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The Little Things

It's easy for me to get caught up in the monotony of the little things and forget to appreciate them for what they are. Everyday while the kids are eating breakfast I clean up the kitchen. I know a lot of people, and most of my friends are the kind, who get up from dinner and immediately start cleaning. I'm the exact opposite of that. In case you wondered. Knowing my kitchen is clean doesn't make me sleep better at night. I have no problem laying on the couch and watching Law and Order with dirty dishes just 10 feet away. I'd like to be that kind of person who cares, but you know---when you're lazy like me, you gotta learn to choose your battles.

However, I really do kind of enjoy cleaning the kitchen in the morning. The kids are at the table yapping, Avee's inhaling an inordinate amount of food and Benja is alternating bites of food with jumping off of his chair to imitate a Mario maneuver. And I am near enough to them to be a part of the breakfast experience, but I don't have to sit and just watch the inhaling and the Mario-ing.

But, I have found I've started to let that kind of thing dominate how I run the house. I rarely sit and just play or just talk with the kids. And they are incessantly trying to get me to. So everyday I sort of take a mental inventory of what kind of approach I am taking, and try to make an effort of "dancing" with the kids. You know, like my blog title implies I'm prone to.

And I'm really good at this. It's made me a phenomenal mother and my children are undoubtedly gifted as a result and I find nothing but joy in all I do around this house, and the icing on the cake is that my house just magically keeps itself clean. So, I suggest everyone follow my lead.

Actually, what I've discovered is, the funniest moments, or the ones I find myself so glad I get to be a part of, are when I'm not really involved and I'm sort of eavesdropping.

Benja has become obsessed with letters and numbers. Letters because, well that happened naturally, but numbers because J has really been spending time with him on them. He's in no way ready for them to find a secure place in his brain, but that doesn't stop him from talking about them incessantly, and acting like the know-it-all he isn't about them. And he loves the individual time with his dad. Pretty regularly he and I have arguments like this, "Benja I have asked you THREE times to put your pants on, and it annoys me to no end that I have to tell you something that simple THREE TIMES and you still don't do it, I should only have to ask you ONCE!"

To which he just as rudely replies, "You didn't tell me THREE TIMES, you told me SEVEN TIMES!!!" This is a regular occurrence. Only, what I say to him, I say it nicely---I don't know where he gets his rude tone.

And everywhere we go, at the checkout line, "What does c-u-s-t-o-m-e-r-s-e-r-v-is-that-an-"I"-or-an-"l"-c-e spell, huh mom, what does it spell?" or driving down the road, from the back seat, "What does m-o-r-t-g-a-hey stop you didn't let me finishing reading, stop the car!"

So, recently he's had a regular playdate over 2-3 times a week. This boy is 4 years old. He's 6 months older than Benja. He says the most hysterical things like, "Whoa, look at all those chips, you got the mother load!" and "Why does this door always have to be so difficult with me" after one minor struggle with it. He hasn't the least bit of interest in letters or numbers. But Benja is like me, and with our friends, we talk about what WE are interested in. And that is all. So he's constantly talking numbers and letters and this little guy says, "I don't know I told you I'm not in school yet!" Finally he's given up and has just conceded that Benja knows everything, which Benja also tells him regularly.

So today while they are painting, Benja says matter-of-factly "Blue and purple make yellow, any time you mix them together, they always make yellow." His friend tired of "not knowing as much" says, "Yes. I know. I actually already knew that." And I laugh and laugh and feel like my day has already been made because I got to hear that ridiculous little conversation.

Benja is sometimes really annoying with that know-it-all stuff, and even actually corrected the story time lady earlier this week. The book character jumped on two different couches and she said, "should he be jumping on the couch?" and Benja says, "No, couchES" and I slunk down in my chair. Half moon or not, Know-it-alls are annoying. Is this a stage I should ride out? Is there something I could be saying or doing to curb it? I mean besides, "Shut yer yapper kid, no one likes a know-it-all!" Is my kid going to be the obnoxious co-ed in the social psych class who sits in the front row and quotes entire paragraphs from the textbook and corrects the tenured professor? Because even I, the nice church girl, wanted to beat the hell out of that kid. So, tell me, because I'll do whatever it takes starting now, to dumb him down.

Another "little thing" that I've been thinking about all day, happened with Avee last night. After I put her to bed she came sauntering out like a drunk to the bar for last call. I told her to get back to bed. She told me no. I threatened her. She flipped me the bird. Oh just kidding, mom, I don't teach my kids that stuff. Yet.

As I was making her walk back to her bed, I towered and waddled behind her like Goliath, intimidating my little Israelite. She went the whole way whining and wailing about this injustice. As we turned into her bedroom closet bedroom I stubbed my 2nd to last toe on the door frame. I leaned back my head and howled a little, because everyone knows that howling alleviates stubbing pain. Avee stopped mid-whine and said, "Ye okay mom?" I looked down in surprise that she a) pulled herself together that fast and b) had a perfectly appropriate response to my spontaneous howling. I nodded but was still wincing and she came back and hugged my kneecaps and said, "S'okay mom."

It's the little things, really.

Oh honey I forgot how young you are. Don't dumb down that boy you need to BUILD BUILD he will be going to school soon and all those awful classmates will TAKE HIM DOWN!!!! And believe it or not he will survive! If only we could teach/learn to appreciate others abilities instead of being jealous or feeling inferior. That would be a beautiful day. Great post, and lol avee she is too cute, glad she is yours:)

Just don't let him be the kid in the class that ask questions or has a comment about EVERY SINGLE SOLITARY thing the teacher says.

my six year old came home from kindergarten the first week and told us all the things her teacher had spelled wrong. like docter.
she didn't tell her teacher, though, because she didn't want to make her feel bad. so at least i have a sympathetic know-it-all. and it doesn't go away, it gets worse. :)

Funny from beginning to end! I couldn't put it down! A real mouse-clicker!

(trying to sound like a blog critic)

OK, that was really funny. I loved it. You have a gift, my dear.

(tag you're it)

S beat me to it, but I'm going to say it anyway: "Don't you DARE curb that know-it-all-ishness." If his classmates don't do it, his wife will. But it's the mom's job to keep him confident that he's the smartest man in the universe. Because he is.

And oh, Aves. Nothing like a knee-hug from a tiny imp, huh?

It really is the little things.

After spending many hours working in my son's kindergarten class I've learned a lot. Literally! Some of the kids are learning more than I ever did about the solar system. One day, a particularly intelligent child answered a question out of turn because he couldn't contain himself. I told him that he needed to wait for the child I was calling on to answer if they could. The kid responded "Yes, but I know everything" At least he wasn't taught that he was Japanese.

SO.......speaking of numbers and Ben...we had a funny convo with him at dinner last night. We were talking about going #2...yes...we talk about those things at the dinner table. BOYS! BOYS! BOYS! NE WAYZ Brayden says something about having to go #2 and Benja pipes right up.....oh ya weLL i have to go #12. lol. lol. lol. Jacob and I could not control our laughter and Brayden and Brax just look at us and each other and almost simultaneously say, WHAT is #12? LOL!!!

Just how old ARE your children? From the pictures, they look really young. Are they geniuses?

And there's my proof!
Amy, I laughed so hard at that story. It's exactly what I'm talking about. Obsessed with numbers AND having a "better answer".
Maybe #12 is just a really good #2.

Carrot, yes they are, as is Angela.

#12 cracked me up too. It just sounds really painful.

Carrot, I think eating chicken broth from a can is actually one of the criterion to be in Mensa.

"What does m-o-r-t-g-a-hey stop you didn't let me finishing reading, stop the car!".
Oh man, are you writing that book Angela? You owe it to humanity

Carrot: Yes, I can -under oath- say those kids are geniuses! And it's not only because of the red hair, no.

I just woke up from a dream in which I was commenting on your blog. It was so inspiring.

I agree with those above: It is a mother's job to build up and praise. There will be plenty of opportunities for reality checks later in life. Conversely, there is a reason that boys like that are only granted one mother in this life. We wouldn't want to encourage it TOO much, you know.

When my kids' know-it-all blisters start flaring up, I try to encourage it with the stipulation that they think of the effect on others' feelings their words might have. Then we get "arguments" -


Yes, the all-caps was necessary. They yell EVERYTHING!

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