Thursday, January 12, 2012


It's been a good week here. I've finally, after five years of parenting, gotten the hang of scheduling a day. In my defense, the first five years have been unpredictable with at least one diapered, preverbal, nocturnal kiddo in the mix. And until now, I've not really understood how to do this without feeling like I was manipulating the kids. Our days have been going something like this: breakfast, chores, story/devotional time, playtime/errands, lunch, more chores, nap for Owen, table time for the older kids and then a story and quiet time.

(Oh, a quick tip. I found a customizable chore chart application online. You can create your own chore chart with days of the week and whatever chores you want them to do and even put a picture on it for the kids to color. Check it out.)

Table time has been a big hit with Danny and Fiona. We do school-type work, crafts or sensory play such as rice, play dough or magnetic chips and wands. The past few days I've been working with Danny on handwriting. He likes to use an alphabet stencil that I have and do letter tracing. Today, though, for the first time in a week, we didn't do table time. There was a closet that needed to be cleaned. Badly. However, around 1:30, the two of them spontaneously gathered up notebooks and pencils and began writing and drawing. Danny even continued this activity during his quiet time.

That's a little spooky, but I'll take it. Anything to give Danny a little focus and direction. Five year olds are full of energy and bright ideas, apparently. At least once a day, I hear this:  

I can do that ... because I'm five.

Are you trying to lick your chest? Yes. Yes, he is. Because he's five.

Um, Aunt Josee, Danny's eating dirt. Of course, he is. We told her that it's because he's five.

Why did you throw the bat? Were you angry?
No. I needed to get it out of my hand. So, of course, throwing it and hitting his brother in the head was the logical solution.

Hey, I can make mashed potatoes with the new Kitchen Aid, I tell Jim. Danny overheard us and offered his two cents.
Or you can use the can crusher. Five year olds are just brilliant.

Just stop doing anything that you think is a good idea, I told Danny after three consecutive poor choices.

You can get up when you stop asking questions. 
I've stopped asking questions now. Sigh. That wasn't technically a question. Outsmarted by a 5 year old.

And he's also experimenting with lying or just telling stories.

Danny, did you make this mess? 
No, the monster did it. 
Danny, I know you're not telling me the truth. 

He still insisted that the monster did it. This went on for a few days until I realized that I didn't need to be right on this one. So I changed tactics.

Danny, did you make this mess. 
No, the monster did it. 
Well, you are the monster's personal assistant, so you're going to clean it up. 

The kids are kind of getting along. While I'm still in bed, I hear Danny and Fiona playing together rather well. I just love listening to them play in the morning. Of course, by the end of the day, cooperative play turns conspiratorial:

Why are you guys all holding hands? Jim asks as the three of them wander through the dining room with Fiona in the lead. Aw, man, something bad is going to happen. FiFi's leading them somewhere.

American woomba, Danny sings. I told him it was American Woman, but he insisted on woomba.

Danny, stop, turn around and look at me.
I don't like that word, he whimpered. He was referring to the word stop. I'm actually stunned that he is so articulate.

You guys need a rest today. You're not feeling well.
I'm not sick, Danny says. 
You told me you were sick when we were at Josh's house.
My underwear might have been too tight.

Owen hasn't been sleeping too well. We've been waiting to see what breakthrough awaits us.

NO. NO. NO. NO, Owen shouts at Jim.
Oh, no, Jim said. That's what he's been working on. Verbalizing defiance.   

Read this book, Owen says as he brings me book after book. Pretty soon I have a pile of books on my lap. And then he leaves.

Leave the table, Fiona. You're just causing trouble now instead of eating.
Trouble, Owen repeated. Trouble, trouble, trouble, he continued, pointing at Fiona.

Speaking of trouble ...

What the heck was she doing up there? I ask Jim after he went up to check on Fiona. We heard babbling.
Talking to herself in the mirror.

Do you know what she was doing up there?
Um, no. I was actually afraid to guess.
Danny's fast asleep and she's up on his bed with the radio cranked up. 

I want another kiss ... on the bum, Fiona says. Wait, did she just ask me to kiss her butt?

Have a great weekend.

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