Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Here was our conversation on the way to deliver the food:
David: Now, who are we taking this food to mommy?
Me: We're taking it to Alan.
David: The big kid, Alan? (That is how we distinguish all the kids in the youth group.)
David: Are we taking food to his mommy and daddy too?
Me: No, just to Alan. His mommy and daddy are on a trip.
David: AND HE IS ALL ALONE?!!!!
Me: Yes, but he is older David. He is old enough to stay home by himself.
David thought for a second and then asked: Can he get a drink all by himself when he is thirsty?
Me: Yes, he can.
David: Can he choose to eat whatever he wants for supper?
Me: Yes, he can.
David: What are we taking him for supper?
Me: Poppy seed chicken.
David: With rice?
Me: Yes, with rice.
David: If he is old enough to choose whatever he wants for supper, then why would he choose rice?!!!
We pulled up to church last night and David became very concerned and asked,"How is Alan going to get to church?" Brian told David that Alan would drive his truck to church, and David responded quite dramatically, "HE IS OLD ENOUGH TO DRIVE??!!!"
(If the length of time we have been driving determines how old we are, then I guess I am ancient!)
Friday, May 26, 2006
As soon as we stepped foot in the store, the boys begged to go look at the toys and the fish. We browsed through the toy section first after I told the boys we were ONLY looking and received promises from both that they wouldn't ask for anything. Instead of asking if he could have the toys, David just kept saying, "That is a neat (insert name of toy). Maybe if I am lucky, I will get one of those someday."
After looking at all the toys and at the fish, we headed to buy groceries. Since David has very "specific preferences" about food, he soon began to realize that he didn't like what I was putting in the cart. So, when I put some lunch meat in the cart, he said, "Daddy didn't tell you to get that." I just gave him a strange look and kept shopping. He continued on with "You aren't following Daddy's instructions very well" when I put some green beans in the cart. At one point, he shook his head at me and said, "Daddy is NOT going to be very happy!"
Now, I really believe that it is scriptural and important to be a submissive wife, but my response probably didn't portray that idea very well to my son. I leaned down and looked David in the eyes and said, "David, Daddy is not in charge of groceries. I am in charge of groceries. Daddy will like whatever I buy!" David just crossed his arms and sighed. We finished our shopping and David didn't say another word about any of my choices.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
"Traveling tends to magnify all human emotions." - Peter Hoeg
"In America, there are two classes of travel: First class, and
with children." - Robert Benchley
On Friday, we headed out in the afternoon to Ft Worth. After several peaceful hours in the car, we decided to stop for a nice supper at Cracker Barrel. Lucky for us, the peaceful weekend stopped there. Nathan gagged on some food and threw up EVERYWHERE. Since we are experts in small children gagging and throwing up, Brian and I have a system already worked out. He is the napkin hander guy who passes napkins to me, the pounder and catcher girl who is responsible for pounding the small child's back and catching whatever comes out of his mouth. Unfortunately, we only had four napkins and Nathan apparently had a pretty full stomach. Needless to say, life got very messy.
To add insult to injury, the "nice" lady at the table behind us made some very rude comments as if Nathan had purposefully thrown up to ruin her day. I wanted to get in her face and put her in her place, but the need to take care of the situation at hand won out. I got Nathan cleaned up and then realized that he had gotten my clothes dirty too. So, I changed clothes in the van (very discreetly!) while I waited for Brian and David to make their way out to the car. Then we were off again for another "peaceful" car ride.
At least it was peaceful until Brian was pulled over by the state trooper. Did you know at night you can only go 65 mph in Texas? David was quite excited about the policeman and the flashing red and blue lights behind us. He even asked us if the policeman was there to show us the way to Dallas. That lightened the mood a little bit. The trooper gave Brian a warning (which lightened the mood even more) and we were once again on our way to Ft. Worth...at 65 mph.
Saturday was a good day. We spent time with Brian's aunt, Becky, and cousins, Chris and Meagan. We enjoyed getting to visit with them during the day and then went to Chris' graduation that night. It was a nice graduation, but a little on the long side for the boys, especially Nathan. At one quiet point in the graduationceremonyy, Nathan gave an overdramatic and very loud sigh, which brought about some stares, smiles and laughing from the people seated around us. (They were thinking the same thing...Nathan just had the guts to verbalize it!) Overall, they did a good job, but at the end of it, were more than ready to leave.
Sunday was another great day. We spent the afternoon with Becky, Chris, Meagan and Becky's husband Pat just hanging out at their house. The boys decided to put their feet in the pool and pretty soon they were wading on the steps of the pool in just their underwear. Nathan decided it was time to be a little braver and stepped off the step into a section of the pool where he couldn't reach the bottom. This led to me jumping in the pool to rescue him. (Did I mention I was wearing my jeans, T-shirt, socks and shoes?) And for the record, I don't think I will ever forget the look of fear in his eyes when I pulled him out of the water. I just wonder what was going through that little mind of his during that moment.
Anyway, since I was already wet, I stayed in the pool a little longer and took Nathan for a swim. I didn't want him to be afraid of being in the water, so I helped him "swim" for a little while and then all of us that were soaking wet dried off and put on new clothes. We spent the rest of our time at their house relaxing in the shade and playing with the dogs, which was a HUGE step for David since he was terrified of the dogs when he first saw them.
That is pretty much a highlight of our journey. There were a few other things in there like a movie and a shopping trip to buy me some new clothes to wear home since Nathan kept sabotaging mine. In spite of some of the "moments", it was a very good trip. Although, I will admit, it is always nice to be home.
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Then this morning, I was reminded about the blessings that little instigator bestows. Brian dropped David off at school and was approached by Jacob's mom. Jacob is a little boy in David's Pre-K class that was born with an extra chromosome. He is THE SWEETEST little boy, and David and Jacob have become the best little buddies over the past year. Jacob's mom apologized for asking any personal questions but said she had heard that we were keeping David in the Pre-K program another year rather than sending him to kindergarten and wanted to know if it was true. Brian told her that it was true, and she was so excited that they would be together for another year. She then proceeded to tell Brian how David had been such a blessing for Jacob. She talked about how well they play together and how David has helped Jacob.
Now, the decision to keep David back and not send him on to Kindergarten has been soooo hard for us. We have been back and forth on what to do. We have prayed and cried (well, I have cried) and gotten frustrated with each other and ourselves on what to do. I think we have found peace in our decision now, but Jacob's mom made something even clearer today. David and Nathan aren't here to live life as I have planned or Brian has planned. They are here to live life as God has planned, and He is already using them. I always concentrate on what I am supposed to be doing to mold them to become Christian men, but I forget that they are also already molding me and the people around them.
Knowing that still doesn't make all those tough decisions easy, but it really does help put everything in perspective. I would still love an owner's manual that tells me what to do in every situation, but that would be too easy and probably a little too boring. So for now, I will stick with teaching them through God's word and with a lot of prayer. Even more than that, I will work at trying to seek out those blessings every day so that I can focus on the goodness in my children rather than those moments that are quickly making me gray and tired.
Friday, May 12, 2006
At the two T-Ball practices, David ended up in tears and attaching himself to either Brian or me. For a child that is talkative and a bit of an attention seeker with the youth group, he is quite shy and timid around kids his age. Add to that the confusion of 14 five year olds on a baseball field, and you just don't have a positive experience in David's eyes.
In addition, his only other team experience was soccer last year, and that was even worse than the baseball practices. We would literally bribe him to just get him to stand on the soccer field for the game. It wasn't that he didn't like soccer. He loves to kick around the ball. It was all because in the first game, he headed to the wrong goal and the parents laughed. It wasn't even intended in a mean way. Everyone was just laughing at the fact that David was kicking the ball towards the wrong goal and a herd of 4 year olds were following behind him. The embarrassment of that situation coupled with the fact that 5 other little boys were constantly running towards him (one time resulting in a head on collision) ended the desire to play soccer for David.
So, this T-Ball game was a BIG deal at our house. Brian and I didn't care if he ever touched the ball, hit the ball, or if he ran the bases backwards. ALL that we cared about was David staying on the field and having fun. For a rather competitive mom, that is not an easy thing to say, but honestly, I really just wanted him to enjoy the game.
And he did! You would have thought the kid hit a thousand homeruns by the smile on his face and my face when the game was done. (Unfortunately, Brian wasn't able to go because he is still sick.) David hit the ball both times at bat. He ran the bases well...except for when he forgot to run from second to third even though the coaches were all yelling, "Run! Go David! Run David!" (I blame that on the fact that the batter's helmet was too big and he couldn't see without holding it up though!)
While his team was in the field, he played in the dirt, and one time even sat down. His coaches tried to coax him up, and when they couldn't, his head coach went and sat down on the field next to him as the game went on around them. The coach sat there and talked to him, and eventually David stood up and "played" the rest of the game. When the game was done and we were walking to get his free snowcone, David looked at me and said, "I love my team! I played baseball and that was so much fun!"
I could have cried right there. It touched me to the depths of my heart to see him proud with himself. I am so thankful he has a kind-hearted coach willing to sit down on the ground to encourage my child to give his best effort in a loving way. One of the moms pointed to them sitting on the field together and said, "Now that is a good T-Ball coach. That is what it is all about right there." I couldn't agree more.
When we got home, David asked me where his hat was. He said he had to put it on to show his dad that he was a player. As he climbed out of the van, he said, "I am a player...I am a BASEBALL player." Then he repeated "I am a Baseball player" over and over until we went inside the house.
Thursday, May 11, 2006
BUT, I am seeing blessings in the small things right now. A dear, sweet woman from church is getting the brisket and stuff for side dishes from Sam's to save me a trip to Little Rock. She is also my back-up cook in case I get the nasty stomach virus. David and I had a fun time making a thank you note for the little girl who gave him the shaker last night after church and that was a lot of fun.
Probably the best blessing so far though, came in the form of Nathan just being Nathan. I was working on proposals upstairs when Nathan popped his head in to tell me hi. I noticed that his hair was all wet and asked him why his hair was wet. He started looking for an escape route at that point and I knew something was wrong. So, I took his hand and asked him to show me how he got his hair wet. He hesitated and then asked if he was going to get in trouble. That was enough to let me know that this wasn't going to be a pretty adventure. I told him that he REALLY needed to tell me the truth, and he finally took me to "the place".
Can you guess where he led me? (If you have read very much of my blog, you know.) He took me straight into the bathroom and pointed to the toilet. I asked him how he did it and he started to show me how he dunked his head in the toilet water. At this point, all I could do was shake my head and get him in the tub for a bath. I cleaned the kid up and sent him on his way to play, and then I just laughed and laughed and laughed.
I am not sure if I was laughing to keep from crying, laughing over the fact that my child is obsessed with the toilet, or laughing because I really need a good night's sleep and am overloaded on caffeine. Regardless of the reason, it sure felt good.
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
After hearing about the girl situation at school, I asked him what they learned about in school. He started in with, "I don't know. I don't remember." Now, I KNOW that this child remembers everything. He can tell me about something that happened when he was 2. So, I usually don't let him get away with this little avoid-the-discussion tactic. I continued by asking, "Did you learn about flowers?"
Me: "Did you learn about kites?"
At this point he started to get into my little game and asked, "Do you want to know what we learned about? We learned about frogs and...and sex." To which I practically yelled, "WHAT?!" My head started to spin and I was thinking, "What in the world are they teaching my sweet, innocent little 5 year old."
David gave me the strangest look and replied, "Frogs and...and sex, you know dragonflies and other little bugs."
Then it hit me... Frogs and INSECTS. (Note to self: work on pronunciation of the word insect with David.)
Sunday, May 07, 2006
I must admit though, it was rather discouraging to get a call from Brian in the middle of the week as he drove through the canyons and hills of Malibu in his good friend's Porsche 911 convertible while I was at home convincing Nathan that there is nothing funny or proper about going potty on the living room (or bathroom or bedroom) floor. However, I am glad that Brian was able to go to the lectureship and to some really good classes. It gave him a chance to be filled spiritually, as well as gain some useful tools to use in his ministry. As an added benefit, he was able to spend a little time with his good friend, Nathan and his wife and kids.
I am very thankful for Nathan and Brian's friendship with Nathan. It is one of those friendships that has lasted through time and they are really more like brothers than friends. Since we don't live close to them, Brian and Nathan just don't get to see each other very often. Although they get to talk on the phone, it just isn't the same as when they get to see each other and spend time together. Brian walks away from those times with Nathan renewed and ready to face the world. (I know; it sounds corny worded like that, but I don't know how else to describe it.)
Now, if you haven't already guessed this, our little Nathan is named after the best friend Nathan. Names are really important to me. I read an article the other day about how your name tells if you are going to be successful, and honestly, I just don't buy into that kind of stuff. However, I do think that it is neat to be named after someone special to the family.
Both of my boys are named after people who mean the world to us. David is named after my grandpa, who was my hero and mentor, and Nathan's (the best friend Nathan, that is) dad, who baptized Brian and played a big role in Brian's conversion and spiritual walk. Then his middle name comes from Brian's uncle, who was more like a father to Brian. With Nathan, we knew even before I became pregnant with him that, if we had another son, we would name him Nathan.
Both my boys have big names to live up to. We don't care if they are successful in the eyes of the world, but we hope they walk in the knowledge that they were named after men that we love and respect very much. We hope that we teach them the qualities that these men possess and how to impact others in the way these 4 men have impacted us.
Right now though, the only thing they associate with these great names is how I say them when they are in serious trouble!
Saturday, May 06, 2006
He came up to me and said, "I am making a checklist for you. What do mommies do?"
So I asked a rather dangerous question: "What do you think mommies do?"
Here is his checklist in the order he told them to me:
- Put on makeup
- Get dressed
- Dry hair
- Brush teeth
- Spit the toothpaste out of mouth
- Make lunch
- Make supper
- Make dinner
- Play croquet
At the beginning of the list, I was nodding and agreeing with him. When he got to number 8, I did ask him how many meals he thought we ate in a day. I get the impression that dinner is his fancy word for a snack.
Number 9 just made me laugh. I asked him if he even knew what croquet was. He was a little put off by my laughing and responded, "I know what croquet is! It is....well, you....what is croquet?"
Since I am already ready for the day, have spit the toothpaste out of my mouth, and it is not time for lunch yet, I guess I will break out the ol' croquet set and go do whatever you do when you play croquet.
Friday, May 05, 2006
Today, Nathan walked in the room wearing a pair of David's Rescue Hero underwear. They were HUGE and were sagging almost to his knees. I started laughing and told him that he had on a pair of David's underwear instead of his own underwear. He told me he wanted to wear super hero underwear today so he had picked some out from David's drawer. I guess Bob the Builder just wasn't cutting it today.
David then walked over to him and looked a little more closely at the underwear. I thought that there was going to be a big fight over the fact that Nathan was wearing David's underwear since David has become quite protective of his stuff recently. I quickly told Nathan that he needed to take off David's underwear and put on a pair of his own underwear.
David put up his hand to stop me and said, "No, it's okay. He can wear them if he wants. They are my underwear and I am in charge of my underwear."
What?! Who in their right mind wants to be in charge of underwear? I think I need to work on finding some more normal things for him to be in charge of. In the meantime, I should let him know that there is some underwear in the laundry basket in the boys' bathroom that needs to be washed, dried, folded and put away.
Thursday, May 04, 2006
Well...everyone, but me. You see, Nathan is a nightmare to sleep with. He doesn't often make his way into our room and climb into bed, but when he does, my patience is tested beyond belief. He flops around, pokes me in the face, messes with my hair, lays on top of my arm...and that is what he does in the first five minutes. From there it just goes downhill until I return him to his bed.
After about 15 minutes, I told him that if he touched me again I was sending him back to his own bed. I felt bad because I know that he was really frightened from the storm, but I desperately needed more sleep at 4:00 in the morning. So, what does he do? He leaves me alone and starts picking on David. How typical!