Well, if you are ready, the following is a mix of quotes from readings, updates, all things children.
From the Jesus Storybook Bible - really hit me one morning here, we can all be like children. And might I always listen to my children's chats, to have open arms. And might I always know I have that place to go, too:
". . . . Or . . . would you have done just what these children did - run straight up to Jesus and let him pick you up in his arms and swing you and kiss you and hug you and then sit you on his lap and listen to your stories and your chats? You see, children loved Jesus, and they knew they didn't need to do anything special for Jesus to love them. All they needed to do was run into their arms. And so that's just what they did."
A few updates for record keeping:
- As of 8/2 Judah is in a bed. I'm not sure how often he sleeps in it, though. Sometimes I go to wake him up from naptime and I run into his sleeping little body by the door. Sweet guy. He still looks at the bed with curious eyes, I suspect he misses his little crib jail. He also refuses to say "good night", and instead ends the day saying "Hi, Judah!"
- As of 8/4 Karis is six. Separate post to come . . . of course
- Cousin Courtney Camp: we loved having her with us for many days of exploring and sticking close to home and togetherness. Coffee at Milton's, exploring at French Park, Elm Creek, Nadia's cakes, dinners in, Gold Medal Park & Izzy's, Minnehaha Falls and Sea Salt (she and Trev). So super, we adore her.
- Music Man: I got to be a daughter for a day and went to the Guthrie for a Matinee with my parents. So delightful, hopefully a new tradition of theater going together in the summer.
- Karis is busy creating always, spirograph, drawing, her own version of paper mache by getting toilet paper wet and/or painting it and then wrapping it around empty bottles or rocks. Making masks. Preparing Christmas gifts. Seriously. She is hilariously crafty.
- One cozy afternoon the kids cuddled up to read Amos & Boris . . . and it is the first book that made Karis cry. I felt so sad with her, and melted seeing her sensitive heart (and I think she really just needed a good cry). I will always remember that. I have vivid memories of crying at books (hmm, that doesn't happen anymore)
- A recent Sunday afternoon tradition for Karis and Trev is going to Caribou to read Pippi Longstocking. She counts on this now and when they get home she runs in the door bursting to tell me of Pippi's latest antics (lifting horses! thieves!) . I will never tire.
- Winnie the Pooh is a big deal around here - i.e. the 2011 movie version. We all adore the characters and it's one of the few movies that has captivated all four of us. Karis walks around singing "honey . . . honey honey honey honeyyyyyyyyy". Love.
- We enjoyed an August afternoon with Great Grandma Carole, here for a chartered bus trip from Bismarck. Lunch and Trader Joes and TV watching from under the covers in her hotel room. Super sweet.
- Teaching Sunday school one Sunday in a "Helping Hands" summer series - little hands helped to make butterfly snack bags for children of the Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery. Nursery care has become so dear to our fam, and to think of these precious children who receive days-long shelter was humbling to learn about and then share with others. Memorable to the teaching time was my sweet sidekick, Karis - she helped set up and got up in front of everyone when it was time to explain the snack bag assembly. Moments to remember.
- Daily things that make me smile: tomatoes growing on the vine outside. Watching the kids when Trev walks in the door at night. Judah throwing sand into lake water. Karis creating during "work time". Monster cookies during movie time. Suckers at Trader Joes ("thank you little man sucker!"). Louis Armstrong station on Pandora. Going to bed early. The kids riding bike in the cul-de-sac. Cool enough temps to don a hoodie.
And now, THE books here lately. Oh, the books. These developmental books (one for each age) by Louise Ames Bates - they are gold, I tell you. They make me feel . . . normal. They help me understand my children. They make me laugh in their accuracy. Many may seem negative - but really, they are just explanative of stages. I love who my children are, I love learning about their growth points from these points of view.
On being 6 (from Your Six Year Old, Loving and Defiant by Louise Bates Ames):
"the six year old is wonderfully complex and intriguing, but life can be complicated for him at times, and what she needs most in the world is parents who understand her"
"one of the things that makes life difficult for her is that, as earlier at 2.5, she seems to live at opposite extremes" (my stomach lurched at this one - see 2.5 quotes below)
"she can be, part of the time, difficult and demanding because she is still, even at this relatively mature age, extremely insecure, and her emotional needs are great"
"one of the six year old's biggest challenges is her relationship with her mother. It gives her the greatest pleasure and greatest pain. Most adore their mother . . . . at the same time, whenever things go wrong, they take things out on her. At five, mother was the center of the child's universe. At six, the child is now the center of her own universe. She wants to be first and best. She wants to win, she wants to have the most of everything. Six is beginning to separate from her mother. Six is typically embroiled with her mother. She depends on her so much, and yet part of her wishes she didn't"
"it is an interesting fact about child behavior that the less praise and credit a child deserves, the more he wants and needs. . . if you can meet these [emotional needs] nobody can be a better, warmer, more enthusiastic companion than your six year old"
"the child of this age is really a very vulnerable little person, sensitive emotionally . . . which is why she needs so very much protection and understanding from her parents. One of her most endearing qualities is her extreme enthusiasm - for new games, adventures, new ideas. She loves to be read to and to learn about new things"
"Her enthusiasm is contagious . . . it is a pleasure to provide for her opportunities to feed her very real need for the new and exciting"
"Six may be very bossy with younger siblings"
"many six year olds love to eat . . . their eyes may be bigger than their stomachs, so they help themselves to more food than they can actually eat"
"even if the day has been tangled, she likes bedtime as a making-up time with mother. Even a most unhappy day can be rounded off happily by a nice conversation with her" (YES, and thank God this is so true)
"customary tensional outlets range all the way from wriggling to kicking to swinging of arms" (I call this "Karis is floppy" - and it definitely has been happening more lately)
"facial grimaces, sometimes almost ticlike in nature, are frequent, and many make numerous, irritating throaty noises or throat clearing" (um, yes - also sniffing, lots of sniffing)
"to add to all this, many children of this age become suddenly clumsy" (no kidding, this is seriously happening! She falls, bumps, skids, trips daily)
"[the technique of] giving in can provide a wonderfully welcome relief to an embattled mother and child. . . sometimes you find yourself giving orders or making rules about things that don't really matter" (no kidding)
"loud silly showing off and total deafness to your suggestions may occur whenever company comes - she wants to be the life of the party she is likely to interrupt whatever an adult is saying, and she likes to show off her gymnastic abilities" (yes, and in fairness I remember being like this to a t)
"all in all, a mother or a father may find that the very best technique is to go a little easy on this poorlittle fellow is often so very hard on herself"
"indoors she tries to balance and catch, outdoors she tries stunts on a trapeze bar (yes, yes, yes)
"she enjoys the process of creating quite as much as the product" (yes)
"she shows marked interest in hearing about her own and her mother's babyhood"
"she not only likes to think about the holidays but has some idea of the seasons and what each brings" (Karis daily talks about both seasons and Christmas)
"as always, six is at her best with the adult if full attention is being paid to her" (indeed, we do savor Judah's nap time)
"life is seldom dull for the parents of a six year old" (!!!! when has life EVER been dull for parents of children of any age????)
On being (and having) a 2.5 year old (from Your Two Year Old, Terrible or Tender)
"life can be so smooth and delightful with the two year old that it may be quite a jolt when he turns 2.5 and all too often becomes tense, explosive, and rigid. . . violent, demanding, and explosive emotions often take over"
"He is made up of extremes . . . he may disrupt parental harmony by pitting Mother against Father. The person he wants is whatever person is not available at the moment . . . "
". . . and when things go well, he is, above all, so appreciative and so loving that it can be a treat to spend time in his company . . . he is often putting two and two together to a far greater extent than one's casual observation may make evident"
"this is an age when conflict with the parent may be so extreme that it may be wise for someone other than the parent to take over, at least for part of the time"
"it helps to remember the child is bossy and demanding not because he is sure, but because he is unsure. The world still seems big to him . . . if he can command even a small part of it (his parents), it helps him to feel secure"
"avoid any expectation that all daily routines will go smoothly. Even if YOU do your best, your child will not always cooperate fully"
"do not be surprised if you are unduly fatigued at the end of the day"
"refuse to get mixed up in your child's 'mommy do - daddy do' routine, which may be so strong at 2.5."
"the nap can be the high point of the day for many mothers . . . 2.5 year olds now climb out of their cribs, and this may have to be accepted. The child may be cranky upon waking"
"'no' is another much used word, and its use is increased if you unwittingly ask a question that can be answered in the negative"
"many seemingly aggressive approaches (in play) are not actually aggressive - it's just that children want what they want and, if necessary, hit, push, struggle to get it"
"older siblings are told not to grab his toys, and to let him play with them . . . parents are, as a rule, quick to protect the 2 year old's rights"
"it's best to concentrate not on the habit itself, but on the tensions that produce it" (um, the hour long tantrums upon waking up?!)
"you have merely to make any wish or plan of your own known, and he sets his wish or plan against it"
"the upward path of growing is not always smooth, and there will inevitably be some times when any child is somewhat tangled within himself and somewhat difficult in his relationships with those around him"
"you need to recognize that a child of this age tends to be at his worst (or at his best) with his mother. And no matter how well you discipline, this kind of behavior is likely to occur"
Willa Cather (oh such a fave) quotes about being young, being female (and another about miracles, and another about being sick in bed) from Shadows on the Rock:
From Shadows on the Rock - an apt quote about growing up (by Willa Cather - a true fave)
"Oh, everything we do, my father and I, is a kind of play" . . .
he [the man this girl was talking to] gave a dry chuckle. "Well said! Everything we do is. It gets rather tiresome - but not at your age, perhaps."
"The people have loved miracles for so many hundred years, not as proof or evidence, but because they are the actual flowering of desire. IN them the vague worship and devotion of the simple-hearted assumes a form. From being a shapeless longing, it becomes a beautiful image; a dumb rapture becomes a melody that can be remembered and repeated; and the experience of a moment, which might have been a lost ecstasy, is made an actual possession and be bequeathed to another"
"From the beginning women understand devotion, it is a natural grace with them; they have only to learn where to direct it. Men have to learn everything"
"That was the important thing - tranquillity . . . it was a pleasant and novel experience to lie warm in bed while her father was getting dinner int he kitchen, and to feel no responsibility at all . . ." (said from an ill child's perspective)
- "Oh yeah, you guys can just use that door knob thing like you did for me! Judah's younger so it'll work for him. I just put my hand inside and got the door knob to turn so it didn't work for me" (first time we heard this confession)
- "Hey Judah, wanna play Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa?!" (a book we enjoy - Cocoa is a horse. You can guess who plays Cocoa)
- "Oh Judah, it's such a gloomy day. What do you want to do?"
- "Judah, can you practice your manners? Say please, thank you, excuse me!"
- "I do NOT like eggplant" -when I asked her how she knows if she hasn't tried it. . . - "Because, it has eggs in it!"
- "I'm not scared at all!" (said while clinging to/almost falling from the nets at French Park - in a tone that sounded like she was trying to convince herself. Brave girl!)
- "Oh, I gotta go get my fly swapper!"
- She is my backseat driver. Perhaps one day I will look back and think these phrases were adorable: "Mommy, are your brake lights on. Mommy, everyone's lights are on, do you have your lights on. Mommy, do you see the stop sign? Mommy, go the speed limit!"
- "I'll bring MY laundry basket in HERE. I like to do my OWN laundry"
- "OH NOOOOOOO, JUDAH GOT MY _________________ AND . . . . !!!!!!!!" (well, sibling stuff had to surface eventually, right?)
- "Daddy, what do you think I should wear tomorrow?" (melting moment, I overheard this while walking upstairs to help with bedtime)
- "No Judah, I'm not up for that right now!"
- "Mommy, did you see Liam's dad has grown up tattoos?" (we now know about tattoos, the permanent variety)
- "My favorite animals are flamingos and hippos because they're pink and purple"
- He loves to sing "Happy Birthday" (they practice a lot)
- "Chop chop TIMBER!" (watching a tree being cut down in our cul-de-sac)
- "Boat motor fan goes fast!" (always new ways to talk about boats)
- "Sunscreen on arms"
- "Judah climb out crib"
- "Judah climb in bed"
- "Order food. Cook it." (restaurant vernacular)
- "Little man jump in water. Hold fire house. Helicopter, sooooo fast!"
- "Judah's plump!" (as in, lip gloss that he thinks looks like a plum - and it does. So he eats it. Then it goes in the garbage)
- "Purple cheerios!" (lucky charms)
- "Turtle in the water" (talking about Westwood Nature Center)
- "Lee bring donuts!" (thanks, Lee!)
- "Judah's fresh tomatoes!" (picking green cherry ones off the vine, of course)
- "See the buffalo! Caterpillars turn into butterflies!" (fave Noah's Ark book by Jan Brett)
- "Keep track of it!" (said to him many times a day when I hand him whatever is precious at the moment - chapstick, bars of soap . . . always random and often irreplaceable)
- "There's the hot sun!"
- "Fancy socks! Judah daddy both have fancy socks!" (he loves to wear socks, especially Trev's long argyle ones)
- "MORE HOT DOGGGGGGGGGGGGGG! " (he would eat them until he got sick, for sure)
- He wants to do everything and anything Karis is doing, including tossing/catching stuffed animals, cleaning up, biking in the cul-de-sac . . . everything
- "Hi Judah!" (the last words he now loves to say as I tuck him into bed. It's like he's refusing to say goodnight)
- "Color only on paper!" (I wish I could include the tone on so many of his phrases, very sweet mimic-ing)
- "Turn on waterfountain!" (slip n slide)
- "One, two, three - blastoff!"
- "Purple marsh-a-mallows, mommy!" (read: give me lucky charms RIGHT NOW)