Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Rainy Days

The day started with more swimming lessons. The skies seemed to be holding back so we walked and Jonathan biked down the street for class. While Lindsay was working hard and Jonathan was playing hard it started to rain a bit. I assumed we would be rescheduling Jonathan's class since the rain became constant. The swim teacher thought things would be fine so I stopped acting cool with the rain long enough to prop up the umbrella as it really started to come down. I had to trust that she knew what she was doing although I was so thankful when the lesson was over and I had both kids out of the water. By the way, both kids are on the verge of swimming breakthroughs. I just have to sit on my hands and clamp my mouth shut while they struggle in the water to reach the apex of their current ability.

I love kids playing outside. One reason is that they are outside while I remain inside -- life is quieter. My dad cannot figure out how his mother and other mothers kept kids busy all day in the pre-television and pre-gameroom-packed-to-the-hilt-with-toys days. He has decided that kids were sent outside to play instead of hanging around indoors. (I watched Lassie the other day and was aghast as I watched a four year old tromp around from farm to farm unaided. No wonder they needed a wonder dog to keep everyone safe!)

So, my new favorite neighbor kid is Austin. He and Jonathan spent two hours outside doing the things kids are supposed to be doing instead of watching the Disney channel. I first saw all four kids making mud cakes -- definitely an important childhood activity my kids have not had enough practice with in our yard. Later they were working on the hole Sadie dug under the fence. Later they were in our pond finding and collecting fish (or some organism that seemed to be swimming). I am not sure anyone will be eating out of my depleted tupperware collection again though. At one point I looked outside when it began dumping rain and there they were seeking shelter in the kid's fort. After the playdate, I had a lot of muddy prints running through my house, but I am grateful for every one of them.

Actually, I mopped them all up because the preacher from the church we have been visiting was coming by. Around the time he arrived the waterworks had begun again. This time in the form of tears. Lindsay was distraught because I had Jonathan run Austin's forgotten shoes over to his house. Her tears that started when she felt hurt slowly but surly welled up into tantrum tears. About this time the pastor was kind enough to smile at Dylan, who thought it was the devil come to take his soul. In the midst of this when we could barely hear for all the screaming and tears, the phone rang just to add insult to injury. When all the excitement died down I was surprised to see the pastor still there. I thought he might of headed back out the door while attempting to exorcise our house.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Mastering Monday

Swim lessons went pretty well today. Jonathan was the seasoned swimmer since he had a year of swim lessons under his trunks so he went first. For a five year old, he swims great. The problem is that it is all under water. Lindsay sat on the sidelines watching Jonathan worried that he knew how to swim, but she did not. It was hard for me not to laugh since all I could see was Jonathan thrashing about as he tried to orchestrate his arms and legs and plane out on the water. He looked like a pro to Lindsay though!

Next it was Lindsay's turn. Lindsay generally does not talk to people she does not know but fortunately she warmed up to Ms. Ballo right away. When her turn came, she told the teacher, "I don't know how to swim." She just never believed me telling her that being able to swim is not a prerequisite for swim class!

Ms. Ballo expertly steered her into the water and soon started pulling her around the pool while Lindsay practiced blowing bubbles and kicking her feet at the same time. It was quite a feat for her. Surprisingly she was in heaven. I did realize at one time that it was the one-on-one attention she was getting from the teacher. I must take notes and do the same in our community pool the next time we can find a clear day in Texas. I was happy to hear her little voice finally call out, "I'm swimming, I'm swimming!" Victory for Lindsay.

Meanwhile, Jonathan had time to ponder his swim lesson. He became upset because he had not mastered swimming in his 20 minute lesson. Telling him over and over that people have to practice to improve has yet to sink in. I am sure he felt like he practiced plenty today. I guess this is one of those times when children have to learn on their own. Hopefully by the end of the week he will feel like he mastered something in the pool.

Later in the day, I attempted to leave Dylan on the floor so he could practice rolling over, stretching limbs and whatever else four month olds need to do so they can eventually crawl and sit-up. I had run upstairs to get the cooking directions for dinner off the computer. When I came back downstairs, he was gone. I found him on our bed. Jonathan decided that he needed some care so he somehow (glad I did not see) picked him up and got him all the way to our room up on our bed. Really, with such loving and overbearing siblings I don't know how the little guy will ever get to try anything on his own!

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Bedtime conversations

Bedtime seems to be the time for deep questions from my five-year-old.
Does God bounce
If God lives in me, who built the house?
Mommy, I feel God in my heart, do you?
Next night -- I feel God just a little
I can't even remember many of the details of our circular conversations about death and heaven. I just know that every time the conversation comes up I have to try and make sure the evening does not end in tears because I have accidentally reminded him that mommies and daddies die, too.
Someone at school has been talking about Jesus because he knows that he ate dinner with friends and was in a cave with a great big rock. How he was dead person and left the cave when no other dead people get to do the same is a complicated conversation to have though.

Meanwhile, three-year-old Lindsay just wants to be "neck-ed" and never learn to use the bathroom. She is a "little girl" or "big girl" based on how she would like to act or be treated at any given time. Boo-boos are big time and she was so distressed when she saw the cut on her finger and decided she was, "Breaking!!" She refuses to talk to the teachers at VBS and Sunday School because, "I do not know them." Said in a deadpan voice as she stares up at me through her blonde bangs. Life would be grand if she could stay in Ms. Teresa's Two's class for the rest of her life. She has no need of new teachers in her life.

Jonathan's prayer

Our son decided a prayer was in order before we ate the hamburgers he was so proud of assembling.

Dear God, thank you for our family. You are the motion (or commotion) in the ocean. Christmas Eve. Amen