Here's what Luke's been saying and doing this month:
Intensifying my workouts. This will probably turn into a post in and of itself. Luke loves to join me, jump on me, and cheer for me.
Never one to like solitude, when I go to put Ben down for a nap sometimes I hear from the couch: "I'm lonely. I'm all alone." over and over until I return or if I leave him for a minute on the potty he'll holler "I need some love!"
"But I do but I don't." This is an entire concept that I've come to embrace. Luke sometimes likes the idea of something, but doesn't like the reality of it. "Luke, do you want to try some pickles?" I say. "I do, but I don't." is the reply. He thinks they're fascinating, but he doesn't like the taste. Sometimes he'll chant it for a while: "But I do, but I don't, but I do, but I don't." I've even found myself saying this. My mom might ask, "Do you want to go to Costco?" I get that mental tug of war "But I do, but I don't."
I was talking to my mom about Mac and Luke chimed in and called him Mac instead of dad, so Nana jokingly said...
Nana- Who's this Mac guy?
Luke- [seriously and thoughtfully] He's a big guy and he's my buddy.
I love that Luke described him that way.
I was talking to Luke about what we might grow in a garden next year. "Macaroni and cheese" he said. And THAT is why we need to at least attempt a garden.
Luke picked a book from the library called Shades of People about how people come in all shades. A few days later he came over to compare our shades. It was decided that I was slightly darker. He said "You're brown- good for youuuuuuu!" and galloped away saying "Hooray!"
I was reading a book called School: The Story of American Public Education. Luke climbed into my lap and wanted to see the photos in the book One was a painting of a teacher who caught his student sleeping and was hovering over him, about to whip him awake. Luke was very upset by this and said "I don't want to get spanked in the tush. Never!" I explained to him that they don't do corporal punishment in school anymore, just verbal abuse (School of Rock, anyone?). Later he was coloring and said "I'm learning school. You should spank me!" We have great fun joking about that. Sometimes he wants me to "spank" him and sometimes he wants me to pretend to be the student. Don't worry, they're just love taps. We're not getting too violent with our schooling.
One day he walked over to me and got real close. He had a very mischievous look on his face. He proceeded to tell me "you're stinky!" "you're disgusting." He loves to play with the power that certain words have.
Any time Luke catches Mac and I kissing he says "I want some love too!"
"Benny, you're my pet."
I love to listen to his pretend games. One day his little figurines were going to neverland on a tractor.
Ben, Luke and I were snuggling on the couch. Luke looked up at me and said "who is your best boy?" Later while snuggling before bed he asked "what boy do you love best?" We've talked a lot about that.
It's so cool to me that he understands perspective. Although he never has been on the roof he said "when I was up on the roof I could see the neighbors." It shows me that he can imagine what it would look like if he were on the roof. That's the root of emotional intelligence- imagining what different perspectives look like.
It's nice to have a kid around to show you what you need to improve. Luke has started saying things in an accusatory manner like "you always..." and "you never...". I've started watching myself and realizing how often I'm guilty of that kind of talk and thinking.
We got a phone book dropped of at our door. Luke was so confused. "Is it my Birthday?" "Is it your birthday?" "Is it my homework?" "Is it your homework?" For the record, Luke has no homework, he just knows about homework from Peter and Emily.
Luke has a new game that he loves to play that he calls "sash." It's just acting out the scene where the stepsisters mess up Cinderella's dress. He begs Emily and I to act it out. Sometimes even Nana joins in as the Fairy. I have to take care to remind Luke that if he wants to play as the stepsister that he needs to rip off the sash and beads, not skin. Man, he's intense!
It cracks me up when Luke corrects my speech: "Mom! It's not el-e-phant it's ef-el-ant." "Oh, thanks, Luke!"
One night at bedtime he told me "you're the sweetest girl in the whole wide world." Aw!
I overheard him telling Mac "I like this house. We should make this bathroom blue. And maybe the bathtub blue. And my hair blue."
Last night he was singing eensy weensy spider in his sleep.
Luke has very mixed feelings about Ben. Sometimes it's passive-aggressive with a hug that's a little too tight or more like a tackle than a hug. Sometimes it's plain aggressive-aggressive. Lately he's been struggling with bopping him on the head and pushing him over when he's pulled up to stand on something. Luckily Ben doesn't realize that offense was intended and so he takes none. I've been trying to help Luke work through those feelings and figure out why he's doing those things and what he can do instead. My theory is that a lot of the time he is just wanting more attention and stimulation. (Of course sometimes the problem is that I'm in a foul mood, which trickles down to Luke, who then hits Ben, but I wouldn't want to convict myself too much now, would I?) If I'm absorbed in something he knows that's a sure fire way to get the attention back on himself. I think we're making progress because most recently he pulled up his hand to hit Ben, stopped himself, and turned to me and said "I need some attention". Of course that's probably not the end of it, but little signs like that are reassuring. Oh, and Ben, if you're reading this, I do protect you as much as I can. I try to keep my body in between you two most of the time and I try to stay close enough to catch Luke's body or arm if it's aimed at you. That's just not possible 100% of the time.
In honor of the September birthdays (Emily's and mine), and as a cultural activity for Peter's French class, we went to lunch at La Provence in Roseville. It was amazing.
Luke had a blast with the wikki sticks the waitress brought us, and a lot of fun exploring the grounds in between "courses".
We all had a hard time deciding what to order- everything looked delicious.
First off was bread and a chickpea dip (which was basically hummus, but I'm told it wasn't). This was followed by fondue (artichoke, smoked gouda, smoked paprika, spinach, and cayenne). We all gobbled it up.
I wish I could recap how everyone's food is, but there wasn't much time to discuss it. Unfortunately, the slow food movement is lost on us. Most of the party had to leave for the football game Emily was cheering at, and Mac didn't even get to eat his meal at the table because he was rushing off to an interview. I can tell you that I was a little bit disappointed with what I ordered. I had the open face chicken sandwich with whatever the french version of pesto is, sun-dried tomatoes, and goat cheese. The best part was the goat cheese, but I didn't really think the rest was that great. Oh, well. Now I'll have to go back and try something else. The boys and I headed to a park to wait for Mac to get back from his interview.
"Hey, mom, is there a ball?"
"Sorry, Luke. You'll have to play with this sack."
And he did.
I'm told the interview went pretty well. The burger was quite good. I can tell you myself because I got a couple bites. The fries were good enough to eat without ketchup.
Hey, little man. Here is a view of yourself at 6 months old:
You love to chew on stuff. Your favorites include my knuckles,
books, shoes and feet. I've caught you going for the broom, mop and flyswatter, but that's where I draw the line. Your big brother likes to help you stay away
from stuff you shouldn't have like paper and other choking hazards.
You are delighted to put weight on your legs and stand up like the rest of us.
You're not a big sitter. You're getting better all the time, but I make sure you're set up for the inevitable spill.
You're getting around just fine: you can roll and army crawl
wherever you want. You do a little bit of hands and knees crawling, but you're faster army crawling.
You love bringing your arm down real fast (you've been called
Bam-Bam for this). I'm not sure if it's frustration, a new schema, or a
defense mechanism against Luke. Maybe a little bit of all of those.
I love the exuberance with which you meet each day. Your smiling face sets the mood for the morning.
You're called Benny-Boo, Scandinavian baby, Viking baby and Bam-Bam.
It was so funny to watch you watch Papa watch football. Papa yells
at the t.v. and you are completely perplexed. Just like most of us.
You are obsessed with food. I didn't really want you to have solids
till at least 6 months if not later, but you are pretty insistent.
You're there for breakfast and dinner with us at the table and I feel
like my options are 1) Only eat when you're asleep so you don't see the
food and get jealous. 2) Leave you alone in another room while we eat
3) Let you fuss and get frustrated watching us eat while we give you
toys to play with or 4) Just give you some food and be done with it. I
chose option number four, but I wish I could have thought of a better
one. Your mind and your mouth might be ready for food, so I sure hope
your gut is ready too. So far I let you suck on a nectarine and apple
in the little mesh-feeder thingy and you got a couple bites of my banana
"ice cream". A few days after your six month mark we added spinach and carrots in there. The first time I gave you really soft carrot bits you pincher grasped it and put it straight to your mouth.
One more story for ya: We were at the library and a dad and his kids walked into the playing/reading room. I tried to chat him up, but he was deaf and didn't vocalize. My signs are not that good, so there was a pretty good language barrier. We sat there in silence while the kids played. I think you thought it was odd that your usually chatty-with-strangers mother didn't keep talking to the dad. You took it on yourself to smile and engage him and he seemed to like you a lot. While not an extrovert, you certainly have some pro-social tendencies. If I may project onto you, I think you're just a sensitive little soul. I think you care about other people and want to make sure everybody around you is doing o.k.
What's for dinner? (We only did this once, it didn't work so well)
Hmmm. You let me grab your spoon. What is this?
Better try it again.
You were sitting on my lap and were able to pull up on the ottoman. You can't really pull up yet.
Seconds later, you took a spill. Good thing I got it on camera.
Benny Boy, you are such a joy! I don't want to believe your baby-hood is halfway over. I hope you're enjoying it as much as I am!
Here's some highlights from Emily's birthday party:
Papa and Ben
Peter "pictures will cost you" Schofield graced us with his presence for a minute. He then left to "tailgate" because he needed to put on "body paint" for the Varsity game. I have no idea which parts of that he was kidding about.
Ben likes our faces so much he wants to eat them.
It's a little known fact that children have a sugar quota to meet. Kind of like a sales person has a sales quota to meet. Luke is a real go-getter and managed to get down shaved ice, a cupcake, and some ice cream. Well done! Now you can take the rest of the month off. Please.
The shwimming was shwell. I'm feeling a little shilly.
Ben and Mac-daddy.
Nana and Ben.
When I sent Mac in to take pictures of the gang watching the movie, he found Luke and Papa "I wear my sunglasses inside" Schofield. Papa thought Mac was coming to whisk Luke home and said "You can't have him". They are two peas in a pod.
Long after the girls decided Disney's movie "Prom" was derivative, we found Papa had paused for a snooze.