I came home Monday to a silent house.
As Jason walked through the kitchen, I said, "She got on 'red', didn't she?"
"How did you know?" he asked.
"Because the house is so quiet," I answered.
In an effort to encourage Anna Marie to follow the rules at school, we've told her that if she gets on "yellow" she loses computer for the afternoon, and for "red" it's the TV too.
So, on those days, the house is quiet - because Jason and I don't watch TV either. I know, it's kind of a punishment for us, too, but, whatever.
Anna Marie makes a HUGE mess on those days, because with no electronics to keep her occupied, her imagination goes into overdrive - usually involving lots of paper, and tape, and stuffed animals.
And sometimes, it spills outside to the sidewalk.
She did this while I was cooking dinner.
It's what she had to write, over and over, in her journal at school.
"I will stop talking in class."
And this little confession was out there as well - like her own version of Post Secret.
"I am on red Mom and Dad."
After dinner, when I was trying to clean the kitchen, she took her sidewalk chalk to the concrete block building in our backyard. She asked me to come help her color the parts she couldn't reach.
(How did she draw the outline, and then find herself unable to color in that outline? Beats me.)
Editor's note: the following photographs were taken by a seven-year-old. They are unretouched.
While I did the hard work, Anna Marie took a little "photo safari" around our backyard.
(That is Spiderman's mask, and a Pokemon ball, per Anna Marie.)
She also took a picture of me with the finished product:
And I returned the favor.
Yes, I busted up my hands (and a couple of fingernails) on that concrete. But we have been studying The Five Love Languages of Children in Sunday School, and Anna Marie and I took a "love language test" on Sunday. And I discovered that her main love language is "acts of service," which means that she feels most loved when someone is helping her do something (and feels most like she's showing love when she's helping someone with something.)
It makes perfect sense to me - I thought that she just never wanted to do anything alone, but really, she wanted to feel like she was helping, or someone was helping her. So now, I'm trying to be more understanding of behavior I had thought was a bit annoying.
Makes me wish we'd have taken that test a long, long time ago.