Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Thinking of The Children

Or rather my children: Big Mischief and Little Mischief. Big Mischief is almost 5 and Little Mischief just had her 3rd birthday.

Big Mischief learned to read several months ago. Now she's occasionally has a go at books for 3rd graders [that's 8 or 9 years old for my European readers]. Big Mischief is also well on her way to learning addition and subtraction and has a hazy idea of multiplication. She also has dance lessons once a week. Big Mischief likes to do her "homework" now that my wife and I are enrolled in degree programs. She also has a sense of responsibility and likes to help around the house. I fear her greatest danger in school will be boredom. Oh and I almost forgot: Big Mischief is learning to add, subtract the same way I did: keeping her own score at rummy.

Little Mischief is also known as Big Mischief in a Little Package. She occasionally torments and terrorizes her older sister who is almost twice her weight. And she'll do it with a sweet, sweet smile on her face. Little Mischief also likes her books. She's learned a few of her letters and numbers. For the longest time, my wife & I were mildly concerned that Little Mischief seemed to have no appreciable sense of fear. That girl was completely unafraid of dogs, insects, strangers, getting hurt, or of just about anything else. Then one day when she was about 2-1/2 there was a thunderstorm and the thunder frightened her terribly.

Little Mischief has shown great courage in the swimming pool: she'll float around and splash around in the big pool with just a kiddie flotation ring. She was terrified because her feet couldn't touch bottom. It only took a little doing and after a couple of times in the big pool, she would cry when it was time to get out. Little Mischief has also started dance lessons this summer. But she's flightier and much more impulsive than her sister. However, when something catches her attention she's all over it and for as long as it takes. I've seen her sit playing Pretend with her dolls for what seemed like all day. Little Mischief also likes to go around saying, "I'm a hungry tiger, rooooaaaar," or "I'm a frog, ribbit, ribbitt, ribbitt," and the like.

Momma Mischief is from the Former Soviet Bloc. But as I tried to explain to her before we moved back closer to home, she's far more Western than most people around here. She works as an administrator at a local college. I think she's more hardcore atheist than I am. She reads more literature than I do. And I generally read more social science than she does.

Last Spring we had to send the Mischiefs to preschool for two days a week. Apparently, they taught the kids various songs or maybe they prayed before lunch. One day Little Mischief started singing/reciting, "God is good, God is Great" over and over and over. Momma Mischief ended up in tears over it. I persuaded her to let it go. We compromised. She told her sister that it's a big secret that God is pretend, but not everybody knows this. And the attitude and occasional discussions/arguments(?) between Little Mischief and Big Mischief led to the gradual disappearance of Little Mischief's God talk.

So does this mean an end to weighty philosophical posts? Hardly. Partly it was Possum Momma aka Atheist in a van but mostly the problems, joys, etc. of being a nonbeliever in the Bible Belt raising two precocious children. How best to raise them and how to deal with religion are problems my wife & I frequently discuss. It's also one of those things that I think a lot about. In order to expand my range of topics, introductions seemed to be in order.

1 comment:

  1. I just wanted to pop by and say "hello!" I've added you to my google reader.



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