Thursday, March 29, 2007

Is Mary Real?

Benjamin (age 5 1/2) asked me, out of the blue, on the way to school this morning.

"Mary, who?" I asked.

"The one with the little lamb."

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Is it Dangerous?

A few months ago, I thought Benjamin would never get off the food chain. His questions -"What do lions eat? What do dragons eat? What do dinosaurs eat?" - seemed continuous. Now, of course, I'm longing for those days. At least the answers were simpler.

Today's question - "Is it dangerous to...?" and then, "Could you die?" A few samples...

Is it dangerous to...
  • get bitten by a crab?
  • breathe fur?
  • put ... in your eye?
  • fall off a chair lift?
  • get run over by a car?
Of course, some of the answers are, "Yes - you could die." But somehow that one doesn't really sink in... We have talked about heaven, and he is pretty convinced that it will be great... so what's the problem?

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Apple Socks and Other Stories...

... of my stupidity.

Somehow, the kids think it is funny to hear the story of my French bakery mistake. I hadn't been in France for several years, and finally went back, found a bakery, and ordered my favorite thing - Chausson aux pommes, or apple turnovers. Of course, I managed to forget a key word, and ordered instead Chausette aux pommes, or apple socks. The baker, needless to say, was somewhat confused. The kids think it is hilarous, and beg to hear it again and again.

I need some variety - other times I did or said something stupid that doesn't involve concepts beyond their years (preservatif/condoms in French bread, pregnant/enceinte vs. pleine/knocked up, etc.) or times I was just plain stupid but not funny (like running into a tree while skiing). Have to think a while on that one...

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Scared of Heights?

We went skiing over the weekend and it was AWESOME! I began to see what life will soon be like. Annika (7) and Benjamin (5) were all over the mountain and skied beautifully - though Benjamin preferred a straight-down snowplow to actually turning...

We met up with the family (Pieter, LouAnn, Kara, Saskia and Petra) and managed to ski with them for two days. Christopher (3) joined us for the first day, but his ski reins were a necessity, and he was a significant downward drag.

A few highlights:

After a Friday spent holding the reins, I moved Christopher into ski school. I spent most of Saturday agonizing over whether he would be permanently scarred from being sent off away from the rest of us, but needn't have worried - he had a blast! His teacher, Yann, knew every bump and jump on the baby slope, and had Christopher giggling and having a great time - so much so that he is still wondering when he can ski with Yann again.

Benjamin spent every lift asking, "Is it dangerous to fall off?" When he missed a chair and ended up riding by himself, alone, in the chair behind mine, I checked on him constantly, afraid that he might try to see how dangerous it really was. In the end, the only problem was that he wasn't strong enough to push up the security bar, and it conked him on the head when he got off. I guess that's what helmets are for!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Nouvelle Cuisine á la Benj

Today, Benjamin offered to cook dinner for me and Christopher. I was busy in the yard, and thought I would just let him have the run of the kitchen. After all, what would it be but a bit of a mess and some wasted food. And truly, surprisingly, it wasn't that bad!

First, Benjamin got off on a roll with some banana bread that I had baked earlier. He sliced it and put it neatly on plates (with a knife artfully stabbed into the middle like a large birthday candle) and served it outside to me and Christopher (who was sort of helping with the raking).

Filled with the joy of his success, he then branched off in new directions. After a few minutes, he brought me a drink - water with fresh-squeezed tomato, seeds and all. Actually, it was quite refreshing, and I tried to just enjoy the new taste and not think about when he last washed his hands...

And then, his piéce de la resistance - cabbage and garlic. He had carefully taken small pieces of cabbage leaves, arranged them neatly in the center of a plate, topped them with a garlic clove (unpeeled) and zapped the whole thing in the microwave. Also surprisingly tasty, though I did give the unpeeled clove a miss. He even got his two cents in by admonishing me about the proper use of a fork and knife - see - he was listening!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Boys and Stitches

There was an article in the parents' magazine last week about how we get too caught up in the differences between boys and girls. Well, you know what? They ARE different. Just one simple statistic from my sample of three.

Trips to the emergency room for taping/stitches:

  • Annika - 0

  • Benjamin - 1

  • Christopher - 2
Yep - that's two boys and three scars over the past year, two calls from dagis about boys with blood running down their faces. And they're only 3 and 5!