Pony Joke (often attributed to Ronald Reagan): Worried that their son was too optimistic, the parents of a little boy took him to a psychiatrist. Trying to dampen the boy’s spirits, the psychiatrist showed him into a room piled high with nothing but horse manure. Yet instead of displaying distaste, the little boy clambered to the top of the pile, dropped to all fours, and began digging. 'What do you think you’re doing?' the psychiatrist asked. 'With all this manure,' the little boy replied, beaming, 'there must be a pony in here somewhere.'
There are very few places in the world where your garage door can freeze shut. But alas, in a temporary lapse of sanity, we moved to one of those places and then when Kurt tried to leave for work the other day, he pushed the garage door button to open it and since the door was frozen to the track, the chain ripped away from the gear rendering the thing completely inoperable. This made for one very, um, "happy" husband who by all accounts was late to work (whatever that means given that he works for himself now.)
I was given the task of fixing the garage door that blissful morning. So, I grabbed a ladder, took a look, figured out how I would do it if I were really going to try myself and then called our next door neighbor to see if he'd come fix it because well, he is handy and has lots of neat tools and years of experience trying to fix things he knows nothing about. Meanwhile, the theatrical child inside, was screaming bloody murder because: "I can't get my snow suit on!" and "I need help!" and "It's too hot to wear this inside!" and "I can't get it off!" "MOOOOOOOM, I NEED YOU!"
Papa Marv, not understanding I'd much rather talk to him than deal with the insanity inside the house, sent me inside to take care of the little ones while he got to work putting our garage door back together again.
Inside, Liam was laughing at the scene from his highchair while Aidan and Lily played out back in the snow. And Madeline, rolling around on the floor, one leg in her snow pants, jacket half off, one shoe partly on, the other flung across the room, continued screaming....it was hard to tell what she was actually trying to accomplish and once she was fully dressed to go out, both Aidan and Lily came back in, starting the cycle over.
But, here's to looking for the ponies...
At dinner the other night Madeline asked, "Do you know what I eated?"
"Do you know what I ate," I corrected her.
"What?!" she asked, excitedly.
"No, Madeline, I mean you need to say 'do you know what I ate,'" I responded.
"Oh," she said, thoughtfully. After a moment she resumed her questioning. "Well, do you know what I ated?"
And then there was Aidan who after deciding to throw a snow party and making all sorts of decorations (so he calls them) came in and exclaimed:
"Mom, something terrible is happening here!"
"What's that Aidan?" I asked, a little worried.
"We can't have a party without women."
"What?" I asked, now giving my full attention.
"We can't have a party without women!" he said again.
"Did you just say we can't have a party without WOMEN?" I asked, completely shocked.
"NO! I said we can't have a party without RIBBON!" he clarified.
And then there was yesterday: after listening to the kids aggravate one another in the other room as I made dinner, and after coming to that crossroads where it is easy to throw patience out the window allowing other, more demonic parenting techniques to rear their ugly heads, I called the kids into the kitchen. They dutifully came in and stood there, one crying, one whining and the other with a look of total innocence on her face.
"You see this piece of cardboard?" I asked, holding up an empty food container. "It is my heart," I went on. "And here is what you do to it every time you treat each other so badly." I started ripping the cardboard into hundreds of tiny pieces (actually, that felt really good, you should try it sometime....) The kids stood there, eyes wide, watching as I tore my 'heart' to pieces.
"Now, do you want to rip mommy's heart to shreds?" I asked. They all nodded no, mumbled some apologies and I sent them off to try again.
All was quiet on the western front, for a moment, and then I heard a shriek and some whining and Lily came waltzing in. She looked up at me and said, very seriously:
"Mommy, I sorry they teared your heart to pieces. They didn't mean to do it."
Ponies, ponies everywhere.
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