any significant expanse of skin. i'm pretty stoked about the cooperation it took to accomplish this.
judah was WAY more aware that he had been naughty than layla was.
i LOVE this. judah is so freaking guilt-ridden and waiting for me to react with a punishment, and layla is just proud as punch showing off some of her better scribbles. hahaha little fools.
okay i am impressed. the fact that they thought to lift up their bangs and color foreheads?!?! LOVING IT! attention to detail? yes that will come in handy in the future. totally snatching that up as a blessing.
layla is catching the drift that this is possibly a naughty moment.
she is seriously rolling her eyes (and entire head) like, "geez, mom it no big deal!!!" judah remains concerned about the possibility of losing his donatello bowstaff for this.
lining it up for inspection.
so after i snapped a few pics and told them that this was a bad choice, but that i wasnt mad, it was time to clean up the mess. i had warned them that it would probably hurt while we scrubbed off the marker since it's heavy duty ink. we were all prepared for a hearty dose of exfoliation.
but i decided to do a quick goog and see if there was an easier way. one article suggested tea tree oil. i had a bottle of this stuff on hand because i had bought it in a frenzy when the kids' school experienced a lice outbreak (i.just.cant) this past spring. i had looked for non-chemical ways to PREVENT it from spreading to our fam if a classmate was "infested" (just. no.). we ALL used a few drops of the oil in conjunction with a 3-step kit of this stuff that i snagged from rite aid until the threat was neutralized. we smelled very tree-like and fragrant for a few days but it was worth it to have a shield in place with no brain damage. the smell is actually nice when it's not reminding you TIME TO CHECK FOR NITS! (STOP IT) every time you catch a whiff.
my potion and my patient
so i had an almost full bottle of the stuff and decided to give it a whirl. here's a quick before after on layla's sweet cheeks.
after just a few really gentle rubs (not scrubbing at all)
i only had kleenex on hand. i would have prefered cotton balls because they are softer and give up the liquid more freely. i think because of this i had to use more and go over some areas twice (i ended up applying it right on their skin to get more contact with the substance). but in twenty minutes total for both kids, they were back to their normal flesh-colored selves. i even still have over half the bottle of oil left along with a million bright red kleenex in my trashcan.
so everybody won. the kids had a naughty little blast being sneakers, i got to sleep, they fulfilled a childhood milestone, avoided punishment, got to keep all their layers of skin, smelled like fresh flora for the day and i even got to make some non-scalp-vermin (ok. enough!) memories with my tea tree oil.
so the standard baby shower gift baskets should include butt paste, gas drops and tea tree oil...because it may take a few years, but if you have kids, this moment is probably coming for you too.