Monday, January 08, 2007

I guess I could have just said that it all comes out in the wash.

I am not a math person, so it should come as no surprise that I completely do not understand the difference between average and mean. In a math sense, I mean. In a language sense, I get that they are two totally different things: regular, and not nice. But in a math sense? I know that I have heard that they are different, but I don't get how.

In a D. sense, I don't know if it's his average behavior or his mean behavior (but not his "not nice" behavior) or what, but whatever it is, it takes into account a lot of extremes.

D. loves ladders. Especially Mr. WG's ladder, which we have hidden in various closets, the garage, Mr. WG's office, and the yard. And yet, wherever we hide it, D. finds it. Then, because he is D., he drags it into the house, into the family room, sets it up, and climbs it. Stop and think about that for a moment. My 3-year-old drags a full-size adult ladder around and sets it up. The climbing is actually the least impressive part.

D. knows that Mr. WG tends to be more tolerant of such behaviors than I. This is perhaps because Mr. WG is thinking, "Cool!" whereas I am thinking, "OH MY GOD, HE'S ON A LADDER." So D. knows that when I see him, I will try to take him off the ladder and put the ladder away. This, I tell myself, is why D's new expression of affection upon seeing me is, "Go away, Mommy."

D. also likes to steal (and break) digital cameras, cell phones, Bluetooth accessories, printers, laptops, and other assorted electronics. You can't tell him, "No." That's about as effective as telling Mr. WG to turn off the TV. Instead, you have to get your lazy ass off the couch and physically go over to D. and stop him from doing what he's doing. He's a very curious kid, which is good, but it's also a little tiring.

Eating out with children is rarely enjoyable. I love my kids a lot, but I'm easily stressed, particularly when we're in public amongst people who might judge them. Or me. Or whatever. But cooking is also not so enjoyable (I love to feed people, I would just like the food to magically appear, fully cooked and served.), so last night we went out to dinner with M. and her three kids.

Normally, dinner out with D. is an exercise in, well, exercise. Mr. WG and I take turns following him around the restaurant, retrieving him from the kitchen, shooing him away from the other diners, returning stolen ketchup bottles to their tables. In between laps around the room, we occasionally remember to feed Baby J. The girls? Better fend for themselves.

Last night, we got to the restaurant and seated everyone. We ordered. We chatted. The food came. I cut D.'s hot dog. He ate it. He ate his fries. He drank his water and asked for more. He sat in his chair the ENTIRE time and was completely pleasant. He did this even when other kids were running around. He was so good it was astounding. We cheered for him on the way home.

Like I said, I don't know if it's the average or the mean, but whatever it is, it's balanced out by nights like that.


Ani Od Chai said...

Way to go D! WG, you must bee so proud of him! Now will you please send him over here to teach my darling angels all about appropriate dining etiquete? (Said as they build knife and fork mashed potato catapults.)

Anonymous said...

Awesome!!! (and I seem to remember from my college stats minor that average = mean)

fluentsoul said...

Yea! Congrats on an awesome dinner out! I bet you were very proud of D. Don't you love it when our kids give us pleasant surprises like that?

Anonymous said...

um... isn't that how a three-year-old SHOULD behave? I have a three-and-a-half-year-old and a 15 month old and I would never allow my kids to wander around the restaurant during the meal. Even my 15 month old knows that he's expected to stay at the table for a reasonable amount of time, no matter how much entertaining it takes. Does D. sit with the family during meals at home?

I understand that he is not the average three-year-old and he may warrant a little leeway on the normal expectations of a child his age. I also understand he may be bigger and hard to control when he has his mind set on something, and that you don't want to cause a scene... but doesn't he need to learn what is expected of him sometime? He's only going to get bigger (and smarter) and know that he CAN get away with running the show. Your depiction of the average dining out experience in your family sounds like anything but enjoyable. I know D. may be a bit of an exception in the behavior department, but I get tired of parents complaining about their kids' behavior in restaurants. Children need to be taught how to behave when out to eat and to be courteous to the other people trying to enjoy their meal. No matter their age.

I have a close friend with a 6-year-old with Sotos and I am very much a part of helping and supporting thier family (which is also how I found and am so intrigued by your blog), so please don't think I'm coming out of left field with this or that I'm just talking out of my ass. And I know each child with Sotos is different... as a matter of fact, your D. at three sounds pretty close to right on track language-wise with my six-year-old friend --at the age of six. So Good Job D.!

I mean no disprespect- I guess I just mean to say,
So glad you finally had a nice dinner out... and that D. showed you what he's capable of! Good Job!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Thanks, Thanks