We celebrate our childrens milestones, not through birthdays, but rather phases. This is especially true with Jensen. Who has had his phases well documented on this blog.
First, we weathered the vacuum phase. The phase that initiated my fear of entering any store that featured a vacuum aisle. Lowes has a fabulous vacuum aisle. As does Target. Wal*Mart pulls a weak third.
If Jensen produced even a semblance of decent behavior, (i.e.: no fire alarms pulled, no loud and inappropriate discussion of his mother’s cleavage, no impromptu public nudity) he was rewarded with a trip down the vacuum aisle. And by a trip, I mean we circled so many times that nausea occurred.
Granted, he had a fleet of toy vacuums at home to do his bidding, but the real thing was what got his blood pumping. I could never drag out the vacuum at home without him jumping on it and obsessing about dragging it off to live with him in his lair bedroom. I had to sneak in my weekly vacuuming. Or just dispense with the ritual altogether. And it should be noted that I had to hide the BIG RED WATER VACUUM (aka: the carpet shampoo vacuum) out in the garage. Behind the Christmas decorations so as to remain invisible. Hence the state of our carpeting.
The vacuum phase mercifully came to an end when we learned that Jensen was allergic to dust mites.
Then there was the toilet phase. A personal favorite. Jensen could never be trusted in a bathroom unassisted. As he would flush his own head. Childcare workers at church had to be warned to take evasive action. Even when assisted, he was known to suddenly lick the seat with no warning whatsoever.
Lick the seat. This was a maneuver paralleled only by his ability to drop to the church lobby floor to taste of the electrical outlet.
Then we stumbled into the dog phase. Wherein Jensen communicated only by barking. Incessantly. The neighbors got quite a kick out of him howling in the backyard until every single dog within 2 miles answered him. Good times. Jensen can still be heard yapping on our outgoing answering machine tape to this day, prompting friends to inquire, “When did you get a dog?”
It’s just Jensen. Who now inexplicably prefers to pee outdoors. But whatever.
Now we have graduated to the Mario years. It’s all about the brothers Mario. Plus friends and foe. When Jensen happens upon any group of children, he deftly wrangles them into playing Mario with him. He assigns them characters, costumes, and a death defying scenario. Since he’s quite passionate about it all, very seldom will another child decline his offer of play.
I’ve had quite a time keeping him in Mario toys and coloring pages. The toys on the market are crap, and the coloring pages can only be procured online. And frankly, he has grown weary of coloring the same pages over and over and over and over.
Cailey, the artistic 8 year old sister has totally stepped up to the plate to provide Jensen with coloring pages. She is creating a series of Mario-centric coloring sheets. So far, there are 3 in the saga. From the looks of things, the ending is not going to go well for Princess Peach and her mushroom sidekick.
Yesterday, when Jensen expressed an interest in becoming Raccoon Mario, Cailey fashioned him a headdress. For a tail, he sported a smart purple and black plaid belt, trailing from the back of his garanimal pants. He wore the ensemble to the library. But at least he kept his pants on.
I can’t wait to see what the next phase will bring. I’m hoping it will be something Superhero in nature. A Superhero with a quiet inside voice. And a thirst for obedient behavior.
I fear it may be Captain Underpants, however.
And that is when I will enter the phase in which I earnestly seek to be medicated.