Nov 20, 2006

Slices of Life, Vol. 12

Nicholas counting to 20: "Wahn, tooo, fwee, fife, seex, seffen, ate, nahn, tin, illeffen,twelff, turteen, fawteen, five-teen, nineteen, Nineteen, NINETEEN,TINTEEEEEE!!!!!" Nicholas also excuses himself when he burps or passes gas, and he sings the chorus to the "Cars" theme song, which he learned from Nathaniel. Nathaniel counts backward from 10 to 0, occasionally missing numeral 8.


Last week Nathaniel's teacher, Ms. Shunta [pronounced "Shun-tay"] told me that he had disobeyed and awakened his friend Adam during naptime. At KinderCare, it's permissible to skip one's own nap, but not permissible to interrupt the naps of others. Therefore, he had a privilege taken away for the evening, and a stern talking-to from me. The following day when I picked him up:

Me: "Hey, Little Buddy! Did you obey Ms. Shunta today?"

Nathaniel: [long pause with eyes averted] "Ummmmm, yes."

Me: "Are you sure you obeyed every time Ms. Shunta asked you to do something? Because it looks like you might be lying to me."

Nathaniel: "Um, I obeyed Ms. Shunta. I was very good today."

Me: "If I ask Ms. Shunta if you obeyed all day, will she back you up?"

Nathaniel: [quickly to a teacher standing nearby] "Where is she?" [then, to me] "She already went home. Yes, I obeyed all day. I was Great."

Me: "If I call Ms. Shunta on the phone right now and ask her if you obeyed all day, what will she say?"

Nathaniel: "Ummm, she MIGHT say that I disobeyed just a Little Bit."


While Grayson was changing Nicholas' diaper recently:

Nicholas: "I wanna see Katherine."


When either of the boys is upset about a major issue, and by "major issue," I mean major to THEM (such as being forced to leave Chuck E. Cheese's without playing One More Game or being denied a 19th piece of Halloween candy), I gently instruct them to quit pitching a fit about it, because the circumstances are not likely to change. I have several phrases that I use to convey this message, among them "Please get a grip," "Get ahold of yourself," and "Try to get the crying under control."

Last week I treated the boys to supper at their favorite restaurant, Johnny Rocket's. Nicholas completely fell apart at the seams when we got in the car, because I buckled him into his car seat while he still had his Johnny Rocket's balloon tied to his wrist. THE HORROR! To alleviate the fit-pitching, I did as he "requested" and removed the balloon from his wrist, at which point he got increasingly upset because apparently he wanted it reattached to his wrist, outside the seatbuckle. (If this seems confusing and drawn-out, believe me, it was even more so last night at five minutes past his bedtime while I was leaning into the backseat WHILE STANDING IN THE POURING RAIN outside the restaurant.)

After I reattached the balloon and got in the front seat to drive home,there was some residual crying going on:

Me: "Nicholas, bud, you need to get a grip or you're going to lose the balloon altogether. I can't let you continue to be so ugly to me about something that I have tried very hard to fix for you."

Nicholas: [crying]Me: "Nicholas, seriously, you've got to get it under control. I know you're angry for some reason, but you're very tired and we just need to get you home and go to Sleepytown."

Nicholas: [crying]

Nathaniel: [interceding on my behalf] "Nick-a-liss, I know it's hard to stop crying. One time last week I was crying because I was really disappointed, and I tried Really Hard to get a grip but I couldn't. Just try really hard."

Nicholas: [crying gradually subsides to sniffles] "Mommy, I got a gipp!"


I have a REALLY bad memory, so I constantly use Post-it Notes to remind myself of things I need to do, and I leave myself voicemail messages at work. I've been known to come to work on a Monday morning and have nine voicemail messages, all from me. :) The kids are used to it, and Nathaniel is great about helping me remember things. Recently on the way home:

Nathaniel: "Mommy, when you talk to Daddy, tell him that when he gets home I want to play 99 with him."

Me: "OK, sure."

Nathaniel: "Don't forget."

Me: "I won't, Little Buddy."

Nathaniel: "I think you ought to call and leave yourself a message. Now."


And then, just this morning as we pulled up to school:

Nathaniel: "Hmm. I wonder what we're going to have for breakfast this morning."

Me: "I don't know; what do you think you might have?"

Nathaniel: "Well, I could tell you, but I think you'd forget before we get inside."


To see past Slices of Life, click here.

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