Monday, April 27, 2009

Parker Brothers games continue

I don't think I should have had two boys so close together.

Especially Parker boys.

Let's the last few days, I have:

Thrown them out of the garden.
Found them brushing their teeth in their bathroom, with their toothpaste, but with our toothbrushes, cleverly stolen from our bathroom. This was being done while sitting on the counter with their feet in the sink with water running in it, again.
Had to separate them umpteen times at bedtime (think, every night but one for the last week) and make Skyler go to sleep in his Pack-n-Play in our room, thanks to them standing up and gleefully bounding around their beds every time I put them to bed and walk out of the room.
Caught Skyler umpteen times after he has climbed out of his Pack-n-Play to return to his "bog boy bed," as he calls it.
Thrown them out of the garden again.
Rescued the broken tomato plant from my garden, which Seth assures me "Skyer byoke," not him. It's in water in the windowsill in the living room now.
Thrown them out of the windowsill where they had spilled the water of said tomato plant.
Found them standing by the road (thank God for the "it's quiet around here" sixth sense).
Discovered (too late) that Skyler fell into a hole about three feet deep in the yard. (Thankfully, he was unhurt, just soaked to the knees. Again.) Seth was the one to alert me to this situation, nonchalantly informing me, "Skyer fell in the dirty water." Sure enough, when I raced to the door to check, he was sauntering up the driveway, soaking wet.
Thrown them out of the windowsill where they had spilled the tomato plant's water again, and sopped up the water once more.
Found Skyler standing on a stool stirring a bottle of grape juice with the handle of a spoon.
Stopped both of them from ripping all the leaves off a decorative bush by our porch.
Rescued (or tried to rescue) my herbs as the boys gleefully marched through my garden again.
Tried (in vain) to vacuum around the two of them, who plant themselves directly in front of the vacuum and laugh like maniacs while I try to get the dirt out from under them.
Found them pouring Bragg's Liquid Aminos (a healthful soy sauce substitute) on apples and eating them. (?!) (They had already finished off the lemon juice onto the apples--the bottle was lying empty on the floor.)
Discovered Skyler on the laundry room counter, having used a bar stool to climb up, and peering into the washing machine looking for the water. ("It all gone.")
Found them gleefully climbing all over big stumps in the bushes, just beginning to get tangled in the blackberry bush thorns. (I caught them just in time to keep them from getting hurt.)
Found them stealing biscuits from a platter.
Cleaned up after they both threw their plates full of food on the floor, laughing like maniacs at each other's apparently incredibly funny antics.
Repeatedly tried to stop them from poking their fingers through a hole in the screen door.
Listened to hundreds of "cookie!" jokes, which consist of replacing some word in a sentence with "cookie." That, apparently, is very funny to a three-year-old. VERY funny. So funny that it's been going on for weeks now. "Mommy wants to read her...COOKIE! Ahahahaha!"
Had to discipline amid repeated giggles. No matter how sobering their consequence, the fact that they BOTH got in trouble, and BOTH had a blast doing it, seems to outweigh all of Mommy's remonstrations.

And so on. The upside of this is, they consider each other hilarious, and are becoming best friends, which is why I wanted to have them close together. (Although, not THIS close together, for sure.)

Still, it's really sweet to see them show love to each other. Yesterday we went to visit some friends who have sheep. Seth, always the wary one, grabbed Skyler and pulled him away from the fence as the sheep approached. "He hurt you!" he warned.

And today, Seth came to me after my stern warnings about not getting close to the road (which, fortunately, isn't very busy anyway). "I sowy I went to the woad, Mommy," he apologized. So something's getting through somewhere, anyway....


I overheard Anaya and her friend Aileana discussing consequences the other day.

"My grandma doesn't give me consequences," Anaya boasted to Aile.

"Since you know you should get consequences when you make bad choices," I suggested, "maybe you should tell Grandma when she doesn't give them to you, that you need them."

(Right, Mommy.)

"No," Anaya was quick to answer, "I like her just the way she is."

O Brave One

During lunch last week, Anaya spotted a wasp banging its head against the window. "Mommy, a wasp!" she blurted in horror. "Let's let Daddy get it. He's the brave one."

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Parker Brothers games, inc.

And in case you're wondering why I don't blog much...

I sat down a little while ago to write the previous blog. Within minutes I heard a crash. Suspicious, I checked the bathroom. Sure enough, there sat two gleeful little boys on the forbidden bathroom counter. The water was running in the sink, and both of them had their feet in it, complete, of course, with sopping little socks and jeans. Almost everything that had previously been on the counter was now on the floor (candles, shells, etc.), with the exception of two Anne Geddes pictures, which were lying face down on the counter, being used as seat cushions for two soggy bottoms. Beautiful. (I took them out of their frames and hopefully they'll dry out. Any chance water stains may become an in-style antiquing effect?)

I spanked, cleaned up, and changed two moderately repentant (at best) little boys into their pajamas (hey, it's already 5 pm, why waste another two outfits?). Then I deposited soaked clothes in the laundry and sat down at the computer again to try to finish. Within seconds I heard pounding feet and something about the sound of them made me get up to investigate again. Sure enough, they were now in the forbidden bay window, stomping around among the pictures, lamps and African memorabilia.

So now they're watching a video. Call me a neglectful mom. I'm trying to protect the furniture. Or my sanity.

Bilingual already?

Anaya has listened very attentively to my explicit orders to stay out of our newly planted garden, or when in it, to stick religiously to the pathways. So far she hasn't stepped on anything in it (knock on wood). She has tried to keep her brothers out of it too, and so far no one has squashed anything. I credit her scrupulous guardianship, at least partly.

Yesterday Anaya spotted a stray dog bounding through our yard, headed for the garden. She dashed outside, shouting, "Don't walk through our garden! You might step on the plants!"

"He can't understand our language, Anaya," Saralyn explained.

Anaya was undaunted. With identical intonation, she bellowed, "Woof woof woof, woof woof woof!"

Thursday, April 16, 2009

It's all in the way you look at it

Seth is my everlasting literalist, my budding accountant. He thoughtfully files away all details to be pondered. I find it hilarious when he comes to me, sometimes days later, to ask me somberly about an occurrence.

For example, my friend Harry came to stay with us a few weeks ago. He mentioned something in passing, saying, "I'd be tickled to death if..."

Days later, a poker-faced Seth came to me. "Mommy," he queried, "why Uncle Harry said he be tickled to death?" His sober blue eyes peered up at me. "He die?"

Yesterday, Seth was listening to a story that mentioned an orange tree. Later, he came to me and announced, "That a silly stowy."

"Why did you think it was a silly story, Sethie?" I asked.

"Because dere no owange twees!" He giggled. "Twees are byown!"

(OK, just in case that's unintelligible in writing, that sounds like "brown.")

Monday, April 13, 2009

Legislated morality?

Yesterday I asked Anaya to go outside to pick some wild onions for our soup, a job that usually brings great delight. However, being in a lazy mood, she began to whine and argue, which soon culminated in a little trip to bed for a ten-minute time out (a fitting consequence for insisting she was far "too tired to help Mommy," I thought). When I came to let her out, I asked if her attitude had improved.

"Mommy," she began, pulling out a little Post-It note with a drawing on it, "see this picture? Over here, see this sad face?" She pointed to a mournful stick figure on the far right (her current drawing style makes them look a little like jellyfish). "That's Jesus. He's sad because of how you're treating me." She paused to evaluate if her artwork was having the desired effect. (It was not.) "See this person here?" she pointed to the very cheerful-looking stick figure on the far left. "That's you. You're happy about how you're treating me." She poked the one in the middle. "That's Satan. He's happy too."

"Well, Anaya, that's very interesting," I answered, getting up from her bed. "I can see you need more time out. But tell me," I was really struggling to keep a straight face, "why do mommies and daddies have to give their children consequences when they make bad choices?"

"Because it says to in the Bible," she growled, "in the law. But Satan wrote that." (Is it just me, or does my daughter do everything 110%?)

"That shows me that you need more time in your bed," I responded, "because you know that is a lie."

"It's not a lie!" she protested as I disappeared down the hall. "It's not a lie! Oh, wait, it is! I'm sorry!" This, all in one breath, was followed immediately by, "Can I get out now?"

We compromised. I asked for a revised drawing, which was produced with remarkable rapidity, and explained very cheerfully. Here it is for your enjoyment. That's Jesus on the left. It was also, very fortunately, followed by a prayer thanking God for telling mommies and daddies to "give children consequences."

Sunday, April 12, 2009

One more lap around the house

Sibling rivalry is still alive at our house. (I know you're shocked.) A few nights ago during worship, the boys had a big fight because Seth was pretending to pick pictures off of the pages of the book and eat them. Not to be outdone, Skyler started doing it too. This was, of course, followed by battling over who had "eaten" which picture first.

Another worship recently, Skyler clambered into my lap at the beginning. Daddy wasn't here, so that left Seth and Anaya spots on the couch. "I want to sit on you yap!" Seth wailed.

"Sethie, you and Skyler can take turns," I reminded him. "This is Skyler's turn."

Seth had a better solution. "Mommy," he pleaded, "go to the store and buy more yaps!"

This is your conscience yelling

"Skyler, don't touch that!" Anaya warned him this morning. "I'm watching you! Be sure your sins will find you out!"

Monday, April 6, 2009


Tonight I asked Seth a question, but received no answer. Within a few seconds, he sneezed. "I couldn't answer, Mommy," he then explained. "I was byessing."

Friday, April 3, 2009

The people don't have a mind to work

This morning I had a very frustrating time getting the kids to do anything toward creating a cleaner house. Afer several discipline sessions, ardent claims of exhaustion, and such, I warned Anaya and Seth sternly that the playroom needed to be cleaned.

"But Mommy," Seth responded, picking up his Sippy cup, "I need to dwink so I will be helfy and stwong."


Skyler is in love with creeping things.

Creepy things.


Most notably, he is enchanted with ants. This is unfortunate, given that we are facing a sudden plague of them in our playroom. Several times a day he dashes to me, eyes wide with delight. "Mommy, wook! I have an ant!" The poor ant has often already gone to his eternal rest by this time, and is lying in the palm of his chubby hand. I ooh and aah over the poor creature appropriately. "Here, Mommy," he offers generously, "You hold it!" I hold out my hand and he empties the grim little carcass into it, proud of his hunting ability. Then I return it to him, where he gazes at it in quiet awe. "I wan' keep," he announces, setting off to stash it somewhere.

Of course, he can't make it very far without dropping it. "I d'op it, Mommy!" he will shriek inevitably, at which point I either have to get down on my hands and knees to search for the little crumpled body, or assure him that he can find another one. (Sorry, other ant.)

The other day he was out playing on the porch and dashed inside in sheer glee. "Mommy, wook! I foun' a calapillar!" Sure enough, the poor thing was pinched between his fingers. "Augh--wonderful!" I managed. "Don't squish it! Here, give it to me." I showed him how to hold it gently and let it crawl across his hand (thankfully this critter was still alive). Then we allowed it to carefully scoot onto his hand (have I mentioned how dumb caterpillars are?). We carried it outside and he reverently allowed it to go free.

The wonder and joy in his eyes almost paid for the creepy feeling of having a potentially squishy animal above my living room carpet.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A new cult?

Yesterday trying to dress Skyler was like wrestling an armful of snakes. "Skyler, hold still! I need to put your clothes on!"

"No!" he protested. "I want to be a noonist!"