One night when Oliver was sick and sleeping on the couch, I snuck in to check on Simon. He was sleeping in his brother’s bed.
“How cute!” I thought as I grabbed my camera to snap a picture. “He certainly misses that brother of his.”*
But then I remembered how he’s often saying that Oliver’s mattress is so much softer and nicer than his, and wondering if maybe they should switch beds. I was glad he got to test it out for just one night, since I know he’s asked Oliver to let him sleep in his bed and has been flatly refused.
*This may have been true. It certainly did take a lot longer for him to fall asleep than normal without someone to talk to and play with first. And he tried to con his way out a couple of times by suggesting that maybe his tummy didn’t feel so great either.
In the hours that Oliver was not sick, and no one else was either, I managed to make it to our Relief Society meeting this week. A J. Crew stylist came to give us some style tips. I wonder what she thought when she saw a room full of jeans-and-flats-wearing moms. Clearly we all needed help. And lots of it.
Among other things, she taught us how to wear a scarf, and multiple ways to wear belts as well. We learned proper sleeve rolling technique, and a little bit about mixing patterns in an outfit. Oh, and definitely a lot about layering jewelry. Of which I have . . . none. Some of us were a little concerned about testing out some of these tips in public. Like wearing heels? Or six necklaces at one time? Or two belts woven together? Her suggestion: wear it around the house until you are comfortable with it and don’t think about it so much.
So as I made granola and cleaned the kitchen, I fancied myself up with a scarf that I haven’t known what to do with for the past five years.
And I kind of like it. Oliver? Not so much. He wanted me to carry him, but refused to actually let me pick him up until I took “that thing” off.
I planned to take the boys to the Transit Museum this week. They love that place. So many different train cars. A bus. Maps and turnstiles. But then Oliver got sick. And then Oliver got sick again. And then Simon and Micah got sick. And instead of going to the museum, we spent a lot of time in our pajamas refreshing ourselves on the Pixar and Studio Ghibli collections, playing reptile bingo, and getting our fill of things that go via Richard Scarry instead of the New York Transit Museum.
We’ve found Goldbug on every page and decided which vehicle we would like for our own personal collection on each page as well.
And to be honest, the diversity of vehicles in the Scarry book puts the transit museum to shame. Pickle trucks, doughnut cars, auto-planes? You won’t find them at the museum. And you won’t find Goldbug either.
As for us, I think we’d take a bananamobile over the subway train if we could. Maybe.
We’ve read Best Friends for Frances several times in the past few weeks. We’ve chatted about including everyone, being friends with your siblings, not calling people names, and how boys and girls can both do . . . anything. But it was the mention of the sack race between Frances, Gloria, and Albert that caught Simon’s imagination. For a couple of days he asked me to show him what a sack race was and even suggested we get on the computer to find a video of it so he could see for himself. (I’ll take it as a mark of the rising generation that the impulse is to look for a video on YouTube when you don’t know what something is.)
It took me much too long, but I finally took a minute to pull a pillowcase out of the “linen box” and show him how it was done. He insisted we make a finish line so that he could win, but since Oliver was napping at the time, it wasn’t much of a contest. And since the boy seemed intent on having a film-ic evidence, I recorded his first sack race.
Since then he and Oliver have done a couple of races, and Oliver is passably good at hopping around in his pillowcase, although, predictably, he gets tired and starts to walk halfway through.
I like it when the boys take charge of the day and let us know what they want to do. A lazy Saturday with no plans was still a lazy Saturday with no plans, but the boys made sure we got out to enjoy the good weather and some exercise with a trip around the block on their bikes.
It was Oliver’s first time riding solo on the balance bike, although he quickly realized it was a lot more fun if Mom pushed him while he held his feet up.
Simon’s bike had a serious flat tire, so Micah took some time to show him how to fix a tire tube.
Micah and Simon totally wasted me and Oliver in the “race” around the block. And then, just when Oliver and I turned the corner onto the homestretch, Oliver had a bit of an accident in which his foot got stuck behind the seat and it took me a while to get him untangled. As we were approaching our building, Oliver kept talking about how Dad and Simon beat us home. He was a little sad about it. But just about to go up the steps when Micah and Simon jumped out from the other side of the stoop and surprised us. This led not only to forgetting about having been beaten home, but also to several minutes of Oliver wanting to try the same trick with them, but I don’t think it was quite as effective. Fun to try, but I think the element of surprised is lost when you are talking to those you are hoping to surprise the whole time.
Still, a morning well spent.
And, by the way, who would’ve thought February would be awesome bike weather?
In all honesty, I don’t get super excited about Valentine’s Day. It’s not a day I anticipate with much excitement, or even consider a “carrot” to look forward to as we trudge our way through winter.I generally don’t make big plans and Micah and I tend to put our V-day date off until . . . later. And even then, it’s more likely to be cheap Mexican food from the place down the street than it is some place fancy and romantic.
And yet, I always seem to get up early to make a special Valentine’s breakfast — today, just like last year, it was waffles with fruit and whipped cream — and to make goodies to deliver to friends. The boys and I put a lot of effort into some sugar cookies today (actually, the boys put most of their effort into eating the dough and cream cheese frosting which is what “helping” is at their age, right?), and I made some cherry-chocolate goodies yesterday, so we would have something to give. Sadly, I didn’t get the goodies all packaged (in our signature parchment-paper-sewn-into-an-envelope) until dinner time, which was followed closely by bed time, which meant it was too late to go out with the boys. So we have some lovely Valentine’s Day goodies waiting until tomorrow to be delivered. Maybe they’ll take the edge off the post-Valentine’s Day let-down, if such a thing exists.
It seems like a lot of effort to put into a holiday that I really don’t have strong feelings about, but I imagine I’ll do it again next year. And the year after. And maybe I’ll make a tradition of it until I not only have strong feelings about it, but we have such a great routine that it’s hardly even an effort at all. Maybe.
Oliver only wishes we were going to see Dr. Seuss. Unfortunately, it’s just his normal pediatrician that got to see the inside of his mouth a couple of times this week. On Tuesday we decided it was time to find out if there was anything we could do about his loud sleep breathing. His tonsils seem to be crowding his airway. It turns out our best bet is a humidifier. And he may have issues with his tonsils for years, but it’s too early to get excited about a tonsilectomy. Which is fine with me. It doesn’t really annoy him, so until it does, I’m willing to live with it.
And the second trip was as unexpected as the moment the door didn’t yield to Oliver as he sped toward it as fast as he could. I was on the other side of the room and didn’t see exactly what happened, but the short story is: he ran into the door. And blood poured from his mouth. I scooped him up and ran him to the ladies room (we were at the church for institute). As more and more blood dripped out of his mouth, and then spurted all over the place (sink, walls, counter, shoes, clothes, floor), I realized I had no idea what to do. Institute was over as all the other mothers dropped everything to help me figure things out. An hour later, the doctor had given him the all-clear: his teeth were fine, it had bled enough that infection wasn’t a worry, and in two weeks time, we won’t even be able to see where the cut is.
But right now, it looks pretty awful:
And so do the clothes he was wearing at the time:
Of course, I’ve been expecting this kind of thing from Oliver for a long time. And I expect a lot more of it in the future. But I’m grateful that we have avoided stitches for at least a little bit, and that mouth wounds heal quickly.