Monday, November 30, 2009

Dramatic Morning

This morning, Seth waited for me to finish doing my hair in my bedroom because he was afraid to walk by the bathroom alone.

"Did you see the scary hand that was in the bathroom?" he asked me.

"Uh, no," I replied.

So, together we ventured out to pass by the haunted bathroom. As we passed by (with him doing a half run), he again asked me if I saw that scary hand, to which I again replied that I had not.

All this from a kids' imagination. A kid whose scariest thing he ever sees is a ghost on a Freddi Fish CD. And the ghost has no hands.

That was my early morning and an omen of things to come.

While doing school, I got so excited at how well he answered a question that I grabbed him with the intention of giving him a big hug. I think he still had the scary hand on his brain, because he jumped back and hit his head on the wall. After many hugs and kisses to stop the tears, he went to go by me and I accidentally poked his eye. Again this required more kisses to stop the tears.

I was beginning to think his dramatics matched his sister's.

Immediately following the eye poking incident, he went into the living room and smashed his hand on the wall in his haste. Requiring more kisses.

This time he definitely surpassed his sister's natural ability to dramatize.

A couple of minutes passed by. Just as I was beginning to think that things were settling down, his sister came out of her bedroom where she had been doing her school work. She came out with a long pink and blue afghan draped around her neck like a cape. She had decided that she was Queen Esther this morning and was completing her school work as the Queen. On the long tail of her cape were several stuffed animals - her subjects, perhaps - trailing along behind her as subjects are wont to do.

This is when Seth decided he didn't like her subjects. What happened next is hard to tell because I didn't actually see it. What I think happened is that Seth grabbed one of the Queen's subjects and/or stepped on the Queen's cape. Queen Esther - to protect her subjects, of course - pulled her cape from the bandit, causing him to go flying. I think the bandit was partially on the cape because he ended up landing on his left knee.

And all previous dramatics were very mild in comparison.


I sent the Queen to her castle, along with her subjects. We would have a chat later. Meanwhile the little bandit wailed for about five minutes. I checked his knee and it was quite a bit......less than......broken. In fact, I could scarcely see a red mark, although the little bandit pointed out the HUGE RED MARK on his knee.

Amidst his wails he continued kept repeating,


Now what is a mama to say to this? I mean a mama with any sense of humour at all? It was all I could do not to break down and laugh myself silly. As it was, a few chuckles escaped.

And so, with many kisses and hugs, a stern lecture or two, my very interesting morning ends.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Mixed Bag

It's been a rough week this week. I spent the first five days wondering where on earth I had gone wrong as a mother. It's not that things had really gotten worse, it's that I finally had enough. Every mother out there will know what I'm talking about.

When you realize that you do not have obedient (enough) children, you better slap yourself upside the head if you're the parent. Much of my week was spent re-evaluating my discipline methods; wondering when my own hearing loss began; and most of all - asking myself where lines really needed to be drawn and what really constituted a battle.

For example, should my children, more specifically - my son - be forced to sit perfectly still on a chair in a restaurant without wiggling and with very little talking? You may laugh, but this was really troublesome to me this week, particularly because that said son fell off his chair (because of his wiggling), causing his "neighbour" (a relative of mine) to spill their salad on themselves and partially on the floor. Apart from this catastrophe, it bothered nobody else in the restaurant.

Including his mother.

Whether this makes me a bad mother or not, I haven't yet decided, but throughout the week I have had to take stock of what is deemed appropriate public behaviour and truthfully, I still am not sure. I have a very "mixed bag" philosophy of parenting - largely traditional with discipline, and untraditional with behaviour. As a rule, I do not tolerate my children disrespecting adults, which is why the whole salad-on-the-floor incident troubled me; I wasn't troubled enough about it even though he disturbed an adult.

In short, here is what I've learned about myself:

1) I worry too much what others think;
2) I have too much stinkin' pride and realize that my children's misbehaviour sometimes bothers me because it's a reflection on my lack of parenting RATHER than their misbehaviour;
3) I probably won't know any more next week how to be a better parent.

I've also learned a couple more things, these during church tonight:

1) Not to look at my son while on the platform singing during song service, and;
2) Not to make eye contact with my sister after looking at my son during song service.

While I was earnestly trying to give God the glory in song, I made the mistake of looking at my son, only to find both of his fingers in his ears, eyes crossed, tongue sticking out, jumping up and down during the singing. I then observed my sister (whom he was with) stop his nonsense, only to look up at me, make eye contact, and start to laugh.

I challenge you to try to sing seriously at a time such as this.

Now, to complete my mixed bag post, I hope you enjoy pictures of the "art work" my son produced during church tonight. Some of it had me in stitches.

Title: "To Be Continued"

Title: "Seth David"

Title: "Castle On A Hill"

Title: "Happy Man"


Title: "Scary Mouse"
(Those teeth really do it for me)

Last, but not least, the chilluns' and I made a gingerbread house on Friday.

Hope y'all enjoyed my mixed bag post. Good night.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Reason #50 (at least) of why I homeschool: My home is SAFE.

Today at the school I drive for, there was a school LOCK-DOWN. This is the same school that I would likely send my children to right by my house.

Apparently a child was making threats.

I really don't think anything else needs to be said.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Statue of "Liverty"

Seth called me to come to his bedroom.


This is what I saw:

Lovely, lovely statue.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mr. Webster

After getting off the bus today, Seth decided to coin a new word. He told Hannah to,


Iquidenity apparently means, according to Seth, "to co-operate and listen on the bus so you can get a treat."

The boy's a genius.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Four More Reasons

In light of some recent events, and to add to my already large list, herein lies four more reasons why I choose to homeschool:

Reason #1. I am convinced that if my son was in school, his teachers would want to put him on Ritalin. I have discovered that he is almost completely unable to sit still while doing his work; instead standing ON his chair, standing BESIDE his chair, KNEELING on his chair, eventually ending up on the floor to dance a few little "jigs". This cycle is repeated continually throughout his school work. I in no way believe he has ADHD, he is just a normally active little boy. Neither do I see a reason to suppress his motion since it does not disturb anyone else. He is suppressed in church and at other occasions where his activity will disturb someone, so if he chooses to stand on his head to complete his school - as long as he gets it done - it's fine by me.

Reasons #2 & 3. In recent weeks while driving the school bus, some new revelations have come to light. First, in spite of the fact that I love the darling little kids from the refugee camp that I spoke of in a recent post, they reaffirm that there is no language barrier too big to learn how to SWEAR. Yup. The worst four-letter word manages to creep its way into their weak English vocabulary. Which goes to show what other kids are teaching them at school, and reinforces why I do not want my kids in a regular classroom at public school.

Secondly, I have been shocked to observe an enormous lack of supervision by the teaching staff of my school. Since I have to make two small loops on my route, taking some kids home in one loop and then returning to the school for the second set of kids, there are anywhere from 30 to 60 kids waiting for my return, which is a 10-15 minute wait. There have been at least a half dozen times when these kids are left unsupervised and running wild. One time when I pulled up I noticed a lady supervising the kids that I had never met before, only to find out that she was a "concerned citizen", who happened to be driving by the school and almost hit a kindergartner who was OUT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET. She very kindly took it upon herself to supervise these kids while waiting for my return.

On one other occasion, Dave and I were picnicing with our kids during a school day in late September at a park close to a school. Since we were there at lunch time, we observed the kids coming out after their own lunch to play for the remainder of their break. There were two teachers supervising that I noticed, but I was amazed at how many kids were hiding in places that the teachers couldn't see and realized how easy it would be the kids to escape the bell when it rang. It would be impossible for the teachers to know exactly how many kids were on their watch, since they were from all grades and the number would vary day to day.

I would have no problem with Hannah in the supervisory care of a teacher in these instances because I trust her and she is cautious. But there is no way in this lifetime I could trust Seth. I could easily see him being the boy in the middle of the street and him hiding on the teacher thinking it was funny.

Reason #4. This is the biggest reason of all. I recently learned of a situation (from a very reliable source) where a mom dropped her 9-year-old daughter off at school and realized she forgot her lunch. She told her daughter that she would return later with her lunch. However, the mom was late in dropping off her lunch. As a result, a teacher called in social services (without permission/knowledge of a parent), a social worker questioned the girl (without permission/knowledge of a parent), asked questions that eventually led to the inevitable, "do you ever get a spanking?" (which she does). As a result, the parents are being subjected to home assessments and have been told that if they fail they are at risk of losing not just their 9-year-old daughter, but their BABY BOY!


I don't know about anyone else, but this absolutely enrages me. Ironically, I drive the school bus to inner city schools who PROVIDE LUNCH FOR THE CHILDREN BECAUSE THE PARENTS ARE INCAPABLE OF PROVIDING FOOD FOR THEIR CHILDREN.........!!!!! I have also listened to countless stories - by the children I drive - of arguments and physical abuse, as well as see their dilapidated homes. And these children continue to be allowed to live with their parents.

I realize I don't know everything about the above story, but I do not believe a teacher should have the right to call in a social worker to question a child without authority from a parent. If a child looks abused or neglected, then call the police. But this child was not. This child has two parents who love her, and whose mom was.......a little late. That's it.

I'm sure in a little while I'll have four more reasons why I homeschool. At least.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Conversation With My Boy

My boy and I were having a special snuggle time tonight. With it came an interesting conversation that began with what he wanted to be when he grew up to discussing what Jesus was like. Our little talk went something like this:

"Is Jesus good, Seth?" I asked.

"Yup. Jesus is good," Seth replied. "He's good AND nice. All the time."

"He doesn't kick."

"He doesn't punch."

"He doesn't bite."

"He doesn't pinch."

"He doesn't spit." All wonderful words of wisdom from my boy.

Impressed, I asked him if someone told him this.

"Nope. I just know it. Jesus also doesn't lie. But sometimes I do."

Now, how can my heart not melt when he speaks like this? After discussing the "lying" thing for a bit, I asked him if he wanted to know Jesus when he was older (because he has already said that he is TOO young).

"Yup," he said.

"How do you know that you're saved?" I asked him.

"When you walk with Jesus," he answered.

Stifling a chuckle - because after all, walking with Jesus IS part of being saved - we got down to the bare bones plan of salvation. When we came to baptism, he explained very earnestly that,

"Someone gets in the water, and then goes underneath the water. ALL of him, with no part staying outside the water!" he said emphatically.

I absolutely love these little talks. Not only do they let me know how much he really understands, but the unique child-like understanding is sometimes cute and startlingly accurate.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

More Stories Of Seth

"You've told me not to do such an awful lot of things that I can't remember them all."
(Davy, six-year-old twin to Dora from Anne of Avonlea)

I've decided that Seth doesn't remind me so much of Calvin anymore, but Davy from Anne of Avonlea. Davy is a six-year-old boy that is adopted by Marilla Cuthbert and Anne of Avonlea is largely about his adventures and the trials of Marilla and Anne bringing up twins. Calvin, from anything I've read in Calvin and Hobbes, has no lovable and redeeming qualities. He's just a capital "B" Brat that has a bit of a mean streak. Davy, on the other hand, is very mischievous and always getting into scrapes, but is also very lovable. Much like my Seffie.

I have said repeatedly - and I go on record as saying it AGAIN - that I cannot imagine how much more mischief this boy of mine can create. Just when I think that surely he'll be calming down a bit, his escapades seem to increase. Sometimes I do wonder if it's because I have an abundance of rules and he just can't remember them all. Other times I know he's just being a twerp.

The last few days has brought about something new: increased VOLUME when he speaks. It seems that when he is excited, which happens to be a lot, that he cannot speak in anything less than about 500 decibels (with the normal range being 50-60).

On one of the games he plays on the computer, he squirts water at Mickey Mouse (or one of his cohorts) and he often gets so worked up I'm sure the entire cul-de-sac can hear him because he can't play it without yelling at the computer in excitement. Sometimes he gets scared too if he thinks one of the objects of his attack is chasing him and yells for his sister to come and help him. Sometimes she does. Sometimes she's busy and doesn't. When she doesn't, he gets a little perturbed and yells things like:


Apparently today in Sunday School he put on a concert, singing his favourite Jungle Jam songs. He put popsicle sticks in his ears, made faces, drew funny pictures and did his best to make everyone laugh.

During song service tonight, he did his best John Travolta imitation and practiced his Staying Alive routine. I have to constantly be on my guard with him, because if I don't I'll find him turning around making funny faces to people behind him. He then periodically sneaks over to me to give me a big kiss or hug. Or sometimes to bug me by tickling my neck or earlobe - which he knows I DETEST.

It's ever so hard for a five-year-old boy to sit still in church, after all.

Tonight after church, Seth was impolite to one of the lady's in the church because he wouldn't answer a question (just a general question about his well being). He has this tendency which we are trying to break, and as a result, his daddy said that he couldn't have a treat. So, off to bed he went treat-less. After 45 minutes of silence, in which I thought he had gone to sleep, he called me into his room. He informed me that he just "could not get comfortable" (a line he has borrowed from his older sister, I think).

"I think I really need daddy to lay beside me to help me get comfortable," he 'splained. He got to sleep in the big bed beside daddy this afternoon, you see.

I went to tell daddy of his request. I wouldn't want him to miss out on this special father/son bonding opportunity, after all. Daddy told me to tell him to "try a little harder to get comfortable". I went in to Seth and relayed the message.

"But, I can't," he said. "I really, REALLY need help to get comfortable," he said beseechingly. (You can tell I've been reading the Anne books again lately).

So, I had him roll over and I tickled his back for a little while. When I was done, I asked him if that made him comfortable, yet.

"Yup," he said. "You can go and let daddy know that I don't need him. I'm comfortable now." So I did.

About five minutes later he yelled from his room to his dad:


So patient daddy (with a grin on his face, I might add) went in and made him comfortable. And it only took about ten minutes for that little rascal to fall asleep.

He's happy. Dad's happy. And I'm EXTREMELY happy. I have a couple of hours of quiet before I head off to bed. Good night.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Long Time Ago

Today I printed off a poem I wrote to my daughter just before her seventh birthday and gave it to her. For some reason, I neglected to give it to her for her birthday which was my original intention (how bad is that?). As a result, she spent some time this afternoon writing a poem for me.

A Long Time Ago
(Dedicated to my 42-year-old mother)

A long time ago
You weren't what you are to me now
I had more play time then
But I want to spend more time with you now

A long time ago
I was more cute
A long time ago
I could make more of a hoot

When I was small
Long ago
I grew big
Not as big as Bo

You are the best
I think I know how
I love you
And I haven't stopped now


The first line really choked me up, because it is really true. Hannah wasn't very cuddly as a baby or as a little girl. She was busy and curious and loved spending time with her daddy. In the last couple of years she has changed dramatically. She has become a snuggler. She expresses herself very eloquently and tells me many times a day how much she loves me. One of her common sayings to me is that she "wouldn't want any other mom but me" (imagine that - even after a day of school?). We have begun a little game at night when she is tucked in we call "I love you more than.....". One of us will begin the line and the other will finish it with a rhyme. We have found it to be a very special, pleasant way to finish the day, bonding us even more - amid belly laughter because of the silly things we think to say.

She is still very close to her dad and I hope (and doubt) that will ever change. She's just managed to include me in her heart with that special closeness. I pray it will continue to grow as she blossoms into those teenage years.

I've hung her poem on the wall in my bedroom. Along with other works of "art" that she made for me (her latest passion). My bedroom wall has become a collage of childhood artwork and scribblings. Tell me, what is paint and design to the 1,000 watt smiles of a very pleased child?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Family Pictures

Well, after all the hassle, we finally did manage to do INDOOR family pictures (as a surprise for my mom's 65th birthday). However, because there were some very cranky members of the family (not mentioning any names, of course), it was quite an abbreviated photo shoot. As a result, there were only a handful of pictures per family to choose from. With poor lighting (done inside our museum on the recommendation of a professional photographer) and cranky family members, Rachel and her "side kick" Jenn, managed to do a pretty good job. My wonderfully talented OLDEST sister Laura will be scrapbooking a gigantic shadow box of a kazillion pictures with the help of some of her not-quite-so-talented sisters. This will thrill my mom.

I absolutely love, LOVE, LOVE this picture. This is why people think Hannah looks like her daddy. Can't imagine why.

And here is the happy clan. You can probably tell who was the most impressed by looking closely at this picture.

Anyway. IT'S ALL DONE. For another 25 years.