Sunday, December 30, 2007

Talk about the longest day

So it’s afternoon nap time and I’m watching The Longest Day, you know, the 1962 D-Day movie with John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Robert Mitchum, George Segal, Fabian (really, IMDB says so), etc. And just as they get to the landing on Omaha Beach, with the Germans opening fire and Allied soldiers falling left and right, Genevieve wakes up and immediately wants to know what’s that going on, and why were those people falling down. I tried to say that it was a movie about a war, and that wars were terrible things, and that people got killed in wars, and she asked if those people on the TV were dying. After a couple more lame attempts, I realized that I had no plan or even good ideas for how I might want a conversation with a four year-old about war to proceed.

Some thoughts that quickly flashed through my mind before getting dismissed:

“Sometimes people disagree, and they get into a big fight. Oh, those are guns. Guns? Well, um…”

“War is the attempt of nation-states to obtain something from other nation-states by force.”

Right. So I fell back to parental plan C (for Change the subject). Specifically, I announced that it wasn't a very good movie anyway (another little white lie!) and changed the channel.

Later in the day, I spoke with Genevieve about guns, first asking her what she knew about them.

"Oh, only adults can have them, and hunters use them for when there's a bear and they have to shoot it."

From there, we talked about how guns and the bullets they shoot can kill things, which is another way of saying it makes them dead. And sometimes, people used guns to kill other people, like in wars, when they disagreed about something and couldn't work it out and had really big fights with lots of people fighting lots of other people. No, it didn't make much sense to me, either. We talked a little bit more about the movie she saw me watching and guns, and came to a good stopping point and moved on to other things.

After dinner I mentioned to Marilee about something about our conversation, and Marilee struck up a conversation about guns with Genevieve. It was clear that Genevieve understood that only adults could touch guns, and if they saw someone other than a police officer with a gun that they should tell an adult, or if they couldn't tell an adult then they could call 911. Then there was an extended conversation about why police officers carried guns and after some time of that Genevieve declared that she was ready to stop talking about guns.

Amen to that. If only our world didn't demand our knowledge of some of these things.

Thursday, December 27, 2007


We've gone sledding twice in the past three days, and the girls already went with mama a couple of other times prior to this, taking full advantage of the third snowiest December on record here. Christmas day was the best, with a very icy snow base and not much else. Even the new toboggan was fast, and the red plastic snow torpedoes were like rockets. Genevieve will usually walk her own self and a light sled up the hill throughout an hour visit. Reesa tires out more quickly.

We had a wonderful Christmas. The children received many gifts, and we haven't gotten around to playing with all of them--yet!

On Christmas night, Marilee and I were sitting around visiting with a couple of friends. Genevieve, watching a yoga DVD in the living room, came over to us in the dining room and said, "Hey, I'm watching this yoga DVD, and we're trying to do this part about peace, and stuff, and quiet, and um..."

"And we're being a little too loud for your peace and quiet time on the DVD?" I offered.


That girl is really into her yoga.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

"Let us go to Bethlehem..."

The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of God shone around them. They were terrified, but the angel said, "Do not be afraid..."

This morning, the angel of the Lord appeared on our living room wall (photo above). Peace to you and your families and friends, from our family on this Christmas day.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

"I'm four!"

Imagine that you just turned four. You are at a party in honor of your birthday, one that you have been looking forward to for many weeks. (In fact, this would be a four week countdown calendar to the actual birthday, plus six more days to the party. But hey, who's counting?)

Many of your favorite people are in attendance, and you are served food that you like...

and are given nice gifts. Everything is right with the world...

Both the actual birthday (a week ago) and the party (yesterday) were very good days. Genevieve thanks everyone for her gifts--she is busy finding the time to enjoy them.

And there were balloons. Don't miss the balloon video posted on the side. One of the dads takes a real whuppin' from the kids.

Also, there was pin-the-nose-on-Santa, birthday poster decorating, cut-out igloos with stickers, party favor bags with no candy but lots of fun stuff, story time, and tents. Quiche for everyone, shrimp for the adults. Loads of fun for everyone.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Sisters, cuddlemates, diaper changers

We tried putting the girls down for a nap on Sunday in the same room, their bedroom. This usually doesn’t work and they need to be separated, and I’ll frequently split them up right from the get-go. Anyway, on Sunday we tried them together and they were so cute, cuddling together and being (mostly) quiet for ten minutes.

Earlier in the day, I walked into their room to find them both on the top bunk, with Reesa between Genevieve’s legs and both of them facing their window. “We’re watching fireworks!” exclaimed Reesa.

In our household, Reesa has been the daughter who practices her mommy skills on dolls. Today, Genevieve came into the kitchen and told Marilee that Reesa had a poopy diaper. Marilee was busy talking to a computer specialist, and told them to wait and she would get to it soon. After a few minutes, Genevieve returned to announce that she had changed Reesa’s diaper. And a pretty good job at that, except that Reesa needed to be cleaned a little bit more. Then, Genevieve got Reesa dressed. Genevieve has graduated from dolls to sisters.