Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Facing the problem

Skyler is learning to dress himself. Hooray! My youngest child is gaining independence! With potty training behind us, this is the next groundbreaking cause for celebration.

But it is not without its pitfalls. For instance, he is consistent at getting his clothes on backwards. Yes, consistent. This is not a 50%-of-the-time thing. EVERY SINGLE TIME he dresses himself, he comes out with his clothes on backward. Alan watched him the other day and explained to me--Skyler holds the shirt up in front of him, turns it so he can see the front of it, then smugly puts it on. Simple. Except the learning-to-do-it-right part, which is not so simple.

The other day, I attempted to help him correct his problem. "Honey, your underwear are on backward," I explained, showing him that the little dinosaur was in the front and the fly in the back. "You need to turn them around."

He peered down over his bellybutton in astonishment, then very sensibly grabbed the waistband and heaved it to the left.

"No, Sweetie, you have to take your legs out of the holes to turn them around." (How do I say these things without bursting into laughter and bruising little egos? I wasn't entirely successful, but I tried...)

Distracted by other responsibilities, I left him to his devices briefly (OK, was that a pun?), coming back to find him with his underwear on correctly, but his shirt and pants on backward as usual. Even his socks were upside down. "Sweetheart, your clothes are on backward again. You need to turn them around."

"Yeah," Anaya observed, walking past. "You look like you put your head on backward."

Sunday, March 27, 2011

In love...

Last week the kids and I went for a walk on the Greenway, a popular sidewalk here that winds through the woods. Seth was borrowing a scooter from a friend and racing ahead, then pausing to wait for the rest of us, watching people go by as he sat on the side of the sidewalk.

Once when I caught up with him, he announced to me excitedly, "Mommy, I am getting in love with people!"

"Really? How are you doing that?" I asked.

"When people go past me, I smile at them," he answered, "and they smile back at me. Then we get love together! So I am getting in love with people!"

A man that hath friends...

For Skyler right now, a hundred is the biggest number imaginable. "Is it a hundwed yong?" "Will it be a hundwed minutes?" "Is it going to be a hundwed days?" are regular questions nowadays at our house.

"Do I have a hundwed fwiends?" he asked me the other day.

"Well, Sweetie, probably," I reasoned, "if you count your grownup friends. You have Annie, and Zeke..."

"And Jeff!" he pointed out.

"...And Monkey Man, and Erica...yes, I think you have a hundred friends."

He paused to think. "Are there more than a hundwed people in the world?"

"Yes, Sweetie, there are."

"Are they all my fwiends?"

"No, they're not, because they don't all know you."

"But if they knowed me," he assured me, "they would all be my fwiends!"

Cross-cultural miscommunication

Yesterday I had to be out of church briefly to deal with a little issue with Skyler. When I returned, special music was being played--a double feature with "Deep River" followed by "Balm in Gilead," as I discovered. Anaya gave me a whispered update on the proceedings.

"It's time for the song now, Mommy," she informed me. "Don't worry--they said it's a spiritual song." She paused. "Is this Bomb in the Galley?"

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Freedom is coming

We've been studying slavery and civil rights for some time at our house. I don't know how much good it is doing, though. This week Skyler found a piece of string and began waving it around in delight. "Yook, Mommy," he exclaimed. "I have a whip! Now I can have some slaves."