This week, we started doing the kind of fun things that I thought only families with much calmer children could do. Like take walks without strollers. We now have one child who can ride a bike with training wheels and two others who happily sit in the wagon (as long as it's moving). I never realized how confining strollers were until we started taking after dinner walks into the nearby courts.
We've also been doing puzzles with the older two children. I get these 25 piece picture puzzles at the thrift shop, usually for a buck a piece and in excellent condition. We all sit down, do one puzzle each then switch. It's nice to see them sitting still and focusing on something for more than a minute. It kind of gives me some hope. It's also nice to have some quiet time at the end of the day with the kids. Of course, our 4 year old has a tough time with just not talking lately. No one told me 4 year olds were so talkative.
Danny, shhhhh. We're doing puzzles quietly. (Jim and Fiona and I all finished our puzzles before he even got started. Talking is his new favorite pastime. He'd never make it in school.)
No, I talking to you.
Please stop talking to me.
You've been talking to me all day. I have a headache.
What's a headache, mom? AAARRRGGGHHHH!
Stop talking back, Danny. Just take my hand.
I'm not. I'm just talking. Mom, I need to talk to you. I can tell that he's trying to figure out how to plead his case. And I'm open to that, but not when he's arguing about holding my hand crossing the street versus riding his bike across the street all while we're in the midst of crossing the street.
You still eating dirt, boy? Jim asks Owen. He appeared to be chewing on something.
Bugs, he says. Oh, great.
Owen's other new word: cheese
Heart-melting phrases that have come from my daughter's mouth lately:
How are you today? Fiona asks about a dozen times a day now.
It's a nice day out, she tells me as we're working in the garden.
Oddly, though, it's like pulling teeth to get her to say please.
What do you say, Fiona?
I want more jelly beans.
I want more jelly beans, please.
I want more jelly beans, she replies with a wicked twinkle.
What are you doing? I ask Danny who's slurping water off the table. I should just stop asking this. I don't really want to know anymore.
I spilled my drink.
How do you spill a drink from a lidded cup, child?
You've got to get rid of those logs, Danny yells. He cut himself on a log in the backyard. His solution to anything that gets in his way is to just get rid of it. He once told us that we needed to get rid of our whole house because he bumped into a wall.
And later that night ...
Where's the cut? Jim asks.
See, RIGHT THERE. Danny points to a tiny little cut on his wrist.
And for that you want a Wolverine Band-Aid?
Help me, Fiona asks while we're in the bathroom.
Honey, I can't help you poop. You have to do that yourself.
Get that, she says, pointing to the toilet plunger.
That's not for poopy. That's for plunging the toilet.
Get out. I got privacy, Fiona tells me while she is in the bathroom.
I'm going to poop on your clothes, she tells me one morning. And then she cackles.
Lift, Fiona says when we are on our way down the stairs.
I can't, honey. I'm carrying Owen.
Put that baby down.
Mom, take your shirt off, says a shirtless Danny. Um, no.
Mom, you're fat. Your arms are fat, Danny says as he jiggles my upper arms.
How do we get dessert in this house, dear?
No. We eat our dinner.
No, we don't. We just get dessert. Um, saying it doesn't make it so, Danny.
I had an argument with my dad, Danny tells me. (Oh, boy. I just had a vision of the teenage years.) And he continues: He didn't say the right time. Jim told him it was dinner time. Danny, apparently, disagreed with that ruling.
And the best family discussion of the week:
Daddy, you have a penis and I have a penis, he says excitedly.
Yes, we do, Jim replies and pumps his fist in the air.
Yeah, see, I do this [Danny fist pumps] because I have a penis. You and Fiona have butts. You do this [Danny points his arms out straight on either side.]
And, that my friends, is how you know whether a person is a boy or a girl. It's all about the arms motions, you see.