Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Smurf the "Ant"

I have more blog entries from Guatemala, but I'll have to wait till I'm motivated enough to fire up the laptop and pull them off of there. That motivation is obviously not hitting me today.

We got back on Saturday. The Jedi videotaped Little Guy coming into his new room. "Look it! Look it!" said Little Guy, as he kept turning around in his room and finding something else really cool that exited him. I had been very concerned that one of the biggest causes of sibling rivalry between Little Guy and Sweetling was going to be centered around the sacredness of Sweetling's room and Sweetling's stuff. But Little Guy had already demonstrated respect for Sweelting's things in Guatemala, and he quickly transferred that ability here. In his room for the first time, he needed to establish for sure that these were his things. So he'd extend his arms and hands over something and ask, "Mine?" I'd assure him that those were his stuffed animals. "My books?" Yes, those are Little Guy's books. "My toys?" Yes, those are Little Guy's toys. "My trucks?" Yes, those are Little Guy's trucks. "Wanna play with my trucks."

The rest of the evening was spent with Little Guy going from one activity to the other. He needed to get everything out, establish what was and wasn't his, examine the things that were his, then put that thing back and move on to the next thing. The good thing was that he was careful to put his things neatly back before getting something else down. The Jedi, after having seen the haul I brought home from the shower Telephone threw for me, had had the foresight to put about half of his toys up for now. That way, said the Jedi, Little Guy wouldn't be overwhelmed with stuff when he first got home. The Jedi, as usuall, was totally right. Even with just the few, by comparison, things down, Little Guy was in new toys and new things overload. He couldn't even sit still long enough to eat his dinner at one time. Instead, he'd take a few bites of pizza (alfredo, no tomatoes), then hop down and explore. Then he come back to the table later for a few more bites. He did really, really well going to bed and going to sleep that night. I was worried that our first night might be rough, but Little Guy was absolutely comfortable, more than comfortable, going to bed with his Nemo pillow and Nemo blanket.

Sunday we went to church, which was a little overwhelming for Nemo, but totally needed by the rest of the family. Nemo stayed right with us in the sanctuary for the first part of the service, then the Jedi and I went up to preschool and stayed there with Nemo, who made a craft and had a snack, and played with toys and enjoyed himself. Sweetling, of course, went to Hiz Kidz with her friends.

We had our first real conflict of wills Sunday evening. Sweetling and Nemo were watching a video together in the living room. The Jedi and I were sitting on the floor of the school room talking. We heard, from the other room, that the video had ended, and Sweetling was trying to explain to Nemo that it was too close to his bedtime to watch another video. So, we went on in there. I told Nemo that there wasn't time to watch another video, but that he could do a puzzle or play with his dinosaurs for a few minutes before bedtime. Nemo was not happy with this decision and began to cry. I said I was sorry, and that we could watch another video tomorrow. More tears. I suggested, one at a time, other fun activities Nemo could choose. Nemo shook his head at each one and continued to cry. I told Nemo, he could choose to cry if he wanted to, or he could pick something fun to play with. Nemo chose to cry. I said ok, and went to the school room to work on my monthly dinner menu and grocery list. Nemo crawled down the hall so that he could cry outside the open school door. I suggested again to Nemo that he come in and play a puzzle. More head shaking and tears. I put on some music. Nemo would calm down, so I'd look up at him to see if he was ready to do something else. As soon as he had my attention, Nemo would cry again. I put a toy next to him, in case he decided to make better use of his remaining play time. He crawled into the school room to sit and cry near me, since crying in the hall wasn't producing the desired result. After 15 minutes of this, I told him he had two more minutes until bedtime. He cried through them. I picked him up, told him very nicely that it was time to brush his teeth, and carried him into the bathroom where the Jedi brushed his teeth while Nemo sat on my lap and cried. I continued to talk to him nicely while we got the teeth brushed and psuedo rinsed and while I sat him on the toilet to go potty. Carried him, still crying, into bed and read him his two bedtime stories. We said prayers and gave kisses to the still crying boy and tucked him into bed. he went to sleep not too long after that. Since then, we haven't had any more issues about only watching one video before nap and one video before bed.

Yesterday the Incredibles visited. Violet and Sweetling quickly disappeared into Sweetling's room to discuss and play all things Webkinz. After a failed bubble blowing time in the driveway, Nemo, Mango, Dash, Jack-Jack and I went to the back yard where there is a swing set and a sandbox. Nemo wanted his bucket filled with water so that he could fill up his little watering can and then wash off the swings and slides. I did that. That eventually turned into, lets splash Mommy, to Dash's great delight. That turned into, let's Nemo and Dash both splash Nemo's Mommy. Nemo decided he was far to dry for this game, so he dumped his watering can down the front of his body. Then the game became, Nemo and Dash throw water at each other. The Jedi came to the door and looked out. He said, "At this point, do you want me to just hook up the sprinkler?" Mango and I decided this sounded like a capital idea. We then stood in the sandbox (the only part of the yard not hit by the sprinkler) and took pictures and videos while Nemo and Dash ran back and forth yelling and screaming, getting drenched, and having a great time. At one point, Sweetling and Violet emerged, took one look at the dirty, wet, boisterous playtime, and decided it definitely wasn't for them. So the first meeting between Dash and Nemo went really well.

Later, on Monday afternoon, Smurf came over. She gave Sweetling two Little Kinz and three packs of Webkinz trading cards (ooooooooo). Then I dragged her to the grocery store with me while Nemo was napping. After Nemo had woken up from nap, I introduced my sister as Nemo's aunt...Nemo shook his head and I, thinking he was still tired, decided to leave off the rest of the explanation until later. Well, by later, I was busy skinning chicken and getting meats packaged up to go in the freezer. Nemo and Smurf were playing happily together in the school room, so finishing the explanation of who Smurf was just sort of slipped my mind. She called me today to tell me that Nemo had been calling her something in Spanish while they were playing together. She looked up "aunt" today, thinking maybe that was it. No, "aunt" is "tilla", and that wasn't what Nemo was calling her. A light bulb went on. Realizing Nemo didn't have a lot of experience with family relationships, Smurf looked up "ant" in Spanish. "Hormiga." Yes, that is exactly what Nemo called her numerous times yesterday.

Now, understand, that I am *not* laughing at Nemo. It isn't his fault I didn't explain things well to him. I am, however, laughing at Smurf. You see, when Sweetling was a little girl, and her vocabulary was very limited, she had about 4 words that she could use to refer to any creature in the animal kingdom. Mommy, and only Mommy, was "Mama". Daddy, and only Daddy, was "Dada". Every other human being on the face of the planet was "fren" (friend). (Including the teletubbies, which aren't human, but you know). Sheeba our 80lb German shepherd was "dog" as was every other 4 legged creature. Smurf was also "dog". No one knows why to this day, but Sweetling was very insistent about it and refused to be swayed from this appellation and categorization of Smurf as "dog". So, the fact that once again, one of my children has been calling Smurf by an animal name is highly ironic and amusing.

Don't worry, I'm not so amused by this that I won't make sure Nemo understands. As tempting as it is to let him call her "Hormiga" for a while longer, I've got a book in Spanish about Los Famillas that we'll read together this afternoon. It has a page with aunts, uncles, and cousins on it. We'll not poke fun at Smurf at Little Guy's expense. At Smurf's expense? Absolutely. Any chance I get. But not at Nemo's expense.


lushgurl said...

That is too cute about mi Hormiga...I'd really be tempted to let it go until Nemo was old enogh to figure it out on his own!
So in my very limited Spanish (from High school)- Me llamo es Lushgurl y yo soy ti amiga!
Love to all of you!

Anonymous said...

Nemo is the cutest little guy ever! How did your family book explanation go?

...and when can I come over next? ;)

Chocolateer said...

We read the family book. I think that he's still not quite getting it. Next time you come over, we'll re-introduce you as mommy's sister first (in English and spanish). Then we'll tack on the aunt part (in spanish first, then english).

Y gracias Lushgirl! (Personally, I'm kind of hoping he calls Smurf "Mi Hormiga" for a long, long time to come.