Sunday, June 19, 2011

War

I know I say it a lot, but Alexander isn't your typical 2 year old. Between his older siblings and quiet contemplative personality. Its hard to remember he is just 2. He doesn't like to ride in the stroller. He helps carry groceries and other bags. He is a by myself kind of guy. And if you tell him no he just figures out a way to do it himself .. . Without permission.

Recently he was wanting to play the card game war with grandma. He found the cards, got them out and even divided them equally. Then in his sweetest voice and his most innocent smile he asked, "you play war with me?" Its really hard to say no to a boy with such innitiative.

Then he sat and played war with grandma. He knew each and every number and which one was bigger. The little guy is only 2. I am amazed at how capable he is.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Cutting the Apron Strings

The euphamisim sounds like its ripping off a band-aid or pushing a baby bird out of the nest, destined to fly or fall. IN many instances we talk about the mother letting go and moving on. Its so final. Just one moment and the cord has been cut. But as a mom with children venturing out and becoming their own people I realize its not a cord. Its more like a very very thick rope and each little choice we make cuts one strand of the rope. It started simple and I didn't even realize it. I think it first started when the children started bathing on their own. Then they prepared their own sandwich for lunch.

Some of the strands of the cord are more painful to cut than others. When I let them walk 3 blocks down the street without an adult it was scary, but very necessary step in the growing up process. Even more recently I have started dropping off the bigger kids for swim lessons and letting daddy pick them up. That means they are alone (but have supervision) for a longer while. They have to undress, shower and redress and then be ready to be picked up on time. Its a lot of steps they have to be responsible for. Each and every week they do this I get a pit in my stomach and watch the clock until they walk through the front door. And each and every week my husband walks through the door first and says "what kids?" when I ask him where they are as the kids follow about 4 steps behind them. That joke wasn't funny the first day and its not funny on the fourth day either.

That cord must be connected to my stomach. . . .

Thursday, June 16, 2011

You're Out.

William is, let's say dramatic, to say the least. When I tell him we are out of cream cheese for breakfast and he will have to eat peanut butter instead he throws himself to the ground, cries and proclaims, "this is the worst day ever". The same thing happens when I tell him to put on shoes instead of flip flops (school rules) and a variety of other mundane, not important things.

Tball started out great! Each child got a turn to bat. There were endless outs and children were allowed to stay on base. But as we have progressed through the season children are tagged out. Its a hard lesson to learn and some of the children end up leaving the field in tears.

Last week William was one of the first kids up to bat. He tried hitting the ball 4 times before it was deemed playable. He hustled and ran all the way to first only to be tagged out. I cringed and waited for the worst. Proclamations of "unfair" and "worst day ever". But he happily ran all the way to base, touched it with his foot, turned around and ran back to home to sit on the bleachers. No tears. No fuss. I was shocked. I couldn't believe he handled it with such maturity. My little man is growing up and will surely be ready for kindergarten in 12 short weeks.

Thelma and Louise - Vegas Style

My darling, darling sister has decided to get married in Vegas. The problem with that is she doesn't live in Vegas and neither do I. That means over the next year I will be making a few quick trip to Vegas. Yes, technically its easier for me and I am closer. But I have baggage. Lots of it. Mostly because 5 tag-alongs create a lot of baggage.

This time though I was able to double my baggage. Somehow the planets aligned my best friend and I were able to take a 2 days, less than 48 hour trip, to Vegas. Two different school schedules and eight children and their schedules didn't slow us down. Really, it is quite shocking. So we loaded up the Monster Van - 8 kids; 8, 7, 6, 4, 4, 2, 2, and 7 months, and 2 moms (no ages needed) and headed east through the desert. We loaded the kids up on books, CDs, DSs and movies. When they got cranky we passed out cookies. Two potty breaks and we made it to Primm, Nevada for McDonald's (but only because we accidentally blew through Baker, CA). A short while after that we made it to Vegas!

But since we have 2 kids in diapers, we split the difference at potty breaks. Which means Melanie ends up shuffling 6 children to the bathroom by herself. I luck out with the diapered children since I have to nurse one of them. We are getting quite the looks as we walk around with a gaggle of kids. Add to that my step-sisters and the grand total is 10 kids. At one point I ended up at the pool - me and 8 children, 4 of which who couldn't swim. We look like a train as we walk through the casino. We buddy them up; one mom in front and one in the back.

As much work as it is its a ton of fun too. A few snippets from our trip so far: Joe grabbing each of the littler boys in bear hugs after knocking down pins during bowling, watching the boys play with each other (lovely boy games like fart sound and sword fighting), Lainy Ann playing quiet games with the little girls, Lainy Ann whispering with the big girls (my step-sisters), and Madelynn playing peek-a-boo in the car as we drove across the desert.

I'm exhausted. My voice is hoarse and I think I got a little too much sun. But I won't remember any of that in a few years. I will remember being with my best friend and her children. I adore them. And they adore my kids. What a great blessing to be able to give to my children - fast friendships.