What Will They Say Next?

Heather Bock

JP doesn’t have a lot of fear of or repect for insects. To the shock and horror of his siblings, he’s squished several cute bugs. I’m glad some of my lessons are getting through to JP, though. After he saw Mr. C bugging their sister, JP spoke up gallantly, “Don’t hurt her. She’s a living thing.”

I was reprimanding Mr. C, who had been acting a bit like he was the perfect one and everyone else was in the wrong. Earlier, we had been studying British global colonialization. I’m glad to say Little E was making connections because she chimed in to Mr. C: “You’re acting like the British!”

It’s hard to sneak in exercises to my very busy day. While my kids were working on their homeschool lessons one morning, I started doing walking lunges around the room. Five-year-old JP looked up at me with a strange look and said, “That’s not a thing, Mama.”

Poor Mr. C ended up with a tick dangling from behind his ear after some fun climbing a fallen tree in the woods near our house. I pulled it out, but I went about it all wrong, and the tick’s head ended up breaking off inside his skin. It was at least a week before it was fully gone. During that time, I offered Mr. C a tic tac. He said, “No thanks. I already have a tick.”

As we read the Bible, I stopped to ask a question about circumcision to check if my kids remembered a prior lesson.
Me: Do you remember what they did to the baby boys on the 8th day?
Little E, with confidence: Crucify them!

I remember when I was a child thinking that the end of prayers went like this: “and Jesus’ name, amen.” I had no idea what it meant. It looks like JP is in the same boat, although I think he was kidding. One night after prayer, he said with a glimmer in his eye, “Jesus is named Amen! You know, Jesus’ name, Amen!”

I was teaching my kids a little bit about World War II and Pearl Harbor. I told them that because of Pearl Harbor, the United States joined the war. Mr. C thought about it and said, “After Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, I bet their friends Germany and the others all said, “JAPAN!!!” like they were indignant with that foolish country for getting the U.S. involved.

I was working on a catechism with JP, teaching him the basics of the Christian faith and Bible facts. I asked him one of the questions: “JP, of what were our first parents made?” He answered, “God made the body of Adam out of the ground.” I said, “Good. And Eve?” He answered, “God made Eve out of the bottom of Adam.”

Another catechism gone awry with JP: “What did God give Adam besides bodies?” JP: “He gave them gas.”

Little E: I want to be a vegetarian.
With suspicion, me: You do?
Little E: Yes! They can talk with their mouths closed with just a smile on their face.
Me: That’s a ventriloquist, not a vegetarian, sweetie.

When JP had first been potty trained, I used to check him when he was finished wiping to make sure he was fully clean. One day, after he had been in the bathroom for a while, I called out from another room, “JP, do you need checking?” No answer. “JP?….JP? Do you need wiping?” Finally, he answered with a reproachful voice, “I was nodding my head!” Well, I might have eyes on the back of my head, but I can’t see through walls yet!

Little E was doing math, not her or Mr. C’s favorite subject.
Little E: The next ones are world problems.
Me: You mean “word problems.”
Little E: No, world problems.
Without missing a beat, C said, “Because they’re the hardest in the world.”

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