Saturday, January 26, 2013

For Fun

When you have a preschooler who passes gas, your first instinct is to remind them to use the potty.  The Nugget acquiesces sometimes, other times, he informs us, "I don't have to go yet.  That pop-pop was just for fun."

The Nugget discovered the Black Eyed Peas tonight on Daddy's iPod, and we must have listened to the clean version of "Let's Get it Started" about 50 times in a row while the Nugget choreographed his own dance-aerobics.

N: I want to go to New York and drive the A-train.  Can we do that soon?
M: I would love to take you to New York sometime.  I'm not sure it will be this year though.
N:  And can I drive the A-train?
M:  They don't let kids drive the A-train.  You have to be much older.
N:  How about when I'm 56?

The Nugget cries wolf, in another big brother bid for attention.  He screams for help and we come dashing round the corner to find him dangling a single arm off the couch while moaning, "I'm falling.  I'm going to die.  I need heeeeeeellllllppppp!"  I've told him the Boy Who Cried Wolf story and watched the SuperWhy version of it to no avail. 

This one is babbling almost non-stop, unless we are someplace new.  If it's outdoors, he is running and exploring like he's the host of a nature show.  If it's indoors with strangers nearby, he winds himself tightly around my leg, inserts his thumb into his mouth, and tries hard to make his 31 pound self invisible.  Unlike the Nugget, who is a slow-to-warm-up extrovert, I'm pretty sure that Spork is a true introvert and am trying to make sure he gets the mellow chill time that such a being requires.  Also learning that when he's upset, I have to rein in my attempts to soothe him, because he is much better able to soothe himself when I don't interfere.  If strangers wait until Spork initiates contact, they are immediately in his favor, but those who dare approach him first are treated with much suspicion.

Spork is a sturdy, muscular, tank of a boy.  He still leads with his head and commonly wipes out if he turns to look at something, just because his center of gravity is that noggin full-o-brains.  He almost always stumbles if you try to walk past him, even if you don't brush against him, just because of the head-turn to see who's there.  I find myself palming his head as I go past him now so he can stay upright.  His head has some sort of gravitational pull to the corners of our dining room table - sometimes he will pinball from corner to corner.  It's second nature to us now to cover the corner of the table with our hands as he goes by. His hair and cheeks are so soft, I always want to bury my face in them.  He often takes my face in his big paws and asks, "Ubby Bunny?," and I am always glad to oblige and take turns squishing his marshmallow cheeks and letting him squeeze mine.  You can tell that he is not interested in being a baby, he just wants to be a big boy.  His favorite toys are the ones that imitate adult work - baby dolls for swaddling and feeding, kitchen supplies for rustling up some grub, crayons for scrawling important information, he even favors paperback books to board books because he knows they are special for big kids.
The best part of my evening is "Things Time".  For the uninitiated, that means that the Nugget is ready for bed.  At tuck-in, he can choose 3 "things" from each of us.  It used to be like:  1 hug, 1 high five, and a kiss.  Now it's "3 wrestles, please".  We each take turns gently (or in Spork's case, not-so-gently) wrestling him in the bed, then Daddy and Spork fill his humidifier and lights out.  We are a very routined family, so when someone announces, "Things Time," all 3 children squeal with delight and race to the stairs.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Feeding Frenzy vs. A Quiet Dinner

Dinnertime at our house is loud and messy.  I would call it a feeding frenzy but since I have actually fed sharks at the aquarium, I know the sharks are much, much calmer.  It's probably the peak of my stress for the day, because everyone is tired, hungry, and cranky.  Plus at this particular stage of development, the children each require a different meal.

Nugget:  a version of what we are having but with ingredients separated for our "no-sauce-don't-let-the-meat-touch-the-noodles" kinda guy.
Spork:  usually what we are having, in a scary-large portion, but cut up teeny-tiny, and messy things still need to be delivered to his mouth with an adult's help
Tater:  toothless wonder still struggles to gum down most foods, so she needs a puree (when people ask if I make my own, I have to suppress the urge to laugh because I don't even have time to pee) then close supervision while she attempts to chew a few molecules of what we're having.
Hubby:  comes home (conveniently) after the children have finished, so I try to keep him a hot plate or sometimes I need to make his fresh right when the babies have been released from the bondage of high chairs
Me:  I sit between the babies to dole out spoonfuls and retrieve sippy cups, and try to shovel in my own food in between bites.

Our table conversation last night, pretty typical
M:  Tell me your favorite thing that happened at school today.
N:  Well, I don't really remem...
S:  (runs out of food) Neeeyaaaaahhhh!  Mooorrree, more, more, Mah!
(I give Spork seconds)
S:  Nom, nom, nom, nom (seriously, he makes loud nom-ing noises)
N:  Mommy!  You forgot my milk!
M:  (sigh) You're right, but can we try that again with manners?
N:  (pouts) Milk, please.
(I give the Nugget his milk)
T:  (dropped sippy cup) Wah!  Wah!
S:  More, more, more, Mah!
N:  Mommy!  Mommy!  (shrieks) I want to tell you something!  Spork is disgusting right now (oh, he definitely is - food everywhere), and I don't want to see that.
S:  (waves at the Nugget and giggles)
M:  Just look at your own food then, and I'll put this cereal box in between you so don't have to look at S.  You know you ate that way when you were a baby too.  Babies sure are messy.
N:  It's really yucky!  And I can still see him.  It's making me cough.
T:  (all done, wants to get down)  Wah!  Wah!
S:  More!  More! More! Mah!  (tears)
N:  (Head in hands) I just want to have a quiet dinner.

I was looking for a photo of dinner chaos, but who's got time to pull out the camera when 3 people are screaming at you and there's something on the brink of burning in the oven?  So here are the boys after a feeding frenzy.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Art Night

Last week, we pulled out the fingerpaints and let the kids get messy.  I don't always have the energy for this, but it's so rewarding when we make the time.  

For every fun thing we do, I want to admit that we have to let something go.  In this case, I didn't have Hubby's dinner ready when he walked in the door, but he was awarded with a Spork original painting for his office in return.

 The Nugget assists Spork with some helpful painting tips, such as how to paint your entire hand instead of the paper.

Spork the painter. 

 Tater Tot gets in on the action.

My tip for toddler painting - don't even bother with aprons or smocks, I just wait until it's just before bath time and strip them down to diapers only.  I ran the bath while they were still locked in the highchairs and plopped them directly in the tub.  This gave Spork the added bonus of wiping his painty handprints off the tub walls with a washcloth for extra fun.

Fresh, clean and robed for their gallery opening on the fridge.

Possibly one of the last Tater-on-all-fours photos that you'll see.  She's a FT walker now.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Big 'Ol Used Car Sale

Backstory:  When we lived in WA, there was a radio commercial that came on for several weeks a year.  The jingle went, "Come on down, say, come on down, to the big 'ol used car sale (repeat)."  Because I mindlessly sing to my children when I want them to do something, I started using this jingle to encourage Baby Nugget to come down the stairs on his own power.  I'd forgotten about it for years, but now that Spork can turn around and slide/bump backwards down the steps, I found myself singing it to him a couple months ago.  The Nugget immediately wanted to memorize the song, and now he sings it to Spork too.

We found ourselves trying to describe Venice to the Nugget recently, "There are no streets, just canals of water.  So people use boats instead of cars."  The Nugget paused and then asked earnestly, "So they don't have cars?  They don't have big 'ol used car sales?"
Another thing to add to the, "I never thought I'd say this to my kid" list.  Spork's favorite Christmas gift was a set of wooden slicing foods from Cabbage and Bean, so he's often wielding the play knife and presenting us with freshly sliced play produce.  Today he got a little creative with knife play and started drumming with it, then jabbing it around, until I heard Daddy firmly utter this gem, "Spork, we do NOT stab."

The Nugget, on wardrobe choices:
-"Today I will wear my snowshoe shirt, but tomorrow I will wear my fabulous airplane shirt."
-(heaving his stocking feet up on Daddy's chest) "Look, Daddy, my green socks are camouflaged on your green shirt!"

Spork's newest hair product of choice is whatever food is smeared on his hands at meal time.  He recommends squishing it between the palms before a generous application, then really working it through the curls with your fingers.  He can't vouch for the resulting hairstyle but this product does result in bath night 85% of the time, which is a great result if you happen to be a water baby.

Spork has a new dance, where he waddles wide-legged in place (reminiscent of a sumo wrestler preparing for battle), then finishes with some "I'm a maniac" running in place.  If the Nugget can channel Will Ferrell, Spork calls upon the late Chris Farley for sure.  To further support this claim, we have thrice witnessed him run full speed into the storm door.

Pictured: Spork in snowpants.  Has absolutely nothing to do with this post, but doesn't it make you smile?