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    The Darndest Things {11/06}

    November 3, 2006 by Brandy Vencel

    29 November 2006: Her First Real Apology

    This morning, I was in the other room while A. was quietly digging through the drawer where I keep all my plastic baggies. She loves, if she has the time alone, to get all of them out of the box and scatter them on the floor and stomp on them. E. caught her in the act and called to me, “A. is in the cabinet! A. is in the cabinet!” He is a very persistent snitch. One of my best spies. Anyhow, she isn’t smart enough to stop when she hears him telling on her, so I got the chance to see her in action. When our eyes met, she promptly pulled her hand out of the drawer and closed it. She lowered her eyes in that perfect pout that I am tempted to let manipulate me every time. And then it happened. She looked back up and and very earnestly said, “Sowwy. Sowwy.” I took her little chin in my hand so as to help her look me in the eye and thanked her for apologizing. I reminded her she is not to touch the cabinets. She said, “Okay.”


    28 November 2006: 14 Days in His Week

    For a while now I have been aware that E. doesn’t seem to have the concepts of today, tomorrow, and yesterday straight. I’ve been looking for the root cause of the confusion ever since, and now I think I have found it. In E.’s week, there are 14 days. Since he still takes a nap in the middle of the day, it is effecting his sense of time passage. So, when he wakes after a nap, he truly believes it is a new day, and so much so that last night he was shocked that my bed was made. Apparently, though he saw me make it in the morning, since after-the-nap is a new day, he had expected to see me make it again! I am trying to correct this by using “before nap” and “after nap” in the way most of us would say a.m./p.m. to see if it helps solidify the idea that it really is one complete day. Until then, E. has 14 days in his week.


    24 November 2006: Vocabulary Expansion

    Everyone is learning new words around here. A. added a few this week, some of them more delightful than others. “No” has been the cause of much laughter. Si ran through the alphabet with her to see if the little parrot could say all the letters or not. Later, I practiced the hardest with her, W. “Can you say double?” “Bobble.” “Yooo?” “No!” It has been great fun. Besides “no,” she also added “Papa” and “apple” {pronounced bapple}.

    We’re getting a kick out of E.’s new words, too. His reading this week introduced him to “passengers,” and now he’s been trying out that word whenever it seems to fit. On Wednesday, E. asked me why an automatic faucet at a restaurant we were at could not be turned on “manually.” And tonight, a story was told to us with great relish using the word “dashed.” Apparently, E. dashed into one room, and then dashed back into another. It was great.

    Recently, someone told me that by listening to E. talk, they could tell that he was exposed to “real” books.


    20 November 2006: Moral Lessons

    Today, E. lied to me. I believe it was a failed attempt to tease me, as he has yet to grasp context and when it is {or is not} appropriate to tease. He took me very seriously since our church is studying the Ten Commandments, and Sunday’s focus was, as he interprets it, “Do not ever ever lie.” I stood him in front of me, a solemn look on both our faces, and told him that his first answer must always be the truth. And then we had one of those moments, where Parent thinks that some great wisdom has been imparted into Child’s soul, only to be greatly dismayed by Child’s response and accompanying Innocent Look.

    E.: So my last answer should be not true?



    19 November 2006: The Long Lasting Influence of Dr. Suess

    My mom and I took the kids out to Mexican food tonight since our husbands had left town together to attend Chuck Colson’s big birthday bash in OC. The ballroom at the restaurant had been rented out for a 30th birthday party. The music was loud, the lights were flashing. E. was very excited about this. The waiter for the party had a giant afro hairstyle. When he walked past us, E. asked my mom why that man had fluffy hair. I don’t remember her answer, but I do remember him replying quietly, “He looks like a Fiffer Feffer Feff.”


    16 November 2006: Never Say Never

    Something I never want to hear again: “Mom! A. is drinking the honey!”

    Something I never want to see again: Toddler literally chugging the honey. There is no other word for it; “chugging” is just the right one. Her brother wasn’t kidding.


    14 November 2006: The Boy Who Judges

    It has been my fear that E. would eventually, in his immaturity, judge others. For instance, I feared that if he knew he didn’t watch TV at all, and only movies at a time really special {like when he was too sick for much else}, that he would tell other children they were wrong for watching TV. He isn’t exactly in that rhetoric stage where he can debate his friends over the virtues of doing or not doing something.

    Tonight, my fears were realized. As we were at a small gathering of homeschooling families, I heard my son tell another little boy, “We don’t celebrate Halloween because it’s sinful.” This is, of course, right after the other little boy had explained that he went trick-or-treating. In our defense, I clearly remember hearing Si tell E. that some people celebrate Halloween and some don’t, and we choose to do other things, like go get ice cream sundaes and visit family.

    I find myself anticipating him telling the other kids in Sunday School that Santa isn’t real. I have tried to emphasize that Saint Nick was a real person, sharing with him some of the traditional legends, hoping to avoid such an incident. But after the “Halloween is sinful” episode of this evening, I can feel the Santa Buster creeping up on us.


    13 November 2006: The Band

    I like to joke that I know my in-laws hate me when they give the kids really noisy toys to torture me after they leave. But I know they just like to see these kids happy. My father-in-law gave E. a recorder {E. calls it his “flute”} for his birthday. It took time for him to learn to make a noise, but somehow it all clicked for him in the last week, and he has been tooting it happily ever since, usually while marching around the house.

    Enter my mother. Last night during a visit she took a little kazoo and taught A. how to work it. Now we have a two-man band in our midst. This morning was spent with little pajama-clad musicians marching around the house making “music.” I’m sure eventually it’ll give me a headache, but today it is just really, really cute.


    6 November 2006: Underwear Tales

    If you are a little boy who likes to throw your underwear way high up in the air when you are alone in the bathroom, it would be wise to consider putting the toilet lid in the down position before doing so. Otherwise, you will find yourself forced by your terribly mean parents to put your hands {which you value being clean because you hate to wash them} in said toilet to retrieve and then wring out those undies, which will be followed by the dreaded 60-second timer-monitored hand scrubbing ceremony. Trust me. A little forethought in the form of closing the lid will be of great benefit to you.


    3 November 2006: She Pooped!

    For the record, I hate it that having children gives people the perceived permission to discuss bodily functions. Sometimes, I wish that certain subjects remained private. I can tell you my birth stories without the gory details {but Si can’t because he got to see my uterus and lived to tell about it}, and I can discuss potty training in theory without telling you icky facts about fecal matter.

    But the one thing I can’t resist is celebrating the first official trip to the bathroom. A. has been very interested in the toilet for the last three weeks or so, and we let her sit on it sometimes, but nothing happened. Honestly, I thought the whole process was something she wasn’t ready for. Until today. Today she pooped all by herself.

    I promise not to make a habit of talking about such things. But I must say that on the whole potty training is something I like much better than changing messy, smelly diapers.


    1 November 2006: Quit Tattling on Yourself

    Dear E.,

    I catch you in the act throughout the day. I see your dirty looks. I know you licked that toy when we told you to stop putting things in your mouth. I hear your grumbles and witness your bad attitudes. And I discipline myself into disciplining you, because, honestly, such diligence doesn’t come easy. Yours is sometimes a hard soul to watch over.

    So why do you tell on yourself? Why must I also learn every dark and secret thought. Why must I be informed from your own mouth that there are evil deeds imagined in your head and evil intentions in your heart? Why must you daily come to me or your father and say, “Can I be honest? I am thinking about doing x.” Why must you inform me {your own words!} that, “There is sin in my heart, Mommy, and I want to do x.” Why do you insist on informing me of the small sins that occur during your moments alone in the bathroom or playroom or while falling asleep in your bed?

    I beg you to stop telling on yourself. I catch you doing enough wrong as it is.


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  • Reply Brandy November 9, 2006 at 6:37 am

    It’s better than the movies around here… 🙂

  • Reply kristie November 7, 2006 at 2:07 pm

    Your kids are funny! 🙂

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