Saturday, February 08, 2014

At 3:00 a.m. This Morning

George, standing next to my bed, very close to my face:  Mom, I need to tell you something.

Me, trying to focus through the fog of a rude awakening:  OK, what's up?

George:  Ted turned out the light in the closet.  You are going to need to turn it back on.

Friday, February 07, 2014

Honestly, the conversations I am privileged to have with this boy...

George, as "'Indy on a Jones' NOT 'Indiana,' Mom!"

Here's one:

George, pointing at a picture of himself that popped up on the screen: Hey, look!  There's when we went to feed the ducks!

Me:  Yep!  Wasn't that fun?!?

George:  Yes. I like ducks.  I want to go feed them again.

Me:  In St. George with Grandma?  That's where the ducks are that we like to feed.

George:  I'm going to pick a duck up.

Me:  I...don't think ducks like to be picked up.  Unless they are little baby ducks.

George, making demonstrating motions with his arms:  No--I'm going to pick him up under his tummy and then I'm going to throw him into the air and then he will fly.

Me:  Remind me to warn the ducks you are coming.

Here's another:

Me:  Somebody tore a page out of this book.

George:  Yes.

Me, acting as if I didn't know he was the only one in the house who would still vandalize a book:  Was it you?

George, thinking quickly:  Yes...I was trying to make a 'vention.

Me:  You were trying to make an invention?

George:  Yes.

Apparently, something as important as an invention should be a widely accepted as a reason to rip a book apart...

Here's one that was brought to remembrance by writing about the ripped book:

I came into the kitchen to find George staring at the broken mirror I had set on the counter earlier in the day.

George:  This mirror's broken.

Me:  I know, Mommy accidentally broke Bean's mirror.

George, brightening, and with a HUGE sigh of relief:  Then it wasn't ME?!?!?

The rest of the day, anytime someone came into the kitchen, he informed them that "Mommy breaked the mirror."  I guess he just wanted to advertise that he isn't the only one who breaks things around here.

(What makes it funnier--and a actually tugs at my heartstrings a little--is that I found out that Bean had seen him looking at the mirror right before I had, and had asked him if he had broken her mirror.  He had replied, "No."  Which was the truth.  But then he must have been second-guessing himself--maybe thinking back, trying to figure out when he had broken it.  Poor kid.  Hence the intensity in which he was staring at the mirror when I found him, and his expression of elation when he found out it truly wasn't him--as he originally thought.)

And still another:

While we were driving in the car.

George, after having been extra quiet and obviously pondering something: Mom, are you already married?

Me: Yes.

George:  OK, I'll marry Goosie then.

I was flattered to be his first choice--I'd have thought he'd pick Goosie over me, hands down.  Especially since for the first couple years of his life he called her "Mommy-Goosie"

Me:  Do you know who I'm married to?

George: it Daddy?

Me, wondering how PTP and I had failed at making this more obvious: Yes, it's Daddy.

From here, I can't remember exactly how the dialogue went, but it seems like I ended up being married to Part Time Politician and George betrothed himself to Goosie and said that Bean could marry Ted.

So, we're all good on that front.  If we lived in Adam and Eve's time.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

A Study in Delirium

This photo was obviously not taken the night in question.

The conversation between one delirious 4-year old boy (all night stomach pain with a fever), and one delirious mother (lack of sleep due to being up all night with a 4-year boy who had stomach pain and a fever) sometime between 4:00 and 5:00 am:

The Mom: Let's say a little prayer so that Heavenly Father can help your tummy feel better and so that you can go back to sleep.

George:  OK but if we do that He will have to come down here to ours house to make me feel better because He's up in the sky.

The Mom: No, Heavenly Father knows how to help you feel better without Him having to actually come to our house.

George, getting more riled:  No!  He will have to come down here, because in Primary on Sunday I saw a picture of Him and He was up in sky.  So He will have to come down here, and how will he get down if He's up in the sky?

The Mom:  No, it will be ok--He can help you without coming down.  Heavenly Father...

George, interrupting, obviously upset by my lack of logic: He's up in the sky.  How will he come down here?  Do They have a ladder up there?

The Mom, abandoning any effort to be a "good mom" and "take a quiet, opportune moment to explain truths about God" to this child (did I mention he was delirious?) because she is SO tired and SO wants sleep (did I mention she was delirious?): Yes, they have a ladder up there.

George:  OK.

And we both laid back down.  I wish I could say we went back to sleep.  But his tummy started to feel better, so sleep was, obviously, no longer needed on his end.  Time to play with toys and ask Mom questions/tell Mom interesting facts.

Finally, at 6:00 am, Part Time Politician woke up and did something with him.  I'm not sure what it was because I went back to SLEEP.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

My Favorite from the Week:

Yesterday George (still three) was playing some sort of game with Sarah involving fighting bad guys, monsters, etc.

All of a sudden, he yelled, "OH NO!  There's a GHOST!" 

And then, more calmly he said, "Wait, it's ok--it's the Holy Ghost."

Then he proceeded to walk over to the area where the Holy Ghost "was," so he could give his explanation for the misunderstanding.  "Hi, Holy Ghost, I'm sorry we scared you.  I thought you were with Jesus."

Thursday, March 14, 2013

If ONE MORE PERSON falls into a well...

I remember when the Eldest (we'll call her Bean) was George's age.  She had the most vivid imagination and spent a lot of time in an imaginary world with imaginary friends and animals.  Most notably, Anne of Green Gables, Gilbert (whom she lovingly referred to as "Yogurt"), Marilla, Matthew and Diana, the entire VonTrapp family from the "Sound of Music," and Sleeping Beauty.  I loved when she was Maria.  She "carried" all of the VonTrapp children around in her hands, as if they were each 2 inches tall.  And she would say, "come with me, Leisel, Fredrick, Louisa, Brigitta, Kurt, Marta and Gretl."  Very hilarious to hear coming out of a tiny 3-year old's mouth.

Anyway, since I was, apparently, living in her imaginary world with her, I was frequently referred to as one of the supporting characters in her life.  She would walk out of her bedroom first thing in the morning and announce, "Mommy, I am Anne of Green Gables, and you are Marilla (or Matthew, or Diana, etc.)!"

George is just like Bean was as far as imagination is concerned.  He is always in an imaginary world, with imaginary friends.  The types of characters he becomes, and interacts with, however, are very different from the ones Bean did--hers were more "girly and romantic."  His are more...well, labor intensive.

For a long while, he was Bob the Builder, and I was Wendy, and he would act out construction jobs with his little "Bob the Builder" vehicles--Scoop, Muck, Dizzy, Roley, etc.

Lately he has moved into the Firefighter's vocation.  He is obsessed with anything to do with firetrucks, firefighting, hoses spraying water, helicopters dropping water...  His favorite TV characters are "Fireman Sam" and the various people in Sam's life.  Everyday each person in our house also becomes a character from the show.  We get our assignments in the morning.

George is usually Sam--the main, most important, and very smart, hero.  As he greets the rest of us, we find out who we are for the day:  "Hi Elvis."  Or, "Hello, Station Officer Steele!"  We are expected to respond in kind: "Good morning, Sam!"
Occasionally, we will get chastised when we respond this way because, every once in awhile, he isn't Sam.  "I NOT Sam, I Charlie (pronounced 'Ch aah lee' because he's picked up the Welsh show's accent)!"  Like we would know...

 My favorite is when The Dad is greeted as "Penny." He, for obvious reasons, prefers being "Station Officer Steele."  I enjoy being Elvis.  Because it is a cool name.  And Elvis sings about putting out fires.

When George ISN'T Sam, I am usually bestowed the honors.  Mainly, I think, because everyone else--Elvis, Station Officer Steele, Penny, and Norman--leaves for work or school, and it would be kind of anticlimactic to have the main character gone for the day.

Chewy is the only one whose role is consistent:  he is always "Firehouse Dog."

Getting to the point (slowly).

When I was drawn into Bean's world, it involved a lot of conversation--talking about what she was doing, where she was going, who she was in love with, and then watching her act out various things.

I think the most intense experience we had was when she was Anne of Green Gables and was up on a chair.  She told me that she was going to jump and throw herself into Yogurt's arms.  Except that I wasn't Yogurt that day--I think I was Marilla. Or Matthew.  It doesn't really matter.  She was seeing Yogurt below her, but I was seeing the hard, marble floor.  As I recall, I had to "talk her down" by explaining how the Scarlet Fever had made Yogurt too weak to catch her and that I would have to do it.  It ended well.

Other than that experience, play was very tame.  Highly entertaining, but very tame.

Tame is not how one would describe George's imaginative play:

A fire breaks out every few minutes, and Sam immediately bursts into action, grabbing his helmet (and mine), sliding down the pole, gathering all sorts of ropes and hoses and stuff, and then running my helmet to me.  At which point, I am directed to put my helmet on because "we are going to a fire at ______________ (fill in the blank here--I think every part of our house has caught fire), and Elvis, you need to come with me!"

He then runs very deliberately* down the hall, yelling for me to follow him (his "Firehouse Sam" run is the best--he leans forward a bit, and pumps his arms, and adds a little jump to his run--like he is on the moon without gravity.  Apparently, this is how firefighting men run.  It's very manly.)

I am expected to don my helmet and follow him, at which point I am handed a hose or rope, or told to go back and get the helicopter because "the fire is too much and we are going to need the water from the helicopter!"  I have to say, I'm pretty good at flying the helicopter.

We put out the fire, and then Sam takes my helmet and equipment, goes back to the station and puts it away.  I go back to whatever I am trying to do--fix dinner, make my bed, do laundry, etc.  For about 3 minutes.  At which point, another fire breaks out, and we are on our way again.

In addition to fires, people are falling into wells at epidemic proportions around here.  Seriously, if one more person falls into a well, I may quit my job as a fire fighter.  I can't take it anymore.  I think Norman (pronounced "Noooh man"--again, the accent) fell into the well at LEAST 20 times yesterday.  And he wasn't the only one.  Mandy and James fell in quite a bit also.

Every time we get a "well call," I think to myself, "AGAIN?!?! Seriously, people.  It is a WELL.  You can SEE it.  It's not like it is invisible."

When people fall into wells, we have to take the chain and Sam's phone, and I have to lower the rope/chain into the tub, er, well.  Then Sam climbs down the chain into the well, grabs the person, climbs back out and then makes a call to Station Officer Steele to let him know we got Norman out again.

Needless to say, I am WORN OUT.  I don't know how the real fire fighters do it all day.  The well situation alone is enough to drive one to drink.

And as you can imagine, I'm also not getting much done around the house.  I tend to do better if I have a string of minutes all put together into a nice hour or so, not a whole bunch of disjointed, three-minute packets.

I'm trying to be patient, but when the "ALARM" goes off and Sam comes running with his hose to "put the fire out" every time I light the gas stove to cook dinner because "the pan is on fire,"** I have to admit, I get a little testy.

But I do enjoy being told, "Elvis, you're a HERO!" every time I help rescue someone from a well.

And then I grin and think to myself, "no, I don't think I'm a hero..."

Speaking of things that are hilarious to hear coming out of a three year-old's mouth, my favorite firefighting experience so far has to be when I was in the bathroom and Fireman Sam came running up to me, carrying a little purple stapler.  He held it up and yelled in a voice only a hero uses (though 4 octaves higher):

"It's OK Elvis!  I've got the JOBES (jaws) of LIFE!"

(which jaws we now use regularly to get people out of wells.  I'm still not sure how they really help, unless the person gets random metal slabs wrapped around himself as he falls into the well...but according to Sam, we need them.  So I oblige when he yells for them as he hangs from the rope, executing yet another successful rescue.)


It is nice when George has someone else besides me to play with.
He loves that cousin of his!
This video shows his "hero run"--complete with pumping arm action.

The pan is on fire, yet again.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Eldest, circa 1955...

We are getting ready for VHS' musical "Curtains!" opening this Friday, March 1.  She looks very vintage.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Here is a post I found in my drafts from last year.  Almost a year later, I have to admit that George is making slow progress at not thwarting all my efforts.  However, he is still only three, so it may be awhile...

Because, really, when you see a nice, full-sized roll of toilet paper, sometimes you just have to grab the end and run it from one bathroom, across the house, to another bathroom, taking care to go through all the halls so that you empty the entire roll along the way.

Anyway--the post from last year:

My Reality

As I watched George dump the newly sorted laundry onto the floor, I thought to myself, "why, WHY the adversity at every turn?!?  And from a member of my own family!  Who thinks he is helping, no less!

( I typed that, I just realized I have had those exact same thoughts about the fully grown man I am married to...who I love very much.  Hi, sweetheart!)

As I often do in these sorts of situations, I turned it into a metaphor-for-life-moment--you know, in case I ever have to give a talk in church on adversity, or patience, or long-suffering, or refined in our trials, or child rearing (of course, if people read this blog, they will know better than to ask me to speak on child rearing...).

I pondered on the whole "there must be opposition in all things" line of thinking.  Thought through "we become stronger when we have forces opposing us..."  Followed the "we must be patient in our trials" path.

Eventually, I simply thought, "I feel like I am in an "X-TREME CHALLENGE" reality TV show and George is my host."

It goes something like this:

George, with a gleaming white, Ryan Seacrest-type smile:

Sherry Cutler, you've  proven in the past that you can finish the laundry in a reasonable amount of time--and do a good job, too!  But how about when I dump the sorted laundry out onto the floor and take all of the clean, folded laundry off of the shelves and shove it back into the dirty laundry piles?!?  (Camera pans to George's now intense face) CAN YOU DO IT IN A REASONABLE AMOUNT OF TIME NOW?!?  AND STILL DO A GOOD JOB?

Me (camera coming in for a close up as I sit crying in a heap of laundry):




Sherry, you've got to get your kids to a soccer game, dance class, piano lesson and baseball game tonight.  But before that, you've got to feed everyone dinner.  In the past, you've shown that you can fix dinner, get everyone fed, and still get them all to their activities ON TIME!  This is impressive, Sherry, but how about if I put my feet on top of your feet, and wrap my arms around your legs so that everywhere you go, I go too?  HOW ABOUT THAT?  CAN YOU FIX DINNER, GET EVERYONE FED, AND GET PEOPLE TO THEIR ACTIVITIES ON TIME IF I DO THAT?

(The camera moves in to reveal George and me, BOTH crying in a tangled mess on the floor, because he got all wrapped up in my legs, tripping me and causing me to fall on top of him)


Apparently not.  Let's not try THAT one again, K?

How about:


Sherry, you've got to finish that newsletter today.  Tomorrow is the deadline, but you are almost done. A simple task, right?  Well, how about you work on that, and I play quietly with my toys, giving you a false sense of security so that when you look up and I am GONE, and nowhere inside the house, you are SHOCKED because I was just RIGHT THERE two seconds ago!

This particular challenge brings in different elements than the others because not only is it physical, as you race around trying to find me, but also mental and as you try to decipher where I have gone, and (here is the best part) emotional as you feel that sense of PANIC, wondering how far away from home I've gone!  (Hee, hee, hee!)

And though you may put on your game face, and pretend that you won't come after me, we all know you will, don't we?  Because, I am TWO, for cryin' out loud, and who in their right mind would let a two-year-old wander all over the neighborhood by himself?!?  We wouldn't want to have to bring in the authorities, now would we?

(The camera zooms out from a close-up of George's face with intent to reveal his whole body, only to find that when it gets to the spot where George's whole body is supposed to be, HE IS GONE!)

(The camera then tries to pan to me, to show my reaction, but finds that I also AM GONE!  Because I am already outside, leaping over the neighbors' fences, trying to figure out whose backyard he is in...again.)

...aaannnddd the newsletter, of course, doesn't get done.