"Andrew, quit licking the wall.
Caleb, now you quit licking the wall."
Good thing they quit licking the wall or they could grow up and land on a porch video like this creepy guy!
Another day Katy had a conversation with her middle son. "David, spit that rock out of your mouth."
|David, Caleb and Andrew|
"Well, that's a good reason not to put rocks in your mouth."
Maybe that's how it begins for hard heads. Notice she's wise enough not to use logical anatomy at this point in his young life.
Katy doesn't remember which of her six heard her say, "Sweetie, take the bag off your head. You're gonna' suffocate yourself!" But she still has six kids so apparently he or she listened and obeyed. We're thankful.
James, the baby, was about three when he awkwardly donned one of his brother's backpacks. "I go to school, Mama!"
Katy informs him, "No, you can't go to school. You poop in your pants." Sound reasoning from an expert diaper changer. She's gleefully past that stage now. He's five and poops in the potty!
So we occasionally get girl time now days! Even got our nails did.
The stories in her husband's family go back to his childhood and his grandparents. Dave's Opa warned Oma, who was shelling peas, "Now don't let those boys put peas up their nose."
Later in the day she told him he shouldn't have given them the idea because they did! They retrieved nose peas from all but one boy. Later he had to go to the doctor to get his pea removed. It had sprouted!
Our firstborn daughter, Kimberly, has amazing discussions too. Her son, Blake, wanted to be trusted to stay home alone like his big brother, J. D.
THE TEST CONVERSATION:
"Blake, what would you do if someone came to the door?"
After his thoughtful pause, remembering his mother's gift of hospitality, he chirped, "I'd say 'Come in!' . . .Oh! And I'd serve snacks."
Seeing his mother's horrified face, he expounded, "I mean heathy snacks, Mom, like carrots!"
He smiled proudly.
Her eyes enlarged.
His smile disappeared instantly.
Blake, pondering what he'd forgotten, finally added, "Oh yeah! And I'd introduce myself too."
Both boys grew up and became gentlemen who know when to introduce themselves, when to answer the door and when to hug Nana.
I ran a similar test on Kimberly, maybe ten at the time. She wanted to stay home with her younger brother and sister, while I shopped with Mama and my sister-in-law, Gwen. So I drilled her on when to answer the phone, who to call in case of various emergencies, what to say or do in certain situations, and to NEVER answer the door.
"OK, we're going shopping, Kimberly. Remember the rules."
"I know, Mom, I know," said the know-it-all.
So we drove off but I decided to circle the block. I stopped a few houses away and snuck onto our porch. As I rang the doorbell, I prayed she wouldn't answer.
She flung the door wide open to hear, "KIMBERLY RUTH HENDERSON!"
"Well, Mom, I figured it was you. I was right." She always is!
Mama and Gwen shopped without me that day.
Now days Kimberly and I love to shop together and include her daughter, Elizabeth.
|Kimberly, Elizabeth and Nana at Tanger in Myrtle Beach, carrying on the family tradition|
My conversations with Kimberly were interesting even when she was a toddler. I was trying to pay bills but Miss Chatter Chin* bombarded me with questions and interruptions. Losing patience, I looked up and prayed aloud, "Lord, please make her be quiet!"
Not losing a beat, she too looked up pleading, "Lord, please let me talk."
"He said I could, Mom!"
How do you trump God?
"Why do you ask so many questions, child?"
"Cause that's how ya' learn stuff, Mom."
|I was being a good mother on this day.|
She is a smart cookie. Still! And an excellent speaker.
* I remember a poem from THE JOLLY JINGLE BOOK called “Chatter Chin.” It goes something like this:
Everyday when I come in, I hear my little chatter chin.
Chatter this and chatter that, first the dog and then the cat.
Yarns she picked up from the cook, stories from her fairy book,
Questions wiser than she knows, how the honeysuckle grows.
Why the firefly has light, why the moon comes out at night,
What keeps birds up in the air, what makes people have red hair.
I give up when you begin, little chatter, chatter chin!