Monday, June 25, 2012

Shut my mouth and call me Elvis

Every once in a while, Ben shocks the bejeezus out of me.  He did it again the other night.  I started singing a song to him while he took a bath.
Ben: "No."
Me: "OK, no singing."
Ben: "Other."
Me: "You want me to sing a different song?"
Ben: "Yes."
Me: "Which one?"
Ben: "Crawdad."
Rocket Pops!  Homemade!
I was a little shocked right there.  He's never really shown any sign that he was paying attention to what I was singing.

I started singing the crawdad song and he seemed to be digging it.  Just to see what would happen, I stopped a word short and pointed to him.  He finished it.  The next line?  Finished it.  And again.  I'm not saying he was perfect at it, but he was in the ballpark.

Well, shut my mouth and call me Elvis.  I know the last time I sang that song for him... I blogged about it last December.  How the heck did he remember the words?

At three and four, Bubba wanted songs and made up stories at bedtime every night.  Ben only ever seemed to want one song.  After a while, singing stopped being a thing I did, other than that one song.  Mind you that no matter what my mom says and even though I am from Tennessee, I'm no great shakes as a singer.  I liked it though and a kid avoiding bedtime makes a great audience.

Now I find out that he really has been listening and even knows some of the words?  Alright son, any song you want, any time you want it.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Last week, I had one really bad night's sleep.  I'm not sure what it was...maybe the full moon or something.  Regardless, the next day, I was exhausted, but managed to get kids to school, volunteer in the classroom, attend my older son's "end of year" program, etc.

When we got home, I crashed on the couch.  "Bubba go play with Ben!" I yelled drowsily.  The two of them went in the back yard.  Awww, peace.  Within a minute, Bubba came back in and said, "He doesn't want to play with me, can I go look on the computer?"  "For what?!" "Just some Lego stuff."  "OK...zzzzzz."  At this point, I well and truly fell asleep.

I dreamt that Ben came tiptoeing in from the backyard and past me.  I awoke about 20 minutes later, I guess.  "Bubba, where's Ben?"  "In the back yard."  I closed my eyes again, but they snapped open when I heard a giggle...FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE!  I leaped up, deciding upstairs should be checked first.  Sure enough, another giggle came from my room.  As I stepped in, my foot landed in a pile of goo, and I paused to admire Ben's handiwork.

He was very proud of the toothpaste art he'd applied to our fresh pile of laundry, and Lovely Wife's suitcase.  He was also pleased that he'd learned to operate the big squirt bottle of lotion and how to remove the plug from the sink.  With some trepidation, I looked into the sink...yes, that would be my wife's contact lens case...stuck in the drain...covered with minty fresh toothpaste.

No big deal.  Some hand tools and cleaning agents and about an hour, and everything was almost back to normal (the sink is still draining a little slow).   I felt like it was good penance for my inattentiveness.

I don't have any witty way to end this, so instead, I'll plug AWAARE

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Not the hose!

It's day 4 of Lovely Wife being out of town.  I'm counting my lucky stars that Ben slept in 'til 6:30 this morning.  The past few days have had some early rising.

The boys are fed, vitamins dispensed, we have half an hour before the school rocket launches.  Ben wants to go in the back yard.  OK, no problem...that will make it easier to fix his lunch and pack some extra clothes for him.

I get him all dressed...a cute outfit if I do say so myself.  Lovely Wife is occasionally critical of my clothing selection skills (which doesn't bother me a bit).  We put on his blinky Spiderman shoes and he heads out the back door.

GFCF pretzels...check.  Peanut butter, juice box, jello cup and spoon, GFCF cookie...check, check, check, check.  Time to write the...uh oh...what's that sound?!  *a stream of water splatters across the back door* NOOOOOOO!!!  He's got the hose and and it's running.  *Sprint, open, sprint* "Ben!  Wait!"

Too late, he's completely soaked.  At least his blinky shoes didn't electrocute him or anything, and he's not very muddy.  We get some dry clothes on him and head off to school.  No worries.

But I am worried.  Did I leave the water on last night, or has he learned to turn on the faucet?  If it's the latter, then the game has just changed.  Maybe not "Skynet becoming self-aware" game-changing, but still, restraint will need to be learned, etc.

You see, Ben absolutely loves playing in running water, and as far as I can tell, it loves playing with him.  It's like he's a water bender from Avatar or something.

If we go for a walk in the cemetery (not as creepy as it sounds), the sprinklers will come on in a way almost guaranteed to get Ben soaked.  It doesn't matter what time of day.  It happens in the morning.  It happens in the evening.  Come to think of it, it is a little creepy.  Maybe the ghosts are running the sprinklers!  Or maybe the maintenance people are just messin' with us.

The other day, Ben and I had to kill about 45 minutes before picking up Bubba and another kid from school.  I thought to myself, "Self, don't take him to Sugarhouse Park, because he's sure to jump in the creek.  Don't go to Liberty because of that 'water feature' in the middle of the playground.  Take Ben to Laird Park.  It's nice and dry and he can play in the sandbox."   I may sound like a spoilsport, but I didn't have any back-up clothes for him.

We headed to Laird and got out to find a group of junior high kids milling about in the middle of the park.'s not out yet.  Is it a flash mob?  Hmmm, there's a fire truck over there and it looks like they're hooking up to a hydrant.  Aieeee!  They're turning the hose on the children!

Ben's in the lower left, sopping wet.

It was pretty cool actually, and Ben had a blast.  Happy Trouble.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Happy 80th, Pa!

Today is my dad's 80th birthday.  Happy Birthday, Pa!

Dad's a poet (and a retired engineer, and a hunter, and a hopeless romantic, and a lot of other things).  Here's one of his poems that seems apt for today.

Madelon, Bill the pony, and Dad (11)

Sounds from Childhood

Sounds from my childhood keep running through my mind
Sounds from a childhood long since left behind
Sounds that have lingered all these many years
Sounds that still are like music in my ears

Rain on the tin roof of Granddad's big old house
Warm summer wind sighing through the tall southern pines
Grandma's call to breakfast in the middle of the night
Her Leghorn roosters crowing in the early morning light
Granddad softly praying at the lamp-lit breakfast table
Lowing of the Jerseys as Aunt Mary, Granddad, and I neared the stable
The Belgian mares' low whinny for their morning tub of oats
The grunting and the squealing of the noisy, nosy shoats
The meowing of the barnyard cat for her daily dish of cream
Aunt Mary's invitation, "Charles, grab your cane pole, let's see if we've caught all the catfish in the stream"
The clip-clop of the Maude mare's hooves with me astride her
While Granddad walked home from far-off fields beside her
He's leading "Old" Mable who wouldn't let you ride her
Grinding of the mill gears as we made apple cider
Madelon's shrill shriek when she stepped barefoot on a spider

Sounds from my childhood keep running through my mind
Sound from a childhood long since left behind

I hear the "rain crow" cooing in the early morning light
I hear the whip-poor-will's mournful medley in the middle of the night
I hear the roar of thunder in the far-distant west
Hey, Missus Rain Crow, why not give it a rest
I hear Mother singing as she brushes out her hair
"Precious memories, how they linger"
"A photograph or two, some letters tied with blue,
They're all I've left of you, among my souvenirs"

I hear my Father praying at meal time, in church,
and in the middle of the night
Lord, this was a good man - please treat him right

These sounds from my childhood are still ringing in my ears
Sounds that have grown more dear to me
With the passing of the years
And when my time on earth is done, I pray each childhood sound will go with me
As my soul seeks higher ground

(reprinted without permission, plz don't sue)