Thursday, August 20, 2009

Some Scribbles

Some notes I jotted in my journal because obviously not every day is a well-edited essay.

At breakfast: Isaac sweeps a hand over the table decked out with our plates of pancakes and complete with a group of small stuffed animals eating mini pancakes, “Is this real? Is this all real?” “What do you think?” Almost to himself he says again, “Is this real?” “What do you think?” I ask again. “I think it is! My animals are real. I give them words and they talk.”

One day in July:
Bedtime conversation with Isaac: “My something special was seeing the boat dock and the tugboat. (Talking about stuffed friends) Dora was at the temple. Bluey and Ne-ne went on a walk. That’s all.”

Benjamin created The “Puppy-Pulley” and gave rides to all the puppies, the cat and Isaac’s horse all afternoon long.

Another day in July:
While Benjamin and I were making our list of things we would do for the day.

1. Get dressed
2. Hang up wet swim suits (that were soaking from yesterday)
3. Make a robot
4. Go to the beach
5. School

Benjamin discovered that Dylan and Isaac had been following their own agenda in the playroom. “Emergency!!! Emergency!!”

I went to the playroom to discover a bit of mayhem. I looked at Isaac and said, “What are you doing?” He puckered up and blew me a big kiss. They had a regular playdoh factory in progress—playdoh and toys to hither and yon. According to Benjamin it was an “emergency because had mixed all the playdoh colors together and had made a mess on the floor and they should have played with it outside.” We decided that
1. Mixing the colors wasn’t so terrible and they look pretty
2. It would have been better if they had played outside “and asked permission”
3. But it could all be cleaned up
4. And it would be good to clean it all up if everyone wanted to go to the beach.

That’s the least little emergency ever.

Another day or so later:
Isaac climbing out of the bicycle trailer says, “Done for the day. That’s what Pampa always says.”

On a Sunday afternoon:
Isaac fell asleep and missed eating dinner with all of us. Once he woke up he was insistent that we all needed to sit down again and have dinner with him. I suggested that maybe he could eat with Dora, (stuffed dog) and Panda instead. “NOoo…I want to eat with real people who can talk to me.” Once we had all acquiesced and sat down at the table with him since who really does want to sit alone eating with the gecko on the ceiling and the moth flying around, he then insisted that we all needed to have food. We tried to protest; we’ve already eaten. But of course, that wouldn’t do. So I said to Benjamin “Why don’t you get your bag of leftover fruit loops?" It had been that day’s be-quiet-in-church-incentive. Jubilant Benjamin jumps up, “I thought you’d never ask!”

Highlights of the Week (July 25-August 1):

Roulettes: Boats and racing around the gazebos and making sure that Dylan didn’t get himself too involved in the soccer game some kids were playing in front of the roulettes (little stands that sell food).
Benjamin’s prayer for Linda and her children on the night they were flying to Tahiti
Friday night shopping at Carrefour
Fair in Fa'aa
• rode dragon roller coaster
• “train” ride with boys in forklift, jeep and tow truck
• steak and fries dinner
• Orangina, Orangina, Orangina (Dylan's chant any time he sees a bottle of his favorite drink coming to our table).
• Tamari Group Performance (One of the groups that performed in Heiva. WOW!)

PK 18 Beach Day
Walked along the oceanside to meet Eric at the beach
Great snorkeling
Getting a calling at church—I knew because I heard my name over the podium even though I didn’t know what the calling was (Primary pianist)
Last day with Sister Eleanor as the nursery teacher. (Sniff)

August 3, 2009
After a Family Home Evening in which Benjamin had arranged the furniture, led us in the songs, selected the stories to retell (Lehi and the tree of life and King Benjamin complete with capes and scripture quoting), initiated the game (hide and seek) and then took us all outside for desert, he says, “That was my best ever Family Home Evening that I ever put on.”

Talking with Isaac about going to school, Eric says, “What do say when you go to school.” Isaac: “Toilette!”

Special Things of the Day:

Benjamin: "Family Home Evening and making a circus tent outside."

Isaac: “Taking a plane trip with the animals and getting back to Tahiti.”

Dylan: “Beach. Fun.”

August 5, 2009
Benjamin announces as he passes me: “We’re H.I.P.’s. When there are fires we rush to them and open the emergency doors. We also set things up for performances. There’s going to be one tonight.” Hears pretend fire. “Sorry. I’ve got to go. We’ve got to go open the emergency doors.”

Lately August 19, 2009:

Isaac: “Where’s that big fancy car that I drew for you yesterday?”
Me: “In the kitchen.”
Isaac: “It’s a van. I forgot to draw you in it.”

Me: “Do you think you can handle this school thing?”
Isaac: “You know I don’t speak French.”
Isaac: “My teacher asked me if I learn French. Where does she live?”


You only think my life is more interesting. It's really just a lot of dishes (no dishwasher), laundry (no dryer) and walking to pick up kids from school (no car!).

Ah. But you're right. Church is a ton more interesting. I can't say that I get bored at church. I may not understand much of what is going on, but everyone entertains me immensely, the singing is beautiful and I'm charmed by the kids and the kisses (one on each cheek, you know).

We had full on temper tantrum meltdown with Dylan the first day of school when he didn't get to go to school. After all he had his backpack and can say, "Ou est les toilette?" as well as the other two having turned up his nose at diapers around the time of his second birthday. It's always so hard to be the youngest and get left behind. With just me and Dylan in the house, I haven't had this much time to myself in about six years without giving up sleep to get it. School is quite the concept, eh?

Isaac astounded us. (We'll see how it goes in subsequent days), but the boy that would balk at Joy school, sat on the bench and cried LAST Sunday because I wouldn't stay with him in nursery. Yes that Isaac. He got up this morning and announced, "I'm SO excited for school." Got dressed, ate breakfast, went to his little desk and told Eric he needed to do his school work (workbook) and then held it together at the school. When I went to say goodbye, he started get a little clingy, but then when I tried to hug and reassure me, he pushed me in the chest and gave me a mean look like, "HEY you go before you make me cry. I'm staying." So I left and he did great. When I went back a little later to check on him, he chased me out with a crab.

Benjamin's teacher is intense. She met parents and kids at her door smiling and in control. She greeted the kids and then sent them into the classroom barring the way to any soft-hearted parents who may have wanted to soothe a crying child. She's very no nonsense. Benjamin will behave. We just hope that he doesn't always have that far off look in his eyes like he's really thinking of Stone Mountain instead of anything around him. We get that look a lot in Primary here. He gets very quiet. He hardly responds to anyone or anything. But he sits and he's good. Recently we're beginning to suspect that Benjamin isn't really all that far away, he's just embarrassed by us--that we keep trying to speak English to him when he knows that everyone else is speaking French. I was chided for saying a prayer in English at church.

To date, every day of school gets, "THUMBS UP!" from Benjamin. Does the bus ride to and from school and the playground make up for all that French? It must.