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    The Darndest Things {09/06}

    September 17, 2006 by Brandy Vencel

    Here we are, halfway through the month of September already. My how time flies by…I better publish this before my mom sends me another email about it…


    30 September 2006: She Loves to Go
    I don’t know if A. has been this way all along and I am just now realizing it, or if this is a new thing that is developing in her personality, but she just loves to go places. If E. puts his shoes on, she is instantly hunting the house for her shoes and begging people to put them on her feet, insisting in her baby talk that it is “time to go.” Emphasis on “go.” She loves to “go” and it is pretty much her favorite word {next to the multi-purpose “Mommy”}. If she sees me grab car keys, or do anything else that implies we may be going somewhere, her whole face lights up and she is immediately babbling about “go.” And then, when she is safely buckled into her carseat, she pats it every so often and asks me where we are going, with such a look of satisfaction that I am not sure the destination really matters that much to her. The point is that we “go.”


    29 September 2006: The Heart of Compassion
    Tonight, as we left my grandma’s home, E. asked, “Why does Gran live all by herself?” And so I explained about who my grandpa had been and how he had died and what a widow was. E. had trouble getting the word “widow” and called her a “podo” repeatedly throughout the conversation. But he thought about the issue for a few moments, and then he exclaimed, “I have a good idea! Why don’t we bring her home with us sometime and she can stay with us.” He even volunteered that they could share a room.


    29 September 2006: Not Really Asleep
    I didn’t realize before that sometimes a little girl can be silent as a mouse in her crib, but not really be asleep. She can really make Mommy believe that she is sleeping longer than usual by making not a single audible noise. And yet, it must be emphasized that she is not sleeping. In fact, if there is a hamper right next to her crib, as is the case with A., she will stretch out her little arm and open up that hamper and slowly pull all the clothes she can reach into her crib. Then, she will pick them up in big piles so that, by the time Mommy discovers she is not sleeping, the floor is covered in dirty clothes and towels.


    25 September 2006: Origins
    This evening, E. was helping me make cornbread for dinner. He was talking a lot, and mentioned his full name, as if he were informing us of it for the first time, so I pretended to interview him.

    Me: Well, it’s nice to meet you E. And where do you come from?
    E.: {stirring} Mommy.
    Me: What do you mean?
    E.: {still stirring} Tummy.

    {Si later confirmed that E. indeed understands that he is from the United States, California, etc.}


    25 September 2006: Good Ole’ Boys
    This afternoon after naptime, E. and I were visiting Si in his (home) office. E. was sitting on the floor, organizing the pencils his grandfather had sent to him. He looked up at me and said, “I’m just going to give you one because you’re a girl.”

    Me: What if I was a boy? What would you give me then?
    E.: Three.
    Me: {After a long pause, deciding if I really want to know the answer.} Why?
    E.: Because that’s how it works.


    17 September 2006: Goodbye, Spelling
    Sometimes, we spell so that our children don’t understand what we are saying. Like, “Do you want to go get I-C-E C-R-E-A-M?” This is so that no one gets excited before we know for sure that the answer is, “Yes.” A word of wisdom to other parents: if you want to be able to keep this up, it is imperative that you do not teach your children to read. Here is what happened tonight:

    Me: Daddy, do you want me to go get out the new B-O-O-K?
    Si: No, not tonight.
    E.: Why not?
    Me: {innocently} Why not what?
    E.: Why not get out the new book?

    Goodbye, spelling.


    16 September 2006: Farewell to a Summer Tradition
    About halfway through summer this year, we began a new tradition of sorts. Every Friday night, we headed to Gran’s house {this is my grandma, my children’s great-grandma, but pretty much everyone who knows her calls her Gran}. Gran made us dinner, and then we swam in her pool, and then we usually ate ice cream. We spent two to three hours, including the drive, and it was time well spent. The children became braver swimmers. Little A. stopped crying everytime she saw Gran and decided to hug and kiss her instead.

    Sometimes, we would arrive and other people would be there, too. A great-uncle, perhaps, or a cousin. And so some of the evenings became a spontaneous family reunion of sorts. Like tonight. We decided to go on Saturday instead of Friday this week, and when we arrived there were two third cousins, a second cousin, and a great aunt and uncle for my children to spend time with.

    But, alas, we did not swim. The evenings are finally cooling off, and the pool became unbearable to even the bravest swimmer among us {she’s two}. So the children chased each other on the lawn instead. It was a lovely evening.

    Before we left, Gran said that it was getting too cold to swim now, and that probably meant we were going to stop coming over. It was a statement…and a question. I smiled at her and said that we would keep coming, but we would probably start bringing games. I think she was glad. It is an important tradition for her now, too.


    15 September 2006: A Morning with Granddad
    E. spent this morning with his Granddad. They went fishing, catching nothing, but I could tell E. enjoyed it nonetheless. He actually seemed happy he didn’t have to touch a fish. Then, they had breakfast at McDonald’s, and at lunch E. declared that it was there that he ate until he “alomst threw up, but I breathed it back down.” Lastly, they rode through a car wash. E. told us that it was “very scary.” He seemed quite proud that they did something scary.


    15 September 2006: Growing Up a Little More
    The little man is getting just a bit bigger, I can tell. Children are never really stagnant, but sometimes the growth is more profound than others. I’ve caught him growing again. It’s in the little things, like how he has gone two whole days in a row without ever asking me to hold him. Usually, he will ask, if only to compete with his little sister’s time in my lap. It is also in the way he now takes cutting the lawn so seriously. He imitates Si’s every move. He pushes a seed dropper while Si pushes the mower, and even pretends to empty grass clippings when Si finds it necessary to do so. I also saw him using a tricycle to pretend to be edging. He has always followed Si around during yard work, but somehow it is different. Before, it was play. Now, it is training. And did I mention he likes to wear a collared shirt “like Dad?”


    14 September 2006: What A. Can Say
    A. is adding to her repertoire again. She is also mutating the meaning of words she already knows. So now “Mommy” means me, but also “Hold me” or “Look at me” or “Give me food.” She is very polite, using the word “please” with great consistency. Also, we hear a lot of “Here you go!” and “Where’s my shoes?” “Shoes” is said in such a funny way, with her lips sticking way out. I wish I could do it justice with written words. Lastly, there is my favorite: “I love you.” It’s really garbled sounding, but still a delight to a parent’s ears.


    6 September 2006: The Mystery of the Teenager
    E. can be quite humorous about learning new words. Usually, I am quick to define it for him so that he gets the hang of it before getting confused. But when I used the word “teenager,” and he latched on, I let him go for awhile because it had significant entertainment value. I am sick. Too sick for school. They’re lucky I have my eyes open half the time.

    This morning, E. comes to me and says, “But we haven’t done school yet.” And I say, “Mommy is too sick today. I’m sorry, Sweetie. Let’s ask Daddy for pencil and paper and you can sit here at the coffee table and pretend to do school, and I will listen to you talk.” E. replies, “But I can’t pretend to do school…I don’t know anything.” I smile and say I’ll remind him of that when he’s a teenager.

    E. wanders off, obsessing over what a teenager might be. I watch with interest. Even when I’m sick, I don’t watch TV, so this is a good show for me. He dutifully brings back a pencil and paper and sits down. He draws a completely incoherent picture. I can identify a rectangle and a curvy line and some squiggles, but the rest is just plain messy. I don’t say anything, of course, because I know it is because he doesn’t know what a teenager is.

    He declares that he has drawn a teenager a few minutes later. Then, he acts bored and runs to get his blocks. As he builds, I hear him ordering around not only his imaginary workers, but also a mysterious person named Teenager. When I ask him if a teenager is a person or an animal, he tells me he isn’t sure. I let this go on for a couple days, but eventually Si has mercy on him and explains what one is while they are on a walk and have the chance to see one in real life {in its natural habitat!!}.

    We still aren’t sure if some of them around here are persons or animals. I suppose time will tell.


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  • Reply Brandy September 18, 2006 at 10:33 pm

    That’s a good idea! We were also thinking of using pig latin…anyone want to read a new ook-bay? 🙂

    We miss you, too, but it won’t be long now until we see you again. 🙂

  • Reply rebecca September 18, 2006 at 8:24 pm

    Can Everett reverse what you have spelled… you know, if you spelled book K-O-O-B? Maybe too hard to do with longer words!

  • Reply Grace September 18, 2006 at 3:46 pm

    Hey Bran! Thanks for posting these. I was beginning to wonder about them as well. 🙂 I miss you guys!

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