while i generally spend my time listening to musical theatre and singer-songwriter shtuff, i am drawn on occasion to listening to 105.7 The Brew in the morning. they advertise themselves as "the next generation of classic rock." i own it. i totally enjoy a little Metallica and Queensryche on the way in to work when the mood strikes.
anyway, i was in one of those moods yesterday. benny was riding in my car while anth spent the day with bern. Guns and Roses came on. benny, who had been quiet for a few minutes, added, "those are some really loud dancers in this song, mom." i had absolutely no idea what he was talking about. until he pointed out the dancing. in the song Paradise City. i was horrified. "actually, benny, those are drums." um. tragic.
my sister, Katie, is 6.5 years younger than me. by the time she hit first grade, she was able to sing Paradise City on cue. and had quite the collection of Violent Femmes songs in her repertoire.
yes, friends. this was one of those moments when i took pause to reflect on the lessons i was and was not teaching ben. bonus that he thought they were dancing. sad that he didn't know it was drumming. note: i did not question the choice to listen to The Brew with my 4-year-old.
again. i am eternally building up my Parent of the Year award nomination. so many examples. so little time.
these days, anth is quick to cite the Golden Rule. overall, we find this to be a positive thing.
tonight we ran into a snag. i ran to grab a washcloth and walked back into the restroom while the boys were getting ready to brush their teeth. benny was in the process of running out the door crying. anth was in the process of avoiding eye contact with me. when i finally managed to get a full report of what happened, i determined that benny had smacked anth in the rear, and anth had, in turn, squeezed his arm.
the boys were both sent to individual spots to sit and think about their choices. as expected, they went to these places and thought about when they could stop sitting there. when i went in to process with anthony, he was adamant. "mom! benny hurt me, so i returned the favor! i treated him like he treated me!" pause. then, as though this would make it all better, "i was using the Golden Rule!"
i mean, he had a point. not one i could condone, but i did kind of give him two silent points for thinking on his feet.
just a note on parenting. or perhaps just being human. if you ARE going to be the kind of person who faces a Thin Mint shortage, and chooses to stash a roll in your car for work... on a day that it is 78 degrees outside... in march... in ohio...
perhaps taking them out of the car when you get to work would be a good option. just maybe.
unless, of course, you were hoping to enjoy a frozen Thin Mint log tonight. with your son. you know. . . the one you were essentially hiding the cookies from in the first place. because, odds are, he will be the one to find the melted cookie roll in the car when you pick him up after daycare.
just some points to ponder. clearly, this is all hypothetical. . .
those of you who have been reading My Savvy Boys for a while may remember this Letter to Benny from November 2010. it addressed a rather serious matter in our household: halloween candy distribution.
sadly, i once again find the need to issue a letter to our little man.
You continue to be a great source of love, joy and large doses of giggling in my life. However, I find myself once again needing to address the changing tide of food distribution in our household.
For years, there has been a clear divide of Girl Scout Cookie procurement and consumption in the Savarese pantry. The Do-Si-Dos and the Samoas were equal opportunity cookies. The Trefoils belonged specifically to you, your brother, and your father. This left the Thin Mints for mommy. Typically, mommy would shelve one box and freeze the other. Because, who knows when you will want a cookie chilled or at room temperature? I sure don't. But, this never mattered. Because they were mine.
Yet, recently, while you were digging around in our freezer, you noticed my little stash of frozen treats. (Note to parents, give that Bottom Freezer Refrigerator a little more consideration. There was a reason they were originally built where the popsicles could reside out of reach.) Ahem. Not only did you find my frozen Thin Mints. You took it upon yourself to quickly grab one and shove it in your mouth. This behavior did not concern me all that much, as you had just finished dinner. I only took pause when you then proclaimed your love for "those little black cookies."
Once again, i feel compelled to remind you that your brother once detested chocolate. Thanks to your convincing, he now regularly steals the Kit Kats and Reese's Cups. (although this is really your father's concern. my Almond Joys are still safe. well done.)
I specifically ordered 2 boxes of Thin Mints and 3 of Trefoils this year from your friend Alex. And, randomly, a box of Savannah Smiles, the new lemon-dusted shortbread cookie. It sounded oddly appealing at the time i placed our order. Already, our cupboard contains 1.2 boxes of Thin Mints and almost 3 full boxes of Trefoils. I have found myself seriously considering taking a roll of the Thin Mints to work. In fact, there may currently be one out in the car. Perhaps.
Benjamin, we simply cannot live in a house where our cookie preferences ebb with the tide.
Especially when that tide only comes in once a year.
As such, please consider this letter your formal warning that i will be consulting with you next February, and holding you to your order.
I will have you sign a Cookie Commitment, if i must.
In the meantime, please consider a Savannah Smile or two.
today, i stayed home with benny. he has pink eye. ick. he has had a great deal of fun ordering around via his brother's walkie-talkies that Aunt Katie sent him for Christmas. most of the time, he was in a 2-3 foot range from me.
aside from the perk of having a rare day with just benny, cooties and all, it also gave me a chance to finally install all of the fun work done by the lovely OSU student Kendall Hendricks to overhaul My Savvy Boys. thank you SO MUCH, Kendall. i love it! there is still more tweaking and adjustments to come as i figure out the side bar and signatures and other goodies. but i just couldn't wait any longer.
it also gave me a minute to write this post that i've been meaning to for some time... almost a year and a half ago, i did a post modeled after the "This I Believe" series on NPR. here it is, along with an explanation of the exercise. and here is the follow-up from October 2010. and here is part 3, from December 2010. anth was 5 years old when i did this. on April 11th, we will have a handsome little 7-year-old in our midst. it seemed like a good time to revisit and see what was going on in that head of his.
i went to a conference in January, MMI, that reminded me of this exercise. yep, it's mid-March. when i say i'm behind on life, i mean it. :) so, here is what our little big man believes, as of January 26, 2012:
I Believe: 1. video games are fun. that is all. (this was quickly followed by, "i'm trying to be funny, just so you know.) then, 2. there needs to be more funniness. there's not enough of it in the world. then, anth looked at me for a little while, and said, "i think i need you to give me some starters." so, i did.... this is what anth believes about the following:
reading- reading books are fun to find out what it lead you to in your mind. and seeing the pictures.
family - there will always be love and playing in our family. and you should encourage your little brother.
being a kid- being a kid is fun because you can pretty much do whatever you want. (pause) until grown ups lead you by example and teach you better stuff.
how to treat people- you should treat people with our school's Golden Rule. (we have since explained that this exists beyond the walls of his school.) if you don't like it, don't do it to other people.
love - love is something that you should always use. it's nice not to be mean. love creates a lot of goodness.
laughing- making jokes is funny. like knock knock jokes. they create happiness. and sometimes they create healthiness because if you laugh for a minute, it creates health.
teachers - teachers encourage you and help you learn. unless you don't listen. then they only get mad.
anth - i believe i am special because i'm great at art. i'm going to be an artist.
although, when i asked him how being 4 felt this morning, he informed me that he was not, in fact, 4 yet.
because there has not been cake yet today.
(i could argue that he was, technically, 4 as of the wee hours of this morning, but that seemed like a poor use of my time.)
so, sometime this evening, benny will officially consider himself 4-years-old.
this weekend, anth played his last basketball game.
this is relevant to benny's birthday, i promise.
mainly because i uploaded the photos on my camera so that i had enough room on the card to document his last game.
and as pictures of valentine's and christmas trees flashed by the screen, i realized that i had not done this since last November.
this forced me to acknowledge how truly chaotic the last few months have been.
i used to do this every weekend, if not every time i took photos i was excited to put on the blog.
this then resulted in another problem.
i now have 800 photos i am excited about, but they are mostly dated.
(sadly, i have no qualms offering you our "all about Christmas" post in April. ho ho ho.)
so, benny's birthday seemed like the perfect day to share an excessive amount of absolutely random photos of our favorite 4-year old.
here is what ben has been up to the last 4 months.
in no particular order. . .
benny discovered he loves wearing mommy's hoodie.
but was upset to find that we had let him traipse around the house all day in one sock. benny was VERY excited to receive his Darth Vader christmas tree ornament. sadly, it was this same excitement that quickly resulted in sadness, as he dropped it and shattered it while putting it on the tree.
making this much more sturdy ornament a new favorite. :)
benny has spent much time snuggling on the couch with anth. and even more time telling his big brother to stop putting his feet on his head while snuggling on the couch.
for the first time, benny wrote his own Valentine's. his was, truly, a labor of love.
benny loves to help me in the kitchen.
though it is sometimes a struggle.
he has recently been obsessed with watching Lady & The Tramp, A Bug's Life, Kung Fu Panda 2 and Madagascar.
he loves his new Darth Vader jammies. though he struggled to look as tough as Mr. Vader in this picture.
he has been a lovely ear muff model. (check out my dad trying to figure out why his 30-something daughter wanted these.)
he has spent a good deal of time wielding the powers of the Sword of Omens. ThunderCats - HO!
he has enjoyed playing Jillian Michaels.
to Anthony's Bob Harper. (no, they have not actually used the treadmill.) (no, the treadmill is no longer floating in the middle of the room.) (yes, we have since cleaned the basement.)
benny has gone to 6 of anthony's basketball games. here he has spent the bulk of his time playing with mommy's phone. and making repeated visits to the water fountain. as such, mommy has not seen very much of said 6 basketball games.
he has continued his love of chapstick. which i will never again let him get his hands on in the back seat of the car.
and, finally, benny has made his way through approximately 3 boxes of Band-Aids.
often applied to various parts of his face.
now that it is Cake Official...here's to a very Happy Birthday to our sweet 4-year-old!!!!