Friday, July 31, 2009
Why is it that the child who can't seem to hear my repeated requests for him to pick up his toys, has no problem listening to me when I'm saying something I shouldn't?
And then he's only too quick to point out the error of my ways.
While driving yesterday, I encountered an incredibly clueless driver. She was in the left lane of the freeway, I was in the right. I could see ahead a truck coming down the ramp trying to merge. I figured the easiest way to let the guy in, woul dbe to move over into the left lane. Wrong. This woman was in la-la land, and managed to perfectly adjust her speed to coincide with me. I sped up. She sped up. I slowed down. She slowed down.
A name came to mind and I uttered it frustration.
From the back seat came a reprimand. "Mom, you shouldn't call people a moron. That's not nice. You're acting like a toddler."
What could I say? "Yes, AJ, you are right."
Ironically, just as I'm typing this, AJ called from the other room, "Was I a good listener yesterday?"
"Yes, AJ" (a little too good.)
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Consider, for example, poor Sydney. The innocent child seems to think playing with Legos is all about picking them up and putting them in a bag. She has no desire to build with the tiny blocks, nor does she try to knock over towers that Mommy builds. Instead, she just wants to pick up the pieces and stuff them into sandwich bags.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Sydney started it. She'd done a wonderful job sleeping through the night. And how did I show my thanks? By trying to wake her up before she was ready. Attempt number one involved rubbing her back. She ignored me. On my second try, she pulled her legs and arms into a tight fetal position. I finally opened the blinds, allowing bright sunlight to invade her cozy little cocoon of blankets, and then I shook her again.
Without so much as raising her head or opening her eyes, she protested, "Mommy, go 'way!"
I just can't wait until she's a teenager. She is definitely not a morning person.
Fast-forward to bedtime, and AJ gave me new reason to appreciate Aunt Sarah's tough job. We had popcorn for a bedtime treat, with the result being AJ got food stuck in his teeth for the very first time. He came to me, fingers in his mouth, and said, "Mom, I need some toothal floss."
And that's when I discovered that flossing someone else's teeth is much more difficult than flossing your own. Making things slightly easier was the fact that because AJ still has only baby teeth, it's just the molars that are close enough together for floss to be needed. Making things slightly tougher was the fact that it was AJ, so of course he couldn't stand still.
We finally loosened the offending piece of popcorn, so I told him he could finish the job by brushing his teeth.
And now a follow up to yesterday's blog. Because of Jeff's work schedule, I had to drive the kids to daycare this morning. On the way there, Sydney called from the back seat, "I want chay pie."
"Sorry, honey," I told her. "Mommy doesn't have that song in this car."
"Do you have 'We're not gonna take it'?" AJ asked.
"Nope. You're going to have to listen to what's on the radio."
"But we want wild music," AJ responded. "Wild, loud music."
So he already thinks I have lame musical tastes. I can't wait until he's a teenager.
As I tried to leave them at daycare, Sydney started to cry. Her teacher, hoping to make me feel better, noted that Sydney never cries when Jeff drops her off, and said, "It's always tough when you disrupt their routine."
Thinking of the non-wild music I'd just made them listen to, I nodded, "You don't know the half of it."
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
And while Sydney seems to have perfected the hair toss move, and has been sporting a shaggier 'do, the latter is a temporary condition that Auntie Barbie should cure this Friday.
Hair length aside, turns out Daddy has been introducing these sweet little souls to his college-era music of choice: heavy metal. Who knew the six-minute drive to daycare was enough time to influence the musical tastes of these impressionable young minds?
Tonight, as we were driving to soccer practice, Sydney asked something I couldn't understand. She repeated herself several times before finally getting Jeff's attention. He knew right away what "Chay pie" meant. She wanted to hear a song from his "Best of the Big Hair Bands" CD.
Do you want to hear "Cherry Pie?" Jeff asked.
Sydney squealed with excitement that Daddy understood and was granting her request. And then AJ interrupted, "No, I want to hear 'We're not gonna take it'!"
Great! Twisted Sister is so much more appropriate than Warrant for the preschool set.
Trying to find a bright note, these kids certainly ought to end up with an appreciation for diverse musical genres. When it's me behind the wheel and in control of the car's CD player, we generally sing along with Sunday School songs. And this is good practice for me, I suppose. After this, their musical choices in, say, 10-15 years maybe won't seem quite so outrageous.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Regarding soccer, I knew this day was coming. But the preschool news was a pleasant surprise. I'll get to that in a moment.
Tonight marked AJ's first soccer practice, and boy did he have fun. He got to wear his new shin guards, socks and special shoes. He got to wrestle with his buddy Gino, who he hadn't seen in over a month. He got a Transformer sticker. And, oh yeah, he even got to kick around a soccer ball.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Daddy gets to ride in some of the coolest vehicles. And between a rally at City Hall and a family picnic, the kids had a ball checking out the rigs. Of course, for AJ, the highlight was turning on the lights and siren. For Sydney, I think the joy came simply from getting to sit in the front seat.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Believe it or not, Sydney has more in common with Mary Ann, the black doll propped next to her, than with the rest of her brood. For one thing, they're the only two on the couch made in North America. A quick check of Sydney's dolls reveals all can trace their origins to China. Mary Ann was manufactured in Mexico.
Mary Ann is, by far, the senior member of the group. This past Christmas marked 35 years since she came into my life. Thus, her other similarity with Sydney is I've referred to both as my baby. 'Course, I was just shy of 4 years old when I gave that label to Mary Ann. I have to say, she's aged well.
Normally, I'm not an overly sentimental person and don't get that excited about passing things along from generation to generation. Maybe it's just because I like new things. I didn't want to wear my Mom's wedding dress, and I won't expect Sydney to wear mine.
But I have to say I enjoy watching Sydney play with Mary Ann. Not because of the memories I have of playing with the doll, but because of a connection it gives Sydney that goes beyond me to people she will never know. Mary Ann was a gift from my Grandpa and Grandma LeVahn. Grandma Grace also gets credit for sewing the peach-colored nightgown on the doll. Clearly, it was well made.
I can't imagine my Grandma ever took the time to think about how long the doll or the dress would last. But I have to believe she's fully aware her great-granddaughter is now holding in her hands something she once lovingly held in her own. She's also probably aware that writing this has brought tears to my eyes. And to that she'd likely say, "Oh you silly kid."
I just might have to say that to Sydney the next time I see her playing with Mary Ann. Just because.
Friday, July 24, 2009
While I was busy walking from room to room putting away clean laundry, Sydney, was busy trying to get me to play with her. And so, as I emerged from the hallway by her room, she popped up from the couch and declared what may be her longest sentence to date: "I Humpy Dumpy sat on a wall!" She then collapsed on the couch in a fit of giggles.
Someday, when she's older, she'll realize she needn't have put so much effort into getting my attention. When I'm doing laundry, I welcome even the smallest distraction. Which is why I then tried to make her repeat what she'd done so that I could take a picture.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
AJ took the picture below. I like it because of the shot that happened to be on the screen at the same time. It was part of a montage of many hundreds of pictures chronicling Jonathon's first 19 years, dissolving one to another. Comparing then and now, the hair style may have changed a bit (thank goodness!) but the smile and pose are identical.
Sydney, meanwhile, thought this "movie" was pretty cool. She didn't seem to draw the connection that it had been created in honor of Jonathon. And so she sat in suspense, paying close attention. Each time a new picture of him would pop up, she excitedly pointed to the screen and exclaimed, "Jonathon!"
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Though AJ didn't seem to enjoy one game very much. He'd been so excited to sift through the sand in search of coins during the treasure hunt. Until he didn't find anything.
Realizing she wasn't getting anywhere with me, she then looked across to Jeff, who was also sitting on the couch watching baseball. In an equally endearing voice, she proclaimed, "Go Twins!"
Saturday, July 18, 2009
I remember making an emergency trip to Target once on a Saturday night in search of vacuum cleaner bags. I must have been in my mid-20s at the time. I got to the store and realized I'd forgotten my billfold at home, so I had to drive back to my apartment, grab my wallet and return to finally make the needed purchase. As I walked back to my car with vacuum bags at last in hand, I recall thinking, "I thought being a grown up would be a lot more fun."
Reality is Jeff needed to nap in between his regular day shift and a special late night shift, and so to ensure he had a quiet house in which to sleep, I decided to take AJ and Sydney out to eat. Sealing my fate, I allowed them to choose the restaurant. Which meant our dinner plans for this Friday evening in the middle of summer were determined by which Happy Meal toy AJ wanted most. Transformers got the vote, so off to Burger King we went.
With surprising contriteness, AJ answered, "Yup. I'm sorry for this."
Friday, July 17, 2009
Recently, as Jeff and I were looking through sales fliers and talking about what was advertised, AJ spoke up and asked, "Remember when we had Sydney advertised at church?" (Baptised)
Last night, while driving to a couple of stores, AJ was doing his best to convince me he needed to buy a new toy. Since I knew this trip would be pushing bedtime limits, I decided to take advantage of the bribe opportunity and responded, "Well, we'll see how you act while we're shopping."
AJ assured me, "Mom, I'll be a good actor."
He's close... in the ballpark... just doesn't quite have it.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
So I wasn't all too surprised last night to hear that AJ was afraid to go to sleep. Until I found out why. Something was scaring him, he said. He thought Ernie was going to come and get him. Ernie – the lovable orange guy who sings about rubber duckies on Sesame Street.
Trying to convince him that his fears were unfounded, that Ernie used to be my favorite Sesame Street character, did nothing to calm him. So I moved to another technique – distraction. I asked him which Muppet he liked best. His answer? The Count.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Oh wait... no, don't tell me... you're doing something different with your hair.
Monday, July 13, 2009
AJ likes being in the water, but is terrified at the thought of immersing himself. He's told us in the past he plans to be a SCUBA diver who doesn't go under water.
So with the stakes raised at bathtime, AJ decided it was time to prove he was as brave as Sydney. He geared himself up...
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Imagine how odd it would have looked for Jeff and me to chase each other around the yard with squirt guns. Throw a couple kids in the mix, however, and we suddenly look like really cool parents spending quality time with our offspring.
As I looked through the kitchen window Sunday afternoon, the scene was just too tempting. Jeff was standing innocently in the yard with the sprinkler, attempting to salvage our pitifully brown excuse for a lawn. Meanwhile, an empty squirt gun lay in the sink, and a fairly impressionable 4-year-old sat just a few feet away.
Needless to say, it was pretty easy to convince said 4-year-old to sneak up on Daddy. Let the games begin! With the boys going at it, I conveniently excused myself back to the safety of the kitchen
An equally tempting target presented itself a few minutes later. Sydney decided she wanted in on the fun. I filled up another squirt gun and headed into the garage to show her how to squeeze the trigger. Before I could do so, however, Jeff came backing into the garage, totally unaware I was there and armed. I simply could not pass up on this opportunity.
Suffice it to say that even with an adorable 2-year-old shield, my clothing was significantly dampened.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
That was Sydney's reaction to her first encounter with the icy temperatures of the greatest of the Great Lakes. But she quickly warmed to it.
On Friday, with temperatures in the upper 80s, we loaded up our three "kids" and headed to Park Point.
Sydney first wanted to throw rocks, which required her to wade in and reach down to grab the small stones that had washed almost to shore. Thankfully she never lost her balance. A head first trip into 50-degree water probably would have ended our visit right then and there.
A little later she plopped herself down and splashed the water around her. That didn't last long. She scooted herself to shore and instead asked for help building a sand castle. I have no idea how, at two years old, she even knows what a sand castle is, or that that's what you do at a beach. But that's what she wanted to do. Lucky for me, with my limited sculpting skills, she's easily impressed.
Meanwhile, one of us didn't seem to mind the numbingly cold water.
Friday, July 10, 2009
I lost count of how many times I waded into the chilly water to catch her as she came shooting down the slide. The water was thigh deep on me, which means she'd go under water if I didn't grab her right before the big splash. Eventually I recruited Jeff to replace me at the bottom of the slide.
Finally she let herself go and came swooshing down the slide. I caught her just as I had every other time except one and carried her to the edge so that she could do it again. I was proud of her willingness to continue. And that's when she chose to replace me as her official catcher, calling out, "Daddy, come!"
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Sydney is the exception to that rule. She did okay with the statues, but wanted nothing to do with the live costumed characters.