Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The perfect gift.

Growing up with a mother like mine meant that the holidays (ALL of them) would be greeted with moans and groans by Dad and I while mom’s head almost popped off from shear excitement.  My mother doesn’t celebrate holidays, she DOES holidays.  She has holiday related decorations, foods, clothes, happies, and let’s not forget songs and skits.  My mother is her own band of traveling gypsies and man can she put on a show.  Anyone who has ever met my mother knows what I am talking about.  The woman can make a visit to the OB/GYN an party, she doesn’t bother making lemonade out of lemons…after making her own potpourri, dessert, jewelry, and cleaner there are none left.  After a weekend full of baking, house decorating, and craft making she and my dad took Cheetah on a shopping excursion.

She had the idea that he could pick out some presents that he could give to people…he was allowed to pick whatever he wanted.  When I went to pick him up, she was beaming; everyone was so excited about the choices that he made for presents and promised that no one would be disappointed.  Cheetah was so excited to help pass out the presents on Christmas Eve; he was all smiles and had an explanation for each gift.  They were a HUGE hit!

For the great aunts (most of them got the same gift) he opted for a shower puff; the reasoning, “my aunts all smell nice and ladies are always telling me to bathe so they’ll love it”. 

Tarzan got a puzzle, and a slinky, “so he’ll stop playing with mine”. 
  I got chapstick in HIS favorite flavor, some toenail polish (he does know me) and some reindeer socks.
For his Granny he bought her a new spatula “to help her make Mac and cheese”.  For the great uncle who plays in a band, he bought a Penguins of Madagascar calendar so, “he’ll remember all his gigs”.  For the great uncle who has everything, popcorn bowls since “popcorn is diabetic, right Momma?!”  For his uncle Ty he got a ’Lemonheads’ filled ornament because “it’s his favorite candy, duh.”  For his Nana a small spatula, which broke Cheetah said, “that’s ok she doesn’t really like to cook”.  For his Papaw he got him some coffee, “because he has to wake up early and fix breakfasts”.
 But my favorite was a pair of candy cane antlers with bows, “Uncle Jackie LOVES bows” (bow HUNTING that is).
We were amazed by the amount of attention Cheetah gives to adult conversations and how much he really knows about his family members far and near.  I am really looking forward to next Christmas, with Cheetah doing the shopping I may have time to do some crafting and baking of my own.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Fact or Fiction

Our culture is currently inundated with themes fantasy in nature; we have books about wizards, magic, vampires and werewolves, television shows and movies about witches, magic wardrobes, hobbits, and the afore mentioned literary themes.  Our lives are bombarded by images in the ads and commercials for the movies, books, and television shows.  There are books dedicated to explaining background storylines, the development of these fictional worlds, and the impact they have on society as a whole.  We have dozens of websites dedicated to purchasing memorabilia for each individual series we are currently addicted to (my fave is etsy.com – you can type in anything there and find some pretty unique items); all of this exposure has led to some very difficult conversations in the Smith household.

 Tarzan and I made a deal well before Cheetah made his grand entrance into the world that we would tell him the truth, ALWAYS.  Obviously the truth will need to be age appropriate and does not apply to Santa, the Easter Bunny, or Healthcare Reform (I’m pretty sure he’s going to see through them quick enough on his own) but no babies from storks, no happy little farm where animals go to live, and no politicians that live up to their promises.  But lately he’s been asking some difficult questions: Are there aliens in the galaxy?  How is God real if I can’t see him?  Does Bigfoot exist??  If I go out at night are there  vampires and werewolves? 

I am at a loss, I don’t want to mislead him but I’m not real sure where I stand on most of the previously listed questions.  I want to believe that there are aliens out there, surely we can’t be alone here and there is NO WAY that we are the most civilized and intellectual beings in space.  For me the God part was cake, and he had no problems grasping the concept of a ‘father type figure’ to watch over the world but; Bigfoot, werewolves, vampires?  These are the things I have no idea about. There have been several studies and tons of research done for both sides of every story.  No one really knows for sure… no one person can provide proof, without a shadow of a doubt. 

For now I am buying myself time by saying they are fictional characters that come from the imaginations of other people.  After all, I don’t want him going to bed scared to close his eyes.  What will I tell him when he realizes that there are people who not only believe in these creatures but that they ARE these creatures…Fact/Fiction what do you tell a child???

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Suprising 'Thank You'.

Cheetah has always been a bit of a ‘scardy cat’ when it comes to heights, climbing, noises, and playgrounds (just to name a few) and I always chalked it up to being an only child. He is scared to get inside the playground equipment or any tunnel slides; I tried bringing him to playground after playground; with friends and without. It really never seemed to make a difference who was there or where we were so I decided to sign him up for ‘Tumble Bus’ at his school. They work on physical skills needed for maneuvering on play ground equipment: tumbling and light gymnastics while being in a safe padded environment. He really seems to like it; it’s a place where he can blow off some steam once a week and it has lead to a love of break dancing. What’s not entertaining about watching a 4 year-old ATTEMPT to break-dance???

His confidence was improving but he was still nervous so I decided to use my least favorite 5 letter word in my favor, I say, “Brady isn’t brave enough to climb up that hill” and there he would go, straight up the hill. It even started working at playgrounds and zoo’s; he looks at me and smiles. He turns and says, “Don’t tell Brady he’s not as brave as me.” He has started using our tricks on us, when Tarzan and I say ‘no’ to something he will say, “Its ok if you are scared, you can do it”.

We were discussing our up-coming weekend when I brought up Santa’s Christmas parade on Saturday. He was so excited he smiled and said, “Will he be walking on chairs?? You know, he’s brave enough.” All the talk of bravery has really helped in spreading Cheetah’s wings. We went to the park with friends this weekend and he was getting on the swings, sliding on the slides, and going through tunnels. He was all smiles, so proud that he was brave enough to really enjoy the park. I was nervous about pushing him, who has to nag a little boy to climb or tumble, (it really could have gone the other way) but it seemed a little nudge was all he needed to give it a try. So if you’re keeping score, I think that means Jane 1 Cheetah 0…thanks, Brady.