Sunday, January 25, 2009
Max asked, "Where is that happening?"
I snapped out of my fog.
"In Iraq, on the other side of the world."
"Why are people killing each other?"
"Because they disagree about things they think are important, like who gets to be in charge, who gets to make decisions."
There's been a lot of talk around our house lately about the process of electing a new President and the magnificence of an orderly transfer of power. Time for more elaboration.
"Around the world, people have different ways of resolving things when they disagree. In some places, like here in the United States, we elect people who make decisions for us. And if we don't like the choices they're making, we can vote for someone else next time. In some other places, people who disagree fight to resolve their disagreements."
"And whoever is the last person alive gets his way?"
"Sometimes. Or one of the groups gets tired of fighting and gives up or gives in."
"Why don't they just play 'Rock, Paper, Scissors?'"
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Remember the game "Battleship", where you tried to find your opponent's ships using coordinates on a grid? The 2008 knock-off features paleontologists searching for dinosaur fossils. Not quite ready for a real match-up, Boo was decorating his grid this evening with white and red flags.
"You see here? It's a big fire! In Cowichan Bay! And everyone's safe because there's a whole mile between each of these markers!"
Cowichan Bay. Two blocks of waterfront shops, a few dozen sailboats, and a bakery and cheese shop worth another 2000 mile trip.
Now how did that name register in Boo's 4-year old brain?
Monday, March 31, 2008
But in addition to his virtues, he's cultivating a serious vice: candy. I've had a can of white icing in the refrigerator ever since the kids used some as mortar to make igloos out of sugar cubes. It was on the highest shelf, tucked out of sight. But when I walked into the kitchen this afternoon, Boo was scampering off the stool, clutching the sticky blue can and a spoon. I gave him an accusatory glance.
With downcast eyes, he stated his case: "I opened the refrigerator, and it just popped out."
Saturday, March 29, 2008
"See, it's a mommy ankylosaurus," Boo explained casually.
Something about that, or perhaps something completely unrelated (and I sincerely hope so), got Max thinking. "Mommy, what did you learn back in the old days when you were in school?"
Hmmm, let me see if I can remember back that far. Ah, yes, the fog is lifting a bit, just over a herd of dinosaurs, and I do have a few, dim memories of childhood.
"Well, honey, I learned a lot of the same things you're learning about now, like reading and math and science, sort of."
"But you didn't learn words like 'oviparous', did you?"
Sheesh. No, oviparous was not on our kindergarten word list. Even today, it would have gotten me tossed from a spelling bee.
Having children is humbling.
In oh-so-many ways.
Friday, March 28, 2008
"Don't you think you'd be happier if you had only one child?"
This is one of those moments when you turn the question on the questioner. But before I could, Boo piped up from the other booster seat.
"No, Mommy Wouldn't!!!"
Returning to Socrates: "So Max, can you tell me more about what you're thinking???"
"Well, I think you would, because then you wouldn't have to do as many dishes."
Okay, now that makes some sense to me.
Boo's parry: "Yeah, but you wouldn't have as much love."
More dishes, more love. That's an easy trade-off.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Boo, in keeping with his mostly-sweet demeanor, is polishing another approach: kissing up. A couple of weeks ago, we were in the throes of our favorite family skirmish: trying to get the boys to pick up their mess. After my repeated efforts failed and the boys were sleeping like angels, I grabbed a trash bag, as I had warned, and took every last lego, train car, magnifying glass, block and dinosaur off their floor. In the morning, they didn't even notice.
After a couple of weeks, Boo had a flicker of memory.
"Mommy, what happened to all of my big farm animals? I can't find them."
"Remember when you and Max didn't clean up your room? And I told you I would take away whatever was still on the floor when you went to bed? Well, I did, and they're mine now."
"But, but, but...," he stammered. "I want them back!"
"You'll have to earn them."
"OH, YEAH?!" I readied myself for the coming threat.
"Then I'll PICK YOU A FLOWER!"
Good thing I was in the front seat so he couldn't see me smile.
"You're going to have to do a lot more work than that to earn your animals back."
"Hrrrmmph! THEN I'LL PICK YOU A WHOLE BUNCH OF FLOWERS AND BRING THEM TO YOU IN A VASE!"
Not exactly what I had in mind, but a charming offer nevertheless.
Monday, February 18, 2008
"You are the worst mommy EVER, and I'm never speaking to you AGAIN!"
I brushed vigorously for quite a while. This gave him time to reconsider his position.
"But I AM going to speak to you at breakfast. Because you know that I'm ALWAYS HUNGRY."