Sunday, April 26, 2009

Mommiest Moments: February, 2009

Eric [left] and Danny [right] scale Uncle Ronald's Family Home Evening Staircase Challenge. Almost every pillow, sheet, and blanket in the house were sacrificed to the cause.

Danny: Will you play with me?

Mommy: No. Remember how you got out of bed five times last night and exceeded your “Mommy...” quota? I thought you wanted excessive attention, and the best cure for that is less attention. So I said I would not play with you today.

Danny: I do not need any “Mommies” at bedtime, only I actually want to speak freely.

--Can you believe he just barely turned five?

“Mommy, what is one divided by infinity?”


“When I was seventeen, I decided to take calculus primarily so I could help my children with their math homework. I hadn't expected to need it for another decade, though...and now I don't remember any of it!”

--I ended up just teaching Eric about asymptotic functions and avoiding limits. (Whew!) If I don't remember calculus now, what will I do after another ten years?

How old are they???”

--The staff at the Homer family's dental office. They overheard my math homeschool lesson in the waiting room. I sat and graphed the function y=1/x to answer Eric's question about dividing by infinity.

“I blame their Daddy. His idea of a bedtime story involves circuit diagrams.”

--Grandma Homer, to the aforementioned amazed dental staff. That's not entirely fair. Jon's bedtime stories also include humorous chronicles of a mad-scientist, excited electrons, and, as of April, checking off cub scout requirements. Who says my Aspie-esque engineer lacks imagination?

Worksheet: Put an x over the picture that doesn't belong. [It displays three hats and one boot.]

Danny: And I think these three are all winter things and this one [a baseball hat] is summer so I am crossing it out.

--Not the answer the author was intending, but well-defended. I took it.

Left: Bear prepares for homeschool hopscotch. We color-coded his feet to match the Ls and Rs on the floor.

“...and a circle is a ball! And a square is a box! And a triangle is a pyramid! And a trapezoid is half a pyramid!

--Danny. Wow. Brilliant boy. Awesome spatial sense!

Grandma Homer: Perhaps Heavenly Father gave Danny amazing spatial sense to help compensate for his sensory integration issues.

Gail: ...[gapes]...That's...maybe...I hadn't thought of it like that!

[I told an amusing three-part bedtime story about a language acquisition spell gone awry.]

“Maybe the spell works better for different languages because the interpreter speaks some better than others...Maybe the interpreter could program the spell to have a delayed start...”

--Eric. Aww! He was debugging a spell instead of a program! His imagination is coming right along...(It turned out the spell worked, but only after three days of immersion in the target language.)

“...Thank you, thank you, Sam-I-am.”

--Danny reading Green Eggs and Ham, out loud, in its entirety, with Jon listening on the phone. That was a spectacular parenting moment. He earned his milkshake!

“And this is a bacteria and these are white blood cells and the trampoline is the body and it is sick...”

--Danny, playing with different colored marbles, after a lesson on germs.

“There is a high likelihood that I will go to bed on time if you do not buy me a cookie.”

--Eric, to Grandpa

Danny: Why did Grandpa buy us cookies?

Mommy: Because he's a grandpa. He likes to spoil his grandkids.

Danny: You mean he wants me to be naughty?

--Spoil, not spoil rotten.

“At least I'm allowed to read on Sentry Duty. And I won't hang for sleeping on watch.”

--Gail. I've spent much of the last two weeks parked outside the boys' room to enforce Bedtime Curfew.

“Toilet? Yes. Follow...”

--Danny, the signing star, to A-, a cute Deaf boy, during a play date. In ASL, his grammar was fine.

“Some things are so universal...”

--Gail, watching end-of-visit negotiations between mother and child in ASL. I didn't catch every sign, but I got the gist.

“What's really messed up is having a kid who can read before he's potty trained.”

--Gail, sharing maternal reminiscences with another woman.

“Today is our nonaxdodecatrothalunaversary!”

--Which, being interpreted, meaneth, “the ninth anniversary of the day we got engaged.” Jon sent me a dozen roses to celebrate. What a sweet man.

Jon's roses. February 12, 2009.

[Watching The Pirates of Penzance]

Mommy: [snorts and chokes with laughter]

Eric: Why is that funny?

Mommy: Because he doesn't know how to talk to girls. It is not a good idea to propose by saying, “Are any of you girls so ugly that you're desperate enough to marry me?”

Eric: Why?

Mommy: It is never a good idea to say, hint, imply, or even ask if a girl is ugly.

Eric: Why not?

Mommy: ...Just trust me on this one.

--I neglected to point out the other flaws with Frederick's proposals, like offering to sisters en masse.

[At the statistical psychology lab at Notre Dame]

Eric: Why can't you just use the actual number? [Note: What he meant was the absolute value, or distance from a line, whether that distance is positive or negative]

Steve: Well, we could, but the math would be much more complicated that way.

Eric: Why would the math be more complicated??

Steve: Because it would make a V instead of a line

Eric: But why would that make the math more complicated?

Steve: [Pauses, groping for an answer] Does he know any calculus...?

--I'm flattered he even considered it a possibility! But I expect it will be another year or two.

Mommy: Why are all the lights off in the basement?

Danny: Because there are blind scary monsters down there!

Mommy: But if they're blind, why does it matter if it's dark?

[Watching Seven brides for seven brothers:]

Mommy: Milly yelled at her husband for acting stupid--

Eric: Actually, he wasn't being stupid, just uncivilized

Mommy: [pause] Okay, she yelled at him for leading his brothers into acting like animals

Eric: How...?

Danny: Oh! I know! One brother pretended to be a cat to trick the girl and then he kidnapped her and I think that's how he acted like an animal!

Mommy: [laughing helplessly] Um, that logic is irrefutable. I think additionally, though, that they acted uncivilized because they didn't respect the girls' agency.

Eric: How does kidnapping a girl not respect her agency?

Mommy: Eric. Think about it.

Eric: [stares owlishly for a minute, then shakes his head in defeat]

Eric: [gets frustrated]

Grandpa: Eric, do you want this instead?

Mommy: Eric. We're trying to understand--

Eric: [crying] But first I need to CALM DOWN!

Mommy: [stunned] Okay.

--We gave him some time and space, and he calmed himself down, and then he explained. I felt like singing Hallelujah!

“It wasn't a Mommy moment, exactly, but A- giving me a spontaneous hug was very rewarding.”

“I have no idea how to sign 'He went as a diplomatic envoy to liase with another clan...''”

--Gail, in an email. We were coordinating the cover story as to why Richard the dog wouldn't be around during a play date.

“He thinks that because I can't see him, I can't hear him.”

--Sister G-, about A-. It was cute.

Below: Two of the more intricate train tracks we designed. Remember, it was winter, and the trains were the only big toy we brought to Grandma's house.


Grandma Homer said...


Eric and Danny added so much to our home this winter. Grandpa and I can't quite believe they're not here any more. Just this week, Grandpa told Carolyn about the questions Danny asked when he saw the conveyor on the grain elevator need Goodwill. "Another engineer," Grandpa said approvingly.

Grandma Homer

Grandma Homer said...

Make that "near" Goodwill. Serves me right for not proofreading.


Carolyn said...

“There is a high likelihood that I will go to bed on time if you do not buy me a cookie.”
--Eric, to Grandpa

Eric is too honest for his own good somedays. :-) I was always the one insisting that Grandpa's cookies would NOT spoil my dinner and/or bedtime. Somehow I suspect Grandpa bought him cookies anyway.