Sunday, March 09, 2014

The Children's Department at our library has had a large Lego castle on display for about a month. For the first three weeks or so they asked kids to submit ideas to name the castle. We happened to be there the night before the drawing and both boys submitted names. Lo and behold, when they drew a suggestion from the jar, Edward's idea "The Fire Temple" was the winner. This was cause for great excitement!

We stopped by Friday evening for a visit on our way to a community art show featuring work from students at all the local elementary schools. This is work students are supposed to complete outside of art class and submit to the art teacher for inclusion. Our boys  used one of their two-hour delay mornings in January to work on their projects in water color. This year I confirmed what I've long suspected--anyone who turns in work is featured in the display and invited to the artists' reception. That matters not at all, as it is a fun event for the kids and a total "see and be seen" event.

We got a note home about Edward's piece being included, but did not receive one for Daniel so we weren't sure if his piece would be on display. It took us a while to find it (even though the pieces are arranged by school--we simply overlooked it in all its abstract glory.) He gave quite a long artist statement, the gist of which was that it is a pond and the black section is a monster truck with orange pollution escaping into the pond.

Edward was more literal in his work: a castle (mixed media: water color, crayon, colored pencil.)

One Sunday in February a woman I recognize but do not know well approached me after Mass and said she was so proud of how well the boys had been behaving recently and asked if it was OK with me if she gave them a treat. I figured she had a piece of candy for each and thanked her. She went and talked to the boys while I was talking to another friend and out of the corner of my eye I see her hand a dollar to each! They were over the moon! She said her husband was Italian and it's an Italian tradition to reward kids with money. We thanked her again, but on the way home I had to be sure to let them know this would not be a weekly occurrence.

Not to worry. The very next week Daniel returned from the Children's Liturgy to report to me that Edward had been performing his latest skill: armpit farts. Edward denied it, but I knew Daniel would not make up something that specific. I also knew how enthralled Edward was with this skill and its ability to both impress and draw attention/laughs.

Not to be outdone in seeking attention and laughs, Daniel composed the following notes as the Mass progressed, handing the top one to me and the bottom to Edward:

Mine says: Mom I (heart) you you are funny
Edward's says: Poop I (heart) you you are good

Of course passing Edward a note referring to him as "Poop" led to uncontrolled giggles and poking and whispered one-word reminders "Poop" (ha ha ha ha ha!) I finally said they were both losing their iPods for one day and that sobered things up, slightly.

I was furious when we got home and sent them to their rooms. John was even more furious when he heard what happened and went up to collect the iPods and demand explanations. Edward tried to continue in his denial of the rude behavior at the Children's Liturgy, but when pressed, admitted he'd actually done it. For the lie on top of the bad behavior, John imposed a further punishment of writing a note of apology to the Liturgy leader. Unfortunately I didn't copy it before he presented it to her. But John also told Daniel he was to write an apology to me, giving no further instruction or assistance regarding content or spelling. This is what he wrote:

(I am sre for riting a not to Edward abwt poop I wil dust the TV stand for a weck Daniel)
Translation: I am sorry for writing a note to Edward about poop I will dust the TV stand for a week

I appreciated that he gave himself a punishment even though this was not part of John's instruction. It should be noted, however, that the TV stand was never dusted.