Practicing Being a Man

After a wedding last year Jay was surprised to realize how early a little girl’s wedding fantasies could begin. This week I was surprised to learn how early a little boy could begin acting like a man.


When visiting the homestead I always feel uncomfortable having my little children around Toby. He’s very dominant and doesn’t listen well to me, which, I admit, disposes me more against him.

He’s only actually acted dangerous when the kids are running and shreaking (usually from an uncle or Grandpa playing “monster”), but whenever the dog wanders into the vicinity of the children someone will tell him to get away.  I prefer it this way.

One morning Toby followed a bunch of us into the back of the house. Teena told him to get on his way and he wandered into a bedroom further down the hall. Elisha kept stumping toward Toby as he walked away from us, and shook his finger in the empty hallway, grunting authoritatively ( “Ungh! Ungh!”).

Then he took my finger and tottled around until he was between me and the room the dog had gone into, then he *pushed* me ahead of him up the hallway. He watched the bedroom door all the way, and when Toby poked his head out it prompted another series of fierce grunts and finger-shaking.

He didn’t let go of me or stop pushing until he’d taken us straight to the room where Jay was working. When he saw his dad and I started telling the story, Elisha wandered off in his normal, aimless, little-boy way.

But there was no question that for a while there he was very focussed on protecting his Mama and getting her where he thought she’d be safe.



Elisha has to be told to sit on the opposite side of the kitchen (against the cabinets) if I’m trying to take someting out of the oven. Otherwise he’s hovering right by the door, signing hot! hot! excitedly. Here he’s heard the timer go off and he knows what’s supposed to come next.


This beautiful quilt was a gift from one of the ladies at our church. It’s awesome he has his “own” quilt now– since I’ve not been doing that since before he was born.


Here’s the crew measuring out the last details for the new computer desk.


Melody mugging for a picture. It’s really hard to catch one of her spontaneous smiles. I’m really praying for understanding about this one. She has such a capacity for love and delight, but she seems sullen and resentful too, sometimes, in a way the others aren’t.


Jay has been reading in the evenings, lately, and I just love this picture as a collection of some major pleasures in our lives (that’s ice cream he’s eating, in case you needed to ask).

Natasha and Kindergarten

I’m not sure where exactly she got the concept of “kindergarten,” but Natasha’s asked a couple times now when she’s starting and how it will be different than preschool.

In case you haven’t heard, I’m planning to start her in the Fall of ’08. She’ll be 5, then. I had wanted to wait until she was 6, but then I realized that Melody would be 5 that fall (maybe ready to start, herself), and I did want them to be separated a year.

I explained that kindergarten will be different because she will be doing school every day that Daddy goes to work, and we will be spending more time on some new things. The idea pricks her interest, but I can tell she’s not ready for it yet. She has a terrific attention span for things of her own choosing, but she hasn’t learned to consistently apply it to something of my choosing, which is something school will require.

Lots of Elisha Milestones this Week


Elisha was fussing with Jay at bedtime, wanting me (trying to get away from Jay) and Jay told him (as he has before) that Mama was helping the girls go to sleep and he’d have to wait till I was available. For the first time he seemed to understand, settling sadly back to wait with Daddy instead of continuing to fight.

He fell asleep for me in five minutes. Just in the rocking chair. I haven’t bedtime-nursed him for abut a week now (first night was Killer, but it’s been great since then– one or no wakings a night).


  • Elisha picked-up the “apple” sign in about two goes. Absolutely sweet grin– he knows he’s doing something new and special.
  • Elisha followed directions (in all fairness, he’s known “clean that up” for a while now– after he spills something he knows how to use a towel). I asked him to take an apple slice to Melody after he got his and he went to the other room to bring it straight to her.
  • First day he went to nap without nursing. In fact, no nursing at all today.
  • Let me lay him in down at bedtime while he was still awake. (He’s done this for Jay before, but not for me).


He let me lay him down at nap while he was still awake. I have to wonder if he rolls with this because he sees his sisters do it every day. For what ever reason, I laid down all three kids today (albeit late for nap) and walked out of the room knowing they were still awake, expecting them to go to sleep.

Like I said. Milestones. This is awesome.