Simon let it be known today that he likes all of his friends’ parents better than he likes us. Although he did admit that we are pretty good parents. I’ll take what I can get.
I got a little behind on blogging our instagram images. But just so you know, we’ve been to two zoos lately, watched the Brooklyn Half (and cheered on some friends), cleaned the church, built some train tracks (me and Micah), gotten nice and sweaty, rode bikes, admired our freshly strained yogurt, been down the “fireman pole” one too many times, and generally tuckered ourselves out.
Someone asked me lately if being pregnant makes me more emotional. Mostly no, I would say. But there are a few exceptions, most notably Balto. The sled dog.
The boys got a book about Balto for Christmas. And every time I read it to them I have a hard time holding it together at the end. Even when Micah or Abby read it to them I have a hard time holding it together. This is mostly unlike me, but then there was the Winnie-the-Pooh incident as well, so maybe not. (Of course, I was pregnant then, too, so I can blame those tears on the baby as well.)
Anyway, at the end of the book they mention that everyone in the country was so impressed by Balto and his team that they put a statue of him in Central Park and since then the boys have been begging to go see it. We finally got around to it yesterday. In my heightened emotional state I took way too many pictures and got myself all choked up yet again. Fun times.
Side note: Simon really wanted to sit on Balto, but it was a really hot day and Balto was really hot. I had insisted that he wear shorts, which meant his bare legs would touch the hot statue. It was a pretty tough call on whether he wanted to risk it or not, and in the end he decided to try it for as long as it took to get a picture. He was a little bit upset at me for making him wear shorts and insists we come back another time when it’s cooler and/or he’s wearing pants. I think I can handle that.
Side note 2: Throughout the afternoon yesterday, when we were on our way home and afterward, Oliver would randomly say, “Balto, the bravest dog ever.” And that’s all. And he prayed for Balto, the bravest dog ever, last night as well. Because he’s thoughtful like that.
I’m not going to lie. I cringed a little bit this morning when Simon said, “Let’s say a prayer so we can find my shoe.” It’s not that I didn’t believe his prayer would be answered, it’s more that in recent history we’ve had so many prayers be answered in a way that left us scratching our heads and thinking, “That was unexpected.” But, of course, we all knelt as a family anyway. And Simon prayed that we would be able to find his lost shoe.
Our apartment is small. There are precious few places where something the size of a child’s shoe could hide for very long. And so as we scoured each room, I wondered how this could possibly be happening, and how we would handle it if we didn’t find the shoe. Thankfully in the midst of our searches, Simon got distracted. Why seek when you can hide? So he climbed in our laundry basket and asked Micah to come find him. Micah called to me from the other room, “We’ve lost Simon! Come help me find him!”
“Lost Simon, eh? I guess if we don’t have him, we don’t need to find his shoe,” I replied. And I made my way to the bedroom to help find our lost child.
“Hmmmm. It doesn’t look like he’s under the blanket,” I said.
Micah opened the closet. “Not in there, either.”
“He’s in here, he’s in here,” Oliver informed us (as he had been doing for at least a minute before that) while he stood beside the laundry basket. So I poked my head over the top of the basket. “Boo!” I said.
Simon jumped up. Holding his missing shoe. And, once again, “That was unexpected.”
So many times I sit down to write a post here and I think, “No, that’s more of a Mother Runner post.” And vice versa. I know almost everyone who reads Knotty Strings also reads Mother Runner, so I feel like I’m repeating myself when I crosspost. But then again, Knotty Strings is more of a family journal, and it deserves its share of “day in the life” and “at this moment” snapshots. So I’m going to try not to be so self-conscious about repeating myself, or to get too picky about where I post what. They are both my blogs and I love them equally. One just needs a lot more attention than the other. And let’s hope that other one doesn’t mind getting the xeroxed version of life every now and then.
Oliver likes to talk in his robot voice. His brother must compete. They have robot-talking wars, which contain more explosive laughter and fewer actual explosions than real wars.
And if one starts laughing, the other laughs harder. No need to have any idea what the laughing is for. It is contagious. And also it is no fun to be left out of what is clearly the funniest thing since the “bonk!” game took our house by storm 4+ years ago. Whatever that funny thing might be.
The two of them practically go into hysterics over Wacky Wednesday. I mean honestly! A policeman with three legs!? Can you think of anything sillier?
We’ve taken to singing “Joy to the World” a couple of times before bed. But singing a Christmas song in late spring is not nearly silly enough. So we substitute their names for the real words as much as we can.
And also, every song is funnier if Mom sings it “as fast as possible.” Which usually means she messes up. Which only adds to the hilarity.
Through it all, we take a very logical approach to silliness: “Mom, do you know why they made Wacky Wednesday like that?” Simon asks.
“Why?” I answer.
“It’s because they know that little kids like silly things. And I’m a little kid and I like silly things.”
I know, Child. I know. And sometimes I wish I could go back so I can share the joy of the silliness with you. But I am content to watch your joy, and to derive my joy from that.
It was, apparently, 5:53 when the boys first woke up this morning. I heard them come out into the living room, heard Simon read the time off the clock, heard him say it was too early and they needed to go back to bed. And then, mere moments later they were in our room, dressed and letting us know it was 6:21. We were going to be late if we didn’t hurry.
So hurry we did, and 30 minutes later we were out the door and running (literally) to the Brooklyn Half race course, which was just over a mile from our apartment. We arrived at the 1 1/2 mile mark (approximately) just as the fastest runners were getting there and cheered people until we’d seen a couple of our friends run by. Then we ran over to the 5 mile mark (which was only about 1/4 mile from the 1 1/2 mile mark – there was a bit of looping in the first few miles) and cheered some more until we’d seen our friends again. And then we ran across Prospect Park to near the 6 mile mark and cheered again until we’d seen everyone we knew was running. And then we ran to our church and had breakfast.
We ran to the church not to have breakfast, but because today was ward cleaning day. And it was also the ward clothing swap. Which was awesome, as it always is for someone who is the least fashionably dressed person in a very fashionably dressed ward. For someone like me. I got some great things (excuse me – “pieces”) that I can wear now and some that I won’t be able to wear for a few months. I also got some clothes for the baby. When the church was all cleaned and I couldn’t justify going through the tables piled with clothes one more time, we packed up and ran home. We intended to take it easy. The boys (surprise) had fallen asleep in the stroller and we thought they should rest. Especially Oliver who didn’t sleep during his nap yesterday. But then Oliver woke up about two minutes after we put him in his bed, and then we remembered there was an open house at a nearby charter school that we thought we should check out, and then we decided to go for it because, why not?
Turns out we shouldn’t have. It was more trouble than it was worth. We got to the open house at 2:30 and it ended at 3:00. All the “classes” were ending – no more dance, no more drama, no more crafts, no more music – and all that was left was the playground and the guy tying balloon flowers. Simon nearly cried about there not being any more classes (twice), so we were happy at least there was the balloon man to save the experience. But after he’d run around the playground a couple of times, we got in line for a balloon flower only to hear that the girl in front of him was the last child in line. The balloon man was done after she got her balloon. I’d already decided that even if the school were in our district, I was not impressed by it. The fact that the balloon man wasn’t going to give my child a balloon just made me regret the decision to even see if I would be impressed by the school. And the fact that my child did stick around long enough to get a balloon anyway didn’t change that.
We walked home from the open house tired. At least Micah and I were. The boys were fine. So Micah took a nap and I cleaned the bathroom. And turned into a witch that snappily told the little children to get out of the bathroom every few minutes because I was cleaning it. Once the grout had been scrubbed back to a passable shade of white, and once Micah was awake, we decided we should probably do the laundry and feed our children. So Micah did the laundry and I got dinner ready. And then Micah bathed the children while I did the dishes. And then I read stories while Micah ran errands. And then I cuddled with the boys while Micah did some work. And then I made granola while Micah did some more work. And now I’m blogging while Micah works. And we’re both ignoring the pile of laundry that needs to be folded before we go to bed.
And that is what Saturdays are like at our house.
We’ve had a lot of talk (and prayers) about school these days. Mostly on Simon’s behalf. But Oliver wants in on the action too. All week he’s been praying that he’ll go to preschool. And today Micah asked him why.
“Is that your son out there?”
“Yeah, he’s mine!”
“He’s a good dancer!”
“I’ve never seen this side of him before. But it’s pretty awesome, huh?”
Simon rocked our world Saturday night at a wedding reception we went to. He’s been holding out on us. We didn’t know he liked to dance. Or maybe he didn’t know, either. I don’t know where he learned these brake dancing moves, but he was not shy about showing them off. And teaching them to his brother. Micah and I could only stand and stare in awe (and pull out our phones to record it for posterity). We have to take into account, however, that he was totally pumped up on wedding cake, that it was 2 hours past his bedtime, and that he’d also been to a super-fun birthday party earlier in the day. The kid was unstoppable.
And for most of the way home he couldn’t stop talking about how much he likes to dance, and how fun it was to meet a new friend, and what a shame it was that we don’t know her name or her phone number or her address or who her parents are, but how he was really happy to make a new friend and how he really wants to go to more dance parties.
Count me in, Dude. I’m game.
*Okay, I’m trying to embed the video, but failing. So here’s a link to it instead: Bustin’ a move. (Okay, so maybe it did work? But now you have a link and an embedded video. Lucky you.)
This week we made up for lost time. We climbed trees, made traffic jams, left it all out on the dance floor, rode bikes, picked up a fun new project off the side of the road (the desk Simon is sitting in), got serious about helping out around the house, and made some lovely cards for the lady of the house (that would be me).
We also let the boys stay up way too late two nights in a row, “let” Simon walk 7 miles over two days (we covered about 15 miles ourselves, some running, some walking), and generally made sure we’d be thoroughly incapacitated for the rainy days that are forecasted for this week. But it was warm and sunny this weekend and we soaked in every possible second of it.