what she said

The other night my 4 year old came home with homework.
Which is already a beating to get through with my 7 year old. Who is kind of dorky and actually likes reading books about spiders and asks me to make up 4 digit numbers for him to add and subtract.
My 4 year old is much more interested in Justin Beiber, the boy down the street, squinkies, tutus and anything with glitter than she is about numbers, letters, or even writing her own name. As far as colors go – she only cares about pink and purple and makes up her own stories to any books I try to read her anyways. And they better have a princess in them.

 I was not ready for two rounds of homework. For two kids sitting at the kitchen table whining about their pencil not being sharp enough or not knowing what to do next.
And Tess was particularly helpless on her little worksheet that asked her to circle six of each item because they were not pink, they were not Justin Beiber, and there was no dancing or princesses of any kind. If this is a snapshot of many nights to come, I might have to start buying more wine again.

 I have never done my son’s homework but was tempted to grab her chubby little pencil and draw my own crooked little circles. Maybe miss one or two so it looked legit for her. Owen sensed my frustration, (or most likely was trying to find an excuse to not do his spelling and practice his handwriting) offered to help her out.  (and sidenote – all you crazy mom’s out there doing your kid’s homework. You. Are. Crazy. And stop making the rest of us look bad! and to the highschool mom’s out there who clearly do all your high school kid's homework, at least come in for tutoring and let me show you how to do chemistry before you attempt it. And you weren’t fooling anyone in 2nd grade and you sure as heck aren’t fooling anyone now!)

 Owen tried to explain the concept to her. (and frankly he did a much better job than I did), and suddenly my kids looked so old. Surrounded by worksheets and pencil shavings. They might as well be working on algebra and research papers.

Last night I sat around that same kitchen table, minus the crayons and glue and talked about the funny little things our kids say over wine and carrot cake. And I realized the days of toddler misspeaks is coming to an end just as quickly as carefree evenings watching My Little Pony and doing pirouettes in the living room.

Tess puts a hard C in front of lots of words where it doesn’t belong.
We wear cajamas instead of pajamas to bed. We eat cabanas instead of bananas (and Owen can spell bananas unlike lots of the words on his spelling list thanks to gwen steffani). She plays with strawberry courtcake, instead of the more popular shorter version. She asks to bounce on the jump-o-line at friends houses instead of a trampoline and wants to take the alligator instead of an elevator or the stairs.

I love these silly little mispronunciations and never correct her. I know they are short lived and I dread the day the disappear. Owen never says belbow instead of elbow anymore, and always asks for apples instead of bapples.

And it isn’t just mispronunciations but cute little innocent misunderstandings. Like when Owen used to tell me about “tomato drills” at school.  Last week, an artist had contacted me to use Tess for a commissioned painting for a client. I met him at his studio and we went outside so he could take some photographs to paint from. Since Tess was new to the modeling world, I tried to explain the new situation to her. I explained that he was going to take some pictures of her – so that he could paint her. Tess got so excited and said “I’m going to get tattoos!”. She thought he was actually going to paint ON her.  I laughed and put more in my mental file to worry about when she becomes a teenager.

 My favorite misspeak, that I will never ever correct and hope she never loses is when she prays.  At Tess’s school they must say the “God is great, God is good, Let us thank him for our food” prayer before meals.  Sometimes we actually all sit down at the table to eat, not just do homework. And then we even occasionally remember to pray first. And I always hope that Tess does the praying. Because she has the words all wrong. She grabs my hand and says in a loud bossy voice,

 “ God is grace. God is good”

 And then she sometimes forgets the rest. Because it doesn’t really matter after that.
God is grace. God is good.
Things I struggle to get right all the time.
And suddenly I think that Tess is the only one who has gotten the words right this whole time.



Cat said...

Homework at 4???? My daughter is 3 1/2 and I can't imagine her having homework! Here in Canada, kids must be 5 before October 1st to start kindergarden and they don't have homework before 1st grade. Maybe that explains things....