Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Coin Carpet Stalemate

Simple Assignment -- sort coins.  Easy, right?  Well, unless you’re Baby Girl.

We have a young puppy who occasionally pees in the house or tears something up.  Not a huge deal.  See how cute he is?

We have a very old dog who has started peeing in the house... not sure why -- seems like spite, but I'm a bit of a conspiracy theorist.  Notice the missing tooth?  He's old, but cute.

As a math assignment, Baby Girl was to sort coins into bowls.  Easy, peasy for most kids.  Four bowls, four basic coins -- penny, nickel, dime, quarter.  We already had a pail full of coins to use.  I got her set up and she was carefully sorting the coins appropriately into the bowls.  It was going well.  Much better than I expected.

Wow -- that'll buy some Starbucks!

Then the old dog peed.  He peed on the rug, he peed on the carpet, and then he peed on the linoleum.  No problem.  I know what to do.  Get the mop and have a boy get the steam cleaner.

Problem.  To accomplish this I walked away from Baby Girl... 

she dumped ALL of the coins -- all 1000+ of them onto the floor and then, because she LOVES to “be a dog,” she started digging through them al la Clifford digging to bury a bone.  Coins flying everywhere. 

What you can’t see in this picture are the coins under the chair, the coins under the piano, on the sofa, in the kitchen... down her shirt...

I stop mopping to get her to stop digging.  While I stand in awe of the mess before me, she quietly slithers away.  I pick my jaw up off the floor and begin calling for her.  She quietly reappears, seeming contrite (I assume for the coinage) and I ask her to please pick up the coins.  She digs through them -- I tell her she’s not allowed to be a dog -- as soon as the crocodile tears and cries that “No one lets me be a dog!  I LOVE to be a dog” subside, I inform her that she is not allowed to leave the area until all of the coins are picked up. 

This is the end of hour one of the confinement.

At the end of the first hour I risk a brief trip to the restroom.  Now I know why she was contrite.  It wasn’t the coinage.

She’d locked the old dog in the bathroom with food and water.  Leash, stuffed duck and towel an added bonus. 

Hour 1.5.

This is how well that “consequence” worked. 

Consequences never work with Baby Girl.

Hour 1.75:  Daddy arrives.  He’s calm, cool, collected, logical.  He looks at the mess and demands that Annie hand over her light saber -- favorite toy -- he walks to the trash can and she frantically begins cleaning up, crying, “Don’t throw it away.  When F. and M. come over with theirs I’ll just be a loser with my saber in the trash!” 

ahhh.... the right currency, a calm demeanor.... that’s all it took....

Hour 1.9:  saber no longer in sight -- forgotten.   Coins that had been cleaned up now re-dumped on floor.  Cries that she needs help.  Daddy hands her a dust pan -- great tool.  She begins to pick up the coins with the dust pan.  Yeah!  Maybe the tool will help.  She discovers that the dust pan makes a marvelous coin toss scoop.   Coins flying everywhere.

Daddy walks into the garage and deposits saber into trash bin. 

Wild hysterics.  Crying.  Screaming at the top of her lungs.  Neighbors must think we’re killing her.  Hitting herself in the head with fists of coins...  Coins still on the floor.

She notices the motion detector for the alarm system.  The little light blinks on when she moves  It’s done this since before she was born.  She suddenly stops crying and asks calmly, “why is that blinking?”

Really?  Really?? 

Daddy calmly explains the motion detector.  He’s only been home 20 minutes.  He’s still calm. 

Satisfied with the explanation she returns to the coin carpet and empties onto the floor the few coins that had miraculously made it back into the bucket.

Maybe I can live with a coin carpet...  I might have to.  Cause right now I can’t see a future where she picks them up.

 A day in the life.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Not So Surprising...

At a friend's recommendation, I took a little online quiz. The questions were interesting and the results... well... you tell me? take the test yourself here.

Your result for Howard Gardner's Eight Types of Intelligence Test ...


8% Logical, 45% Spatial, 47% Linguistic, 27% Intrapersonal, 18% Interpersonal, 27% Musical, 20% Bodily-Kinesthetic and 51% Naturalistic!


"This area has to do with nature, nurturing and relating information to one's natural surroundings. Those with it are said to have greater sensitivity to nature and their place within it, the ability to nurture and grow things, and greater ease in caring for, taming and interacting with animals. They may also be able to discern changes in weather or similar fluctuations in their natural surroundings. They are also good at recognizing and classifying different species.

'Naturalists' learn best when the subject involves collecting and analyzing, or is closely related to something prominent in nature; they also don't enjoy learning unfamiliar or seemingly useless subjects with little or no connections to nature. It is advised that naturalistic learners would learn more through being outside or in a kinesthetic way.

Careers which suit those with this intelligence include scientists, naturalists, conservationists, gardeners and farmers." (Wikipedia)

Friday, March 27, 2009

My Dumb Dogs Get It

* This is an article I wrote several years ago for a christian women's magazine or maybe for a women's group I was leading.... I was reviewing some of my previous articles and thought this one was at least worth sticking out there to remind ME what I need reminding most!

Deuteronomy 5:32-33
So be careful to do what the LORD your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left. Walk in all the way that the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.

2 Chronicles 34, also 2 Kings 22 – 23 (read the whole chapters for extra insight)
Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and walked in the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left.

Proverbs 4:25 – 27
Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.
Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm.
Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.

Today my dogs inspired me. They didn’t stand up and speak or read from the newspaper or even save a baby from a burning house – they just did what they’re supposed to do – what God intended.

I was busily reading an online devotion – trying to make the most of the words in the quickest amount of time so that I can move on to the next task. My dumb dogs began scratching at the back door demanding to be let out, and then even whining. This annoyed me – I thought about responding, just to get them to shut up, but then I reminded myself that God’s Word is far more important than the leanings and desires of my dumb dogs. After all, they really are pretty dumb. Elmo loves to stand directly under my feet and then, when I step on him, he shrieks and looks at me with such pitiful eyes. Barnabas is the big doofus. He runs into things. He barks at the wind. He’s so afraid of people walking that when he see you moving towards him (because he always decides to lay down across the only entrance to a room) he gets so afraid that the can’t decide which way to move and usually ends up getting stepped on.

Well, these dumb dogs really wanted out today – they just couldn’t be swayed to wait until I finished my devotion, so I got up and walked over to the door. Together, these dogs who often will run in circles for no good reason, made a straight B-line for the back corner of the fence. They were completely intent on catching whatever it was that had invaded their yard. They weren’t distracted by the birds (usually the prey of choice) nor by the dog next door (their choir partner). They had a job to do. It’s not one that they chose – they don’t need the food that critter would have provided, they’re already over-fed. They’re just programmed to respond – God made them that way. A critter invades, they go after it – no questions, no distractions, you just can’t stop them.

I believe that if I approached life this way, I’d be a lot closer to the person God intended me to be. I know that, like Barnabas and Elmo, He has programmed me for a purpose. If I just waited for God to speak and then moved like lightening – unswerving – toward the goal He has set for me, I can’t imagine what I could accomplish for the Kingdom. It’s not that I don’t know what God wants from me. Once I stop thinking and over-analyzing everything (like my dumb dogs) I usually hear loud and clear. But, all too often, I get distracted by the birds and choir partners of life…

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Poor Sick Baby

I've got a sick baby. Ok, so she's not ACTUALLY a baby, but she's MY baby and even at almost seven years of age, the things she wants most when sick are the very some things most of us want: for Mommy to held her, to have someone bring all the right foods, to have the dog curl up with her, to watch bad tv, to be left alone, for the water to taste better, for raisins not to roll off the plate, for bread -- RIGHT NOW and then not, to have ALL of the covers, but hate them all... She's sick and nothing will be right until she's not.

We're a pretty healthy lot, so dealing with sick kids doesn't happen very often and I'm not really sure what to do. But, here I sit on the sofa at the foot of the bed reading everyone elses blogs and typing on my own, listening to her alternately whimper and then aggravate the dog. She's currently curled up on the floor at my feet, arms lovingly choking the dog and annoying him to no end. Even in sickness she's impossible to keep still.

Perhaps it's the paint fumes from dh and son #1 painting my soon-to-be-scrapbooking room a lovely blue or maybe it's that my only nutrition today has come in the form of Thin Mints, but this is actually kinda nice. I mean, what with the sick kid and all, I don't feel the least bit guilty looking at the insanely disgusting carpet or the pile of crap on virtually every horizontal surface or even the plastic bags full of junk I recently purchased but have yet to put away that are hanging from the knobs on my dresser drawers. Nope, I have a sick baby and she needs her mommy... so, until she's well, I'll just sit here and wait, and eat Thin Mints and occasionally fetch her the food that she swears will make her all well, that she'll take one look at and let sit... and, because she needs me to be here, I'll just let those plates of uneaten raisins, unopened applesauce cups and undrunk water bottles sit. It just wouldn't do for me to leave her, afterall -- she's sick!

So, what blogs am I following? Thanks to the recent addition of Vienna RSS Reader, I'm following too many and adding more daily. So, here are the top:

The Pioneer Woman -- This lady just cracks me up and offers some advice in several areas of shared interet: farming, decorating, homeschooling, cooking.

Big Mama
-- just plain funny.

Card of the Week -- Scrapbooking, stamping and papercrafting ideas and links to other blogs, cause clearly I don't have enought already.

"The only thing that interferes with my education is my schooling" -- Albert Einstein

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Annie-isms: I'm a WHAT?

Today Jimmy and I decided to take a stronger but more loving approach to parenting -- yeah, whatever, we just don't want to yell anymore. It doesn't work, isn't loving and sounds ugly.

So, Annie had an entire ark's worth of stuffed animals in the foyer -- I guess it looked like a good playground to her. At 5:30 p.m. Jimmy told her that she had until 6 p.m. to clean them up or they would be thrown out. We gave her a couple of warnings and at 5:59 p.m. I walked with her over to them and reminded her one last time.

As she sorted through them, and began to grab some of them to take upstairs. I reminded her that they needed to go where they belonged. I guess that was ONE too many reminders because Annie replied -- in all seriousness, "Hey! Quit talking to me like some kinda mad woman!"

I had to walk away because seeing me laugh would just have encouraged her....

2009 might just be a little more challenging (and humorous) than I expected.

photo taken at the Pirate Museum in Nassau, Bahamas.