Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Day 8

Peanut Butter has made improvement in learning to make himself stop howling. It's not his internal sense of honor or desire to do what's right that stops him yet, just fear of the consequence, but it's progress. The more I pay attention the more I see just how often he let go of himself and lost control when something didn't go his way. Charlotte Mason points out that we call someone like that "strong-willed", but it's really a weakness of will that cannot maintain self control and takes the easier path of lashing out and throwing a tantrum. He seems to be getting stronger. He's a boy of extremes, and his sweetness of spirit when he's sweet is intensely touching. I keep praying that God uses his passion someday for something great. All that energy and focus of will aimed towards furthering God's kingdom would be powerful.

We took Christopher Robin and Peanut Butter shopping yesterday. They had saved up enough nickels again for a visit to the dollar store. Plus they each received $5 in the mail from their great-grandparents for Valentine's Day. Peanut Butter always walks in the store and latches on to the first thing that catches his eye. It's not what he ends up buying, but careful deliberation before making a decision isn't his style. This time, since he had more than $1, he actually bought the bag of plastic Easter eggs he grabbed 34 seconds after entering the store. And, I must say, in spite of my skepticism, he has really enjoyed the purchase. He also chose some glow sticks and a package of small plastic "water animals". The water animals package was his favorite item until we went to buy them and found out they had been recalled. My Hero took him to find something else and he came back with two packages of peanut M&M's. He shared the first with Christopher Robin as we were shopping in Walmart, and then he used the second bag to fill each plastic Easter egg with a candy. It's impressive how much fun you can have with items from the dollar store. Christopher Robin chose glow sticks, a little "music box" that's just a toy with buttons on it that play some loud "music" (I was hoping he'd find something else and end up putting it back, but it made the cut), grow capsules that disolve when you put them in water to let out an animal-shaped sponge (he's bought these before and loves them), an FBI kit complete with sunglasses, handcuffs, a gun, even a badge (he was so enthusiastic about it I wished it was a good one that would last a little better), and a shiny sword. I began to wonder by the way he talked on the way home if he actually thought the sword was real. He wanted to take it out in the woods and find a bear or other wild animal he could use it on. Later in the day My Hero took the boys out for a walk in the woods so Christopher Robin could look for bears. He came in glowing and happy, informing me however, that they didn't see any animals. The sword was broken. He was also convinced he could use it to chop down trees, and it broke when he tried to do that. My Hero cut the broken end smooth so now it can be a knife. Or a dagger. In the evening after it was dark and all the toys were put away, My Hero turned out the lights and the boys opened their glow sticks. We spent the last hour of our day playing with glow sticks; making them into little rings, or big rings, or long lines of color, throwing them, waving them, connecting them... We let them take their glow sticks to bed with them, since by morning they'll be used up. Generally I don't like filling our house with cheap junk, but I have to say those boys had more fun from those toys than they've had with some much more expensive ones. I was thinking as they waved their glowsticks last night, that it was an evening they'd probably always remember. It doesn't take a lot of money or even careful planning... it was just an evening we set aside to spend with our kids, and the relaxed atmosphere, I'm convinced, was part of the success.

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