Sunday, September 14, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
- Hesperos should be potty-trained.
- Helios should know how to read.
It's early September and the overnight chill makes it clear that summer is over. Hesperos is definitely not potty trained and Helios is only about 25% through his reading program. Perhaps the summertime goal should've been "Mommy should get some coaching on how to procrastinate less!"
Yet, in spite of Mommy's lackadaisical efforts, we're making headway. Hesperos' potty's lid is bedecked with stickers, testifying to his numerous successes. (We also offer stickers to visitors, particularly male, who consistently hit the target -- but no one has taken us up on it yet.) And Helios is definitely showing signs of progress.
Offered for your viewing pleasure is a 3-minute video of Helios reading. It's admittedly a tiny bit nerve-wracking to watch a barely 4-year-old sound out little words, requiring patience from all of us (yet another talent Mommy doesn't have). But he's made a lot of progress for only a month into his program.
The short story is: "A cat sat on a little rug. The cat got mud on that rug. Mom got mad at the cat."
Since our goal is for him to be reading well before he enters kindergarten, and we have a year to go still, we think he will be an accomplished little reader by then. After all, a year is long enough for even Mommy to get something done!
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
The boys like these trips because they get to play with their cousins Lucky and Gordon. Grandma and Grandpa like these trips because they can get some slave computer-tech labor from Daddy, plus some log-splitting exertion from both Mommy and Daddy. Now, you might've noticed that we haven't said what Daddy gets out of it. We're still trying to figure that out! But he's a good sport.
During one of our recent trips, the weather was beautifully warm and cloud-free for one of the days, so we took the boys to a local park with water features and turtles for jumping. Cousins Lucky and Gordon joined us for frolicking, while Grandma Joan and Aunt Elspeth watched from the sidelines.
The boys have always been a bit finicky about getting wet. When it comes to bathtub time or a hose, they're all about staying in the water but when it comes to sprinklers, jets of water from the ground, or swimming pools, they're pretty hesitant. So, it took some coaxing to get Helios to play in the water. Once he was there, he hemmed and hawed in the sidelines before being tricked into following Mommy through the "water rings," something he regretted almost immediately afterward.
Helios went running over to his latest mistress of his heart, Aunt Elspeth, where he griped about his wet clothes...and decided to try and take them off in the park. Aunt Elspeth is pretty cool under pressure but was unprepared to deal with a naked 4-year-old. She's getting her master's degree in negotiation and conflict resolution...and is trying her skills of persuasion in this picture, trying to talk Helios into keeping his clothes on. He was having none of it. Fortunately, Mommy intervened, leaving Aunt Elspeth an opportunity another day to try her negotiation skills after she's had a bit more training.
Meanwhile, Hesperos had become a statue over under the water spouts. Once he was placed over there, he just stood under the mist, occasionally moving an inch or two deeper into the water, and then hopping back three or four steps. At one point, some of the local bikini-clad bathing beauties flounced over to enjoy the cool water themselves. Hesperos was in seventh heaven as he stood surrounded by pretty girls ranging from 8 to 18, awash in not only the cool water but with opportunities galore.
After water play, we all went back to Grandma's and Grandpa's home where the rest of the evening followed a predictable pattern. The boys passed out, exhausted, and Mommy and Aunt Elspbeth beat Grandpa Wil in a few hands of gin rummy...while Daddy labored on the computers. (This is actually characteristic of Daddy's experiences wherever he goes - there's no such thing as a vacation for him as long as a relative needs help on a computer.)
Monday, September 8, 2008
Sunday, September 7, 2008
In spite of their narrow escape from claustrophobic conditions, however, kids seem strangely willing to crawl back into small areas as soon as they can. Example, when Helios was learning to crawl (he was a back-crawler for weeks before he figured out how to do it on his knees), he adored crawling under the ottoman (where he'd promptly get stuck). More recently, Helios has discovered the odd and comforting delights of climbing into the dryer, which he particularly enjoys right after a load of laundry has finished so he can enjoy the warmth of the cylinder.
Hesperos seems to have adopted his brother's proclivities for small places. During a recent hotel stay, we were watching TV before bed and looked around realizing that Hesperos was no where to be found. Why? Because he had tucked himself away into the bottom drawer of the hotel dresser. Wouldn't that have been an unhappy surprise for the maid the next morning?