Thursday, April 28, 2011

Chicks and Carnivores

The kids Easter baskets included ‘Magic Hatching Eggs’.  My son got a dinosaur egg, and my daughter received a little chick egg.  As the directions indicated, we placed each one in a glass of water.  We were surprised to see bubbles immediately emerge from each of the eggs (no one more surprised than I, since these things are normally big time duds).  “Look! They are breathing!  Mom!  They are breathing”!  
They could not believe that they were actually going to grow a couple of new pets.  They checked in on their egg every 3 to 5 minutes, and would report their findings back to me: 
J: “I think its sleeping now”.  
L: “There aren’t as many bubbles”.  
J: “I think I see my shell cracking”! 
L: "I think I see its' shadow"! 
 This went on for an hour or so, which I was grateful for at first, but wasn't sure how much more my sanity could take on the minute-by-minute updates. 
I read on the box that it may take 24-48 hours for the pet to fully hatch, so after saying a little prayer that we got the 24 hour variety, I started in with the ad-libbing (that is a nice parent-word to use in place of lying).  I told them,  “Guys, I’m not sure...but I think the directions said that if you stare at the egg too long, it might turn to stone”.  That deterred them for about a half hour or so, but then each time they went over to the eggs they were very careful to only look for a few seconds.  My son decided that he would only look sideways at his egg so as to be extra careful.   
The next morning, there were a few tiny cracks in the eggs.  The kids thought this was AMAZING.  They were jumping up and down and high-fiving each other, and placing bets on which one would hatch first.  By afternoon, my son’s egg had just enough of an opening that we could make out the little dinosaurs mouth, or maybe it was his eye-- but it was “definitely real”, according to my son.  Unfortunately, that was about all the egg action we saw that day, but the kids were patient, and wondered about what was going to happen next.  
That night, my son started asking some rational questions: ”Mom, is that thing really going to be real”?  “Mom, is that a kind of dinosaur that is not extinct”?  “I thought they were extinct”?  “Can I bring it to show and tell”?  “Mom, how big is the dinosaur going to get”?   
I carefully answered each of his questions with “I wonder” and “What do you think”?  My son was quiet and contemplative for awhile, and then something clicked.  He gasped and exclaimed in horror, “What if it hatches tonight and tries to eat Frankie”?  My daughter chimes in with a nervous laugh, and says, “heh-heh, that is sooooooooo silly- he won’t eat Frankie!  Dinosaurs don’t eat cats!  Right mom”? 
Then, for some strange reason, all rational thought left my brain and I decided that this was the moment to educate my children about carnivorous dinosaurs.  We discussed raptors and tyrannosaurs-to which my son could suddenly relate- “Like, you mean--Tyrannosaurus REX”?  
In an instant, both kids scrambled out of bed and started sprinting around the house, checking under furniture, desperately calling for the cat.  “Frankie?  Frankie?  
FRANK-IEEEEEE”!  After locating the cat, and after a lot of reassuring by me that my son’s egg did not contain that kind of dinosaur, they were able to settle down and eventually go to sleep.
The next morning, both eggs had cracked significantly, showing the fully-formed spongy upper body of the baby dinosaur, and the fuzzy little head of the baby chick.  My daughter was thrilled, and she lovingly oohed and ahhed over her chick.  She was lightly tapping the glass, saying “Hi chicky!  I’m your mama”, and singing “here chicky chicky,  here chicky chicky”.  She started contemplating names-- “I think I’’ll call it Lilly.  Or Lulu.  Or Lou.  Or Lou-la”.  I was so wrapped up in her excitement, that I didn’t even notice my son peeling the rest of the egg away from his little dino-sponge.  
I turned to him, and there he sat, surrounded by egg shells, arms crossed, looking less than thrilled.  He held up his little dinosaur in the palm of his hand and said flatly, “Mom. This... is just a dumb sponge”.  
My daughter replied, “ told you that’s what happens when you stare at it for too long”.   
Her chick is still hatching.  And we know its real, 'cause we can still see the bubbles.  We think.  Because no one is allowed to look at it.  

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Thank you for sharing

Six words that make me gag:

Pustule (or anything with ‘pus’ for that matter)

...and the lady in front of me in the grocery store line just used five of them.  

Monday, April 25, 2011

Sometimes it’s not what you say, but...

As I was getting my daughter ready for Easter service, she was marveling over everything: “mom, look-- the Easter Bunny brought us this-- and this-- and this”!  She started floating around the room in her dress, pretending she was a princess, when she caught sight of her brother coming down the stairs, dressed in his Easter Sunday best.  She gazed up at him admiringly and exclaimed, “Oh, wow.  You”!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Crustaceans and such

My 4 year old has had a stuffed up nose for a few days.
Rubbing her nose and examining it in the mirror, she says, "Mom, I'm serious.  I think there's something in there".  Her eyes widen and she continues, "Like, maybe a crab-- or a squirrel".

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Omnipotent one

My 6 year old was not too happy about the cold weather this morning.  On the way to the bus stop, he was sharing his disappointment with my daughter.

J: "It's FREEZING!  God can be such a JERK sometimes!  He's ruining all the plants"!
L: "uh-oh, you better not say that.  Santa might hear you"!
J: "I wasn't talking about Santa".
L: "Well, Santa cares about everyone--even God".

Friday, April 15, 2011

“Conversation” with a 4 year old

(a.k.a.  Inspiration for Dr. Seuss, a.k.a.  A little glimpse into hell) 

At snack time, I ask my 4 year old,  “Would you like some carrots”?

She answers:  “Mom, I like my carrots with hummus.  Did you hear me mom, all I like is carrots and hummus.  I don’t like plain carrots.  Like, if people ask me, ‘what do you like?’, I will say, ‘I like carrots and hummus’.  That’s why I don’t just like carrots.  I like them with hummus.  If people say, ‘do you want some carrots’?  I’ll say, ‘no. I want carrots and hummus’.  I will never, ever, ever have plain carrots.  I like them with hummus.  I do not like to eat carrots by themselves, just carrots with hummus on them.  My friend likes to eat carrots with ranch dressing on them.  But I like them with hummus.  If I ever had to eat carrots by themselves, I might try it.  But I really don’t like it when I have it regular like that.  I like it with hummus.  If we were out of hummus, that would be really bad, because I like hummus.  We would have to go to the store to buy some more hummus, because that’s why I could not eat my carrots plain.  If you were not here, I would have to ask dad to get me some hummus.  I really like hummus.  With carrots.  Mmmmm.  These are good........  Mom, did you know I really like carrots and hummus?................Mom?"

Deep breath in, aaaand deep breath out.  The beach. The sand.  The ocean waves.  Singing of birds. Wind blowing softly through the trees.  Chocolate.  Wine.  Massage.  A great read.  Candles.  Rose petals.  Javier Bardem.  Champagne.  Strawberries.  Picnic.  Carrots and hummus.

"Yes, sweetie. Mommy knows."

Monday, April 11, 2011

Send the baby

My daughter loves to invent new games.  One that she loves to play is called ‘Send the baby’.  Although the way she pronounces it is “Spin the Baby”, which for me conjures up images of preschool kids sitting around a circle, taking turns spinning a baby doll.....but thankfully, she clarified, and it’s definitely ‘Send the Baby’.  Here’s how to play: 
My daughter will ring the pretend doorbell from the hallway. She’ll shout, “DING-DONG”!  I’ll come to the pretend door and pretend to open it.  There’s no one there.  I’ll look to the right- nothing.  I’ll look to the left- nothing.  I’ll shrug my shoulders and pretend slam the door.  My daughter will ring the doorbell a second time.  
“Well what now...”?  I’ll say, as I approach the pretend doorway.  She’ll run off and hide, giggling as I look again to see no one is there.  I’ll shake my fist and say something like, “Those darn TEENAGERS”!  and she’ll laugh harder.   Then I’ll pretend slam the door again.  
“DING-DONG”....she’ll yell again, and this time when I open the door I’ll look down at the ground where she has left her doll.  I’ll feign surprise and say, “Oh MY!  Somebody left me a BABY!  What is this baby doing on my doorstep?  Poor baby!  Is there no one here to take care of the baby”?   My daughter will sit in her hiding spot, covering her mouth to stifle her giggles.  
I’ll cuddle the baby and bring it “inside”, wrap a blanket around her, and tell her that everything will be okay. This is usually my daughter’s cue to ring the pretend doorbell again.  I’ll answer the pretend door and she'll explain that she is the one who left the baby, because she found the baby all alone, and that the baby didn’t have parents to care for it (I'll spare you the psychoanalysis on this one).  I’ll invite my daughter “in” for a snack, and once she’s comfortable that she’s given her baby-friend a good home,  she’ll say goodbye to us and go back to “her house”.  
Once while playing the game, I brought the baby in as usual.  I was giving the baby cuddles, and telling the baby how much I would love her as I was wrapping her in a blanket.  My daughter hadn’t rung the doorbell yet, so I kept talking to the baby, saying how much fun we would have together.  I told the baby about all the fun things we would do, the places we would go-- to the park, to grandma and grandpa’s house, to the fair; and I mentioned that maybe we could go to Disney World sometime.  As I talked to the baby about the Disney princesses, the Dumbo ride, and the breakfasts with Minnie Mouse and Mickey Mouse, I could hear my daughter upstairs.  I thought maybe she forgot about the game, so I left the baby on the couch, and started to straighten up in the living room.  I was putting the books back on the shelf when I heard the “DING-DONG”!  
My daughter was back.  I opened the pretend door to find her sitting on the floor, suitcase in hand.
She looks up at me and says, “Hi.  My parents are both dead.  Can you take care of me”?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Charlotte's Web

Today I went to see Charlotte’s Web with my daughter and her preschool class at the local Children’s Theater.  We've read the book, and have seen the movie, so I figured we were prepared for it.  Even so, when Wilbur had to say his heart wrenching goodbye to Charlotte, I glanced over to see how my daughter was doing.  She was rubbing her eyes and had tears streaming down her little cheeks.  I put my arm around her, and gave her a reassuring squeeze.  She continued to rub her eyes for quite some time, and was obviously heartbroken.  
My heart ached for her, and even though my attention was turned back toward the play, my thoughts were elsewhere.  My throat tightened, and my own tears began to fall as I thought about all of the hurt that was to come for her.  The first day of Kindergarten (ok, that one will be way worse for me);  having to endure teasing from her peers; dealing with harsh (or what she perceives to be harsh) criticism from a parent, teacher, or coach;  the betrayal of a good friend; the loss of a pet; the first experience being rejected in love; leaving for college; missing her family; losing a job; fighting with a spouse; having to watch her own children go through heartache; the overwhelming sadness of losing a loved one.  I continued to think about how I would console her in each of those situations, what I might say, and...
“Mom”?  My thoughts were interrupted by my daughter, who was tugging at my sleeve.  
“Yes, sweetheart”, I looked down at her, ready to give more support, and was surprised to see that she was all smiles.  
“See”, she said, holding up her finger.  “I think I got it out”. 
“What’s that?”   I asked. 
“My eyelash”. 
Ah well, Kindergarten is coming up soon.  I’ll be ready.  

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

521 weeks pregnant

One of my four year old's favorite things to do is browse through catalogs and circle what she'd like.  Not just for herself, but for her brother, her dad, her mom, the cat, and for the dog that we don't have yet.  Aside from the toy and pet catalogs, her favorites are the clothing ones.

While flipping through the pages of a new Anthropologie catalog, she 'ooohs' and 'ahhhhs' over the women's dresses.  "Mom, you would look so beautiful in this one......Oooooh, I love the flowers on this one...... look, this one would look so nice on you"!  I point out one that I think is pretty.  She eyes me up and down and matter-of-factly states, "well, that one is a skinny dress".

To illustrate her point, she puts her hand on my belly and adds, "you need to be straight up and down to wear that".

This got my son's attention.  He comes over to me and puts one hand on my stomach, and one on my back, gives my daughter an official nod and says, "Yep.  She's havin' a baby".

 I answer teasingly, "Oh, and what do you think the baby will be"?

He inspects my stomach once again and tells my daughter , "I think we're gettin' a ten year old brother".

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Now THAT is my kind of fun

During snack time at Sunday school this morning, all the kids were taking turns saying what they were going to do for fun later that day.

S: "I'm going to a birthday party".

M: "Me too"!

J: "I'm going to see a movie with a friend".

L: "I'm going to family swim".

K: "I'm going to dissect a frog with my mom!  Oh, and once, my grandma killed a groundhog by smacking it in the head with a shovel because it was eating her vegetables".