Aug 25, 2008

Table Manners

8/25/2008 — cori

Dinner conversation usually supplies me with an endless amount of blog material. Tonight did not disappoint. Case and point: Bennett and Gavin while eating corn on the cob.

Bennett and Gavin sit next to each other at the table. Gavin still has the table manners of a 2 year old despite his 9 years. This fact comes as no surprise to anyone that knows him. Slurping, loud chewing, crumbs of all varieties around his placemat and under his chair are all unfortunately common despite our daily repertoire of 'Polite Manners at the Table' dialogue we give at each and every meal. We seem to be speaking the same language as Bennett and Chloe but have yet to discover which language Gavin understands because we're fairly certain its not English.

So, there are my two sweet boys sitting side by side politely trying to eat corn on the cob (yes, I know, it is indeed the greatest challenge ever when trying to eat mannerly at the table). But evidently Bennett can take it no more. He looks at Gavin and matter of factly says, "Gavin, could you please eat with your manners. I'm tired of getting all your drops of wetness on me". Those infamous 'drops of wetness' would be the corn juice (is there such a thing?) squirting out in Bennett's general direction with each bite Gavin chomps down on.

Gavin is enjoying each delicious bite of corn to its fullest, unaware of the rest of the family. But upon hearing Bennett's request almost spits out the remaining precious golden bits of corn during his laughing fit. Truth of the matter is, we all couldn't help having a little chuckle over such a odd request coming from the mouth of a six year old. Bennett always seems to have impeccable timing and a way with words.

I guess we need to implement a new 'Table Rule' - no getting drops of wetness on your siblings while eating!

Aug 13, 2008

Bump In The Night

8/13/2008 — cori
The way our house is situated, the boys' room is over ours on the second story. We can normally hear each time someone falls out of bed, drops a book or kicks the wall repetitively with their foot for no apparent reason. With that being said, I was having difficulty sleeping last night and thought I heard noises coming from the boys' room. But I wasn't concerned enough to do anything about it. When I heard noises again, I walked over to the stairway and looked up. I saw the bathroom light on and heard the toilet flush. I decided it wasn't worth climbing up 16 steps in the middle of the night to check on one of my night walkers who just needed to go potty.

So I did what any other normal person would do...I went back to bed. But my 'mommy conscience' kept bugging me that something was just not right. Sleep was evasive. What other choice did I have but to muster enough muscle strength in my sleepy legs and go check on that little 'bump in the night' I heard much earlier?

I make my way upstairs in the pitch black and peek in the boys' room first. I see a hump in the middle of the room with blankets all over the place. For the life of me, I couldn't figure out what it was. I didn't have my glasses on so everything was blurry and hazy. I thought maybe that earlier sound in the bathroom was Gavin getting up to throw up and maybe he decided to sleep on the floor afterwards. But then suddenly he spoke to me, "Hi Mom". But his voice wasn't coming down from the floor, he was up on his bed. Now I'm really confused. I asked him, "What's this?" while pointing to the lump on the floor. He said, "It's Chloe."

Hmmmm....the saga is taking more turns than my brain could process at this dim hour of the morning. I replied with the only obvious question, "What's she doing sleeping on the floor in your room?" Then he answered, "She had a bad dream so Bennett went and got her and set her up on the floor between us." Awwwww, how sweet is that?! But as suddenly as I think that, I also think, what kind of loser parent am I that I ignore the 'bumps in the night' up stairs and let my 6 year old respond to my poor 4 year old's plea for help? Loser!

So obviously, I get nice and comfy on the floor next to Chloe and whisper in her ear how sorry I am that I didn't hear her calling for me. She's still wide awake and responds, "I didn't call you Mommy. I called Bennett. I knew he would help me." Does it get any sweeter than that?! My heart was bursting with emotion for the love and care my son just bestowed on his sister in the middle of the night without being prompted or asked to. I think he really is going to grow up to be a super hero.

Aug 12, 2008

Time Flies

8/12/2008 — cori
As we sit down to dinner tonight, Bennett tells us "Everyday I wake up and think...My how the years are flying by - I'm already 6. Before you know it I'll be 20." Seriously, those exact words emanated from his very own lips. So...this is a thought that crosses your mind every morning? Are you sure you didn't steal this thought from me? Are you sure you're only 6 because right now you're sounding more like 56. How can a child understand the passage of time so well and the speed with which it evaporates? Thanks for the reminder, Bennett, that we need to seize the day - every day!

Aug 11, 2008

Career Paths

8/11/2008 — cori

Bennett has just had an epiphany - he now knows what he's going to be when he grows up.

Drum roll please.....

Introducing Bennett the Falconer!

My son would like to grow up and train falcons for a living and catch them on his hands. This vocation was hugely popular in the Middle Ages - however, I'm not quite sure how he can use this skill in these post modern times. But Gavin does.

Gavin excited Bennett even more by declaring that he knew exactly where Bennett could put his skill to use in this metropolitan environment - at Medieval Times! Bennett had this far out look in his eyes like he could picture the whole thing. Then Gavin added whip cream and a cherry on top by telling him he could also be the Blue Knight and joust whenever he wasn't being a falconer.

It's just nice to know that my kids are thinking about the future! The world is at their fingertips. When you could be anything in the world you wanted to be - why not be a falconer?

Aug 4, 2008

Social Situations

8/04/2008 — cori

Everyone knows that the 'big question' when you find out someone homeschools is the one about socialization. I could write a small thesis on the topic, but that is not the purpose of this post. I'm not afraid of the socialization factor...but that doesn't mean I still don't wonder how others might perceive our children. They're comfortable carrying on conversations with any and all age groups, but being careful to still act respectful to adults and not put themselves on equal footing while speaking with an adult. But of course, childhood is a huge learning process and some days they do better than others.

All this to say that the other night we were invited to someone's house we hadn't seen in a very long time. So, Chuck and I decided it would be in our (and the kids') best interest to take a trial run talking to a new adult. We posed as 'new people' asking the kids all kinds of questions about what they are learning in school, etc. I know my boys' tendency to say "I don't know" a little too well whenever they don't feel like thinking about something too deeply. But that little pat answer was not about to cut it with me. So, I gave them an alternate answer that was from the 'acceptable phrases allowed by mom' rule book. I instructed them (particularly Bennett) that if someone asked them a question they truly didn't know the answer to, they can respond with: "I haven't learned that yet." To me, that sounds infinitely better than "I dunno".

But then, these are my crazy kids we're talking about here. So everything is twisted once it finally reaches their brain and somehow the whole serious talk became one big joke. For instance, we're in the car driving to 'new friends' house' and the kids are asking each other questions such as "What is your name little boy? How old are you little boy?". And with each question, Bennett puts into play the new 'allowed phrase' in a highly inaccurate but hugely hilarious way. He now responds to every question posed to him with "I haven't learned that yet." It's said in the dumbest tone of voice he can muster too. We shouldn't be laughing, but we just can't help it. Our last minute tutorial is shot to pieces because Bennett found a better use for the 'allowed phrase'.

Our visit went well...without any social faux pauxs from the kids or us. All that preliminary work for nothing. At least my son never found occasion to tell them "I haven't learned that yet." I have a feeling this particular phrase is going to come back and haunt me this coming school year.

Aug 1, 2008

Good Choices

8/01/2008 — cori
This is Chloe (in her Mommy dress) adorning me with her special pins. As she is putting them on me she tells me, "Daughter this is because you made good choices today. Plus, also, you were a good swimmer." Afterwards, she gently kisses me and rubs my face, her pride and love for me just oozing out. We're playing role reversal again here (her favorite game to play). I wonder if she's trying to tell me something? Maybe if I stuck a few pins on her through-out the day, she would be encouraged by the fact that I am acknowledging her good choices. Just a hunch. This picture was actually recreated. She originally put her prized pins on me while we were in the bathroom playing hair dresser (that is why my hair and make-up looks the way it does; notice my purple nails - the make-up is a little less obvious, but there none-the-less).

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