Matthew’s Rules For Staying Out Of Danger

Matthew was just a fountain of information tonight on how to be safe, so I thought I would jot them down so that all of us can practice safety:

1. Never ever go out in the street.

2. Never ever drink poison.

3. Never ever walk by a wolf. It will eat your head off.

4. Don’t stick your head in the microwave.

5. Never throw a bean bag at a monster.

6. Don’t do bad things to people.

7. Never get a Russian penpal from China.

8. Don’t take drugs.

9. Never ever pour water in your eyes.

10. Never ever stick your head in the toaster. It is for bread.


My Little Radiator

Matt woke us up about 5:00 this morning – he was burning up. The thermometer registered a fever of 103.9. Poor guy! We could have fried an egg on his tummy. He was so hot, I felt the heat radiating off of him. I gave him some medicine and he fell back asleep in our bed. This morning he’s feeling a bit better.

So I’m home with him today, watching movies and cleaning up a little bit. (Okay, cleaning up a lot, because the house is starting to get out of hand!) And I’m also superpoking people on Facebook. If you’re on Facebook, you know what that is. If you’re not, it sounds kind of dirty, doesn’t it? I’m starting to get into the Facebook thing, even though I feel almost too old to be on Facebook. I really enjoy getting back in touch with people from high school, college and other friends we’ve made over the years.

Anyway, Matt’s watching a movie neither of us have ever watched before, and he’s driving me crazy with questions: 

“Does the giant talk?”

“I don’t know – I’ve never seen this before.”

“What’s he going to do?”

“I don’t know – I’ve never seen this before.”

“What’s going to happen?”

“I don’t know – I’ve never seen this before.”

 Maybe I should just start making up things like “Yes, the giant speaks and then he goes to college and majors in communication.” Or “He’s going to do his taxes and then he’ll get audited – and that’s when it really gets funny!” Sounds like I’m going to have fun day!


Matthew was instructed to clean up toys today. Here are some of the things he felt inclined to share while cleaning:

I am so tired. This makes me so tired. I haven’t slept in MONTHS!

This is too much. There are too many toys.

Brandon, I order you to clean up my playroom!

I can’t do this! I have small hands!

I can’t believe I have this many toys! Oh, just throw them away!

Oh, why did I have to play pirates?

Edamame Mama

My new favorite snack: edamame. Soybeans, for the uninitiated. I bought some of the pods at the store and have been eating them for my late-night snack or while watching March Madness. (How are your brackets doing? Mine, not so good. Curse you, Duke!)

I decided to introduce the boys to edamame, hoping they would prefer something healthy over cheese puffs or candy. They usually eat pretty well, and I don’t keep a lot of sweets around the house. Matthew will eat anything you eat, if he sees you eat it (and enjoy it) first. If you were sitting in the yard enjoying large handfuls of dirt, Matt would sit down next to you and dig in.

So this past weekend, I was sitting on the couch, enjoying my edamame when Matthew walked up and took a big handful of beans. He stuffed them in his mouth and looked in the bowl for more.

“Are those good, Matt?” I asked.

“No,” he replied nonchalantly as he grabbed another handful.

“Then why are you eating them?”

“I’m not.”

Whatever, dude. Your Jedi mind tricks don’t work on me.

What Lawyers Really Do

On our way home from church yesterday, Matthew was being silly and saying things like “When I get big, I’m going to be little.” Whatever that means. Just playing along, I said “When I grow up, I’m going to be a silly four-year old boy.”

He responded: “When I grow up I’m going to be a lawyer and say ‘Please hold while I transfer your call’ all day!”

I have no idea where he got that, as I never figured out how to transfer calls on my office phone.

Keepin’ It Real

Today I was painting the boys’ playroom while Matthew played with one of his electronic preschool learning-type toys on the floor beside me. I’ve played with it, too, just not too much, and thought it was a pretty neat learning tool for preschoolers. You know, ‘catepillars turn into butterflies’ – those types of scientific facts. Things like puppies and flowers and rainbows and kittens, right? I mean, come on, it’s a preschool toy. I wasn’t paying that much attention, but I did hear the toy state the following:

Killer whales sometimes attack and eat dolphins.

I must say I was surprised. Of course, Matthew didn’t even notice (or maybe he’s so used to violence that he’s become desensitized) and continued playing. I didn’t say anything, and he didn’t ask, but if he comes up to you and tells you how dolphins die, don’t be surprised.

An Oscar Worthy Performance

I put Matthew in the shower tonight went in his room to retrieve a pair of pajamas for him, secretly hoping that he’d keep them on all night. As I walked over to his dresser, a scent caught my attention. Not a good scent. Not a scent any parent wants to smell in their 4-year old’s room. There was pee somewhere in his room. I sniffed harder and in circles, like a bloodhound, trying to determine the source of the pee-smell, but I couldn’t find it.

I stormed upstairs to the bathroom and yanked the shower curtain back and Matthew very sweetly looked up at me, all innocent, using the bathroom sponge to wash himself. The sponge I scrub the tub with. Yuck. I grabbed it from him and in one split second had this conversation with myself:

I’m gonna . . . this is just it . . . I can’t understand why he has to do these things . . . Wait. If I get angry with him, he’ll get upset and I’ll never discover the source of the pee smell. He will think he’s going to get in trouble and then he’ll start denying it all. I’ll have to wash everything in his room and I don’t want to do that. It will be so much easier if I don’t upset him and then he will tell me where he peed. Don’t make a big deal out of the sponge incident and wipe that anger off your face! He’s starting to catch on – look, he’s not smiling any more – quick!  Fake being pleasant! Happy thoughts. Happy happy . . .

So I took a deep breath and smiled at him as I said (as sing-songy as I could), “Buddy, don’t use that sponge to wash; it’s okay, you can wash with this washcloth.” Then I scrubbed him from head to toe and nonchalantly dropped this little nugget into the conversation: “Hey, did you pee in your room?” Like I had just asked him about the weather. Smooth.

Immediately I knew he had done it by the look on his face. He tried to read my expression: If she’s angry, I’m going to deny everything. I smiled at him. He smiled back. I had won his trust and he very proudly told me he peed in his closet. But NOT on his toys. In the corner. You know, where most 4-year old males pee.

Deep breaths. Deep breaths. Do not over-react now; he still could be mistaken. There may be pee in other places in the room. Must be pleasant until we reach the crime scene and he points out the exact spot. Must . . . control . . . self. Smile!

I helped him out of the bathtub, threw a big towel around him and said (like we were playing a game), “Let’s go find that pee!” And off we went to his room.

Sure enough, there was pee in the closet. A little bit. Not enough (in my professional judgement ) to warrant that amount of smell. I maintained my happy demeanor and with Clorox wipes in my hand, asked if he peed anywhere else. Yes, he had. On the rug. A little bit. Alrighty then. Anywhere else? No.

I cleaned it up and decided not to punish him. This time. We had a talk about the appropriate place to pee, which isn’t your room or anywhere else that’s not a toilet, and he agreed that from now on, he will only pee in the toilet. I’m not so sure about that, but I’m going to take his word for it right now.