BATS

Oliver took it upon himself to teach Hazel how to read today.  He asked me how he had learned, and I told him that we had started with simple letter combinations, like AT, and then built on them, by adding “B” for bat, and “C” for cat, etc.

So, Oliver walked over to his chalkboard and wrote “AT” on it.  His conversation with Hazel proceeded like this:

Oliver:  Hazel, A-T says at.

Hazel:  At.

Oliver:  Good!  Now you can read at!!

(Oliver writes a B in front of at.)

Oliver:  Hazel, what sound does B make?

Hazel:  Buh.

Oliver:  That is correct.  [Note:  He really said that!]  Now, if you put ‘buh’ with ‘at’, what does it say?

Hazel:  Buh-at.

Oliver:  That is incorrect.  It says bat.

Hazel: Bat.

Oliver:  Good!  You can read bat now.

(Oliver writes an S after bat.)

Oliver:  Hazel, what sound does S say?

Hazel:  Ssss.

Oliver:  Right.  Now, if you add S to bat, it says bats.

Hazel:  Bats.

Oliver:  Correct!  You can read bats now.

(Oliver writes a QU after BATS.)

Oliver:  Hazel, what does QU say?

Hazel:  I don’t know.  (walks away.  Oliver grabs her arm and drags her back.)

Oliver:  QU says “kwuh”.

Hazel:  Kwuh.

Oliver:  Good!  Now, what does it say at the end of bats?

Hazel:  Kwuh.

Oliver:  Batsqu.

Oliver then writes a – and underneath it writes the word LINE.  The chalkboard now looks like this:

BATSQU-
LINE

Oliver:  Hazel, L-I-N-E says line.

Hazel:  Line.

Oliver:  Now it says batsquline.

Hazel:  Batsquline.

Oliver (looking at me):  Mommy, Hazel can read now.  I just taught her.

The Kids

Many thanks to an old friend, Kimber (aka One) for letting me know she wanted to see pictures of my kids!

First, there is Oliver.  He’s four and a half now, brilliant (of course), funny (obviously), talented (clearly), and has an unbiased mother (indubitably).  He also totally gets Christmas.  He was telling me today all about all of the presents that he wants for Christmas, and I said, “Now, you know that Christmas is about more than just getting presents right?”

He responded, “Yeah, I know that.  It’s also about snow.  And candy.”

Then there’s Hazel.  Her world is made of magic and you can’t help but fall in love with all of the epic cuteness.  She says such wonderful things that I can’t help but wonder if she’s plotting world destruction through adorability.  She memorizes the lyrics to songs after hearing them twice, and sings along with the radio she insists on leaving on in her room all the time, tuned to the local country station.

So, these are my kids.  I love them.  They drive me crazy, they bring out the best and the very worst in me, and I wouldn’t change them for anything in the world because they are the absolute perfect versions of themselves.

Recycled Halloween Decorations

I will be the first to admit that not only am I absolutely awful at doing arts and crafts with my kids (I have a rare inability to draw a recognizable stick figure), but I hate it too (the mess!  the drama! the stickiness!).

However, I am a big sucker for the fall holidays.  I love Halloween.  I love Thanksgiving.  I love that you (not me, but you) can draw a turkey with nothing more clever than two hands.  I’m also a big fan of reusing stuff that we buy, because it teaches my kids values and responsibility and junk like that.  (Also, it’s cheaper.)

So I have taken it upon myself to have my kids help me make decorations.

For our spiders below (which are soon to decorate our doorway), we took an egg carton, cut it up and painted the body and faces, added some pipe cleaner for antenna–which I kept calling antlers, much to Oliver’s dismay–and legs.  I used a meat thermometer to punch the holes into the cardboard to put the pipe cleaners through, as well as to make holes to tie some twine to.

Oliver was able to do most of the work himself–he put the pipe cleaner in and drew the face on his (the green one).  Hazel didn’t particularly want to try, so she just chose the colors for the things that she wanted, and I helped her put it together.

It’s A Miracle!

When we left Trader Joe’s today, Oliver saw an American flag flying over a nearby building.

I heard him say, “It’s a miracle!”

I asked what he meant, thinking he would answer with something about seeing the American flag meant to him, maybe mentioning Kullervo’s military service, or something heartwarming. Or I thought he would be amazed at the flag flying in the wind or something along those lines.

His response?

“Not a miracle, Mommy. It’s America!”

Well, at least he knows our flag.

Super Scary

My kids manage to come up with new and improved ways to scare the hell out of me.

Hazel decided this afternoon that she wasn’t going to nap.  We tucked her in, closed her door, and she kicked and yelled.  Twice she got out of bed, and Kullervo carried her back.  Finally, she got quiet, and we settled in to watch something on TV.

When the show was over, I headed back upstairs, and when I got to the top of the stairs, I heard a little voice saying, “Save me!  Mommy, Daddy!  Save me!”

I laughed to myself-Hazel apparently wasn’t sleeping!  I started to head towards her room when I realized that the sound was actually coming from closer to the front door.

I peeked out the window and I saw Hazel, standing on our front steps, locked out of the apartment.  While we were downstairs, she had sneaked out of her room (really quietly–we had a baby monitor on!), and opened the front door.  Our door has one of those locks on it that lets you open it from the inside, but will lock if you’re outside.  And Hazel was locked out.

After I made sure she was okay (and brought her inside, obviously), we took a trip to the hardware store to get additional locks to install high above where the kids can reach.

And I would just like to say for the record how incredibly glad I am that nothing happened to her.  Nobody took her, she didn’t fall down the stairs.  She didn’t even seem that upset about it (perhaps unfortunately).

Today’s Oliverism/Hazeliloquy

Oliver and Hazel were arguing over a toy, and Oliver got mad, and said, “Hazel!  Go to Time Out!”

Hazel, who has never been sentenced to time out, walked dutifully over to the time out corner and sat down.

… I had to have a conversation with Oliver about how he doesn’t get to be the boss of Hazel, and certainly doesn’t get to send her to time out.  I am pretty sure Hazel was just excited to finally get some punishment around here.