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December 2012

The random weirdness of boys, little and not-so-very

Max and Raphael still go to Monday school around here. I just mention it because for a while, eight years ago or something, it always seemed like all the best stories were from Monday school. Max was sticking a paper clip in an electrical outlet or Raphael was punking his kindergarten teacher or something. For those of you who have not been hanging on my every word for the last nine years (so, everyone who isn't my mom, basically) (holy cow, NINE YEARS), Monday school is the weekly homeschool enrichment program that has been a beautiful, beautiful reprieve for everyone involved in homeschooling in my house. It's nice to have a chance to miss each other, you know?

Anyhow, this Monday I had signed up to volunteer, which is not that unusual an ocurrance, I swear. My friend Amy did do a double-take and say, "I thought you just said you were staying to volunteer!" when I mentioned it to her, but I'm sure that doesn't indicate anything.

The truth is I've hardly done any volunteering there since Sophia was born, since it's so hard to wrangle her AND run the copy machine and I don't feel guilty about that at all. WHAT.

So Monday I was there, copying stuff and fetching things and basically being as helpful as possible. Sophia tagged along, commenting on everything, "helping", and stopping to play with any unoccupied child she came across. She thinks volunteering is AWESOME.

At lunch we were watching the younger grades spread their lunches around when I noticed a little boy lying face down on the floor. His face was pressed into the carpet, and his body was writhing around, as though it were trying to escape. The other mom on lunch duty and I watched him for a while, trying to assess if this was a game, or if something was wrong. Finally I walked over and asked him if he was alright.

He lifted a sorrow filled face from the carpet and wailed, "I left my WATER BOTTLE in the CLASS ROOM and now I am THIRSTY!" And then he went back to writhing.

This was a pretty easy dilemma to deal with, since we were about ten feet away from a water fountain, so I took him by the hand and coaxed him over to enjoy its magic, and all was well in his world again. 

Lunch time was wrapping up then, and the teachers arrived to shepherd their kids back to their rooms. As I made my way through the hallway, I passed this little boy again, who was earnestly telling the kindergarten teacher his harrowing tale. As his voice fell away behind me, I heard the piping tones of overwrought little boy, "...and I was so THIRSTY but my water bottle was IN THE CLASS ROOM..."

I chuckled to myself and thought a moment about how very weird and random those little guys are. I thought about my boys, becoming so grown and deep-voiced and complex. They have their own challenges, for sure, but the days of random weirdness seem to be mostly behind us now. I was relieved, in a way, and yet a little wistful. Can you have a pang of relief?

I spied Raphael in the hall ahead of me and flagged him down. He'd run up to me during lunch, and thrust his glasses in my hands. One lens had popped out. I'd managed to wedge it back in the frame, so I handed it back to him. 

"Oh great," he said, slipping them on, "and they're even CLEAN! Oh, but they are a little crooked."

"What happened to them, anyhow?"

"I was JUST throwing them around." My expression must have been...expressive, because he raised his hands in self defense. "Not THROWING them, throwing them. Just...tossing them up in the air."

And then he demonstrated, lightly tossing them like playful child with a baseball. I did not kill him right there, and I want that credited to my mothering account.

I guess I needn't worry about leaving the random weirdness behind just yet.

Another example of Max

Max has been doing this thing lately. Immediate digression: Max is always doing some thing. He starts saying something or singing some song or making a specific face, and soon everyone around him is doing the same thing. Like when he got the whole family calling me Mem. Or when he got everyone in the neighborhood speaking his own personal language. He is an analog meme. Always has been.

But Max's current thing is sort of...well, I guess it could be considered kind of offensive and awful. He's decided he really can't stand Canadians. Just say the word "Canada" around him, and he recoils. 

"That's disgusting, Mom," he insists.

"Really? Canada? WHY?" I ask. He shakes his head and informs me seriously that Canada is nothing but a frozen wasteland, filled with polar bears and rivers of maple syrup. It's gross. 

Unfortunately, with Max being Max, this is catching on with the household. Tre, in attempting to explain something distasteful, will fall back on the adjective "CANADIAN" to get his point across. Even Sophia will wrinkle her little nose and say "EW" when someone mentions our neighbors to the north. It's kind of disturbing.

Of all things, Canada.


The other day, however, I told him I had him figured out. 

"You don't hate Canada at all. You're just doing some sort of...performance art." He looked back at me, silent and inscrutable. "You picked Canada to show how stupid bigotry is, because it's CANADA. Who hates CANADA?" He shook his head and turned to walk away.

But I saw him smirk. I am SO onto him.

Randomness. Yes, again.

This weekend Clay and I filled out our absentee ballots. This is totally the way to vote, peeps. You get to sit at your kitchen table with your coffee and your beloved and chat about the issues and look up the weird random stuff on the computer (a new rank for firefighters? Why are we deciding this? Shouldn't that be up to the firefighters?). This is how we've voted in the last several elections. However, I've noticed a problem that may send me back to the old school polling places. With each year that passes, I find myself more and more annoyed that my ballot doesn't have an essay section. It seems increasingly wrong that I don't get to submit at least ONE essay in the voting process. 

So a few of you are hinting around that I should be posting pictures of our new house. Y'all. It is not ready for that. I am not ready for that. There is just so much still to be done. So. Much. 

On the plus side, we've got good help.

Fall12 015
Sophia, helping her dad install outlet covers. And in the background, are you getting a feel for the lingering chaos around here?

Chicken says hi. She also wants to know if you're going to finish whatever you're eating.

Fall12 019
This one doesn't have a name, because she's one of five absolutely identical chickens. They were known as "The Gang of Six" but one of them turned out to be a rooster, so, um. There's five of them now. So this is one of the gang formerly known as six. 

Sophia has recently become enamored with Dora the Explorer, re-exposing the boys to our intrepid Dora after many years apart. The other day Max came to me, all irritated at Dora.

"Why do they have to tell Swiper not to swipe? It's HIS NAME. It's WHO HE IS. No one goes around, chanting, 'Dora, no exploring!'"

I have to say, I think he's right. That would be like asking Max not to think deep thoughts.

Or me not to be random.