Friday, October 26, 2007

Autumn at Our House

Thursday, October 25, 2007


I couldn’t help but be impressed by the quick-thinking four-year-old Colorado girl who activated her car’s OnStar system when her mother passed out while driving. She had never been specifically taught how to do so, but had overheard a salesperson explaining it to her mother when she had purchased the car two days earlier.

So I decided to test my four-year-old. I kind of knew how she would do, but I was hoping she might surprise me.

Me: Hilary, I want to talk about what you should do in case of an emergency. Do you know what an emergency is?

Hilary: Yes.

Me: What is it?

Hilary: I don’t know.

Me: Well, say for example I fell asleep right now [we were waiting in the car for her sister’s school bus] and you couldn’t wake me up. What would you do?

Hilary: I don’t know.

Me: Or, what if we were home and I fell down the stairs and you couldn’t wake me up. What would you do then?

Hilary: Cry?

I think it’s because I’ve been so concerned over the past nine years that one of my kids would call 911 by accident that I haven’t actually taught them what to do in a real emergency. We’ve never organized a fire drill, or shown the kids how to hit the panic button on the alarm panel. I haven’t even been diligent about making sure the older kids know their address and phone number. Hilary has been walking around for a couple of weeks now announcing to anyone who will listen that her middle name is Rachel and her last name is Lutz and I suspect that’s the extent of her identifying information.

It’s hard to know how much and at what age you should teach your kids about emergencies. I certainly don’t want Hilary hitting the panic button every time her cousin bops her with his foam sword. On the other hand, it would be nice to know that in the worst of worst case scenarios, if fate should ever place the reins of life in her chubby little hands, she would be able to do something more heroic than just . . . cry.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Disney World? But I'm Soooo Sleepy..

Remember what I said about the joy of childhood, blah, blah, blah? Well, when we woke Erika to tell her we were going to Disney World, she looked at us through half-closed lids and moaned that she was tired. Tired! Hilary was the most excited, and actually managed to jump up and down. Declan was excited too, once he learned that we were going on an airplane.

That's not to say that the trip wasn't successful, but I think next time we'll tell the kids well in advance of the trip. After all, there is something to be said for anticipation.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Shh... We're Going to Disney World Tomorrow

Tomorrow morning we're going to wake up Declan, Ronan, Erika, and Hilary at the crack of dawn and tell them we're going to Disney World. Declan will be thrilled just to be going on the airplane. Ronan will see that everyone else is excited so he will be too. But to be honest, I just can't imagine the joy that Erika and Hilary will feel.

I think the capacity of a child's joy far surpasses that of an adult. Children feel an exuberance about things that isn't tempered by responsibility. When Declan hears that we are going away for 5 days, his first thought won't be, "Who will feed the fish?" But if Matty surprised me with a trip to St. Maarten, my excitement would surely be somewhat tamed by trying to figure out all the logistics of babysitting, laundry, packing, and the like. (Of course, I'd still like that trip, Matty.)

I envy the excitement they're going to feel tomorrow morning. I can't wait to see it.

Friday, October 5, 2007

The Award for Most-Improved Kid Goes To...

Ronan! (applause)

It seems like just yesterday that Ronan was a royal pain in the tuchus, a stubborn, willful baby who steadfastly refused to do anything asked of him. His naps were erratic, his demeanor... not so pleasant. He wouldn't cuddle or kiss or hug, any of the things we want from babies. We all loved him, but no one really liked him.

Now, Ronan is a gem. He's always got a smile on his face and seems to enjoy naptime as much as I do. He's a happy guy, always running up for a hug or a kiss. Dont' get me wrong; he's not perfect--his newest favorite thing to do is scream at Gretchen and make her cry--but he's a much better version of the kid he used to be.

What happened? I don't know. But I do know that Aaron is going through the exact same thing right now.

I have to laugh.