Monday, April 12, 2010

I'm 4...and already smarter than my mom

Sunda is hilarious.

On Sunday, Jake and Kya were napping and Sunda was watching a cartoon. I sat down on the couch to put my feet up and flip through a magazine. Sunda saw me sit down and immediately said, "Mama, can you read this book to me?" If you're not a mom, you can't imagine the range of thoughts that go through your head at this moment. The first reaction is: "Awwww, man...I just sat down." The second is, "Of course I will, because I am terrible if I don't." Somewhere down the line is, "You know what? It's not going to kill her to continue doing what she was doing for a few minutes while I flip through this magazine and shut off my brain. We'll read it tonight before bedtime." Eventually, that's pretty much what I told her. I must've used the words, "I'm just going to relax for a few minutes." Great idea, but not right now. Mommy needs a few minutes. "Fine." She conceded.

Not five minutes later, Sunda asked me for some juice. Usually, she can manage to pour it for herself. So, still attempting to remain on the couch for as long as possible, I said to her, "Why don't you get it yourself? You can even pour some for Mommy too." "No Mama," she said. "That's a good idea, but I can't get it right now, because I just need to chillax for a few minutes." Touche. Punk. ;)


Amazing that she has picked up so many of my habits. I notice that our relationship works very similarly to any other kind of relationship. When I drop what I'm doing and pay attention to her, she drops what she's doing and pays attention to me. If I answer her the first time she calls my name, she answers me the first time I call her name. I am not advocating some kind of liberal parenting style that says that we should be friends to our kids first and foremost. No ma'am. I still believe fully that I am in charge, and that what I say goes. But mutual respect goes a long way too.

Yesterday Sunda "helped" her Daddy fix the truck in the warehouse. She came back to the house filthy. Before I could turn around she was on the bed, cuddling and cooing Kya. I said, "Sunda, did you wash your hands?!" She looked up at me all like, "you are so slow."

S: "I washed my hands with soap, and I took off my pants so I didn't get your bed dirty."

Oh great, of course you did.

M: "By the way, Sunda, do you know where the diaper cream is? I can't seem to find it."

S: "Yes Mommy, I've seen it, here, I'll show you." (She went right to it and pulled it from an obscure place in Kya's shelves of clothes. Okay, so she probably put it there in the first place.)

I can't wait for her to show her little sister how to be as helpful and delightful as she is. :)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Walking with the Lions

We have had such a blast with “Nene and Pappy Schwertfeger.” It truly is a gigantic blessing to be able to share our lives here with some of our dear family. I’m sure that our family and friends have spent the last four years wondering, “What in the world is it like where they live?" Finally, some of those questions have been answered!

I am always telling people what it’s NOT like where we live. “No, we don’t live in a mud hut.” “No, we don’t eat elephant stew for dinner.” “No, we don’t walk around with the lions and cheetahs.” Well, it turns out I have been proven false on that last one…

Yesterday, Jacob, Sunda, Nene, and Pappy headed to Chief Mukuni’s “Lion Park.” We had heard about it before and knew that it was a big tourist attraction. We also thought that it would be kinda lame and pretty expensive. So we ultimately marked it off of our “to-do” list. But yesterday, because of Overland’s good relationship with the Chief, some of the guys thought that maybe we could get into the park at a reduced rate. I stayed home with Kya (who wasn’t at the top of her game after a looonnnggg Easter Sunday), and the rest of the family took off to see the lion park!

Unfortunately, the park staff refused Jake and the crew the reduced rate we thought would be in order. Jake and Jack (a co-worker of ours) argued and argued. Nothin’ doin’. So, gutsy man that he is, Jack decided to walk over to the Chief’s “palace” to see if he was home and would personally grant permission for free entrance. It turns out that the Chief himself was on his way to visit his own park and not only let everyone in for free…but took the tour with them!

My 4-year-old stood very close to a pack of lions who were lunging at the fence (she was, obviously, on the other SIDE of the fence.) She was terrified, and was convinced by her Daddy to get a picture near them…practically strangling Jake while the pics were being taken.

My husband, who has always loved cheetahs, got to PET a cheetah. Yes, friends. This is not your typical, heavily insured zoo. This is a park that lets you pet the lions and cheetahs (for a fee.) And if you get eaten, then, well, you got too close!

The Chief generously extended an invitation to all Overland staff this weekend. He offered the option of either taking the “elephant safari” (you get to ride an elephant!) Or “walking with the lions”, literally going in the lion’s cages and petting them. Jake said that I could go with some friends on Sunday and that he would stay with the girls. I’m afraid the activity choice isn’t up to me though, as Jake’s offer was posed like this, “Why don’t you go on Sunday? If you want to ride an elephant, that is. There’s NO WAY I’m letting you go in with the lions. Sorry.” Don’t worry, hubby, I don’t have a big desire to pet Mufasa anyway.