Sunday, February 23, 2014

With Wild Abandon

The struggle of an artist is a very private argument with oneself.
Our little painter had an interesting studio session. Ben really wanted to paint and asked for his easel and paints to be set up; a rare occurrence these days. After being very driven to paint, he just wasn't very happy doing it. I observed that he was very agitated and had a lot of confused questions for me. We haven't painted together for a long time because of a similar event about a month ago.
We started out with happy colors and fresh paint pots. We talked about what colors do when they touch and mix. We talked about shapes and brush strokes. At first, I thought Ben was happily mixing and smooshing colors around on the poster board. He struggles a lot with holding a brush, crayon or pencil and resists direction, saying "I can't". However, it appeared that he was enjoying the process of adding texture and watching the colors change. Yet, the conversation on his end was less joyful as he went along. I felt helpless about being able to make it fun for him. He was done. He was adamant that he did not want a new piece of paper. He wanted his smock off and the easel put away.
This was the final result of his efforts. He said "I don't think it is very pretty.". I said it was a great exploration of color mixing. He said, "No it isn't. It was supposed to be a rainbow and very pretty.". I asked, "You had fun putting on the colors, and you learned a lot, didn't you?". He told me, "No.". He did not want it hung on the fridge.

Benjamin has a great many talents. We are proud of him. It needs to be okay if art isn't his favorite thing. However, without art as a catalyst at this point, it may take some time to get him to write his name.  In the past, I have drawn dots for him to connect in order to sign his name on special cards. However, he really struggles with even that. He always needs a lot of direction and assistance.
He will get there. It will take time. In the end, I think he will just have the signature of a doctor, not an artist.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

What's Up Doc Benjamin?

"Are you ready for your check-up, Mommy?"
When I asked him to "make a doctor pose", he gave me this. He held this pose while I composed myself, stopped shaking from laughing, and finally got the picture.
When I was seated in his examination chair, he gave me his diagnosis. I was told that I had "juice" in my eyes making my "eyes get blurry and not see". "Yep", he said, "Your brain stopped thumping because your heart doesn't do the train.". Furthermore, I was told, "You need to get this right. You feel really hot. The hot is coming from your heart, so you need a band-aid.".
When I asked him if that was all, he said, "All my scribety is almost done. I got scripes to do.". He went on to inspect my ears, which contained "stuff". When asked what kind of stuff, I was told, "oh, just stuff".
His parting advice was "You need some healthy food.". He called to Daddy in the kitchen and told him, "Hey food Doctor! Momma needs some breakfast!".
This doctor, clearly, has excellent skills in addition to his wonderful bed-side manner.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

Baker, Baker, Baker Man.... Bake me a cake as fast as you can! .... roll it and pat it and mark it with a "B", and put it in the oven for Ben and me!
Although you may not live close enough to eat a cupcake with us.... there is a lot of sweetness being sent your way!
There may be ice and snow on the ground, but there were flowers blooming in our kitchen today!
As we cranked up the heat to stay toasty warm today, my frosting roses started to wilt. However, they still look flower-like and so they are going to work with David tomorrow.
Roses are red. Violets are blue. Sugar is sweet and so are YOU!
Happy Valentine's Day!

"Can I help put away the dishes?"

Yes! I pinched myself and put him to work. This little man has helped before, but yesterday he actually offered!
He is a pro!
He seemed baffled that I would want a picture of this. He looked at me as if to say, "Do you want a picture of me putting away my underwear too?" Laundry is another thing he helps with (socks and underpants are in the bottom drawer he can reach).
Like one of Snow White's little dwarfs, he hums while he works. We will be celebrating his accomplishments as he turns "half-way to 5" this month. His big boy skills are off the charts!

Monday, February 10, 2014

2030 Olympian?!!

After skiing the living room carpet all day long, Benjamin went cross-country skiing for the first time outdoors! We found these little strap-on skis at a thrift store a couple of years ago. Daddy cut some ski poles out of wooden dowels. I wrapped some electrical tape around them for handles. Away he went!
After getting comfortable on flat snow, Ben rode the parental ski lift up to the top of our "bunny hill". It was available because we have been grooming it (that is, we have been trying to shovel enough to keep us from getting stuck as we drive out).
We have been watching the winter Olympics with Ben all week. He has been quite impressed by the ski and snowboarding events. He has been looking forward to trying it!
This was one very happy little skier!
He was pretty good at it!
Now that we know he likes it, we will use our sledding hill for his training run.
We had no idea he would like this so much. When he said he wanted to, and it was getting late, we rushed right out and didn't even take the time to put snow pants on him. Now we know.
He is a little athlete! Who knows...this may be the picture we all look back on when he is winning medals some day!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Oh! It is still winter!

After getting a solid 5 inches of snow last night, it is snowing again today.
David went out yesterday and cleaned the car and truck off. He shoveled the walk and everything. You can't even tell now. We may have to console him with some sledding.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Taunting!

What ya looking at, Kiddly? You are acting kinda crazy. Are you okay? Is there something out there?
There was a lot of intense tail twitching as the quail paraded by on the wood porch step; right in front of Kiddly! I didn't get a photo of the stare down, but ...there they go! They are off to find their next victim, no doubt.
Exhibit A: Evidence of their taunting.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

What did YOU have for breakfast?

Benjamin ate like an octopus!
What does an Octopus eat?
"Well, bottom ones eat crabby crabs!"
(Bottom-dwelling octopus eat primarily crabs and molluscs.)
"This one is gonna gobble-up this fish!"
(Open-ocean octopuses will eat fish, prawns and other cephalopods)
"Oh, no! He got this namanamanies!"
(Anemones live in an Octopuses garden, but are not really on the menu.)
"Nom, nom, nam, nom, nam."
"Pppppffff! He spits it out!"
"Oh, here comes the hungry octopus, you crabby-crabs, you!"

(No real crabs were harmed in the making of this blog post. Our imitation octopus had imitation crab with his breakfast this morning.)

Sunday, February 2, 2014