Children's Logic 101

Hypothetical Syllogism as used by Luke (at age 5): "If magic isn't real and Santa's sleigh flies by magic, then Santa isn't real."

Deductive Argument as used by Grace (at age 3): "I don't know why Sarah is crying- I didn't hit her that hard."

Part to Whole Reasoning as used by Sarah (at age 5) after discovering that I was the tooth fairy: "Mom, Olivia Sholey lost a tooth today, MOM, did you hear me? Olivia Sholey lost a tooth today, don't forget to go to her house tonight."

Argumentum ad baculum as used by Rebekah (at age 4 1/2): While attempting to force her will upon her older brother she shook her tiny fists and threatened him with this misquoted movie line, "Oh yeah, do you want a piece of meat!"

Inductive Reasoning as used by Benjamin (at age 4): At the funeral of a pet rabbit Benjamin noted, "If our rabbit dies on it's own we don't eat it, but if we kill it while it is still alive then we can eat it." *

Truism as stated by Jack (at age 3): "If your tummy hurts... you should go to the bathroom."

Repetition as a Rhetorical Strategy as used by Samuel (at age 2): "No No No."

*Our family may live in TN, but to date we have eaten neither roadkill nor family pets.


7.5 Inches of Storage Space

Because we do not have a Sub Zero we have space for...

Startling Mom is always exciting.


Schedules vs Reality

We start school next week. I've been working on our schedule with great difficulty for several weeks. A wise friend pointed out that a schedule only works if it is based on the realities of your life- not based on an imaginary ideal life.

What I can imagine:
6:00 a.m.- Get up and dress, make coffee, have prayer time.
6:30 a.m.- Greg gets up and we drink coffee together while having a meaningful conversation.
7:00 a.m.- I wake the children, they rise calling me "Blessed" and then dress & clean their rooms.
7:30 a.m.- Breakfast.
8:00 a.m.- I direct morning chores.
8:30 a.m.- I take care of business and personal emails and phone calls.
9:00 a.m.- The children and I "start" the day refreshed and dressed and with a clean house.

An Amalgam of Recent Summer Realities:
2:00 a.m.- One of the "littles" gets out of bed, I settle them back down.
4:30 a.m.- 3 yo gets in bed with me and asks for milk before falling promptly asleep. I lie awake wondering about his blood sugar.
5:15 a.m.- 2 yo gets in bed with me and falls asleep but not before waking 3 yo.
5:30 a.m.- 3 yo wakes Greg who gets up to visit the bathroom. Greg wakes 2 yo.
5:45 a.m.- 2 yo starts talking loudly about juice. I get up and start coffee and feed the two "littles" their first breakfast of the day. They look cute at the counter.
6:00 a.m.- I'm turning on my computer, opening curtains and breaking up baby tussles when 7 yo silently materializes on the sofa asking, "What's for breakfast"? Startled, I spill my coffee. I read to the three boys then check personal email.
6:15 a.m.- Greg stumbles in with his coffee. 3 yo attacks Greg with another book request. As I attempt to email my father I hear the front door open and close. It dawns on my that the 2 yo has left the premises. I fetch him.
6:30 a.m.- Greg and I attempt a conversation. 7 yo interrupts with, "What's for breakfast'? 10 yo wanders in, trailing an afghan which knocks over 3 yo's lego structure. Tears ensue.
6:45 a.m.- 10 yo sweetly takes 3 yo to "help her" feed the cat. 15 yo walks in while reading and trips on aforementioned legos. Greg shows me a shortcut on my computer.
7:00 a.m.- 7 yo asks, "What's for breakfast"? 10 seconds later 13 yo walks in while reading and asks, "What's for breakfast"? 15 yo begins playing Mozart's "Turkish March" at 3 times normal speed. 2 yo spills my coffee.
7:30 a.m.- I drink more coffee. 17 yo is still asleep so with somewhat cruel glee I awaken him. 17 yo gets up and swings 7 yo old around in the air. Greg flees to his office after sharing the last of the coffee. I give 3 yo his meds. and check business emails while 15 yo starts pancakes.
8:30 a.m.- Breakfast dishes are now mixed with an art project 10 yo pulled out while my back was turned. 15 yo begins a Chopin piece purposely transposed into a weird key. 7 yo is flinging his body around the house "dying". 2 yo, for a reason not apparent to the rest of us, is taking all dining room chairs into the living room. 3 yo has poured out the box of lincoln logs in the den. I answer the phone while logging onto Facebook, change a diaper, blow a nose not my own, and make more coffee.
9:00 a.m.- I'm still in the yoga pants I slept in.


A Break

I'm more of an idea person. Or so I like to think, in order to justify my hatred of and incompetence with paperwork. I learned to hate paperwork as a child listening to my Dad do our taxes. I can still visualize the small card table pulled out each year and piled high with papers. There sits my father for hours on end grumbling like a small avalanche. It is one of my most tangible early memories, probably etched the more firmly because my birthday is April 16th.

Right now I have a lot of joyless paperwork to do. Taxes, insurance forms, school forms, dual enrollment forms for my 12th grader. Speaking of dual enrollment forms, silly me logged onto my son's Mac not noticing it was in the Window's application. Said application is not yet connected with the home printer network. Why on earth, when filling out an "online" application, should I need to print and sign and MAIL a hardcopy of my signature on a $10 application fee? Argghhh!

Why are the details so amazingly hard for me to deal with? Paperwork makes me mean. Paperwork is pushing me to the brink, that yawning chasm of joyless insanity is calling me. I'm pretty sure insane people don't have to do paperwork.

I took Luke's saxophone to Nashville to be repaired in an attempt to escape my paperwork. In comparison driving in rush hour traffic was a welcome break. Once there I had to parallel park for the first time in 12 years. One try and Utter satisfaction. A small sort of accomplishment.

In the music repair shop I waited while an elderly gentleman dressed in shabby janitorial clothing tried out his newly repaired sax. His saxophone looked like it had been passed through the intestines of an elephant. I've truly never seen such an ugly instrument. I think it had moss growing on it. And then... the sounds that came out of that squashed, dull, beat up sax were nothing short of pure and utter Joy. A 60 second vacation. Too bad sound doesn't photograph well on my camera phone.


Many Returns

Lilly the Kitten, who turned out to be Linus the Kitten, didn't come home Sunday night. Rebekah was beside herself. She searched, she cried, she worried. She organized a grassroots organization of neighborhood kids to search along with her. Believe me, there are a lot of neighborhood kids. We watched Rebekah's heretofore undiscovered talent with community organizing. 28 hours after Linus disappeared 3 boys from down the street found and returned him. There was great rejoicing along with fresh milk and treats for Linus. Never has a kitten been so petted.

An hour or so later I went outside to talk with Linus and couldn't find him. Rebekah had him locked in the garage. She was afraid to let him go back outside. Mind you, this is an outdoor cat and it's hot in the garage in Tennessee in August. The conversation I had with her about "letting him go" bordered on cliché.

My oldest son, Luke, came home from his 3 1/2 week trip to Guatemala not an hour after Linus' return. There was great rejoicing along with grilled steaks and fresh peach cobbler, but RATS; Luke doesn't like the garage either- he's already planning his next trip. I guess clichés become clichés for a reason.


Names, Shmames

Misunderstanding song lyrics and movie dialogue has a long tradition in our family. Recently a misunderstanding merged the two genres. Grace is a huge musicphile. She likes to set up different classical music for Jack to listen to during his nap time and is fairly systematic about it. Though Jack doesn't listen to music during every nap, Grace will introduce a new piece to him and then play only that piece for several weeks before starting a new piece. Yes I know, she's a better home school mom than I am. This summer it was Tchiakovsky's 1812 Overture. Evidently Grace peaked Jack's interest in it by explaining about Napoleon's siege of Moscow in very dramatic terms. Jack fell in love with it immediately.

After a week or so into listening to the overture I was putting Jack down for his nap and he asked to listen to the "Monster" music. I couldn't figure out at first what he meant until he showed me the CD box. "Monster" music, Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, whatever. I set it up for him. We got used to Jack calling it that though we didn't understand why. I thought that he was perhaps imagining Napoleon's troops as monsters. One day Luke walked through Jack's room during nap time and came out laughing. Jack had asked Luke to turn on the "Monster" music, and when Luke didn't know what that was Jack explained very slowly, "You know, Wachowski's music, the music that Mike Wachowski wrote about the bad guys attacking the city". Who knew animated characters were that, well, 3- dimensional?

Later, I lay down next to Jack and asked him to explain what was going on in the music. Did you know that at the end of the overture what you might have mistook for cannon fire is actually the sound of the good guys chasing the bad guys away from the front door with whips?