Friday, March 23, 2012

something is coming between us

Porter is really wonderful in many ways, but sleeping well is not his strong suit. He is currently potty training (against my will) and will be the first child I know to use the toilet before he can 1) sleep through the night, 2) speak in a complete sentence or 3) not acquire half of his calories through nursing. The photo is a little misleading in one important respect, though. That baby is usually cuddled up against me, not Brigham. And he is usually attached. But somehow it doesn't fill me with the despair that Andrew's less-terrible but similar sleeping patterns caused. I guess just because I know it will end pretty soon. I think.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

andrew's gratitude list for today

We have implemented a few new things around here involving chores and charts and stickers and the dollar store. One other thing we have added to the rotation is that I have the kids tell me a few things that happened that day for which they are grateful. I started doing this after I listened to a podcast that basically said that happiness in life comes down to just being grateful, and how important it is to cultivate a sense of gratitude in our personalities, and that we can do this by simply making a short gratitude list each day. But it has the added benefit of being a good way to get little boys to spill their guts about a day that I might not otherwise know much about (in Andrew's case, that is, since I know everything that happens to Will).

So here is Andrew's Thankfulness List for Today:

1) That Papa came over with his night vision goggles.

2) That we went to the park after dinner and stayed until it was dark.

3) That I got ice cream after school with Aunt Katie.

4) That Kenny said he was my friend again. (Kenny and Mihir, Andrew's two best friends at school, felt that the nonsensical noises Andrew insisted on making were "so annoying" that they told him they were not his friends anymore. At that point Andrew just stood there, watching them play and feeling sad. About 2 min later, Kenny told him he was just kidding and that they were still friends. Then I got to learn all about how they are now playing soccer at recess, practicing for a match-up with the girls and some other details of Andrew' social life at school. It was really cute.)

His gratitude list made me realize how lucky we are that we live so close to my parents, that my parents love the kids so much and look for experiences to share with them, that we have a park in our neighborhood and that my sister is in town and has been so helpful and loving to the kids. I have a tendency to focus on the negative sometimes, and let the fact that my son won't eat a single bite of food (we have experiences a regression from my previous post) to cloud out so many other positive things in our lives.)

Sunday, March 04, 2012

a few moments to remember later

On Friday I took Porter and Will to Tuckahoe Pool with Papa and Katie. While my dad and sister worked out, I had planned to swim with the boys, even though the shallowest part of the pool was 3 ft. Things went downhill upon arrival. The pool was completely divided into lanes, leaving no area for open swim. Then Will complained that the water was too cold (upon dipping just a foot in) and I briefly pictured myself packing us up and heading to the McDonalds drive through for lunch instead of trying to make swimming work out. I am trying to have a more can-do spirit, so we just hopped into the one empty lane and tried to make the best of it. It was not long before the life guard came by to let me know that the kids were not allowed to wear life jackets in the water for safety reasons. That was rather frustrating, but I removed Will's jacket and replaced it with a noodle (apparently those are allowed), but being a spirit of the law kind of person when push comes to shove, I left Porter in his. I planned on actually lying to the lifeguard and telling him that the jacket was built into the baby's suit (we do have one like that) if he bothered me again with my attempts to prevent a drowning that morning, but he didn't pursue the issue. Will, Porter and I then began swimming laps together in one hilarious train. I had to offer Will a nickel to swim various lengths. I think I owe his 80 cents or so now. In the end, I held on to Will's noodle and Porter basically sat on my chest in great distress while me made our way back and forth. I thought about how I swam in those very lanes when I was 10 years old on the swim team, wishing for practice to end, and here I am feeling all of my almost 35 years with two of my kids. Life is too short. An old woman who had invited us to leave our lane to join her much larger one watched us with a sad sort of smile and parted our company with a little injunction of "They are beautiful; enjoy." She and i were on the same wavelength.

Eventually, Porter began calling out, "Help! Help!" His vocabulary is very limited and that was the best match for vocalizing his inner turmoil which probably consisted of "I am cold and this life jacket is bunching up around my neck and I am not having fun at all and I want to get out of here." When he finally would be placated no more by my reassurances and just burst into sobbing, we went back to the shallow end of our lane and played little jumping games. When the adults were finished working out, we hit the MdDonalds drive through and headed home for a quick lunch and clean up before going out to Andrew's school to read a story and help with a craft (Dr. Suess's birthday, you know). There was an episode of pooping on the floor in there, but we made it on time to the class to read (Horton Hears a Who) and help out with the craft. We listened to A Series of Unfortunate Events in the car on the way home and Andrew wouldn't get out upon arrival, he was so interested in it (I am, too).

Since it was Friday night, we ordered our typical pizza and watched our weekly movie. Once again I had failed to return the netflix dvd in time for movie night, so we had to stream something. We settled on Frogs and Toads and it was perfect. We watched it right there at the table on my laptop (we were just going to try it out while we ate as part of our selection process, but they were so riveted we just kept it on). It was the very first movie Porter sat through every minute. I loved watched his little baby hands reach out in the darkness to bring his cup of milk to his little shadowed lips. Andrew was so distressed when the little boy ran away from his mother that he literally had to turn away (I have instilled too much fear about the dangers of not being with your mother!) and I was impressed, once again, at how little and innocent these boys are. And so grateful for our little happy days. I just don't want to forget any of this.

My legs are the tiniest bit sore today.