Thursday, May 31, 2012

It's Dance-y Dance Time!

All parents who endure children's television programming are familiar with the show "Yo, Gabba! Gabba!" It features five odd and suggestively shaped creatures (Muno, for example, looks like a tall, red, bumpy pretzel stick) and DJ Lance Rock, the orange clad, fez-wearing, magic-like leader of the pack.

During most episodes, the characters have "dance-y dance time" - an opportunity for a celebrity to show off his/her dance moves and allow the creatures to copy them. My favorite "dance-y dance friends" are Jack Black and Andy Sandburg doing various disco and alligator chomping motions. You know this has to be totally embarassing for them to "go crazy" with a bunch of plush costumed creatures, but the cool points they score with their kids or young relatives for simply being on the show surely overrides the ridicule of their drinking buddies.

I mention this only because the girls are really into dancing these days. I'm not sure if it has a direct correlation to their affinity for Gabba (or "Jabba" as Avery calls it), but it's possible. I mean, seriously, they each have a set of Muno, Foofah and Brobee dolls, as well as the Gabba dance mat. Birthday presents that other people pay for are awesome!

Lately, after bath time, Avery and Lexie have been racing into the playroom and hitting buttons on the activity table they've had since they were one. Each button plays a different song. Avery has certain songs she likes. Lexie has certain songs she likes. Sometimes, they fight over which song to play like married people argue over which radio station to listen to in the car. But, that's not what this blog post is about.

It's about the hilarious dances they do when they agree to let one song play for more than five seconds. Lexie does these crazy moves that Geof and I have dubbed "The Bum-Bum Dance." It looks kind of like "I'm a Little Tea Pot" on crack. Allow me to explain.

She puts both hands on her hips, bends her legs slightly and swings her body from side to side with as much force as possible without totally tipping over. It's done to the beat of the music. The dance makes us laugh, which makes her laugh, and that makes the whole thing even funnier.

I enjoy "The Bum-Bum Dance" so much that I try get Lexie to perform it for others who I know would appreciate its hilarity. Apparently, she's a closet dancer, because she has yet to bust a groove on command in a public setting.

It appears that Avery is not as coordinated in the rump shaker department as her sissy, but she does try. Her dance-y dance originally looked a lot like a Jumping Jack that didn't actually jump. Instead, she kind of swayed back and back with her arms and legs spread out like a human star fish.

It was only after Lexie received so much acclaim for "The Bum-Bum Dance" that Avery started stepping up her game. She now does a variation of her sister's signature moves that involve less violent side-to-side swinging. Essentially, she puts her hands on her hips, bends her knees and jumps up and down. It's no Macarena, but it's still pretty funny.

I can't tell just yet if I have two budding Commando cheerleaders on my hands. But, it's possible. They've certainly got the pipes for stadium-silencing yells and a love for bustin' an awkward/awesome move.

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Potty Chronicles: Avery Advances!

My plan is working. (Cue evil laughter here.)

Lexie is doing a tremendous job using the big girl potty. She hasn't had an accident in weeks, even during nap time. She tells us each time she needs to go and gets this surprised/excited look on her face (think Macaulay Culkin in "Home Alone") when she hears the pee pee flow into the commode. It's hilarious... unless it's her 35th trip to the restroom at the grocery store in a one-hour time period. At that point, I feel more aggitation and less adoration for her potty prowess.

Avery gets equally excited at these moments. She insists on standing right next to Lexie when she's on the throne, so she can immediately look into the bowl at whatever has just been expelled. It's gross. And, a little weird. "Mommy, I want to see! Lexie poo poo!" But, it is generating within Avery exactly what I wanted - interest and a little potty envy.

Lexie's success in the bathroom department has driven Avery to exercise her big girl potty bathroom option more often. She's gone multiple times at school, and she demands to go at home, as well, especially before/during/after dinner. This is why the evening meal often now takes an hour to complete.

The thing is one kid can't just go potty. Both kids have to go potty. There are fights over who gets to go first, and one turn is never enough. My multiples always want to make multiple attempts at expelling their bladders. Inevitably, one of them ends up running around downstairs buck naked while I sit by the other on the commode. Contrary to popular belief, some people do not like to use the restroom in private.

Eventually, I corral them, they finish dinner, and we make our way upstairs for bath time. At this point, the demand for potty time rears its head again. Avery wants to go in our bathroom; Lexie usually selects the Sesame Street seat in the guestroom bathroom. I go back and forth between the two, blazing a trail on the hallway carpet.

Avery's goal is to poop. For her, dropping off the kids at the pool is the equivalent of winning an Olympic gold medal. Physically, it's just not always possible. I'm beginning to get slightly worried that she's going to burst a blood vessel at some point, but I hesitate to do anything that will dissuade her attempts. As soon as she's delivered the goods, she shouts, "Mommy, I wear big girl panties!!"

I clap for her and cheer, and then gently explain that while she's very close, she's not quite ready yet for the Hello Kitty underpants that await her when the magical day comes that we can ditch the diapers. She understands and sometimes says, "Mommy, I not ready yet."

Juggling multiple pottiers is not easy. In fact, it makes me really want to clone myself. A few nights ago, I was helping Avery on the potty while Lexie was playing in the bathtub. (My bathroom is steps away from the tub, so don't call CPS.) I was talking to Avery about trying to go more at school when I hear Lexie giggling. I look over and see her pouring water from a Harpo's cup onto the bath mat.

I sternly say, "No, Lex! Stop that." She thinks this is very funny and proceeds to pour two more cupfuls on the mat before I can extract the old college booze cup from her hand. As I'm disciplining her, Avery is sliding off the potty and hasn't wiped.

It's moments like these when I wonder how much a one-way plane ticket to Aruba costs this time of year. Thanks to daycare, which is the equivalent of toddler college tuition, I can't afford to go. I just have to keep trying to not let the twins flush my patience down the pipe with their, well, you know.

Some day soon, they'll both be wearing big girl underwear without accidents, and going to the bathroom will no longer be a novelty. Mother nature, I've got next Friday free, if that works for you!