|Posted on July 31, 2011 at 4:00 AM||comments (2)|
As a young child, Drake was a master at crafting excuses.
He wouldn't learn his alphabet because... he had a fear of letters. Apparently, they gave him nightmares, especially their horrifying leader- A.
He wouldn't pick up his room because... he had a bad back. He wasn't sure how he had hurt it, but it was pretty bad, and the only thing that made it feel better was laying on the couch drinking juice and watching cartoons.
He drew his self-portrait on the wall because... he had run out of paper. And wasn't it really our fault for not picking more up?
And he, most assuredly would not toilet train because... he was afraid of toilet sharks. (and, really, who wouldn't be?)
But something occured after he reached the prodigous age of four-- he got lazy. At this age he decided that every bad thing that happened could be attributed to one source. His imaginary friend... LITTLE BEAR!
Who ate all the watermelon in the fridge?
Who knocked baby brother over and made him cry?
Who spilled koolaid all over the carpet in the living room?
Who's responsible for the delay in the aid response after hurricane Katrina?
He seems to quickly disappear after any major incident, so I'm just assuming on that last one. Drake assures me that his father and I are probably the only people who can't see him, so if you could do us a favor and be on the look-out for this bear:
It would be greatly appreciated. The little furry evil doer makes me miss the toilet sharks.
|Posted on July 21, 2011 at 11:12 PM||comments (0)|
Well, if you have a 4 year old, you probably already know that one minute spent idly looking in the opposite direction of them can result in thousands of dollars worth of property damage.
We got lucky this time. Drake was at a friends house and I guess, somehow managed to throw thirty rocks over a fence and into a neighbor's pool. Which on the bright side does, at last, display a solid work ethic. Finding that many rocks and getting them over a fence in that short of an amount of time IS an accomplishment...of sorts.
Unhappily, the neighbor did not see it this way. As the ever thoughtful parents that we are, we decided an apology note would be the best punishment. He hates having to sit down and write anything, even his name.
He decided on a card. Since Hallmark was out of "sorry I threw thirty rocks into your pool" cards, he had to make his own. I've recreated his first draft for your viewing pleasure, adding only labels, in case you are confused:
Not that it isn't lovely, but I doubt very much that the neighbor would be pleased to receive an artwork commemorating the day rocks were thrown into his pool. (By a rather messy-headed angry giant stickman, no less.)
So we tried again, this time starting with the dreaded task of writing. Here is the reproduction of his best efforts:
Yes, that says 'pooh'. He refused to change it, playing dumb at first and then claiming that he was very hurt that we did not like his L, because he tried to write it the best he could.
You can lead a horse to water...
We finally convinced him to not draw a picture on the cover of the card of himself vandalizing anything and it ended up like this:
Which we--given the scale of the rock versus the pool-- can only hope the neighbor doesn't take as a threat to come back to the pool with fucking boulders.
|Posted on February 13, 2011 at 1:58 PM||comments (1)|
"Why are you looking at me?? You know, I am really getting sick of the fact that every time a cat gets sacrificed around here, everyone automatically assumes its my fault."
Like many mothers, evil or otherwise, I have this unexplainable desire to make sure that my son's teacher recognizes him for the unmitigated genius that he is. And, perhaps, like many children, my son's top priority in life seems to be to thawt me in acheiving my aims.
At first I decided that this would require little to no effort on my part. Since Drake is a genius and she is a teacher, the recognition would be natural and easy. Not so. But I did not realize this until the first parent-teacher conference. I should have known something was wrong. Drake asked me why he was not going to school that day, and I explained that the children got to stay home so that the parents could attend conferences with the teachers. he then demanded that I explain what a 'conference' was, and when I did, he became visibly nervous.
"i don't like this," he decided. "I don't want you go to parent-teacher nonsense."
I assured him that there was nothing to worry about, and even told him that he was welcome to come along, which he opted to do. What followed was like waking up in a bed full of cold dead fish-- shocking and uncomfortable. The teacher told me that my son had a problem with listening and ran his mouth almost constantly. She told me that he didn't have the ability to use sissors, and that out of 26 letters he could only identify four. I was shocked up until this point, then a lightbulb clicked on.
One of my son's favorite things to do when bored is to get on my computer, bring up microsoft word and type dirty things on whatever story I'm working on. So on a normal day, I'll be in the kitchen, and from downstairs I'll hear:
"what now, offspring?"
"HOW DO YOU SPELL POOP?"
"TWO O's, MOM???"
"HOW DO YOU SPELL BUTT?"
So I know that he knows his letters, I have physical proof that he can find and identify the letters P, O, B, U, T, F, A, R, and many others on a keyboard. It turns out, that my son had discovered that if he says the magical words "I dunno", he would be left to his own devices.
"What letter is this?"
"What about this one?"
"You need to cut this out with sissors."
"I dunno how."
"What comes after the number four?"
I tried to correct the misunderstanding, by explaining to her that our family has a long and proud history of evil and that even a boy of four, in our family, had the ability to use cunning or trickery to get what they want. In this case- to not have to do stuff like answer questiojns or learn.
I don't think this was well-received.
So now Valentine's Day has come around, and my four-year-old has been busy making out his cards to his fellow classmates. His writing skills are well enough. He can write his name nicely if you sit next to him and prod him constantly to do it correctly. But he just doesnt have the ability yet to write his name perfectly on all twenty-some valentines, and I wasnt going to make him. On some he just wrote a "D', on others he got kind of Salvador Dali and made a large melting D on one side, and maybe a tiny R backwards floating up in the sky, and somewhere completely else an upside down K, and then he might throw a number in there, like say, '4' because he's four, so why not. But I wan't stressing. I just wanted him to write it nicely on his teacher's valentine. Because, you see, I've given up trying to convince her that he is a genius, I just want her to believe that he isn't mentally impaired.
So finally there we are, the last one, his teacher's valentine. I lay it out and explain that I would really like it if he would write his name nicely, because this one is for his teacher. So let's do this, let's write Drake! We start right here, on the far left side, so we'll have enough room.
Drake grips his pen, moves it to the center of the valentine, and slowly and deliberately makes a large round circle.
"What's this?" I ask patiently.
"An O," he says nonchalantly.
"There's no 'O' in Drake."
"I know, but O's are easy," he explains.
I sigh, and rub my forehead, but I'm not going to get upset. It's okay, there's still enough room, we can still get Drake written on there correctly.
"Can you write your name now?" I ask nicely.
"Can you make your D, right here?"
He then proceeds to make a giant capital letter T.
"It's a T."
"There's no T in Drake."
"I know that. I just really like T's."
"Okay, fine. Can you make a D now?!?"
"Nope," He holds the pen up and then drops it dramatically on the table, "I'm done."
To underscore his point, he gets up from the table and walks away. So his teacher recieved a lovely valentine's card from a student identified only as "OT". Touche, Drake. You may have taken this round-- but I'm older and I've had more time to perfect my craft. I will win the war.
|Posted on January 21, 2011 at 3:52 AM||comments (1)|
Every kid had a Deadman's Hill. If you didn't, you lived somewhere where it didn't snow, or you stayed inside and played Mario Brothers because you had no friends, or worse, no imagination. Deadman's Hill...
Yeah, so Norman Rockwell's version is a little bit more like Dead-cutie-pie-kitten Hill, but you get the point.
I've been on a quest to find the Deadman's Hill of our new neighborhood, for my four-year-old son, Drake. I know it's out there somewhere. There's woods and trees and trails everywhere, it suggests its presence all the time but never materializes. I've even seen little boys in their snow pants and thick coats, dragging sleds behind them, but always from far away, and I never have time to chase them down before they disappear.
Yesterday, Drake and I went questing in the woods behind our house. Well, I quested. The snow was too deep for him to walk far. He laid down in the sled while I pulled and told me I was a good reindeer. I found a hill, a GOOD hill, a perfect hill for a small boy... but not worthy of a Deadman's Title. Drake deemed it "AWESOME" and 'prob-la-be' the best hill ever, but i know better. I had the best hill ever.
Our Deadman's Hill, should have been called Deadmultitude Hill, because it had about two dozen ways to die (half of them were strategically placed trees). It began with a straight drop of about seven feet, which leveled out at almost a 90 degree angle, and then hit another bump which acted as a ramp to launch you and your sled airborne. You had to hit it just right, because the sled trail was only about four feet wide, in some places only two and a half, and it snaked through a densely wooded area. It really hurt to be launched off that hill directly into a tree trunk. If you hit it just right, you'd be able to follow the rest of the sled route which gradually leveled off and stopped at the edge of a road. You'd then shoot across the road and into a ditch on the other side. It required at least two kids. One to stand as look-out at the bottom of the hill and scream the ALL CLEAR! if there were no cars coming.
I'm not sure how it could have been more dangerous... perhaps some swinging blades, or a heated pond full of alligators. You have to understand that in the 80s, parents cared a lot less about their kids. We could shout: "Hey we're going to go play in the street" or "We're going to Mike's house to jump off his roof onto a trampoline!" and it was fine as long as we were home in time for dinner. Maybe it was just that they expected us to use common sense to stay alive. We relied more on luck.
In any event, I can still remember the day Robbie Jackson got run over. He was a little roly poly guy, the youngest in the group. The look-out had shouted Clear, and Robbie went for it, and the second he went, a car crested the hill. We were standing at the top of the drop-off watching as the sled and the car headed for a dead-on collision. I started screaming, trying to run down the hill after him, like I could catch his sled. The look-out was frozen, didn't move. Some of the other boys started screaming at him. He woke up in time to start waving his arms and screaming at the car, but not soon enough. The driver of the truck slammed on his brakes, just as Robbie shot out onto the road, directly under his car.
And all of us kids... we had all made it to the bottom of the hill by then, and none of us moved. Just watched as the driver of the car got out, white-faced, shaking, bent down, and yanked the sled and Robbie out from under the truck... without a scratch on him! And the little bastard had the gall to look up at the man and say, "You need to slow the F*ck down!"
I don't know what happened next--I think I realized our parents were going to get called, so I grabbed my sled and booked it out of there.
On second thought-- maybe Drake doesn't need a Deadman's Hill after all.
|Posted on October 14, 2010 at 3:11 AM||comments (2)|
Well, another October 11th come and gone. Last year, I spent our anniversary in the hospital giving birth. At the time, people teased us by saying, "Happy Anniversary, you won't get to spend the day romantically together for another 18 years!" We thought we had at least one more year, I mean him being so young and all (he doesn't know it's his birthday, we could tell him it's man on the moon day, he probably hears the same thing Charlie Brown does when adults speak.. wah-wah-wah-waah-wa-wah), what does he care if we go out?
So Shad took the day off, I was home as well, and we decided to do a nice lunch together somewhere, just the two of us. You know, drop the kids of at Grandma's for the day, get some things done around the house, maybe take a walk together, get lunch somewhere where it's not okay to have kids throw their mac 'n' cheese on the floor, etc. And everything was going according to plan that morning. Shad had Drake up, was getting him fed, getting him ready for preschool, he came upstairs to wake me up, and heard Liam vomitting in his crib.
Yup. Liam at one year of age has never had more than a slight cold. The kid just doesn't get sick, he barely made a fuss when teething. He's the healthiest kid you ever saw. We decide to spend a day together (it's been a long, long, time since we've done that) he starts vomiting his brains out. (Thinking of my parents being affectionate towards each other kind of makes me a little sick to my stomach... but I wouldn't actually vomit.)
So after dropping Drake off, I cleaned up Liam, who had gone through another change of clothes after another round of vomitting, and wound up sitting in the doctors office, with a miserable one-year-old, who couldn't hold down water and was still dry-heaving. Shad had stayed home in order to do a laundry load of all the puked on bedding and clothes. And in all the hustle and all the worry over my poor baby, I hadn't even wished the old guy a happy anniversary.
I called him. He was cleaning, of course. He asked what the doctor had said. The doctor said it was nothing. Said that if he still couldn't keep water down after another four hours to take him to the ER. Thanks... twenty dollars well spent, jackass. You could at least prod his belly or do something doctorish.
I told Shad I called to wish him a happy anniversary. He thought that was pretty funny. But it was a...well, not a 'happy' anniversary per se, but a good one. We've both got someone we can depend on. It feels like we have to deal with a lot sometimes, but it's never alone. No matter if it's a sick kid, or renters who won't pay, or just someone to tell you once in awhile that they love you, no matter how much you pass gas or snore in your sleep.
Liam was holding down water by late afternoon, and a little bit of bread shortly thereafter. Right in time for Shad and I to go take a tour of another house, and play good cop bad cop with the poor relator ("Okay this is how we'll play this... you be the one who's really interested in the house, and I'll be the one who thinks it's crap.). It's nice to have a partner in crime, and I wouldn't change him (well... maybe he could agree to take Beano before bed, but other than that..).
|Posted on September 29, 2010 at 4:55 AM||comments (1)|
It's only the second week of school, and Drake comes home and proudly announces that he's been given his first 'time-out'! It's hard to get the facts out of him as his accounts of things are sometimes interrupted by random escapades involving trolls or airplanes.
"Yeah, I was at recess and a boy was not nice to me."
"So what did you do?"
"I got in uh airplane, went fly over him and pooped right on his head."
"No you didn't"
"No, I didn't. I'm silly though, right Mom?"
"So what did you do?"
"You tell me."
"I don't know. You decided it would be an awesome beginning to a short story, but then never came up with a conclusion?"
I think it began with him not listening to her. And then she had to pull the old count-to-three routine.
"Drake, that's a one... that's a two..."
Well, old Drake loves the count-to-three routine. He makes his voice even higher pitched than normal, to mimick you, and counts right along with you. It's infuriating. Not quite as infuriating as when he tell you that you're wrong and he knows it because he's a genius.
So yeah, we've got to work on respecting adults more and maybe even try to just grasp the concept of humility. (Although if he chooses to follow in Mom's footsteps...major in evil science and world domination... humility isn't much of an asset.)
I keep saying that I don't know where he gets it from... but that's a lie. I have to blog-fess something. I was probably worse.
yeah, it's possible.
Twenty-five years ago, Preschool teachers were a lot different. There was none of this I-have-my-masters-degree-in-early-childhood-development, and classroom helpers, and peanut free zones. My Preschool teacher was an old hag with a wart on her nose who rode a broomstick to class every morning. She hung the broomstick over her desk, where it would be within reach if she needed to use it to bash in your face for talking. I don't think she had a degree. They didn't do that at the prison she was work-released from. I never saw it happen, but I have a feeling that if one of the kids told her they had a peanut allergy, she'd probably tell them to stop being a little bitch and go walk it off.
She was a hundred and nine, and I was four. But I wasn't scared of her. I was pretty sure I was the smarter one. Turns out, I was.
One day, when I was barely four, my Mom told me that I wasn't allowed to bring my cabage patch doll to preschool with me. I protested by crying as loud as I could for as long as I could. Which meant, that after she had thrown me in the classroom and slammed the door, I was still standing there crying.
Old Miss. Sourass told me to go stand in the corner with my face to the wall, while the rest of the class had circle time. Which was embarrassing. I got to feel all the other kids staring at my back while I sniffled and hiccupped and Old Sourass dragged out the pledge of allegiance and the alphabet game as long as she could.
I just kept whispering over and over that it wasn't fair, that she was a mean, old cow with an ugly wart face and I was gonna get her. I didn't know how, but I was going to get her back, teach her a lesson.
So when she called me to come back and stand in front of the class and explain why I was 'crying like a baby', an idea clicked. I hunched up my shoulders and tried to make my face as sad as possible. Then letting my voice sound miserable and broken (I was subjected to Days of our Lives from about the age of two weeks, thanks Mom!) I said that my grandfather had died and that I didn't know it was wrong to be sad about it. I apologized for feeling bad inside. I then went on to say that I wanted to be a responsible big girl and not a baby, so I would tell my Mom that I got in trouble and why.
Heh. I can still see the other kids staring at her like she was the creature from the black lagoon, and the way her face went white.
Miss. Sourass handled me with kid gloves for the rest of the year. She never again made a kid explain themselves in front of the whole class either. She was especially nervous whenever my Mom needed to talk to her about anything.
So yeah, don't know where he gets it from... when I was four, I wouldn't have sassed his teacher, I would have owned his teacher.