Ever After
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  • October23rd


    Posted in: Tad

    Tad loves to tickle my back, but it’s the things that he says in the course of a day that really tickle me. I try to jot them down on sticky notes, but I’m afraid that I’m going to lose the little pieces of paper, so I want to record the witticisms here.

    Family Prayer (10/23/12)
    This morning, BT had to rush out the door with the girls to get them to school. We’ve done so much better in getting them there on time this year, but I think that today might be the day Vivi gets her first tardy. Anyway, as Ari was hustling to the truck, she shouted over her shoulder, “say family prayer for us.” I love that she’s always so good about reminding everyone to pray. At her request, Tad and I stood at the back door, and he said the family prayer. Excited about moving on to the adventures of the day, Tad kept it short. Here are his exact words:

    “Heavenly Father, this is Tad. I bless that we won’t pee in our underwear today. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”

    He didn’t mean to be funny. He was as sincere as a little four-year-old still striving to master his bladder could be. I was tickled.

    Fruit (8/7/12)
    As the kids and I sat around the table one evening (BT was at church meetings), the topic of conversation somehow turned to Adam and Eve. Tad got excited because he had learned about the famous Biblical couple in Primary. I asked him what he learned from his Primary lesson. His exact words:

    “Don’t eat any fruit off of any tree or we’ll have to move to a different city.”

    Sweet Georgia on His Mind
    This past summer and for the first time in several years, the extended Tolbert family had a reunion. Everyone had a blast, and on the morning that we were heading back home, Tad resolutely announced that he would not be joining us. He was going to stay with Gran (doting board game partner), Poppy John (patient tractor pal), Papa (cuddly lap), Sadie and Sassy (drooling dogs), Gran’s funny-looking guineas, and all the other little critters that he and the other cousins had discovered in the 100-acre wood of Shady Hollow Trail. Who can blame him? While we were there, the well kept running dry, so a dip in the lake counted as a bath, teeth brushing was kept to a minimum, and suddenly Tad was getting praised for NOT flushing the toilet. Thankfully, we finally convinced him to keep our family intact and come back with us.

    Several weeks later, I was sorting through the SD cards from my camera, and I came across pictures from the reunion. The imaged stirred fond remembrance in Tad. His little heart longed for Georgia, a place of adventure and unconditional love. He sighed and quietly said, “I should have stayed there. Right, Mom?”

    (The picture at the top of this post is one I took of Tad sitting on Poppy John’s tractor this summer.)

    Promise? (10/27/12)
    Last week, Tad was watching “Pirates of the Caribbean” with a little friend that I was babysitting for the day. They reached the part of the movie where Captain Jack and Elizabeth Swan are marooned on a deserted island, and the pirate unsuccessfully tries to kiss the leading lady. I overheard Tad explain to his friend that his Dad did not like kissing movies, especially not those where the characters kiss on the lips. Tad then turned to me and said, “Mom, I promise that I will NEVER kiss anyone on the lips.”

    Whew! His teenage years will be easier than I thought.

    Oklahoma! (10/21/12)
    On Sunday as we waited for sacrament meeting to start, Tad leafed through his Book of Mormon. Suddenly, he stopped at a picture of Lehi and his family on their ship headed to the promised land. In the picture, Lehi is holding a ball of curious workmanship. He excitedly exclaimed, “Mom! He’s holding the OKLAHOMA!”

    Ok, so maybe we do need to redouble our efforts at family scripture study.

    (I know that the previous post was all about Tad, but the fact is that he and I spend a lot of time together in the course of a day. As such, I sometimes have more blog-worthy material amassed for him than I do for the others.)

  • October10th

    Who’s faster than a speeding bullet and able to leap tall piles of laundry in a single bound?

    Super Tad!

    Tad brings vivacity and volume to our lives. He can’t just walk down stairs. He has to jump down them several at a time. For that matter, he can’t even maintain a walking tempo. His only speeds are fast and faster, and as exhausting as he is, he is an absolute joy to have around.

    His favorite shows are “Greatest American Hero,” “Avengers,” and “The Incredible Hulk.” He and I sometimes sneak over to Chick-fil-a during the day when the girls are at school, grab some lunch and then come back to have a picnic in the playroom while we watch Bill Bixby morph into Lou Ferrigno, so it seemed fitting that his birthday theme this year be super hero-based.

    Tad has never had a birthday party before, so he was super excited for the big day to arrive.

    To introduce the theme, I designed a fun retro-comic book inspired invitation.

    I then got the crazy idea to sew personalized capes and masks for the six invitees. (Plus I did two more mini versions as baby gifts).

    Thankfully, my Super Friends came to the rescue and helped with cupcakes, goodie bags, and crowd control on the day of the party.

    I found it ironic that most of the children didn’t want to have anything to do with the capes and masks . . . until some of the moms put on the outfits.

    We did four games at the party:

    Firewalk: Walking across a 2×4 board that was surrounded by tissue paper “flames.”

    Bean bag Bad Guy Toss: Try to knock over the “bad guys” (empty Crystal Light containers w/ a picture of a cute “bad guy” taped around each) with bean bags. This was the favorite game; Vivi and Tad have spent HOURS playing it over the last few days.

    Diffuse the Grenades: Pop the grenade balloons. To my surprise, a couple of kids FREAKED out when they realized that popping balloons were involved.

    Walking on Air: Stomping on wide strips of bubblewrap that we taped to the ground. Reviews on this activity were mixed–the balloon-phobic children were also scared of this game. Everyone else had a BLAST!

    I also designed little individual photo booth style picture strips to slip into the thank you cards.

    (I’m not sure why the colors went a little funky when I uploaded the file. They match the colors on the invite and printed out fine. Weird.)

    One of my favorite memories of Tad’s 4th birthday will be when he woke up and realized that he was no longer three. Here’s how the conversation went:

    Tad: “So, I’m not three anymore?”

    Mom: “Nope. You’re four.”

    Tad: “So, I’m four years old?”

    Mom: “Yep. You’re four.”

    Tad: “So do I still wear the same clothes?”

    Mom: “Yep. You’re four and you still wear the same clothes.”

    Tad: “But I’m not three anymore?”

    Mom: “No, you’re four.”

    Tad: “But the three-year-old clothes in my drawer. Do I still wear those?”

    Mom: “Yes, Tad. You are really only a day older than yesterday, and so you still fit in your clothes.”

    Tad: “Oh. I’m four and I still wear the clothes in my drawer?”

    I think at this point, I sighed, smiled, and broke out in song: “This is the song that never ends, it just goes on and on my friend . . .”

    Tad joined me and thankfully forgot about his clothes. I think the reason this verbal exchange tickles me so much is that it reminds me of myself . . . always making sure that all the angles and contingencies are covered, even though it drives others around me nutso.

    Tad, my love for you is like our favorite song . . . it just goes on and on my friend . . .

    Please stay my super buddy forever.