The Secret Life of Scott Peterson, and Other Assorted Nonsense

May 27, 2008 @ 6:52 pm | Filed under: Family Adventures

In the mornings, I am so full of things to write about but don’t have time. At night, I have time but no words. I had about three posts in my head this morning…where they’re hiding now, I couldn’t say.

All right, then, I shall abandon attempts at cohesiveness and simply string sentences together.

Our daily drawing time has been such a lovely part of the day, these past two weeks. We’ve managed it nearly every day except for the weekends and a couple of busy out-of-the-house days. Sometimes the girls paint, sometimes they draw. Jane doesn’t always join us: she is practicing like crazy for the piano guild auditions coming up in a couple of weeks.

I suppose this is fairly obvious, but whenever I say “the girls” I mean my three oldest. Wonderboy and Rilla are joining in drawing time, too. Wonderboy loves the ritual of it: getting out Grandpa’s special picture placemats, distributing drawing paper, passing out the tins of good crayons. He LOVES those block beeswax crayons I bought a zillion years ago. Those things last forever. Rilla loves whatever color you were planning to use next, thank you very much.

Something not going so swimmingly lately: our read-aloud time. This happens from time to time. It’s a kids-of-many-ages rhythm thing, I guess. Sometimes we hit a groove where the little ones are content to bop around while I read; other times, nope. No go. This is one of those times. Beanie and I have been bogged down in the middle of Knight’s Castle for ages, but not because we aren’t enjoying it. We’re loving it, and so is Rose, whose official position at the moment is to prefer NOT to be part of read-alouds, but who inevititably winds up leaning over the back of the couch, drawn in. Shhh. Let’s not call attention to it.

To make up for the fizzled reading-aloud, I’m trying to tell more stories. This is something I used to be very good about, oh, until about five or six years ago. No, wait, four and a half years ago. Wonderboy’s birth was the turning point (a statement that applies to a great many things in our life). I would read folk and fairy tales and practice them in my head in the shower, so that I always had a good story on hand if need or opportunity arose. Boring waits in line, boring waits in doctors’ offices, that sort of thing. Actually this is something I’ve been doing since way before I had kids; I remember telling Scott’s little second cousins some stories at various Peterson family gatherings, and then later it was his nephews and nieces. It figures my own kids (the younger set, at least) would get less of this than assorted friends-and-relations. Shoemaker’s children go barefoot and all that.

So anyway, I’ve been remembering some of the old tales and airing them out now and then. Beanie makes the most enchanting (and enchanted) audience. Rose listens with a quiet smile and then adds funny commentary later. Rilla follows the narrative amazingly well. Wonderboy echoes random phrases—”Horse go fast?”—and then wants to know where Dad is. At work? Yes, Dad’s at work. Where Dad keys? In his pocket. Where Dad pone? Dad’s phone is in his pocket. Where Dad’s wallet? In his pocket. Dad get pizza? Probably. Yes, Dad is probably out somewhere getting pizza at this very moment, with his phone and his keys and his wallet all jingling around in one giant pocket, because we all know that is what he secretly does when he leaves the house all day. Work, schmork. He’s off having pizza.

We’re on to you, buddy.


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Comments

6 Responses | | Comments Feed

  1. I wish I was a good storyteller, but I’m hopeless, I always ramble on and then forget the most important part. I admire you doing it at all.

  2. What an excellent idea- read other fairy tales and retell them later. Excellent idea!

    Alli

  3. Lovely post, regardless of the missing ideas.
    I love getting glimpses into your day. It’s very helpful to know that the littles aren’t rapt with attention during read-aloud time.
    As for the pizza… well, our littles have discovered that Daddy is sneaky. There’s usually a piece missing by the time the box gets to the house. 😉

  4. My eldest, when she was two-ish, insisted daily that Daddy went to work to have juice.

  5. Any suggestions for enjoyable, easy-to-memorize stories?

    When Llani was about two, she went to work with my DH one day. She watched a Sesame Street video on his laptop, and at some point he bought her Fig Newtons and soda (a very rare treat at the time) from the vending machine. A few days later, DH was leaving for work and she was *insistent* that she was going with him, and cried like her heart was broken when he left without her. When I asked her later what Papa does all day at work, she answered, “Watch Big Bird, eat cookies, drink soda.”

  6. I do a lot of fairy tale telling to my daughter as well, but I find that she wants to hear the same one over and over. I try to jazz them up with departures, such as Goldilocks and the Three Bears ordering pizza together after the chair debacle, but she insists I “say it right, Mama.” Maybe soon she’ll turn a corner and we can have a rousing tale of Hansel and Gretel.

    I love your blog by the way. 🙂