Sunday, January 13, 2013

Mommiest Moments: December 2012

[Some of these quotes are actually from January. Sorry. I'm lumping together anyway. --GHB]

Gail: Daniel, come for math.
Daniel: [gives me some rude attitude]
Gail: Daniel Scott Berry. If you were at Meridian or Whitestone, would you speak to your teacher like that?
Daniel: [Sullenly] Probably not.
Gail: Well, I expect you to give me just as much respect as you would show to Mrs. Merritt or Mrs. Hess. You begged to be homeschooled, and I am your teacher.
[Later, Gail recounts this incident to Jon.]
Jon: Next time, send him to the Principal's office.

[I've been sick most of the last month, but it's easier to play for primary than to find a sub. Last week, though, I was so ill I had no option.]
"I decided that missing the occasional Sunday was either a brilliant plan to remind the Presidency how much they value me, or a brilliant plan to demonstrate that I really am replaceable and thus they can release me. Still not sure which one."
--Gail, to Jon. Things are going better. I'm not whining, just being tongue-in-cheek. See next episode below.

          I've been experimenting with ways to keep things fresh as primary pianist. Broken chords. Arpeggios. Dissonant seconds resolving into sugary thirds. Singing harmony. During Christmas, I had a great moment where I played "Silent Night" and sang an unscored descant--in German. I knew it was working, because I made mistakes. I didn't feel bored at all! (Although I thought I would die on the eighteenth time through practicing "Picture a Christmas." Oh wait, no whining. Sorry.)
          Then, today, the chorister gave me a great suggestion. "Try transposing in your head," she said, and I lit up. Brilliant! I tried it for prelude, and I made LOTS of mistakes. An obvious success!
          I'm like an over-eager engineer: I figure if it ain't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet.

"You know you're an adult when you stop courting drama."
--I have said this for years, but had occasion to repeat it to someone recently. It's also true: children get bored and so start fights; moms sigh and think "The universe throws enough chaos at me as it is--I don't need to create any."

"I don't want to stereotype my kids, and I'll support them in any reasonable career choice. But my father pointed out years ago that Eric thinks more like a theoretical mathematician or scientist, and Daniel thinks more like a hands-on, practical engineer. Each is super smart. My brilliant idea is for Eric and Daniel to become the Wright brothers of this century. They can work together to invent a commercially viable teleporter, become wickedly wealthy, and then build me my dream castle. How's that for a retirement plan?"
--This is why homeschooling is such a great investment. Right? Right?

"Fast Sundays tend to be the worst. It's a strong but not perfect correlation to reverence problems. My theory is that most Sunday mornings, the mom gets up and cooks breakfast, but on Fast Sunday, she just shoves a granola bar at the kids. It wears off one or two hours later, right as they hit Primary. Some teachers hand out snacks in class, but refrain on Fast Sundays as well. You'd think hunger would make kids lethargic, but instead they get hyper. Probably something about metabolizing stored fat into explosive bursts of cranky energy. Anyway...yeah. Fast Sunday in Junior Primary is brutal. Especially in January, when they're transitioning to new classes and teachers."
--Gail, explaining why (probably) last week in Primary was so awful. Alas, I wasn't there; I was home sick. Ah well. I have a really good imagination.

[Teaching Jon's eleven-year-old scouts about their rights and responsibilities as U.S. Citizens.]
Gail: your parents can vote for who the president should be--
CG: Yeah, and if not, you have a dictatorship. Like in England! They have a queen.
Gail: Well, yes, Great Britain does have a queen, but they also have something called a "constitutional monarchy," which means she doesn't have much actual power.
CG: She doesn't? Then what does she DO all day?
Gail: Well, she does things like give speeches and visit hospitals and talk to important people.
CG: [Skeptically] Then how did she get so rich?
--I survived a roomful of hyperactive eleven-year-olds. Do I get a prize? Right; Jon does it every week.

"Sam wanted to log on by himself, so I just sat and gave suggestions. I told him to type an S, and he carefully found and pressed the S key. Then I told him to type an A and he carefully found and pressed the A key. Then I told him to type an M, and he carefully pressed the W key. [Pause] But still. I was impressed."
--Jon, to Gail.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Screening the Screaming

I've been dealing with cranky kids today, for a variety of reasons.

Mostly they involve illness and an end to Christmas vacation. The poor darlin's had to do actual chores today for the first time in weeks.

Here's a handy primer in case any of you ever need to babysit:

*If Geoffrey starts screaming, it means he is tired.
*If Daniel starts screaming, it means he is hungry.
*If Eric starts screaming, it means that he is over-stimulated.
*If Sammy starts screaming, it means he is two. (Or, if he is not two years old, it probably means "This really is the End of the World!")

Wasn't that helpful? Now y'all are ready to run my home for a week. Any takers? I suspect I'll need another vacation shortly.