Wednesday, May 23, 2007

A Veritable Stew of Thoughts

Happy Birth Day?

The mind games are going a mile a minute today, 15 days before my due date. The significance of that number is that Boy #3 was born exactly 15 days before his due date, giving me a kind of artificial due date for this pregnancy. After all, if it can happen once, it can (and ought to) happen again, right?

I tried really hard not to do this to myself, not to get worked up about going into labor early, because the logical half of my brain knows that it will just make the next two weeks unbearable. Unfortunately, the logical half of my brain is on vacation in Tahiti, or possibly Exotic Kuala Lumpur, maybe expecting me to pick it up when we go there in July. Anyhow, logic has flown out the window and last night before I went to bed I actually wrote down a list of what the babysitter would need to know if I woke up in labor today. And put the cell phone charger and camera with spare batteries on the counter so I wouldn't have to go looking for it.

I didn't wake up in labor today. That kind of goes without saying, because my labors are so hard and fast that I can barely remember to breathe during them, let alone formulate a blog entry. (Although I am tempted to call the hospital and see if they have a wifi connection, so I can do my reporting from my hospital bed.) But mentally, I'm there, ready to be done, not out of sheer misery, but just as if I've reached the finish line and now I'm looking around for the refreshments. Or the award ceremony, whatever. I've never crossed a literal finish line, just figurative ones. And today I feel like I've crossed the finish line, I'm raising my arms over my head and looking around for the paparazzi to take my picture! Where are those dang paparazzi?!?

Yes, the next two weeks are going to be loooong. And I have no one to blame but Boy #3, since clearly he is the one who has ruined late-stage pregnancy for me. But no matter, I'm the grown-up here and will forgive him. But not until this pregnancy is actually over. :)

The Cutest Prayer Ever Said

Not that it's appropriate to judge prayers, but if there was a Cutest Prayer Ever competition, our youngest boy would be a shoo-in. He has figured out how to say a prayer on his own, after months of repeating whatever an adult told him to say. That in itself was cute, but the prayer he came up with, which never varies by as much as one word, far surpasses it in cuteness. Here is a literal transcription of his prayer.

Hay Fadder,
thank iss day.
Bless Noah, be safe.
Gee Kwiste, Amen

Needless to say, the aforementioned boy in the prayer also thinks this is the best prayer ever, and when we sit down to any meal or scriptures or bedtime prayer or whatever, when I ask who wants to say the prayer, Boy #3 immediately says "Me!!" So we let him say the first prayer, and then have a second, official prayer by someone else in the family. If anyone outside of the family came to eat with us, they'd conclude that Mormons sure have a strange prayer ritual, but I assure you, it's just us. And if anyone needed a special prayer for safety, Boy #3 picked the right one - Boy #2 tops the injured list with 3 sets of stitches, compared to Boy #1's one set of stitiches and a concussion, and Boy #3's nothing so far. Plus Boy #2 currently sports a fairly nasty bruise and cut combo on his knee, from banging into the springs on someone's (you guessed it) trampoline.

The Star Wars Saga

Boy #2 goes through phases where he attaches himself to a particular game/movie/idea and will not let go of it no matter what. The first, and most extreme, was the Spiderman phase, where he wore a Spiderman costume daily for about 6 months. He wore it to the grocery store, to the library, while playing outside. He wore it so much that he got holes all over it and we had to procure him a replacement costume. The original face mask that he wore ended up with a brownish stain over his mouth just from breathing, and yes, we did try to wash the thing but it was seriously a biohazard by the end.

Spiderman was followed by Harry Potter, which was far less consuming, as the robe would just go on over regular clothes most of the time, and we collected quite a variety of wands. Anything that was vaguely stick-like would turn into a magic wand, including actual sticks, pencils, and a particularly messy fetish with wooden chopsticks colored brown with marker. The kids in the neighborhood ended up with brown hands for weeks until we stopped ordering chinese food altogether.

After Harry Potter was Star Wars, and he traded in his wands for light sabers. This is kind of where we've been for a while now, and although there was a lapse in interest for a while, we are experiencing a resurgence over the last 6 months and it shows no sign of ending. I think we have more lightsabers than people in our house, and I know for a fact that we've lost both the green and purple ones that were part of the first wave of materialism.

We also have some Star Wars Transformers and other ships that #2 got for Christmas and his birthday. There is a particular ship that he has three versions of - yellow, red, and black (Anakin, Obi-Wan, and someone else, I have no clue). They are identical except for color, and he definitely has preferences, as if they mean something different.

Apparently there is a language here that I don't get. And I've seen the movies, I know what we're talking about here, but I think with the introduction of the Lego Star Wars video games has come a new level of understanding for Boy #2 that far surpasses anything I know. He is on a first name basis with the characters and has an intimate knowledge of their ships. It makes it so that the majority of what #2 talks about is little more than gibberish to me. Here's a direct transcript of something #2 said to me the other day, which he was quite excited about.

"On number 3 from 9 I only have three minikits so I have to get a lot. And in number two from level two there's this hard one that there's three signs and once they are all green then you get the minikit then you get all the minikits. You do C3-PO's sign and then you get the minikit, I've done that before. If i start over in mystery, maybe I'll get number two on one!"

"Josh buyed bounty hunter rockets and guess what happens (sound effect) it comes out of their heads! And if it only comes with one gun holder and comes with two guns then I can use my other gun holder, remember the other one I have that doesn't work? I can use that one. And guess what? From the part of the movie where Jango Fett dies he only has one gun because his other gun fell into the water and he goes like this (sound effect) (motion of cutting his head off)."

But he has always loved costumes, and the beauty of liking such a commercial movie is that there are piles of costumes available. We have an Anakin (from the 1st movie) and a Darth Vader, plus a Jedi robe. He decided that what he needs, more than air, more than anything in the world, is a Jango Fett costume. Which, it being May, is pretty much impossible to just go buy for any reasonable dollar amount. No, in May you go to Ebay, and the costumes there are $25, plus $10 shipping. Arrgh. And that doesn't even come with the guns!

The only reason we would entertain such a request is that his birthday is one month after Christmas, so he has to go 11 months between gift-receiving opportunities. So he has little recourse to get new things for his new fads in the middle of the year, unlike the other boys (and, eventually, the girl). So I made him a deal - if he saves up "his own money" we'd order the costume for him on Ebay. "His own money" of course, means "money we give him for whatever reasons we can fabricate with any amount of authenticity, so that we don't look like we're handing him a $35 present for no reason."

So I basically paid him not to play his Lego Star Wars video game. The weather has been gorgeous outside anyhow, so he ended up spending hours and hours every day playing outside with his friends, while I paid him about $7 a week for this privilege. I extended the same offer to Boy #1, because he is as desperate for money as #2, although with no will power to save long term for anything big. I came up with the $7 per week deal because I figured three weeks was all I could handle of hearing "How much money do I have? How much more do I need? When will it get here? etc. etc."

After three (long) weeks, he had saved $21 and asked me to go online to order his costume. Guess what? All of the costumes available were size small or large, no mediums. That's okay, he said, he'd let us buy the gun set instead and then he'd save up again for the costume. Good enough for us, we ordered them (not really any cheaper than the costume, though) and they arrived yesterday. Jango Fett has two guns, which means that Boy #2, who is the best sharer in the family, can give one to Boy #3 to play with, so they can shoot each other like crazy. I woke up at 7 this morning to gunfire in the family room, but didn't panic because I knew it meant I had two happy children.

One added side benefit - in the three weeks of money-for-no-video-game deal, he rediscovered a lightsaber game we had bought him for Christmas. It's still a video game, but it requires you to swing a lightsaber to fight bad guys (and good guys) from the Star Wars movies. He's gotten to level 4 and is stumped by General Grevious, but it is such an active game that he literally works up a sweat playing it. And that makes it good by me.

Things I Love, in No Particular Order

1. Cool Whip.
2. Long, hot showers when there's nobody standing outside the bathroom door with a stopwatch to tell me I'm taking too long.
3. An empty basket next to the dryer when I'm doing laundry.
4. The smell of our lilac bushes, and the smell of spring in general. Spring requires less pruning than the lilac bushes.
5. Being alone in my house. More loved for its rarity.
6. Not having to make specific rules for kids stupid behavior. Like "Don't yell at your friends or hit your family." Or "You can't eat the wrapper of your Pixy Sticks!" (And its corollary, Don't eat paper!)
7. Opening a washing machine and not finding a left-over load from last week getting moldy.
8. Letters and phone calls from my siblings.
9. Crushed ice.
10. Fresh fruit.
11. Children who can pump their legs on the swing and don't need a push. All of my kids can do that now!!
12. Children who can play independently and amuse themselves. Not all of my kids can do that.
13. TV shows that aren't a waste of time, like Heroes and The Amazing Race.
14. Kids who get dressed by themselves.
15. Knowing where all of the kids' shoes are. Boy #3 has 3 pairs that I can't find right now.
16. Nice, soft, squishy beds.
17. The Nuts About Berries salad at Zupas in Provo.
18. Clothes that fit. And shoes that my feet don't ooze out the sides of. And grammatically correct sentences.
19. Having a vacation to look forward to.
20. The way Boy #1 gets jokes and can hold a conversation like an adult.
21. Our families version of the song "Follow the Prophet" which is substantially more festive than the regular song. Especially when Boy #1 and his father decide to make up new lyrics when they can't remember the correct ones. For example: "Jonah was a prophet, stuck inside a whale, He missed JC Penney's One Day Only sale." We kind of can't sing the song without the new lyrics.

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