Nature or Nurture or Just Good Taste in Movies?

Thad had a boat load of homework to complete tonight.  I mean a ton.  A lot.  A monumental amount.  Because he tends to get sidetracked at times. . .like when he was three and Tony lowered him behind the couch by his ankles to retrieve his Batmobile.  Thad exclaimed, “I got it!  I got it!”  And when Tony pulled him back up, in Thad’s little (dirty) hand was a small, black, retractable measuring tape.  Ahem.

The Batmobile IS black after all.  And Thad had been wondering where his measuring tape had gotten off to.

Even tonight as he was using the dictionary, he kept finding new words that he wanted to read the definitions for because the words sounded cool. This  is a WONDERFUL attribute that I want to foster in my offspring, but NOT at 8:00 on a school night when there are several more things to complete.  After me fussing at encouraging him to just find the word he NEEDED (already) to my relief he exclaimed, “Okay.  I am SO GLAD I found it!!!”

Silly me.  I thought he meant the actual word for which he was searching.  Alas, it was a picture of a metronome which reminded Thad (who relayed it to me at that exact moment) that we could either buy a cheap metronome from somewhere for a couple of bucks, or get a REAL one for $20, or get a $5 app for his Nintendo 3ds that you can customize.  He needs one to practice for band. He’s gunning for the app.  Because it’s customizable and all.

By the way, he had no homework for band.  We were doing Language Arts.

So.  Thad was answering questions from a reading passage.  Below is a paragraph from said passage.  It is an actual photograph of the actual paragraph on the actual page of the actual passage.

Actual photograph of actual paragraph of actual passage.

Actual photograph of actual paragraph of actual page of actual passage.

Thad, however, had made an addition.  I shouldn’t have been surprised.  I tried not to laugh–really I did.  I am supposed to be the voice of reason.   But he was SO EARNEST and SO SINCERE and SO PROUD when he looked at me with his big, blue eyes and said, “Mom.  I HAD to.  I just HAD to.”

Really. What intelligent Star Wars aficionado of a middle school boy could RESIST such an opportunity? There was a big 'ole empty space there and everything--just WAITING to be filled with what was OBVIOUSLY missing from the passage.

Really. What intelligent Star Wars aficionado of a middle school boy could RESIST such an opportunity? There was a big ‘ole empty space there and everything–just WAITING to be filled with what was OBVIOUSLY missing from the passage.

I laughed, and I laughed, and I laughed. And when I had the chance, I showed it to his Daddy and laughed some more.

Oh, how I needed to spend that time with my boy.



January, 2013 020blog

Yesterday morning was hard for The Boy.  His tummy hurt, but he wasn’t really sick.  Who knows what it was–this year has been tough.    I had a rough 5th grade year too.  Anyway–he walked around with his best friend, George.  The Boy is 11 1/2, he is 5’1″ tall and weighs more than his sister, but his heart is tender, and George made him feel better.

Being a Momma, I’m in no hurry for him to set George aside.  I don’t want to baby him or for him to stop growing and changing, but I also don’t want him to cast off his childhood. There is time yet.

As he and I were leaving after Tony and Victoria had gone in the other car, I said, “Buddy?  Do you want to take George in the car today?”  He shook his head no and said, “I don’t want to leave him in the car.”  I asked, “Because he’d be lonely?” (I already knew the answer.)  Thad nodded.  So, I promised to take George into school with me so he’d be warm and not lonely.  And I did just that.  And each time I saw his little worn head sticking out of my bag, I thought of my Boy.

Last night before Scouts, Thad put George on the chair near the door.  (It was a chair that belonged to my Granny.)  And when Thad got back home, George was waiting to climb into bed with  him.

Thad is mature for his age, responsible, thoughtful.  He’s not super athletic.  He likes sci-fi and has a big vocabulary.  All of that makes a great student and will make for an even GREATER man, but currently he is NOT the coolest kid in 5th grade.  As is the way of things, many of the kids in his class make no bones about that fact.  So when Thad climbed into the car today telling me about a new friend he’d made, I innocently asked “What’s his name?”  Turns out HER name is Zoe, and she was the tall, long-haired brunette that was talking to him in the car rider line today.  They “met” because she was wearing a Doctor Who t-shirt.  (My children are Doctor Who fans of the first order.) I found all of that out when he handed me a piece of paper that had her name and e-mail address on it.


George has been steeped in the waters of Thad’s babyhood and childhood–to be quite honest, George has at times been dampened by other liquids BESIDES the “waters of Thad’s childhood”–which then necessitated him being immersed in the waters of the washing machine.  But George is still here.  The letters are worn from his shirt, and only the faintest amount of a “g” remains.  His fur is flattened, and his neck (where Thad used to carry him in his baby hands) is a little wiggly and floppy.  When I hold George, I am tender and careful.  I treat him gently, just like The Boy who still loves him.  I know that when I hold George, I am holding something very, very precious.

HPIM0490George when he still had 98% of his letters.  Thad, aged 5 years.

More Boy

It has taken us a little longer to get through our Lord of the Rings marathon this summer what with our gadding about and all. Tonight we finally watched the second disc of the 3rd movie. All manner of cool lines were delivered and Legolas skated down the oliphant’s trunk and Aragorn and Merry and Pippin run toward the Black Gate screaming “Foooooorrrr Froooodoooooo. . .” and it was AWESOME. Thad, however, kept a running commentary. . .as he did last year. The difference is that he is a year old and a year more sarcastic. It was like watching an episode of Mystery Science Theater. . .and Thad was playing all three critics.

Sam and Frodo FINALLY make it into Mount Doom where Frodo is taken over by the ring. . .oh no–here comes Gollum sneaking up YET AGAIN. After a struggle on the edge of a volcano, Gollum BITES OFF Frodo’s finger in an effort to get the ring for himself. Gollum and Frodo struggle MORE, and both fall over the precipice–but as Sam runs to see Frodo’s doom, he finds Frodo is hanging onto the ledge with his good hand while the injured ones hangs at his side.

Sam looks into Frodo’s weary eyes and realizes that Frodo is contemplating ending his life. Sam says, “Don’t you let go, Mr. Frodo. Don’t you DARE let go.” Frodo looks at Sam pondering his next action–it’s a breath-holding movie moment no matter how many times you’ve viewed the scene.

Then Sam pleads, “Give me your hand, Mr. Frodo. Give me your hand!!!”

AND THAD SAYS, “Or what’s left of it.”

Odd Foods Make Just as Much Sense

My children have become “classic” rock fans. Classic rock NOW means what *I* listened to when I was their age. (I have an 8th grade-nearly 14 year-old. . .can you say “Land Down Under”, “Safety Dance”, Tears for Fears, Wham, Air Supply, Journey???). Thankfully, their understanding of the lyrics at this point is as clear as my understanding was long ago=NOT very clear. (It wasn’t until TWO YEARS AGO that I realized Men At Work was singing about illicit opium usage in that “Land Down Under” diddy. I’m cray like that. It’s all my swag. And the way I am a Boss.)

Alas, The Who is not asking a question to verify your identity. . .they are singing about Blue Oranges. The Steve Miller Band is not discussing sub tropical amour. . .no–it’s really Chocolate and Strawberry Mint that are making them crazy, crazy.

And who am I to correct them? They know perfectly well who they are–at least for a bit longer–and they have NO BUSINESS even THINKING about Jungle Love. Not until they are old enough to no longer know who they are. Just sayin’.

(BTW–the place where I found the blue oranges has some WAY COOL photos


It’s been a busy break. Tonight, the kids and I were more than a little overly tired and giddy as I’ve been using Power Tools and Stud Finders and Laser Levels to hang things like shelves and curtains in their rooms. Both spaces having been thoroughly mucked out and straightened over the course of the week.

After I got Victoria’s pink shelf hung tonight, she was sorting and arranging her gee-gaws. I was handing her things. Thad was sitting on her bed alternating between his own world (where he was pondering the meaning of the universe) and the world in which Victoria and I were present (where he was bombing her with his Clark Kent and Superman stuffed Sonic tater tot toys). As a tot flew across the room, I reached into a basket and pulled out a heap of pink and white ribbons all strung together like a wreath.

Victoria said, “I want to keep those, because Mrs. Stephanie made it for me.”

I said, “Mrs. Stephanie from Arkansas?”

“No. Your other friend Mrs. Stephanie. She brought it to me when she and Mrs. Mary Linda came to see you.”

“Mrs. Stephanie made you this???” (Neither Mrs. Stephanie is a pink kind of girl and BOTH have two boys each and two Zanes among the four male offspring. No pink to be seen.)

“Well, whoever stayed in my room made it. She had a Kindle.”

“Oh. . .THAT was Mrs. Mary Linda,” I said as I stared at the array of pink and white ribbons trying to figure out exactly when and where Mary Linda ended up with THIS MUCH pink ribbon.

Actual pile 'o pink ribbons. . .notice the lady bugs?

Then it hit me, “OOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. . .THAT explains it–all the Phi Mu lady bugs!!!” I exclaim. (Mary Linda was and is very active in her Phi Mu chapter.)

To which Thad replies, “FIVE MUTE LADY BUGS?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!”

Evidently the portal between his universe and ours must not have good acoustics. Either that or he has NO schema for Phi Mu but DOES have some for five and mute. Or he just trolls between the two worlds waiting for something as interesting as five mute lady bugs to catch his attention.

The Boy

Setting: End of school, kitchen, 6:15 a.m. Thad is completely entranced with his new Make Your Own Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book that he received for Victoria Day. They are running late.

Me: Thad, you need to concentrate on getting in the car and going to school.
Thad: I laugh in the face of getting in the car and going to school. Mwahhahahaha. . .

Setting: Same stinkin’ morning. . .Thad’s DADDY walks into the kitchen. . .Thad is still pouring over his book, pencil in hand, brow furrowed.

Tony: Boy, are ya ready to go to school? (This question is asked rather facetiously.)
Thad: No. Not really.

Setting: Today, kitchen, kids are going with Tony to meet Victoria’s new Girl Scout Leader and to give blood (Tony–not the kids) and I am staying here. Thad arrives next to me three minutes before departure after having been sent to brush his teeth. . .then put on a shirt. . .then wash his face–all separate things. His hair STILL looks like he fought a war.

Me: Thad. Go into your closet, look on the floor, get the blue brush (Why is your brush in your closet, son?), and bring it to me.
Thad: Why? Are you going to brush your hair?

Thad came to me yesterday and told me he had written a song. The tune was rather catchy (though the first line had me a little concerned), but you will just have to imagine the tune

I’m in love with a pretty girl, and a pretty girl loves me
Because I am megalodon fossil and she’s a paleontologist. . .

Oh. My. Goodness.

(BTW, if you read this and are in the habit of SEEING Thad or TALKING to Thad, do NOT mention the song. . .I would be in BIG trouble, thus instituting the shoulder droop.)

And DID YOU KNOW that you can combine ALL of these Hero 2.0 characters into one Mega Hero? Alas. You can.

Observations on a Monday.

We were discussing having a brother/sister pair over to spend the night–Carrie and Victoria are the same age. Luke and Thad are roughly the same age. Thad and Victoria do their fair share of squabbling, but it is minor compared to other siblings. Luke and Carrie are the same. Thad’s observation? “It’s just more difficult when the sister is the older one.”

Victoria’s summary after reading the county’s declaration document regarding the shooting of fireworks, “Well, it has lots of big, fancy words as all documents should. But basically it says we can’t shoot fireworks. But we can do poppers. Yea!!!!!!”