Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Funny kid perceptions

I'm having to type one-handed a lot again. Not so bad until Caleb used my computer and now the S key is sticky and stiff...

The kids have a totally different view of the world than I did when I was five. When I was five, computer still meant "one who computes." Now computer stuff fills our minds and lives. For example, Caleb was supposed to be going potty so he could go to bed, but instead he was standing in front of the potty, dry, but not letting anyone else have a turn. And we were all waiting. Finally, I said, "Caleb, do you even need to go?" He replied, "Yeah. I just have to wait for the pee to load."

I understand that finally being fully potty trained, even at night, makes going potty an interesting thing in Anda's world, but I was pretty surprised when she announced, "Mom, the Teletubbies don't go potty." "What?" I said. Then, trying to teach a little science whenever I can, I said, "Anything that eats has to go potty." "No, Mom," Anda said. "Teletubbies eat, but they don't go potty. They don't have bums." "They don't?" I said. "Nope," Anda said. "I looked. I watched on TV, and they don't have bums." Caleb, too, informed me later that day that Teletubbies don't go potty. Maybe I should watch TV with them in the future so I can hear what they talk to each other about....

Next time you happen to see Teletubbies, you might take note. The kids are right--they DON'T have bums.

Dan is getting precocious. He climbed up on the table today. Yesterday he tried to run his own bath. Fortunately, he was out of the tub, he got the plug in crooked so no water accumulated in the tub, and he could only reach the cold faucet. His new hobby is taking all the cans out of the cupboard and putting them back in. When he can, he takes all the food out of the fridge and puts it back in. He also spends dinner putting the lids back on things like sald dressing bottles. And he can't stand to watch movies downstairs unless the ficus tree is standing up in its corner and the piano bench us in its place. How any child could get the idea that things should be in their "place" in my house is a baffling mystery. Things actually have a place?

Yesterday I was humming a tune, and Anda came to listen. Finally she said, "Sing it again." So I started over. Then she interrupted with, "No, Mom. Use your tongue." She wanted me to Sing, not Hum, I guess.

For our bedtime story a couple of nights ago, I told the kids the story of the premortal life, and the war in heaven, and Adam and Eve. They were enchanted. When I finished, they said, "Tell it again." They requested it the next night, too. It's received far more attention than any other story ever at our house. It's the only story Anda has ever sat all the way through. It was exciting and fascinating to her. Wow. Now she runs around telling stories where Heavenly Father and Jesus are the superheroes killing bad guys. And Caleb tells stories of how all his "sons" (trains) conquer Satan. I guess they "got it".

Anda and Dan have a neat little racket going. Anda won't use crayons unless she's taken the paper off first. Then Dan finds the stripped crayons and eats them. He won't eat the paper, so Anda's discarded crayons are just his thing.

Caleb has refused to eat oranges for two years. So the other day when I bought a box of clementines, he didn't want any. Then he saw that the side of the box said, "Mandarin Oranges." He likes the canned stuff, so now the little fresh ones are his snack of choice, and he'll eat a big one if he has to--as long as it doesn't have seeds. Labels seem to be everything in his world.

The kids have this new habit of trying to manipulate things with artificial cause-effect relationships. Like this: "Mom, I want to use your laptop to play a PBS kids game." "I'm working on my novel right now." "Mom. If I fall down here, and then pop up, you have to give me a turn right now." Or: "If I flap this flap on the couch, then it won't be bedtime any more." I wonder if it's a result of us counting to three to get the kids to do something. It really is a totally artificial thing, but the kids respond, even though the set punishment is "I'll carry you to your room" (not so terrible...).

Anda is suddenly into the "Why?" thing that Caleb never did. "Don't kick me." "Why?" "Because it hurts." "Why?" "Because bodies aren't made to be kicked." "Why?" Suddenly, in her mind, Mommy has a cartoon fit. Anda doesn't seem like she's trying to be malicious, but I can't figure out what she is doing. I try to answer, but some things either are circular after some point, or too complicated even for a bright three year old ("You see, there are nerves in my legs, and when you kick them.....").

Caleb has informed me that we won't be having as many kids as he thought (am I that mean when I'm pregnant?). That's good. Last I heard he was planning on having 12 brothers and 12 sisters--before you add the inlaws. Now he's saying we'll have three more kids, including the current tummy baby. What a relief! I wonder where he's getting these numbers? I told him more than four but less than elevan kids, and he concluded six all on his own.

Meanwhile, the kids have chosen names for the baby: Madeline if it's a girl and Daddeline if it's a boy. I suppose this came from an analogy like Madeline:Mom, so Daddeline:Dad. Funny, I was thinking more along the lines of Elizabth or Benjamin.

We shall see, I guess.

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