Archive for May 27th, 2008

The Secret Life of Scott Peterson, and Other Assorted Nonsense

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

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.

A Middle Child’s Shattered Dreams

May 27, 2008 @ 6:23 am | Filed under:

At the breakfast table, Beanie heaves a wistful sigh.

“Rats. I’ve dreamed of having a whole box of cereal all to myself, and I thought it was going to come true at last because no one else likes this kind. But then I remembered the baby does.”