Thursday, July 31, 2014

Sticky Situation

Last Friday, we attended a presentation on owls by a local Rehabilitation Center.  The boys got to see four live owls and hear about the four common owls in Virginia.  A couple of friends were there with kids as well, and afterwards we chatted as most of the kids ran around in the grass.  The youngest child in the group sat in her stroller and giggled.

The peace was broken when my friend's daughter announced that G had killed a frog.  I froze.  Usually, I can discern how much a scene I should cause with discipline, but this was either something to let go or go really crazy about.  I mean, I thought I'd heard once that serial killers often killed small animals early on in their lives.  Where do frogs fit on the killing spectrum?  Are they closer to the kitten end or are they way on the spiders and creepy-crawlies end?  We regularly crush bugs at our house.  Did I need to contact a therapist?  All this decision making with a ticking clock that was counting off the seconds between the action and appropriate response.

The girl bent down, prodded the stretched-out frog, and deemed him dead.  He looked splat to me, too.  Then she carefully covered it with grass clippings to bury it.  One of her nearby friends watched, as did a laughing G, who was chanting, "I killed it!"

So how did I handle it?  I asked my friend with the baby and her mother-in-law, since they were standing there.  None of us had a clue.  So I called G to me, took him by the hand, and had him show me what he did.  Then I put on the sad face and noted how little the frog was, and how much he might have been a little baby.  I wondered if his parents would be looking for him.  G was not empathetic at all.  Then I suggested that some frogs stay small, that this one might have been a Daddy Frog, and that his baby and the rest of the family might wonder where he was when he never came home.

G looked a teeny tiny bit shaken and he squeezed my hand a little.  Very softly, I told him, "We don't kill frogs, Buddy.  They eat the bugs."

G watched the funeral.  Then a few moments later--Hallelujah!--the frog broke free from the clippings and hopped into the grass nearby.  G ran to tell me, and declared that the frog must have been playing dead.  Three minutes later, the kids were screaming again: the funeral director's little brother had stepped on and squished the frog.

Monday, July 14, 2014


On the way to Cassie's house last Saturday, G summarized the bible stories he'd learned in VBS.  Here's his side of the conversation, to the best that I can remember: 

Jesus went in the kid's lunchbox and he got the five breads and the two fishes.  And then he split 'em up in half and they got even bigger and then he made fish sandwiches for the disciples and they all ate them.  And they had grape juice.  No, not wine.  He doesn't know how to make wine.  And then the disciples could go up in the sky...because they climbed a tree and Jesus shrunk the tree and then they could fly...oh, right, they did die like regular people.  

And they put Jesus on the cross and they put the nail clippers on him.  And then there was blood and it was a lot of blood, all the way to his legs and then all the way to his head.  They took him off and they took the nail clippers out...yeah, they wrapped him up and they put him in the cave and then they put the big stone in front.  And the blood all came out and he was a skeleton with bones.  Then he moved that big rock and he was gone.  

This is much more recollection than I ever got from B.  With B, I usually fire off a million questions and get about an answer or two.  Case in point: first day of kindergarten.  Two hundred questions, including Did you use your crayons?  Did you sit on the carpet?  Did she read you a book?  Did you look at a book?  Did you eat in the cafeteria?  Who did you sit by?  Did you look at a calendar?  Did you use construction paper?  Did you go to PE? Music?  The library?, I got: "Mom, we did a LOT of things."  Sigh.

K apparently takes after B because she was tight lipped about VBS.  She and G were in the same class, though, so with my new arsenal of bible stories, I asked her point blank about the fish.

K (swinging her leg and holding onto a dresser): There was a fish [long pause, swinging leg] and, uh, um, he diiiiied, [pause, swinging leg] and, um, God flushed it.

Sounds fishy to me. 

Monday, July 7, 2014


The younger five of Cassie and my brood are going to Vacation Bible School at a local church this week.  They'd gone last year as well, and they knew all about snack.  They remembered snack so much that G refused breakfast this morning, recollecting that they'd eat at the Bible School.

After VBS, I dropped K and N off at the sitters and took C, B, and G with me to my violin lesson.  On the way, C drooled over the Toaster Strudals they were served for snack.  When G chimed in, B took him down quickly, "You didn't get those for a snack!"

Lil Red was so upset, his tongue got tied as he spat back, "I did have a Toodle Strudal!", pointing at each syllable.  Then the three boys and I guffawed about  "Toodle Strudel", 

Later in the evening, Cassie called me to ask what the kids had eaten at VBS.  The  Strudel goodness was so intense, K and N had insisted they'd been fed lunch.  They just couldn't remember the name of the entree.  Their description resembled pop-tarts, which made no sense as Cassie's kids are experts on pop-tarts.  Since older bro C was with me, there was no one to translate. After I suggested and she announced toaster strudel, I could hear the two screaming agreement in the background. 

I bought some for tomorrow's breakfast.  I'll bet G eats breakfast tomorrow without argument; he ate TWO iced apple "Strudel Doodles" tonight.  Furthermore, I have two more boxtops to save for school in the fall!

Move over, pop-tarts.