Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A Few Misunderstandings

So we were at the grocery store this evening - Gage has been jonesing for Chinese food from Wegmans and my mom took us out - and I had a couple of glimpses into Gage's brain that made me realize I need to clear some stuff up.

Gage points to a broom. "Look at that big paintbrush, Mommy!"

D'oh! My housekeeping skills may be lacking.... Headdesk.


Gage: "Milk comes from cows."
Me: "That's right."
Gage: "Chicken meat comes from chickens."
Me: "Right again, kiddo."
Gage: "Bananas come from monkeys."
Me: "Um."

Not to mention, he must assume monkeys are cannibals. I mean, you never see a chicken eating 'chicken meat,' do you? (groaning)

After Wegmans we went to Toys-R-Us to look for a sandbox (shh...birthday present). Gage looked around at all of the summer toys and found a couple things he'd like. But, charmingly, he also found toys that he thought his friends would like. He saw an inflatable play house that he said "That one's for Bella." And he found a little set of animals and cavemen that he asked to buy for his cousin, Dan. What a little sweetheart he is.

Alas, we bought not a thing. But he didn't give me any trouble about leaving empty-handed, which was excellent. That place is dripping with temptation. The air in the store is thick and heavy with want. It's a ridiculous place. I was thrilled that we were able to walk out in one piece, with no screaming.

And...Lila took thirteen unassisted steps today. She's taken to just letting go of whatever she's braced up this case it was the coffee table...and walking slowly, steadily into the middle of the living room. Go, Li! Thirteen steps is huge.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Quick Note

Lila took her first real steps today.

She walked from Mike to me in Gage's bedroom - slowly, carefully, and steadily. Four big, real steps.

Way to go, sweet Lila!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Nose Candy

So my mom, Gage and I are on our way to Wegman’s on Saturday. My mom and I are chatting in the front seat and Gage is eating a couple of tiny candies in his carseat in the back. He had five candies – and each was smaller than a PEZ. He bit each one in half and showed me the inside “Look, Mommy, there’s white in there.” I had acknowledged this five times, so I know that he was on the last one.

“Uh-oh,” I hear. “I can’t eat my candy!”
Me: “Why not?”
He: “Because it’s in my nose!”
Me: D’oh. D’oh. D’oh.
He: (beginning to freak out): “Get it out!”

It was awful. And awfully funny. I tried to get him to blow his nose, but he wouldn’t. I could see the candy up there, but there was nothing I could do to get it out. I finally had to say: “If you won’t blow your nose then it’s just going to have to stay up there. Until you sneeze.”

He: (sighing resignedly): “O-tay.” (Note: He's okay with that? He's okay with the fact that a piece of candy is lodged in his nasal passage? Because heaven forbid he blow his freaking nose.)

Two minutes later he sneezed, and the candy flew out. I caught it in my hand, because, as gross as it is, you just kind of learn to catch whatever comes flying out of your kids’ faces. He grinned and squealed “Ooh! Can I have it now?”

Um, no. No, buddy. You can’t.

So two big things happened to Lila in the past several days. She got two new teeth (her first) and a mop of curly hair!
She’s also just beginning to stand randomly in the middle of the room – like, go from sitting to standing and then back down to sitting without touching anything along the way. And she’ll take a couple of steps to get from me to Mike and back again. But she’s still pretty unsteady. She’s said Mama a handful of times and Dada, but she won’t say them reliably. Also, I swear, she said “Good cracker” twice. But no one else heard, and no one else believes me. Well, Lila and I know she did it, anyway.

Gage has been playing the funniest games lately – like he’ll set a box up on the floor and stand on it, then lean over until the box falls down. The whole time he’s doing this he says “Whoa. Whoa!” Then he breathes really quickly and dramatically collapses on the floor, saying “Oh no! What’s happening!?” Then he gets up, sets the box up straight, and starts the whole thing over again.

Mike asked me about this, saying “What the heck is he doing?” and I answered “His new game is panic.” I bet he’s going to love scary movies someday.

Since Gage has been in a big-boy bed he’s done some pretty random stuff. One morning I woke up and walked downstairs into the living room, and Gage is walking out of the kitchen peeling a banana. “Hi, Mommy!” he said cheerfully, and took a big bite.

Another time he woke me up by putting a bolt in my ear.

And on Monday I just woke up…just opened my eyes and he was standing in front of me, staring into my face. Talk about scary movies. I mean, I love my kids more than life itself but when you’re sleeping you want to just be able to sleep, you know what I mean? You don’t want to think that somebody might be waiting, one inch from your face, just waiting for you to open your eyes.

Lila’s staying in her crib until she’s five years old, I swear.

Mr. Gym Class is getting pretty brave. I’m so glad we signed him up for Parkettes. He’s been so bold about jumping, rolling, he’s just more of a bruiser now than he was two weeks ago. I’m really glad about that.

Oh, and…I just got the first-ever good picture of my kids together:

They're darlings, aren't they?

Monday, April 7, 2008

Slow Down

This afternoon I was rushing to get the kids down for their naps. Lila went well enough - she was ready. Gage resisted my hurrying, but resignedly moped his way to bed as well. Only a few minutes after I turned off his light I heard him call for me.

I sighed, hands sticky with the raw chicken that I was submerging in broth to cook for this evening's enchiladas, and finished what I was doing quickly.

He calls again. I can't call back - Lila will wake.

I washed my hands, ran up the stairs and hissed 'what?' at him in the duskiness of his doorway. "You have to be quiet."

"Mommy, nunnle with me." This is how he asks me to snuggle. To nunnle.

"I can give you a hug, but I need to get back to making dinner." I crouch near his bed and give him a quick squeeze.

"No, Mommy, nunnle with me, like this," he puts his face near mine and makes this little happy whimpering sound that we coo to each other when we're feeling the most contented.

His eyes, inches from mine, huge and liquid and clear. The most deeply hued brown I've ever seen. I get lost.

My heart breaks.

I climb into his bed and lay my face alongside his. I breathe his feathery, moistly warm hair straight into my nose. I coo at him and he coos back, wriggling with happiness at this reprieve. I stroke his cheek, from his temple to his jaw, with the side of my thumb.

I murmur about his day, about who he saw, what he did. He sticks his thumb in his mouth and smiles around it when I hit on the good parts. I run one fingertip down the middle of his back, feeling the buttons of his spine. I graze the bottoms of his bare feet with the same fingertip and he pulls them away, tucking them underneath him. He's getting ticklish.

"You're going to have a good nap," I whisper. He grins at me and gives one last puppyish shiver.

I kiss the nape of his neck and lift myself from his bed, leaving a depression in his little mattress. I blow him a kiss from the doorway and back out of his room, watching him nuzzle into his treasured blankie.

And you know what? For all my rushing, for all my perceived deadlines? The chicken was fine. Of course the chicken was fine.

I need to remember to slow down.