Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Brace Yourself

My oldest gets braces later this week. In anticipation of this teenage right of passage I have done something completely contrary to my personality.

I bought him a whole bunch of candy.

He doesn't even have much of a sweet tooth, but I felt like he should be able to eat a bunch of the stuff that will soon be forbidden fruit. I have this faint hope that he will get tired of those certain candies and not miss them for the next year or two.

So we have Starburst, Laughy Taffy, Airheads, gum, Sour Patch Kids and kettle corn around the house and his brothers think his getting braces might be the best thing that ever happened because MOM BOUGHT CANDY. I'm sure in the backs of their minds they are compiling a list of all the candy they want before they get their own braces. Damn, I think I've set a precedent.

And you must not know my boys very well if you have to wonder about Halloween coming up. No costumes yet but candy-trading negotiations reminiscent of Wall Street are starting: shares, unit trusts, derivatives, pooled investment products and bonds are being issued and discussed. Wouldn't surprise me if someone broke out a spreadsheet to track it all.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Future Careers

What if one of my sons ended up as an artist someday?

What if he became an artist like this?

It would be really cool but what if as a mom I had to describe to people what he does for a living?

I was thinking of selling all those little Lego people on ebay but I may have to reconsider JUST IN CASE.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Test of Patience

I was looking over the contents of my son's Friday Folder last night. You know, the folder that comes home on Fridays with his completed work and tests. One test caught my eye, a vocabulary test where he missed five of the questions. My youngest son certainly has a pretty good grasp of the English language so I looked over the questions he missed.

Here is one of them:

A person needs be patient in order to

a. eat dinner.
b. wait for a delayed train.
c. play in a band.
d. go into a hospital.

My son chose a. And let me tell you, this shows me he absolutely understands the meaning of the word patient.

In his lifetime of experience, he has had to be patient many many times to eat dinner and has never once had to be patient waiting for a train. He has had to wait at crowded restaurants, while ravenously hungry, to be seated. He has had to wait, while ravenously hungry, for me to finish cooking dinner.He has had to wait, while ravenously hungry, for food that has been ordered in a restaurant, to be served to the table. He has had to wait, while ravenously hungry, to eat his food until others at the table have been served. He has had to wait, not hungry but perhaps bored, to be excused from the table until others are finished with their meal.

Another question he missed:

Good baby-sitters are always alert. In this sentence, alert means

a. watchful and wide-awake.
b. fun and energetic.
c. not easily upset.
d. trained in first aid.

He chose b. I absolutely know that he would say a good babysitter needs to be energetic and fun and that means they are alert, awake. He would say, why would they need to be watchful?? That's not a good babysitter in his mind!

Yes, for a fourth grade boy, it requires much more patience to eat dinner than wait for a train. And an alert babysitter is fun and energetic, not watchful.

Are these tests written with fourth grade boys in mind??

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Record(er) Breaking

My youngest son has just passed a milestone that has been memorable for each of my boys. He has reached the point in 4th grade when he starts playing the recorder. It's a shrill, squeaky little thing which has the huge benefit of at least keeping the mouth and fingers of the player busy while assaulting the ears of anyone within 3 miles.

Like my other two boys when they first got their instruments, my youngest is obsessed with his recorder and practices a lot. Unlike my other two, he has the few simple songs he's learned so far down pat, they actually sound good, and he is trying out playing them with feeling. This is after just a couple days of playing. He is even experimenting with trying to play Smoke on the Water on the recorder.

I think he might have a talent for the thing.

That is what I tell myself as I wake up at 6:30 am to the sound of recorder music echoing around the house. I hope he learns another song very soon or I'm going to go insane.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Oh Boy It's Time

We got the word today. Says the orthodontist to my oldest son: IT'S TIME!

Here is where we see the transformation from cute boy to awkward teenage look with acne and braces. Here is where we start making payments to the orthodontist, and by the time we are through, we will have contributed a large sum of money toward his children's college educations.

To my son, it's no big deal. Many of his friends have braces already. To me, a much bigger deal, I'm not sure why. Maybe because as a teenage girl I was always horrified at the thought of kissing a boy with braces on. I don't think I ever did. You see, I never had braces myself, I just remember the slobbery metallic smiles of friends, with ropes of spit clinging to those rubber bands, food stuck all over their teeth, the weird lispy speech caused by too many foreign objects in their mouth. I also remember the frequent garbage can dives to retrieve the retainers, often mistaken for Jolly Rancher watermelon candies. Ick ick ick. Yuck.

Maybe braces are better now. At least his teeth are not this bad.