Colorful Socks

Of all the gifts one receives in their life, there are some that keep giving.

Yes, a magazine subscription is one example. A family photo is another one to revisit and enjoy.

My favorite one is new socks. A package of new socks, given at Christmas, can start my day happily right through Easter.

First, knowing that they are there, bright, pristine and stretchy. I hoard them until I need a little something extra. A morning full of chaos can be brightened ten fold by using a new pair. I can just tell when I need them.

They are hopefully brightly colored. That makes them much easier to keep paired AND life is just too short to wear dull common socks. I wear two different colored socks sometimes, possibly because their mates are temporarily missing but often to see if my kids notice. When they do, I tell them that I have another pair somewhere just like those.

Playing “head games” with kids is so important. Makes them think outside the box. I am surprised by their ability to “catch on”. When a kid ,of 3, says,” I’m thirsty.” My response is usually, “Hello thirsty, where’s (their name)?” Often the very next time they want something to drink they rephrase their request and say ,”NO, (their name) is thirsty.”

One of my former kids was known by the nick-name ( I give each of them their own) Punkin’ Pie. I made up a jingle about her. Now, at age 12, she remembers it still.

She’s my Punkin’ Pie and I don’t know why?

Maybe she’s cute

Maybe she’s sweet

Maybe I’ll just nibble on her…

toes.

She still giggles as we pause for the last word which long ago she realized was supposed to rhyme. I can remember the day that she “got it”. Before that it was just a jingle. I always left the last word off and let her end the song.

By playing word games, my kids really caught on to the complexity of language. Especially the ways we could be misunderstood by the misplacement of only one word in a statement.

Sometimes a word will come up and I will write it down as “word of the day”. I tape it to the kitchen door. Once in a while we will list other words that mean the same thing. Poison was followed by toxic and venom. We spent a whole week on those words and the kids kept interjecting them into daily discussions. Those words led to talks about nature,safety,and other words and their meanings. Kids really like to talk and I love talking with them.

At day’s end, when we are waiting for parents to arrive, I have a question and answer time. They LOVE it. Big kids of mine ,who stop by for only a day still ask for “question and answer” time. I use that time to question them on safety practices. A specific question might be, “What would you do if suddenly confronted by an unknown dog who is snarling at you?” The ones who have played before know that they should not make eye contact and should not run but remain still and look like a frozen tree. The littler ones listen and learn and if they have all forgotten what to do, I am able to refresh their memories. I throw in questions about science, good manners and grammar as well.

Talking to kids is as much fun as wearing new socks. It makes for a colorful and happy feeling all day long. This is why I like brand new colorful socks. Get it?

If My Pet Could Talk

Ollie is a really good boy!

“Oh Mama, I am such a lucky dog! I get to run in the forest and chase chipmunks almost every weekend and sleep under the covers next to you every night. My Dad tastes great after he eats all those evening snacks. When I lick his face, he is the most delightful combination of salty and sweet. I’ve also come to enjoy the taste of Tabasco sauce now that I have licked many of his plates clean.

A few times Aunt Donna has slept with me while you were not home. I missed you but felt safe and happy.

Those kids step on me and take my toys but I enjoy their snacks falling to the floor from time to time. It is a good trade off. You have to admit I am the REAL “quicker picker upper” when it comes to baby formula.

Thanks for bringing me in at night when we are camping. I can hear those coyotes but pretend that I can’t…don’t even want to make trouble for them from inside the camper. Those guys mean business! That’s why I never let my girl, Katherine, out of my sight. I would take them ALL on to protect her.

You don’t have to thank me for catching mice. It’s what I do. Sorry about the bunnies…all are “chippies” to me. Besides, your garden would have been picked to the bone. (excuse the pun:-)

When the kids are playing inside the fence, don’t worry. No stranger will approach as I am on guard at all times.

Most of all, thanks for all the fun car trips. I can’t wait for the flea market to open. Many friends wait to see me and those aromas are so interesting and exciting! Walking on a leash allows me to show off those manners that I have learned. I hope to set a great example on behalf of Jack Russells everywhere.

Hey, there’s my neighbor. May I go out?”

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