Sep 21, 2006


9/21/2006 — cori

Every other 'normal' mother I know would be thrilled to death that their precious 7 and 4 year olds were not only familiar with the term homonym but could actually be able to produce one if asked.

That's where I'm not normal. You see, I'm SICK of homonyms and homophones. However, my children (and even Chloe to a point) are OBSESSED with them. I'm not joking, every 2.5 minutes a new one is thrown at me. You'd think they were on this secret mission to uncover all homonyms/homophones in the English language in less than a year.

Their level of excitement about these anomalies of the English language are causing me to wonder if I'm being secretly taped for some pitiful reality show that is trying to unearth the idiosyncrasies of the English language.

If only that were true, then there would be some reason for our madness, but no, I have since come to discover that it is purely out of joy that my children lambast me with these parts of speech day and night.

Gavin truly has a strong grasp of this concept. Give him 5 minutes to come up with as many as he can and he could shoot out 10 of them - all grammatically correct and used in a sentence.

Then there's Bennett. Some days I think he really knows what he's talking about, then most days remind me that he just got lucky on the word he chose and he really has no clue. Here's how I know: (snipets of actual conversation to follow are from the best of my memory, however, my memory is on overload right now and could not possibly remember everyone of the infinite examples he has casually thrown out).

Bennett: "Rock Mom, like I see a rock and like, the rock is on the floor."
Bennett: "For Mom, like I am four and I look for that."
Bennett: "Beyell (how he pronounces bell) Mom, like I see a beyell and like, I have a beyell around my waist." (This was said as we were entering a certain food establishment with this word in its title.) Gavin is quick to jump upon this as a simple enunciation error and swiftly corrects Mr. Homonym Man by informing him that he is indeed wrong under no uncertain terms. I might have chosen a more gentle approach - but that's what brother's are for, I guess.
Bennett: "Look Mom, like look at that woodpecker and like, I you look pretty." (that one earned points for ingenuity).
Bennett: " Hey mom, like 'hey' like hey I want that or like, hey give that to me." This is being said as we are walking through the grocery store.

FINALLY I intervene and save us all from utter homonym exhaustion.

Mommy: "Very close, Buddy, but it's actually 'hay' as in the stuff horses eat and 'hey' come back here." Why am I doing I actually trying to encourage more homophones? I'm walking a very fine line here. I definitely don't want to damage his developing physcy by constantly saying 'No, you're wrong!' - but I also don't want him to give up just cuz he didn't get it right. So I guess ultimately I am the responsible party keeping this endless cycle of homonyms going...this realization has just now occurred to me as I sit here typing away...Hey! Here and Hear - I thought of one! See, it's catchy isn't it?!

What I've learned from Bennett: NEVER stop trying. You will eventually get it right. You never know until you ask. It's all worth it in the end if you made them laugh!

What I've learned from Gavin: Don't stop learning until you get it right and then say it over and over and over again so that the repetitive process burns the information into your internal hard drive forever.

What I've learned from Chloe: Copying those around you who are older and wiser is an awesome way to learn.

And the most important lesson learned: THERE ARE WAY TOO MANY HOMONYMS/HOMOPHONES IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE! WHO WILL PUT AN END TO THIS MADNESS?!? Is there some national English language hotline I can call?

Sep 20, 2006

A Day in the Life

9/20/2006 — cori

I am so lucky. I get to learn something new every day and most days its because my kids have taught it to me. Here's what I've learned today:

1. Woodpeckers should be called 'Housepeckers' because they prefer to peck holes in our house instead of trees - or maybe they think our house is a huge tree. Thank you, Bennett, for this lesson.

2. Knights are probably the coolest thing to play. Today we made our own shields from cardboard and designed our own coat of arms. Gavin was the double tailed scorpion, Bennett was the red dragon and Chloe was the little, pink pony. In their minds they are real knights and take all this very seriously. They spent an eternity sanding down their swords of wood to make them super smooth so as not to get slivers (which both boys ended up getting prior to the sandpapering episode). They learned that knights spoke Latin and that boys their ages were called pages and also practiced and played with wooden swords. Their excitement is contagious and showed me how fantasy play grows your imagination in ways you can't even measure.

3. I've learned from my children how vitally important it is that we accept, love and show patience to everyone different than we are. Isolation is cruel, lonely and sad and should never be experienced by anyone if we can ever help it. If we are ever the ones to be left out or shunned we would want someone else to treat us the way we would hope to be treated. This is a beautiful lesson that runs deep on many levels.

4. Homeschooling is really just life. It's children who love to learn so much, they never want to stop. The moment I turn something into a 'school project or lesson' the joy is gone - but when we experience it as play and fun the natural curiosity returns. I no longer put myself above the children but learn along side them. They can tell the difference. I think its so important for our children to see us actively learning. They copy everything they see you know.

Sep 12, 2006

I've Been Wonderin....

9/12/2006 — cori

Bennett and I have been experiencing some pretty deep conversations lately. Take yesterday at snack time for instance. Him and I are sitting on the kitchen floor, busily filling our tummies when he lets his true feelings be known:

"Mom, there's sumfin I've been wonderin ever since I was a baby being bugs have blood in dem or air? Cuz it seems every time you smoosh a bug, only air comes out?"

No question is too hard for me when you have your trusty, dusty Science Encylopedia by your side. I whip it open to the bug section and find a neat little diagram of a bug and thankfully, it did indeed show the bug's blood vessels. You can set your heart at ease now, dear Bennett, Mommy has scientifically proven to you that bugs are not filled with air only. Next question please.

Thinking that he has some deep seeded issues of holding questions in too long, I pry into his brain and try to figure out what's going on in there. Fortunately, I succeed in opening the floodgates.

The next question I get asked is, "Mom, I've also been wonderin, ever since I was born, what 10 plus 8 is."

Oh have you now??? This line of questioning intrigues me. Yet, I stick with it, knowing that all he really wants is my undivided attention and time with me. He just thought of that question 2 seconds ago. It was the first thing that popped into his mind. Oddly enough, him and I were just doing a little bit of math right before snack time. I give him the answer he has seemingly waited years to hear. "Oh" is the depth of response I get. He's already mulling over his next pseudo question.

But I am pleasently surprised. Instead of a question this time, I get to witness his brain in action. He's kind of thinking out loud about this next issue. This is exactly what he said:

"Mom, when I become a Jedi, if I can't make my own light saber, I'll just get a sword instead. I guess I could build it - maybe take a stick and melt it to make the handle. Then I could get Daddy's screwdriver fork type thingy and I could rub it on that to make my sword killable."

"Hmmmm." was the extent of my reply. What does one say in response to something like that? I'm thinking to myself, So, this is what's running through your mind when I'm asking you to eat your food and you're sitting there staring at me with a blank expression? Or am I somehow overstimulating your already over active brain with too many books? Do you really think becoming a Jedi is a suitable career option for you? Why would you want to make something killable? Do all boys think like this, or should we look into some counseling?

However, in the end I end up giving him a giant hug and thank him for sharing the things he's been wonderin about. Without times like this, I wouldn't have that special window into my son's thoughts and wouldn't be priviledged to see the things that make him tick.

But now that he brought it up, there's something I've been wonderin about ever since I was born too.....why has God blessed me with such an awesome life??

Sep 11, 2006

The New Barnyard

9/11/2006 — cori

As Chloe and I sat doing puzzles together today, I realized something profound. It's time that we bring some excitement into the otherwise boring and predictable sounds of your typical barnyard - at least Chloe holds such convictions.

Try as I may, she continues to give the animals HER sounds, not the ones I'm attempting to brainwash her with - you know the same ones that have been passed down from generation to generation. Did you know that dolphins now live in the 'barnyard'? That seems to be the reality that my daughter is living in and she refuses to believe anyone who attempts to tell her other wise.

Below is a re-creation of an actual conversation that occured between Chloe and myself earlier today:

Mommy handing Chloe a puzzle piece of a pig. What does this say, Honey?

Chloe: gose, gose (gross, gross).

Mommy, laughing her head off, gives her a horse piece to see what in the world this creature says in her world.

Chloe: hee-hee

Mommy decides to hand her a sheep. What is this one, Sweetie?

Chloe: a feep. honk, honk

Next I give her a rooster.

Chloe: dat a rooser. ka-kooo. She then sees a dolphin from another puzzle and says, "Dat, too." So I ask her what it says and she responds, "ruff, ruff"

So, there you have it. If I ever appear to not understand what you're telling me or seem to be confused by adult conversation, it would be because of such conversations as the one you just witnessed. You cannot spend your days talking about things that don't exist or aren't real and not begin to question your sanity. The line between make believe and reality is a VERY thin one in this house. I often find myself spending alot of time looking for that line and never finding it.

When one spends much of their day and time listening to tales of superhero feats attained by 4 and 7 year olds or listening to the new sounds that the animals make now-a-days through the eyes of a 2 year old, one tends to have a far-away look in their eyes. This same person tends to also question whether or not you are being 'for real'. Don't take it personally, just nod and shake your head and let this person believe that she is 'normal'. Thank you!

Sep 2, 2006

Going Commando

9/02/2006 — cori

This would be our family's code word for anyone (inside our family unit) who might have 'forgotten' to wear appropriate undergarments. This normally only happens to one of our family members...can you guess who? Of course you can. One word says it all...Bennett. I love that little guy! If it weren't for him, I wouldn't have much to blog about.

This would actually be my second post regarding Bennett's underwear habits. Should this be? Never-the-less, this is where I find myself in life and feel the need to share it with anyone who will listen.

So, the other day I notice (I won't divulge how I came about this pertinent piece of information, just that I did) that Bennett is not wearing any big boy pants under his shorts. Curious as to his train of thought and excuse for this 'oversight', I ask, "Bennett, are you not wearing any big boy pants today?" He abruptly stops what he's doing, looks at me and tries to asses my mood. I can see the thoughts scrolling across his forhead: Am I in trouble? Should I pull the 'I have no clue how this could have happened' look? Do I pretend I didn't hear her? Do I go up and give her a kiss and lavish her with compliments? Is she happy about this discovery? Should I pull the 'oh, I forgot' tactic? Hmmmm...choices, choices.

Finally, an answer spews forth from his lips,"Well...I seen Gavin do it and it kinda made me want to." Goodness, I wouldn't have seen the Blame the Brother strategy being applied to this situation. Yet, he seemed to pull it off pretty good. It did divert the question at hand away from him momentarily. But I wasn't about to be caught up in his mind games. Instead of calling Gavin over to find out if this was true, I chose to follow up on my first line of questioning.

Being that this isn't the first time I have caught him Going Commando I wanted to see if there was indeed a reason behind this whole charade or if it was simply what I feared: laziness. Actually, I guess there could be a third reason, no clean underwear was readily available from his usual stash. But since I am well acquainted with the laundry schedule and how many pairs of underwear each child has, it was highly unlikely that he had none left. Normally, he opts for turning the dirty pair inside out and wearing those before Going Commando.

Back to the conversation at hand..."Why do you like to do this, Bennett?"

"'s kinda fun and silly too." Then he pauses as if he's thinking of something and shyly looks back up at me and finishes his train of thought, "The only bad part is that when you have to pee, you can't pee in your pants." This one caught me by surprise. What does that mean exactly? Why would that be the 'bad part'? Is he making it a habit of peeing in his big boy underwear? Do we need a refresher course in potty training? Have I utterly failed at explaining the purpose behind wearing underwear to my son? I chose to ignore the assault of 'pee questions' flooding my mind and put on my best, "oh" expression and tried very hard to move on. Where to, I don't know. All I know is that he was succesful in diverting my attention away from the the fact that he was going commando.

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