All the school supplies have been purchased and handwritten names have been meticulously written in the tiniest of ways. Every year I try to save a buck and buy one of those battery-operated pencil sharpeners. And every year, they slow down and burn out about three-quarters of the way through the dozens of pencils that need to be ready to go on the first day. So this year, I splurged on an electric one and then I put the boys to work to each sharpen their own pencils.
As Owen was working on his 50 pencils, he began to get tired of the tedious chore with some comments about wanting to be finished. Darius had been watching him work for a while with this piercing look as though he were watching an intense movie. He kept asking questions like, "when is it my turn?" and "when is Owen going to be done?". I finally looked at Owen and told him that he could take a break and let Darius work on some of his. I ended the suggestion with, "besides, Darius is dying to try out that pencil sharpener". Darius looked at me stunned, so surprised that I knew what he was thinking he said, "you are right mom, I am dying to try it!"
Things magically go up in value if someone else wants what you thought you didn't want. That's what happened, Owen decided he needed to finish his job. So Darius waited patiently with his 20 pencils. When it was finally Darius' turn, he sat in the chair and began his labor. Graham seemed to finally notice the growling machine and sat up on the table next to Darius, yelling at Dar-Dar, as he calls him, to give him the pencils and the little noise maker. Darius seemed to successfully ward him off and Graham soon noticed the hole in the table was just the perfect size to drop pencils down into. He carefully placed Darius' pencils into the hole and then watched them drop. This complicated Darius' task a bit as he was chasing pencils off the floor, one-by-one of course.
Judah finished sharpening his 5 dozen pencils and I am pleased to say that the pencil sharpener is still going strong. I am so relieved that the school supply chore of the year is finished. Now we can say goodbye to the lazy days of summer and hello to the disciplines of a full fall schedule. This year we have a 1st grader, 3rd grader and a 5th grader.