30 June 2012

A conversation with D-: The patriot in a nation of shopkeepers

Like many people, my 8-year-old son D- seems to vacillate between ambitious craftiness and practical ingenuity one day, to mindless materialism and sensible shortcuts the next. I have the makings of an impressive wood shop out here, and my wife has a wide array of craft materials and tools herself, so plenty of costumes and toys have sprung from our collective imagination, when spurred on by circumstances.

Most of the rest of the time, though, all our grand crafting plans remain safely that-- plans. One always has higher hopes for the next generation, although as this conversation shows, that hope is probably wasted:

D- (holding a new package of 36 Nerf darts): Dad, can I maybe open just a part of this box and, like, hook it on my belt or something, like this, so I can just --"bam-bam"-- pull out more darts after I shoot my six?

Me (looking to encourage this attitude while focusing the energy on something more functional and rewarding): So what you want is an ammo belt, or a bandolier? That sounds like something you could make pretty easily, if you want. You just need little loops or pockets running along the strap-- you could work with Momma and maybe even use the sewing machine!

D- (looking exhausted at the thought, and a bit like maybe this concept is new to me): ...You know, we could also just go to the store and BUY one of those... (immediately turning to walk away without a shred of faith that his point would be seriously considered)

Me (seeing the writing on the wall, but taking a valiant stab anyway): But then it wouldn't be as sturdy, or made exactly the way you need it, and... (hearing his feet hit the bottom of the stairs) ...Ah, never mind...

Maybe if the temperature finally drops below 90 one of these days, he might catch that spark again. Even with the AC going, who really feels like getting off the couch long enough to make something like that? Probably a lot of go-getters and high-achievers and moderately-functional-adults, that's who, but who needs those showoffs?

You may enjoy my previous D- conversations, (5YO daughter) M- conversations, and (wife) J- conversations.

28 June 2012

A conversation with M-: Count me out

After more than eight years of parenting, my wife J- and I consider ourselves pretty skilled at manipulating each of our three kids like puppets, using whatever tools fit each kid at a given moment.

Sometimes, though, they show flashes of the similarly wonderful parents they may become themselves, someday:

J- (wanting a favor from our 5-year-old daughter M-, spinning it with a reliable phrase): So M-, can I count on you?

M- (not in the mood to help, and looking for a loophole): Ummmm... well, no, not today. (walking out of the room) I don't want anyone counting on me today.

You may enjoy my previous M- conversations, J- conversations, and (8YO son) D- conversations.

15 June 2012

A conversation with J-: Sleeping the sleep of the wrong

The following is a conversation I recently had with my wife J- (while she was resting on the couch) and our 8-year-old son D-, about our 5-year-old daughter M-:

Me (asking D- and a dozing J-, wondering if M- was in the bathroom or off playing somewhere): Where's M-?

D-: She's in the playroom

J- (oddly forcefully, as if we're all fools to have forgotten about this while she lay there resting, secretly wide awake): No, she's out getting her hair done!

Me (trying to take her at face value, since she's usually the authority on things like this): What?? Where?

J-: Nevermind.

M- (from playroom): What do you neeeed?

Me: ...Did you just have a dream that M- went out to a hair salon?

J-: Yes.

You may enjoy my previous J- conversations, D- conversations, and M- conversations.