Twinkle, Twinkle, Cheesy Breath…

“Okay girls, hop into bed!” I called. “Lights out.”


“Don’t forget Twinkle, Twinkle,” Gwen sings with an upward lilt.

As if I ever would.

This is our nightly ritual after all. The same ritual we have performed since the first night she spent in her crib. That night when we clipped one of the strings that tied her so tightly to us – the first of many strings. Her chubby body, all warm from a bath filled my arms, and I pressed my cheek against her tiny face. That night, I began our song and we’ve been singing it nearly every night since. Nearly four and a half years of singing our special night-time prayer. The song that I whisper into her ear to tell her that she’s loved.

Sometimes she joins me, our voices weave together and linger in the air over her sweet pink bed before I kiss her goodnight.

I remembered this as I knelt at her bedside, pressed my cheek to hers and begin to whisper-sing the song.

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, How I wonder wha….

She pulled away, nose all wrinkled in revulsion, “Your breath smiles like cheese.”

“Oh, sorry,” I apologized. “I just ate some white cheddar Cheez-Its.”

“It stinks,” She declared. “You can skip Twinkle, Twinkle tonight. No…wait. Sing it but just stand over there by Kate’s bed and then you can go.”

Mouthwash…it’s a good thing. Click the blinking brown box if you agree.

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Werewolves and Cheezits and Sticks…OH MY!

I have to say, we have lucked out in the tantrum department. Mostly because we’re likely to laugh at the kids as we step over them should they resort kicking and screaming. There really is nothing more effective in squashing temper tantrums than ridicule. What can I say; we’re a tough crowd here at Chez Faherty. Unfortunately, luck runs out and on occasion, one of the kids acts…well, like a kid. Usually, I’m very lucky to have just one of the children having an “off” day. Yet, sometimes the stars seem to align perfectly…and during a full moon. When this happens, all three lose their minds and become “THOSE” kids. Last week the stars and/or moon were perfectly aligned for the Faherty clan.

I have a theory about the cycle of the moon and it’s effects on the adorable little humans residing in my house. You see, during the full moon, the adorable little humans morph into Crazed Fanged Beasts. Did you hear the echo when you read that? Here, let me say it again. CRAZED FANGED BEASTS! Beasts…Beasts….beasts…

No, I’m not suggesting that lycanthropy (turning into a werewolf) is rampant in my household during a full moon. My children don’t become extra hairy, sprout fangs or howl at the moon. However, they do scream, exhibit short-tempers, and the smaller two have been known to bite when provoked. It all got me wondering, and after the last moon I felt compelled to do a bit of research. Do you know what I found? I found that The Bradford Royal Infirmary conducted a study about behavior and the moon that was published in the British Medical Journal in December 2000. The Bradford Royal Infirmary reported that dog bite admissions to hospitals in England were twice as common during a full moon. Interesting, but I’m not worried about my dog. So far, I can find no conclusive evidence that the behavior of my children is influenced by the moon. Yet, read on and maybe you’ll begin to see my point.

August 10th: New Moon. This has absolutely no bearing at all on my “study” except for the fact that it made me think of shirtless Jacob. Sink your eyes into this:


Where was I? Oh..right..
August 13th: The planets are in Triple Conjunction with the Moon. Now mind you, I have no real understanding of astronomy, but this sounds like a good explanation for crazed children, no?

It all started innocently enough with a trip to the beach. In fact, it was a promising outing. There weren’t any obnoxious/weirdo tourists in our vicinity, yet oodles of well behaved kids who were willing to share beach toys. Joe and Gwen hit it off immediately with some new buddies, the weather was perfect, the tide was out…enter Kate and a box of Cheezits. It took precisely 30 minutes for the older couple sitting next to us to go from admiring the “adorable” baby to cringing in fear as she screamed and flung her body in the sand at their feet because her Cheezits were soggy.
There I was, faced with the dilemma of a quiet exit, yet one that said ‘I know that my child is being a complete a-hole so we’re leaving and you are all welcome’ or, I could have stayed and made the entire beach endure Kate’s terror filled Cheezit rampage. Yes, I just used the word a-hole when referring to my toddler. I’m honest and I’d never say it to her face. (Refer to my blog entry, Some Parents Eat Their Young). By the way, I opted for the quiet exit which turned out to be really loud since Gwen was so ticked off that we were leaving.

Let’s jump to our evening foray to soccer camp. I’m thinking that it was right around this time that those planets were getting closer to their “conjunction” with the moon because Hell was about to break loose on the soccer field.

We were all napped up and ready to go. There I was, wrangling Kate and our chairs, water bottles and soccer balls. Suddenly I realized that I had lost sight of Joe. Upon scanning the park, I located Joe on a hill waving a giant stick next to another kid. You know that slow-motion tunnel effect in movies? I can only describe it as a kind of out of body experience. One where the character foresees impending doom then suddenly gets sucked back into her body in time to save the day. Yeah. That’s exactly what I was feeling as from what seemed like miles away, I told (screeched at) Joe to, “PUT THE STICK DOWN! PUT….THE…STICK…DOWWWWWN!”

Of course, he couldn’t hear *ignored* me and continued waving the stick around until he whacked the kid’s glasses off his face. The kid’s mom went running up the hill while what seemed like the entire town stared at me and/or my kid. THAT kid…my failure. What to Expect When You’re Expecting never mentioned what I should do when my kid beats another kid with a giant stick. Did I wait too long to have children? What’s the etiquette for this situation? I’m almost 40 and I’m not equipped for this! As I stood glued to the soccer field questioning my skills as a mother, I watched the other mommy glare at my son, who for her, had become “that” kid.

Maybe I’m too hard on myself and expect too much of my tiny people. I mean, just because we waited until we were on the verge of AARP to reproduce didn’t mean that our children were required to pop out with the ability to attend wine tastings and admire fine art, right?

My research has shown that there is no conclusive proof that the cycle of the moon has any effect on human behavior. However, soul searching has brought me to the following realization. I do not understand 6 year old boys at all. Bitchy three year old? Got it. Tantrum throwing toddler? I’ll tolerate that. As long as no one turns into a werewolf, we’re going to be just fine.

Have any of you had these moments, or is it just me?