Monday, March 24, 2008

Props for Easter

So we had Easter. It was supercool. Gage colored and hunted eggs. Lila ate asparagus and then her pee smelled bad. (Who knew it happened so young!?) All in all, a great holiday.

My parents gave the kids gift-wrapped books and, for Gage, a small basket of goodies. I was absurdly proud watching my tiny man crouch next to his sister, insisting she help him unwrap the gifts. Tearing the paper with his right hand, holding the gift solidly with his left. Saying "Oh my goodness, Gage SO excited." Little streams of paper tossed haphazardly over his was great. And when he finally had the entire gift unwrapped he screeched "Ooh! A book! I've never seen that [particular book before]." Except, in Gage-speak, it comes out in a rushed "Ooh! I've never-neen-nat." So pleased.

Times like these -it's like watching a video of yourself from the years before you have any memories. It's remembering yourself at your most basic, your most vulnerable. Easter is exciting all over again.

Lila was a beautiful sight in her fancypants Easter dress.

Except for repeatedly wrenching the bow from her hair, she seemed to enjoy the holiday.

Also, she found an abandoned, half-eaten lollipop on a low shelf today (left by Gage, of course, this morning). She was one happy lady, let me tell you. Until the fateful moment I took the pop away. Then there were tears. Only from her - I rather enjoy taking candy from babies.

Gage wore a tie and suspenders for approximately 22 minutes before demanding they be removed. In fact, he demanded the *shirt* be removed as well, but thanks to my mom's quick thinking he settled for having the top button unbuttoned.

Ah, yes. He's Mike's and my son, for sure.

All this dressing up business can be fun: for a very limited amount of time. And then...bring on the pajama pants. Okay, that's more me than Mike. But you know what I'm saying.

When the kids were sleeping and the house was straightened, Mike actually dragged me outdoors today. In the summer he doesn't have to drag - I'm the one dragging him. But when it's cold I lack enthusiasm for the world outside my nest. Oops - I meant to say: The world outside my house.

Once outside we played with this little wooden toy we bought several years ago - a small propellor toy that's just a dowel with a blade on top.
We bought it for about $1.50 and it's proved to be the best $1.50 we've spent on anything, ever. So many times we've gone outside to play with this toy - spinning the thing back and forth to each other across an expanse of grass - reaching high to intercept a bad spin, deftly catching a good one. Teasing each other for awful tosses, blaming the wind for missed catches.

And we talk.

There's far too little talk in our everyday lives. We talk about the kids, we talk about work, the house, chores, the news, what happened on Jon & Kate Plus 8. We talk about money, sex, all the things every couple talks about. But sometimes then there's not all that much more time. Or there's time, but all we can think about is getting some rest.

So we need to get ourselves outside - we need to do *something* to get ourselves in an out of the ordinary situation - to reconnect and discover each other all over again.

Yeah, a $1.50 simplest toy ever. I think we should consider buying a back-up. You know. Just in case.

You should probably get one, too. You never know when it'll come in handy. For now, you can keep it in your glove compartment.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Waiting For The Sun

I'm fairly certain that I'm boring.

The background: Several nights ago I heard Gage talking in his room at 10:30 at night. I knew he hadn't fallen asleep yet, because I heard him off and on since bedtime. I go to check on him.

Me: "Everything okay, pal?"
Gage: "Yep. I'm just talking to myself and waiting for the sun to shine through the windows."

Oh. Okay. Carry on, then. But it'll be a while....

The current: Last night he was still up at ten o'clock and I went to see what was up. He told me he had to go pee, so I said okay. He followed me to the bathroom and I sat him on the potty, sat myself on the edge of the tub.

Gage (walking 'Mr. Fingers' [his index and middle fingers of his right hand] around on his legs): "Mumble, mumble, whisper, whisper." I can't make out what he's saying.
Me (thinking about the other night): "It's neat to talk to yourself, you know?"
Gage: silence, still walking Mr. Fingers.
Me: "I just think it's cool to, you know, like talk to yourself sometimes. It's like thinking, but out loud. And you--"
Gage: "Mommy."
Me: "When you talk to yourself you can say whatever you want, you know?"
Gage: "Mommy."
Me: "I do it, too. I talk to myself sometimes. And that's fine. It's kind of cool."
Gage: "Mommy! Privacy, please?"

Wow. Dissed by my two-year-old. I think I just got a glimpse of what we're in for during puberty. Except, in retrospect, I probably would have wanted me to shut up already, too, LOL.

Speaking of puberty, Lila is crazy emotional. I just don't remember Gage being this way as a baby. She knows what she wants, and she won't be deterred! She's ruthless, that one. If I take something away from her she throws her body into contortions - she arches her back and rips her head backward and screams. I've nearly dropped her several times. I'm not going to lie. *Several* times.

She screams when she's nursing and she's finished all the milk. She is *infuriated* at my lack of unlimited supply.

She screams 18 times during every Mommy & Me Yoga Class when she slips my grip and starts merrily crawling toward a stand-alone fan, wanting so much to pull the thing over onto herself. I always stop her before she gets there, and she screams for the thirty seconds I can hold onto her wet-bar-of-soap/fish-out-of-water body and as soon as she slips away she heads right over to the fan again. I'm still wondering why I *paid* for that class...because this paragraph really encompasses most of what we did there.

Classes...we just started Gage in one. A gym class at Parkettes in Allentown. Mike and Gage will go to the gym every Saturday morning for 12 weeks - it's a 1-3 yr old class. So far - we've only had one class - I really like the teacher and Gage really likes the gym. I take him occassionally to the Open Gym there, where he can do as he pleases for an hour - trampolines, foam pit, balance beams, sliding boards, bars, etc. The class is more structured, which is good. I think it'll be good for him.

And the balance beam. He has exceptional balance. I seriously think that it's one of his major strengths. Look at this tower:

This isn't anything exceptional; I just happened to have the camera right there. He does this kind of thing all. The. Time. He throws these towers together in five seconds, barely even adjusting the items. He just senses how it's going to balance, and it always does. I never think his towers will stand, but they always do.

It just seems to make sense to him.

It's the same thing with the balance beam. He'll hop up onto a regular 4-inch beam, a couple of feet in the air, and walk along the thing at his totally normal pace, without looking down or anything. One foot right exactly in front of the other. With much more confidence and speed than I would have, and quite a more cavalier attitude about it. I barely touch his hand to make sure he doesn't fall, but I won't leave his side yet...just because, you know. I'm his mama.

I wanted to record some of the mispronunciations he's currently embracing. They're so funny, and pure, and I don't want to forget them. So....

Throat = in "Food goes in my mouth, then down my froap, then into my belly!"

Pulp = in "Gage no yike dis orange. Too much seaweed!"

Upside down = Upside Over

Velcro = Bell-tow

You're welcome = You're Yell-comb

Strangely, the PBS show Word World = Wharf Door

And, still, By myself = My byself

Oh, I just thought of one more story. Today Gage, Lila and I were in Gage's room, cleaning. Lila was crawling around, finding things to play with. I was cleaning up the wooden kitchen, and Gage was flitting between helping me, visiting Lila and running a toy motorcycle on the floor.

Gage: "Yi-yah, what do you have in your mouth?" I look over at them. To my astonishment, in perfect imitation of me, Gage sweeps his finger in Lila's mouth and pulls out a little wooden plug - the kind that goes in a screw hole to make furniture look nice.

Gage: "No, Yi-yah, you're too yittle for dis."

Me: "Wow, Gage, good job! That was so great. Lila wasn't supposed to have that. And you got it away from her. Well done."

Gage (looking at me sympathetically and waiting a respectful several seconds before replying): "It's okay, Mommy. You didn't know."

This kid, man. This kid. How does *he* know?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Soundtrack to Gage's Life

For the past couple of weeks Gage has wanted to hear songs about his everyday life. This is all fine and good - I'm perfectly willing to make up and belt out tunes on command - but in the last couple of days his requests have gotten a bit strange.

Yesterday he asked me for a packet of crackers and I was almost finished getting lunch ready.

Me: "You may eat those after lunch. We're going to have lunch now."
Gage: "Have crackers now?"
Me: "No, sweetpea. What did Mommy say?"
Gage: "In a few minutes?"
Me: "After lunch."
Gage: "Eat the crackers up now? In my belly?"
Me: "Please don't ask again, Gage. You may have them after lunch."
Gage sulks for a minute, feeling very sorry for himself. Finally: "Mommy sing me a song, please?"
Me: "Sure, Gage. What do you want me to sing about?"
Gage: "Sing about Gage wanting some crackers. And Mommy saying no. And Gage being so sad. And Gage crying and crying."
Me (sighing heavily):

"There once was a boy named Gage
He wanted to eat some crackers
But his Mommy said no
We're gonna have lunch soon

Gage was so hungry for crackers
It made him so sad to have to wait
But his Mommy said no, not yet
You can have those crackers after lunch

Gage was so sad that he started to cry
He cried and cried and cried
Then he ate lunch and he started to feel better
And after lunch he ate up his crackers."

Gage: "Thanks, Mommy."

We do this probably 6 times a day. He has these confusing situations and he doesn't actually cry in real life, but he always wants to hear about himself crying in the songs. It's too funny.

Other songs he's requested from me include:
"A song about Gage walkin' into Yi-yah's room and wakin' her up."
"...Gage crying about having his hair washed."
"...Gage bumping his head on the door."
"...walking downstairs and reading books." (While supposed to be napping.)
"...the tiger that lives in the backyard." (This one's new. It's a yellow and black tiger named "Big Tiger." Apparently he lives in the shrubbery and defends our property.)

Every one begins with "There once was a boy named Gage." He often says that part with me. I'm so predictable, LOL.

Here's the song about waking up Baby Lila:

"There once was a boy named Gage
He was feeling very naughty
His sister Lila was sleeping in her crib
And Gage went in her room and woke her up

Lila cried and cried and cried (See a pattern here!?)
She was so sad that Gage woke her up
She stood up in her crib and looked at Gage
And she felt so sad because she didn't sleep enough

Gage felt sorry for waking her up
And he kissed her on the head and rubbed her back
Lila felt a little bit better
But Gage thought 'I won't wake her up ever again.'"

Let's hope that last line is the only takeaway from this particular song!