Archive for August, 2010

first day of school

I can’t believe it. She’s a schoolkid now.

Wesley was not happy to be left at home. He ran to the car and begged to come too. But he’s doing okay now. He’s had a few mood swings this morning–happy to have access to all of Mary’s favorite toys, but unhappy when he realized he had to play with them alone. Poor Boy.


I told you so.

He’s getting really, really big and grown-up. I told you.

big kids!

Just in case you’re wondering what’s going on with Mary and Wesley recently–the answer to that question is, they’re growing. And learning. You know how sometimes kids go through growth spurts where they just acquire new skills and language like mad? Well, they’re both doing that right now. It’s amazing.

Here are a few things they’ve said recently that I thought were interesting.


  • told me that Buzz Lightyear (from Toy Story) gets sad in one of the movies “because he finds out that he is just a toy, and that he’s not a real Range Spacer. [Note: She means Space Ranger. So funny.] He thinks he’s real but actually he’s a toy, like Wesley’s toy Woody cowboy. And when he finds out he is very sad.” This is interesting because she’s learning to attribute motivation and reasoning to the character–a few months ago she would’ve just said, “Oh, look–Buzz is so sad!”
  • is getting better and better at knowing when she’s about to to go into overload meltdown mode and taking herself out of the situation. At church, for example, I sit in the cry room (because I am not ABOUT to try sitting in the congregation with both kids alone–Conor’s in the choir). There are usually other kids there, including one particular little girl that Mary really likes. This little girl is, however, very social and a little bit loud, and Mary can’t handle it for a whole hour. She gets overwhelmed by that. So, she’s taken to saying, “I’m gonna go take a little break, Mama,” and going to sit just outside the cry room door. She just sits on the floor, out of the way, and is quiet until she’s calmed down, and then she comes back to play. This is a BIG step forward from her old method of [not] coping, where she would just get crazier and crazier until finally she had a huge, screaming, flailing meltdown that would go on for 20 minutes.
  • is turning into such a generous, sweet person. Yesterday I gave her a brownie. (Those of you who have spent time with her post-chocolate know that this was a brave, possibly foolish move–but what was I supposed to do, eat all of the birthday brownies without sharing with the kids?) Each kid got a SMALL piece. Maybe two, three bites. And she immediately went to the living room and asked Conor, “Do you want a bite of my brownie, Daddy?” She’d been looking forward to it all day and her first impulse was to share it.
  • is going to school next week and cannot stop talking about it. She is so excited. I think she’s going to love it (though maybe not the schedule, just at first). We talked about how Wesley might miss her at first but he would get used to it, and she said, “I think I’ll miss Wesley too. But when I get done and you come get me in the car, I can give him big hugs and say HI WESSY BOY!” Aww.


  • is now officially 2 and acts like it. It makes me tired thinking about the tantrums he has yet to throw between now and….whatever age he’ll be when he stops doing it. Mary still has several major fits per week so we’ll see when that passes. His biggest thing–and most annoying–is that he’ll tell you he wants something, then he doesn’t want it, then he does….etc. For example, from this morning at church when I offered to put him in the sling and hold him:

W: NO baby carrier!

Me: Okay, you don’t have to.


Me: You’d like to get in?

W: (nodding) BABY CARRIER!

Me: Okay. (reach to pick him up)

W: NO BABY CARRIER! [wails] Take it OFF, Mama!

Me: Okay, okay. You don’t have to unless you want to. [removes baby carrier]

W: [wailing afresh] PUT IT ON! I NEED BABY CARRIER!

And so forth.

but….he also:

  • is hilariously sweet playing with blocks. He’ll spend a ton of time building things. I think it’s extra cute because I don’t really expect a 2-year-old to be that focused.
  • is snuggly, cuddly, and incredibly sweet (when he’s in the mood). He gives adorable little kisses–he leans toward you, makes a little “pop!” sound with his mouth, and ALMOST touches you.
  • is learning to talk in whole sentences, more every day. Granted, a lot of those sentences seem to be “Don’t touch me, Mama!” or “I CAN’T go to bed, Daddy!”, but still. He said to me the other day, “I love Mary. And I love Mary’s toys.”
  • is still very easy to amuse. And he has the best toddler laugh in the whole world, seriously. I am going to take a video of it. It is the most contagious laugh ever.
  • has finally learned that the little boy from “A Wocket in My Pocket” is, in fact, a little boy and not the Wocket. For the longest time I tried to explain this but he ALWAYS identified the little boy as the Wocket, no matter how many times I corrected him. Finally last night he pointed at one of the pages and said, “It’s the little boy!” I said, “That’s right, he is!” and Wesley said, “He has a wocket in his pocket on this one,” and flipped to the cover. I think this means he is finally listening to some of the things I say–which is, of course, both good and bad.

Anyway, they’re growing and changing on a daily basis. It’s funny–sometimes months go by and they sort of hang out, staying mostly the same. And then there’s a huge explosion of new skills, new ideas, new language. I’m told, by all of those experts, that they’re probably getting taller in between those explosions but I’ve never checked.

birthday outing without pics

….because I forgot my camera.

Anyway, I took the kids to the aquarium today–we rode the Metro downtown, visited the aquarium, kicked around the soccer ball at the park, and then met up with Conor to go out for sushi. It was a big hit: the kids loved both the train and the aquarium.

Funny moment of the day: the aquarium has a tank with a clownfish and a…whatever that fish is that is the basis for Dory from “Finding Nemo.” We went past it and I said, “Wow. That’s uncanny. The Pixar versions are so real.” I mean, seriously, these fish look EXACTLY like the Pixar versions–the movements and everything.

Before we left the kids wanted to see them again. So we walked back over there and there was a woman there with a teenager. She said, “These are pretty cute, huh?” and Wesley replied, “They just like Nemo’s daddy and Dory! It’s uncanny!”

It was totally clear, too (often other people can’t understand him). The woman just burst out laughing because it was so funny coming from a 2-year-old.

Mary did a great job on Metro–I had Wesley in the baby carrier, but she was walking. She was wearing her snuggle monkey (the little backpack with leash), but she didn’t really need it; she stayed right with me, handled the escalators like a pro, and walked probably a mile, all told. What a big kid.

getting up early=annoying

Mary: I’m hungry!
Me: What would you like to eat?
Mary: I’m hungry!
Me: Would you like some yogurt? Or some toast? Carrots?
Mary: I want strawberries and cheese!
Me: Okay–how do you ask?
Mary: [shouting in my ear] PLEASE!
Me: Okay. [I provide strawberries and cheese.]
Mary: I want bread too!
Me: How do you ask?
Me: Okay. [I cut up a roll for her.]
Mary: [lip trembling, eyes welling] TAKE THE BREAD OFF THE TRAY! NO BREAD! NO BREAD!
Me: Okay…although it’s not very nice to yell at me about it. [I remove bread.]

Mary eats strawberries and cheese. Four minutes later, she says: “I need BREAD!”

My new favorite picture

This was from the first night we went to the ocean–the first time Mary saw the ocean close-up.

so, everyone loved this book…

I’m reading “The Life of Pi,” and I don’t understand its popularity at all. It’s pretentious, boring, and badly plotted–what’s to like?

Maybe it will all come together in the later chapters. I have my doubts, though.