Our children are becoming familiar with the epic that is Lord of the Rings. In addition to Jonathan’s current reading of the Hobbit, the three older children are enjoying segmented, slow screenings of Peter Jackson’s three LotR movies with their Daddy. One can witness their fascination with the story as they play together, though obviously one of them is still a bit mixed up over a few of the characters. This morning, they were all in the boys’ room, constructing bows and arrows from K’nex, and putting on their dress-up armor in preparation for a great battle.
“I am going to be the elf-princess, Arwen,” declared Abigail. Jonathan, ready to fight, said he wasn’t exactly sure which elf he wanted to be, but that he was certainly going to win the war. Nicolas however, confidently stated, “Well, I am going to be LipGloss*!”
* For those not as familiar with the LotR trilogy, we’re pretty sure he meant Legolas.
This is a familiar sight at our house:
Two little rumply-haired boys in robes/jammies reading together on the couch early in the morning. It is one of their favorite things to do. It is also one of Mommy’s favorite things for them to do, because when engrossed like this, they are at peace with one another. No cross words, bickering over a toy, or whining to me about what evil the other has just done.
But there is also humor within this picture. Please note that both boys have a Magic TreeHouse book: this is a recently-discovered series in our family, and the children have been getting every book they can find out of both the city and school libraries. Which is understandable for Abigail and Jonathan, because, well, they can actually read. Words, that is. And Treehouse Books are definitely reader books. There are not a ton of pictures to help tell the story if you can’t figure out what the funny-looking symbols all over the page mean. Personally, I’d have a hard time enjoying these books if I was not a reader.
But Nicolas doesn’t agree with me. That precious boy of mine can’t read a single word, but he LOVES reading TreeHouse books. In fact, he tells me that he’s “read” eleven TreeHouse books now. Really. And he believes he has. Every time Jonathan picks up one, Nicolas chooses one for himself. Unless of course, as he tells me, he’s “already read that one”.
It’s so cute. He wants to be just like his big brother, and “read”. I, feeling sorry for him (thinking he cannot possibly be enjoying the process of patiently running his chubby finger underneath every. single. word. in. the. entire. book. – which is what he does in order to finish reading it, mind you) offer him countless picture books off our shelves, and he politely declines, saying he’d rather read his TreeHouse book.
Until this past weekend…when Jonathan began the first in another series of books which we own: the Hobbit. I wondered which TreeHouse book Nicolas might choose to read from while sitting next to his big brother. But the four-year-old calmly reached into the same grouping of books from which Jonathan had selected the Hobbit, and settled down comfortably with his own volume: none other than Fellowship of the Ring.
Though Jonathan read his first word at age 3, three years later he’s never shown much interest in reading novels. Until yesterday. After church, Abigail gave him Stuart Little (which she had just finished reading yet again), and for some reason Jonathan decided to read it.
Last night, as I was tucking the boys into bed, he asked if he could finish the chapter he was reading. Intrigued, I looked over his shoulder to see how far he’d read, and was startled to see he was just finishing up chapter 8. As a side note, he’d read through another 5 chapters before I left for work this morning… he’s really enjoying that book! But here’s the “Jonathan” moment we had last night. The dialog went something like this.
Dad: Wow, Jonathan, you’ve read a lot. You’re all the way to chapter 9.
Jonathan: How do you know that’s chapter 9?
Dad: See the IX in front of the chapter title? That’s Roman numeral 9.
Jonathan: What’s a Roman numeral?
Dad: Remember the Romans? They had a different way to write the numbers than we do.
Jonathan: <pause> Like the Star Wars episodes? They use Roman numerals.
Last evening, as he often does before our supper together as a family, Jay put on some classical music for us to enjoy. He mentioned to me that he’d chosen some Brahms in hopes that it might help everyone feel a little calmer and more peaceful. (Josiah had been yelling for some time prior to sitting down to supper.) Jonathan, upon hearing the name “Brahms” remarked with interest, “Oh, I know Brahms!”
As if on cue, Jay and I turned to him together, eagerly asking him what he could tell us about Johannes Brahms. Our parental ears were ready and waiting to listen to our eldest son’s knowledge about this Romantic composer. After all, Jonathan admittedly floors us almost daily with the wealth of information stored in his clever brain, much of that information drawn from lessons and experiences at his beloved school. Our parental hearts were swelling with joy and yes, admittedly some small amount of pride in this little six-year-old of ours who is rather like a walking encyclopedia and often knows much more about the great composers and famous works of art than do his thirty-something parents.
Unbeknownst to each other, Jay and I were both thinking to ourselves, “Ah, that amazing and wonderful school, where his little mind is cultivated, his spirit is nurtured, and his enthusiasm is fed with not just the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic, but the wonders of history, the magnificence of great literature, the beautiful artwork of painters and sculptors throughout history, the glorious music of renowned composers, and on and on and on…what interesting facts about Johannes Brahms are we about to learn that we never knew?”
After such a mental build-up you may well imagine our collective shock when Jonathan glibly answered, “You know, Braums…..well…..we went there, and they have great ice cream!”
Well now, indeed they do.
three boys in a tub!
One of the features we love about our new house is the really great configuration of bedrooms/bathrooms, particularly well suited to our family, especially given the genders of our children. Two of the secondary bedrooms have what I believe is referred to as a “Hollywood Bath” between them (NOT Jack ‘n’ Jill, as I’d formerly called it – see, you learn something every day!). So, the room on one side houses our two bigger boys, and on the other side of the bathroom sits Josiah’s nursery. Now that he is big enough, all three of them love to take baths together in the “boy bathroom”, and play with lots of toys, and make lots of noise, and splash lots of water, and well, that is just what little boys do, as I’m learning. But after all the noise and water everywhere (including on Mommy and Daddy!) comes one of my favorite things as a parent – snuggling clean, sweet-smelling little boys in soft towels. Here is a shot of them having fun in their bathtub:
Remember Jonathan’s misadventures? A milestone was reached yesterday when the last of the four damaged teeth came out of its own volition and in its own time. He still has a fake tooth serving to reserve a space for the future adult tooth, but it looks like we are closer than ever to the end of this sad dental saga.
All that remains, these many months later, is to sort out the insurance settlement…
I’ve had several inquiries on young Jonathan, and his dental adventures. Last Tuesday, he lost a tooth. Not the old-fashioned way, mind you. This was in the office of Dr. Bob. Who, my dear friends, is such an amazing pediatric dentist, that my sweet, sensitive creature of a child HAD NO CLUE the guy had actually pulled his tooth out. Yes. That is absolutely true. Not a clue.
It is also absolutely true that I LOVE Dr. Bob for sparing my dear boy trauma in what could have been a really hard situation. And I almost hugged our dentist on the spot. But that might have been weird. So I settled for thanking him profusely, and I also promised to bring my son back in two weeks for a follow-up (the tooth next to the one that was pulled is also out of kilter, and is now wiggling), and to be fitted for a new, false tooth. Which, it turns out, is going to cost a pretty penny. But the x-rays indicate the adult tooth could be awhile in coming down to fill the space, and evidently that can cause other dental issues. So, we are thrilled that Jonathan will not have to sport a huge gap in the front of his mouth for too long, and we are thankful and appreciative for medical technology.
This entry deserves a picture, but since we do not have one yet, it’ll have to wait. Thanks for your patience.
This from our 4 year old earlier today as I was getting his breakfast,
“Mommy, on Monday, is spring going to break?”
Jonathan has an uncanny sense of time and an amazing concept of days and dates for his age. He had been told sometime last week that this coming week is spring break. While I’d tried to include the fact that school would not be in session for the week, etc, he evidently had other concerns about this week. Such as the idea that the season, spring, which he knows comes in March, would start breaking on Monday.
I love the privilege I have as a Mommy to see the world in entirely new ways, courtesy of the thoughts of my children.
Ok, so it’s not a school morning and we are being delightfully lazy around here. In fact we are still in our jammies! But young Jonathan, having loafed around long enough, has decided there is work to be done. He is currently outside in his Spider Man jammies, armed with his little blue-handled child’s scissors, and is cutting the lawn! He informed me that since the grass is getting a bit tall, he would cut it with his scissors! Helpful little boy!