Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Little Dude, Big Dreams

"Bonjour, Mama!"


"How do you say 'Mister' in French?"


"So it's 'Bonjour, Monsieur?'"


"Oh, that's 'yes' in French!"


"Oui, oui!"

This morning, Little Dude told me, "When I'm Daddy's age, I'm going to live in Paris." Clearly he's thought this out because then he told me that he'll need to learn French to do so, to which I replied, "Maybe we can learn French together." And he excitedly replied, "Oui, oui!"

I'm never really sure where Little Dude's big ideas come from. Sometimes I swear he has a secret life that I am not privy to, or maybe he's a reincarnated Ernest Hemingway. He'll tell us fantastic stories that we have never heard before. He'll express his disapproval by saying things like "that's inappropriate." He is suddenly in love with playing chess. And I wouldn't be surprised to come home one day and find him typing away at an old typewriter while smoking a pipe.

Seriously. Who's kid is this?

So this morning, I wasn't even shocked when he announced his plans to move to France in 30 years. I didn't even bother to ask him why or how or any of those tough questions. After all... he's has plenty of time to figure out the details. But right now, he's a dreamer.

And honestly... that's the best part about being a kid. Dreaming.

Remember the dreams you had as a kid? Before someone came along and told you they were impossible or too hard to achieve. I do. And maybe it's bad parenting, but I don't want to squash Little Dude's dreams. Maybe he will live in France one day. Maybe he will become a rock star-missionary-teacher-veterinarian-astronaut. Who to say he can't? Maybe if he keeps dreaming, he'll become the next Ernest Hemingway and achieve all those dreams in his books.

In the meantime, I'll support him as he figures out who he is and where he's going. Even if it means I have to learn how to say more than "Bonjour, Monsieur" in French!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Fighting strep throat, ninjas and dust bunnies

My little guy spent the beginning of last week at home with strep throat. He'd only been in school for two weeks before the bug hit. Ugh!

So after staying home for part of Monday toting him to the doctor, I thought I could easily work from home while he continued on his road to recovery Tuesday. It should have been easy. Because sick kids just stay in bed all day, right?


Little Dude and I congregated in the office/"fun room" Tuesday morning. He had toys. I had files. He played on the iPad. I typed on the computer. I was in the middle of some paperwork when I noticed a flurry of movement from the corner of my eye. I turned to see Little Dude jumping up and down, doing karate chops and kicks. He quickly moved from one corner of the room to the other and back again. It was like watching the Tasmanian Devil do a Karate Kid impression after drinking a Red Bull.

Which spurred me to use one of the most commonly repeated mom questions: "What are you doing?"

"I'm fighting ninjas."


"Yeah. But you can't see them only I can."

"Because they're ninjas?"


Apparently I have failed in my mothering by never teaching my child how to "act sick." Didn't he know he should sit in bed all day whining that he was too sick to do anything? Didn't he know that if he whined enough about being sick that I would eventually cave in and let him watch cartoons or movies all day long? Didn't he know the rewards to be reaped for brilliantly exploited the slightest fever? Sheesh!

I'm not sure he truly appreciated what he had. Other kids have to go through the effort of faking a fever and cough.

If it wasn't for the fever, you would never have known this child was ever sick. He was a little worn down on Sunday afternoon when he first had a fever. But by Monday he acted like nothing was wrong. If it wasn't for the fever, the doctor wasn't sure she would have ordered a strep test. By Tuesday, he was a rambunctious ball of energy once again!

So I decided to put that energy to use.

"Since you have so much energy, why don't you dust?" I figured this would slow him down. Who really ever wants to dust even when they're well? I figured he'd plop down on the couch and finally start complaining that he doesn't feel well.

But no, not this ninja-fighting superhero. He was up for the challenge. It's on his list of chores anyway. And since he was sick, he negotiated the steep price of $.25 per floor.

So he grabbed his fluffy dusting wand and set off to fight dust bunnies.
Yes, there's an actual game called "Attack of the Dust
Bunnies." I need to find this for Little Dude!

Just as I was on a conference call (which is always the best time, isn't it?) Little Dude finished his battle against the nefarious dust bunnies of doom and came running into the room to tell me he had a completed his mission.

I can happily report that my house is now ninja and dust bunny free.

Oh, and strep throat free too. I just wish I have that much energy the next time I'm sick!!!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Little Preacher Boy

If you know Little Dude, then you know he loves Jesus. He talks about Jesus. He sings about Jesus. He makes up songs about Jesus. The kid has no problem letting his "little light shine!"

The other morning, I found out that Little Dude even talks about Jesus to his friends. Why not? It's only natural for a child to talk about the things they enjoy, the things that make them happy, the people in their lives.

And Little Dude discovered something too... that not everyone believes the same thing he does.

It was bound to happen sooner or later. Everybody experiences it at some point in their lives - the realization that not everyone thinks or believes the same way you do.

While we were getting ready to leave for school - which is always the time that the best conversations happen, because men always like to have the deep conversations when there's a limit on the clock or something totally distracting is going on - Little Dude told me that his friend Brandon* "said he didn't believe in God."

"When was this?"

"Remember that day at day care when he was there?"

"Um, yeah." (Vaguely.)

"I told him that God made the world and the universe. And he said that he didn't believe me."

"Well, not everyone believes the same thing you do."

Little Dude seemed to ponder this. Then decided, "Well, that's probably because he doesn't have a Bible at home." He also stated that he and Brandon were still friends.

I'll let you know if he starts trying to smuggle Bibles into school!

*Names changes to protect the young!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

1st Day of 1st Grade!

Leaving for school... super excited!
Today was Little Dude's FIRST DAY OF 1ST GRADE!!!

He was super excited this morning as we loaded up his backpack and several steamer trunks full of all his new school supplies. He couldn't wait to start the day!

When we met his new teacher earlier this week, she gave each child a special card to open on Wednesday night at bedtime. It had a little poem about the first day of school and some "magical" star confetti to sprinkle under the child's pillow to help them sleep.

It worked! He woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed... er, bushy headed actually. The cowlicks are crazy!

Anyhow, he was cheerful and looking forward to starting a new year at school!

Then... we actually got to school.

During our long 3-minute car ride, my peppy boy had quieted. We parked and I, as the designated family Sherpa, loaded up my arms and back with a few hundred pounds of school supplies and led the way to Little Dude's classroom. Little Dude glumly sat down at his desk while I unloaded the supplies. He looked sadder by the minute.
Once we got to school... not so excited.

Little Dude was bummed that his BFF was not going to be in the same class this year. We found that little piece of information out at "Meet the Teacher" night, and it didn't really hit Little Dude until today. Big Dude thought it might be a good thing that Little Dude and his BFF are separated for class time. What? Like school is about learning and not about socializing? Big Dude can sometimes be a little old-fashioned that way. But at least they would have recess together.

The good news was that Little Dude found out he has several other friends in his class this year, AND he gets to sit next to the prettiest, nicest girl in his class. That did help ease the pain of being separated from his BFF.

Side Note: I'm pretty sure Little Dude has a crush in the prettiest, nicest girl in the class, because when she arrived at "Meet the Teacher," the monkey boy suddenly stopped running around and acted all quiet and shy. It took him a while to finally muster up enough courage to say hi to her. How else do I know he has a crush on her? Because on the car ride home, he said that he was going to have to break up with his preschool girlfriend who is going to another school (long-distance relationships can be so tough... especially when you're too young to own a cell phone!) and that he wanted the prettiest, nicest girl in his class to be his new girlfriend. I simply reminded the little Casanova that he's in 1st Grade now and he needs to make sure he keeps his lips to himself this year.

Little Dude's teacher came over to greet him, and he perked up when he got to give her a bottle of Diet Dr. Pepper, her favorite drink. He was also happy to show her the bounty of supplies we had brought. (It's never to early to teach your children the value of sucking up kindness. Then he politely asked if he could go to the playground to find his friends.

So I said goodbye to my little 1st-grader and hoped he had a great first day. And thankfully he did! When we all got home tonight, Little Dude said he had a pretty good day after all. They sorted supplies. He met a few new friends. He played with some old friends. And he didn't have any homework, as he said, "Because it's only the first day!" Ah... let the school year begin!!!