This week I had one of those days. A terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day. A just surviving, just putting out fires kind of a day. It's days like those for which I'm glad I have stored up pictures and memories like this.
Luke's prayers are becoming longer and longer. He's grateful for everything from Jackie Robinson to the Dun-Dun guys (think about the imperial march). Sometimes it's adorable and sometimes it's an exercise in patience for me.
Luke went to go pull the tab on the Brita water filter and it was going to spill out on the floor. I said, half jokingly, "Don't even think about it". He looked at me quizzically and said "I do think about it". As if to say 'the thought already went through my head- I can't un-think it'.
He's mashing up songs: Where is love with down by the banks of the hanky panky.
Mom: It's almost bedtime. Are you tired?
Luke: No. I'm superman.
Luke ran by me and was wearing nothing but rainboots. I smiled and laughed at him and said "you're the best" and he shot back "you're the best too".
In the same vein any time he gets a compliment or observation from someone he chimes in "Yes I am!" or "Yes I do!"
He's starting to make up little rhymes. One of my greatest wishes for my children is that they have a better command of the English language than I do, so my heart soars every time he makes one.
He's added into our bedtime routine some nights that he stands at the foot of our bed and puts on a little show- singing, doing a 'trick'.
He's asking so many questions these days. Even 'why'. He wants to know how things work, like plumbing or what happens to his food after he eats it. Sometimes this is so fun exploring new concepts with him, and sometimes it's an exercise in patience.
I'm dealing with the post-partum hair loss and when the fallen out hair tickles my arm it drives me nuts because I think a bug is on me. One morning I felt the familiar tickle and thought nothing of it. Then I felt a painful pinch. I looked and swatted the spider off of me in one motion. I saw red, so it could have been a black widow (we have a few that we've killed). I screamed and startled both the boys (Ben woke up from his nap). This experience has really stuck with Luke and he re-told the story over and over, sometimes inserting himself as the spider's victim.
I was watching him swim in the bath and he said "Look at me- I'm swimming downloaded (he meant to say down low) in the water!"
I love to hear him making up stories to go along with pictures in books. He even adds "he said" and "she said".
While at dinner with the Schofields Mac and Emily were talking about the new Spiderman movie. Emily was obviously disgusted and asked "Why are they making another one?". Luke answered back matching her tone and body language "Don't worry! It's Spiderman!"
Mom: You have to put on pants.
Luke: But I don't have to wear pants at home [That is the rule at our house]
Mom: We're going to Home Depot
Luke: Home Depot, Home, it's the same!
I love how literally a two-year-old thinks. I was talking to Mac about a girl I know and said "She's so sharp". Luke got a confused look on his face and said "She cuts people?"
Luke has said some pretty charming things to me recently: "You sure are pretty" and "You're my best girl", but my favorite has to be this one:
Luke: I wonder why you're a girl.
Mom: Oh, really? What should I be?
Luke: [covers face and whispers] A princess.
We were lucky enough to spend the whole day with Grandpa Schofield when he was in town for cousin Ashley's Dental Assisting School graduation. Luke wasted no time in become good pals with him and telling him all of his stories and asking to climb into his lap for a book.
Grandpa was sure impressed with Ben getting himself all over the room to play with toys, and we all had fun playing Monopoly Jr. ("Opoly-Dopoly" as Luke calls it).
I kept asking Grandpa questions about his life. I never remember hearing very many of his stories, and now I can't get enough of them. I got to hear about him growing up in Idaho through the Depression and how his family survived with the help of his father's gardening and the family cow (raw milk, I'm sure). I also got to hear a little about all the different Universities he studied at before finally getting his BS from Cal Berkley (If I remember correctly) and his Masters from USC.
Later we went over to the high school so that Grandpa could see Peter practice football. There were 7 of us that went in a rag-tag little band of relatives and it was somewhat embarrassing to Peter. I'm so glad I'm not a teen anymore and I don't get embarrassed anymore. Luke brought his umbrella for shade.
Peter's playing on the third string, so I got to hear about how Papa moved his way up from fifth string on the freshman team to first string on the varsity team. At his high school reunion someone told him "I've never seen someone do so much with so little talent". We got a good laugh out of that because 1) While my dad isn't the most talented athlete, he's certainly not the least and 2) That's not a particularly nice thing to say to someone. Peter's plenty talented, we'll just have to see if he cares enough.
Luke likes to tell everyone what's what. Including his Great Grandpa.
Later we went out to dinner. Sometimes I worry what my children might be doing to add fuel to the "brat ban" fire. But really, Luke is pretty good. Can't you tell?
I have to say I have a knack for catching people right in the middle of a funny face.
Second, how cute are these little size 9 skates?
I know, right? And this little guy in those skates? Even cuter.
Luke was really impressive. He has this thing with textures- you know, stuff touching him. We deal with it on a daily basis getting dressed so when they wanted him to put on a bracelet I thought that would be a melt-down. But it wasn't. Then it was time for skates. Luke basically has one pair of too-small flip-flops that he won't complain about. Everything else he hates, so I figured we might have another melt down over the skates. Wrong again. Luke can also be cautious and unsure of himself in new situations, so I thought he might cling for dear life trying to walk in his skates. You guessed it, I was wrong again. At this point I'm 0 for 3 in the being-right-about-meltdowns game, but that's a game I don't mind losing. Luke and Mac skated together for a while while I held Ben and they looked like they were figuring it out.
Then Nana came to watch Ben, Emily came with a friend to skate, and Peter came against his will. Although, he wasn't surly about it. At least not to me. Don't get me wrong- Peter's a great person, but he's kind of flunking out of this teenager thing. Very little surliness. I told him to work on his dirty looks. For the record I was an excellent teenager. I aced dirty looks.
When I stepped out on the ice holding Luke's hand with Mac on his other side, I thought for sure I would take us all out. There were a couple close calls, but I got my balance back after a loop or so around the rink. After a while I wanted to be all finished skating and leave, but the chicken dance song is like a siren's call to me- it kept luring me back to the rink.
Mac and I even got a few minutes of skating together- like a mini date. Eventually Luke's legs were just too tired to hold himself up any more, so we went home. As we were pulling up to our house the ice cream man was stopped by some neighbors. I have tried so hard to keep Luke from knowing that the truck that plays music also has ice cream in it. Almost like some parents try to keep their kids from finding out about Santa. But since it was right there (it was a sign, right?), we got some ice cream. We ushered him in the house as fast as we could so that maybe he wouldn't hear the music and put two and two together.
This morning in his prayer Luke said "...and please bless that we can go ice skating again today."
Last week we bought blackberries at the farmer's market. They were flavorless and expensive. This week Emily, the boys and I went on a walk in the greenbelt by Nana's and found plenty. I was pretending I was a hunter-gatherer because I'm weird. These berries were amazing. After our little jaunt was over and we escaped back inside to air-conditioned bliss we couldn't help but finding some baskets still left out from Easter that were easily accessible and going back for more. Usually I dread summer because Sacramento is so hot, but this year I can't get enough. Maybe it's because there haven't hardly been any triple digit days, but I wish this summer would last forever.
P.S. I'm not quitting my day job to become a hand model.
P.P.S. On this walk Luke may have tipped over in the stroller. With Ben in it. Thank goodness those straps held my poor baby in ok. He just looked at me, mildly terrified, as I righted the stroller and reminded Luke that the stroller is not a jungle gym and he is not a monkey. I sure hope Ben makes it to his first birthday.
I've been terrible at keeping notes this month- sorry Ben!
(Luke wanted in the photo shoot- see his hand?)
You desperately want to crawl. You can scoot a little bit with an earthworm crawl, but that's just a foot at most. You want to figure it out already and grunt and whine when frustrated. Sometimes you roll front to back until you get somewhere new. I think you could sit up if you didn't wiggle so much. After a couple of seconds you wiggle yourself right over.
(I love your rolls!)
You know the game chicken, where two cars speed towards each other until one of them is too scared and swerves? Well, we play food chicken with you. Because you're so interested in what we're eating, sometimes we let you get it. Or I'll pretend like I'm going to feed you something. You look so excited until it's nearly at your mouth, and then you 'chicken out'. You want to be ready to eat, but you're just not.
(You wiggled over)
In the same vein, I let you play with my camelback water bottle. You can't drink from a baby bottle, so I figured you wouldn't be able to get anything out of it. Well, you did! You had a look of complete horror on your face with you had that sip of water. Now we know what to give you in an emergency- the camelback!
You've got a cold right now. You must be uncomfortable because you haven't complained like this since your newborn days. Sure makes me appreciate how mild-mannered you usually are!
I am a homebody, this you probably know. My children are not. This is rather inconvenient, but the best kind of inconvenience. The kind that makes you grow.
We were quarantined with an eensy weensy cough and a itty bitty runny nose, but I knew if we didn't get out of the house soon we'd spontaneously combust out of boredom. Betcha didn't know that was scientifically possible, but just suspend your disbelief until the end of this post. So I thought a walk would be great- that way we're outside, but we're not exposing people to our germs.
Instead of a walk in our neighborhood that we've done a million times already we got carried away and found a trail that tricked us into thinking we'd ventured somewhere exciting.
I was prepared with a double stroller, mei tai for Ben, and bike for Luke. All of them got used at one point or another. The trail was lover-ly with a nearby stream, ducks to see, and side paths to explore. On one of these side explorations we saw something in the distance. We went in for further exploration.
What's this? A park in the middle of our nature walk?
Quarantine over. In my defense, no one comes to this park, so no one else will get sick.
This park is called Taylor Park, named after the late husband of the woman whose basement Mac rented with Sam and Mark when we were dating. Mac and I even visited the park once in our courtship because it was so close to said basement.
Mac also makes these stickers for the city that they stick on the play structures. They don't pay Mac to install them, but they should because Mac wouldn't do it crooked. Mac pointed this crookedness out to me and now I notice it at every park and it bugs me. Thanks a lot, Mac. Obliviousness was bliss.