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Gus Van Horn blog

Reblogged:Friday Hodgepodge

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Four Things

1. One week over the summer, the kids attended a "movie camp," which they both seemed to enjoy. Arriving to pick them up one afternoon, I saw a bizarre sight: my eight-year-old daughter was sitting on the floor with her palms facing upwards, apparently meditating.

Meanwhile, my six-year-old son was capering around her and trying to get her attention, like some kind of out-sized and very annoying gnat.

And yet, Pumpkin sat serenely, the embodiment of lofty detachment.

For about another second, anyway...

Then she swatted him.

I still chuckle when I think of that.

I learned on the ride home that the camp counselors had told everyone to make up games to entertain themselves while they waited for their parents to arrive. This is what my kids came up with.

2. A few weeks ago, Little Man asked me what Labor Day was, and I told him it was a day to remember and honor the productive, the people who work.
About a year ago, my son was putting signs on everything. Here is one he made after his grandparents told the kids and their cousins not to go into the drawers of their coffee table.
A few days later, he spoke to me, apparently worried about something.

"Is Mom going to get fired?" he asked.

"What? Why would that happen?"

"She didn't go to work on Labor Day."

Sometimes, it's funny the things you don't realize you need to make clear until you have to.

3. The good news was the bad news: My son figured out how to use the Amazon Fire remote well enough to run his own TV time. Good for him, but timewise, I had merely replaced the ritual of waiting for an eternity for each menu to show up on the screen with ... wasting an eternity looking for the remote before he did this. (And, yes. I hate looking for things, so I almost always would say something about how nice it would be if only there were a place we could keep the remotes so we could find them.)

And then, one day, my son came up with a new rule: All remotes have to be kept on the corner of the breakfast bar.

Contest the true origin of that idea all you want, but I praised my son for his solution and have made it a point to help him enforce his rule ever since.

4. My son can be quite enterprising, and one day, he decided to try his hand at selling art. It was hot, and I thought there wouldn't be any foot traffic in front of the house: I tried to get him to try a better time, but he really wanted to do this, so I poured myself a beer, pulled a chair out, and helped him set up his stand. I ended up having a pleasant hour or so chatting with neighbors off and on, and he ended up making $4.00.

I can think of worse ways a kid can learn that adults can sometimes be wrong.

-- CAV

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