Thursday, April 30, 2009
"Matthew," I call, serving to alert her that this child is not alone but is in fact with me.
"He's sooo cute!" she says.
She looks at a few shoes, then heads down another aisle, only to loop back around. She points at Cameron. "I should have said that they're both cute!"
"Thanks!" I repeat.
Then she does squinty-eyed head tilt, as if examining something. She points to Cameron again. "And he looks a little bit more like you," she observes.
That Cameron looks more like me than Matthew does is so far beyond obvious that I have no idea how to even respond. As I search for a reasonable response, since "No duh" seems a bit juvenille, she continues. "I think it's the eyes. His eyes look more like yours."
The eyes? You really think that's it, lady? For lack of a better response, I again say, "Thanks."
I'm still entirely perplexed. People respond to our family in many different ways, some of which are entirely offensive (even if well-intentioned). I wasn't offended by this woman, just confused!
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Cameron recently told me that he wanted to learn to ride a two-wheeler. He can speed around with his training wheels and I'd noticed that many kids even younger than Cameron can ride two-wheelers. Yet, I cringed at the thought of beautiful spring evenings spent running up and down the block, as well as bandaging knees and elbows.
Being who I am, I began to research options on the internet. To my amazement, there seems to have been an advance in two-wheel instruction since my childhood: the balance bike. The balance bike is basically a small, two-wheel bike with no gears, chains or pedals. It's powered by foot and, as the child picks up speed, he can lift his feet off the ground, thus learning to balance. This technique earned rave reviews and when I found a balance bike on Amazon at 60% off retail plus free shipping, I was sold.
The balance bike arrived today and Cameron couldn't stop smiling. He hopped on,gave a few tentative pushes, and was soon experimenting with lifting his feet off the ground.And when he tipped to one side, he simply put his foot down -- no blood involved!"Whoa!" he cried. "Did you see me? I was going so fast! And my feet OFF the ground!" I'm pretty confident that he'll be pedaling his two-wheeler with confidence soon and Matthew is desperate for his own shot at the balance bike!
Sunday, April 26, 2009
This may have been the result of a visit from my parents. My mom, who usually visits at least once a month, hasn't seen the kids since January. She was amazed at how they've grown -- Cameron can read! Matthew never stops talking! They're so tall! Matthew has so much hair! -- and I think Matthew heard a lot of "You're such a big boy now!" He took it to heart.
Here are the boys with my folks in October:
and now:It was a gorgeous, gorgeous weekend and while the boys entertained my parents, David and I walked up to a nearby Mexican restaurant and sipped margaritas on the patio. It was pretty nearly heaven.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
My only disappointment is that when David tried to sit in a Bilibo he . . . well, he didn't fit. "I'm much smaller than David," I thought, and hurried to try out a spin on the Bilibo. Aaaanndd . . . I may be small, but not small enough for a Bilibo.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Then it was on to Jungle Trails, filled with Lego hippos and monkeys and snakes and tarantulas. And jaundiced jungle explorers, of course.In the Hall of Fame, the boys posed with Star Wars characters,Harry Potter characters,
and flexed their muscles with Batman.
Yes, Matthew is flexing his muscles. And dancing at the same time.
I even got to pose with my favorite Legoman.
Then Cameron and David rode a medieval-themed ride with dragons and skeletons and monks who apparently spit "wine" at unwitting riders. (Slightly perturbed by this . . . alcohol swilling religious figures on a children's ride?)
On a Lego "factory tour," we saw how Legos are made and Cameron and Matthew each got a souvenir Lego. Cameron thought the factory tour was fantastic, although we grown-ups found it a little disappointing. I suppose our previous tours of breweries and such had left us with higher expectations than a man dressed as a crazy scientists, a single room and cartoonish machines that made sounds like "Zoop!" and "Plop!" I somehow imagine that the actual Lego factory looks and sounds a good bit different, although possibly not as child-friendly.
We spent ages in a room where you could build and test your own Lego creations on huge ramps and jumps. When, after several failed attempts, Cameron and David built a bumper on their car and it sailed down the ramp and over a pit, Cameron was bursting with pride.
The final stop was a 4-D Bob the Builder Lego movie. Cameron was adamant. He did NOT want to go. No amount of encouragement was effective in swaying him and the reason for his resistance was unclear. "I JUST don't WANNA go!" he said over and over. Finally, we broke for lunch and after a little talk about how we had driven hours to come to Legoland and he wouldn't have another chance to see a Lego movie, he gave in. And . . . he LOVED it. He and David came rushing out of the theater, laughing about how the beam Bob had been holding almost hit them in the head and how Bob had sprayed his water bottle at them. Cameron now says that the movie was his favorite part of Legoland.
Well, maybe his second favorite. The best part of Legoland, without a doubt, was the visit to the bathroom. It was every little boy's dream bathroom. No need to worry about embarassing bathroom noises here -- they provide a soundtrack of embarassing bathroom noises sure to get any preschooler laughing.
So, today, Cameron was able to go to school and tell his friends that he, too, has now been to Legoland. And now we can have a new discussion. "Hey guys? Want to talk about Legoland?"
Monday, April 20, 2009
Cameron: Hey Matthew! Can I pick you up by your feet and hang you upside down?
Scene 2: Driving to Chicago. Cameron is selecting a DVD to watch.
Cameron: What should we watch Matthew?
Matthew: Signing Time!
Cameron: Awww, I don't want to watch Signing Time! How about Inspector Gadget?
Matthew: Signing Time! Alex and Leah!
Cameron: Can't we choose something else?
Cameron: OK, Smurfs.
Scene 3: I will spare you the details. Suffice it to say that on the drive to Chicago, we were forced to stop at a fast food restaurant in which I can never show my face again. Dozens of wipes, a new outfit and a clean diaper were required.
Matthew: Soo-paa! Soo-paa poopy! Soo-paa doo-pa poo-pa!
Scene 4: The boys are cooking in the play kitchen. I am a customer at the diner.
Cameron: Would you like hashbrowns and bacon?
Mommy: Yes, that sounds delicious!
Cameron (shaking a can): Oink. Sounds like a good pig!
Scene 5: Matthew is eating a pear, which he drops on the ground.
Mommy: Oh, don't eat that Matthew. It's dirty now.
Matthew: No sanks. I eat it. (Takes a bite.)
Matthew (reassuringly): It's good!
Saturday, April 18, 2009
At great grandma and great grandpa's place, Matthew spent most of his time saying "Press the button," then pressing a button on a cardinal figurine which made it sing and turn its head side to side. (You can see it on the left side of the photo, in front of the yellow flowers.) Then Matthew would screech with delight and dance. When the cardinal stopped, it was "press the button" all over again. Cameron had a fantastic time playing with his second cousin, Jakob, seen in the photo below. When we left, Cameron said, "When we first met each other, we were both quiet and didn't talk to each other. But then we started talking, and then I liked him a lot and then we were talking and talking like we were never going to stop!"
Thursday, April 16, 2009
A 20-something girl leans her head on the shoulder of a 20-something boy. "People totally get the wrong idea when they see us. Like, they see us and they think, like, 'They're so in love. They must have been together like 3 months.' Because, you know, you're only like really in love for like the first 3 months usually. But they are SO wrong about us. Like, they'd never imagine that we're so in love and we've been together 8 months!"
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
After school, we had a soccer match in the backyard. After two injuries, Matthew was sidelined and moved on to quieter play with grandma in the sandbox.We had more grandparents than beds, so Grandpa Frank camped out on an inflatable mattress. The boys thought this was endlessly funny, and jumped on it for quite some time before settling down.
As the grandparents departed the next morning, each asked for a hug and a kiss. Cameron was happy to oblige and then was off to play. Matthew gave hugs and then sweetly presented his own cheek for a kiss from each!
Thursday, April 9, 2009
"I sorry Mama." Matthew is unfailingly polite, which is odd as I have not made a huge attempt to teach him manners. I can only conclude that he has picked up on these niceties thanks to Cameron, his role model.
"It's okay, Matthew."
"I sorry. Ohhhh no."
"Don't worry, Matthew. I'll clean it up."
"Oh. OK. Good. Thank you mama."
I change the sheets. "Good job mama!"
I have no idea how I got so lucky that I have a 1-1/2 year old who says please and thank you, and acknowledges a job well done! Who ever said that motherhood was a thankless job?