Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Underwater Cartoon

One afternoon, the boys tackled each other repeatedly as they sprinted over furniture in the living room.  My husband and I sounded like broken records as we called out.  "Stop tackling your brother!"

"Hey!  Quit jumping on the couch!"

"You guys are going to get hurt!"

"Go outside!"

All our practical "suggestions" went in one ear and out the other.  The boys continued to race around the house as if they had been given espressos and a brand new puppy.  Suddenly, we heard a crash.  Then, a little voice began to cry.  Son #1 sheepishly peered around the corner as Son #2 jumped up and down sobbing hysterically.  My husband and I listened sympathetically to their sad and dramatic story.  We nodded our heads and furrowed our brows.  When our sons were finished telling their story, we lectured them on the importance of obeying your parents.  (See requests above.)  The boys hung their heads as we asked them the final question.  "Are you going to obey  next time we tell you to stop the monkey business?"

"Yes."  Son #1 replied quietly.

"Yeth."  Son #2 echoed.

"Good!  Now stop running around the house."  We stated firmly.

The boys walked to the living room and began to quietly play with their cars.  Soon, they were investigating the jogging stroller parked in the entry way of the house.  Son #2 climbed into the seat.  Son #1 buckled the harness gently.  Then, Son #1 began to push his younger brother around the living room.  One thing led to another and soon the boys were flipping through channels looking for cartoons.  Lingering tears trickled down Son #2's right cheek.  All of a sudden, a cartoon with colorful, singing fish in an underwater world appeared on the screen.  Son #2 laughed aloud as his tears disappeared.  Son #1 poked his head into the stroller and quipped observantly.  "I guess diving shows make babies happy when they get hurt."

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Moon

Saturday evening, my mom and I took the kids for a walk around her neighborhood.  The air was thick with the scent of fresh rain.  Puddles dotted the intersecting roads and sidewalks.  The sun was slowly setting in the distance leaving streaks of orange and pink underneath the fluffy layer of rain clouds.  My sons stomped their feet in the water as we strolled through the streets.  We investigated the newly constructed houses and peered at the rolling hills beyond the neighborhood.  We even stopped to talk to neighbors along the way.  As we meandered past a tiny park in a cul-de-sac, Son #1 looked up into the sky and shouted excitedly.  "Look, Mom!  I see the moon!"

A crescent moon hid behind the wispy edge of a cloud.  It appeared briefly in the dusky sky before being covered by another thick rain cloud.  Son #1 gazed up at the moon in awe.  His hands were tucked into the pockets of his jacket but his feet danced with delight.  "Did you see it, Mom?  Did you see it?"  My eldest son asked as he wriggled with joy. 

"Oh, yeah.  I saw it."  I said sweetly.  "It was really pretty."

Son #2 began to look around.  He was curious about our conversation and wanted to join in the fun.  My youngest son watched as his older brother tilted his head back to peer at the moon again.  The thick clouds rolled away once more to reveal a sliver of the moon.  "I see the moon again!"  Son #1 called out.  Son #2 leaned back as far as he could and scanned the sky for the elusive moon.  Then, he caught sight of it and cried.  "Oh!  Look!  Da moon!  I see da moon!"

As we walked back to my mom's house, the boys repeatedly tried to spy the moon.  When they were successful, they would call out.  "I see the moon again!"  It became a game of hide and seek as the clouds obscured the moon for minutes at a time.  Eventually, the clouds would move on in the sky and the moon would reappear as bright as ever.  Finally, we arrived at my mom's house.  The boys were exhausted from our walk around the neighborhood.  They rubbed their eyes sleepily and climbed into their car seats.  Once they were buckled in, we drove off to our own home.  As I drove, I could hear them whisper to each other before falling asleep. 

"Do you see the moon?"  Son #1 said quietly to his younger brother.

"Yeah.  Da moon."  Son #2 replied dozing in his car seat.

The moon's light gently provided a slight glow in the night sky.  The boys slowly drifted off to sleep.  Soon, all that could be heard was the tires rolling down the road and their soft breathing.  Their little faces leaned onto the seats as the moonlight once again disappeared behind the clouds in the sky.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Vest

Yesterday morning, Son #1 and Son #2 dressed up in vests, a dressy shirt, and nice jeans.  I thought they looked absolutely adorable.  They were very proud of their outfits as well and hopped into their dad's office to show off their clothes.  My husband commented.  "Wow, boys!  You look really good!"  His eyebrows raised slightly with approval.  A look of pride appeared on my husband's face.  The boys wriggled with delight and then ran off to the living room to play. 

Later in the day, we packed up some food, got into the car, and drove to my mom's house for lunch.  As we pulled into her neighborhood, Son #1 began to complain about his vest.  "I don't want to wear my vest!  I want to take it off!"

"Why?"  I asked with a touch of confusion.  "You look so cute in your vest.  Wear it.  Then, you can show it to Abuelita (Grandma)."

"No! I don't want to!"  Son #1 shouted in defiance.

"Too bad.  You have to wear your vest."  I said, laying down the law.  Normally, I try not to be so rigid about clothing.  However, Son #1 likes to change his clothes at least two to three times a day.  All I wanted was for him to stay in his original clothing one day out of the week.

Unfortunately, Son #1 did not like the law presented to him.  We continued to argue discretely as we entered Abuelita's house.  Son #1 pouted in the dining room and pulled his arms inside his shirt.  "Don't take off your vest."  I warned.  Son #1 poked his head out from the dining room and eyed everyone around the corner.  Then, he silently inched past the crowd to the other side of the kitchen. 

My husband noticed that he had taken off his vest.  I noticed as well.  "Where is your vest?"  I asked.

"I don't want to wear it anymore!"  Son #1 responded with a cross look on his face.

I bit my lip and looked at my husband.  My wise husband presented a way out of a bad situation for our eldest son.  "Are you hot?  Is that why you took off your vest?"

Son #1 eagerly replied.  "Yes.  I was hot."

"Oh, you're hot.  That's O.K.  Just go hang up your vest in the closet."  I said with a bit of relief.

"Thanks Mom!  I'll wear it when we go home."  Son #1 assured me.

Later as we sat at the table to eat, my sister's mother-in-law noticed a peculiar sight.  "I think I just found Son #1's vest."  She observed and then pointed to a large vase in the corner of the room.  I looked over my shoulder and began to laugh.  Son #1's vest was shoved tightly into the vase.  Only a portion of it poked out of the opening.  My sister's mother-in-law looked amused.  "He must have hidden the vest in hopes that you would forget about it later."

Oh, Son little stinker!  What am I going to do with you?

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Buttered Bread

Several weeks ago, our little family was enjoying a lazy supper in front of the television.  I honestly can't remember what we were watching but it probably fell into the educational cartoon category.  My husband had just sliced some freshly baked, homemade bread when the boys danced into the kitchen.  They batted their long eyelashes and gazed at their dad with their wide, green eyes.  Then, they held out their hands expectantly and hopped around the room shouting.  "Please!  Can I have some bread?"

My husband slathered butter onto the steamy slices of bread and placed them on a plate for each boy.  Son #1 and Son #2 carefully carried their treats to the living and gently sat on the carpet.  For a few brief moments, there was silence as the kids savored the tasty bread.  Their eyes closed partially with delight as they stuffed it into their mouths. 

Son #2 slowly rose to his feet.  His cheeks were smeared with butter.  His hands were sprinkled with bread crumbs.  He toddled over to where I sat in my rocking chair.  Then, he tilted his head slightly as if to ponder a thought.  I looked down at him and said.  "What's going on, baby?"

Son #2 clasped his sticky hands together.  His cheeks shone with butter as he pursed his lips to form his reply.  He paused, carefully reviewing his answer.  Then, he opened his mouth to speak.  "Ummmm...well..."

Son #2 paused again and then let out a torrent of baby talk decipherable only to other babies.  I'm pretty sure his answer was very poignant and dignified.  I just wish I could have replied with something more thought provoking.  Unfortunately,  I could only give a standard "mommy" response. 



"That is so cool."

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Bedtime Prayers

Two nights ago, our little family sat down together to read worship and pray with the boys before bedtime.  First, we read from the toddler devotional and then we read from the Bible story collection.  The boys were captured by the vivid details for each story.  They listened respectfully as the Bible verses were read.  Then, they knelt down to pray.

Son #2 began.  "Dear Jesus.  Tan to for nite nite.  Tan to for the food.  I love you.  Amen."  (Translation:  Dear Jesus.  Thank you for night night.  Thank you for the food.  I love you.  Amen.)

We all echoed.  "Amen."  My husband look at our eldest son and said. "Now, it's your turn."

Son #1 bowed his head, closed his eyes, and folded his hands.   He softly began.  "Dear Jesus..."

Just as my eldest son started his prayer, Son #2 loudly continued.  "Dear Jesus.  Tan to for dis day.  Hep me to be goo.  I love you.  Amen."  (I don't want to translate.  I just want you to think he wants to be goo.)

Son #1 laughed and shouted playfully.  "Hey!  It's my turn!"

I giggled and whispered to Son #2.  "Shhh!"

My husband directed Son #1 to begin again.  Son #1 said respectfully.  "Dear Jesus..."

Again, Son #2 interrupted his older brother.  "Dear Jesus.  Tan to for da food.  Tan to for nite nite."

Son #1 tried to help his brother finish the prayer.  "I..."

Son #2 would not hear of it.  "Oh no no no no no!"  Then, Son #2 continued undisturbed.  "I love you.  Amen."

"Amen!"  We all echoed.  My husband turned to our oldest son and said.  "O.K. Try again."

Son #1 settled down to pray with a small giggle.  "Dear Jesus.  Thank you for this day..."

Son #2 jumped right into the pray.  "Dear Jesus.  Hep me to go nite nite.  Hep me to be goo.  I love you.  Amen."

This time we couldn't contain our laughter.  Poor Son #1.  He could barely get a sentence out while praying before Son #2 interrupted him.  Of course, Son #2 was just excited about his new found ability to pray.

I patted Son #1's knee and told him to try again.  Son #1 folded his hands but only closed one eye as he suspiciously peeked at his brother.  "Dear Jesus..."

Son #2 hopped right into his older brother's prayer.  "Dear Jesus.  Tan to fo Mommy, Daddy, and Brudder.  I love you.  Amen."  Son #2 grinned from ear to ear.  He was so proud of himself.

Son #1 laughed and said.  "Alright.  Now, it's my turn."  Then, he bowed his head and began.  "Dear Jesus.  Thank you for this day.  Thank you for my family, relatives, friends, and pets.  Thank you for Sabbath tomorrow.  Help me to have only good dreams and no bad dreams.  In Jesus' name.  Amen."

At the end of the prayer, Son #2 clapped his hands together and exclaimed.  "Ame-e-e-e-n!"

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Decorative Soap

Just an hour ago, Son #1 was preparing to take a shower.  I helped him check the temperature of the water, select his pajamas, and find a fluffy towel.  While all of this was happening, I noticed a smudge of toothpaste on the counter.  Nonchalantly, I rubbed out the toothpaste with my thumb.  Now the toothpaste was on my thumb.  Yuck.  Son #1 watched with interest as I reached for a small decorative soap by the faucet.  The soap was in the shape of a sparrow's egg.  Dark brown speckles dotted its bright blue hue.  His brow furrowed with concern.  "Mom, why are you washing your hands with a bird's egg?"

I laughed and responded.  "It's not a bird's egg.  It's hand soap.  Look.  Isn't it cool?"  Son #1 peaked over the counter top at the blue, speckled egg lying in a tiny, decorative nest.  He looked confused.

"It looks like a baby bird is in the egg.  Are you sure it's not alive?"  He asked.

"I'm positive."  I assured my son.  "I got the soap from a friend.  It won't hatch.  It's not real."

Son #1 stood on tiptoes and gazed at the decorative soap once more.  Then, he sighed and walked slowly to the shower.  Just as he was about to get in, he paused and turned to face me.  "But Mom, what if the egg hatches???"

I held his hands and tried to comfort my worried little boy.  "It's O.K.  I promise that the egg will not hatch.  It's soap."  Then, I helped him into the shower. 

All was quiet for a moment and then I heard my son call out.  "It better be soap or else you've been washing your hands with a baby bird!!!"

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Pizza Slice

Last night, a small group of relatives gathered at our house to watch the Olympics.  My husband prepared pizza from scratch in the kitchen as the kids commandeered iPhones and iPads from their unsuspecting elders.  Everyone talked loudly as several conversations clamored for dominance.  The heavenly scent of cheese, sauce, veggies, and dough filled the air.  Finally, the oven timer rang out.  It was time to eat.

The boys rushed to the kitchen greedily grabbing pizza from the pan.  Quickly, they scurried back to the living room to hungrily devour their slices.  Eventually, everyone settled down among cushions or against furniture to watch the athletes compete.

Midway through the Olympic events, Son #2 got up from his seat and began to run around the living room with his half eaten pizza slice.  Slivers of melted cheese and drops of pizza sauce flew into the air as he ran circles in front of the television. 

My husband called out.  "Little Son!  Sit down.  Eat your pizza."

"No. No."  Son #2 answered gleefully.  He continued to weave between the adults in the room.

I tried to help reinforce my husband's request.  "Baby, sit down and eat your food."

Son #2 paused for a second.  "No. No."  Then, he wiped his greasy hand down his shirt and continued to run.

Abuelita (Grandma) tried to convince the little monkey to sit down.  "Come sit by me.  Look at what I have."  She enticed as she held up her iPad. 

Son #2 peered at the iPad from his sauce encrusted face but decided to continue running.  Then, he dropped his slice of pizza on the floor. 

Tia (Aunt) commented wryly.  "You're kid just dropped his food on the floor."

"Yeah.  I know."  I replied.  Then to my youngest son, I said.  "Baby, that's gross.  Look!  You dropped your food on the floor.  Are you all done?"

"No. No."  Son #2 cried and continued to race around the room.  I'm sure his pizza contained a small collection of lint.

Tia tried to redirect her wild little nephew.  "Are you all done?  Put your pizza on your plate.  It's yucky."

"Oh.  No. No."  Son #2 replied.  At that point, he was flinging himself onto the couch. 

All of a sudden, Son #2 stopped his ridiculous game and calmly walked to me with a serious look on his face.  He held out his fuzzy pizza slice and stated.  "All done."  Then, he sat down beside his Abuelita and quietly played a game.

Toddlers operate on their own time and space continuum much to the annoyance of their parents.