Sunday, May 29, 2011

Walks and Wax

This morning, Cameron and I took a walk together.  We were chatting about the merits of the Harry Potter series versus the Percy Jackson series which led us to talk about the book of Greek myths that Cameron has been reading which led us to discuss the Matisse paper cuttings, Icarus and  The Fall of Icarus.  If you aren't familiar with the myth, Daedelus makes wings of feathers set in wax so that he and his son, Icarus, can escape from Crete.  Daedelus warns Icarus not to fly too close to the sun but Icarus, consumed with the excitement of flight and wanting to see what the gods see, flies higher and higher.  Predictably, the wax melts and Icarus plunges to his death.  "What do you think the moral of that myth is?" asked Cameron.

"Hmmm," I said.  "Maybe it's about knowing your limits?  Or . . . " I thought.

"Maybe the moral is, 'Never trust your son,'" said Cameron! 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Hiding something

Today, the boys and I took a few cardboard boxes, an empty paper towel tube, some string and tape and sat down to figure out what to do with it all.  After some discussion, a pirate ship was ruled out and it was decided that we would make a spy car/boat. 

I made the concealed wheels while Matthew went to work in his area.  He snipped away with his scissors and then held up his creation.  "A knife!" he announced. 

Cameron, meanwhile, had made the dashboard -- folded cardboard featuring an innocent looking speedometer and fuel gauge with spy tools beneath the panel.  He enthusiastically chattered about this feature as we assembled.  "Like, you would be driving along and then you'd press a button and, whoa!  The dashboard changes to your spy stuff!  And your passenger is like, 'So, what's the deal with your dashboard?'" 

With the taping and cutting and tying complete, the boys climbed in their new car/boat.  Cameron took the driver's seat and, from the back, Matthew said, "So, what's the deal with your pastor?"

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

NOT ready for a license

This morning, Matthew was riding his tricycle down the sidewalk when he spotted an ant.  He did the traditional drag-your-shoes-until-you-stop braking, screeching to a halt a few inches from the ant.  "Look!  An ant!" he announced.  He honked his horn.  The ant, inexplicably, continued along the sidewalk.  Matthew honked again, then more insistently, Honk honk honkhonkhonk.  The ant meandered along, ignoring the warning. "Well," said Matthew as he began pedaling again, "I guess I have to run him over."

Sunday, May 15, 2011

By invitation only

Matthew has been a wee bit challenging lately.  Last Monday he was . . . a whole lot challenging and I was despairing.  I think there are a lot of factors at play -- sleep, food, getting dragged to big brother's activities, general being-three-ness.  But I decided that there were a few things I could do to make things a little better.

One of those things was creating a space for Matthew.  Cameron has a small room we call the Lego room, which has a desk for working at and floor space for impressive Lego construction.  But Matthew didn't really have any place to call his own.  So on Tuesday I announced that Matthew would have an area of the living room all to himself.  With great fanfare, I brought up a small table and chairs from the basement and Matthew helped me scrub it off.  Matthew selected a corner and, with a bit of rearranging, his spot was established.  "This is where I do my homework," he announced quite pompously.  "Where's my Scooby Doo coloring book?"

When Cameron got home from school, Matthew and I showed him Matthew's area.  "Cameron," I said, "this is MATTHEW'S area.  You are not allowed in this area unless Matthew invites you."

Cameron said, "What?  The whole living room?"

"No," I said, sweeping a hand in a broad circle around the little table.  "This is Matthew's area."

"Soooo," said Cameron, "can I do this?"  He stuck a toe inside the imaginary circle.

"Not unless Matthew invites you," I replied.

"Matthew," said Cameron, "I would like to work with you at your table.  Can I come in your area?"

"Hmmm," answered Matthew.  "No, I don't think so."

Matthew has taken great pleasure over the last few days in going to his own area.  And then, tonight, I was making dinner when Cameron and Matthew came running into the kitchen.  "Matthew invited me to his area!" shouted Cameron.

"We're going to eat dinner at my table," announced Matthew.  "I told Cameron, he can eat at my table with me."

So the boys took their dinner to Matthew's table and David and I enjoyed our Aloo Partha just the two of us.

Loving Matthew's area.

I've got a few good years left in me . . .

Cameron: I think when you're a kid, you keep on getting wiser and wiser. And then, when you're a grown-up, you get wiser and wiser until eventually you stop getting wiser. And then you start to decline.

Me: What age do you think you start declining?

Cameron: I'm gonna say 40.

Well, this should work out quite nicely if Cameron's predictions are correct.  When Cameron is in his teenage years, he will be getting ever closer to knowing everything.  And I will be quickly growing clueless.  Just the way it's supposed to be.

Who would think to look in the dresser?

Last week, Cameron came to the breakfast table wearing no shirt and a red, faux-fur trimmed cape.  "Well, what an honor to have you join us, Your Royal Highness," I quipped.  "We don't often have kings partake of our oatmeal!"

Cameron gave me a derisive glare.  "I'm not a king."

"Oh, well, my mistake.  Who are you then?"

"I'm just a cold boy," he answered, "who couldn't find a t-shirt."

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

On Friday, I was invited to Cameron's school for a Mother's Day celebration.  Cameron was very excited and informed me as we stood in line for our fruit salad and cucumber sandwiches that the kids "were supposed to be like the moms' servants for the afternoon."  Luckily, I am not power hungry. 

He handed me a plate, noted that his class had prepared the fruit salad and raised an eyebrow as he pointed out enticingly, "It has green grapes in it."  Best of all, he shared with me a little essay he had written. 

My Mom, by Cameron

This is about my mom.  She is fun.  She plays with me.  She is exciting and happy mostly, except when Matthew gets mad.  She cooks with me on Friday.  She helps me with homework, but not too much.  She is very funny.  This is all about my mom.

I love the honesty -- it is the fact that he includes "except when Matthew gets mad" that makes me believe the "She is very funny."

It was also quite a treat to see the essays other kids had written about their mothers, my favorite being the one that included the line, "I cannot escape her!"  Again, so honest. 

Hard to think about

Earlier this week, I was driving home with Cameron when he said, "You know, there are some things that are hard to think about."

"That's true," I said.

"Like the Big Bang," he continued.  This, I must confess, took me a bit by surprise.  I guess I had been thinking "hard to think about" like "death is hard to think about," not hard to think about like . . . the origins of the universe?

"Like, I try to picture it and it's like, there was nothing, but what is nothing?  I picture all this blackness and then all of a sudden I see a big N.  You know, the symbol for nitrogen?  And the N explodes into stars and galaxies.  Maybe not our galaxy, I'm not sure, but maybe other galaxies at first."

Hard to think about indeed.