One night for Family Home Evening we were playing a game about safety. I had Abe, Liam, and Soren line up on the edge of the rug and explained that I would ask them each a question about safety. If they answered the question correctly, they would be able to take a step forward. If they answered the question incorrectly, they would have to take a step back. The first one to make it to the other side of the rug would be the winner.
I started with Daddy. "You're playing in the neighborhood when you look up and realize you don't recognize any of the houses. You don't know how to get back to your house. What do you do?"
"Call someone on my cell phone," answered Daddy.
So we had a little discussion about what a child would do in said circumstances, and I moved on to Liam.
"Liam, I said. What is your full name?"
"Four!" he answered confidently.
So we had a little discussion about that.
Then it was Soren's turn.
"Soren, you find a power strip and use it to plug in as many electrical devices as you possibly can. Is that safe? Or unsafe?"
Soren burst into tears and ran out of the room.
I followed the sound of the slamming bedroom door and found Soren sprawled out on a mattress, covered in a blanket, sobbing and moaning. "I'm never going to win!" he shouted. "I hate this stupid game!"
I realized immediately that he thought that because the scenario I had given him was an unsafe scenario, it meant he would have to take a step back. It took a lot of fast talking, but I was finally able to persuade him to return to the game, answer the question correctly, and take a step forward.
And that scenario pretty much sums up our family.
Soren read a whole story all by himself! Here, he's reading it to Grandma.
My mother was delighted when Soren sat down with her one day to tell her all about his previous night's dream. She, in turn, told him about her dream and they had a lovely conversation. "It was the cutest thing! He's just becoming a real person!" she said.
At our house, we party in our underpants.
Soren lost his first tooth! Bottom left, from his perspective. I noticed it was missing while he was having a bath one morning and was horrified that he had lost a tooth and no one had told me. Turns out he swallowed it while eating an apple. The tooth fairy couldn't come and take a swallowed tooth, so I just gave him a dollar as a congratulations. This was about as normal a lost-tooth-displaying pose as I could persuade him to strike.
Decorating Easter eggs.
Being his usual vivacious self.
At some point during the last couple of months, Soren decided to throw both his box fan and his tower fan out his second-story window. I no longer remember the circumstances behind said throwing, but I think he did it when he was mad about having to go to his room for some infraction or another. We didn't discover the thrown fans until bedtime, when I went to turn one on for some white noise. Let's just say that was a less-pleasant bedtime.
Soren does this obscene dance move that involves sticking his rear end out and spanking it repeatedly. I've told him he probably shouldn't do this move at school. I swear he did not learn it from me.
One night as I was tucking Soren into bed, he told me, "I can't decide if I love you. Sometimes I love you and sometimes I don't." I told him I was pretty sure he always loved me but sometimes he didn't like me and sometimes he did. "That's how I feel about you!" I told him.
One evening when I was cooking dinner, I sliced off a slice of cheese for Soren with the same knife I had used to chop up a jalapeno. He thought the "spicy cheese" was FABULOUS and borrowed part of a sliced jalapeno, rubbing it on everything he ate for the rest of the evening. He informed me that he really wanted a jalapeno for his next birthday.
Soren and I were talking about the kids in his kindergarten class (I volunteer in his classroom for an hour twice a month). I said, "Do you know who I just love?" and he asked, "Who?" "Raina!" I said. "Ohhhhh! Me too!" he said, girlfriend-style. "She's so sweet!"
Soren told me one night that Daddy had told him they didn't have school on Friday because the teachers needed a break from the kids. "But that's not true!" he said. "I know Mrs. Hayes loves me."
Soren thinks it's hilarious to say "Ibegofyou!" when asking for something. I thought it was funny too....the first 90 times.
For Christmas we gave Soren a kid camera. That was the best fifty bucks we ever spent. He spends so much time with that thing...taking pictures, making videos, recording audio, and playing the little games programmed onto it.
During prayers, Soren frequently blesses "the multiverse-- and ALL the multiverses."
One day Soren sat down with Liam and drew several pictures. Then he pointed at each picture and asked Liam what it was. At the end of this session, he said, "You may go. Thank you for testing!"
One day I came home from work to discover that Liam's fingernails had been painted, his hair had been very unevenly trimmed, and he smelled like hairspray. Soren told me he'd been trying to make him look handsome.
Our three-year-old neighbor girl, whom Soren calls "Ackdonald" (her name is Aidaneh), came over one day and built something out of the boys' cardboard bricks. She told Soren she had a surprise for him and brought him into the room to show him. He was soooo sweet. "Wow Ackdonald!" he said. "I like how you made this! This is the best surprise in the whole world ever!"
Soren came home from school one day while Liam and I were out walking. He was only alone for a few minutes, but he totally took charge of the situation. He found my phone, then dug through a drawer full of papers to find one with his address and my phone number, and tried to call me. He got a busy signal both times. When I finally walked in, he demanded to know who I'd been talking to that whole time.
For Valentine's day I gave each of the boys a small heart-shaped box of chocolates. Soren hurried and ate his dinner, then snuck off to his room to eat his Valentines where Liam wouldn't see him. He bit into one and then came running into the kitchen, "Oh, Mommy! These are so good! They're like crushed-up skittles wrapped in chocolate!" He rhapsodized similarly for each candy.
Speaking of Valentine's day, I should remark here that Abe and the boys were very good to me for V day this year. They cleaned up the house, bought me flowers, and cooked dinner. When I walked in from work the boys popped out from behind a chair and shouted, "surprise!" Best surprise in the whole world ever!
While reading about the original Passover in our illustrated Bible stories book, Soren remarked that he thought it was a little strange that Jesus would just kill all those people. "I agree," I told him. "It seems weird to me too. I don't really understand it." Soren thought for a while and then smiled. "I know!" he said. "After the Pharaoh lets the Israelites go, he'll resurrect all of the sons!" That would be the fair thing to do. Hope that's what God did.
Soren never, ever, ever lets my life get boring. What would I ever do without him? Sure love that kid.