Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Clap, Stomp, Beep, Chew ... Chew ... Chew ...

As both of you know, I don't like to speak ill of my children in print. Or on the interweb. However, there are three things on the list of things that are beginning to annoy the hell out of me that I just can't ignore any longer.

The first is JP and the incessant beat he seems to have going on in his head. He claps his hands and stomps his foot to a rhythm only he can hear. It's like living with an overgrown Chick Webb or a STOMP understudy, or like driving around town with Shane B. and a Big Gulp. I've actually let this go for a while because the boy obviously has the music in him, and I don't want to discourage his natural ability. So I would just ask him to stop at the dinner table, but allow him to drum and clap at will the rest of the time. But I just can't take it any more because he's also got the OCD in him and I think now that this is what's driving his patter.

The second is the chewing. I can't seem to get these kids to chew their food with their mouths closed. It's like eating dinner with someone treading water in a vat of macaroni & cheese right next to me. In the 1950s, NASA taught a monkey to pilot a rocket into space, but I can't teach three humans to masticate quietly.

The last one is C and this calculator/calendar contraption he got from school last week. He carries this thing around and shows it more affection than Kristy and I have shown any of our offspring. I don't know what else this thing does, but he flips it open and stares at it for hours on end. Occasionally it beeps at him and he laughs. I'm not so sure this is as much annoyance as it is fear. I worry that he may be planning something, or he may feel responsible for punching in a sequence of numbers every so often.

I suppose all I can do is try to maintain patience as The Quartet grows and learns. I can nudge them in the direction I think they need to go in order to become productive and caring citizens one day. And I can talk to them, talk until I'm blue in the face and then just sit back and shake my head as JP claps his hands twice, stomps his foot once, and then heads into the kitchen to chew a Pop-Tart.