As a child growing up in my parents' household, I remember that dinner as a family was a high priority. Many topics were discussed, and even the silent dinners still held a sense of sanctity and cohesion. In spite of having a bit more hectic schedule than my parents, I have struggled to preserve this ritual for myself, my husband, and our children. However, it is only in the past year or so, as both my children are becoming eloquent in expressing their thoughts, that I have really come to reap the rewards of this nightly ritual.
Our conversation at dinner last evening went something like this:
(most of our conversations start like this...)
Plato: Mom? I LOVE you.
Thanks, babe. I love you too.
The Boss (in that cute squeak that can only come from a 2 year old girl): I LUB YOU TOO MOMMY!
I love you too baby.
Plato: You're the best mommy in the whole wide world.
Thanks, honey. And you are the best boy I could ask for.
The Boss: MOM!! You are da best mommy ebber!
Thanks LuLu (my pet name for her). And you are the best little girl I could ask for.
I notice JeepMan taking all of this in. The kids really do lavish a lot of attention on me. I think it may have to do with the fact that I reciprocate? Anyway, I try to involve him:
And what about Daddy?
The Boss: DADDY IS A POOPY DIAPER!! (she cackles hysterically, very pleased with her sense of "humor")
Plato, nearly 6, is a bit more diplomatic:
Plato: Well, Daddy IS stinky, but he's a good Daddy anyway.
JeepMan just shakes his head and smiles that little smile of his. I never know if he is trying not to crack up or if he is secretly irritated.
Silence for a while. Plato is deep in thought. After a while he speaks:
Plato: Mom? What if the Earth crashed into the Sun?
I struggle to process what he just said. I stare at him. Finally I manage an oh-so-sage reply:
Plato: What if the Earth crashed into the Sun?
JeepMan steps up to the plate to hit this one out of the park:
JM: Well, I suppose we would all burn up.
(ugh!) Plato's eyes are getting big...time for damage control:
Honey, that would never happen. The Earth has been where it is forever, and it is not going to crash into the sun.
Plato: Well, what if a bunch of people got really fat and the Earth went crashing into the sun?
That couldn't happen. The Earth is much too big.
Plato contemplates this for a minute. Then speaks:
Plato: Well, THAT's why I am NOT going to eat too much sugar!
I wonder where he gets such thoughts? He comes up with this stuff all the time. Wacky questions that usually start with "Why" or "What if...", observations that usually start with "Did you know..." I realize that much of this is normal for kids his age. He is exploring his world, learning new things every day.
But there is so much more to his thinking. He worries, obsesses.
For instance when he was 4 I had put him to bed. This is a kid that usually konks right out and I don't hear from him for 11 hours. But an hour after I put him down he was in the kitchen sobbing. I asked what was the matter and he told me he couldn't sleep. He was nearly inconsolable! I finally managed to calm him down and when I asked him what the matter was he said, full of despair, "I am NEVER going to learn how to drive a car!!"
He went through a phase at 4 1/2 where he was devastated that he was not going to be able to marry his sister. He obsessed about how he was EVER going to find someone to marry.
His wish upon blowing out the candles on his 5th birthday? "I wish I was seventeen."
His first week of kindergarten was spend mooning over the 3rd grade girl who rides his bus and how she wouldn't be his friend and she was the PRETTIEST girl he knew.
And his current obsession. Death. He told me, "Mom, I just care about EVERYTHING. I don't want anything to die!"
This child has put me at a loss for words numerous times. What do you say to a 5 year old who thinks like a 10 year old (but still is really a 5 year old)? I am finding diversion to be an excellent tactic.
Well, I am sure the dinner table will continue to provide endless material. That's all for now...
Deep Coma, Big Karma - Just winding down for the moment. The Blogosphere is not what it was in the *Two Thousand And Somethings*, and discourse has largely morphed itself off els...