Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Knives and Paint

Greetings friends and family,

I'm officially the only person in the house going to wor.  Ouma is retired, Oupa and the twins are on summer vacation, and Kendra's work was and is at home.  I begrudgingly get a ride to and from work each day knowing everyone else is having play dates, exercising, and working on whatever they choose to.  Maybe that's what I feel like i'm missing out on... choice.  I suppose, technically speaking, I choose to go to work each day, but I can't imagine it any other way after doing this for 17 years.  Also, my post-sabbatical blues are kicking in a bit.  I look at the calendar and think "one year ago I was traveling through the mid-west and hanging out with family."  That was an amazing time and I can't wait for my next sabbatical in 1,347 days.  Yes, i have count down timer on my work webpage to keep track of my sabbatical.

anyway, back to the fun we're having.  some I get to join in and some I don't, but i'm happy for Kendra and the twins to make the most of the summer.  Easton is still waking up at the butt crack of dawn.  Early to bed and early to rise makes an Easton wealthy and wise.  We'll see if that holds up over time.  His prospects are looking good so far!  Ouma gave him a magnifying glass with a light  on it.  he's discovering a whole new world.  Everything looks different through a magnifying glass.

Earlier this year my friend gave me a pocket knife for Easton.  He's the leader of some organization that promotes safe pocket knife usage or something like that.  I've been waiting for him to get a little more maturity under his belt.  Easton and I were at home and I sat him down in the living room right on the floor.  I did a sort of ceremony of presenting the knife to him.  He sat in front of me and I held up the knife without saying a word.  I waited for Mr. Inquisitive to ask the questions.  "Is that for me?"  "How does it work?" "Can I keep it in my room?"  and on and on he went.  I didn't have to bring up a single point because he covered them all and then some.

I also bought one for Layla a few months ago and waited for this summer to give it to her.  Layla's is a simple Case knife that is easier to open, but doesn't have a locking mechanism.  I thought it did, but since it doesn't i'll have to swap it out sometime with a simple, single-blade locking pocket knife for her.

The rules are that the knives stay in my possession, but belong to them. they can use their knife any time they want to as long as I am around to supervise.

I decided to put together an adventure:  crawdad fishing.  Sounds simple, but i knew how much work it would take.   We needed to get from starting with nothing to dipping a crawdad tail in warm butter on the dinner table.

Step one is to get some crawdad fishing poles.  Behind Oupa's back gate we found some big sticks to use as poles.  We sat on the front porch to whittle off the bark.  This provided the first opportunity for the twins to use their knives.  After a few minutes of safety discussions they were slicing the bark away.  I wanted to take a picture of the twins using their new trusty knives so I took this one first of Easton.

then I focused my camera on Layla and noticed she was just standing their looking at her hand.  Then I saw blood.  drop, drop, drop ran down her hand and onto the pavement.  Nobody freaked out, thankfully.  Layla didn't even know what had happened.  I still can't understand how she cut her pinky finger like this.

Luckily it was just a tiny, clean slice that only required some pressure, Oupa's assessment, and a band-aid for a few hours.  Layla was a little freaked out by the blood, but she quickly realized it wasn't a big deal.  She has a tendency to get one sentence into learning about a new topic and she immediately thinks she's an expert and doesn't need any more help.  The sliced pinky was a real eye opener for her and hopefully a small price to pay for her to realize she needs instruction, correction, and discipline for many more years.  Our crawdad poles consisted of a long stick with ten feet of fishing line and a large hook on the end.  We were all set for the adventure!

Easton is clearly my son.  he makes the same click noises, shoulder shrugs, and expressions as I do.  he also loves back rubs.  Layla is happy to scratch his back and he lays there like a sloth

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