Thursday, August 27, 2009

At Least It Wasn't A VCR

I'm still here. I yain't dead yet.

Today Avee stole a small bean bag from her preschool. Day 4 of preschool, and she's already a criminal.

My friend who brought her home said, "She didn't have anything when we left preschool, and she didn't get it from my house, so I don't know where it came from."

I do.

She kiped it. In her underwear. Why did I know this before it was actually confessed to me? Because I know the girl. I also recognized the bright flashing look in her eyes as she searched mine for a reaction. She was proud of her conquest. She thought getting it out the door in her underwear was both ingenious and hilarious. She's waiting for me to laugh about it.

I confess, the image is both hilarious and alarming for me. I don't want my daughter stealing. I don't want to handle things that have been in her underwear for an as yet undetermined amount of time. I wish I could have seen her walking down the hallway....

I could probably go for some good ol' advice at this point. I stole a candy bar once when I was about her age. I hid it from my mom until we were out of the store, so clearly I knew it was wrong. She took me back in to return it and let the store manager loose on me. To this day, if I return to that store, and see that spot in the store (behind the sunglasses rack) I will break out in a nervous sweat and double check my pockets/purse/cart. It was effective. I was ticked that my mom set the man on me, I remember thinking, "Was it really necessary to involve this man?" but I realize now, it was good and effective.

It's too bad that I didn't also develop an aversion to candy bars.

I'm going to wash the contraband. Then Avee is going to return it tomorrow and apologize. She has stated several times that she is scared to say sorry. I've assured her I will be right there with her, but that it is absolutely necessary that she do this. Firstly, I want the repercussions to be memorable and uncomfortably so. And secondly, she needs to make the connection that her doing this affects other people. I think that's the main problem---she operates in a world of "out of sight, out of mind" so she assumes everyone else does.

Probably more of a "in my underwear, you won't want it anymore" world, but I'll give her the benefit of the doubt.

So you see, I'm not dead at all. My life is as full and exciting as ever.

Update: Last night when J got home I asked him to talk to Avee a little about her issue so that we could be a united front. Sometimes I delegate the entire responsibility of correcting wayward actions to J, but this time, I just wanted a tiny little, "Yeah, what Mom said" so that Avee could see we both felt the same. He could.not. do it. He lasted about 2.3 seconds and burst out laughing. Not sure if it was her expressions (very effective big, innocent blue eyes) or the image of her waddling out of preschool with a beanbag nestled in her underwear. Either way, he was absolutely useless. I'd just like the record to show that.

I called her teacher this morning to give her a heads up. I'm SO glad I did. I specifically said, "I don't want you to tell her 'that's okay' because it isn't and because that's all she will hear." I also didn't want to catch her teacher off guard, expecting her to perform with some great teaching moment, when it's a lousy ol' bean bag for crying out loud! Avee apologized and gave it back to her. Her teacher almost said, "That's okay." Avee has some magical power over grown-ups. Even though she didn't want to say that and knew I was there, taking notes, she still almost said it. Avee and those pitiful little sad faces...

Anyway, Avee felt empowered by correcting her wrong, and I really really really hope this is the end of her pirating days.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Thanks Be to Steve

Saturday morning I was sitting on our front step, enjoying the beautiful day and the fact that we had exactly nothing planned for the day. As I watched a Danyo toodle around with a diaper nearly reaching his ankles, I realized I should probably schedule in a least one diaper change; when a man walked up and handed me a flyer.

He was from the church that was half a block away and they were having a little free garage sale thing complete with hotdogs. Avee heard "hotdogs and lemonade and cookies" and she was sold. She explained, "I'll just drink water here before we go because I don't like lemonade, LET'S GO Mom!"

I went inside to lie down on my bed for a few minutes and wish that Avee hadn't heard the invitation. After 7 pounces and 42 pleases communicated through lip braille on my face and a few on my back calves, I finally gave in and took her and Bo over. Bo was grounded from playing with friends for the day, so he didn't care if we were walking into the lion's den---he was going somewhere!

There were two tables with clothes laid out on them and as we approached, approximately 12 adults greeted us exuberantly. My kids immediately shoved their faces in the respective parts of my body that they reached. They invited me to pick out some clothes, what size were my kids? I looked around and realized, right across from them was subsidized housing and that this was like a little miniature outreach in my neighborhood. I suddenly felt a little bad about eating their hotdogs that were probably meant for people who couldn't really afford hotdogs.

We ate three.

As I sat in the shade, trying on my most, "I'm not really a charity case" face, Avee stuffed donuts in her face, and Bo found the joys of frisbee golf. Or disc golf---if you're serious about it.

There was a new pastor at this church and a whole slew of people (I suspect church leaderish types) had come down from Minnesowduh to help get things moving along.

They may well have been the nicest people I have ever encountered in my life.

J and I have long since noticed, we haven't met a Lutheran we didn't like and these people did not dissuade us of this opinion.

They cheered and oohed and ahhhed over Bo's frisbee throwing skills. He is actually quite good, but their cheering and complimenting rivaled the stands when Michael Phelps' swept the Olympics. It was good for Bo, he can't seem to find any happiness in this cruel cruel world where whining is kept at a minimum and hitting sisters is not allowed.

Once Bo realized he was pretty good at this frisbee business, he immediately became obsessed and forgot his charity dog and donut and played at full speed.

The owner of the frisbee stand played in a league (if you've never heard of frisbee golf, that was me, approximately 24 hours ago) and had several discs. So moved by Bo's ability to immediately obsess and to actually bring some 6-year-old skill to the sport, he offered a disc to Bo.

"It's a gift from Jesus!" said Steve. I stifled a giggle since Steve's wife was sitting right next to me. I watched Bo look up at him with genuine curiosity. I read his face like a book. I wanted to immediately teleport across that field and shove Bo's curious face into my hip to stifle the question I knew was coming.   All along, Bo thought he'd been playing with a Lutheran named Steve from Minnesowduh. I knew I'd never make it in time.  Sure enough, "Jesus? I thought yo' name was Steve. Thank you!"

Steve answered, "Thanks be to God."

Poor Bo, getting gifts from Jesus who he thought was Steve and then thanking Jesus-Steve but the thanks was actually meant for God.  He really just didn't have a chance.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Because I'm That Effective

I may have mentioned before, Bo has a problem with drawing the one teeny, tiny negative aspect out of a completely wonderful and enjoyable experience, and that being the only thing he talks about in the end.

Most of the time it infuriates me. I'm not cut out to be the mother of a pessimist. Pessimists bug me. And yet, here I have this cute little 6 year old who pretty much came that way.

On Saturday we went on a little day trip. He got to take a friend. Aside from J getting to take me, no one else got to take a friend. They all got Frosties on the way. We had a delicious buffet dinner where he got to have unlimited rootbeer. Everything we did was kid-oriented. He had a blast. He stayed up until midnight. His friend spent the night. Etc, etc, etc.

The next day I asked him if he had a good time and he said, "Only kind of. I didn't win at stickball, so I didn't have that much fun."

I lit in to him big time. I was so annoyed and I think he's old enough to learn how to have a better perspective on things. I could be wrong, but that won't be the first time.

I listed probably 15 things he got to do that he loves. There was not one.single.negative. thing about that day trip and I was going to cram that down his throat. One of my finer, more enviable parenting skills.

That conversation was Sunday morning.

Today, around noon on Monday....

I caught wind of an older neighbor kid being a punk so I made everyone come inside (My niece is babysitting four kids). I asked, "Was Austin being a bully then?"
And the oldest babysittee said, "Well, it really all started when Bo called him a piece of crap."

Immediately Bo's eyes dart toward me to assess my reaction.

Naturally I'm disappointed that my six year old is calling people Piece's o' Crap. So I express this to him and he watches me intently waiting for me to crack. Because, let's face it, the kid knows me. And six year old boys calling 14 year old boys a Piece of Crap is funny.

But I didn't smile or laugh. I pulled him over to me and expressed to him how disappointed I was that he thought it was okay to do that, and how sad I would feel if I heard someone calling him such a thing. And then I did what I always do and I asked, "How would you feel if someone called you that?" I waited for his rote response, "I'd feel baaaaaaaaad." But it didn't come.

Instead he went back in his mind to lecture # 247 and he answered, "I'd feel bad-good."
Not expecting that response I stopped short and said, "What does that even mean Bo?"

He answered, "Well, I'd be having a good day because ev-wee-thing else about that day has been wondofo' and I would be happy about the whole day, except that one little paht when someone calls me a piece of cwap, but that wouldn't be the most impo'tent paht of the day."

Wrong lecture buddy, wrong lecture....