When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.
Friday, April 29, 2011
The things we say
I think most people, when they become parents, assume that their new role will involve teaching of many kinds. Children need guidance to develop into their best selves; they need positive role models they can learn from and caring, knowledgeable people who can explain to them the differences between good and bad, right and wrong. I willingly embraced this responsibility when the boys arrived in our world, but honestly, sometimes I cannot believe the things I hear myself saying to them, things that one would think are just common sense and really, shouldn't need saying at all.
Let's take a look at a few recently uttered favourites:
Don't sit on your brother. In a house full of available comfortable seating, why is it that the boys need to be told repeatedly that their brother's back/legs/head are not good choices for a parking location? You would think that after a couple of times of falling off of said brother (who reacts to being sat on like a bucking bronco), each boy would learn his lesson and choose somewhere else to sit, but no. "Don't sit on your brother" is still a very popular refrain around here.
Your fork is not a catapult/magic pen/conductor's baton (insert other bizarre uses for a fork here). The boys have been using forks for years (just not usually to eat). It would seem a simple association to learn: The fork is on the table with the food, therefore it should be used for consuming the food. My creative two would rather use forks to fling things (usually inadvertantly while devising big plans for things completely unrelated to food), to write secret messages in the air, or to gesticulate wildly while singing a favourite song. I'd give them a spoon instead, but I'm afraid to see what uses they'd come up with for that particular utensil!
Take off your wet socks. Never mind how the socks got wet in the first place when they were supposedly protected by rainboots all day (I don't want to know!), but if you came home with wet socks, wouldn't you want to take them off right away to rid yourself of the unpleasant sensation of damp, cold feet? Not my Will. He wanders around the house for hours with wet socks after school (leaving a nice trail of smudgy footprints all over the place) and then complains when it's time to put his pjs on that his feet are all wrinkled like raisins. This has happened several times in the past month. Pssst.... buddy, take off your wet socks next time.
The guinea pig does not want a ride on the ferris wheel you built out of K'Nex. I am not a pet psychologist, but I think it's perfectly clear that a large vegetable-loving rodent was never meant to sit in a carnival ride made out of plastic rods and gears. Call me crazy....
Leave your rocks outside. The last time I checked, nowhere in our house was there a sign that said, "Park your dirty rocks here." Yet somehow, rocks (and their counterparts, little piles of sand) keep finding their way indoors. There have been rocks in Will's backpack and pockets, rocks in his desk drawers and storage baskets, and several times, Noah has been caught emptying his sand-filled shoes onto the rug in the front hall when he takes them off. The thought, "I found this outside, therefore it should stay outside" doesn't ever seem to occur to them. So strange.
Telling your brother to run straight at you and tackle you so you can film a live action scene with your camera will likely not end well. Does this really require any further explanation? Apparently it does, because it has happened more than once. Good grief.
In my role as a mom, I find myself reiterating ridiculous sounding phrases over and over again, in the hopes that one day, common sense will prevail. When it's not frustrating, it's quite comical. Thankfully, I also have a recurring thought that keeps me sane. When I look at my two boys in less bizarre moments, Will with his gap-toothed mischeivous grin and his heart on his sleeve, and Noah with his confident smile and wise eyes, I find myself realizing again and again what incredible boys I have. I hope at least they're listening when I tell them over and over how much I love them.