Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dora the Bully

Matthew has developed a sudden and unexpected fondness for Dora the Explorer.  He chose a Dora DVD from the library today and is now parked on the couch singing "I'm the Map, I'm the Map."

But Dora is apparently in need of some sensitivity training.

Dora:  Do you want to come with me to find the Tallest Trophy?
Matthew:  Um, no thanks.
Dora:  GREAT!  Let's go find the Taaallllest Trophy!
Matthew:  Hey!  I said no!  I don't want to find the Tallest Trophy!
Dora:  Leeettt's GO!
Matthew:  But wait!  I don't think I want to . . .
Dora:   But how do we get there?  What do we use to find our way?
Matthew (defeated):  The Map.

Cue music. I'm the map, I'm the map, I'm THE MAP!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Camping with Kids

We took the boys tent camping this weekend -- our first family camping trip.  We had our fair share of grumbles throughout the weekend.  Matthew woke up in the middle of the first night and emphatically demanded that we go home.  The first words out of his mouth in the morning were, "I want to watch a TV show."  But altogether I'd say it was a rousing success.

The boys delighted in the tent and enthusiastically proposed that they share the retro sleeping bag.  Two brothers who can't sit next to each other on the couch without, "Mooom!  He touched me!" and they want to sleep in the same crowded sleeping bag?  Riiiigghhtt.  That lasted about as long as it took to snap a photo.
The boys learned that EVERYTHING tastes better when it's cooked over a fire outside.  Well, turns out that Matthew believes that holds true for jar cakes and s'mores, but not hot dogs.  "It smells yucky," he said contemptuously.  "And it's dirty."

When we handed out root beer, they rejoiced so loudly that David warned that the whole campground was going to come to our site and ask for some.  "And I'll say, 'Hey!  No root beer for you buddies!'" warned Matthew.
There was much retrieving of balls kicked into forest and undergrowth, as well as an uncanny reenactment of the classic Caps for Sale.
I surprised the boys with a giant magnifying glass, which I envisioned them using to explore the beauty of the natural world around them.  Like this caterpillar.
What I didn't envision was David helpfully showing the boys how to focus the sunlight through the magnifying glass to set stuff on fire.  Which was all Cameron wanted to do the rest of the weekend.  "I just love setting fires," he sighed wistfully, like something out of a Lifetime movie.
But when we weren't scorching napkins, we hiked.  Cameron was a trooper, never complaining and enthusiastically running ahead of his exhausted parents.
Matthew had his moments of unbridled energy as well.
But he spent a lot of time on the trail sleeping.  On my aching back.
In my aching arms.
And when he awoke, he'd instantly whine, "Not mama.  I want Daddy to carry me." 

No complaints from me.
Cameron commiserated with me that I must be very tired from carrying Matthew all over and was shocked when I told him that the last time we camped here, he made me carry him the WHOLE time.

Poor Planning

This morning Matthew asked me if I would buy him a skateboard.  "Probably I would be really good at it," he suggested temptingly.

And probably he would be.

I replied as I do to most every request for a purchase.  "[Insert name of desired object] cost money.  If you want a [insert name of desired object], you can put it on a list and ask for it at Christmas or for your birthday."

"Oh," said Matthew mournfully.  "Okay."

Then, a moment later, "Uh-oh!  I accidentally had my birthday already!"

Friday, September 10, 2010

Two Weeks or So

Matthew started preschool this week.  He has been anxiously awaiting this moment ever since we toured his school over six months ago.  We drive past it every day on the way to Cameron's school and every day Matthew would say, "Am I going to my school today?" 

It was exciting to finally answer, "Yes!"

Matthew marched into school like an old pro, giving me a quick thumbs up.  Slightly taken aback by his confidence, I lingered a moment and then made my retreat.  I secretly snuck back in after Matthew was settled in his classroom and spent the next few hours observing him through the Top Secret One-Way Mirror (TSOWM). 

Only parents are supposed to know about the TSOWM.  Cameron didn't know about the TSOWM in his school for years, finally figuring it out in kindergarten.  But on the drive to school that morning, Cameron helpfully said to Matthew, "Matthew, when you get to your class, look and see if there is a mirror.  Then go up to it and wave, because Mommy is probably on the other side of it."  So much for Top Secret!

It was so much fun to watch Matthew at work.  After the teacher demonstrated unrolling a rug, Matthew got his own and attempted to unroll it.  He placed it the wrong way though, so each time he pushed it the whole roll just moved along instead of unrolling.  After several attempts he corrected his error and patted his rug contentedly.  I watched him draw a picture ("A butterfly and a target," he later explained to me), do a tearing paper work with intense concentration, do a matching work with the teacher, and work on the sandpaper numbers with another teacher ("This is three," he said pointing to the three.  "And here's another three!" as he pointed to the eight.) 

I stayed long enough to ensure that the food allergy rules we had set in place were followed at snack time, then used my remaining hour to run an errand and put gas in the car.  It. Was. Amazing.  Running errands with no kids is SO much easier!

I picked Matthew up and as soon as he got in the car he said, "I can't WAIT to tell Cameron that I went to school!" Followed by, "How long was I there?  Two weeks?"

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Soccer star

When Matthew was a baby, Cameron took a soccer class.  Matthew would crawl to the window, pull himself up and smoosh his face against the glass.  He'd watch the action with clear envy written on his face and sign "ball, ball."

So today was a long time coming.

Matthew started soccer class.

He could hardly wait to get out on the field and kept saying to me, "Do you think I'm going to be goalie?  I'm going to say to the coach, 'Hey coach.  Can I be goalie?  'Cause I want to be goalie.'"  He wasn't goalie since there is no goaltending in 3 year old soccer class.  He was happy to run around, practice his dribbling (and stealing the ball, which was not part of the drill but whatever . . . he's advanced!) and make some impressive shots on goal.

When we left he said, "When's my next soccer class?"

"Next week," I answered.


"No.  Next week."


"You already had soccer class today."

"Today again?"

He loved it.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Full Circle

In August 2007, I had one little boy.  And that little boy wanted to be Buzz Lightyear for Halloween, so I started working on his costume.
And then, we got a phone call and suddenly, I had TWO little boys to make costumes for!
And then, the other day, my little baby was all of a sudden a little boy and he was posing in the kitchen, decked out in Buzz Lightyear, just like his brother had done three years earlier!