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Friday, May 27, 2011

The destroyers at work

Ro and Ree have always been able to harness their twin powers for incredible acts of cunning and destruction. Yes they are cute – so cute – but don’t be fooled by these two beautiful smiles.DSC_2984LR

Oh Wednesday, they played outside for about half an hour while I cleaned up the kitchen, unloaded the loathsome dishwasher, reloaded it, and restarted it, and folded some laundry. Typical. I *thought* they were only battling to the death with their foam swords (as usual).


Then the girls came inside and we fooled around with some homemade PlayDoh. Whatever, still nothing out of the ordinary. I gave them a snack and strolled into the office to check my email. I think they were out of my sight for about seven or eight minutes. And during that time they didn’t make any unusual noises. (Come to think of it, they didn’t make any noise at all, which should have tipped me off. Damn Spidey sense is off!)

When I came back to the kitchen I couldn’t even believe my eyes. The delinquents had gone into the pantry, found a brand-new 5-pound sack of flour, opened it pretending to make “flour soup,” and somehow spread the entire contents of the sack all over themselves, the counters, the floors, everything within a 20-foot radius. !!! Ree’s whole head was completely white, and every counter and floorboard in the kitchen (and actually even in the dining room and living room) was gritty and dusty.

I’m not even sure what I said right then. I think I was in complete shock at the utter vastness of the mess. I didn’t teach the girls any new swear words, which must be a victory of some sort. I gritted out my extreme displeasure and directed them to start cleaning immediately. One of them grabbed the broom, one of them grabbed the swivel sweeper, and I grabbed the big vacuum cleaner. It was unbelievable. I’m still hot thinking about it (and still finding flour in every nook and cranny). We worked on it for about 20 minutes, then I filled up a bucket with water and handed them two mops. They mopped the entire downstairs. Which would have been great, except that they thought it was Too Much Fun and exactly what princesses do. Rrrrrrrr. Then I sent them to time-out while I took the rugs outside to see if I could shake off the flour.

That’s when I saw the big pile of flagstones on their wooden picnic table and started yelling. They came running out of time-out and explained that the rocks had come out of the sidewalk. Yes, unbelievably, they had chipped the huge flagstones out of the walkway that runs around our yard. The same walkway that 85 people are going to walk on at the graduation in a little over a week. The same walkway that now has huge gaping holes!!!!! I was SO IRRITATED – we really don’t need to talk about what I said. Suffice it to say that after ranting and getting some disjointed story about wanting to make the rocks prettier, I sent them back to time out (mostly for their protection), and called TubaDad, who was on him way home. I stuttered, asked “why?!!!!” about a hundred times, ranted some more, poured some wine, then hung up and waited for him to arrive. He also was aghast at the destruction. After a lot of questioning, deliberation, talk about making good choices, and more wine, we handed down the sentencing, which was met with huge gasps and then quiet acceptance.

And that is the most destructive day the twinados have ever had or (knock wood) will ever have.

So... any "I cannot believe they did that!" stories of your own to share? Something that will make me laugh, or feel better, preferrably both?

PS: Sorry, no pictures of the destruction, didn’t even think of it. You know it’s really bad if this blogging mama doesn’t even grab a camera... I’ll start working on the party post next. I spent all afternoon driving around looking for a fleet of those cheap little plastic stackable kid chairs. Do they not exist anymore? Anyone seen them anywhere in stores or online?


  1. Anonymous5/27/2011

    So, I am dying - need a photo of the carnage! Twin visitors of a similar age came to my home when my daughter was only about 2, tried this stunt with my pavers while visiting and I was aghast.
    Love that wine modulates your response.

  2. Ok, here's the kicker: I was so shocked (by both actions) that I didn't even reach for the camera. Unbelievable.

  3. Lowes or Walmart might.

  4. oh vey. It must have been REALLY bad if you didn't reach for that camera!!! I can only imagine. Big hugs to you!! And more wine!

  5. I think destructive things happen when you have multiples or kids close in age. They get each other going. I'm sorry but I have to chuckle. I have 3 kids and they are far apart in age and they never dtioilid stuff like this so I find it kind of interesting. I am sure you were not amused when you found the mess. Needless to say are you ready for summer vacation?

  6. Sorry about that misspelled word....finger son the wrong keys!

  7. You are scarring me!! My twins are only 19 months old and they already get into everything!! Sometimes they have a conversation in "Twin Speak" and I think they are plotting against me!!

    As for the chairs, try Ikea, in the store or on-line.

  8. Where do they come up with this stuff? Creative yes but oh so challenging! Hope for everyone's sake that they keep their destructive creativity to a minimum. I'm thinking summer camps to keep little adventuresome people busy might be on the radar this year?

  9. Anonymous5/27/2011

    Do you mean the stone walkway in the background of the picture with the swords?! How is that possible?! Your girls are either freaky strong or freaky smart...probably both!

  10. Oh my - poor you :( Thank goodness for wine is all I can say!!

    Those little chairs are in what we call $2 shops over here in Sydney, so maybe in the us equivalent? (lots of cheap stuff, not all $2, but all sorts of unrelated bits n pieces that are usually at the cheaper end of the scale)

    Can't wait for the party post! Good luck fixing the path...


  11. Anonymous5/27/2011

    Although it is irrelevant, I am kind of curious why they said they did what they did--the outside and the inside Not that long ago, a few posts ago it seems, you talked about a disaster at a restaurant with them. What do you think is going on?

  12. Anonymous5/27/2011

    They need to go to camp. Send them to Bob Bob's camp in the woods:)

  13. What was the sentence handed down for all of this destruction?

  14. My kids are 5 and 1, so their mayhem and destruction is not that impressive. The flour stunt would've sent me over the edge though bc it is impossible to clean without making more mess!
    Wishing you a calm and sane weekend :-)

  15. Flour is such a nuisance to clean, but it's better than relandscaping a yard! When my girls pull these stunts (and oh yes, they've pulled them), I tell them "You making messes for messes' sake". Or "You've come to loose ends." When I went upstairs with laundry, Sara tried to paint a Jackson Pollock and flicked paint the entire length of the first floor. Last week they snuck open tiny pearl sprinkles in the pantry, heard me coming, dumped them in their big basket of blocks, forgot they were there, and then dumped the blocks out to build something. Tiny pearl sprinkles bounced over about 1000 square feet of wood floors. How about the day they decided the sand in the sandbox was chicken feed and the entire yard must be filled with chickens and they nearly emptied the sandbox out onto the lawn? I was right there with my head in a book, and didn't notice, and when I looked up, there were sand piles all over the lawn!

    Good luck!

  16. You call that destructive?!!! Hoooo boy, it's obvious you have girls.... Anything that can be fixed for under $1000 and/ or in less that 2 weeks is not "destructed". A cleanable mess and moved stuff that can be moved back? And that's the worst you are expecting, ever? Still shaking my head here...

    PS Very well written, as always!xox

  17. Try 5 and below or Big Lots - if you have either of those stores - they may have the stackable chairs. Good luck!

  18. Anonymous5/28/2011

    It's good to know the "twinadoes" haven't lost their touch! :)

  19. I rented kid tables and chairs for T's party. chairs were 50 cents ea and the tables were like 5 bucks each from one of those party/bounce house/tent rental companies. that way, I didn't have to store them. best investment I made!

  20. Oh my!!! Loved Wela's comment....por Bob Bob!!!!!

  21. Anonymous5/28/2011

    WOW!!! I can't believe they didn't get a spanking!@ Isn't that used anymore? Time out doesn't seem to be the answer here!
    Grandma to 5

  22. Yes - you can judge how "bad" an event it by whether or not there was still documentation because you realize at somepoint you will look back and laugh on it! I am. so. glad. you finally wrote about something like this. My twins are so much like yours, full of energy, full of personality and are always using their twinpowers to get one past me! So, as per your request, some of our doozies: (And yes, it is always the 5 minutes of "silence" that foretells of impending doom, isn't it!?!): When they were 1.5, they completely unpotted a large tree/plant in the house...threw the dirt all over themselves, the floor, the walls, the soil was wet and after stepping in it, they ran all over the house leaving footprints everywhere! When they were 3, they got their hands on a Costco size jar of vaseline and covered themselves as well as a chair and again the walls in the living room. I threw them outside on the porch to contain the damage and there they jumped in the small wading pool. Yeah, water and vaseline, excellent combo! Last year, they got quesadilla rounds out of the refigerator, broke them up into triangles, stood on their bunk beds and "cooked pizza" on the ceiling fan - by placing the bread on the blades as they went by, thus flinging the bread all over over their room! 1/2 of the bread was wet because they had water bowls in their room also to "prepare" the pizza. What a mess!
    There's more! But hopefuly that helps for now! ;-)

  23. Anonymous5/28/2011

    There is humor in this situation, but the use of "meth" to attempt to get a laugh is inarticulate and inappropriate. Maybe the commenters using it lately could try a little harder.

  24. wow, what a couple of stinkers! Their cuteness always makes them seem like perfect angles so it is nice to hear about this side of them. :P Hopefully for your sake it never happens again!
    We have had several incidents, the latest being taking a black sharpie to daddies office, all over his pricey computer screen, keyboard and phone. We've also had cell phone's flushed and a car windshield broken from "flying rocks"

  25. Anonymous5/28/2011

    As a mom of four that sent her youngest off to college last fall...the only consolation I can offer is that when you hit the pre-teen/teenage years you will long for something as easy as flour and yard pavers to deal with!

    I have followed your blog for years and enjoy it so much. Thank you for sharing your family with us!

  26. I am deep in the middle of all of this too...I truly know how you feel. Why can't they just play with the thousands of dollars of toys that we lovingly bought them? Why do they need to destroy our backyard and leave the play structure alone? But I have recently been trying to wrap my mind around the FACT that they will grow out of this and I WILL MISS THIS. It sure does make for great stories to keep us warm and comforted in the nursing home. Now go have more wine and hide the flour. Thanks so much for continuing to make us smile with your little beauties.

  27. Hehe, you are not alone. When my oldest was 3 and I was preggers w/ #2 I had nausea. My then 3yo used the 2 min I was retching ing the bathroom to open a brand new bottle of Hersheys syrup and finger paint every last surface in the living room (incl fireplace, heat registers, tv, and white carpet...) the bottle was empty when I returned. Lets just say Dad was able to get all traces of the choc out, even the crpt.
    Another time, 3yo got into the just opened box of Dreft soap flakes and scattered them all over the laundry and carpeted hallway and the cat. 4 yrs later the carpet cleaner scolded me for using soap to clean my carpets.
    Another time, same 3yo locked himself & cat in bathroom at 4am, plugged up the sink w/ tp and flooded the bathroom. Using toothpaste he gave cat a bath and made tp wads which he threw all over the wall until one wad fell off into the halogen bulb and sounded like gunfire & scared him. When dad opened door cat ran out and smeared toothpaste along the walls, bedding...& foamed at the mouth trying to lick it off.
    So all these things my now 13 yo did when I was pregnant...he turned out to be highly gifted. So either the girls are highly gifted...or you're pregnant! LOL

  28. Since having my TWO girls (that are only 4 months apart, so basically twins), I've always said they can destroy and make messes MUCH bigger than other children. You can see our trash can incident here: http://chloeandemmi.blogspot.com/2009/07/trash-can.html -- maybe it will help you feel like you are not alone...b/c you aren't!!

    Luckily, I grabbed the camera...however, I was just as angst as you were!

    One day (far from now) we will both be glad we documented the destruction and will probably laugh about it!

  29. Oooh loving these stories!

  30. You just made me feel SO much better. My Sol can make a mess out of anything...literally anything. He moves from one "fun" project to the next all day long. It's enough to wear me right the heck out. He's been into the flour before, if he doesn't want to eat something (which is almost everything), he either throws it or chews it and then spits it ALL over. I love him to pieces and thank goodness he is the cutest boy to ever walk the earth, but boy, he can make a mess!

  31. I love the people that over-analyze the mess making. What were they thinking and what is going on to cause such a thing? They were thinking, man this flour looks fun, and doesn't it sound like a good idea to pull the rocks from the walk way? That's about where it begins and ends...they are kids! And as for spanking, yeah, it is still a way to discipline, most people just don't blog about it, LOL!

  32. I would also love to know what their punishment was. I'm running out of ideas for my almost 5 year old. I think he actually enjoys time out and taking away movie/TV privileges doesn't seem to do much either.

    I was at Toys R Us today. They had those little chairs but they were something like $5.99 or $6.99 each. They had Disney characters on them I think. I have seen them at dollar stores so that might be a good bet. Not sure about the quality though. You might try a table and chair rental place. We were just at a kid's party where they rented those stacking chairs and kid sized tables. Never would have occurred to me to try to rent kids stuff like that!


  33. Anonymous5/28/2011

    I agree with the anonymous "Grandma" above: time-out doesn't really seem to be working very well....

  34. Anonymous5/28/2011

    Saw some stacking plastic children's chairs at WalMart today in the patio area. We live in the Midwest but you should be able to get them in California or online!

  35. Perhaps inarticulate and inappropriate, like beauty, are in the eye of the beholder. Perhaps I am guilty of both offenses which clearly offended Anon’s sensibilities. I am many things, but what I am not, is a holier than thou coward troll, commenting behind the safety of the Anon moniker.

    Ro and Ree, you are perfect just the way you are. SS is just like you, a happy go lucky little girl, who sometimes leaves us speechless with her ability to create chaos in seconds. Like your parents, P and I do not take ourselves too seriously. We are not paragons of parenting virtue, but we have something in common, happy, healthy, intelligent, loved, well adjusted children, with a wonderful sense of humor. I wonder if Anon can claim the same.

    My sincere apology to the Salsa Family for besmirching their blog with my unsavory use of the vernacular, then having the gall to hijack it with this comment. The difference is that M3 and TubaDad know how to reach me and engage in civil discourse.

  36. OY!! Hugs to you and hope that the clean up and reconstruction is near completion.

  37. 2china4S!! I'm SO relieved you fessed up to the 'meth' comment because when i read anons comment i TOTALLY thought it was directed at ME!

    Then i realized that even tho i had considered posting a reference to a 'meth moment' i must not have because i didn't see me up there.

    As i type this i am thinking maybe i did, and it was deleted.

    Either way, my apologies for thinking it and double apologies if i actually went ahead and posted it.

    however, if i did, i'm pretty sure i didn't hide behind anonymous.

  38. Ok, I am a long time reader, but have never before commented. I do have to say that I am relieved that someone had a day like we did this week. In the course of 24 hours, my six year old managed to sneak a purple freezie and hide it under his bed and forget about it, turned the temp down in our refrigerater and froze the produce, cut his own hair to the scalp with kitchen scissors, attempt to flush the cardboard tube from the middle of the toilet paper roll, and reprogrammed our thermostat. We were very glad when he fell asleep that night!

  39. Anonymous5/29/2011


  40. I actually came back to read this post again as it made me laugh the first time and even more the second time..all I kept singing was "Mama said there'd be days like this..mama said... mama said"..

    The 2nd time I read the comments and I have to say I am APPAULED..I am so glad my 2 boys don't have Grandma to 5 as a Grandma!!! Honestly Grandma..what the heck!!! Everything they did can be fixed. MM said they went to time out and THEN they were punished..is it our business what the punishment was. If you (MM) said "I beat them with a belt" would Grandma of 5 been happy. I don't like Grandma to 5 at all!!! I work in Kindergarten and there is nothing more heartbreaking then having a 5 year old say "My dad hits me hard" or "my mom won't love me if I get in trouble today". We tell our kids not to hit and then we hit them..this is why people are not spanking (or not as much)..I found out the best way to punish when mine were younger was not "spanking" but taking their gameboys and other gaming things away..hit them where it hurts..electronics:)
    My boys are now 13 and 17 and were not perfect and they still are not. My oldest wrecked his car on Friday and he when he called me he said "I was going to fast and missed the curve". He went in and out of a ditch (airbags came out) and landed in a driveway. When I got there I was so happy he was ok and his friend also. Flour and stones are nothing to what we deal with when they are older. I am happy he was honest to me as he could have said "a dog ran out and I swerved" but he knew he could say the truth. His punishment..he has no car as it is wreaked.
    I respect how MM and TubaDad are raising their girls.
    Grandma to 5...please don't come to my blog as I don't need your 2 cents there either.
    I am not even going to reread this as I know I made a ton of mistakes and it probally makes no sense as I am pissed and rambling!!!

  41. Me again - just some observations:
    1. M3 left a PS at the end of http://salsainchina.blogspot.com/2011/05/i-also-rate-this-day-m-this-time-for.html
    which would indicate she finds meth references hilarious. I haven't read every post but I don't think she references comments often like that.
    2. Anyone reading that could/ would/might conclude that such jokes make M3 laugh. Since she makes us laugh, it would be reasonable to expect us to try such humour to oblige her.
    3. Even if one could not bring oneself to make such jokes and indeed found the entire subject distasteful/to-close-to-home/ inapporpriate, one would presumably ignore out of respcet for M3. After all, it's her blog and as far as I know no-one is forced to read it.

    Note: The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the personal views of it's author.

  42. Marin had his first public display of destruction just this week. His father and I were mortified when it just had to happen at a lunch cafe we frequent at least twice a week!

    He's always been interested in the jams, jellies, salsas and condiments in the glass jars on their shelves. Yes, you can see where this is going already.... Hubby was paying for our food and I let go of the little guy's hand for less than 30 seconds to pick up a high chair and put it at our table.

    I hear my husband yell, "Marin NO!" and turn around to see a jar of jam being thrown like a quarterback looking for his favorite receiver. The glass shards were in the hundreds. No one was hurt except Mr. & Mrs. Pride.

    We insisted on paying for the jam even though the sweet owners kept refusing our money. Marin seemed super proud of his mess and kept smirking and smiling all through my most stern of mommy speeches. He said, " Saw-Ree" and after forking over $6.95 the incident was over. All I could think of was why couldn't he have broken the mango salsa because it would have saved us 2 bucks. :)

  43. I really wish you could like comments on blogs as I so want to liked if he would have broken mango salsa it would have saved me $2.00 comment by MaLeah:)

  44. Anonymous5/29/2011

    I'm so glad you have each other!

  45. That is so funny! I am so glad to hear it.....I was thinking they were pretty perfect. Glad to know among all that perfectness there is a bit of normalness too!

    But, mom, where are the pictures?

  46. Anonymous5/30/2011

    If the most powerful factors in parenting are what we model and our expectations, you are so just the right people to raise the twins. Your commitment, devotion, and values shine through in every post. Your candor, humility,and generosity (e.g the graduation) are admirable.
    Some days are like that, and it will just keep getting more and more "interesting" as they get older ... ;-)

  47. uhm. not yet. but now i'm scared. :) what i love is that they had good intentions. they wanted the walkway to look PRETTIER. one day you will all laugh about that.

    in the meantime, you have a wine cellar or no? might want to at least think about stocking up on a few bottles... :)

  48. All I can say about this is that I totally "get it". I have one child who would do things that just absolutely drove me crazy and things that just couldn't quite be explained. I'm happy to say she's currently 23 years old, recently graduated from college and working as a RN in a local hospital and is everything I ever hoped and dreamed she would be. It doesn't mean it wasn't a long road to get there, though. Thank God my other 3 have been rule followers for the most part. Otherwise I'm sure I'd be writing this from a padded room.

  49. It would take me hours to regale you with the horror stories of the 5.5 year old PSparkly princess. I just have to say that as usual, I'm happy to see that other folks are willing to share the 'horror' stories. Let's face it, they are cute...and they are devious. Heh.
    Good luck with the party!

  50. I've had some of those moments and I'm not proud of myself for what I said and how I acted. I did tell my kids afterwards that I am not happy with my reaction and I appologized. But I have had many times where I was HOT beneath the collar. Mainly them just destroying their room, especially when we are about to go somewhere. Or when I go to take a shower and sis is supposed to be watching bro and when I come out something is destroyed.

    It's hard being a mom but also very rewarding! I have to ask God a lot to give me patience with them. One is my daughter continually dismantles jewelry we give her and makes her own designs. The last was taking charms off a Gymboree watch to make a necklace. I finally realized that I can get mad or embrace the fact that she is artistic and really does come up with cute jewelry. So from now on I will buy thrift store jewelry or cheaper things and let her go at making her own stuff. Maybe she will sell it one day!
    Kim O

  51. Anonymous5/30/2011

    Love you, love your blog, love the pictures.
    M3, I am nowhere near the mother you are, not a fraction.
    But you can't leave 5 year olds unattended for a half hour. My 12 year old can't supervise herself half the time. Your girls do not deserve punishment. They deserve constant surveillance, if not constant, or almost constant attention. Hire a teenager to watch them outside if you need a break.

  52. Can't leave them for a half hour???
    Sheesh - they are not TWO! They are smart, athletic, artistic, free-spirited twinados and ripe for experimenting with all kinds of things. This is just part of life!

  53. Unfortunately, they weren't unattended, they were stupidly attended! :-) I was right there (our kitchen/family room opens out into our backyard) I just wasn't paying close enough attention as they sprinted around the yard.

  54. Anonymous5/31/2011

    its kinda what kids do... :) you can't just send them off to camp- i worked at summer camps and its way too regimented! i wish you had some pics!

  55. Anonymous5/31/2011

    Ha Ha! I am so laughing right now. When Erin was about 3 she took an entire box of maxi pads from under the bathroom sink, peeled the strip off and stuck them all over the walls of the bathroom!!!

    Cousin Tammy

  56. As Mahmee said, too many stories to tell...hehehe! It's an every day occurence at our house. It was hard enough with just our twin disasters and now their brother (who I thought was going to be the good one, wink...wink) has joined their mischief.

  57. Anonymous6/01/2011

    If no chairs - how about simple block & board benches for the little grads? They could be easily painted to tie in with the school/party colors. And they're fun to play with later - e.g. balance beam, ramps, raised-bed garden, etc.

  58. Anonymous6/02/2011

    Oh. Man. The fact that you didn't even think to grab the camera tells me things must have been SERIOUS. In fact, I'm tired just thinking of cleaning all that up. Hopefully you can get the flagstones back in place by graduation.


  59. I'm sorry - I can't help but laugh, well, chortle, at imagining the visions of horrors that you walked into! Not funny! Really NOT! hee hee! Good luck at the graduation! Glad that I stopped by to "meet" you - you made my day! We have "virtual" twins from China, soon to be "virtual" triplets - 3 sweet daughters all born in the same year! Blessings!