Friday, March 30, 2012

Tooth fairy scrimshanker*...

Jacob lost another tooth this week.  The next day...
Jacob:  (excited, jumping up and running to the stairs as he speaks)  Oh, I forgot to look under my pillow to see what the tooth fairy left. 
Me:  (forgot to leave the tooth fairy loot, yikes, racking brain, Jacob now halfway up the stairs, decide to shamelessly take advantage of his sweet and suggestible nature)  Don't you want to go next door and see if James wants to check with you? 
Jacob:  (still excited, stops and runs back down the stairs and outside)  Yea! 
Me:  (wait for the door to shut, race to wallet, grab the cash, sprint up the stairs to stash it, back down to the living room just as Jacob gets back)
* If you google "slacker synonym", one of the results is "scrimshanker" which 1) makes you sound smarter and 2) is just fun to say.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Goodnight sweet boys...

Here are a couple of bedtime rituals I want to remember.

Every night Bryan says, "Out of all the 35 year-olds in the world, you're my favorite."

As part of our relentless campaign to coerce Rand into talking,* we line up the older boys outside his door every night at bedtime.  And then...
Me:  (Rand on my lap, cheery voice) Rand, do you want David to come give you a hug and kiss and blow your belly?

Rand:  (ecstatic, kicking his chubby legs and flapping his little arms toward the door)  Muh!  Muh!

Me:  (still cheery) Say, "David."

Rand:  (still ecstatic) Aiyah!**

Me:  (cheery, ad nauseum) Say, "David."

Rand:  (moving from ecstasy to annoyance) Aiyah!

Me:  (resigned) Okay David.  Give him a hug and kiss and blow his belly.

[Enter David]

Rand:  (squealing, flapping his arms, reaching for David)
Now David hugs him, dodges the attempted French kiss but offers his cheek.  Then Rand gleefully lifts up his shirt and David blows his belly.  We repeat the same process with Jacob and Bryan.  While it hasn't been very effective in terms of forcing him to say his brothers' names, it sure is cute.

*He's started talking a lot more this week.  As a sign of my desperation, or possibly evidence that I've been beaten down by prepubescent boys, he said, "poop" and "butthead" (possibly repeating something he heard from his potty-mouthed brothers).  I cheered wildly.  He's been building on that impressive vocabulary daily.

**"Aiyah" is his standby word when saying something is our idea and not his.  As in, 
Me:  Rand, do you want CHEESE or CARROT?
Rand:  Aiyah!
Me:  Rand, say "Up."
Rand:  Aiyah! ...

Friday, March 9, 2012

Rhinos purple, hippos green...

When my youngest brother was around four or five, my father was very disappointed to learn that my other brother and I had informed Aaron, with requisite elder sibling superiority, I'm sure, that it's "SPA-ghetti" not "PA-sgetti".  When David began to talk, I planted myself firmly in my dad's camp.  Those little guy mispronunciations are precious and fleeting.  When we started homeschooling, though, I had to adjust my stance somewhat.  Now I correct all but the most endearing improper English for the school-aged kids.  This one, however, I left alone.
Brother H:  (Pretty much all of his side of the conversation was in italics, but the emphasis shown here is on words that were italicized-er.)  Mommy, what's destructive-er, an atomic bomb or a GUH-nuclear bomb? 
Older brother:  (with disdain) It's "nuclear bomb" not "GUH-nuclear bomb". 
Brother H:  (no loss of confidence)  Well I call it a "GUH-nuclear bomb". 
Me:  (jumping in before an all out battle over the proper pronunciation of various weaponry)  I'd say a nuclear bomb. 
Brother H:  You mean GUH-nuclear bomb.   
Me:  My bad.  I'd say a GUH-nuclear bomb.
This exchange put me in mind of this Brothers H favorite poem...

Rhinos Purple, Hippos Green

My sister says
I shouldn’t color
Rhinos purple,
Hippos green.
She says
I shouldn’t be so stupid;
Those are things
She’s never seen.
But I don’t care
What my sister says,
I don’t care
What my sister’s seen.
I will color
What I want to-
Rhinos purple,
Hippos green

By Michael Patrick Hearn

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Germs, wild sheep, and things that ought not be fried...

I took the boys to the rodeo today.  Petting zoos are awesome for city kids.  My boys thought it was hilarious to just see a live hen walking around.  But, taking a rabid thumb sucker to a petting zoo is not for the faint of heart.

 The hatching chicks were a little disturbing for us.  We don't like to mentally attach our food with actual, living animals.  

By far the highlight of our day was the mutton bustin'.  What, you might ask, is mutton bustin'?  That is where you put a small child on the back of a terrified, bucking sheep.  We went to watch the 2:30 show.  My first thought was that it reminded me of the Hunger Games, but for kindergarteners.  My friend, Janet, said she was at a conference in New Jersey for pediatricians where a speaker said, presumably with moral outrage, "Did you know that in the state of Texas they strap young children to the backs of bucking sheep?"  Now, I think that speaker would have had a completely different perspective if she had watched the event.  Seriously, it's hilarious.  So, when they announced that anyone could sign up for the next show, the brothers h (and possibly their mother) were ECSTATIC.  A few heartbreaking minutes later we learned that you had to be 5 or 6 and under the weight limit.  David was out and Jacob missed it by four pounds, but Bryan was IN.  Now, I hope that if this blog were called the sisters h, I would be above the toddler beauty pageant scene, but I'm afraid that there's a preK rodeo mom lurking just beneath the surface.  Maybe it's because I've got so many cowboy relatives.

Here he is prepping for his fierce ride.

Text exchange with my parents:
Me:  Bryan about to do mutton bustin.
Dad:  Which is?
Me:  Strap a kid to a wild sheep and see how long he stays on.  B and D too heavy.  Bitterly disappointed.
Mom:  Do NOT let that sweet boy get on a wild sheep!!!!!
Dad:  Ditto on Nana's comment.
Me:  Too late.  T - 7 min
Dad:  We are going to inspect him for bruises and call Child Welfare if we find any.  Film it.  We might need the evidence.
Mom:  I can't believe he is doing this.  What about his glasses????*
They announced each kid's name, favorite food and future career before their ride.  Mine was not one of the masses in blue jeans who wants to be a cowboy/fireman/policeman.  Mine was the one in khaki shorts who wants to be a waiter** when he grows up.

And, this my friends, will certainly be played at his wedding.

He wasn't grinning afterward.  It was way too serious an event for that.  He may not have had John Wayne's outfit, but he had his nonchalance nailed.

We cheered for our pig in the pig race, we rode rides, the three big boys entered the tractor pull (David won), we raced remote control cars (Jacob won), we ate outrageously expensive crap, including deep fried cookie dough*** (better than it sounds).  At one point, they had snowcones in one hand and fried cookie dough in the other.  On the way home...
David: That was a lot of junk.  I don't think we ate a single thing that was good for us.
Which, I think, is an essential ingredient for a perfect kid day.

*  The very sweet mutton bustin' crew carried him back and forth to his sheep since he really can't see anything without his glasses.
**  As part of his self-imposed training for his future career, Bryan serves Chris yogurt for breakfast almost every morning. 
***  You MUST eat some weird deep fried food at the rodeo.  It's a rule. 

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