Thursday, January 22, 2009

Cough up some pity

All of the kids have fallen in love with cough drops. I have a fairly healthy version, Slippery Elm, with virtually no sugar and all natural ingredients. They have taken to asking for one before they go to bed at night, which I have been willing to supply on the scant hope that it will help them not to cough all night.

But last night we forgot, and Anaya was already in bed when she remembered. "Mommy, can I have a cough drop? Pleeeeeze?!"

"I'm so tired, Anaya. I don't think you need one tonight," I sighed, thinking of having to give the boys each one as well, to be "fair."

"Waaaaugh..." the siren began. (If you want to be firm with a tired, cranky girl, prepare for the onslaught.)

"I'm sorry you made that bad choice to whine and cry," I said, leaning over to spank her leg. "Now you won't be able to have a cough drop anyway, because you cried for it. You know we NEVER get ANYTHING we cry for."

"But Mommy," she wailed in desperation, "I will cough and cough all night. I won't be able to sleep at all! I don't even feel like I can sleep now!"

"I'm sure you'll be fine," I answered wryly.

"But I will cough all night. I won't be able to talk tomorrow!"

"Alas." I reached for the doorknob.

She flung her parting stab at my departing back. "Mommy," her voice grew fainter in pretended agony, "you will never hear my sweet little voice again."

I don't know how to tell you this, but...

My children have eloped.

Yes, with each other.

Apparently it happened about a month ago, but they didn't break the news until Anaya told me in casual conversation yesterday. We were talking about the seating arrangement Anaya had chosen when she set the table.

"Sethie will sit on this side of me," she explained. "He's my daddy. And Skyler will sit on this side of me, because he's my child."

"You mean Sethie is your husband?" I corrected.


"But I thought he said he didn't want to marry you."

"We already got married!" she giggled. "We got married a loooong time ago. At Grandma's house."

"Was Grandma there?"

"I don't remember!" She chortled at her own brilliance. "We just got married. Sethie wore his blue blanket. I just wore..." she shrugged, "some dress."

"Who was your preacher?"

She cackled in glee. "I guess--I was! So we've been married a looooong time now. We have a child."

Monday, January 19, 2009


The other night Anaya raced off to crawl in bed, only to come back howling. "I caught my finger in the door!"

I comforted her and directed her to Saralyn to get a Band-Aid while I put the boys to bed. I went in their room and started getting Seth's bed ready in the dark. Then I noticed that he was still over by the door. Silhouetted in the light coming through the door, I watched him poke his little index finger out, then carefully position it in the doorframe. Slowly he closed the door on it. At last there was contact. "Owie, Mommy," he announced. "I got my finger inna door! I need a Bann-Aid!"

We trooped out and explained to an amused Saralyn that Sethie, too, had miraculously managed to get his finger in the door. We chose a fishy Band-Aid and returned to settle him into bed.

"Sethie," I whispered as he snuggled in bed, "I know that you caught your finger in the door on purpose."

There was a pause before his barely audible response. "I wanted be like Anaya."


As I was tucking Anaya into bed last week, she informed me, "I don't want to grow up."

"As long as you keep eating, you will," I assured her.

"Well, if I keep eating, but I don't grow up, I will be happy," she countered.

"I didn't want to grow up either, when I was a little girl. But growing up is fun. When you grow up, you can drive a car, build fires, and do lots of nice things. I couldn't have married Daddy, if I hadn't grown up."

"Well," she declared confidently, "I'm going to marry Daddy!"

"We'll see what happens," I deferred. "Maybe God has somebody else for you to marry. Maybe there's a little boy somewhere growing up too, and we can pray for him..."

"Non-sense!" she spouted. "Anyway, I don't want to get married. I don't want to have children."

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Jabber-walkie

Skyler really has remarkable conversational ability. At the ripe old age of two years and three days, he jabbered away to Saralyn this morning at the breakfast table.

"Mommy make bed Sethie." (Mommy just build a new bed for Sethie yesterday.)

"There no fire in other room now." (True--the fire went out last night and hasn't been rebuilt yet.)

"People say Jesus had bad owies."

Ill feelings

Anaya loves to read The Bedtime Stories, a large collection of character-building stories. We are fortunate enough to have the ones I had as a child, which include a few old-fashioned words to enrich her vocabulary. One of her favorite stories is the story that includes a woman who got very sick ("ill" in the story) and was in danger of dying.

Recently Anaya got sick. Apparently she felt pretty awful, because even though it was only a fever and runny nose, the effects were pretty dramatic. She went to bed and laid there a while, then called me into her room.

"Mommy," she murmured, reaching out her hand to me, "I think..." she lowered her voice, "...I'm ill."

Revised Substandard Perversion

Yesterday Anaya had a flare-up of one of her common afflictions, Order Brothers Around disease. After several sessions of commands to an uncooperative Sethie, I reminded her, "Anaya, the Bible says, 'Children, obey your parents in the Lord.' It doesn't say, 'Children, obey your big sisters.'"

"Well," she muttered, "I wish it did."

Monday, January 12, 2009

Elijah bread

This morning we were making bread (an exciting process that guarantees flour, and often other things, on the floor, clothes and hands). "Mommy, can we make Elijah bread too?" Anaya wanted to know. Bless Saralyn's wonderful heart, she has taught the kids how to make unleavened bread (a sort of chapati), and breadmaking will never be the same.

So after the bread machines began churning, I measured out flour, oil, salt and water into two mixing bowls. (Skyler was napping, thankfully.) Seth bounded over to the blue one (naturally--he's really into blue now, or "byoo!" as he calls it), then raced off and brought back Thomas and Percy, two toy trains. "Thomas and Percy want to make bread too," he assured me.

Moments later I caught his hand holding Thomas mid-air about to dive headfirst into the bowl of sticky flour mixture. "Stop! No trains in the bread. I don't want Thomas to get dirty."

"Percy is dirty," he pointed out sensibly, showing me the flour sprinkled already on Percy's bright green back.

I managed to keep my careening offspring from eating much dough, and eventually we did fry the dough and devour it for lunch. ("I want kale!" Seth howled upon arriving at the table and finding nothing green on it--but that's another story.)


This afternoon I heard Anaya charging around after Seth. "I want you to marry me! Will you marry me, Sethie?"

Seth had only one word to reply. "Help!"