Tuesday, May 31, 2016

three versus seven

We were talking about our family at the dinner table. One of the kids asked if we would have any more kids, and we told them no, and discussed some reasons why, and how that would change their lives if we did.

Without giving any details, I mentioned that we wouldn't have any more babies, because we were being very careful not to have more babies.

Babs thought about that for a moment, then said "Grammy wasn't very careful."

Monday, May 30, 2016

new attitudes about church

The boy did not want to go to church yesterday. He wanted to go outside and play in the sand. He cried as we headed to church. "I want to stay with daddy," he called out. I would then tell him (again) that Daddy was already at church, and we were going too.

"I not want to go to church!" he said again. Having grown up since Babs said the same thing every Sunday, instead of saying "we go to church, and that's what we do," I explained that we love Heavenly Father, and going to church is one of the ways we can show that. None of this made him want to be at church any more than before.

During Sacrament Meeting, he heard a baby crying. Instead of last week's sweet comment about the sad baby, but he's happy, he said the following: "Hear that sad baby? He not want to be at church." (I may have laughed a little.)

He was happy to be heading off to nursery after sacrament meeting though. Except the building A/C was broken, so we only had Sacrament Meeting. The kids were surprised when we told them we were going home. The boy recovered quickly when I told him he could play in the sand when we got home.

But Babs cried the whole way home, because she couldn't go to primary. She was so sad to miss her "little class." There was no distracting her from her sorrow. The crying was irritating, but it couldn't quite take the joy out of my heart that Babs actually wanted to be at church!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

what's your name?

For many weeks, when the boy was asked his name, he would reply: BOY!

Of course, they would then ask again. Then he would reply: BIG BOY!

 (Well, big boys are stinky, so they use deodorant, probably not their mother's though...)
(And big boys smile.)

And sometimes he is, a big boy that is. For example if he has an potty accident it's because he chooses to, not because he doesn't know how to do it right (which is small consolation in the moment).

But sometimes he is a "small boy." That's when he either a) doesn't want to do things that big boys do (participate in scripture reading, use the potty, come when he's called), or b) can't do the things that big boys do (go to school, reach high things, mow the lawn, etc.) So when he announces to us that "I a small boy" it is either with defiance, or sorrow.

Two. It's a confusing age.

Monday, May 16, 2016

in my ears

The boy is really focusing on what he hears right now. (I have never worried about his hearing.)

He pauses, then says "I hear something in my ears..." This means we have to identify the noise. So I have to stop filtering the background noise, focus on it, and figure out what sound he is paying attention to. I listed a bunch of things the other day, none of which were right.

"It goes 'ti ti'" he said, as I figured it out. "Oh, it's the clock," I said, pointing, where he can see the second hand move with each tick. He was very pleased.

He also hears babies crying. At the store I mentioned that usually means the baby is sad. So now when he hears a baby cry, he tells me, "You hear that baby cry? That baby is sad. I not sad. I happy!"

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

the cheshire cat

The benefit of the prophet getting older is that he gives very short talks, and I can make my kids listen to the entire talk. Which I did for the first two Mondays after General Conference. I gave exactly the same lesson both weeks, once to just Babs and the Boy, and then the week after to all three kids.

I had guessed that the second time through Babs would complain, but she didn't even seem to realize we were hearing it multiple times.

Then a few weeks later she was leafing through the Friend magazine, which had a picture of Alice talking to the Cheshire cat. "Hey," Babs told me, "here's the story Pres. Monson told!"

I was thrilled. She recognized the story. She realized it was associated with the prophet. She could read enough to identify the picture. Oh wow! We may make it!

Monday, May 9, 2016

well contented child

At church, the boy was sitting on my lap. He was being snuggly, sucking his thumb and massaging my neck. Then he leaned over onto his dad's shoulder, and grabbed his neck too, then maneuvered himself so he was snuggling with both of us. He does this often, and also in the morning when he wakes up before we're ready to be out of bed.

I looked at him, and thought "This is a child who is surrounded by love, what a tremendous way for him to start his life." And I was grateful I could provide that for him.


A few days ago he announced to me "cheeks are for kissing!" and I've been taking advantage of that statement ever since. (Not that I wasn't before.)

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

long term to do list

We have a list of things we'd like to get around to doing, but usually don't because we're busy doing the short term to-do items (e.g., feed children, get them to school, buy groceries) or the crisis items (are those termites? let's call a pest control person).

But last Saturday, for Babs' first day as a well person, we weren't ready to do big activities, but we thought we'd do something small. We'd finally get around to opening bank accounts for the children. Except it was huge. We were opening three accounts. And because they're insane they put us with someone in training. She was clearly at the beginning of her training. But then, oops, the person training her didn't know how to open this type of account, and did it wrong, so we had to start again. We spent over an hour in a very small office with two workers, two parents, and three children. (Only four chairs though.) I suspected we may all go crazy.

The good news was that we made it through, and our kids were very well behaved. The boy made it about 30 minutes before he started to crack. Babs made it 45 minutes. Then Kiddo jumped on the band wagon, until my good husband dangled ice cream as a reward, and they all found the remaining minutes of good behavior needed. Had we known, or even suspected, it would be that long we would have brought things for them to do, or brought them individually, or something!

The other good news is that it is finally done. One thing off the long term to-do list done. Only a billion left to go...

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

you know you're sick...

Babs spent most of the month of April sick. First she had a headache. Then she had some sort of tonsil infection. Then a reaction to the antibiotics or a stomach bug, but definitely something that made her throw up. Then she had a headache and general weaknesses. She didn't go to church at all that month. She attended school at most two times each week. (We would think she was getting better, then, oh no!) She took her skinny little body and made it skinnier. And then she had been sick so long that she sort of forgot how to be well.

So we canceled her birthday party. Well, postponed it. We are in fact still waiting to have it. We think she is finally better. We did of course still have her birthday. And she got to stay home for it. What a lucky gal!

Monday, May 2, 2016

sweet music

I just needed 10 minutes to rest. I've been fighting a headache for days now, and I just needed a few minutes. The kids were all playing quietly, it seemed the right moment.

First the boy told me he had spilled his yogurt. And sure enough he had. So we cleaned that up. Then I walked back to my room to try to reclaim the seven minutes I had left.

Then the boy climbed up into the bed with me. "Play kindle?" he asks. My gut reaction was: no! No more screens! But then I thought about how he'd played nicely with the little girl I babysat that afternoon. We'd been outside twice. He helped clean up his snack. And it seemed like maybe it would be okay. But I just wanted to rest...

So I told him: I need to rest. You cannot play kindle until it goes off. You can sing songs, or read books until I am ready to help you.

A few minutes later I hear a decidedly atonal, but gentle, music coming from the piano. Who is playing the piano I wondered? then heard his sweet little voice. He was singing songs, just like directed. He's such a good little dude.

failure or success?

Have I failed my children because I have long breaks in writing about our family, or have I succeeded because I have written a lot, and many things have been remembered? I believe that it's some of both. Which, is probably just an accurate reflection on life.

Potty training the boy is another example of balancing between failure and success. We are succeeding, slowly, slowly, with plenty of hiccups along the way. For example, yesterday for the first time ever, he used a public restroom! And it's not guaranteed that he'll do number 2 in his underwear. And number 1 is fully settled, unless he chooses not to. Whenever I get disappointed by the time frame of it all, I remember that we have only been doing this for three months, and we're making lots of progress. I expect to be done by summer, which in reality, is how long it takes to be truly done. Some days we do great, and some days we don't, but every time I am ready to throw my hands up in despair, he manages one more success, real success, so we keep moving on.