Friday, February 27, 2009

Water Works

Every day, it seems to take more and more effort to keep Matthew occupied and out of trouble. Yesterday, we painted with watercolors. Cameron was quite serious about his work, carefully choosing his colors and explaining each of his paintings. "This is a robot. And this? This is another kind of robot." Matthew, meanwhile, was figuring out the process -- Wait. Is it dip the brush in the water and THEN the paint or dip in the paint and THEN the water? They were both having fun, though, and I was congratulating myself on coming up with a rainy day activity for a 1 year old and a 5 year old.

I walked out of the room for a moment to grab some paper towels and heard Cameron say, "Yuck Matthew! Mooommmyyy! Look what Matthew's doing!" As an experienced parent, I have learned that this is inevitably indicative of trouble. Sure enough, I found Matthew holding the cup of murky purple paint water. His eyebrows were raised in confusion. Can't quite put my finger on it. Not grape juice. Hmmm. Fruit punch? No . . . He looked up at me seriously and commented, "Yucky." You heard it here first, folks: Paint water is yucky. Don't drink it. Trust me.

Matthew has taken quite an interest in water -- not just paint water -- and will drag a stool or chair over to the sink or the fridge dispenser and create quite a mess if I'm not quick enough. "Funny!" he chortles, although I beg to differ.

In the afternoon, he asked for a glass of water and, via a sophisticated communication system of pointing and frantic screeches, indicated that he wanted a big boy cup, not a baby cup with a lid. I gave it to him and, with immense pride, he took a drink. He toddled out to the play room and placed the cup on a bench, where he would return every few minutes to proudly slurp his water.

Eventually, he decided that this water could be useful for other things like pouring! He took a stacking cup off a shelf and began pouring his water from one cup to the other and back again. Cameron ran to the kitchen, grabbed a dish towel and placed it under the cups. "Matthew," he said gently but firmly. "When you do a water work, you always need to put a towel under it." Montessori in action, folks.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My Future Grandchildren

Today Cameron said to me, "Mommy? If I do end up having a kid someday, I'll name him Kavin (pronounced kah-vin). Oh! But what if I have a girl? Well, if it's a girl, I'll name her Tiffany."

So there you have it folks. If I'm lucky, little Tiffany and Kavin will be calling me Grandma some day!

"Since you won't get me a rollercoaster . . . "

Yesterday, Matthew played while I folded laundry in the living room. As I took a folded stack to a bedroom to put away, I heard Matthew laughing and squealing. "Funny!" he shrieked. This is always, always an indication of mischief so I hurried back to the living room just in time to see Matthew crawling back into the laundry basket. The basket in which he had wedged his Elmo chair.
"Huh," I thought. "That is kind of funny! And not dangerous or anything."
At that moment, Matthew began to rock in the basket/chair and said "Ready, Set, Go!" At the "go," he pitched himself forward in the basket, hurling himself onto the floor. "Funny!" he yelled and hurried to right the basket and crawl back in.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Forget Clark Kent, I'm Angelina

Per Matthew, both Angelina Jolie and Penelope Cruz bear a striking resemblance to me. It's uncanny, really.

Keep on Truckin'

This weekend, Matthew discovered some trucks. You push them a few times and then let them go. They were fun, and he played with them for quite a while.

We didn't think much of it until dinner time, when Matthew would not release his grip on the trucks to eat. When we took them away, he cried and wailed, "TUCK! TUCK!" That night, he didn't want to go to bed -- there were trucks to play with! His fascination continued all weekend.

And, at 5:30 this morning, he was calling, "AWAKE! TUCK!" He could not be deterred. And so, one very tired mama and one very happy boy played "tucks" before the sun rose.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Clark Kent was just a decoy

You know how Superman would just slip on a pair of glasses and suddenly no one realized who he really was? "Hey Clark," they'd call out casually. Well, it turns out that Clark Kent was NOT really Superman. Although the glasses disguise was accurate. How do I know? Well, it turns out that David is actually Superman. I'm married to the guy and I didn't even know, until Matthew pointed out the uncanny resemblance. He picked up a Superman action figure, studied it and, with a big smile, declared, "Daddy!"

This explains a lot. You know, those times I call work and get his voicemail and he tells me he was "away from his desk?" Riiiggghhttt. More like, SAVING THE WORLD!

Matthew is certain that David has multiple alter egos, but I'm not so sure. I mean, I can kind of see the resemblance to Lego Man, but Dave Barry? Not so much.

If Matthew is correct and all of these guys are really Daddy, David must have a hard time keeping all his identities straight.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Boring Update

So, I haven't blogged in days, I know. Sorry! There just hasn't been much going on. Trundling kids to and from school, soccer, doctor's appointments and, in our spare time, doing experiments and building stuff.
Cameron plans to be "an engineer that studies the human body and builds stuff like robot legs for people." The preparation for this career is intense, requiring hours of building models with Legos. Additionally, the lab work is laborious and time consuming. But Cameron doesn't complain. He's a hands-on kind of engineer and believes that "doing is learning."

We still find time for fun stuff occasionally. Here's Matthew on the set of "Me Funniest Home Videos." Cameron is the producer, director and the star of most of the videos, but he gave Matthew a turn sitting on the pillows. We've got quite a few takes of each of the boys sitting on the pillows, wobbling and then shouting dramatically, "Whoa! What's happening?" as they fall to the floor. (Not to worry. Matthew has a stunt double.)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Way to My Heart

You know how Valentine's Day is supposed to be right? Totally indulgent. Over the top. A day unlike every other. Where you are completely pampered, your wildest dreams come true. And for me, that's exactly how this Valentine's Day was. You see, David knows me. No flowers and chocolates for me, no siree. He went all out.

He cooked and he cleaned. Be still my heart.
I didn't lift a finger, yet I ate an appetizer, an entree AND a dessert. And our bedroom, which is sadly and permanently relegated to the bottom of my list of "stuff to clean today," is spotless. And I am HAPPY.
Oh, and I have really cute kids.

Three things to note here: 1) In the first photo, Matthew is clearly plotting how to reach over and grab that Tootsie Pop 2) Matthew's curls are looking amazing! and 3) Matthew's shirt has a skunk on it and says "Love Stinks."

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Watch out, Hallmark

Today, Cameron brought home some art work. "It's for Henri," he told me. (If you read this blog religiously -- and come on, I know you do -- you are well aware that Henri is Cameron's teddy bear).

"Wow, it's great, Cameron! I'm sure Henri is going to love it," I replied.

"Yeah. It's called 'Scab Love,' said Cameron, very casually.

"What did you say? It's called what?"

"Scab Love."

"Soooo, why is it called Scab Love?" I was going for the same nonchalant tone of voice Cameron was using, but it came out wayyyy chalant.

(Lily, if you are reading, I couldn't resist. Apologies to my other readers for an inside joke.)

"Well," Cameron said patiently, "of course it is called 'Scab Love' because Henri just had surgery, so he'll have a scab. And because I love him."

Of course.

We Came to Get Down

Well, I've got to give it to David. The "Kid's Dance Party" was a big hit. I mean, the party was pumpin'. Everybody having a ball. I had no idea that the boys could really shake it like a polaroid picture. They were jumping all over the place. How high? Real high! I was trying to keep up with them. I was all like, "Lend me some sugar! I AM your mama!" but my groove thang just can't keep up with theirs.

Age Appropriate

Cameron: Mommy, can we have a dance party?
Me: Sure! What should we listen to?
Cameron: Well, Daddy made us a list of songs on the computer last night. It's called "Kid's Dance Party" and it's all our favorite songs.
Me: Wow, that's great!
Cameron: Yeah, I want to dance to that. Because I'm really in the mood to hear "Tootsie Roll."
Me: Uh, "Tootsie Roll" is on the "Kid's Dance Party" list?
Cameron: Yep. It's my favorite. Matthew's favorite is "Who Let the Dogs Out."
Matthew: Woof, woof, woof, woof!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Cameron, B.D.

When Cameron was 3 years old, his bear Henri required surgery. His stitching had come loose, resulting in a stuffing hernia. (Which I'm sure you know is pretty serious . . . ) Cameron was deeply concerned for Henri's well-being, but felt confident that he would be in good hands. You see, as luck would have it, Cameron and I are both bear physicians. We considered going for an M.D., but B.D.s are in such demand these days. And, we both felt a real calling to care for bears.
So, on the big day, Cameron prepped Henri and checked his vitals. (Unlike M.D.s, B.D.s don't rely on nurses and assistants. We're VERY hands on.)

I'll spare you the surgical photos. They're pretty gory. But rest assured that, despite a scare when Henri's temperature suddenly skyrocketed mid-procedure, he came through with flying colors. Cameron took him to recovery and tenderly applied an icepack.When Henri awoke, groggy and nauseated from the anesthesia, Cameron was so happy. Henri's recovery was long and arduous, but he was well-cared for and made a complete come back.In fact, we hardly even think about Henri's surgery these days! Until, a few days ago, when, during a well-bear visit, Cameron made the grim discovery that Henri had another stuffing hernia. And no, it wasn't a recurrence -- my original repair has held up quite nicely, thank you very much, and Henri's fur even hides his unsightly scar. No, this was a new injury.

"Do you want to wear your scrubs?" I asked Cameron.

With the scorn that only a five-year-old can muster, Cameron said, "Noooo, mom. Just get a needle and sew him up!" There was no ice pack, no monitoring pulse and respiration this time. Just a few quick stitches with little fan fare. But I know that Cameron isn't as tough as he pretends to be. When it was all over, he gave Henri a fierce hug and said, "Phew. I'm going to remember this day for the rest of my life."

Monday, February 9, 2009

True Giving

Today, as I was making dinner, I was chatting on the phone with my dad. The boys were playing together and, incredibly, not causing any trouble or in any imminent danger. But then Matthew decided he wanted a snack and took matters into his own hands, climbing on a chair and pulling a box of cereal off a shelf. "Gotta go, Dad," I said. "Matthew got himself a box of cereal and I'm going to have to get it away from him before he eats the whole thing." As he heard me say this, Matthew began frantically shoveling handfuls of cereal in his mouth. I began to walk toward him he reached into the box, double fisted. As I grabbed the box away, he crammed one full hand into his own mouth and reached over with the other to put a handful in Cameron's mouth!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

How to do the zoo

Matthew has a growing interest in animals. Each night, he picks out books to read and lately he's been heavy on the animal stories. He wowed me the other night by pointing and naming seventeen different animals in one book. This morning he pointed to and named the yak (the yak!) in "Animal Alphabet." Time to get this boy to the zoo.

Sadly, the last time I took the boys to the zoo Cameron was fairly uncooperative. He whined and dragged his feet and repeatedly asked for Icees. It was not my most rewarding parenting moment. When, this morning, I suggested we head to the zoo, Cameron was again unenthusiastic. Until I mentioned that there would be an animal scavenger hunt. NOW we were talking!
Oufitted with a pen, a list of animals to find ("Find an animal with a tail," "find an animal that is nocturnal") and a camera to document his progress, he fairly skipped into the zoo. It was a wildly successful family outing, with Cameron looking at the map, plotting our course ("OK, we have to find a reptile. Hey! The reptile house! OK, let's go.") and snapping photos. Meanwhile, Matthew pointed and laughed at every animal and even remarked, "Dat funny!" at the pygmy marmoset display.

This scavenger hunt idea has real possibilities . . . grocery trips, the library . . . I could get some real mileage out of this one!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Love is in the Air

The other day, Cameron and I were listening to our book on CD as we drove to school. On of the characters, a young boy, says that he thinks he's in love. "How old do you think people are when they fall in love?" I asked Cameron.

I expected disgust -- "Yuck! I'll never fall in love!"

Instead, Cameron replied with quiet confidence. "I'm pretty sure it happens when you are four years old," he said.

Note that Cameron is five years old. How did I miss this?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Mystery

Today, Cameron and Matthew were running around, chasing each other and screaming and kicking around a beach ball. Suddenly, I heard Matthew begin to wail. He came toddling around the corner, sobbing, with Cameron close behind. "Cameron, what happened?" I asked. "Why is Matthew crying?"

"I have no idea," Cameron said, looking perplexed.

"Did he get hurt?"

"I don't know!"

"Well, what were you two doing when he started crying?"

"Well, let's see. I whacked him with the ball and then, next thing I knew, he was just crying and I don't know why!"

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Lament of the Stay At Home Parent, Part 2

The boys and I often play in our front room, which features a very large window that looks out onto our street. Many times, when David comes home from work, we will spot him from the window. Matthew screams in excitement, jumps up and down, waves and yells, "Daddy, Daddy!" and then makes a mad dash for the front door. Even if David has only been gone an hour or two, Matthew acts as though he's going to collapse with joy.

Today, I went out to a cafe to spend a few hours writing without interruption. As I pulled into the driveway, I saw Matthew and David in the window. David pointed at me and I eagerly awaiting Matthew's response. Nothing. I opened the car door, began to walk up the front walk and waved at Matthew. He stared, motionless. When I walked in the front door, I said, "Well, that was quite a greeting."

David said, "I know! I said to Matthew, 'Look, it's Mommy!' and he answered, 'I know.'"

I guess when you spend all day every day with me, you just don't get all worked up to see me.