I wrote a nice post yesterday about how my day had started by mediating a dispute between three seven year olds about what to feed imaginary dragons. At the end of it when I lost patience and explained that the dumb dragons were imaginary—not real- and thus their nourishment hardly warranted a dispute I was informed that “imaginary is different for different people” I just can’t discuss relativism with rising 2nd graders before a second cup of coffee. It also involved a describing my swim meet mommy dilemma in which Rebecca who had wanted to do the meet decided she couldn’t do it and cried in fear for 45 minutes. She’s been swimming laps just fine for a few weeks now so made her do it anyway, to the dismay of some onlookers. She did it and feels really proud of her ribbon. I’m still not sure it was the correct thing to do. But I do want her to know that she can do things that she’s scared of and I want her to feel strong. I can only hope one of the onlookers was the mom I heard in cville coffee say to her kid who was having a fit because he didn’t want cheddar bunnies, “we should be grateful for our cheddar bunnies, many children are starving and their tummies hurt and they would be grateful for the cheddar bunnies.” That comment so irritated me that it snapped me into a fit of writing fervor. I’m thinking of putting that lady on my ipod.
In any case the post didn’t make it because Eli had to check his email to find out “when is my next birfday….” He checks this frequently. While doing that bit of research he closed a bunch of documents without saving them. In addition to loosing what I thought was a nice blog post he deleted a Latin translation I’d made myself do of some totally crazy 17th century astrologer, a letter of recommendation, and a recipe for ginger pound cake. No more screen time for him. No more Microsoft for him until he is potty trained.
Meanwhile last night I took my twins, a ten year old set, and Eli to the downtown mall for dinner. I’m a sucker for the downtown mall on a gorgeous summer evening. Manuel was being charming to a potential tenant—I got the better deal. I thought we were getting pizza but the three princesses decided they wanted dumplings. So I sent them to the dumpling place with my credit card with instructions to buy nothing but dumplings—yup two ten year olds and a seven year old. It turned out the dumpling place doesn’t take credit cards so I next taught them to write a check. Amazingly they did it. And Ema even went back and asked to remake Rebecca’s dumplings without the sauce. We finished the evening with splendora and luckily by then Manuel was there to handle the finances and the children. All in all it was fun although each of my three did at some point melt down and I did drink half of a friend’s beer. I’m not sure why I didn’t just get my own…. One the way home when I told the two sets to wait for me at the corner to cross they all said “you’re the only one who has been hit by a car you should wait for us.” The same two sets also stumped me by asking for definitions of irony and sarcasm—and yes all four do know how to do both.