Monday, March 30, 2009
Finally I couldn't stand it anymore. "Anaya, please stop singing that over and over!" I ordered.
"But Mommy," she protested, "I want the neighbors to hear it!"
Sunday, March 29, 2009
"Sethie," I told him as he snuggled on my lap, "your little wild hairies are getting very long. I think we need to cut them."
"No," he asserted, "I tink we don't."
"But they are very long."
"I don' tink they're very yong."
"But they are long," I explained vainly. "Anyway, Mommy has decided to cut your wild hairies, and we are going to do it today."
He wasn't ready to go down without a fight. There was a long pause. "Mommy," he pointed out, "you hairies is bigger den mine!"
Friday, March 27, 2009
And the other news is that she doesn't need to say a word. Now her brothers gather around in glee whenever she gets her hair brushed, keeping up a running commentary of their own in imitation of her past performances. "Ow! Ow! Waaah! Owie!"
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Seth giggled and looked at me, a naughty twinkle in his eye, and sang, "Pyant a seed, watch it die."
Monday, March 23, 2009
Yesterday I saw him playing in the dry leaves, throwing them up in the air in glee. Then he gathered up as many as he could hold in his hands and marched aross the yard to Anaya's playhouse. I watched him sneak inside and up behind Anaya and toss the entire bunch of them over his unsuspecting sister.
I was gathering trash to be put outside for the trash man, and came in Anaya's room to check her trash can. Since hers is in the office/schoolroom, it is usually just papers, but I discovered a wet Pull-Up in it today. "Anaya," I cautioned her, "I don't want you to throw Pull-Ups in your trash in here. I don't empty it very often, and it might start to stink."
"But Mommy," she wailed, "then I will have to walk all the way down the hallway, and sometimes I'm so tired, and it might be so hard I might get hurt."
"Right," I pronounced heartlessly. (A common weakness of mine, heartlessness.) "Now you lose your trash can from your room."
"But Mommy..." the howls continued.
An hour or so later, Anaya's condition had not improved. "Anaya, it's time to get out of the bathtub. Put your toys away."
"But Mommy, you never let me do anything fun!" went up the cry. "I just want to take a bath, and you're always taking away the nice things..." The diatribe apparently needed to be confronted, because she was really getting into the swing of things.
"Anaya, that's whining and complaining. You know there are consequences for that." I calmly spanked her, eliciting further anguish. When I tried to reason with her, she demanded, "Mommy, don't talk until I tell you that you can."
"What?" I spanked her again. "That's completely disrespectful, Anaya! You know better than to talk like that."
Apparently deciding to discharge all her ammunition in one battle, Anaya unleashed her clincher. "I think Daddy married the wrong Mommy!"
Saralyn and I suddenly found it necessary to look other directions. "Anaya," I managed, "I'm afraid that means another spank."
"Oh, no, Mommy," was her hasty (and futile) defense, "I think he married the right one after all!"
Monday, March 16, 2009
"Help me make good choices. Help me be good boy," he began. "T'ank you for toys we pyayed wiv on Daddy's chair. T'ank you for food. T'ank you for juice. Help Skyer not to die again [?!]. Help Mommy not to die again. And..." he sighed, "You wemember the rest. Amen."
"Seth," I reminded him, "Skyler just asked for that book."
"He doesn't want it," he assured me, " he wants this one." He handed Skyler Good Marriages Take Time.
But I do have a secret that makes a huge difference. Here's an example: This morning I was up at 5:50 and off to the gym. I'd only been up once with the kids in the night, but I had still only gotten about 6 hours of sleep. After devotions, shower and breakfast, I went back to bed at 8:30 and woke up at 10:30. And what was happening with my kids during that time? Here's a clue of what I saw in the kitchen when I came out.
At the meetings, you may expect to hear us before you see us. Our row promises to be a little lively. (Any babysitting volunteers? We will be easy to find, somewhere at the back.) It might sound like we're speaking in tongues, too, but hopefully our shouts won't be Pentecostal. And hopefully Mommy and Daddy can get a blessing too.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Tonight Anaya was asking Saralyn for some food for supper. "Can I have butter on my waffle?" she queried.
"Can I have butter on my waffle?" echoed Seth.
"Sethie," Anaya heaved an exaggerated sigh. "Do you have to keep concentrating me?"
I first noticed this at my parents' house at Christmas. The best place for Skyler's Pack-n-Play was right next to the bed in the bedroom. However, this meant that he was close enough to the bed to climb out all by himself. This intoxicating power trip had to be repeated over and over, no mattter what consequences he suffered. I thought we had won the battle one night, but when I came in to check on him, I found he had succumbed one more time, but was so tired out he fell asleep halfway through his escape. I had to capture that on film.
Climbing into his booster seat at the table is another such issue. Lifting him into it instead of letting him climb in by himself is seen as the equivalent of swaddling him in a baby blanket. "NOOO! I wan' do it by self!" he shrieks in anguish. He must slide out and then immediately climb in, "by self." Swimming is another such issue. "No, Mommy," he assures me, trying to writhe out of my grasp. "I wan' s'im by self." Climbing into the bathtub? No matter how cold the side of the tub, he MUST slither his own bare bottom over the edge into the water, with no aid from Mommy. Any touch from my hand necessitates a complete exit from the water, both feet planted on the bathroom rug, and then a re-entry into the water "by self."
Bedtime is another common Last Stand. No sooner do I deposit him in his bed, turn out the lights and close the door, than he pops out and dashes across to Seth's bed. "Mommy, Skyer got out of his bed," is a familiar cry from the bedroom. (Seth finds this delightful--himself being the good boy, and Skyler getting disciplined--but that's another battle.) I heave a sigh and return to deposit the flailing child in either his own bed (with a solid spank), or in his Pack-n-Play, amid cries of, "I don' wike it! Wan' s'eep in big boy bed, not baby bed!" Or I see the lights being switched on and off (the light switch was unluckily placed on the wall right above the only place that will work for Skyler's bed).
The other night I heard strange mutterings coming from down the hall long after bedtime. Sure enough, the light was on in the boys' room. I ground my teeth (this was about the fourth time that night) and stomped to the room to open the door. A merry sleeper-clad Skyler was perched on Seth's bed, book in hand, "reading" animatedly to the slumbering Seth, who had apparently signed off long ago.
Well, I know that children inherit their parents' weaknesses, and I'm not going to deny this one. I guess this is how God uses our children to purge out our weaknesses! I see myself in my son's eyes, defying God as He offers His help. "No," I assure Him, assaulting impossible obstacles in my foolish self-confidence. "I wan' do it by self." Overcome sin? Use time wisely all day? Keep from getting irritated? No problem! Surely I can do all of those today, by self.
Soon finished making the children's beds, she flounced into the living room where Alan and I were chortling over her antics, and sat down unperturbed on the couch beside Daddy. "Let's talk about the children," she invited. A brief discussion followed, of which I caught telltale morsels about the children who "didn't come out of her tummy, just came out of the closet." Soon the talk with her husband was finished, so she sauntered over to me. "What do you want to pretend you are, Mommy?"
"I'm a wild, irresponsible college student without a care in the world," I responded.
Alan laughed from the couch. "I'm afraid the illusion isn't going to last long."
"No," Anaya suggested, "why don't you pretend you're like Saralyn. You are a person who stays with the children, so we can go bye-bye. And then, when you go bye-bye, we stay with the children."
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
"Does it all get black for a few seconds?" Alan queried. "And then do you start seeing spots of pink and purple?" (My husband is good at this.)
"Yes," Anaya breathed. "How did you know?"
"Is it happening to you now?" I put in.
There was a short pause. "Yes, it is!" she shouted.
I looked back and saw her in the back seat, eyes squinted shut tightly. But the suspense of not being able to see what was going on was too much. Soon one eye opened cautiously. "Sometimes it just happens to one eye, and then the other," she added. "Like, right now it is just one eye."
"You can relax, Anaya," I assured her. "The problem is not with your eye. It's behind your eye."
"What's behind my eye?"
She wasn't going to be satisfied that easily. "But what about my other eye?"
"The problem is behind that one too."
"Wow!" she blurted. "You mean I have two brains?"
I had just told Anaya that we had a visitor coming to stay with us, one she didn't know. "Oh, goody!" she squealed. Then, out of the blue, "What color of skin does he have? I hope it's chocklit!"