Tonight's bath time monologue: "On Memorial Day, I'm going to be too busy to go to the picnic at Overview Park. I will be traveling all day to Rhode Island to help Yajni with her kids. I need to help Yajni, M-----, and R----(*) with something tricky." When Neil asked him(**) "What do they need help with?" Ben replied, "The games they will go to play are hard. Some of the games in their house are tricky."
(*) He got their names right, but I'm suppressing a few details here.
(**) ...by bellowing in his left ear. It's not elegant, but it gets the job done when he's without equipment.
When we were reading books before bed, Ben mysteriously announced, "Sometimes I have to skip over the math parts." Now, I know he never heard me say anything like that, so I have no idea where that came from. But he was very pleased with this pronouncement, because he repeated it many times.
Ben usually operates on the principle that if Mom or Dad suggest it, It's Bad, even if it's not. This can put him in quite a bind if what we're suggesting is something that he really wants. Case in point: "Ben, do you want to take more dance lessons with Miss Kat this fall?" "NO!" We've found that the best way to deal with this is to pull back, regroup, and then re-approach the idea with a little more subtlety: "Hey Ben, remember the candy machine outside the dance class? And how you and Pascal would share some candy?" Apparently, Ben's recent Father-Son trip with Neil to visit Neil's parents was marked by several such situations, requiring a certain degree of finagling. Ben, you wanna go to the arboretum? NO! But he ended up loving the arboretum. Same deal with riding the chair lift up to hike around the top of the mountain, or driving the golf cart. So when I was in the throes of some similar discussion with Ben a couple of days ago, I reminded him of those experiences -- "Remember how much you liked riding the chair lift? Remember the golf cart?" Ben: "And don't forget about the arboretum!" [Hedy, that's the anecdote I was promising you. He still occasionally goes through the litany of the kite, the bubble wand, and don't forget about the wrong path!]
In other news, we're still coping with Mr. Stinkerpants a lot of the time, but I think he's gradually easing out of this phase. The last few days have been marked by Extreme Bossiness. There's been some upheaval at his school with new kids starting this past week (and in fact he's in a new classroom as of a few weeks ago), so my theory is that he's dealing with the attendant feelings of anxiety by trying to control his environment (which largely means us) as much as he can.
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