Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Saga Of The Missing Menu

I sat down at the table to work on a menu. Not the most life altering experience except that it has been a job I've been procrastinating for a long time. I keep getting this nagging, "you really should just get it done before you go to the grocery store again" feeling in the pit of my stomach but considering I barely get a grocery list scratched out -- much less a month's menu -- I was continually neglecting my calling in this area.

Just as I sat down, Landon came over with a pencil, sharpener and piece of paper.

He pulls his chair over right next to mine (and I was sitting on the END of the table... you know the place where only one chair is supposed to go? Yeah right.) He crawls up into his chair and starts making his writing lines.

Somewhere between writing "Chicken Enchiladas and Chicken and Rice," I teach him how to properly sharpen a pencil.

"No, we don't put the eraser in that hole," I instruct him. "That doesn't work very good."

I go on to the beef section of my food list and he's looking intently at my sheet of food.

What, he doesn't like my food choices? I wonder. And then I remember he can't read yet.

"Mom," he gets my attention. "Can you write a baby 'mmmmmmmm?' " he asks me.

So, I put two little humps together, forming a lower case "m."

"I want a big 'mmmmmmmmmmmm,' " he asks as soon as the little one was finished and I tried handing his pencil back.

So, I draw a really big 'mmmmmmmmmm.' Surely he'll be impressed with that.

He takes the pencil and carefully traces my big "m."

Then, he looks over my arm and stares at my paper again.

Here we go, I thought, knowing for sure he was going to tell me to skip the potatoe dishes and just put caramels on instead.

"There's a 'ssssssssssssss,' MOM!" he excitedly shouts, lunging across his paper and poking at the "s" in "tacos," while his needle point pencil is distractedly shoved into whatever is in it's way.

"Good job Landon!" I join in his happiness. "That's right! You found a 'ssssssssssss.' "

Now I have to draw a 'ssssssssssss' on his paper. Then another 'mmmmmmmmmm.' And then he decides he wants an 'aaaaaaaaaaaaa.'

I'm so glad he only knows 3 letters, I think to myself as I write down his letters and try to imagine having to write the entire alphabet between each entree' I write on my own paper.

He's looking at the cover of the curriculum book he and his dad are going through every evening, "Teach Your Child to Read In A Hundred Easy Lessons." He notices the 'tuh' (T) on the top of the book.

He's not supposed to know that word, I remind myself. The only reason he knows how to recognize it was because one evening I was trying to type on my computer and he kept grabbing my hands off the keyboard and telling me he HAD to find the 'mmmmmmm,' 'ssssssssssss' and 'aaaaaaaaaa' were. And then he saw the "t" and wanted to know what that one was.

"It's a 'tuh'," I tell him, hoping he'll leave the keyboard alone so I can finish typing. But, then he had to find the 'sssssssssss' but for some reason my "s" is worn off so you can't really see it; you just know it's there if you know how to type. I think I should write it back into the button because it would save a lot of time: he wouldn't give up looking for it until he found it.

When I came home from running errands one day, Microsoft Works on my computer had 43 pages of "m's" and "s's" and "a's" and "t's." Watch out grandparents: he'll be sending you letters before long I think.

I tried to get back to my menu but every letter, number and color was asked about. "What this?" and "What's that?" was said more often than not.

So much for a time saving, frugal focused, healthy menu, I muse to myself as I finally fold up my paper and plan to wait to work on it. It's hard to hide all the letters he knows so I can get my work done. To me, these letters are just part of the alphabet. To him, they're neon lights flashing at him. And the world is becoming more and more open to him as these letters seem to appear out of nowhere to this little guy.

"Oh Mom!" he shouts as he grabs my paper. "There's a baby 'mmmmmmmmm'!" he says as he points to the letter "m" in Beef Roast Meal.

"Good job Landon!" I tell him. "Now you write a 'mmmmmmmm.' "

"No, YOU write an 'mmmmmmmm'," he instructs me. "And a 'ssssssssssssssss', and a 'aaaaaaaaaaaa'." We work out who is supposed to write what and then he collects his papers while I collect mine.

I don't know what we'll have for supper tonight but I do know how exciting the letters M, S, A and T are. They may not spell anything yet and they may not even have names yet but wow, who knew those letters could be found in so many places?

If you read a blog on here in the near future that is missing letters, don't think I've gone crazy. Understand that it was the only way I could actually blog that day.


Bethany said...

Oh, Courney! I just love your 'family life' posts -- you have such a way of welcoming us into your living room to experience the joys of little people.

And you drove by our house tonight?!?! Oh, one of these times you'll have to stop in! We'd enjoy seeing you again -- Lincoln seems so much farther away than just down the block! :)

Rachel said...

Opps! I guess I was signed in as Bethany on that comment. Oh well! We all wanted to say 'hi' anyway! :D

Coeur d'Court said...

Rachel... I very rarely come to Seward in the evening (or ever for that matter) but tonight I met Toby for supper since he was working till dark. We always enjoy driving past your house and esp. so when you're home. :) I didn't expect you to be home tonight though. Some time we will have to stop in -- when you're home of course. Landon still talks about playing trains with "Nuffingdaniel." :)

About your comment being signed in as Bethany, that's fine. :) Speaking of Bethany, I've been meaning to tell you this... The other day after Janae very unattractively cut off a nice little chunk of hair right in the front of her head, I tried fixing the problem by making the "bangs" look intentional. After I got done and smoothed her little bangs down, Landon looked at her really intentily and said, "Oh Jea, you look like Befany!" :)

Bethany said...

Awww....I feel so special! Thanks for the compliment, Landon! :D

When I was about Janae's age, I cut my own hair, too -- there's just nothing like giving your dear mother a 'style challenge'!!!

Happymama said...

LOL, how sweet. It's fun when they learn, isn't it? How bout telling us how that books work out when Landon and his daddy are through with it! :)


Jean said...

What are you having for supper? I suggest a large kettle of alphabet soup-it can be fortified with some beef or chicken or turkey and lots of your favorite vegetables. Landon might enjoy finding letters and words in his soup. Just expect supper to take much longer than usual.
A. Jean

Coeur d'Court said...

You naughty girl Bethany! Cutting your hair like that! I think every child (girl) does that at some point. My mom still tells the horror story of when I did it... only I did a really really bad job of it.

Kristi, I hope to inform the readers of what happens when Landon and Toby finish this book. It's a long process and since Landon is only 3, Toby does a lot of review. But what Landon does learn, he really remembers. I can't drive him down the road anywhere without hearing gasps and shouts at seeing another "sssssss!"

Hey Jean... Toby saw your alphabet soup idea and thinks we should try that. Honestly though, I think supper time would take hours. :) Landon would want to find every M, S, A and T. But that's okay... I can only imagine his joy in actually eating his beloved letters.