Feb 12, 2009

Rigged Science Experiment

2/12/2009 — cori
This week was "W" week for Chloe in school. We always do an activity related to our letter of the week. For once, I was ahead of the game and actually had an activity already planned out. I was very proud of myself (you see, normally my brain is scrambling for an acceptable activity right before its time to do it). I was so excited to tell Chloe that her "W" activity this week was going to be about water and incorporate her very first science experiment. Only problem was, I didn't have part of the experiment...I still had to go to the store to get it.

Before I go any farther, let me explain the deep, scientific concepts involved here. First, you get a cup of water and fill it with a few drops of the food coloring of your choice. Then you insert a white carnation. Then you watch as the water flows through the flower and turns the carnation's petals the color of the water. It's almost like magic...especially when you're 4.

So...we're at the store and lo and behold, guess what type of flower they're completely out of?! Of course there were no white carnations to be found. So, me in all my wisdom decides that if this experiment can be done on a carnation, it can certainly be done on any old flower as long as its white. We find a perfect bunch of white mums and head home to conduct our scientific research.

We barely make it in from the garage when the kids are begging to start the experiment and are already searching for the food coloring. We don't even have time to unpack the grocery bags. We simply grab the mums, cut a few off and stick them in the jelly jar. Chloe has chosen a beautiful shade of purple while Bennett goes with blue water. I told them to be sure and check back often and find out what was going to happen to their flowers. I made the build up so huge, that they kept coming in from playing outside just to check on their flowers.

This experiment doesn't take long. Within a few hours, the petals should have turned colors. Notice the words: should have. These darned mums weren't turning any colors...they just sat there being all white and mum-like the whole rest of the day and into the night. Great! I cannot have Chloe's first science experiment end in failure...this will traumatize the rest of her scientific endeavors for years to come. I know the experiment works...I've done it before. Evidently, the flower is an intrical part of the whole procedure.

As luck would have it, I was up in the middle of the night getting some headache medicine when I noticed those flowers again. I knew I wouldn't be able to fall back asleep with white flowers still staring back at me. So I did the only other thing that made sense. I went and found the same food coloring the kids used, dropped plentiful amounts onto the mums, grabbed a paper towel and started rubbing the color into the petals. There...now we have a nice purple mum and a brilliant blue mum...with dots on them. You see, the food coloring didn't rub in all that great. But what the heck, it's 2 am and I'm not about making things look perfect or 'believeable' at this time of the morning. All I want is for my headache to go away and the flowers to change colors. Is that too much to ask?

The kids were beyond thrilled when they woke up and ran to check their flowers. In their eyes, the experiment worked. However, they were surprised that the color showed up in dots. Hmmm...me too. I quickly and discreetly disposed of all signs of the experiment before any questions could be asked.

Feb 9, 2009

Going Commando (again)

2/09/2009 — cori
This would not be my first or even second entry about my sweet, boy-child choosing to 'go commando'...no this is my THIRD POST! I'm beginning to think we, as parents, have done some major oversight in the department of when and when not to wear underwear. We had another 'incident' today. Here's the story:

Chloe, Bennett and I are out in search of jeans without holes in the knees for Bennett. We find a store, we find a pair of jeans, we go into the changing stall to try them on. However, Bennett asks if Chloe and I could leave. I figure he's just into the 'trying to be modest' stage (how could I be so dense as to even think that Bennett has an ounce of modesty?!). Oh, what a fool I was.

So, he comes out of the stall and I do the typical mother thing and pull on the jeans, check the waist, see how much room to grow he has left. It was during that last evaluation that I discovered the lack of underwear. Now the whole making me leave the changing room thing is starting to make sense. He didn't want to get caught! This would have been his second time in two weeks of being caught for the same offense.

The other commando incident happened at the Dr.'s office of all places. He's laying down on the examining table for his well child appointment. The Dr. is making sure everything is where it's supposed to be. As he begins to unbutton Bennett's pants he starts laughing and says, to no one in particular, "Ah....I see we're going commando today." This is NOT the place to be making parental mistakes or showing any sort of incompetency. How could he slip out of the house on today of all days without underwear. Of course my first reaction is to feign disbelief and gasp, "BENNETT!!! - what were you thinking?!" Thank God the Dr. downplayed the whole thing!

But now, here we are in a store with my son trying on umpteen pairs of jeans WITHOUT underwear! How did I get to this point in life? Am I not direct enough in my expectations for my children? Must I ask them everyday if they remembered to put on underwear? Why would you even want to go without them? It's cold out, for goodness sakes.

We continue on in the store as if we're normal and leave without giving away the fact that one of us is underwearless. We get in the car and I start asking Bennett questions. "Honey, what makes you want to go without underwear?"

"Well...it's not that I don't want to wear underwear...it's just that...well...sometimes I don't have any left in my drawer."

"Honey, I know for a fact you have underwear in your drawer today."

"Well...then maybe it's because I like to save my underwear for the rest of the week so I don't run out."

"Oh really. So, you're into underwear conservation?"

"Ya."

"Oh, I see. So, if you were me, what kind of discipline would you think appropriate for someone being deceptive about not wearing his underwear?"

"Well...I would make him brush his teeth for 4 minutes."

"How in the world does that relate to not wearing underwear, Bennett?!"

"It would make me think about it while I'm brushing my teeth."

I have now gotten to the point in the conversation where I can no longer hide the huge smile spread across my face. This line of reasoning is getting crazier by the minute. He's dead serious too. Chloe decides to pipe in with, "Mommy, this makes me want to wear underwear every day too."

"What? Now you? Do you go commando too?"

"Yes. But from now on, I will put on a clean pair of panties every day."

Then Bennett feels it's necessary to add what he's learned from his 7 years here on earth to the conversation, "And Chloe, make sure you put your socks and underwear in the hamper everyday!"

Way to score points, Bennett. But it's a lost cause at this point. I have no reasoning ability left in order to think of an appropriate discipline that will curb this type of behavior in the future. I used to think that teaching a child to put underwear on was a one time deal...kinda like learning how to use a fork. You teach them once, they do it forever. Evidently, that's not the case in this house. We need further underwear education...let's call it 'continuing underwear education'.

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UPDATE: In case you're wondering...yes, I finally did come up with an appropriate (in my opinion) discipline to help curb the wayward ways of my non-underwear wearing son. I had him take all his underwear out of his drawer and then fold them all and place them neatly back in the drawer. My only hope here is that he sees that he actually does have underwear and to see what they feel and look like. Kind of like a 'getting acquainted' session. And, as the ever the sensitive parent, I felt obliged to let him know that if he felt that the amount of underwear he had in his drawer was in any way inadequate, to just let me know and I would dish out whatever cash it takes to get him some more.

Feb 7, 2009

Daddy/Daughter Dance

2/07/2009 — cori
This was to be the night of all nights for Chloe. This was, in her mind, the culmination of all she's lived for these past 4 1/2 years. She had this piece of paper safely tucked under her pillow every night for the past week. She memorized every word on it. She read it to her stuffed animals. She brought it outside to show her friends. She read it to me every night for a week. It may as well have been a year we made her wait. There were so many preparations to make. Instantly, she wanted to know what she should wear. When can we lay it out? How should we do my hair? What are we going to eat? What if I toot? Real princesses aren't supposed to toot.Excuse me? She said, "Mommy, what if I'm at my Daddy/Daughter Dance and I toot?" I'm surprised this is even a question. "Honey. Just because you feel like you have to toot, doesn't mean you have to do it right then and there. You may go to the bathroom to toot." I can't believe our parenting has been so vague in this area. So all week long she'd come running up to me holding her butt saying, "I'm trying not to toot, Mom." Great, Honey. I'm so proud of you. Thankfully, all her fears were for naught. All her 'practicing' paid off.

Every dance she ever attends will now be measure next to this one. Any boy, will forever be compared to her Daddy who adored her all night long and danced the night away with his princess. I'm so thankful Chuck took the time to do this with her.

The right outfit was paramount. She chose a 'Real Princess' dress for this formal occasion. This was her 'ball' after all. Chuck said they even had a red carpet lining the walkway up to the recreation center that they decked out specially for the occasion. When he asked her to help him pick out his tie, she was giddy to see he owned a pink one. How perfect! It would match her dress perfectly. But instead of choosing that one, she chose a dark colored tie. We asked her why and she said, "What if all the other Daddies make fun of you Daddy because you're wearing a pink tie?" Fashion conscious, yes. But making sure her Daddy doesn't feel bad was more important than matching. He assured her that nobody would make fun of him and she was thrilled to have him wear his pink tie!

I think her favorite part was the pink rose Chuck gave her before they left. It was supposed to be pinned on her dress...but we didn't have a safety pin big enough. So she carried it around with her all night. This is love to a 4 year old!

Feb 5, 2009

War & Reality

2/05/2009 — cori
Bennett loves his Uncle John. Everything about him. So you can imagine how he took the news that his Uncle (who is career Air Force) has to go to Iraq. War is so hard to explain to kids. They don't understand why everyone doesn't just sit down and talk out their differences (kinda like we make them do). This event is weighing heavily on Bennett's little mind. We pray constantly. We talk it over. And it seems he has come to some peace with it. Daddy had him make a special Powerpoint presentation for Uncle John for his computer class. I won't insert his actual slides in here...but this is the closing message Bennett wrote for him: truth is what matters and you have faith when you go to war may the force be with you!

Feb 1, 2009

The Car Wash

2/01/2009 — cori
We are very lucky to have alot of kids in our neighborhood. There are 3 houses full of girls all around Chloe's age on our street. We let the kids play out front together all the time. We're used to hearing girls screaming out in front of our house every afternoon. You know, the 'we're having so much fun the only thing we can do is scream we're so happy' kind of scream. They ride their bikes back and forth on the side walk while they scream. They play chase and scream, they kick the ball, dig in the dirt, play mommy...all while emmiting giddy scream sounds. That's why I was a little concerned when 3 minutes went by and I hadn't heard a single scream. So I went out front to see what the girls were up to.

Leave it to a bunch of girls to organize an impromptu, surprise carwash (thank God it was for the neighbor's car...not mine). They put their collective heads together and this was the best thing they could think of doing. Well why not? They had paper towels. They had hand soap. They had water from my spicket. They had buckets. Seems like the only logical thing to do.

I was so tickled when I walked outside and saw this teamwork. They were soooooo happy. They wanted it to be a surprise for the neighbor girl's mom (believe - was it a surpise! I'm just not sure she thought it as cute and thoughtful as I did). I just had to document this adorable 'play time'.

First, get a bunch of paper towels. Cuz those are great to rub all over the paint job of any car.

Then, run it under the water spicket for a good long time.

Next, wad it up into a ball and scrub your heart out.

If you have any extra vanilla smelling bathroom handsoap, make sure
you squirt ample doses (of the foam) all over the car.

It would help if you beg the neighbor (that would be me) for a water hose to attach to the spicket so that you can get all the soap off faster. I didn't really want to be an accomplice to this 'surprise', but I couldn't in good conscience let vanilla soap be stuck to my neighbor's car along with tons of pieces of wet paper towel. And just look at that teamwork! You go girls!

Voila!! The finished product. Nice, shiny and vanilla scented!

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