Sunday, May 17, 2009

Mommiest Moments: April, 2009

Pillow Jousting.

Yes, Eric. You may imbibe with impunity.
--Mommy. I was getting tired of hearing “Is this my cup? The one with my name on it? Does this have any one else's germs on it...? Am I the only one with 'Eric' written on his cup?” (We were at a party.)

“...So the wicked monsters started to sabotage Eric's lego castle on the moon. Of course, they weren't well-educated wicked monsters, because it didn't occur to them that Eric was wearing a space suit and they weren't...”
--Mommy, at bedtime.

“...So the giant sand serpent, who was thankfully less aggressive than his cousins on Arakis, agreed to be the 'moat' monster for Eric's lunar castle, provided Eric kept his construction and repairs as a-rhythmic as possible...”
--Yet Another Incomparable Mommy Bedtime Story

Eric: Are the giant sand worms of Dune real?
Mommy: No, they're science fiction.
Eric: I mean, is that a real book?
Mommy: Oh. Yes.

“I have The Headache.”
--Gail. This was not a centuries-old euphemism; rather, it reflected my having stared at the ASL interpreters during General Conference for too long. Jon was very sweet and massaged my scalp.

“Mommy, I am very mad at you for putting me in my room. And your consequence is that for the rest of the day, I will not help you unpack boxes, no matter what!”
--Danny. This reminded me of the book No Hugs Till Saturday.
[Editorial note: He had thrown a whomping-willow-worthy tantrum. The punishment had been thoroughly justified.]

Mommy: Danny, do I want to be with my Danny-boy forever?
Danny: [nods]
Mommy: But do I want to live forever with a Danny-boy who throws temper tantrums?
Danny: [pause] Oh!
--Let us devoutly hope this was an “aha” moment which will lead to decreased misbehavior. A Mama can delude herself, right? For delusion leadeth to hope, and hope leadeth to patience, and patience leadeth to...further long-suffering.

Tech Support Lady: I see you have phone, security, and do you watch TV?
Gail: We don't watch much TV.
Tech Support Lady: Right, but I mean, like, do you have satellite or direct TV...?
Gail: We only have broadcast. We really don't watch much TV.
Tech Support Lady: Oh! Wow. [pause] But you know, that's good for the family. Oh, but I'm not supposed to say that...Can I interest you in cable service...?

[April 9th]
“Marian would have turned one today. One-year-olds are so cute....Maybe next year it will be easier. Next year I'll say, “She would have been two today. Two-year-olds are so hard.”

Danny: We need to make a bed for Bear.
Mommy: Oh? Did he have a growth spurt? Does he not fit in your bed anymore?
Danny: [smiling] No.
Mommy: Or is he getting too old...?
Danny: Yes. And he is big enough that he wants a bed that looks like mine.
Mommy: He wants a bunk bed? But there's only one of him.
Danny: No, I mean he doesn't need a railing.
Mommy: Oh! I see. He doesn't want a crib because he's not a baby.
Danny: Yes.
Mommy: Well, let's see if we can find a shoe box...
Eric: Why?
Mommy: We're making a bed for Bear because he doesn't want to sleep with Danny anymore.
Danny: No, Mommy, he doesn't need to sleep with me anymore.

Bear's new loft bed.

Gail: [Describing the above incident to Jon] Do you realize Danny has been leaving Bear home more and more often? Or leaving him in the car but forgetting to bring him inside? I take this as one more sign that he is outgrowing Bear. And it's kind of sad. I mean, it's appropriate and I wouldn't want him hauling around a security blanket when he's seven, but...he's growing up! [Wistful sniffle]
Jon: I think he and Bear are simply diverging in their interests. Danny is starting to think about girls and cars...

“...and these two black holes are fighting and trying to eat each other and they are generating enough energy to power two planets...”

“...and this is the iris. My super-stargate and it has two different systems of symbols and you select five of each and can go to my City I created...”

Danny: ...and I am opening the valve of this black hole because I am going to feed it.
Mommy: What does it eat?
Danny: Other tangrams like it's made out of.
--A cannibalistic black hole!!! But then, if you think about it, they generally are.

[Playing black box]
Mommy: [frustrated] I can't discern any kind of pattern. I give up!
Eric: The black box is outputting numbers at random.
Mommy: That's not fair, since you can't write that as an equation.
Eric: Yes I can. It's y = rand x.
Mommy: [mutters darkly, and then calls Jon] Oh dearest...did you teach our son...?
--I got even when I did a fibonnaci sequence. All too quickly, though, Eric realized he should input five zeros in a row. When he got different outputs each time, he caught on. Hmph.

[Playing black box again]
Mommy: y=x?
Eric: Nope.
--Turned out it was y=x in hexidecimal. Naturally.

Eric: What's an “orderly retreat?”
Mommy: Something far preferable to a rout.
--I ended up teaching an entire home school lesson about military tactics, using the castle and Papo figurines to stage a mock battle.

“But why can you no longer snuggle when you are 35?”
--Eric, wailing. Turns out he'd had a bad dream. I reassured him, of course, and then distracted him by sharing my recurring nightmare of realizing, abruptly, that I haven't been to a math class in two months and the final is looming...

Eric: [Explaining a creation out of tangrams] Babble. Babble, babble, babble...babble BABBLE babble, babble...Wait. Am I getting too complicated?
--I have passed a rule saying that if it's too complicated for me to understand, he has to write down the instructions/directions/explanation. This has effectively curbed the majority of his pontificating.

“I know about grown-ups because sometimes I throw a temper tantrum and then I get consequences and when I get more consequences I learn more about grown-ups!”
--Danny. We were role-reversing. I pretended to be the kid and threw a tantrum and then challenged him to do something about it. He handled it well. He hauled me—with Eric's help—into his room, and locked the door. After a few minutes, he came back in, hugged me, and said, “We still love you, but you're not allowed to throw tantrums.”

“We call this act 'The Veterinary Missionary.'”
--Mommy, announcing Danny at the ward talent show. He stood at the microphone and sang “Meow, meeeeow meow meow...” to the tune of “Called to Serve.” I wanted him to sing it an octave high (he could), because it's so impressive to hear him hit C''. He declined, but it was still adorable. And funny. He was a natural ham. Every week, he does something new that reminds me of me.

Mommy: ...but when the Lamanites invaded, King Noah told his priests to run away, abandoning their responsibilities, their country, and even their families.
Danny: Mommy! That was not an orderly retreat!

“The Holy Ghost is a big, mean bully!”
--Gail, getting to know the Bishop of the Leander Ward. I was answering the question, “Did you serve a mission...?” I said it again when he asked if I could play the piano. I had hoped to dodge that issue, but he told me he felt prompted to ask. Hmph.

Gail: Maybe I shouldn't have said that. It might adversely affect my chances of getting a teaching calling.
Jon: I think you're fine. He looked like he was trying not to laugh.

“Would you like to read Bear's biography?”
--Danny, offering it to almost any adult in sight. I am very flattered that he likes the book so much.

[This all started when Jon printed out an encoded Foxtrot cartoon for Eric to work on. It was a simple substitution algorithm, but you had to solve a math problem to decode each letter. A few of the unused letters (like Q and Z) involved radians or integration. Naturally, Eric wanted to solve for all the letters before deciphering the message. This meant that Jon tutored Eric in some new mathematical concepts.]

Mommy: [Rolling her eyes] You know it's traditional to teach sine, cosine, and tangent, starting in Geometry, using right triangles, right?
Jon: Yes, but I want to show Eric where it all comes from. [Proceeds to draw the trigonometric explanation of the unit circle.]
--I would have started with soh-cah-toa. But now I'm tempted to buy the t-shirt.

[One hour later]
Mommy: [skeptically] ...You realize it's traditional to teach differentiation before integration, right?
Jon: [serenely] Yes, but Eric asked about integration and I'm answering his question. Differentials just haven't come up yet.
Mommy: Well, you're a good math teacher. And you obviously get results. So you can do it however you like. But isn't integration beyond even Eric?
Jon: I'm just going to show him how to increment the exponent and divide by it.
Gail: [rolls her eyes sarcastically]
Jon: [engrossed in math and blissfully unaware of his wife's facial expressions, he proceeds to work the problem with Eric staring raptly.]
Mommy: [gapes in astonishment. Then hyperventilates. Then discreetly takes pictures] My baby...he's growing up so fast...I think I'm going to cry!
--Eric looked at me briefly in puzzlement. He got a look of “Mom is weird,” shrugged, and went back to his calculus problem.
--Also, my sarcastic eye roll was of the “Oh, is that all” variety. I got over being a Doubting Thomas long ago.

--My approach was more psychological. I looked at the comic and then at the spacing of the blanks and said, "Knowing Jason's character, I bet it says 'Paige Fox is bad at math.'" And so it proved. :)

“Wait! You taught Eric trigonometry and calculus in one day?”
--An exaggeration, I know. Eric can't solve the problems independently. He was fascinated with the concepts, though.

Pioneer Bear in Covered Wagon

1 comment:

Grandma Homer said...

I thought about Marian on her due date anniversary, too. I am confident she knows we love her and want her in our family.