Man, first trimester is a difficult thing. If it weren't for first trimester, I think I'd have 15 kids! Well, that and labour. And teething. And...
While I am aware that I've been out of first trimester for awhile, the real boost of energy and go-to drive that accompanies second was a bit delayed this year. If you get good and worn out, that energy can't buoy you up. After the international travel, it takes awhile to boost up the old batteries. Add to that a beautiful (now) one year old who has problems teething and registers his protest with vaccinations in the middle of the night, I've done a few miles in the ol' rocking chair and relearned just how painful it is to step on toys in the dark. My husband is an amazing man who helps lots with night time woes. He lets me have an extra rest in the morning so I don't get out of bed til quarter after 6, or even 6:30!
Because of the duration of lethargy, it's only just recently that second trimester zip has zapped me. I'm still tired, but now I'm tired and armed with cleaning utensils. I also haven't blogged as much. Here then (after the lengthiest intro ever) are a collection of stories that I have been collecting for months. About 6 of them. Say 22-24 weeks' worth. (I started this post a month ago. Yeesh. And the mornings are a bit earlier. Today I got up at 4:25)
(And because it has taken me three months to write this post, I'm now 8 months pregnant. And half the stories I was going to share, I can't even remember. Shucks.)
Snailboxes, et c.
A long time ago now, a friend from church came by one afternoon to play with the boys. We played outside and she, being a very experienced mother and grandmother, was coming up with all sorts of different things to do to keep Tall going. It is a very true statement that some children need to keep doing and doing as their energy multiplies faster than bunnies. One thing that she showed him to do was to pick up a snail and pop it in the hole in the mailbox. Fun times, no? Hand-eye coordination and all that. However, for the next few months all he wanted to do when near the mailbox was fill it with snails. We have plenty of snails on offer, but I can't say as that's what they were meant for. And when he had put all the snails away, he wanted to take them out and put them away again.
Fine and dandy. Keeps him occupied and as long as the snails leave the mailbox at the end of the play, no problems, right? Except perhaps when you go for a walk a few days later and he finds a piece of trash on the ground and before you can squeak out "No, Tall, stop!" he deposits in a neighbour's mailbox. What do you do at that point? Do you open the mailbox and remove the trash? No, because you can't touch other people's mail. It's illegal and all that. And then you know if you open someone's mailbox, that vital information will stay with him forever and ever and all walks will be filled with a Tall miscreant opening mailboxes to the chagrin of his tired mother.
The Muffin Men
Small quite enjoys eating muffins. Tall quite enjoys stirring. It is not uncommon for me to bake something merely for the entertainment it affords the children. Somedays are easy-peasy and all goes well. On other days, I have made breakfast cookies (oatmeal from the milk calendar) that didn't have any sugar in them. Or there was that time I made Small's birthday cake and Tall dumped in extra flour, so Mom added a bit of milk and miraculously it all turned out (and was quite yummy, if I do say so myself). Or the time that Tall "helped" with the salt and we had some very tangy popovers. Tasted good with tomato... Muffin time often ends with dry ingredients on the counter. Or floor. Perhaps my eyebrows. I'll also be mildly frantic, trying to put out fires (figurative, thankfully. Only one literal and that wasn't the boys fault...) and when the muffins get in the oven, the vacuum comes out. Vacuums are a very exciting thing for children and I'm not sure why. At any rate, I have to say, I don't know why people claim that baking is an exact art. My kitchen often proves that bread will prove (ha!) without knowing what exactly went in it and that baked goods will see taste good even if the measurements are all wrong.
Climb Ev'ry Mountain
Small is a climber. Enough to strike fear in the hearts of the toughest of people, a climber can get into anything, anywhere, anytime. When he was just 10 months old, he independently climbed 14 steps in order to play with bath toys with his cousin. When I went looking for him a minute or two later I was shocked at where those boys had ended up. He's climbed up the back of chairs, on top of the vacuum cleaner, from pillows onto the couch, into chairs, up the side of his brother's bed via bed rail... Tall sees him climb and remembers how much fun it was to climb and goes one further. Onto windowsills, the back of the couch, into wheelbarrows, up the shelves of the hall cupboard to have a "nap" on the third shelf. One time recently Small saw an opportunity and used it to the full. The step stool had been left by the sink for his potty training brother. Small went up, grabbed the comb and attempted to tidy his hair while simultaneously brushing his teeth (thankfully with his toothbrush and not anyone else's). It was delightfully cute. He was so proud of himself. Shortly thereafter, the stool moved again. Another day, he used his brother's chair to climb up on to the table, not once, but twice (even though the chair had moved away from the table in between time) and at the second time, decided to dip the remotes (on the table to be out of reach of his brother) into a handy glass of water. He's determined! Even after we added an impediment to the back of the chair (cardboard covering all footholds), he turned it around and learned to climb the front.
Maybe I should put them in gymnastics or something. Ninja Warrior, maybe.
Forts 'r' us
One sure fire way to keep little people entertained is to hang a sheet over a couple of chairs. A fort! We do love our forts and they get made often. Lately it seems like forts are made to be broken however as Small attempts to climb onto them (why!?) and Tall likes to "cookie" them (more on that later). But forts are a delightful way to spend time. Everything is a bit more fun in a fort. I don't know why. The act of hanging a sheet over a piece of furniture means one thing: fun. I don't get it. They do. This is why my living room looks that way.
Tall is interested in putting things together, but also interested in taking things apart. When he does, he sometimes says "cookie, cookie". I wonder if Cookie Monster's bad eating habits appear to my dear son as just a delightful form of destruction. Cookie Monster never seems to gain weight. Perhaps there is something there for us all to learn!
For Small's birthday we blew up balloons. Want to see kids go crazy? Blow up balloons. No idea why this works, but balloons make for fantastic times. You can run in them. Kick them. Throw them. Draw on them. It's all good and it's all hyper.
Small has started nodding lately. It's hilarious because it's actually a pretty good help as to what he wants. If you walk near the kitchen and he starts nodding - he's probably thirsty. If he nods when you eat a snack, he wants it. If he nods in answer to a question, he usually means it. It's a very cute little thing. "Small, do you want to read a book?" He nods. "Small, do you want to go outside?" He nods. "Small, do you want to antagonize your brother?" Oh, wait he doesn't nod to that, he just relishes in it. "Small, do you need a bum change?" He shakes head. But that, of course, is a lie.
The Mud Puddle Jumped on Me
What does a hose mean to little boys? Mud puddles! What does rain mean to little boys? Mud puddles! What does a bucket at the beach mean? Mud puddles! Anywhere and anytime possible, mud puddles are made. The best thing to do with a mud puddle is to jump in it. If you are wearing light coloured clothing, so much the better. Especially if Mom has just changed you for some reason. Even better if your little brother is there and he can mosey on through on his belly. We've had quite a few jumpsuits mudified. And the best time to make a puddle? When Mom has turned her head for three seconds. I usually just let it happen at that point. They have fun. They get dirty. It's not like the clothes can be salvaged at that point and there's something about mud that's just so appealing to little fellows. I'm not sure what exactly, but I'm sure my washing is pleased. It never gets neglected.
The Plot of (Almost) Every Kid's Movie About a Horse
Once upon a time there was a young urban girl who, for some reason, has to go to stay with a male relative on a rural farm. She is none too pleased about this and is frustrated/whingy/lonely (choose one). One day she is given/finds a horse that is lonely/neglected and the two of them have adventures together. Suddenly, she is pleasant and happy and helps out on the farm. Something happens to the horse. Probably, he gets lost. She is sad. The male relative helps her with this horse problem. She is then given the opportunity to leave the farm. She chooses to stay. And they all live happily ever after.
Whether the Weather...
It is gross outside today. I've just come in from hanging the laundry. It's like an oven. It's 44C with a hot, dry wind. Your feet sting as you walk across the paving stones (even those in shade) and the spiders come out and wait for you to kill them. It's just too hot to hide today. What do you do with two little boys who prefer outdoors to indoors on such a day? The pool? Not really. The rec center air has open windows all day long so the temperature is much the same as outside. Except stacked with humidity. The beach? I could feel my skin toasting as I hung towels and flung nappies (which were not only dry but hard like boards and hot) into the basket. Movie about horses and play in the tub? Sounds like the afternoon. I don't even want to bake (which is entertainment and delicious) because I don't want to turn on the oven. Here's hoping that it's not like this next week, 'cause I have a turkey in the freezer and he desires to be Christmas dinner.
At any rate, happy Christmas! I'll try to blog again one day. It'll have to be short, because this three months to write one post thing is a wee bit ridiculous.