Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Clever Kids

This morning Taylor came in and proudly proclaimed: "Dad, I untied my shoes before I put them on." Like many fathers before me, I often extol the virtues of this simple procedure. When one does not untie one's shoes prior to putting them on, one runs the risk of smashing and ultimately breaking the material on the back of the shoe. Such an untimely demise requires the father to open his wallet and see more of his hard earned money sucked out as a new pair of shoes is purchased. (I don't say it quite like that to the kids.) Anyway, Taylor made this declaration, for which he was duly praised. I then asked Parker, who was standing right there, "Did you untie YOUR shoes before you put them on?" Parker smiled his goofy grin and said "Uh, I don't know. Well, no." So I again extolled the virtues of this simple procedure. Parker replied with, "But Dad, I always put my finger in between my heel and the shoe, so the back never gets smashed down." Ignoring the obvious sense of his argument (as a father is wont to do when his wisdom is questioned) I quickly came up with this comeback: "That will stretch your shoes out." Without missing a beat, he turned to me and said, "Then they'll last longer!!!" How was I to argue that?

Those of you who know Jessica know how amazingly sweet she can be. (You also know how temperamental she can be, but that's for a different story.) You know the tender, sweet voice she can use when she's in her sweet mode. One of her favorite things to do is say "If you need any help, tell me." Or, holding something in her hand, "If you need any (insert whatever item she's holding), tell me." So a few days ago, she comes up to me, holding several pieces of tissue in her hands. (When I say tissue, I really mean strips of toilet paper pulled off of the bathroom roll). She says, "Daddy, if you need any tissue, tell me." So, being the attentive father I am:) I immediately said, "Jesi, I could really use some tissue." "OK, Daddy," she replied, handing me a piece. I then pretended to blow me nose and threw away the tissue. Jesi then told me I needed more tissue, which I gratefully accepted and pretended to blow my nose again. After I threw that piece away, Jesi came right up to me (I was sitting down), stared up my nose, and said, "But Daddy, you still have boogers." I humbly accepted yet another piece of tissue and tried to eradicate the offending material from my nose. After this final attempt, Jesi again examined my nasal cavities and told me my boogers were still there. At this point, Christi came to my rescue and said, "Jesi, it's just hair. Sometimes daddies have hair in their nose." Jesi accepted this and we thought that was the end of it.

A couple of days later, Christi and the 4 oldest kids were in church (I had generously offered to sacrifice and stay home with sick little Elli.;) In the middle of the service, Jesi was sitting on Christi's lap, tummy to tummy. Before Christi had any idea what Jesi was doing, our little angel pushed Christi's nose up (like someone imitating a pig), stared up into her nostrils and said (again, in the middle of our church service), "Mommy, you have hair boogers." Christi quickly whispered in her ear that it isn't nice to talk about such things, to which she replied, "But Mom, you DO have hair boogers!" Christi, of course, was grateful to be enlightened.:)

That night at Sunday dinner, Jesi stood up on her chair and said, "GUYS! GUYS! Shhhh!!!! Listen to me!" After everyone quieted down, she announced in her very important voice, "Parents have hair boogers!" She thought she had made the discovery of the century. Thanks, Jes.

I learn so much from my children in so many different ways. In spite of the many challenges that come with parenthood, I not only wouldn't trade them, I'm excited to face the new challenges, joys, lessons, successes, and everything else that will come into our lives when we adopt Chu Chu next summer. By the way, we're very grateful and touched by the kind and excited comments so many of you have posted regarding our upcoming addition. Many of you have asked questions about Dang Xu Chu, and we promise to answer them. Right now, it's a little crazy around here, but we'll post some more details about him soon.

Merry Christmas!