Sunday, October 18, 2015

The kind of boys I hope to raise

When Nico was just past two, we ran into a five-year-old boy and his little brother at the playground down the street. The five-year-old was enamored of Nico and spent their whole visit talking to him and trying to get him to play. Nico positively lit up with joy at the attention, and I wrote in his monthly letter that I hoped he'd be as kind to little boys as this child when he became a big boy. And my wish came true - Nico loves babies and toddlers. He dotes on them, says hi and gently pats their heads, brings them toys, reads them books. One of our playdate-friend families now includes an 18-month-old girl and he has declared her his best baby friend. True, he's sometimes not as nice to his actual in-house brother as he is the other little kids, but I suppose that's to be expected. And he's usually mostly nice to Elliott, too.

We went down to the bigger playground on Friday for a bit. Toward the end of our time there, a mom and three older kids stopped by to swing for a while. I'm bad at judging tween kids' ages but I'd guess the oldest girl was around 8th grade, the middle boy was in 5th or 6th grade, and the younger girl was in 3rd or 4th grade. Elliott was climbing up into the play structure (which he calls the castle), going down the slide, and repeating, and he told the big kids, "Come on! Come in the castle!" The two younger big kids followed him up and down for a good ten minutes, and when their older sister and mom started encouraging them to leave, the boy lingered and lingered. He even came back to go down the slide one last time with Elliott after going to fetch his scooter and starting on his way home. My heart felt pretty full watching him lean down to tell Elliott, "Sorry, I have to go," while Elliott, a quarter his size, stood there solemnly staring at him with a finger in his nose. I sent out my fervent wish to the universe, please help me raise boys who will be kind enough to play with a toddler at the playground when they are eleven or twelve years old and on the cusp of being a teenager.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Many firsts

I may have figured out my Tuesday / Thursday time gap problem, based on what has worked recently. We tried playground time before music class this past Monday, attempting to wear him out enough to agree to sit on my lap and play his wood block correctly. It did not work, but I enjoyed reading a book while pushing him on the swing, and at least this week he didn't spent a whole song pratfalling while pretending to step on his shaker eggs, slip, and fall down. (Which was actually somewhat clever / funny when he did it, but I couldn't let it show on my face lest he feel encouraged in his class clownery.) On the bright side, I am bonding with another mother in the class who has an equally-wild girl a little younger than E. It's very nice to not be the only one wrestling That Kid. After being impressed by Elliott's coordination as he kicked a beach ball around the pool deck during Nico's swim lesson on Tuesday evening, I stopped at Academy on the way home and bought him a tiny soccer ball. We took that out to the back corner of the preschool parking lot on Thursday morning and it filled the time nicely. Plus it was utterly adorable.

So many things have happened that I haven't had time to write about, and I'm kind of bummed to think of all the stuff I have probably already forgotten. I went to my first Twitter meetup, the Halfway Hoopla, and it was great. I was nervous going, but everyone was nice and meeting so many of the ladies felt like reconnecting with old friends. It was almost a five hour drive, so I tried listening to an audiobook on the way out. Because I don't like talk radio and find my mind wandering when I try to listen to NPR, I always assumed I would not be able to listen to audiobooks while driving, either, but I was happy to be mistaken. I downloaded Terry Pratchett's Wee Free Men from the library and it was wonderful. I find myself wishing I had another long drive coming up so I could listen to another one. I also visited my first Costco during the trip and found that it is a lot like Sams Club, though allegedly without the corporate evil. They did have really cute pajamas, and I scored a set of matching rocket pjs for the boys, who are both deeply entrenched in a planets / Space phase.

We have had two Navigator scout meetings and so far it's a huge success. Parents report that the kids are having a blast and asking when they get to go back. I've come up with some things for upcoming meetings that I'm REALLY EXCITED about sharing with the kiddos. So far it hasn't been stressful, so I'm crossing my fingers this state of affairs continues.

Elliott is rocking preschool, by all reports. He sometimes cries a bit at drop-off, but I always hear later that he had a really good day. He is still occasionally mad that he doesn't get to go to Kindergarten, but he's starting to be excited about going to his own school. He looks so tiny marching in proudly with his school bag on his shoulder.

I'd better stop and publish this...I'm pretty sure if I save it and plan to add to it later, it'll be another two weeks before I have time. Happy fall!

Reading (just finished):  Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Playing:  maybe let's just put this on repeat: