Today, as I sat down with my three-year-old (hereafter known as the Pollywog) to lunch:

Pollywog: Father, we thank you for this food, and for uncles and auntles and cousins too, amen.
Me: Very nice.
Pollywog: [brightly] Everyone thinks I'm wonderful!
Me: [laughing, thinking this must be something a grandparent said to him] Who told you that?
Pollywog: I did.

***

In other news, I fail at blogging. I'll try to remedy that soon -- AFTER I clean up the utter disaster that is my house, and put up some of these Christmas decorations I've got lying around.
After I finished reading a chapter of a middle-grade fantasy novel* to my 8-year-old son tonight, he turned to me and said the following, and I quote:

"Satan looks like Barney in my head."

...

Well okay then.

--
*Which, let me assure you, had nothing to do with Satan.
We usually end our family meals with a short Bible reading, after which my husband asks our two older sons, aged 7 and 5, a few simple questions about what they heard. We don't expect much from the 2-year-old except to sit in his chair and be quiet -- which is easier said than done, at this stage.

My Husband: "The LORD said to Moses: 'If anyone sins and is unfaithful to the LORD by deceiving his neighbor about something entrusted to him or left in his care or stolen, or if he cheats him, or if he finds lost property and lies about it, or if he swears falsely, or if he commits any such sin that people may do--'"

My Two-Year-Old: [sotto voce] "I like to move it, move it / I like to move it, move it..."

To his credit, my husband managed to keep a straight face while asking the toddler to be quiet -- which the boy did, in his own way, by whispering the words instead of singing them. We finished the reading, and then my husband began to explain to the older kids the Mosaic Law's concept of restitution.

Husband: What this passage is saying is, if one of the Israelites stole from another person, they had to make up for what they took, plus one fifth of the value.

Me: So say you stole ten dollars from someone, you'd have to pay them twelve dollars in return.

My Seven-Year-Old: [brightly] Tax and tip!

Never a dull moment with this lot.
The other day I was putting my (just) 2-year-old son into his car seat, and all of a sudden he exclaimed, "I'm Doctor Who!"

This struck me as odd, seeing as he's only glimpsed a few minutes of Who in his entire life, and I wouldn't have thought it would connect that strongly with a toddler. Still, my son had previously declared himself to be Spider-Man, a little birdie (tweet tweet), and the bull from Shaun the Sheep, so I wasn't all that surprised...

...until he screwed up his face and said in an outraged British accent, "What? WHAT?!"

I nearly fell out of the van.
Gather round, my children, while I tell you a heartwarming Christmas tale of sibling rivalry and threats of violence.

This year my two oldest sons, aged six and four, were assigned roles in our church's Christmas play. Nicholas, who is obsessed with all things farm-related, was enormously proud to be chosen as a shepherd -- or as he put it, a "sheep farmer". Simon, on the other hand, was asked to play the boy Jesus (in the scene with the Wise Men), and was less than enthusiastic about having to be on stage at all.

However, Simon did eventually warm to his role, since I heard this exchange on the morning of the pageant:

SIMON: I'm Jesus! I have all the power!

NICHOLAS: No, sheep farmers are more powerful!

SIMON: But Jesus can do anything, so I'm more powerful than a sheep farmer!

NICHOLAS: Well, I'm going to say, "Hey there, Miracle Boy," and come over and kick you in the butt!

ME: *chokes and sporfles*

SIMON: Then I'm going to send you to the Lake of Fire!

ME: *shoots Rice Krispies out her nose*

My only consolation is that at no point during the play were Nicholas and Simon on stage at the same time, so neither the threat of bodily harm nor that of everlasting punishment could be carried out in front of the entire church audience. However, Simon did manage to look entirely bored, complete with mouth-covering yawns, when the Wise Men were presenting their gifts. "Oh, myrrh, is it? And some of that... uh, frankincense stuff? How droll. Mother, how about you just toss it over in the corner with the gold."

I can only imagine how much more interesting things will become when our youngest, Paul, gets added to the mix.

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