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    The Darndest Things {06/06}

    June 7, 2006 by Brandy Vencel

    29 June 2006: A Labor of Love
    This morning, I was working in the office for Si. E. seemed restless, so I had him go get the finished laundry {a load of rags for cleaning} out of the dryer and prepare it for me to fold in the living room. I heard lots of running and whispering to himself, but I assumed he was still doing what he was told to do. He was…and MORE! When I entered the living room, he was beaming! He had folded every rag, both large and small. He was so proud of himself and declared, “Only FOUR-year-old boys can do THIS!”


    28 June 2006: Weaning
    Little A. had her last bottle tonight. I don’t think she noticed or cared, but Mommy sure did. I had Daddy take pictures, and I held her extra tight. We’ve been going slow, and she’s been using a cup during the day already. But I will miss this nighttime ritual. It all goes too fast…


    26 June 2006: No Imaginary Friends Here
    Most kids E.’s age have imaginary friends. Not E. He has imaginary WORKERS. They are his slaves, and he tells them what to do all day long. They must be union, though, because we’ve noticed they take a lot of naps! They eat lunch with us, and can often be found cleaning E.’s room. He tells us he wants to be a builder when he grows up {and there is a list of things he wants to build: lots and lots of houses–one for me, of course!–and one church}, and the workers seem to be his practice employees.


    15 June 2006: Not Amish
    This one is funny, even out of context:

    E.: No, I’m not going to be an Amish man because I’m going to be a Tractor Boy.


    15 June 2006: The Raisin Party
    What happens when Big Brother leaves the raisin jar within reach of Little Sister, and Mom is too tired to notice? Little Sister’s Raisin Party. Yes, Little Sister managed to get a raisin trail going that reached into the far corners of the playroom, dining room, kitchen, living room, and hallway. Thankfully, she cannot turn door knobs yet.

    Guess what tired Mom got even more tired doing? That’s right. Thirty minutes of Raisin Vaccuuming.


    14 June 2006: Name Brands
    E. has been talking about Hot Wheels a lot, and finally Si discussed it with him last night. We were all surprised by this one.

    Si: So what is it if it’s not a Hot Wheels?
    E.: Oh. It has cool wheels.

    And we were worried he was becoming a brand snob!


    13 June 2006: Mama’s Little Helper
    Today is an unseasonably mild June day, and E. has been enjoying the Great Outdoors. So when I went to start some laundry, I found myself absent of four-year-old SuperHelper. Only a toddler toddling after me. Only? A. has surprised me, again.

    I set to work with the laundry, and I missed the basket when I was tossing in an item. She gingerly bent over, picked it up, and put it in the basket for me…with that Miss America Smile. So proud of herself! I “accidently” dumped all the remaining items on the floor, and A. put all of them in. Then she helped me push the basket to the next room…and the next. Finally, we pushed it into the laundry room and she actually handed me each item to put into the washer! She was so proud of herself…just beaming.

    It has always been fun to work side by side with E., but there was something especially touching about doing laundry with my daughter for the first time. Eventually, E. will have a wife to clean his clothes for him. But A. is in training, even now, to be a wife someday. Today was the beginning of an endless procession of joyful lessons I know will fill our future years together at home.


    10 June 2006: A Game of Chase
    Playing “Chase” is a common childhood game, of that I am well aware. But we have been much to little to experience it with our own children…until tonight. E. and A. had been wrestling a bit on the floor, when A. suddenly jumped up and ran away. But she looked back at him, with that twinkle in her eye, and E. knew immediately that she wanted him to chase her. And so that is what they did. They ran through the playroom, dining area, kitchen, and living room and back, screaming and laughing and chasing. A. fell numerous times, but each time she got back up and ran away again. We, of course, were delighted with all the giggles.


    9 June 2006: Changing of the Guard
    Recently, I was struck by the thought of a mother of twelve who said that the youngest child who can perform a task should be the one doing it. Otherwise, the family will create a world in which the oldest children learn to work, but the youngest do not. This got me thinking that there are chores around here–only a couple, but still–that E. is doing that really could have been handed down to A. by now.

    We started off by teaching A. to throw away her own diapers. Oh, but E. was furious at his loss of responsibility! So I tried my best to explain to E. that all of us have a need to work, and that A. wasn’t doing enough–we must give her this job. And then it dawned on me: I could give to him the job of teaching her to perform the task. This way, he was still involved. So now, I am quite amused as I watch Big Brother guide Little Sister to the kitchen trash and help her make sure she gets the diaper in on the first try. He even makes sure she doesn’t stand around and browse through the rest of the refuse once she’s finished! What a good big brother!


    8 June 2006: Flowers by My Bed
    What a sweet boy I have. We have been spending much time out-of-doors, examining trees and birds and flowers. The summer flowers are starting to bloom, and there is much opportunity to sharpen those pre-science observation skills. E. is particularly taken with the one flower that is available in the desolation that is our backyard. It is a bush that has made its way through the fence separating our yard from our neighbor’s. This bush is in no way intended for cut flowers. No, the flowers are only beautiful when attached to the rest of the plant. But E. is not deterred. He faithfully picks one or two or five and sneaks into the house and lays them at my bedside table for me to discover in the evenings after he is sound asleep!


    7 June 2006: “I Don’t Need a Nap!”
    We spent today visiting Great Grandmother at her house. It was great fun. At 1:30, I told E. we really must get going because it was going to be naptime soon. “But I don’t need a nap!” he insisted. He repeated this like a mantra over and over while he prepared to leave. He groaned about it. He tried to convince me. He fell asleep in the car about halfway home, and so deeply that I could not rouse him. So I had to carry the Boy Who Didn’t Need a Nap into the house and lay him in his little bed myself, and take off his little sandals myself, all while he mumbled something I couldn’t understand.

    But really, he didn’t need a nap.

    Update: I was in a different room, but I heard his door opening, signifying that he had awakened. And I heard him take his stubborn stand in the hallway as he defiantly declared, “I didn’t take a nap!”


    6 June 2006: Brothers and Sisters
    A. is abused. Not by Si and I, mind you, but by her brother–surely his treatment sometimes qualifies as abuse! We try our best to protect her, and to help him understand that Job Number One when being a Big Brother is to Protect the Little Sister. But still, she often finds herself the pedestrian victim in his child-sized car wrecks and a moving target for his water gun practice. But she adores him. She cannot help herself!

    Today, while I was feeding her, she was in no small amount of turmoil because I am training her to a cup and she hates it. He walked over to check on her. She reached out her hand. I think he thought she was trying to hit him, because he quickly moved out of the way. I whispered, “She is trying to hold your hand, I think.” Her hand was still outstretched, so he grabbed it, first with one hand, then with the other. A smile lit upon his lips as he, with delighted face, whispered, “She loves me!”


    6 June 2006: Little Boys in Conversation
    We spent some time yesterday with my nephews, S. and M. S. is five and Theo is his dog’s name. This is important information when considering the following conversation:

    S.: Me and M. and Theo are all brothers.
    Me: Really?
    S.: Yes. M. is my brother and Theo is my brother.
    Me: Well, why does Theo look so different from you and M.?
    S.: Oh, not all brothers look alike. I’ve been to the park and met brothers that didn’t look alike.

    Flawless logic.

    E. has decided that debating with S. is great fun, though the mothers find it somewhat annoying to listen to. Here is today’s Great Debate:

    S.: I’m going to bite off your head!
    E.: Well {not to be outdone}, I’m going to bite off your eyes!
    S.: You can’t because I already bit off your head and your mouth is in your head!

    There’s that flawless five-year-old logic again!


    2 June 2006: Grammar Instruction, Overheard

    E.: Where you was?
    Daddy: Where were you?
    E.: I was in the bathroom. Where you was, Daddy?
    Daddy: No. Where were you?
    E.: I already told you. Where you was?
    Mommy: {giggles}
    Daddy: No, son. Say, “Where were you?”
    E.: Oh. Where were you?


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