Tag Archives: kids

So What Else Is About It?

When was the last time you told a kid something you thought was really fantastic and they just looked at you with a very bored expression and said, “So what else is about it?”

This happens to me on a fairly regular basis. Why?

Because I have seven grandchildren under the age of 10. And this means that at any given moment I have to be prepared to spit out a humdinger of a story. Off the top of my head. While at least eight, maybe twelve or fourteen eyes are staring at me. And it better be good, or those kids will drift off into some kind of nasty mischief that usually results in Grandpa bellowing and the mommies and daddies looking for a wooden spoon. I’ll leave the details to your imagination.

So what else is about it?

Well, it goes like this.

Me: Once upon a time in a far away land –

Kid #1: (with a heavy sigh) Grandma, all the stories start that way.

Me: Okay, okay. Give it a minute. Wait until we get to the good part.

Kid #2 (or maybe #4): With the pirates?

Me: There are no pirates in this story. Now sit still and listen. Caleb, get off your brother. And Nikolas, stop driving that car up Josh’s pant leg. Okay, here we go. In this far away land, there was a very large dragon.

Kid #3: A green one?

Me: No, I think he was purple.

Kid #5: I WUV purple dwagons!

Me: Great! This dragon had a problem, though. He couldn’t breathe fire.

Kid #1: You mean it’s not a girl dragon?

Me: Um – no, I don’t think so.

Kid #1: Everyone knows purple dragons are girls.

Kid #2: Not all of them.

Kid #1: Yes, all of them!

Me: (sensing a dispute in the making) Come on, you guys. It doesn’t matter. The dragon is a boy, purple with orange and green spots, so there. And he can’t breathe fire so we have to find a way for him to learn.

Kid #4: This is boring.

Me: Do you want to clean the toilets?

Kid #4: No way!

Me: That’s what you have to do if you say it’s boring. Now be quiet and listen!

Kid #2: Guys, let’s go play BeyBlades.

Kids #3, 4, and 5: Yeah! (they all run off)

Kid #1: I’m going to read my book.

Me: But I’m not finished the story!

Thankfully, the scenario has not played out quite like this too many times. I can usually manage to hold the attention of even the squirmiest of little boys, but it’s a challenge. Definitely a challenge.

So what else is about it?

It’s a good question to ask of any story.

Think about that next time you’re struck with writer’s block.

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Filed under Being Creative, Imagination, Kids, Writing

Reasoning Kids

This is my grandson, Elijah. At fourteen months old, he is exempt from ridicule for needing comfort from a nice warm bottle of milk and for falling asleep in unconventional places. He’s a baby. This kind of behavior is expected from babies. They can do pretty much whatever they want and get away with it.

Another of my grandsons, Reece, is five. He has moved on from the bottles and diapers and is now intent on reasoning out excuses for his behavior. Like yesterday. He whacked his older brother in the head with a baseball bat – it was plastic, so don’t panic. In the midst of his punishment for doing so, Reece explained that he had swung the bat in slow motion so that his brother had ample time to get out of the way. As if that would get him off the hook. Didn’t work. There was no ice cream for Reece last night, poor kid.

Then there is Emily, my only granddaughter. She is ten, and becoming very adept at conversations that leave you wondering if you just unknowingly committed yourself to doing something you didn’t really want to do. Like me, she is an avid reader and will devour any decent work of fiction she can get her hands on. Not long ago, Emily very eloquently informed me that she has a tenth grade reading level, so therefore she should be allowed to read books written for that age group. I knew where this was going. Probably because I had the same conversation with my elders when I was Emily’s age. I told her that just because she has a tenth grade reading level it didn’t necessarily mean she had the corresponding comprehension level. Yes, I used those very words, and Emily assured me that yes, she did have the comprehension. Then I asked her if she knew what age appropriate meant. She did. And there was no more discussion. Yeah – one for the grandma!

How do these anecdotes relate to each other?

They don’t, really.

I was just sitting here, thinking about my seven grandchildren – their startling similarities and their vast differences. What a joy to watch them grow up and to be close enough to love on them whenever I want . . . and to send them home with their parents when the decibel level goes off the charts.

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Filed under Family, Kids, Love, Writing

Remnants of the Kids

The picture above is not my house. I don’t know whose it is, but I am very glad it’s not mine. I do, however, see evidence of kids when I walk from room to room in my home.

The little black sneakers by the front door are Joshua’s. Caleb and Reece have left the remains of their art project under the kitchen table. The toy vehicles in various locations were forgotten by Nikolas. The hair clip is Emily’s. Lots and lots of fingerprints on the window were placed there by Elijah. A tiny sock slipped from Jai’s foot.

My grandchildren.

There are days when I think that I would like my house to be perfectly clean, professionally decorated, beautifully showcased. The kind of house where people gape in awe when they walk in the door, admiring such a wondrous sight of elegance. But those thoughts of mine are usually short-lived.

Our house is a home. We live here. I mean, really live here. It’s comfortable and welcoming and peaceful. Our grandchildren love to visit and we don’t care if they leave remnants. We actually like it when they do because it means they have come and they have had fun being with us. And it means they will come back.

So I smile when I see the playpen at the top of the stairs, knowing Eli will sleep in it soon. I don’t bother to move the huge stuffed elephant because Nik will need it for a small measure of comfort at some point. I leave the books in the family room for Emily to read. The Legos continue to be easily accessible for Reece to build his next cool thing. The beyblades pieces are on the counter for Caleb and Josh’s next battle. And a fuzzy blanket is ready for Jairus to nap.

The parents of our grandchildren have commented that since the little ones have comes along, they get all the attention now.

Could it be true?

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Filed under Writing

To Sleep or Not to Sleep

I remember back in the day when I could sleep until noon on Saturdays with very little effort.

Then I had kids.

And those kids had no respect when it came to the true purpose of a Saturday morning. They were awake before the crack of dawn, full of energy and impatient to get going on whatever it was their little minds had planned. I couldn’t wait for the day when they would be old enough to understand that this is not how it works. That took a while. Then they grew up, left home, had their own kids, and now they are up before the crack of dawn. I love the circle of life. Teehee.

But there is a slight problem.

I can’t sleep past  7:00 am. As a matter of fact, most mornings I’m awake even earlier. Even on Saturdays. Like today – up at 6:15. What’s with that? Instead of enjoying the opportunity for some extra zzzz’s, I am writing a blog post.

I’m trying to think of what the lesson might be in all of this, but I am drawing a blank. That’s because it’s too early to be philosophical. Way too early.

I think I’ll go back to bed.

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Filed under Imagination, Thinking, Writing