Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Things I Learned Today at the Movie Theater

  1. Up is not a children's movie. When the kids are not bored, they are terrified.
  2. I am an emotional wreck, apparently. In the first five minutes of the movie I was already dripping tears. I couldn't even control the weeping when I tried to explain the ending to Brad on the way home. 
  3. My children are incapable [still] of behaving in public. Grace does not comprehend the concept of whispering. She is obscenely loud. And Claire thinks the bald man in front of us needs his head patted. And both of them think it's a lot more fun to run circles around the theater than to watch the screen. [Which is how they ended up in time-out at the mall.]
  4. My children are easily lost. Grace's favorite activity is to wriggle her hand free from Daddy's grip and to sprint in the opposite direction.
  5. Claire needs a lot of sleep. And when she doesn't get it, she should not be allowed out of the house. In the unfortunate event that she engages in sleep-deprived-out-of-house-ness, she does unthinkably naughty things. Like ripping mommy's blouse open while mommy is carrying her out of the mall.
An educational day, I think.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Artist

It's Grace. I'm not sure how it happened. It must be a Neville thing, because I am not in the least bit artistic.

The other day I came home from work to find a big smiley face posted the door to welcome me back. How thoughtful.

And then I found this on the counter:

I'm not an artist, but I've had to interpret several pieces. And I would say that Grace loves her home. 

Wouldn't you?

*She would like me to add that the pen scribbles are Claire's contribution.

Friday, June 12, 2009


We've returned from Utah. We are now home. I have many good stories to tell. But, also very little time.

So, here's a quickie.

The house is a mess. This is because my mom is out of town. She is apparently the only one who cleans around here.

So, in her absence, I was attempting to tidy, and insisted on Grace's assistance. She was not compliant. She refused for several reasons, including the fact that her legs were too tired.

Finally, she went to her room.

After pausing long enough between washing dishes to realize that she had disappeared and that I was no longer arguing with anyone, I called to her.

"Grace? What are you doing? You're supposed to be helping me clean!"


"Oh. Um, what does stresshling mean?"

"It MEANS someone who doesn't WANT to clean their room. It MEANS someone who doesn't want to do ANYTHING."

Huh. Totally stumped for a minute.

Time for a new tactic.

"Claire, would you please pick up these toys?"

Claire, of course, happily consented, toddling her little pidgeon-toed self around the room picking up toys. [I love the ridiculously-cute-and-helpful stage. It's my favorite.]

I congratulated her. Quite loudly. I kind of yelled, actually. And then I explained what I was rewarding her with. In loud detail.

Grace snuck out a few moments later and grabbed several plates for setting the table.

If you have any motivational tools for your children that do not include the exploitation of one child to motivate another, please share. I have obviously exhausted my limited resources of creativity.