Today my girl was a sweetheart again. She "felt like getting stuff done and helping" in her words, so at supper time she set the table for me. While eating, she jumped up without being asked to refill our water glasses as we needed them and told me to let her know if I needed anything else. After supper, she asked me if she could clean Seth's room (isn't there an old saying that it's much easier to clean someone else's mess than your own?? - because her room wasn't perfect).
Seth, for reasons not yet stated, had to be in bed EARLY. I was aiming for 7:00, but no later than 7:30. So, because it seems to make her really happy to be needed and to help out (and I certainly don't want to discourage that), I let her clean up Seth's room while Seth had a bath. And clean it she did. She didn't just throw the toys in the toy box and/or bins, but she organized and put them where they really belonged. She even got a ziploc baggie and put his assortment of mismatched puzzle pieces in them until they can be properly matched to the correct puzzle. As well, she pulled back his covers (like I do) so that his bed was ready for him to jump into.
Sometimes I feel that because Hannah at this point is a much more obedient child (okay, I'll admit it - she has ALWAYS been a much more obedient child) that it seems as if I favour her. From the depths of my heart, I know this is in no wise true. I appreciate her strengths because they make my life so much easier, but she is not perfect. Yesterday, for example, she had a near meltdown doing school (....shocking). She got a perfect mark on her spelling words, however, her printing has gotten very sloppy. She has gotten into the habit of rushing through school at the expense of nearly illegible printing. I warned her before her test that she would get a half mark off per word spelled if the printing was messy. She didn't listen. On EVERY word. Consequently, she got 50 percent on her spelling. However, I gave her a chance to redeem herself by printing each word on her test (36 of them) neatly. She undertook this and after her first line of words showed me. They weren't good enough, and I took out some work of hers from four months ago to prove how much neater she was then. The little turkey would not admit that she used to be neater. Anyway, she eventually completed the task properly, but only after many tears. She earned her 100 percent.
Now for Seth. Seth is more difficult and less obedient. However, he is such a lovable and comical little chap when he chooses to be, and his kisses and hugs make up for a host of sins. He certainly makes life interesting in this household.
He got up tired, but was in fine form this morning. When I saw that he decided to take his stuffed moose to the bathroom with him (he never takes his animals with him), I was curious, so I asked him why he had his moose with him, and why the moose as opposed to any of his other animals (he has a buffalo, duck, dog, elephant and kangaroo, as well as a large Tigger). His answer?
"Because the other animals were SNOTS to me this morning, mom!"
Chuckling, I asked him if he liked it when someone was snotty to him, to which he replied "no", so I told him that maybe it would be a good idea for him not to be snotty to people then, since this has been a particular problem of his.
"I'm not going to be a snot anymore, mom," he informed me seriously.
Fast forward to this afternoon. I made him lie down because he woke up tired and had a late night. I told him to go right to sleep and that he was not allowed to read. One hour went by and I had hopes that he fell asleep. Then I heard a CRASH coming from his bedroom and I knew it was the books falling out of his bookcase. I started to get up to investigate when a voice fearfully shouted:
"DO NOT COME IN HERE, MOM!"
I didn't answer. I couldn't. I was in spasms of laughter.
"MOM....MOM. DON'T COME IN HERE!" his panicked voice yelled.
Truthfully, it took me a little bit to actually go check it out because I had to get myself under control. Yes, there was my little scalawag, lying on his bed in pretended innocence - although I could see that he was nervous - while all of his books lay in a heap beside him.
So, the reason he had to go to bed so early was threefold: 1) he was extremely tired, almost falling asleep on the bus; 2) he was miserable when we got home from the afternoon bus run; and 3) he disobeyed me.
He went to bed by 7:25 and fell right asleep. Before he fell asleep I told him that because Hannah was so good to him that tomorrow he would do something for Hannah, like help clean up her bedroom. I refuse to let him off so easy.
And Hannah? She got to stay up two full hours later. She had Smartie ice cream. We played two games of Uno and one game of Skip Bo. And her dad made it home in time to read her beloved Thomas the Tank Engine.
And so ends the story of my two offspring. Each unique. Both treasured.