Someday we’ll get it right. The perfect gingerbread recipe that makes the perfect amount of gingerbread. Something perfectly tasty and perfectly sturdy. And while that day has not yet arrived, we managed to do relatively well for ourselves anyway. The caboose provides a nice little home to a couple of hobo gingerbreadmen in this bleak mid-winter scene. And those cherry cordial m&ms are rather tasty, even if the gingerbread is a little dry and bland.
Yesterday was the last day Micah had to work two jobs. And he magically got to leave work at 2:00 this afternoon for the holidays. We decided to celebrate by going out to dinner. We bundled up, waited for the bus, waited for the bus, waited for the bus, waited for the bus, walked to the train station, caught the train, put our name on the list at the restaurant, then did a little shopping while we waited to be seated. The pager buzzed as we were heading to the checkout line, so Micah took the boys to get our seats while Abby and I made the purchases.
Micah ordered an appetizer and Simon’s food before we got there, so Simon got started on his food while we were waiting for ours to come. And when I say he “got started” I mean that he sat there and looked at it. He took a few sips of chocolate milk, and then, with some encouragement, a spoonful of applesauce. And then suddenly the table was covered in throw-up. So we cleaned it up as best we could. I took Simon to the bathroom to put on his spare pants because he got a little bit of throw-up on his and it was bothering him. Micah went to get our food to go and pay our bill. When we came out of the bathroom, we started to get ready to go. And then suddenly Simon was covered in throw-up. And then he was covered in more throw-up. Back to the bathroom we went to put on his first pair of pants, which were suddenly looking much better than the spare pair. I loaned him my shirt as well, since I was wearing two.
We made it home just fine, though not without much remorse at not having taken Simon seriously when he said he wasn’t feeling well or when he told us his tummy hurt. In retrospect, it all seems so clear. At the time, it seemed pretty clear that he was a little sluggish from his nap.
Oh, and in our rush to get out of the restaurant, we left Oliver’s water bottle.
Sigh. My fingers are crossed that he’ll be better in the morning and we’ll have a vomit-free holiday.
ps I keep saying that Simon has a future in child modeling, and I’m pretty sure that picture is all the proof you need that I am so right.
This video captures the dynamic of Simon’s little pre-school so perfectly. Too perfectly.
Micah and I may or may not have spent several hours Sunday night being giddily gleeful and laughing like school girls. The reason? We threw a party. And people came. And they enjoyed it. To top it off, it was the easiest party to prep for, a snap to clean up, and the goodies were all so tasty. Did I mention our children behaved themselves perfectly? So excuse our spontaneous high fives. We just have to remember how awesome we are every now and then.
Okay, so maybe some of the gleeful giddiness was spurred by the memory of the Christmas party of 2008. The one in which we spent hours and hours baking cookies only to have one couple show up. If I remember correctly, it did snow that night. And the sidewalks were treacherously icy. But that was hardly consolation. We’d spent lots of time, sent out the invites early, had people rsvp, and then . . . we ended up drowning our shame in all those plates of cookies and all that leftover hot chocolate mix. Sad, sad, sad.
Not this time though. This time we were awesome. The door had barely shut behind the last guest to leave when we started rejoicing in a job well done . . . and planning the next one.
We’ve found our song. Our going-to-bed song. Our cuddle-on-the-couch song. Our I’m-sad-and-tired-and-cranky song. Our giddy-happy-jumpy song.
And this is how it goes:
“I love you most, Mom.”
“I love you more than most.”
“I love you a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck.”
“I love you a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck. A hug around the neck and a barrel and a heap.”
“I love you a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck. A hug around the neck and a barrel and a heap. A barrel and a heap and I’m talking in my sleep. About you.”
“And what are you saying about me in your sleep?”
“I’m saying ‘Mom, you’re driving me crazy!'” (I can’t imagine how he came up with that line . . . )
I like our song. It feels good to have one.
When we go to the store it is, “I have never tried this before.” Or, “I have never tasted that, Mom.” Or, “I have never had this drink.”
I wonder how small children seem to know what is the junkiest of junk food — even if we’ve never bought it, even if we’ve never seen ads for it, even if they don’t even know what it is — and then fixate on it. Sheesh.
It’s a little bit more fun when we go other places, like, say, the Transit Museum.
Then it sounds like this: “Oh, I’ve never been on a blue train before.” Or, “Mom, have you ever been on a yellow train with no seats? I have.” Or, “I have never seen an orange caboose before,” as he runs from one train car to the next, eager to be able to check one more thing off a very, very long list of things he’s never done.
And now, thanks to MTA’s Christmas gift of bringing out some vintage buses during the month of December to run select routes, and our luck at living on one of those routes, and the miracle that somehow got us to the bus stop on time today, Simon can say, “I have been on a green bus before.” And not just any green bus. A green bus that is older than his dad.
Seriously, I just about cried, I was so happy to see that vintage bus (from 1962) pulling up to our stop, just a minute or so after we ran there through the bitter cold to be sure we didn’t miss it. If I had known, I would have brought my camera, of course. It was awesome to see people’s faces light up when they saw the bus pulling up and great to be there to see and hear people laugh and talk and wish each other Happy Holidays because of something so simple.
I hope we get that lucky again. Because even if we’ve already done it, it’s kind of a “the-more-the-merrier” kind of thing.
Sandra Boynton was in the City on Saturday. Since “Fuzzy, Fuzzy, Fuzzy” was one of the first books Simon could read and Oliver brings us “Barnyard Dance” or “The Going to Bed Book” for storytime just about every night, we figured we would be bad parents if we didn’t take our children to see the famed author/illustrator. We even bought her latest book and had it signed for Simon for Christmas (shhh! don’t tell Simon!). Aside from the fact that the bookstore was absolutely packed, and that boys were kind of cranky and crazy and way too excited about having so many books at their fingertips, and that the artist would not allow people to take pictures with her lest they forget to turn off their flash and damage her eyes, we had a great time. Ha. Ha. Ha.
No, really, the book store was awesome. It’s probably a good thing it’s not within walking distance because I could easily go there every day and convince myself that my children need a new book if they are going to grow up to be upstanding members of society. And the singers who performed before the signing were fun as well. Bonus that we got some Christmas shopping done while we were at it.It was also fun to be the parents of the children who were throwing books, being hit by books, crying about books, biting books, wanting to leave the store with books we hadn’t paid for and who showed absolutely no interest in the author/illustrator despite having been at least somewhat excited about it minutes before it was our turn to say hello to her.
Yeah, that was fun, too.
On the train. Micah is wearing Oliver, standing, holding onto a pole. Oliver reaches out of the carrier, grabs onto the same pole. He notices Micah’s hand above his. He reaches up, grabs Micah’s fingers, pulls his hand off of the pole. He resumes his position. Mission accomplished: the pole is his, and his alone.
I’d say he learned it from his brother, but I don’t think he was around 2 1/2 years ago when that was all the rage with Simon.
I write in my journal every day. I blog nearly every day, sometimes more than once a day. I keep an occasional journal for Simon (and plan to start one for Oliver soon, too). And yet I feel as if I am doing a woefully inadequate job of recording my children’s lives. These days I am strongly tempted to put a bug on Simon and record every little thing he says. He is hilarious and intelligent, patient and demanding, a little parrot who is ridiculously good at mixing things up to invent his own, fresh material. Unfortunately, even the comments that had me in stitches at the time elude my tired mom-brain at the moment. I suppose that’s why the boy needs a bug.
It’s not just his words that crack me up and make me want to cry. At times he is such a little boy — like today when he hid under a clothing rack at Macy’s because he was so upset that Micah had to go back to work and couldn’t keep shopping with us. And other times he is so mature — like today when he managed to keep it together when I got turned around in Downtown Brooklyn and ended up taking the long way to the store, or when we waited for the bus for half an hour before he decided it wasn’t worth it and encouraged me to give it up and take us to the train station already. The whole way from the bus stop to the train station he couldn’t tell me enough how “frustrated” he was with having to wait so long in the cold, and with falling down, and with having to walk to the train station anyway.
He was tough and brave and picked himself right back up when he fell while running down the street (twice), and then he came home and put a “bandage” (he won’t call it a band-aid — he corrects himself every time) on the hurt knee . . . of his pants. And then he was silly and fun as he jumped and did “one hundred” different kicks and twists while airborne.
He’s getting to be such good company these days. And so entertaining as well.