Conversations with Froglegs, Dancing Eyes and Curly Top

Superman has the habit of helping calm down the midgets at bedtime. He waits til the storms are over and then goes down to their “home” and spends time with each child, talking and praying for their needs.

Papa is a very special man, and I am blessed to be able to say HE IS MINE. Today we celebrate 33 years of belonging officially to each other. I think I got the better side of the blessing, and believe me when I say HE has been the one who has loved me through it all…and that ALL has been a lot over the years.

Back to the present…

Curly Top OWNS Papa. Not that we all don’t, but she has a very special position in the family…and we ALL know it.

IMG_3170

When Papa went downstairs, Curly Top was contorted upside down, feet up the wall…wiggling around and Papa sat down. Now this child is named Curly Top for a reason, and she loves to suck her thumb and twirl a curl into a knot. To her mama’s great frustration! So as Papa sat down, she took her thumb out and said to Papa:

Here Papa, my hair is tangled.”

“Do you want me to untangle it?”(as she pulled it around for Papa to reach. It took all of his skill from untangling fish nets to have success, and by that point she was almost asleep.

As soon as he finished the tangle, she sleepily pulled out another knot and said, “Here Papa, another one…”

So Papa untangled the second knot, and by the time he finished, that precious little girl was asleep.

Papa kissed her good night and moved on to the next bed…

Meeting the Ocean

Meeting the Ocean

It was Papa’s turn to talk with Froglegs…whose heart’s desire is to have a real dad. {I just cannot believe a man (questionable that he qualifies as a man based on his behavior) would abandon these bundles of love and joy.}

Papa, I really wish I had a dad. But I don’t have one. But you’re kind of like my dad. And Nana is kinda like…my UNCLE!

Okay…is being an uncle a GOOD thing if you are a Nana??? My head is cocked to the side and I am wearing a very puzzled expression, even now as I think about it.

But the conversations continued as Papa moved on to the next bed…occupied by Dancing Eyes…

Those eyes...

Those eyes…

“Papa, I watched this movie all about Noah today! There was this big, big, big, big, BIG whale! God made the whale eat Jonah (ok…probably the movie was about Jonah and not Noah). Then Jesus told the whale to spit out Noah. (yep…definitely mixing the names up a bit).

Oh, you mean Jonah?

Man, I always get those two mixed up.

But the conversation with Dancing Eyes continued onto several other topics…the boy was full of the need to share his many thoughts…at bedtime. Before Papa prayed with this delightful boy, he asked what things made him thankful?

What’s that song? Oh yeah…(and he started singing … perfectly in tune)

Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong, they are weak but He is STRONG.

Yes, Jesus loves ME! Yes, Jesus loves ME! Yes, Jesus loves ME! The Bible tells me so!!!

At which point, he jumped up and pointed to the map of the world hanging on the wall…

I know where WE live (pointing to the exact spot on the map, in the near darkness).

Papa, where do Jessica and Eric live (our neighbors who live two doors away)?

I would imagine that he will learn about maps as he gets older, but Papa got a sweet chuckle out of that conversation.

Little Dancing Eyes has a habit of needing to have total seclusion in the bathroom. Door locked, stripped to the skin head to toe…not quite sure why, but what we hear through the door is amazing…he composes original music with lyrics.

It is like listening to what is in his heart put to music…how much he loves his mommy, his friends and family, but more importantly, how much JESUS loves all of them. He sings his little heart out…all behind the locked bathroom door. (I really need to capture some of these songs before he quits…). His mommy used to “compose” songs exactly like this…that was how she put us all to sleep at night…night owl that she was and still is!

We have learned a lot about parenting as we have grand-parented our four grandchildren. Little Mini Mohawk lives so far away that we don’t get as many opportunities to physically share in his life like we do with the ones who live downstairs…but all of them are the beneficiaries of what we have learned and how we have grown through the years.

We are so blessed!

Dancing Eyes, Froglegs with Mini Mohawk, Curly Top

Dancing Eyes, Froglegs with Mini Mohawk, Curly Top

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Conversations with Froglegs and Superman

Today is the last day of 2012. I would love to share something poignant. Awe-inspiring. Even memorable. I apologize in advance. You see, I am being regaled by gross sounds that obstruct my thinking process.

Froglegs is the only grandchild awake, so far. And we have been conversing.

(Yeah, that is a bit of an overstatement.)

“I had the best dream ever, last night,” said my gangly-legged Froglegs.

“Really? What was it about?” I asked with excitement. Hoping it would be blog-worthy.

“I don’t remember. But it was the best dream ever.”

Uh huh…and then when I laughed, he erupted with an assortment of increasingly disgusting imitations of boy-noises punctuated with a personalized version of a  Mario and Luigi soundtrack.

I pressed him, trying to pry the dream out of him.

More grunts and grossness. He is, after all, going to be seven.

Further attempts at picking through the recesses of his memory were met with even greater success at grossing out Nana.

So…I walked over to the front door and stared.

“A snowflake,” I noted.

Superman made an indiscernible reply.

“Ohhh, another snowflake!” now stated with a bit more enthusiasm and inflection.

At this point, Superman became almost eloquent. “If you keep counting, pretty soon you’ll say it’s snowing.”

(I married him for his brains and stellar communication skills.)

And now, it’s snowing. And those of you who know me well, know how happy this makes me!

I have not disappeared from the face of the earth…yet

For those who follow my blog, you will notice that I have been MIA for the last few weeks.

It is not writer’s block.

Nor is it due to a lack of live writing material taking place before my very eyes.

It really isn’t even because of the chaos of the holidays (although there was a LOT of chaos).

No. The reason is actually quite mundane.

My laptop screen fried.

Again.

For the second time in one year. (And no, it is not under warranty.)

I managed to cobble together a system that worked…sort of. By hooking up the laptop to a traditional (old)  monitor, I was able to use the laptop.

Yea, yea, yea.

But…there is always a “but”, isn’t there?

The contraption was set up in my so-called sewing/craft room (that in itself is a topic for another day). The room also serves as sleeping quarters for a napping toddler.

Hmmmm…access was an issue.

(And at this point, I will digress momentarily.)

Yesterday, we took down the Christmas tree and packed away the decorations inside the house. This freed up a wee bit of space in our not-so-spacious living room.

As a person who strives for perfection, this defect also applies to the positioning of furniture. Somehow I keep thinking I will find the perfect configuration for all the necessary pieces…if I just keep trying.

So, Superman helped me. With a smile, I might add. (Those of you who know him have never seen him without one, so it won’t carry the same effect as those who don’t. So don’t tell them, ok?)

Given all the things that go on in my house (gymnastics, battles for the highest spot in the room, trapeze flying, fort building, building block olympics, camping, dance competitions, along with an assortment of other activities that should probably not be enumerated), a good flow and jumping capabilities from sofa to love seat to whatever is essential.

I should probably add that I have long since given up on the “no more monkeys jumping” rule…enforcement became a full-time job. I know, I failed.

Sooooooo, we shifted our furniture around. And lo, and behold, there was just the perfect spot to move a desk that could house my laptop contraption in the living room!

Joy, joy, joy!!!

So, I am back. I bet you were all just holding your breath!

Boxing, Fencing, Star Wars and Froglegs

My daughter is the proud mother of three children. She is a single mom with an incredibly tough job on her hands. When you have to be both parents, sometimes life can be a little tricky. Especially if you have boys. Or girls. Or both.

Froglegs is almost seven. He has learned all kinds of cool things in first grade. And we do our best to broaden his horizons. You know…expose him to other cultures and foods and sports and anything else we can cram into his head.

He is generally very excited to learn things. Especially if it involves weapons or things that could BECOME weapons.

This morning I heard a tap on my bedroom door. I was still trying to grab a few more minutes of peaceful slumber.

“Who is it?”

“It’s me. Froglegs.”

I invited him to come in and cuddle with me for a few minutes. He chose Papa’s side of the bed (Papa was already up and leaving for work.)

I noticed that Froglegs had on his new boxing gloves. Hmmm…Must have been his way of protecting me in Papa’s absence. He went right to sleep and I finally got up and got my day started.

Now, you must remember that Froglegs has a “thing” for Mario. Also for Star Wars. And recently, he went airborne trying to slamdunk a basketball.

the boy can jump

Football is not high on our list of encouraged sports (even though I am a die-hard Packers fan) because of the risk of injury. But he has starred in soccer and baseball already, and well…he rides a bike and a skateboard…

But we were all a little surprised when he announced that he wanted to learn to FENCE. Seriously, how does he even KNOW about fencing??? That surpasses all of our previous deposits of other-culture-important-to-know experiences.

This afternoon, Froglegs had a conversation with his mom. Oh to have been a fly on the wall!!!

“So When I’m 10 I can fence?”

His mother replied, “Yes, but you know you’ll be using real swords. But they train you so you don’t kill anybody…”

Twenty seconds of silence. Something was ticking and blinking in that boy’s head.

” Whoa! Wait, so you don’t use a light saber to fence? Whoa!!! I will play basketball instead.”

So, the boy learned an important lesson today. Fencing is no good without light sabers. But maybe we should let him watch Zorro…

Hmmm, I’m Thankful…I Think

The plumber is here.

Yes, it’s the day before Thanksgiving. And the plumber is here, plunging the toilet.

The toilet gets a lot of use here, with all the people who are supposedly potty-trained.

It also gets a lot of secret deposits…you know the kind…toys, rags, sticks, combs, brushes, little people figures…

Somehow each child finds it necessary to explore the limits of the toilet’s functionality. And it is Curly Top who seems to give the poor plumbing a run for its money…pun is clearly intended.

So the plumber is here.

But since I LOVE my little granddaughter so much, I don’t begrudge her sending whatever it was for a swim, even if it meant we all had to practice the skills required to use a plunger. So I reaffirmed my love for her.

Yes…YOU!

 

“I love you, Curly Top,” said most tenderly and with great affection.

She looked at me and spit her gum on the floor.

“You little rascal!” I responded, as I tried to grab the gum off the floor.

She beat me to it, grabbing it and plopping it back in her mouth.

“Spit it out! Spit it out!” I demanded.

She worked her gums as fast as she could and SWALLOWED IT! The little rat!!!

I couldn’t believe it. Her mom and I just stood there in amazement. We couldn’t believe what we had just seen. Then we burst out laughing.

And now, I just hope she doesn’t need her own pipes cleaned by the plumber!

The kid not even three…we are in deep trouble. But…yes, I am thankful!

Parenting…realitatem ferit suspendisse…

You know “those” kids who learn everything easily? How “they” make parenting look like anyone could do it and have a genius for a child?

You know “those” parents with that child who learns everything so easily, and somehow these parents act like they have that whole parenting thing down? And how they readily spout off their “knowledge” learned through their “vast experience” as a parent (usually of one child)? I can see your eyes as they roll with eyebrows raised…you know who “they” are.

Then these parents have a second child. Or a third one. I can hear you snickering, and I see those nodding heads…;)

Eventually these parents have to come to terms with the fact that their parenting skills are actually seriously lacking. They no longer are the “go to” parents for those parenting dilemmas afflicting their friends. And, in all honesty, they never should have been the “go to” parents…You know who they are…I can hear you guffawing…

These once-masterful parents begin to question their parenting history. Maybe their memories were clouded by some hormonal overload that made everything appear to be rosey and right.

Or it could have been that in their sleep-deprived state they created faux happy memories?

Did you know that in early parenting, the revisionist tendencies are often used as a coping mechanism for survival? Are you aware that an actual psychological disorder has been identified that explains these suffering parents? Seriously. It’s called–realitatem ferit suspendisse, translated–reality strikes parenting.

I confess that I once suffered from that disease…many, MANY years ago. Thankfully, I received the early cure when our second child joined us.

You know how they say the cure is worse than the disease? Well, I would disagree with that only because at least you have the blessing of the child as a part of both the disease and the cure.

Now my third grandchild, Curly Top, is giving all of us a run for our money. Considering that she is remarkably like her mother (our second child) …well, let’s just say that nothing surprises me too much any more.

don’t all princesses play soccer while dressed in their gowns?

who? Me???

As you already know, if you’ve been following this blog for awhile, Curly Top has had some “issues” reconciling that she is a GIRL.

Yes, she has two older brothers. Yes, she knows that brothers are boys. Yes, there are certain anatomical distinctions between boys and girls. Fortunately for all of us, she has reached a point of realization that she is a GIRL.

Unfortunately, she seems to think she is a girl D-O-G. (And it doesn’t help that her brother, Dancing Eyes, just hooked her up with a leash…)

Today, the crazy child-dog laid a good-sized pile on the driveway and covered it up with grass. I am still too shocked to even try to make sense of it.

But considering all the things I DON’T write about, I am beginning to sincerely doubt that Curly Top is going to make it to her third birthday…And I am investigating a newly identified disorder–realitatem ferit avis–reality strikes grandparents.

 

 

 

Dancing Eyes, Prepare to Meet Your Maker…

Remember that blog post about finally finishing my first crochet project? The one that took about 8 years to complete?

Remember how I stated I was already beginning my next project, that it was for an as yet unborn baby? And that it would be completed WITHOUT FAIL before the baby’s due date?

I bought the most beautiful, silky yarn. Probably too silky for my level of expertise (or lack thereof)…but it was so pretty and soft, and seemed just perfect for a newborn.

Isn’t it so pretty and silky?

I jumped in right away…I wanted to get it finished before Thanksgiving so I could start some other projects, and I didn’t want it to be sitting around wondering its ultimate fate. You know, like the 8 year afghan…

The problem I discovered with this yarn was how slippery it was to crochet…stitch after stitch, and it never looked like I was making any progress. I was 4 skeins into the project yesterday. That’s roughly three weeks of work…with me steadily working each day. I had to buy more yarn because I could tell it would never be enough to cover a baby.

Pretty, but doesn’t look very big, does it?

So yesterday I sat on the couch…crocheting away. Dancing Eyes was cutting paper. How he manages to scale cabinets is truly amazing…all in search of scissors. I looked up to see him cutting paper in front of me. I took the scissors and put them in my basket and continued with my project.

About five minutes later, I had to turn it around for the next row…GASP!!!

There was a HOLE about 4 inches in diameter…loops laying on the floor. Apparently Dancing Eyes had managed to snip the loops while cutting his paper and neither one of us knew it had happened.

I was ready to send the little guy up to meet his Heavenly Father right on the spot. The hole was such that it would be no easy repair, even for someone who is experienced. Trust me when I say that I do NOT have the requisite skills for undertaking that repair. I considered that justifiable homicide might be in order.

Yes, I do still love him 🙂

My Facebook friends offered their condolences and suggestions. Some were a little concerned for the fate of the perp…Not to worry…

After dinner, I was researching methods of repairing holes in crochet…and I decided that even if I couldn’t make a neat patch, I would just finish it off, practice stitches on it and use it here for the little babies I watch every day.

Not a very pretty repair, is it?

While I was working on the hole, Dancing Eyes came over and watched me.

“I’m sorry I made the hole in the blanket,” he said in his little happy but somber voice.

“I forgive you,” I replied.

“I forgive you too, Nana.”

Now I was a little confused about this, so I asked, “You forgive me for what?”

“I forgive you for being sad about the blanket,” was his very honest reply.

Hmmmm, that was interesting to think about. Me being sad was hard for him and probably made him feel even worse.

I was thinking about the attribute of mercy. There were so many references regarding God’s mercy toward us on Sunday morning, and here it was Monday evening and I was in a situation that was requiring mercy. Instead of judgment, there was mercy and forgiveness for my little buddy.

Extending that mercy didn’t mean that I “forgot” about the hole and all that work down the drain. It also didn’t mean that the hole never happened. What it meant is that my little Dancing Eyes did not have to bear the penalty of making that hole. I did not punish him or “send him to meet his Maker.”

In a more perfect example, God didn’t and doesn’t hold me in judgment for my sins but extends His mercy to me. How hard could it be for me to share that same mercy with my little guy?

But God goes so much further in His mercy…He says that my sins have been cast into the depths of the sea. That He no longer remembers my sin, nor holds it against me. His mercy is COMPLETE. Full. And FREE to me. It was at great price for His Son, Jesus. A sacrifice that cannot be measured in human terms.

Buried in the deepest sea,
Yes that’s good enough for me!

He has extended to us all that magnificent gift of mercy…not giving what is deserved. He has also blessed us even further with His gifts of grace and love. Undeserved blessings, so freely given to all who would believe. Forgiveness. Life. Peace. All these flow outward from His original sacrificial gift of mercy.

That baby quilt will mean an awful lot more to me now with its patched hole than a perfectly crocheted blanket ever could. Like the scars that my Savior still carries in His body, that patch will be a reminder of mercy, love and grace.

Have YOU experienced that peace that results from God’s gift of mercy for you?

Ephesians 2:4-9

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,  even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,  so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;