Monday, February 13, 2012

Little Surprises

I remember before I got married someone told me there would be lots of little surprises--things I would learn about my husband and about marriage that I couldn't possible imagine or know beforehand. Flashes of picking up dirty socks or trying to sleep through bear-like snoring and other such images immediately flashed through my mind. My mother wisely told me not to worry, that most of the surprises were good ones. And she was right.

I've found motherhood to have just as many--or more--such surprises. I think my favorite is the hilarious things my children say. At times when I least expect it, one of them will say something incredibly clever or just plain funny.

For instance . . .

The other night during our dinner ritual, I drew out this question and read it to my children and husband: What country would you like to visit and why?

My five-year-old immediately spoke up. "Salt Lake City! Because we get to go on an airplane." (We had just recently dropped someone off at the airport there).

I thought that was pretty funny, but then my six-year-old said, "St. George!" I thought to myself, Apparently I need to explain what it means to go to another country. So I did. And that's when my 10-year-old said, "Oh yea. Well, I know which country I want to go to--Greenbay, Wisconsin!"

So, I realize my children obviously aren't geography buffs, but I love it! Where else can you go to find such great laughs?

Just a couple of days ago, my children came home with their report cards. One by one they filed in from school with shouts of jubilation at their wonderful grades. That is, until my first grader came marching in. "I hate first grade!" she complained. "I just want to go to sixth grade."

Well, this made very little sense to me, so I inquired as to why as I skimmed over her grades. Right as I noticed she had one disturbing grade, she answered, "Because they give perfect report cards in sixth grade. In first grade, they don't!" Apparently, she had seen her older sister's perfect grades and thought it came with simply being in sixth grade. I tried not to laugh, but I couldn't help myself. "Regyn," I said, "Your sister has earned those grades. They don't magically come to all sixth graders." Well, this did nothing to brighten her mood. To think her bad grade was actually her fault, instead of her teacher's.

Just a few days later, we were sitting in front of this same child's first grade teacher for SEP conferences. Everything was going well until this teacher told Regyn to read to us something she had written. She explained that she would give her students a prompt each week, and then they would have a certain amount of time to write. She praised my daughter for writing so much. That's when she began reading. Apparently the prompt was something like, "My favorite thing I got for Christmas was . . ." because that's what the paper was about. It was all going fine until she started mentioning things like a trip to Mexico, and I-phone, and other such elaborate gifts that she simply hadn't received. "Wait!" I interrupted. "Did you say Regyn wrote this paper?" The teacher shook her head affirmatively. "Well, that is very interesting," I said, "because most of the things she mentioned are fabricated!" The poor teacher didn't quite know what to say, so she responded positively by saying, "Well, it looks like Regyn is going to be a great fictional writer." I looked at my darling daughter, hoping for an explanation, and all she could come up with is, "Well, so-and-so went to Mexico and so-and-so got an I-phone." Where have I gone wrong? I thought to myself. I think my child is a habitual liar. That's when her teacher asked us to come up with goals for the new term, and I looked at Regyn and said, "How about telling the truth?" She readily agreed. I guess we'll see what next term brings!

Later, I was preparing to sit down and snuggle with my five-year-old to watch a little movie. He came to me and asked me what I wanted to watch. Since my only motivation was to spend time with him, I told him I didn't care about the movie, that he could choose. "No, you can choose this time, Mom," he said. "I always choose."

"Okay," I agreed, and I pointed to a movie.

"Fine. I'll choose," he immediately said. Apparently, he didn't like my choice. It made me smile clear to my toes. I just love such simple, happy moments.