Wednesday, January 6, 2010

This rings a bell

Seth and Skyler, as typical brothers only 13 1/2 months apart, struggle with not a little competition between them. This is evidenced currently in both of them needing to play with exactly the same toy at exactly the same time. All the time.

Yesterday Skyler had a bell that was, apparently, the only thing in the entire world that Seth needed for happiness and prosperity. Amid his wails, I pointed to a toy car on the floor. "Look, Seth," I reasoned with him, "there's the car that Skyler was playing with twenty minutes ago that was the only thing in the entire world you wanted to play with. There it is! He's not playing with it!" And then the clincher, "If you get your hands on it before he does, you can play with it!"

The sobs stopped at that compelling statement. He marched over to the car and snatched it.

"There's the helicopter beside it," I added. "They can play together. Hey, you can go get as many toys as you want from the playroom, and play with them all! Why would you need that bell? You can go be selfish."

Such words of admonition were, of course, going to be heeded. (What obedient children I have, when I appeal to their lower natures!) Within a minute Seth came waddling back into the room, carrying such an armload of toys he could never hope to play with a single one of them in his current situation. "Seth," I chortled. "Why do you have all of those toys? You can't play with them all at once!"

"I have them all," he spat, "so Skyer can't have any of dem."

"Why are you carrying them all?"

"So Skyer will be sad." (Well, at least he's honest!) "You said I could be selfiss!"

"Well, apparently, you can. But is being selfish making you happy?"

He pondered for a moment. "Yes!"

Oh well. Despite my explanations of how playing by himself would not be fun for long, I'm not sure he got the point. Some lessons must be learned over time, I guess....

Getting off on the right foot

I've heard that there's a learning disability in which you have difficulty remembering numbers, and you confuse your left and right. If that's so, I must confess, I definitely have it. I can remember the whole joke, but I'll never know for sure if it was 5000 or 50,000 or 500,000 in the punchline. I can't remember phone numbers from places I lived for years. And although I can remember how to spell nearly every word I've ever seen, I can't remember a number much longer than it takes to look away.

And then there's right and left. If I say my gut reaction as to which way to turn ("Go right here, Honey!") I'm nearly always wrong. For me, right is left and left is right, and if I want to know which one is which I have to wiggle the finger of the hand I write with (right). Seriously. This is not the least bit helpful when I'm trying to navigate for my husband on unfamiliar country roads. I have to resort to "this way" and "that way."

Sooo...not wanting to pass on this unfortunate trait to my children, I've been working with them on left and right already. They seem to be doing well so far. Tonight I told Skyler, "Put your left foot up." He did so successfully, probably faster than I could have done in his shoes (pardon the pun). :D "Very good!" I congratulated him.

"And dat one," he added, pointing to his right foot, "is my wong foot."

Sweet six, already been kissed...

Yup, my suspicions were confirmed--they've eloped. Again.

It happened yesterday evening. I came around the corner to find Anaya and Seth holding hands, face to face. "We just got married, Mommy!" Anaya squealed.

"Really," I responded. "Shouldn't you have let Daddy at least come home to marry you?"

"We didn't need a pastor," she giggled. "We already knew what to do without him. He would just say, 'Do you marry him?' and I would say yes, and then he would say, 'Do you marry her?' and he would say yes. Then he would say, 'Do you restore her in sickness and in health?' and 'Do you restore him in sickness and in health?'"

"Did you kiss?" I asked, noting the matching jelly stains beside both mouths.


I left it at that--I don't want to know how. Suffice it to say, I don't think the relationship will be long-term. This all happened only a couple of hours after a suppertime conversation in which Seth asked me, "Mommy, will you make a sign for our door that says, 'No girls allowed in Sethie and Skyler's room? We don't want her in there."

Monday, January 4, 2010

Home sweet home?

We've been gone for six days, and while it was a lot of fun, it's good to get home and unpack occasionally. My kids are not very good at long drives, and know how to express this eloquently, even without the letter "L" ("This is taking such a yoooong time, Mommy!"), but we managed. Last night after about three hours of driving, Seth began to doubt his parents' directional abilities. "Mommy," he said in concern, "I think we missed the house."

Skyler, however, had the opposite concern. Undoubtedly many of his thrills with being on the road were due to the escalators and elevators at the hotel in Louisville, but he loved being around people and seeing new things everywhere. When we drove into Collegedale and he started recognizing familiar landmarks, he said, "Mommy, I want to stay where we stayed yast day!"

Child labor laws, anyone?

Today is the first day that Saralyn went to work. That is, somewhere that she gets paid. :D That means that I am going to shoulder more of the housework around here! Bless her heart, Saralyn has been such a lifesaver for the past year, and we love having her as a part of our family! But now I'm going to feel it.

This morning I fed, then bathed everyone, dressed them all and started unpacking from our week away. I made a list as long as my finger of just the NECESSARY things to do today, then began chipping away at them. Shower, buy groceries, unpack, make lunch, clean's kinda overwhelming. While I was in the boys' room putting things away, Seth wandered in howling for something. Trying to distract him from his imaginary crisis, I suggested, "Seth, I want you to go put these shoes away in the shoe basket."

"He accepted the armful of pint-sized shoes grudgingly. "Why do I have to do all the work around here?" he grumbled.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A nameless dilemma

We are at the Generation of Youth for Christ convention in Louisville right now. This is a great time to meet up with old friends and to make new ones. Anaya has, of course, maximized that opportunity by making a new friend that she adores. We were blessed to have the Owitis in the room next to us, and their little girl Melissa is Anaya's new friend.

Anaya came to me the first day after she met Melissa, wide-eyed with joy. "I made a new friend, Mommy!" she exclaimed. "And do you know what? She has chocolate skin!"

It seems it's easier to make friends than to remember their names, however. I keep asking Anaya what her friend's name is, and she nonchalantly says, "I forget." Though she wants to play with her all day, every day (and pleaded this morning for us to stay five more days, so she can play with her longer), it's not important to her to remember her name.

This morning I admonished her again, "You need to remember Melissa's name, instead of just calling her 'my friend' all the time."

"It's okay, Mommy," she assured me. "Since I can't remember her name, I'll just ask her if it's all right if I call her Naomi."