Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tales of a 4th Grade...something

Well, Hurricane Sandy has come and gone, after treating us to two days of torrential downpours and powerful winds. Through it all, our electricity bravely stayed on, and our built-in-the-70s house remained watertight. For our tremendous good fortune, we were a bit awed--and a LOT grateful. Even more surprisingly, Team WestEnders weathered (ha!) the 48 hours of enforced housebound togetherness with much cheer and little "getting on each others' nerves". There was reading, relaxing...and a smorgasbord of other (indoor) recreation. (It never ceases to amaze me how many games the boys can invent--given a foam ball, a scant few feet of open floor space...and the seemingly undeniable male compulsion to tackle one another!) Honestly, the only negative effect the storm had on our lives was that the heavy rain blocked satellite reception so we couldn't watch live TV. I know, "whoop de doo". As far as fallout from a "major meteorological event" goes, I'll take it!

So now I'll grab a few moments to catch up on some recent conversations with Riley...my 9-year old "deep thinker". This is the child who, one night when I went in to tuck him in, sleepily greeted me with, "You know why it'd be good to have a tapeworm? Because that way if I was in an eating contest, versing Derek, I could win. Then I'd have the tapeworm taken out and go back to normal." Um...that's a lovely idea, sweetie...sleep tight now..... (Sheesh!) And he has a tendency to ask questions that on the surface seem simple and straightforward; but because I know him and how much he likes facts and information, I get sucked into a long and complicated response. Such as: one morning he innocently inquired, "Could we move our bodies if we were just skeletons?" Of course the short answer is "no". However, (being a card-carrying Nerd..I mean "supporting my child's curiosity and quest for knowledge")I felt compelled to add the bits about how it's our muscles that move the bones, and the ligaments and tendons connect things together, and really, we couldn't do much without our skin to hold it all in place...blah blah blah...until we suddenly noticed the time, and had to made a mad dash for the bus stop. (What? Just call it our 9 a.m. Anatomy 101! Quiz next week...)

Then there are the times I wish I could actually see inside his brain and watch him formulate his ideas. Like when we were in the car one day and he threw into conversation "A friend at school said you can be an aunt or uncle, even if you're a kid. Is that true?" I explained how, if you have a much older sibling who then has their own baby, then yes, it's possible. The wheels began spinning, and he continued, "Oh, so if you and Dad had another kid, and Derek got older and had a baby, then my little brother or sister and I would be an aunt or uncle!" Um...yes, theoretically...soooo many things wrong with that scenario that I don't even want to address...thank goodness he changed the topic himself as he mused, "I used to think the way a baby turned out to be a boy or a girl was that the mom and dad had a race, and whoever won, that's what it was." (The tone in his voice was ruefully amused--like he was also thinking "how silly I was, when I was just a kid".) Oh....kay...are we there yet?

Finally, he came home one day from school with a mischievous glint in his eye, and his hands hiding something behind his back. When he had my full attention, he proudly presented...a collection of tiny pyramids, painstakingly constructed out of notebook paper and tape. Now, I am aware from his daily homework that they're currently studying the properties of solid geometric figures in Math. "Those are great, honey!" I gushed. (secretly hoping he'd made them in his free time, rather than when he was supposed to be doing classwork...) "Thanks!" he beamed, as he arranged them neatly on the computer desk. "They're the Pyramids of Giza!" Oh, of course they are. So obvious, I should have guessed, right? That's what happens when I fail to be on my toes for a millisecond around here. Right now he and his brother, continuing their unprecedented bout of sibling harmony, are sequestered in Derek's room writing their (wait for it) Plans for World Domination. I'm not making that up....I think I need some hot tea, a cozy blanket, and a totally light-and-fluffy television show to clear my brain...

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