Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Four Year Olds

At the library today Athena approached a four or five year old girl who was playing kid games on one of the computers. Athena had just surveyed all the stuffed animals in the library and had not found a single Elmo, so she was talking about it. She was asking the little girl, "Es Elmo?" (Where's Elmo) and then pointing at the girl's screen- a shapes matching game- "ooh! sat?" (Ooh what's that?) For the first time the girl turned from her game and said to Athena, "Will you go away?" then went back to her game. That didn't mean a thing to Athena. I half redirected her to an older girl who was cordial enough to say hi, but Athena found herself back at the younger girl's desk. The girl took off her fat headphones, looked up at me, and said, "Will you take her away? I don't want to listen to her boss me around." Without hearing my response she put her fat headphones back on and returned to her game.

Surprised and annoyed I took Athena's tiny hand in mine and led her to some book shelves. Wow.

In times past I watched a four year old shake a 12-month old Athena's hand off his shirt when she used him as a climbing/steadying rail. He was pretty annoyed with her. In another instance Athena ran down the driveway toward the two neighbor kids (who always stare at me and ask me never-ending questions - all of which have obvious answers.) She ran toward them in sheer delight; "hi! hi! hi!" she said ecstatically. As I watched her, new at walking, I hoped she wouldn't face plant on the cement. Athena looked up at the four year old girl, eyes shining for finding a new friend. The girl eyed her with a shrug and said, "I don't like babies much."

And I suppose it's normal four year old behavior. I suppose Athena will be the same way. Who knows? I'm new at this every step of the way. For now- I'm glad she doesn't understand all the rejection. I know mothers protect their children with their lives. All their heart, thoughts, love, and identity are tied into their children. Yet those very children we protect and direct- those same kids we invest all our worries, concerns and heart into - are tough! They are walking around - loved in unspeakable ways, worried for in unmeasurable amounts, and they have no clue! And the carefree kid world they live in is far different than the world adults see. I look at her innocence and I foresee it being incredibly difficult for me to send her out into a world that doesn't value her the way I do. But she will be fine, because even she doesn't understand that very value I hold for her, despite the fact that she's surrounded by it every minute of every day. That raw emotion that adults understand; the sweetest of the sweet and the bitterest of the bitter, children are protected from in a lair of unawareness. And it makes me wonder what other emotions are 'out there' that I haven't felt yet. Some emotions I hope never to experience the depth of. But it's undeniable how those emotions change our rationale and our 'person.' I see God as the ultimate parent and imagine myself as the child often. It puts life in perspective: I am four years old.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Some Favorite Scriptures

Alma 30: 27-28. Korihor, the anti-Christ, speaking here:
"And thus ye lead away the people after the foolish traditions of your fathers, and according to your own desires; and ye keep them down, even as it were in bondage, that ye may glut yourselves with the labors of their hands, that they durst not look up with boldness, and that they durst not enjoy their rights and privileges. Yea they durst not make use of that which is their own lest they should offend their priests, who do yoke them according to their desires, and have brought them to believe, by their traditions and their dreams and whims and their visions and their pretended mysteries, that they should, if they did not do according to their words, offend some unknown being, who they say is God- A being who never has been seen or known, who never was nor ever will be."

I like this clear depiction of this common line of thinking found even today. It's believable because it has a thread of truth; history proves many times over that people are controlled and coerced in the name of religion. But it is not the case in most religions. Most religions serve the need of the individual.

Alma counters, "Not withstanding the many labors which I have preformed in the church, I have never received so much as one senine for my labor... And now, if we do not receive anything for our labors in the church, what doth it profit us to labor in the church save it were to declare the truth, that we may have rejoicings in the joy of our brethren? And now believest thou that we deceive this people that causes so much joy in their hearts?"

1 Corinthians 2:13-14
"...we speak not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man perceiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: For they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."

1 Nephi 21:23
"They shall not be ashamed that wait for me."

2 Nephi 8:12-13
"I am he; yay, I am he that comforteth you. Behold, who art thou, that thou shouldst be afraid of man, who shall die, and of the son of man, who shall be made like unto grass? And forgettest the Lord thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth..."

2 Nephi 12:22
"Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils; for wherein is he to be accounted of?"

Alma 22:18 (A re-occurring favorite)
"Oh God...if there is a God, and if thou art God, will thou make thyself known unto me, and I will give away all my sins to know thee..."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Athena update

I was about to climb in the bath with Athena when she looked at me with an easy smile and articulately said, "tou ah siddy mamma" (you are silly mama). It really floored me! I wasn't expecting it. I laughed and repeated it too like I do with every new thing she says. I climbed in feeling a little self conscious. Maybe she's getting too old for baths with mommy. Conrad has decided she's too old for bath time with him. Maybe a little longer. My baby's growing up! She'll be two in December.

Today I brought a green-shielded stink bug in from the garage for her to look at. We watched it crawl around on the kitchen chair, and floor, and on my hand. She wanted to hold it, but then got squeamish. She laughed a lot. She was really enjoying it. When he sprouted his wings and flew around we both recoiled in girly giggles.

"Should I put him outside?" I asked her.
"Yes!" she said.

On the way out the door he flew to the window and we caught him again. We watched as he stepped off my hand and crawled around on the cement. We sat a while looking over there, talking about this and that, and suddenly, I smelled a stink bug.

She had sat right on him and when I picked her up he was pretty maimed, but still alive.

"Uh-oh, the bug got an owie." I said. She was concerned. Of course she didn't know it was her fault. I finished the job with a smooth stone and knew that if she saw it smashed against the pavement she might cry about it. After all, it was her little friend for a while and she is sensitive to those things. So I left him under the stone and said, "Bye-bye bug. Come, come Athena; we go inside now."

A few other words:
She knocks on doors and announces, "poming!" (coming)
She learned from Elmo, "Ta-da!" She stands on the table, hands outstretched. "Ta-da!" We're working on not standing on the table. It was okay for a while, but it really shouldn't be.

She asks me for the fly-swatter and smacks at the house flies, but she hasn't succeeded in getting any yet. It frustrates her. Just wait, she'll get good and then it'll be her job. The way she asks for things is, "peas!" (please)I hear that all day long. :)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Update on Athena

I was IM'ing Brielle and mentioned Athena says this, "yada yada" and Brielle says, "She talks?! Sarah, you need to update your blog!" So here goes and you can thank Brielle.

Athena (20 months old) does talk. She mostly asks, "wha sat?" (what's that) and she likes to label things; "isa momma" "isa daddy" "isa baby" "is elmo"- pointing at all the appropriate people. Elmo is part of the family in that way. She loves Elmo. We were at Best Buy and she was tired and cranky. As we walked in she pointed ecstatically and shouted "Elmo Elmo!" we didn't see Elmo anywhere, but on the way out there was in fact a little stand with Elmo dvds and dolls. So we sat there on the ground and played with them while Conrad finished his shopping.

Her words:
"bubbo" - bubbles
"moom" - moon
"wums" - worms
"didi" - dirty
"titty" :) - kitty
"ticky" - sticky (hands)
"whas at?" or "what is sat?" - what's that
"hi baby" - whenever we see strangers "hi momma"
"is hat is gone" - his hat is gone - her longest sentence ever.
"peas" - please. She uses it a lot to get what she wants
"no! heyyy" - no hey!- it's her assertive 'knock it off' statement.
"no baby" - when I pour water on her head in the bath. She attaches 'baby' to lots of her no's - maybe I do that and she's just copying. (??)
"is otay" it's okay
"baw" ball
"seen" - it's an invented word often coupled with "bye seen!"
"beas" - another invented one. coupled with "isa beas!" yesterday she added a t to it and exclaimed to Conrad about the vacuum cleaner, "isa beast!"
there are a few more, but that covers the basics
she loves:
cottage cheese and chips, cucumbers. And she likes the novelty of picking things outside and eating them- like strawberries and tomatoes. Sometimes she'll eat some green bitter tomato bites- weird kid. And ripe ones make her skin around her mouth rash up till we wash the acidic juice off, but she still eats them- again for the novelty; they are not nearly as cool in her highchair. I have to teach her that not every fruit-looking-thing on a plant is edible; like Oregon grape or crabapple at the park.

She chased her friend around the house yesterday saying,"Hey hey hey!" then spanked her little hiney (not hard) and then walked off. I do that to her in my rough house play. It's a game. I never expected to see her do it to another kid! Her friend (19 months) was like, "er okay" and kept playing.

In nursery other kids will cry, and after she gets over her own initial crying she will go around and hug and kiss the children and say, "is otay." We have a book about feelings and it shows a comic strip where a boy drops his ice cream cone and cries with a red face. She bawled with her head on the ground when she saw it. She understands when people are sad, but she doesn't realize yet that she can be the cause of another's sorrow.

The "nursery bully" took her toy and she pushed his chest and said, "no." He cried and stalked off. That's my girl! (flashback: When I was in nursery a red-headed boy took each kid's toy and smacked their heads one by one. I surrendered my toy and scurried under a table thinking- I have no toy, therefore he'll leave me alone. He smacked my head anyway!) So - Good job Athena! You tell em!

She likes other kids. She often chases older kids around. "hi babies!" She shouts. She doesn't know 'kid, boy or girl' yet. There's more, but she won't let me be on here long.