Thursday, November 19, 2009

Circular reasoning

"Skyler announced a newfound skill to me this morning. "I 'pin awound!" He spun in circles to demonstrate.

"Careful, Sweetie," I warned. "You might fall down."

"I 'pin awound so the house can 'pin awound, Mommy," he explained, zooming around again. Then he stopped and looked around. See, now the house is 'pinning!"

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

At least he's honest

Today I set Skyler on my lap to cut his fingernails. After a couple of fingers, he began squirming.

"Skyler, sit still," I ordered. "I'm trying to cut your fingernails."

"I can't, Mommy," he protested. "I'm going pee-pee!"

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Object lessons from a 6-year-old

Today we drove by a tree that had lost a branch during the windstorm last night. It was evident at a glance that the wind was not the real problem, though. The heart of the branch had rotted out, and even though it was covered with leaves and buds, it had not been able to withstand the wind.

I pointed it out to the kids. "Anaya," I asked, "what does that teach you?"

"That's just like how Satan gets into our hearts!" she exclaimed. "He starts out small--I'm sure that started out tiny! But then he makes us do bigger and bigger bad things."


Yesterday Anaya announced at lunch, "Mommy, I don't think you should kill the ants anymore."

"Why not?"

"Because I can watch them, and then I will learn how to work hard!"

Out of the mouth of babes

Today we were discussing the tragedy at Fort Hood with the man who shot several people. "What happened?" asked Anaya.

"There were some people who were working to make our country a safe country, and to stop bad people," I explained. "A bad man killed some of them."

Anaya's eyes glinted. "Jesus will give him what he deserves," she spat. "Fire and brimstone!"

Friday, November 6, 2009

Parker Brothers Games

The boys have a new favorite sport, one in which they engage regularly every day. It could be called a game, I guess. But the problem is, it's only fun when someone isn't having fun.

Here's an example of it from yesterday's breakfast.

"You a napkin!" Seth launched the first missile.

Skyler was quick to react. "I not a nakkin! Mommy! Sethie called me a nakkin! I not a nakkin!"

"Are you a napkin, Skyler?"

"No, I not!"

"So don't worry about it. Sethie's just being silly."

Wrong words. "Sethie, you silly!"

Now Seth is in anguish at being so cruelly attacked. "I not silly! Mommy..." The wails begin.

Finally I tired of hearing it and positioned a row of cereal boxes between the two of them. Seth couldn't bear this. He leaned out as far as he could, trying to peer around the barrier to re-establish abrasive communication.

"Seth, leave Skyler alone. You're not allowed to talk to him."


Well, I guess at least they're playing together, right?

Not quite...or quiet...

The other day Anaya mused, "Wow, Mommy, this house must have been so quiet before we came out of your tummy!"

"We didn't live in this house back then, remember?" I told her. "We lived in California."

Oh, yes," she sighed. "But you must have been so bored and lonely back then!"

Right! I must have forgotten. There's a reason that when Alan and I sing one of our wedding songs, there is a line that invariably makes us laugh as we apply it to our kids. "I will be here when you feel like being quiet..."

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Spanking clean

Tonight I popped two little boys into the bathtub and left them for a few moments while I cleaned the kitchen. I returned just in time to see Skyler pour a cup of water over the edge of the bathtub, forming two neat waterfalls, one down into the bathtub and the other, naturally, onto the tile floor. I shrieked and then realized that this was not the first time this delightful event had taken place, since water was already spilling out into the hallway from the bathroom.

I picked my way gingerly into the bathroom, spluttering threats and wrestling towels from the cupboard. I pulled first one, then the other from the bathtub and swatted their dripping bottoms, all the while trying to stay calm and explain to them the consequence for deliberately pouring water all over the bathroom floor again. We sopped up the water and I marched them, still dripping, to the bedroom to get dressed, amid wailed protests about how desperately they needed a bath tonight.

"Seth," I continued, vainly trying to remonstrate as I pulled pajamas over his head, "what you did was just like Adam and Eve. Remember? They knew God didn't want them to eat the fruit, but they ate it anyway. That's rebellion."

"Oh," responded my mournful little man. "Did they get a spank too?"

Irresistible force meet immovable logic

"Mommy," Anaya asked me tonight as we were cleaning the playroom together, "how many hairs are on my head?"

"Only Jesus knows," I responded.

"But couldn't you count them?"

"There are too many to count. I don't have time."

"But I want to know!"

"Count them yourself."

I watched as she pulled a tuft of hair forward and studied it for a few seconds. "Mommy, I'm tired of counting," she concluded. "You count them."

"I have too much to do. I'm not counting the hairs on your head. Anyway, by the time I got them all counted, some would have fallen out." Mommies are so logical.

"Maybe they won't fall out."

"They do. Whenever you brush your hair, hairs fall out."

"Then I will just never brush my hair, and you can count them all."

"Anaya, I'm not counting your hairs! And even if you didn't brush them, hairs would still fall out."

She pondered this. "But we could wait until one was about to fall out, and then tape it on."

"Anaya." I sighed. "Remember how much it hurt when I pulled off the big Band-Aid that was stuck to the hairs on your arm? Tape hurts when it comes off of hairs."

"But what if we put the tape on a dead person's hair? Would it hurt them?"

Monday, November 2, 2009

Fun is in the eye of the beholder?

This past Sabbath, Alan had to haul a howling Skyler out of church. He passed a friend on the way, and she gave him a knowing smile. Skyler, seeing this exchange, caught her eye and glared at her. "It NOT FUNNY!" he growled.

Potty parties

Boys seem to have a perennial fascination with bodily functions--or is it just me? This has led to a preoccupation with being able to flush the potty, and careful dividing of the privilege so that all get their turns to flush. Especially when there is something exciting to flush!

This afternoon Seth went potty, advertising to all concerned that he was going to "make guckies." Skyler peered excitedly into the potty afterward and announced, "There are no guckies!"

"He probably just had gas," I explained.

"Oh. Can I fwush the gas?"


A couple of weeks ago I had a brilliant idea for how to maximize the boys' interests and use them to facilitate learning. I gathered all of our homeschool boys (5 of them, ages 1-3) in the bathroom with some food coloring and demonstrated how the water goes from the back of the potty into the bowl. We put a couple of drops in the back of the toilet, flushed and oohed and aahed at the glorious blue water. Then we added a couple of drops of red food coloring and transformed the potty water into purple. Another flush and we were on our way to making green! The results were thrilling to all concerned, and the boys did seem to understand the concepts (both of how the potty works and how different colors mix to make other colors).

Problems: I discovered food coloring needs a little stirring to mix well. Just what I wanted, to teach them to stick things into the potty to stir....And of course, I didn't think about all of them begging to put food coloring into the potty for days afterward every time they used it.