The Stuff This Blog Is Made Of

I don't have a cohesive, plot-driven post to give you today (not that I ever do, but...) I started this one eight days ago and decided I should post it before the kids are grown and gone. So here's just a few vignettes from the last couple weeks...Enjoy.

Doing Fine

When I was headed out to school last Monday, I stretched out my arms and said, "Cal, are you gonna give me loves before I go?" He barely glanced at me and said with a dismissive little wave, "Nah. I'm fine without 'em today."

Show Me A Sign

Calvin had a bad throwing-things-in-the-house-and-at-his-brother day the other day. When he got a glimpse of my out-of-patience wrath late that afternoon, he mumbled, "I just can't remember very well." Even though I know that's a bunch of poopsheesh, I said (really patiently), "You've been in trouble four times about this today. You've hurt Henry twice. What will help you remember not to throw things?"

In all seriousness, he looked up at me and said, "I think I need a sign with a boy throwing something and crossed out, so I remember 'No Throwing Allowed.'" It's been a long time since he drew signs to remind him of things he should not do, but it sounded like a reasonable enough suggestion, since nothing else was working, so I said, "Here's a pen and some paper. You make that sign and we'll hang it up so you remember the rule and you will never be able to say you don't remember. Understand?" He did. (Don't you love the way the boy is sad and the ball looks like it is really flying through the air? Definitely illustrates that throwing is not OK.)

Veggie Pictures

At church during Sacrament Meeting Henry drew a picture of his dad carrying a squash. In his Primary class, the teacher had the children draw pictures of something that made them happy. She asked Henry what his was and he said it was a squash because eating squash makes him happy. Before you start thinking what a great mom I am that I can get a three-year-old to wax artistic over butternut, you should know that we haven't had squash at our house in recent memory. But here's the picture of his dad carrying the squash, and you can see that Henry likes squash in a big way all the same.

Pint-Size Personal Shopper

I took Henry grocery shopping early in the morning to pick up a snack for his class. Since we were there at a quiet time of day and without his brothers, he got to push one of those (annoying) tiny shopping baskets for kids. We walked in the doors and he paused, with his hands on the cart handle and looked up at me, all business, and cocked his eyebrow like only Henry can do and said, "OK. Now. What do we need?"

Today he scored another one-on-one grocery trip with Dad. They were headed to the front of the store with the two things I'd sent David to the store for. Henry stopped with his little cart and said, "Uh, Dad? Is this all?" David told him yes, that's all Mom needed. And Henry answered, "Well, what about bread? We don't have any bread at home and that means I can't have toast." I had actually meant to add bread to the list, so it's good Henry went along.

Child Labor

I was loading all the kids in for preschool one morning, buckling the baby, trying to get Cal to go around to the other side of the car where his seat is, and all the while Henry was up near the front of the car chatting away. True to my deafness when I'm trying to focus on other tasks, I didn't really know what he was talking about until I heard, "This car is so wet and dirty. Why do I always have to clean everything and wipe everything up? Uggghhhh." Something in that exasperated groan caught in my brain and suddenly what he had been saying registered. I knew what he was doing before I even looked up to see him...wiping all the rain off the front of the car. With the coat he was wearing.

Splash Down

Charlie was just at my feet and then he wasn't, and I heard suspicious water noises. When I walked in to the bathroom, he plopped to the ground and flashed a little grin. And so it begins. The difference between this baby doing this and when my first baby did it is that this baby has two older brothers who don't always hit the target. Or flush. And a mom who isn't always on the spot with the bathroom cleaning. Are you sufficiently grossed out? Me too. Needless to say, Charlie experienced sanitization and the "Close the door when you come out" rule got reviewed. The bathroom cleaning habits have not yet improved. Baby steps, people. Baby steps.

He Laughs At His Own Jokes

Charlie was fussing in the car the other morning and kept tossing his Nuk where it was unreachable and nothing Calvin did really made a difference. So we were letting him fuss. Suddenly, he was rhythmically flapping his arms in the air with a big "WAGH!" sound followed by a gutteral little giggle. WAGH! Giggle. WAGH! Giggle. WAGH! Giggle. We looked back to see if it was Cal entertaining him, and Cal wasn't doing anything. Charlie was making himself laugh! I've never seen anything like it and it made me giggle.

When Life Gives You Trash...

The boys have been building and rebuilding things with their duplo blocks nonstop, every waking moment for about two weeks now. I'm not exaggerating. They have built little towns (each house is one or two blocks and they put them in little rows and drive matchbox cars down the streets), they've thrown birthday parties for Duckie in which the duplos were the cupcakes, they've made hollow duplo boxes in which they encase various and sundry household items (measuring cups, the baby's Nuk, other small toys, crumpled paper), and they've built any number of vehicles. But my favorite so far is this:

It's a rolling factory that, as Calvin explains, "goes around and scoops up all the yucky trash everywhere, the trash goes in this side and the machine turns all of it into a meeeellion delicious flavors of jelly beans, and they all come out this side!"

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