Sunday, May 23, 2010

A pretty penny

Anaya came to me yesterday morning during my devotions and dropped a penny on the bed beside me. "Mommy, this is for Skyler."

Even though I'm old, I catch on quickly sometimes. "So you're buying him from me?"

"Yes," she smiled smugly.

"I'm afraid he costs more than that," I responded. "It'll cost $30,000."

She pondered. "How about five?"

A little while later she came back with a dollar bill, which she pointed out had a seven written on it so should be worth even more than a dollar. I was unmoved. "That's fine," she retorted, "I'll sell my scrapbook. How much did you want for Skyler?" She brought me a piece of paper, requesting that I write out the price for her. "Anaya, that's more than Daddy makes in over half a year," I explained.

"But I can make that much money easily," she laughed. "I'll just make things and sell them!"

A little while later, Seth came shrieking to me complaining that Anaya had taken the dollar bill that he was playing with. "Well, you could solve this easily, Seth," I responded. "Just tell her you're not going to marry her."

He glared at Anaya. "Anaya, I'm not going to mawwy you!"

"Well, I'm going to marry you anyway. I love you."

But three minutes later her tune changed (what a woman!). "I'm going to marry Skyler now!"

I found Seth wailing disconsolately outside my bedroom door shortly thereafter. "What's wrong, Bud?" I asked the rejected suitor.

"I want the money!"

That evening, I told my sister the tale. "Ah!" she laughed, "that explains why Anaya showed me her scrapbook and then offered to sell it to me for $30,000."

Presents of mind

Since I'm helping coordinate a wedding this week, I've been doing some shopping for wedding things. Anaya wanted to know how she could get in on the action. "Mommy, how come she gets all of the presents? I want some presents too."

"Anaya, she's getting married," I responded. "You're not."

"Well, I'm going to marry Sethie," she burst out. (Why am I not surprised?) "Sethie, let's get married! Then we can get presents. We can adopt Skyler as our son."

The boys were eager to go forward with this plot to alter our family, so they joined exuberantly in the fun. Anaya planned to wear her white dress (which she's supposed to wear as a miniature bride next week). Despite my vain attempts at foolish things like logic, she declared that this would be a "real marriage."

"Anaya, why don't you wait until Daddy is here for your wedding?" I asked at last.

"You had three weddings," she pointed out wisely. "I'm going to have two. Daddy can be at the other one."

"I'm going to have fwee weddings," Skyler cut in. "I'm going to mawwy Daddy and Sawah and Daniewwa."

"You can't marry Daddy!" Anaya retorted. "By the time you're old enough to marry, Daddy will be dead."

Thursday, May 20, 2010

My little songbird

Seth loves to sing. My little melancholy, he started singing when he was only about 4 months old, crooning tunelessly as we sang at family worships. Now he is starting to make up his own songs, which he merrily sings to himself as he wanders around the house. A few of the lyrics have floated to my ears...

"Share, share, shaaaaare. I will kiss your owies. I will be kind and loving. Jesus wants us to share, so I will always share."


I have been trying to impress on my little men and lady the glories of chivalry. Seth has become especially proficient at opening doors for me and refusing to go through them until I have gone first. (Have I mentioned lately what a jewel he is?) :D

This week the boys discovered how a handicapped button can be pushed to open a door automatically. "Wow," Skyler breathed as he watched the door open for my mom, "that's a gentleman door!"

You know you have boys when...

...Every visit to a public bathroom, a main topic of conversation is whether the potties flush automatically or have "fyushers."

...Every time they get out of the car your children pry dried earthworms off of the cement of the parking lot and examine them.

Relaxing those pwonunciation wules

I love how r's become w's and l's become y's for Skyler. I'm really going to miss it someday. This morning when I sat down to read to the boys, Skyler reached up and stroked my hair. "Mommy, wee-yax!"

Stop bugging me

My children have been thrilled with the assortment of bugs they have found this spring in and around the house. They regularly come shrieking to me to come see something that's hopping or crawling under a bed. Yesterday they found a cricket and swooped down on me yelling for me to come catch it and put it outside. "Hey, Cricket," Anaya yelled, "Mommy's going to arrest you and take you outside!"

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Pick your battles

This morning I was high on a ladder, picking cherries from my dad's tree, when Seth came to me with a request. "Mommy, can you get me a drink of water?"

"Sethie, I'm almost done up here," I answered. "Can you give me five minutes?"

He pondered. "I'll give you two."

Lesson learned

Being at Grandma and Grandpa’s house affords the unusual opportunity to watch TV. We stay at my grandmother’s usually-vacant house just down the road from my parents’, but we can go to their house to watch. The children’s favorite is America’s Funniest Home Videos, and right after that is Grandma’s favorite, Extreme Home Makeover. Figuring that they would learn something useful about helping others (and feeling lazy about getting up to go home), I let them stay up past bedtime to watch it.

They learned something, all right. “Mommy,” Anaya burst out, “can we move back into our house in Tennessee, so those people can come and wreck it and build us a new house?”

Twenty years from now

If I could prophesy what my children would grow up to be based on their current tendencies, Skyler would definitely be something to do with animals, or “aminals,” as he calls them. (And incidentally, if you call animals “aminals,” and you go to a zoo and see a camel, it’s not much of a jump from “aminal” to “caminal.”) I can’t say he would be a veterinarian, because he is happy enough to torment them (the slug he was poking the other day comes to mind). But he is obsessed with all things “aminal,” and can’t get enough of spiders and snakes, tadpoles and tigers, beetles and bears.

Seth, on the other hand, will be my little doctor or counselor. He is so thoughtful and loving when anyone has an owie or is sad. His tender little heart just melts when someone is hurting. He’s been that way since he was a tiny little guy standing up in his crib, so I think I’m safe in saying compassion is a part of his personality. He also loves to make little jokes and sing, so I guess you could say he will be a multi-talented doctor.

Anaya…is there a salary offered anywhere for “drama queen”? :D No, seriously, she has many other characteristics and talents. I might guess she will be a lawyer (based on her thirst for justice and seeming tireless enjoyment of arguing). She shows tremendous artistic interest, though not a notably unusual talent yet. Probably my best bet is writer, though. She just loves to make up stories. Hopefully we can nurture that talent in the right direction!

The Sword of the Spiwit?

I make a mighty effort to keep my children from playing with weapons (or making weapons out of everything they play with, to be more accurate). However, as anyone with little boys knows, this is not an easy task. I don’t know if it should be alarming or gratifying, but this week I saw Skyler attempt to use his natural warlike tendencies positively. I overheard him playing with a toy sword at my sister’s house the other day. He pointed it at an imaginary foe. “You have to we-pent! You have disobeyed the Howy Scwiptures!”

Ear me out

Yesterday we went to a nearby animal sanctuary that houses many exotic animals that have been rescued, mostly big cats such as lions and tigers. However, they also have a motley assortment including donkeys, ducks, and even a monkey. When we finished visiting the donkeys, the children waved goodbye to them. “Yook, Mommy,” Skyler squealed, “the donkeys waved back wif their ears!”

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Eat your heart out

Since we're in Arkansas right now visiting my parents, I had the privilege of leaving my kids with my mom for a few hours today. I called to see how it was going, and Mom said Anaya had been talking back. After several problems, Mom warned her that if she continued, she would be sent to bed without any lunch. Anaya was horrified. "You can't do that!"

"What do you think your mother would do if you talked to her like that?"

"She'd spank me and send me to bed," Anaya responded. "But she wouldn't starve me to death! Then she'd be so sad if I was dead. And if you sent me to bed without eating, when I woke up I'd be so hungry I'd eat every single thing in this house!"

Friday, May 7, 2010

Slips and snails and puppy dog tails...

You know they're boys when:

You overhear them arguing with other little boys over whose mommy can drive her minivan faster.

You let them pick any cool kids' book in the store and they grab one instantly and say, "I want dis one with dinosaurs on it! Dey have yots of BLOOD in da pictures!"

They are asking you at age 3 and 4, "When can I wide a motorcycle?"


"Mommy, what is an ex-pert?" Seth asked me the other day.

"It's someone who knows a lot about something or is very good at it," I answered.

"Oh," he said. "I'm an ex-pert at going vewy fast!"

Saturday, May 1, 2010

At least he's listening...

My husband tells some great children's stories. One he told recently was about a little girl who committed to always telling the truth. When a hunter asked her if she knew where the deer he was chasing had gone, she looked him squarely in the face and announced, "Yes, I know, but I am not going to tell you!"

Later in the day I was disciplining Seth for an incident. As always, I try to appeal to his heart and his little logical mind, so I asked him, "Seth, who made that bad choice--you or me?"

He gazed up at me with tear-filled eyes. "I know, but I'm not going to tell you!"