Tuesday, February 21, 2017

My Life with Mr. Awesome

"Hi Mom, I'm Mr. Awesome,"
he casually announces as he saunters into the kitchen shirtless with some Paw Patrol stickers and a Batman tattoo on his chest - just like the real Batman, he says.

His older brother added his walk-a-thon medal to enhance the look - a nice touch indeed.

Mr. Awesome, duh

This is the kind of ridiculous charm that knocks me off my socks at random times on any given day and punches through my otherwise gloomy disposition like a jolt of pure joy.

Six years into this whole "motherhood" thing, and I'm finally realizing that most of my constant grumpiness is due to the fact that I am, for the most part, constantly performing menial tasks. One might say I feel like a house servant, but that would not be totally accurate - servants are paid. And they get some days off.

The master of the house drives a Ferrari. I only get to push it from behind.

And so I roll the boulder up the hill, and watch it inch down inevitably with each passing minute as crumbs are sprinkled liberally and dishes and cups are used for eating and "experiments!" and clothing is pulled off and on, just for fun, and LEGOS are sewn on every square inch of carpet as if by a farmer in hopes of a generous harvest.

And it is finally dawning on me how much I hate getting down on my hands and knees and foot-washing, figuratively and literally. But between my groaning and sighs, I sometimes...fleetingly...glimpse the grace in it.

Friday, February 10, 2017

How to make your own ghetto light-saber and other tales

More random thoughts I'd like to remember...

(1) When Judah got a "unearth" your own crystals set this Christmas it came with a little wooden mallet and safety glasses to make it seem really authentic. Judah hammered away at the little block of loose sand and found a few small gem stones and called it a day. Noah watched him intently and when Judah went upstairs to put his gem stones away, Noah, without saying a word to anyone, donned the safety glasses, and started hammering away at the leftover pile of rocky sand, hoping to unearth some overlooked stones.

I don't know why this image sticks in my mind and makes me chuckle with mirth and pity. Something about this little guy being furtive and secretive and also totally accepting of his older brother's sloppy seconds...always being second place and the receiver of used objects...it charms me.

Noah, patiently waiting in the wings for his elder brother's scraps.

(2) Judah is such a hoarder. He has an intensely acquisitive nature. He doesn't acquire things for their utility - he just enjoys the accumulation of it. Now that he can earn his own money, he has learned that it's more fun to watch his money pile grow than to actually spend it on toys. Every time we go to Target Judah will peruse the toy aisles and finger items of interest, put them in our shopping cart, only to take them out again when it's time to check out. He would rather have the money.

Four months ago, he claimed that he would spend $10 after he first earned $30. Then he said he wouldn't spend money until he had earned $50. With a big boost from Chinese New Year, Judah now has a whopping $70 in his possession. And he now claims he won't spend any of his money until he's amassed at least $100. Oh the making of a miser.

So strong is Judah's hoarding instinct, that when I gave the boys cheap electronic light saber toys yesterday (a green one for Noah, a blue one for Judah), Judah immediately put his away in his room. In its place he jerry-rigged his own light saber by taping a flashlight to a back-scratcher, with which he used to fight Noah.

Ree. Dik. You. LESSSSS.

(3) Judah, of his own accord, without anyone every making any suggestions to him in the least, has taken it upon himself to make "worksheets" for Noah. They are the stuff of regular kiddie activity books - tracing the dotted line to form alphabet letters, simple math problems, color by number pictures, connect-the-dot pictures.

Judah does this because he wants Noah to have something fun to do when Noah is bored. And he believes Noah wants to progress in math and reading - which is true. But I don't know how helpful it is for Noah to do Judah's worksheets since Judah inverts a lot of letters and numbers - he still writes almost 30% of his symbols backwards (which makes me wonder if he's dyslexic).

Nevertheless, this inclination toward instructing his younger brother and wanting to make Noah happy is unbelievably rewarding for a mother to observe. What more do I want from my kids than to have such an abundance of good will toward their siblings? And quite an abundance there is - Judah has made over 50 worksheets and keeps it all in a giant zip-lock bag.

But maybe there's so many because Judah just likes to hoard...