Saturday, November 29, 2008

Conversations

Me: "Who's thirsty?

Tucker: "Me! I'm thirsty!"

Tyler: "Yes, Mommy. I'm thirsty too. Like Tucker." (How did we get one who talks this much??)

*****

Me: "Tuck, look at the Christmas lights!"

Tucker: "So boo-fow, Mommy." (Beautiful.)

Tyler: "More Yights! More Yights! More Yights!" (He's killing me with this one. It's downright incessant.)

*****

I put on my new winter coat.

Tucker: "Oh, Mommy. Very handsome."

(I am learning that this is a casualty for being the only girl in the house; I am often referred to as 'handsome' or 'a good boy.' Such is the life for a Barbie Doll Mom in a G. I. Joe World.)

*****

Tucker had a very minor injury at his grandparents' house this week. In the retelling, he said, "It was very painful."

Painful? Seriously?? Who is this kid? And who taught him these words?

*****

Handsome, beautiful, and painful, all in one week.

Keep 'em coming, T.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

No Use Crying Over Spilled...

7:07 a.m.
Tucker is tapping on my forehead. "Up, Mommy. Wake up." I sent him back to his room, for quiet time. That's the parenting equivalent of a snooze button.

7:12 a.m.
Tap-tap-tap.
t: Mommy, up.
m: Tucker, please go have quiet time.
t: I did.
Fair enough.

7:15 a.m.
I give Tucker a sippy cup of milk, a warm and toasty blanket, and I access a pre-recorded episode of Sesame Street on the DVR. (It's called the Texas Telly and the Golden Triangle... a spoof on Indiana Jones. Very funny, you know, the first 300 times.)

7:17 a.m.
I'm in the shower. It's blessedly warm and cozy.

7:23 a.m.
I hear Tyler. Enough with the shower. The younger native is restless. I'm blasted with the post-shower chilliness, and I'm so thankful for my plush robe from Christmas last year... it's my good friend on winter mornings.

7:30 a.m.
I walk into Tyler's room, expecting to find him snuggled with his beloved blanket. Instead, he is perched on top of the crib rail, straddling it.

I gasped, loudly. My audible presence startled him to flip into the crib - which I was thankful for. He could have flipped the other way, which his brother did around this age, which launched us into a month's worth of cast after cast. We had quite a conversation about the do's and don'ts in a crib, and I made a mental note to ask Robb to make sure it's on its lowest setting. After all, we don't need any broken bones, but we certainly don't need this boy sleeping in anything other than his crib, either.

7:42 a.m.
Time for breakfast. Fruit bars and raisin bran for everyone. (Except mommy. I'll have coffee and a chocolate chip muffin. The usual. I save the healthy stuff for the kids...) Tucker learns to use his placemat to catapult his fruit bar to Tyler's half of the table, and then he complains that Tyler took it. Ah. Deception, at an early age. But his wise mother cannot be fooled. Nor entertained by his attempts to parent his younger brother.

7:44 a.m.
Tucker tries to eat his fruit bar like Cookie Monster, mashing it into his face with both hands. I've had about enough of the impersonations of characters with poor table manners.

7:47 a.m.
Tucker is finished with his breakfast. He climbs down from his booster seat, carries his dishes to the sink, and stops just short of the counter... to pour his milk on to the rug. Are you kidding me?? We briefly discuss the merits of not experimenting with liquids outside the bathtub, and I hand him a towel to clean up the mess.

7:49 a.m.
I am drinking my coffee. Tyler is finishing his fruit bar... with sticky fingers that keep wandering to my side of the table. I love a lot of things about my kids... but sticky fingers I can do without, especially on the inside of my elbow. Always a hot button for me.

Tucker announces that he needs to go potty - at skill at which he is making great strides. While he is in the bathroom, I hear him saying, "Mommy! Toilet paper!" Repeatedly. Upon investigation, I find heaps of toilet paper mounded into the toilet bowl. I have allowed him one square for a target (instead of the Cheerios), but he couldn't seem to get it to tear off. Awesome. I'm pretty sure that's a flushing hazard.

As I'm weighing the physiscal and yet teachable consequences of flushing it all, another moment passes...

7:51 a.m.
Tyler is shouting, "Uh-oh, Mommy. Uh-oh." Upon investigation, I find that he has followed Tucker's lead and poured his remaining cereal and milk onto his placemat. Are you kidding me???

Who said, "No use crying over spilled milk?" Hmmm? Who was it? Because their milk didn't spill on a morning like this. That's all there is too it.

I didn't cry. But I didn't smile. I ushered everyone - and their sticky fingers and their toilet paper hands - to the bathtub.

And it wasn't even 8:00.

Monday, November 24, 2008

"Yondy."

"Yondy, Mommy. Yondy. Yondy. I help."

Hmmm. This requires some investigation. Who is Yondy? And why does he need help from Tucker?

I found Tuck standing next to the washer, launching things up and over, tossing in everything he could find.

He was 'helping' with the laundry. Or, you know, the yondy.

Future Med Student

One of my students said to me today:
"Miss Tricia, did I tell you my brother had surgery? He had his independix taken out."
There is almost nothing that elementary-age boys love more than a medical report on behalf of a family member. And they almost never have the facts straight.

Keeping Things in Perspective.

Tucker's Sunday school teacher is one of my favorite people. She is the delight of his Sunday morning, and she has taught him so much every week... that God made him, God loves him, and we will always come back to get him at the end of the morning.

When she first met Tucker and learned of his speech needs, she invited a friend of hers to spend some time in the classroom. This friend knew sign language, and she served as the interpretor between my son and his teacher. Now that is ministry. We love Miss Gloria.

As I dropped him off on Sunday morning, she hugged my kiddo, secured his nametag, and helped him settle in with the craft at hand. Before I scurried down the hall, she said with much grace and emotional togetherness, "Tricia, can I ask for your prayers? My son is in the army, and he arrived in Baghdad three days ago. Could you pray for him?"

Let me just say, this request pretty much stopped me in my selfish tracks.

While I am running about on Sunday morning, or any day, worrying about that which consumes me, other people very close to me have much greater worries. My children are safe. I know right where they are, always. This isn't true for every mom. We talk often of the sacrifices the people of the military make for our country, but I do not think enough of the sacrifices their families make, who are living in our country, waiting for them to come home. Those are sacrifices of great magnitude as well.

I was struck by the irony: as I left my child in her care, she asked me to care for hers in the only way I could: please pray.

So, I am. I'm praying for Anthony in Baghdad, his brothers stationed elsewhere, and their faithful mom here in Colorado.... that she may be blessed abundantly in her call to serve.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Bath and a Book


All he needs is a cigar or a glass of wine.
Not a bad way to end the day.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Only Because He's My Boy.

That's the only reason I let him spit all over my face.

video

More than once.

Good Times at McDonald's

We had a play date at McDonald's today. I would rate it a tremendous success... despite the following issues:

...It's a no-shoes zone, but Tucker really, really wanted to be barefoot. Every time I turned around, he was handing me his socks. And then I was putting them back on his little feet. I am not a germophobe, but I do have my limits. No little piggies on that scummy floor.

...I captured them both before they exited the playground with plans to order a second course.

...Tyler ate someone else's half-eaten chicken nugget off the floor. That one also brought me out of my seat, with my hand under his chin, asking him to fork over the chicken. He obeyed, but I'm pretty sure the damage was already done.

...Upon hearing the undeniable sound of my child's frantic cries, I high-tailed to the top of the PlayLand to rescue Tyler. He had climbed all the way to the top, only to change his mind about going down the slide...but now there was a bottleneck of children far braver than he, ready to make their way down. And now I was among them. It's snug up there, let me tell you. We hooched and scooched our way back down, and he kept his feet on the ground after that trauma. That was a highlight.

...Both of my children had blowout diaper situations. So, you know, that's fun.

In the midst of it all (or somehow one decibel above it), I caught up with a sweet friend and fellow mom in the ranks with two boys. And, the McCafe Iced Mocha gets a thumbs up.

See? Tremendous success.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Rough Morning.

Thanks to a very long, very late editing assignment that fell far short of the 48-hour request for turnaround time (I officially had 13.4 hours to finish it... and get a night's sleep), my kids had a movie morning.

Well, really, they reinacted Lord of the Flies, right here in my living room.

I woke up early (which I don't do) to get a headstart on the comma splices, but the children were up early too... so much for that plan. Between fruit bars, raisin bran, diapers, pull-ups, more diapers, more pull-ups, and a little while of little boy nakedness because I didn't have time to run upstairs to get more diapers, I edited. And I edited.

I was held captive by the computer for a ridiculous amount of time, so I equipped the cherubs with very fun toys that are typically off limits (including many favorites from my kitchen utensils), some good fellowship with Mickey Mouse, and even some Christmas carols.

Mommy just had to work. (I don't know how moms work from home, truly. I can't do it well.)

I confess... I was stressed. I had a crazy deadline to meet, and I couldn't read or type fast enough. The very astuteq kids smelled an opportunity, and they took advantage of my inability to multitask indefinitely. I am not God, and they are well aware. I don't see it all, and they live it up when my back it turned.

The house was trashed. Words cannot describe. Video can, and I actually captured some, but only those with access to my cell phone library of 30-second videos have seen it. It was a madhouse.

But lo' and behold, 11:00 arrived. I was still editing. The children were not in their jammies, but they weren't dressed either. Tucker has preschool at 11:30. I was in my jammies, with only coffee in my stomach. Lots of it.

I'll just read this last paragraph before I send it off to the author...

It's 11:10. We gotta move.

I scrambled up the stairs to find Tyler unloading the drawers in his room, and Tucker was jumping on the bed inside the crib. Where do I even begin to repair such a scene??

I scooped up both boys, took them into Tucker's room for a community wardrobe change, and Tucker decided to begin the wiggly acrobat routine that ensues when he knows I'm trying to dress him in a hurry. Seriously, in a hurry.

Finally, I got impatient. I shouldn't say 'finally.' I had been impatient all morning. There was too much to do, too much to process, too much to correct (both in grammar and in character), and not enough time or energy to accomplish a single thing well.

As we battled, Tucker finally looked me square in the eye and said, "Mommy, be nice!"

My defenses shot into full alert. Mommy, be nice?? Me?? I was ready to talk to him about respecting mommy and what biblical submission looks like.

And then I realized... I wasn't being nice. I altered my course. Instead of submission, we talked about forgiveness.

Finally, I got both of them dressed, I tossed my jammies in a pile, threw on a sweater and jeans, gave my teeth a once over with the toothbrush, and sloshed on some mascara. We raced out the door, and I deposited Tuck at preschool. Hoenstly, I was more than a little thankful for the speech issues that would keep him from telling every detail of the morning to Miss Jill.

Parenting is a marathon, not a sprint. I've got time to make up for today. I'm banking on it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

How Inviting.

I sent this series of texts to my husband today:

Tuck has pooped in his Pull-Up four times today.
It's getting harder to be patient.
And he slept for 17 minutes at naptime.
And I have absolutely no plan for dinner.
Nothing. Zilch. Nada.
Just wanted you to know.
I'm pretty sure he can't wait to rush home to this welcoming environment.

Table Manners

Tucker has started smashing crackers and chips into his mouth, crunching as fast as he can, making a huge mess, and nearly choking in the process.

Nobody in our family eats this way... where did he learn this??

Oh, right. Thanks, Cookie Monster.

What's For Dinner?

My hungry boys took front row seats to wait for dinner to be served.


I'm pretty confident that my children have hollow legs... they are forever hungry.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

"Mommy, Deet."

I was fixing lunch for two little boys today, when Tyler changed my agenda.

He planted himself between me and the kitchen counter, he leveraged all of his 21 pounds to push me away from the peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and he tugged on my hand.

"Mommy, deet. Mommy, deet. Mommy, deet."

Deet? Any guesses?

He was a boy on a mission, and he would not be ignored. Out of sheer curiosity (and submission to his persuasive prodding), I let him pull me into the living room. He brought me to the center of the room, and he pulled and pulled on my hand.

"Mommy, deet. Mommy, deet."

Still, I had no idea what he wanted to show me. But I sat down, since that seemed like the next step.

Victoriously, he climbed into my lap.

With a great epiphany, I decoded his phrase: "Mommy, sit."

He just wanted me to stop and sit. He didn't have a toy to share, a book to read, or a TV show to beg for. He just wanted me to sit down where he could reach me. He wanted me.

He got me.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Structural Engineer



Our Little Linus

He would take it everywhere, if we would just let him.

Choose Wisely.

It is nearly Thanksgiving, and yet it is 76 degrees today. Come on, people. If I wanted to be warm this late into the year, I would choose to live in another region of the country. Bring on the cold. I'm not asking for a blizzard, but jackets and sweaters are a welcome change.

I dressed my children for fall this morning, neglecting to realize that the weather was far from it. So, they were in long pants, long sleeves, and undershirts... and they were sweaty.

(Let's take a moment to also discuss how ridiculous Tyler looks in pants in general... he is the length of 18-month clothes, but he is the width of 12-months. The 12-month pants are inches too short, but the 18-month pants droop all the live long day. Hard to find a combo... even in the maternity-style toddler pants with the adjustable waist. He ends up looking like his waistband is folded in half around his body. It looks like I bought them on sale and I'm determined to make them fit. Really, I can't find any that truly fit. He's a string bean.)

My mom, who loves us all dearly and is appropriately far more concerned about their comfort than my image as their wardrobe manager, let them take off their shoes, socks, and long-sleeved shirts. What a nice Grandma. Everyody feels better. She undoubtedly avoided some serious temperature-related meltdowns before they started.

Except Tucker's undershirt is too small, so it doesn't cover his tummy. Awesome. My toddler's pants are falling off, and my preschooler's shirt lets his gut hang out. What a great day. Bring on the cameras. Let's document how darling they are in their misfit, trashy clothes.

But there were most definitely more comfortable. Who wants to wear winter clothes on a day fit for the beach? Not my children.

We'll try to choose more wisely tomorrow. Since it's supposed to be nearly eighty degrees again.

Right, but Where's My Mom?

There are lots of moms who start the day hours before their children. Those wee small hours of the morning are theirs alone, and they love the quiet that comes with a sleeping house.

I am not that mom.

I love to contribute to the sleeping house, until I have to do otherwise. Once or twice a week, I make it out of bed before the boys, and when I do, it's indeed a great start. And I remind myself that I too could enjoy the morning solitude more often. But then the next morning arrives, and the snooze button is far more inviting than a cup of coffee by myself.

So, most often, Tucker wakes me up in the morning. He brings his groggy self down the hall and into my room, and he gently taps on my forehead to alert me of his presence. And that's my wake up call. (Tyler would happily stay in his crib with his blankets until ten o'clock, but I've never let him.)

One morning last week, on a rare day when I listened to the alarm clock and started the day before the tap-tap-tap on my forehead, I greeted Tucker in the hallway as he was traveling to my room. He was very snuggly. Suddenly, he abruptly stopped hugging and said, "Oh, wait. Mommy. In bed."

He left me in the hallway to look for me in my bed.

That's early morning logic for you.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I Think She's Right.

I have a few friends in my life who have known me longer than they haven't; we met in childhood, and we have traveled closely, in heart if not in miles.

One of them, who knows me oh-too-well, coined a new term to describe me today:

Hypersocial.

I think she's right. I am the girl who will not eat, sleep, or go to the bathroom, if it means abandoning a social opportunity or a riveting conversation. I have been known to abandon wisdom and self preservation in lieu of something more fun, and I've almost never been sorry. Almost. Thanks to all of you who tolerate - or feed - my hypersocial tendencies.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Just One Year Later...

Tucker has developed a strong affinity for marching band music.

While Robb and I are former marching band members, and while we hold a special place in our hearts for a good halftime show, it's not as though we are blasting Sousa's finest all day long. But Tuck has heard enough of it to know that he loves it.

Like, he really loves it. He gets it slightly confused with orchestral music; they are synonymous in his mind. But he definitely prefers instrumental to vocal arrangements. He's three. Go figure.

Now, any time I turn on my iPod, I hear his adamant requests: "Motsing Band music, Mommy. I want to hear it."

While I value his ear for music as well as his opinion, I also value my own listening choices. So he doesn't always win.

I was jovially lamenting this to my mom recently, talking about Tucker's unabashed attempts at controlling the musical atmosphere at our house.

In response, she playfully said, "You know, it's going to be a long time before I give you any sympathy at all for feeling slightly annoyed with a son who tells you what he wants most. Let's think about where we were a year ago. We couldn't begin to imagine a full sentence from Tucker, let alone a specific request for marching band music."

Touche. She has walked this journey closely with us, rejoicing over every new word, and learning his language too. Her gentle, humorous reminder was a kind prod toward perspective.

(And truthfully, I wasn't really complaining. His conversation skills are growing everyday, and I hope to never forget what it was like when I wished to hear anything at all. Part of that is thanks to the posterity of this blog... I've captured it all.)

So, just for memory's sake, I visited an entry from one year ago... this is what I found.

It's been a good year. And he can have his marching band music.

Pajama Chefs








It was fun. It was busy.
There were sprinkles and frosting in places I had never imagined.
On the walls, on the sliding glass door,
on the letter X from the Fridge Phonics,
all throughout the living room carpet,
and someone graciously gave the dog a butter knife covered with yellow frosting.
After I swept with the broom,
the vacuum,
the dry Swiffer,
the wet Swiffer,
and the dry Swiffer once more,
there are still sprinkles on the floor.
But sometimes, you just have to make a mess.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Notorious

I bought a book tonight. A big book. An anthology of the best works of C. S. Lewis.

I shopped extensively, and I finally landed on this choice. I know that good writers are good readers, and the author within me needs to be immersed in great writing. There's a reason why these are called Classics, and I can't go my entire literary life without reading them.

I hope it's a wise choice; I am notorioius for choosing books with the best intentions, only to be intimidated by their magnitude and thereby let them collect dust.

Feel free to hold me accountable.

Introspection on the Playground

I took my boys to the park this morning. We were not the only ones with the great idea; the park was over run with Mom's Club. Lots of young moms, their preschoolers of varying ages, their steaming cups of Starbucks, and their circles of conversation.

I have many friends who have signed on for such play groups, and they have plugged into a community that suits them. I know many moms who are very happy with this circle of friends; they have an extensive community of depth and support. I know it can be really effective, but somehow I have never felt compelled to join.

Something inside me didn't want them there today. I felt like I don't fit with them. It seems like I should, like I should blend right in with this crowd, since we are all 'self employed' and working toward the same goal: parenting toddlers without losing ourselves in the isolation of it all. But I just don't feel like I fit.

Even as I thought it, I recognize its silliness... and I was convicted by it. I should want these women in my life. I should want to know them; they all live within a three mile radius of my home. This could be a ministry waiting to happen. Why am I resistant?

Here's why:

1. I don't like relationships that are child-centered. I don't like for anything in my life to be child-centered... I adore my children, and I love them beyond words. But I never, ever want them to be the center of my world. I don't want to think that way, I don't want them to perceive it, and I fight against it. So, I am not interested in relationships that center around kids; I know from my degree that toddlers and preschoolers engage mostly in parallel play, so they're not truly playing with one another, investing in each other. That means that while they're playing alongside each other, we moms need to have something to talk about.

Which brings me to my next point...

2. I have found that deep conversation is nearly impossible with little children under foot, especially in a public scene. Sure, it can happen, but when moms are engaged deeply, the children are left to their own devices. And that's just not a good idea. It's not safe, and it's not wise. And as a rule, I try to be both. Hence, deep conversation is hard to come by in that setting.

Which brings me to my next point...

3. I hate small talk. I can do it, but I hate it. If I am anticipating an entire morning, afternoon, or social setting that is about the weather, recipes, or crafts, I would honestly rather poke myself in the eye. I can feel my stomach starting to churn at the very idea of it... I crave authenticity. I want to know people. I want to know them deeply, what they love, who they are. And this often cannot happen on a playground (see point #3). I confess the judgment of the next statement, but it's true; I watched these moms, seemingly settling for empty conversation, tentative hugs, and lip service, all in pursuit of community.

Which leads me to my next point...

4. I am afraid of being suffocated by a person or group of people who are starved for community. I love relationships, and I desire them in a deeply intimate way. But I do not want someone to take over my social calendar just so they can have something on theirs. Call it selfishness, and I confess that it is. Still, it terrifies me. I really like my life; I don't want to adopt someone else into everything I do.

See? I was resistant. To say the least.

Right there, on the playground, as I pushed my boys in the swings and we sang "Twinkle, Twinkle," I prayed. I asked God to soften my heart toward these women, this community, and to somehow give me an interest in playing with their children and knowing their lives. Perhaps there is a reason why we all landed at the park today; maybe I'm supposed to do something.

And then, while I wallowed in my own selfishness, I noticed a dad standing nearby; he was wearing an Ohio State jacket. Casually, I said, "Hey, go bucks."

He smiled. "Are you a buckeye?"

"I am."

And just like that, a conversation ensued. I met his little boy and his wife, a cute and profoundly round girl, pregnant with their second son. They just moved here from Ohio three months ago, and we talked at length of all the things we love about where we live and where we are from. They transferred to Colorado with his work, and she is a former teacher, now stay-at-home mom. Hmmm. Vaguely familiar.

Before I knew it, we had exchanged phone numbers. I wanted to know them, to play with their children, to engage them in my community.

Well, how about that.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I'm an Expert.

As I finished using the bathroom today, Tucker proudly announced,

"Good job, Mommy! You get two treats!"

Who am I to deny two m&m's? I'll take affirmation where I can get it.

Three Years Ago, Today.

Three years ago, today, I became an aunt.

Miss Abigail joined our family, and the stinker came eleven days early, while I was in Ohio. So I didn't get to meet her until she was a few days old and already accustomed to life outside her mom. Abby entered the world with great spunk and gusto, and she hasn't stopped yet. She is Tucker's first friend, my first niece, a bundle of giggles, and always ready for an adventure. And she lets me do her hair.

I love being an aunt. And I like shopping for a girl.

Happy Birthday, Abbs. You sweet little cupcake, you.

Did Anybody See That??

In a scramble to get out the door in time for Tucker's speech therapy, I abandoned the children and bolted up the stairs to grab my shoes.

I am learning that Tyler needs notice for such transitions. Much like his mom, greetings and farewells are something of a big deal, and he needs for them to be treated with respect and adequate time...even if I am only going up the stairs for a single minute.

While I looked for my shoes (which were not where I left them, because two little people enjoy trying them on and clomping around the house with giant feet), Tyler cried and cried on the other side of the gate at the bottom of the steps.

I heard Tucker say, in a very gentle voice, "Oh, Tozzer. C'mere. It's okay. It's okay, brother."

The tears subsided, and when I came down the steps, I saw Tucker sitting on the floor; Tyler was lying on the floor beside him with his head in his big brother's lap. Tucker was gently stroking his head. And nobody was crying.

Except that I almost did, out of sheer sentiment for this magical moment.

Tucker looked at me and said, "I helped him."

You sure did, kiddo. Way to go.

I just had to write about it... because I'm quite certain I will need to revisit this moment in my mind, perhaps even later today, when they are not nearly so enamored with each other.

It really happened. I promise.

Dogpile

Years ago, before motherhood was on my radar, a seasoned mom of boys shared this nugget of wisdom with me:

"If you're the mom of boys, you have two choices:
you can be the princess of the pack,
or you can roll up your sleeves
and get down on the floor right along with them."






I prefer to do a little of both.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I Love Fall.

During our day at the zoo, we happened on to a great big pile of leaves.
What could we do? We abandoned the pursuit of wild animals, and we played and played.

It was my favorite part of the day.

Sneak Attack

I could write all about this scene, but I think the pictures need no captions, really.


Well, this next one does need a caption. Note: Tucker is wearing his pajamas, an old pair of my sunglasses, and one mitten.

Brothers.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Happy Half-Birthday, Tyler!

Yesterday was Tyler's half birthday.
We celebrated with a Boys Day at the zoo.

He is 18 months old now... halfway to three.
And keeping me on my toes.

Conversations...

During our dinner at Red Robin tonight... Tucker pointed to the very cute, very feminine little girl sitting across the aisle from us (very much within listening distance).

Tuck: Look, Mommy! A little boy!
Me: No, Tuck, she's a girl.
T: Boy.
Me: No, she's a girl.
T: Boy.
Me: Girl. She's a girl. What are you?
T: A girl.
Me: No, you're a boy. And daddy's a boy, and Tyler's a boy. What is mommy?
T: A boy.
Me: No, I'm not, and neither is she.

*****

Upon leaving Red Robin, we always make a big deal about letting go of the balloon he received upon entering the restaurant. Starting mid-meal, we talk about counting to three, letting go, and watching the balloon go up-up-up in the sky.

We do this every time, and Tuck is pretty sure it's what you do with balloons. We have let many, many of them go in this fashion.

Tonight, as he let go, he shouted up into the sky, "Bye, Balloon! Go see your mommy!"

*****

We needed to buy diapers tonight. We were down to the last two in the house, which is dangerously low. Thankfully, we are only buying diapers for Tyler. (But don't let me fool you. We buy Pull-ups for Tucker. But we're buying fewer and fewer, since they stay dry for longer and longer. It's progress.)

We had a family date, complete with the said dinner out and then a mall crawl. Robb and I reminded each other may times throughout the night: we need to go to the store to buy diapers and milk. Two minds are better than one, and we could not start another day without a fresh supply of both.

Diapers. Milk. Don't forget.

As we were leaving the mall, this conversation ensued:

Me: Tuck, let's put on your jacket. Time to go home.
T: No, not home, Mommy. Store.
M: Right. You are so right. We'll go to the store. What do we need to buy?
T: Diapers.
M: And?
(thinking... thinking...thinking...)
T: Toys.

Nice try, kiddo.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Prayer Requests

Each night, as we tuck him into bed, Tucker lists off the people he wants to pray for.

Last night, I thought I could stealthily slide right into the prayer without his input... I do realize this is not a great practice as we teach him to intercede for others. But never fear - he interrupted and demanded that I lift many people to the Lord for him. As soon as I folded my hands, he recognized the cue and began calling his list.

"Mommy! Mommy! Pray for Mason, Reece, B, Jen... Grandma, Poppa... Abby... and Mickey Mouse."

Mickey Mouse made the list. We prayed for Mickey Mouse last night.

Come to think of it, maybe he's not that far off. I thank God for the Disney Channel almost everyday.

Um, not so much.

At a parent-teacher conference today, I learned that Tucker told Miss Jill, his teacher, that he is a girl.

On a formal assessment. Like, the kind that will go into His File. Great.

He also played with my hair today and said, "Good boy, Mommy. Good boy."

Clearly, we need to define some things around here.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Few New Favorites

Tucker's language is rapidly expanding now, and Tyler is quickly catching up to him. They are both talking in phrases, often to each other, and often in a language that is only theirs.

Here is an update on the Tucker translations at our house:

"Yowey-Yowey" = Ravioli

"Reezey-bonn" = Raisin Bran

"Tare-tow" = Scarecrow

"Down Zeroes" = Higgly Town Heroes

"Hi-bee-vee" = Library (This one took some serious decoding on my part!)

I love it.

Greetings and Salutations

Tucker lifted the toilet seat to use the potty today. He saw a couple of Cheerios floating around in there from the last attempt at 'target practice.'

So delighted, he said, "Oh! Oh, hi, Tee-woes! How you doing today?"

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Hello? It's for You.

Tucker and I had our very first phone conversation this week. We have tried before, but it really just resulted in me saying the same thing again and again, and him nodding on the other end. Not hugely successful.

But last night, we actually had a conversation.

The boys were at my parents' house, and I called to tell my mom that I was on my way to get them. Suddenly, and with great urgency, Tucker wanted to talk to me.

Tuck: Hewo? Mommy? How doon day? (How are you doing today?)

Me: Well, hello, Tuck. I'm good. How are you?

T: I'm good! Tumming? Getchoo? (Are you coming to get me?)

M: I am coming. I'm on my way to get you, and I want a big hug.

T: Big Hugs! Hey! Damma's shoes! (Hey, look, there are Grandma's shoes on the floor.)

M: What? (Since I could not see him, I had no idea why we are suddenly talking about shoes.)

T: Pay with box. (I played with blocks tonight.)

M: Oh, you love blocks. What did you build?

T: Okay, bye Mommy! Bye! Bye! Bye, Mommy!

Okay, so it wasn't the most fluid conversation, easily transitioning from topic to topic. But we talked. And I'll help him polish these telephone skills before he is a young professional - and certainly before he wants to talk to a girl on the phone. One that isn't his mom.

But I think I have some time. We're off to a good start. At least he didn't try signing to me over the phone. This is progress.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Disgusting Find of the Day

There are some important differences between a sandbox and an ashtray at an outdoor mall. Toddlers are obvlivious to this distinction, but mothers acutely aware.

Just, you know, for the record.