Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Yesterday, I overheard Cameron and Matthew in the bathroom getting ready to take showers.  "Okay, do we have towels?" said Cameron.

"Yep," answered Matthew.  "Aaaand we need washclothes."

"No," said Cameron.  "Mommy said we need to wash our hair.  She didn't say we need to wash our bodies."

At which point I knocked on the door.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Polite as Pie

It's 8:30am and this is the conversation I'm listening to:

Matthew:  Cameron pie!
Cameron: I'm not pie.
M:  Cameron pie, Cameron pie, CAMERON PIE!

Ahhh, brothers.

Last night, we had some friends over.  They don't have kids yet and they hadn't met our boys before.  And it was . . . surreal.  The boys were delightful, friendly and charming.  Cameron set the table with no prompting and during the meal said, "This is really delicious!  Thanks Mom!"  When the conversation turned to movies, David mentioned that we had watched the classic Alice in Wonderland recently and he hadn't liked it.  Cameron said, "I liked it, but I still preferred the book."  After dinner, he cleared the table, again without prompting.  Then he and Matthew played together, creatively and cooperatively, for a few hours.  They made tickets and invited the guests to watch a "jumping show," which actually turned out to be very funny. Afterwards, Matthew said, "I want to go to bed now," went and put on his pajamas and brushed his teeth.  No one punched anyone else.  There was no wrestling over Lego minifigures or Wii controllers.  No one called anyone pie.

It was lovely. 

And short-lived.



Friday, March 18, 2011


When I picked Cameron up from school yesterday, he said, "Jay wants me to bring in the leprechaun vest as proof.  And that drawing that the toothfairy left me."

"Oh," I said, "Jay doesn't believe in leprechauns and toothfairies?"

"OF COURSE he believes in the tooth fairy!" Cameron scoffed.  "But not leprechauns.  He said there can't be leprechauns because a leprechaun has never visited his house.  And I said, 'That's not even a logical argument.  That's like saying, 'It's impossible to fall off a cliff because I've never fallen off a cliff.'"

Which is a pretty good counter argument for a first grader, I thought.  "Hmmm," I said.  "What do you think?  Do you think there are really leprechauns and toothfairies or do you think it's pretend?"

At Christmas, I kept waiting for the "Santa's not really real" talk with Cameron, but it didn't come.  Now, I fully expected Cameron to say something like, "Well, I'm not sure but . . . I think maybe it's not real." 

Instead, he said, "I think it's REAL.  I mean, if it isn't real, what does that mean?  Like, who is leaving me quarters for my teeth?  Who wrote the note from the leprechaun and gave me a Hex Bug?  I mean, that's actually a lot of work.  And, wouldn't it be sort of creepy?  Like, what, some guy sneaks in our house to pretend he's a leprechaun?  I don't think so!"

I'm starting to think I'm a little TOO convincing at being Santa/a toothfairy/a leprechaun.  "Well, what if you found out it was pretend?" I said.

"Hmmm," he considered.  "You know what?  I still think it's real but even if it isn't, that's okay.  Because it sure is fun!"

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Top O' the Morning

Last night, I came home from my Montessori class around 9:30pm.  When I walked back to the bedrooms, I found Cameron still awake.  "WHAT are you doing up?" I asked. 

He was laying with his head at the foot of the bed and he was holding a periscope.  Outside his door were this year's leprechaun traps.  "I'm sleeping with my head by the door so that I can hear the leprechauns.  Because I built another Lego bridge trap and when the leprechauns fall in the water, it will probably make a gentle plop and I'll wake up.  But I won't sit up!  I'll just sneeaak my periscope up over the edge of the bed and then . . . HA! . . . I'll see them!"

He was up a long time.  

Much longer than one certain leprechaun would have liked.

And then, this morning, I woke up at 6am to find Cameron's face inches from mine.  "I woke up at 3am," he whispered.  "I think the leprechauns must have made a noise.  But I couldn't see them and then I fell back asleep."

In the hall, we examined the Lego bridge trap.  The leprechauns had been greeted with a handwritten note, inviting them to cross the bridge and go through the tunnel where they could help themselves to our gold.  Little did they know that the bridge was slippery!!!  Alas, the leprechauns had built a small raft of popsicle sticks and used it to cross the waterway beneath the bridge.  There, they came across the tunnel.  It was an oatmeal canister with the end cut off.  Stretched across the far opening was plastic wrap, cleverly decorated with a rainbow and a pot of gold. 

We had assumed that the leprechauns would be so enticed by the gold that they would run through the tunnel, failing to notice the double sided tape!  Cameron examined the trap.  "I woke up last night," he said, "and realized that if leprechauns wear shoes, they'd be able to escape this trap.  They'd get stuck by the tape and just take off their shoes."  But instead we found a wee leprechaun vest.  We are conjecturing that a leprechaun leaped over the tape in his haste to reach the gold, only to bounce off the plastic wrap, landing on the tape, where he was forced to take off his vest to free himself.  "I hope he had a shirt on underneath!" giggled Cameron.  They had also left a rather reproachful note that led Cameron to say, "Maybe next year we should leave something for them instead of trying to catch them."

As always, leprechauns are gracious and generous.  This time they left some "O'Jelly Bands" which they explained that they wear as bracelets.  But when the boys attempted to wear them, they found they were only big enough for their fingers!

They had also left some Hex Bugs which they wrote were cars that they had planned to drive to the end of the rainbow.  These have proved to be the highlight of Matthew's day.  We have spent hours building Hex Bug obstacle courses.  Cameron suggested that next year, we leave the leprechauns a Hex Bug spider that they could use for mass transportation.

So, until next year, Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Check back in ten years.

Yesterday, I told Matthew I was going to cut his hair.  "No, I don't want a haircut," he said.

"Just a trim," I said.  "I'll just trim the edges, OK?"

Finally, he acquiesced.  As he sat down on the stool he said, "But not my beard.  I'm trying to grow a beard."

"OK," I promised, "I won't trim your beard."

As soon as I finished, Matthew felt his chin and gave me an accusatory glare.  "Did you trim my beard?"

"I didn't touch your beard," I reassured him.  "Remember?  I only used the clippers on your head.  I didn't do your face."

"OK," he agreed.  "Good.  I just didn't want you to cut my beard.  I want to let it grow."

I think he'll be waiting a while.

Books Before Breakfast

Last week, tornado sirens woke us at 5am and we all trooped down to the basement.  Our basement is in the traditional 50's style -- cold cement floors, stacks of boxes and forgotten toys.  Ohhhh, the forgotten toys!  Toys that were discarded years ago as too babyish were suddenly treasures.  The boys played and then Matthew discovered the old rocking chair.  "Hold me!"  he squealed.  "Hold me like I'm a baby!" 

Cameron, much too chipper for so early in the morning, gave an excited monologue as I rocked my 'baby.'  "I wonder if it's a real tornado!  What if it hit our house?  What if we were like, 'Doh, doh, doh, I guess we can go upstairs now, the sirens have stopped!' and then we went upstair and the HOUSE was GONE!"

Fortunately, when the sirens did stop, we opened the door at the top of the stairs and the house remained.  But now we were all wide awake and up really early . . . "I'm going to read Harry Potter," announced Cameron.  He settled on the couch with his book.

"I'm going to read, too," said Matthew.

"Oh, do you want me to read to you?" I asked.


"Well, I don't know if Cameron will read to you right now.  He's in the middle of his book."

Matthew marched to the book shelf, haughtily selected a board book and stalked over to the couch.  "I said, 'I'm going to read,."

He sat down next to Cameron, opened his book and began, "Hi.  My name is Emily Elizabeth.  I have a dog."

He recited the book from beginning to end, word for word, flipping the pages at the right time.  When he finished, he closed it and said, "I did it!  I can't believe it!  I CAN READ!  I can't believe I did it!  I read the whole book!" 

Cameron better finish up Harry Potter soon.  Matthews's right on his heels!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Case for Soda and Candy

One of Matthew's favorite books is When Louis Armstrong Taught Me Scat, which led me to pick up a few scat CDs at the library.  As we were driving in the car listening to one recently, Cameron said, "You know, I bet that to be really good at scat, you'd have to have no teeth."