Monday, May 20, 2013

A Book for Aunt Cassie

Tonight, G asked me to read him this book:

 It's a hand-me-down, apparently from Taco Bell. The story is in Spanish and English, depending on how you hold the book.  Read it one way, then halfway through you meet up with the upside down ending of the version in the other language. 

I suggested that we give it to Aunt Cassie.  She can take it with her to the Honduras, and read it to the kids there!  The book is very tiny and won't take up much room.  Also, she'd just gotten monkey and banana scented stickers for the kids there. 

G wasn't having that.  He reminded me that this was his book.  I offered go pick up the alligator he wanted from Walmart.  I even called it by the name G had picked out.  "We can give this to Aunt Cassie and I'll get you Swimmy." 

"Yeah, Swimmy would like this book.  I could read it to him."  Have I mentioned that G is an excellent negotiator?

So, I read him the book--the Spanish version.  The book is based on a silly song, so I sang it in tune, in the best Spanish accent I could muster.  I was having so much fun that when I finished the song, I flipped the book over, and began the English version of the song.  I was halfway through the version he could understand when he cut me off. 

"OK, Aunt Cassie can have this book." 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Why my kids missed the bus today

My kids missed the bus this morning.  To be honest, they miss the bus most mornings.  Part of the problem is that they can't catch the bus from home- they have to catch the bus from the sitter's house.  This means that we all have to be ready and in the car 20 minutes before the bus comes.  All it takes is for the dog to get loose, one shoe to go missing, one melt down, or a thousand other little snags to throw us completely off schedule.  Luckily, the school is only a couple minutes past the sitter's house, so missing the bus only adds a few minutes to my commute and the kids still arrive at school on time.

This morning, I was sure we were going to make it.  All the kids were dressed, including socks and shoes, which is no small feat.  The car was loaded. I had my keys.  And then K realized it was chilly outside and her doll was cold.  So while I corralled the older boys out of the house, K darted upstairs to find a sweater for her doll. Several minutes later, K reappeared with her doll properly bundled and we were able to leave. 

Yup, Merida and her sweater are why we
missed the bus today.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Learning to Help With Laundry: Part II

A few days ago, I described how my sons were helping me out with laundry.  Tonight I folded as I talked with my mom on the phone.  G wanted to help "ball socks" (he can't), so I'd roll a pair at a time, then send him to deliver it.  By the time he returned, I had another folded pair waiting for him.  After he delivered all of Daddy's socks, I sent him to his room with a full basket of his laundry. 

I took a break in conversation with Mom to review laundry-delivering procedures.  I reminded him that he was not to dump the entire basket on the floor of his room.  I reminded him that socks, underwear, shirts, and pants had their own spots.  He was to put them where they belonged.  He agreed. 

G took a considerable amount of time putting his laundry away.  He returned with an empty basket.  I asked if he had put everything where it belonged.  He admitted he had not.  I handed him a pair of socks and made eye contact.  I maintained eye contact as I explained that he was going to put those socks and all the other socks in the sock basket.  I told him to return to me afterwards.  He did. 

I then handed him another pair of socks and a pair of underwear. "Put these in the sock basket, these in the underwear basket, and all the other underwear in the underwear basket." 

I was proud of myself for walking him through the process.  I was also proud of how I ran my boy's energy out on a rainy day. 

At bedtime, I noticed a pair of clean undies on G's floor.  I returned them to an all-too-empty underwear basket.  Then I noticed the rest of the stack of clean underwear spilling out of the top of his dirty clothes hamper.  Underneath them was the entire stack of clean clothes--socks, shirts, and pants--that I'd sent him to deliver.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A Hearty Breakfast

B likes buying breakfast at school.  I've funded breakfast at school for most of the year.  Last week or the week before, I discovered he goes there for cinnamon rolls.  B spends $1.25 each morning for an individually packaged cinnamon bun and a carton of milk.  I take that back.  On Fridays, he spends the $1.25 on a chicken biscuit and a carton of milk.

Now, I support a healthy breakfast.  However, for $2.50, I can buy an entire roll of store brand cinnamon rolls and bake them for my boy.  I'll save $2.50, even if I allow him to continue feeding his chicken biscuit addiction.  Last night, I baked up the first batch.  This morning, I directed B to the Rubbermaid.  Of course, G wanted one, too.

G eyed the contents of the box, then looked up at me and asked, "Mama, are them snails?"

No, son, our budget does not support escargot.  

Before we'd departed, each boy had eaten a cinnamon roll and a half.   This may put a damper on my budgeting.  G also asked for milk, so I poured some in a cup with a top and straw.  He insisted on the "Transformers cup".  I told him he could use the Transformers cup, but would have to drink it quickly since we were leaving, and he couldn't take an open-topped cup with him. 

"Why not?"  

"Because I don't want it to spill in the car."

"I have more?"

"No, you don't have long.  Besides, the less you have, the less you can--" clink, swish "--spill."  Mop, mop, mop.

Monday, May 6, 2013

G's First Experience with Gum

On Friday afternoon, B came home from school with a goodie bag from a pizza party at school.  G looked longingly at the bag and asked for a piece of candy.  Usually B does share.  I'm torn about whether or not to make him share something he's earned--like candy for memorizing Bible verses or the goodie bag for earning good grades on six tests' worth of 9 Weeks Tests.  Luckily, G had his heart set on gum, and babysitter/godmom had a canister full of the same gum.  She offered him a piece. 

I have never given G gum.  I rarely chew it myself.  I tell students to spit out gum so often, it feels wrong to chew it myself!  Godmom and I tried to explain that he would chew the gum, but not swallow it.  She took the extra precaution of hacking through the Double Bubble with a kitchen knife so that his first serving would only be a third of a regular serving.  After grilling him one more time about what to do with the gum, she handed him his first piece. 

G took it, popped it in his mouth, and concentrated on chewing.  Ten seconds later, he said, "Now I spit it out?"  We assured him he could chew it until he got home.  He looked a little unsure, but seemed to go with it. 

I loaded him in the car and watched him chew from my rearview mirror.  His chewing looked funny.  His furrowed eyebrows told me he was really concentrating. His lips were closed, and his dimple was in full effect.  When you chew gum, are your lips closed?  You're not supposed to smack gum, but he looked just like he was chewing food, which somehow looks different from chewing gum. 

As soon as we got home, he wanted to spit it out.  I walked him to the trashcan.  Perhaps we should have described how "spitting" out gum is different from "spitting" in general.  He hocked up quite a bit of saliva and spat.  The gum did not come out. 

It was stuck behind his teeth.  He showed me where, and we took turns trying to pull it away.  It was stringy and it clung to his teeth.  We opted for a toothbrush.  Using the toothbrush was an endeavor.  It took several minutes to get it all. 

Then he asked for another piece of gum. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Laundry Helpers

By the time I finish folding everything on the "Laundry Couch", it's usually time to refill it with a load or three of clean clothes from the dryer.  If my boys didn't help me put the laundry away, there would be a serious bottleneck in our system. 

B was my first laundry helper.  When he was four, he asked if he could "deliver" folded piles of laundry.  He'd drag a full laundry basket behind him, beeping when he backed up.  His "crane" would drop each pile to the appropriate location. Then he'd bring the empty basket back with the robotic announcement, "Delivery. Complete."

Tonight, I handed each son a laundry basket full of his clothes to deliver.  B hanging up shirts in his closet when G breezed past me.  "Whoa, boy!  How'd you finish so quickly?"

I am so glad I lovingly folded each of those items.
"Oh, yeah, sorry," said G.  He uses the phrase frequently. 

I decided to pick my battle and allow him to put the clothes in their appropriate places unfolded.  I did not want to battle the Redhead nor the laundry.  I have loads to do tomorrow, and I'm not about to keep folding over and over!

G puts his socks in the sock basket in his dresser.