We’ve been getting a kick out of these 4 seconds of life these days. I don’t think we can watch it enough. She’s such a crazy little monkey doll. Still a little shy about saying her name, though she does attempt it when asked. This is by far her clearest, loudest effort.
Gah! I die.
If we even look like we are going to open the door, Elsa runs toward it. If we don’t pin her down, she’ll walk all the way around the block. She’ll climb to the top of the stairs in our building (4 floors) if we let her. In fact, she’ll climb on couches, boxes, and most recently, the ladder up the boys bunk bed. Thankfully she’s only made it to the 2nd rung before she decides to climb through and land on the mattress rather than continue up.
She runs around with the boys like it’s no big thing and has no qualms about embedding her fingers in their hair. They are none to fond of that, though they still love chase her and tackle her and let her into the club.
She learned to push her table-mounted chair off of the table last week, which led to Micah doing some impromptu surgery on the table to keep it from happening again.
And the books! Oh the books. The poor, poor books. It looks like we’re going to have to steer clear of the library for a few months. We came home with a stack last week and before the next morning I already had three that needed to be taped back together. Our own book collection is suffering a similar fate. Shreds everywhere. It’s a messy, messy business.
I don’t know why this is all so surprising to me. Because she’s barely one? Because she’s a girl? Because I seem to have completely blanked this stage when the boys went through it? I don’t know. But let’s just say this girl is keeping us on our toes. It’s pretty exhausting to keep her safe and out of trouble.
On the other hand, it’s also so, so fun. I remember it being really fast that Oliver was able to play with Simon, and it seems even faster that it’s happened with Elsa. And now that she’s there, I’m hoping we can make it to her next birthday without any serious injury.
Simon is determined that his little brother is going to learn to ride a pedal bike.
A couple of weeks ago he insisted that we get out his old pedal bike so Oliver could get started on learning. And after several days of him practically begging, I did get the bike out and reassemble it.
And then Simon insisted that we actually take it outside so that Oliver could practice. For FHE that night, that is exactly what we did. Micah wrangled Elsa, Simon cruised around on his bike, and Oliver and I struggled to get some momentum.
That was a couple of weeks ago, and this week Simon has become more and more frustrated that we haven’t given Oliver enough time to practice. (“He’s never going to learn how to do it if he doesn’t have a chance to practice!”) So this morning I took him out again while Elsa napped. (It’s absolutely impossible to be outside with her and do anything but follow her around to make sure she doesn’t wander off or put the entire city into her mouth.)
Oliver’s balance is great. He can pedal, slowly, but he loses focus easily. And by the time we had been up and down the block twice – with me hunched over saying “Pedal pedal pedal pedal pedal pedal,” we were a little tired and thirsty.
As we were going in, I turned to Oliver, “Do you even want to learn to ride a pedal bike?”
Oh. Okay. So maybe we were a bit premature. And maybe I’ll have to explain to Simon even more than I already have that Oliver may just not be ready for it.
Having said that, I think he could do it. And although I’ve been somewhat against training wheels, I’m tempted to put them on the bike anyway, even though his balance is fine, just so he can see more clearly the connection between pedaling the bike and movement. It seems like it might be a worthwhile connection to make.
It’s been 6 years and we’re still here. For some reason every year that we’re able to stay in Brooklyn feels like a victory. Like we’re beating the odds. Like someone or something is trying to smoke us out.
Of course, that isn’t true. If we wanted to leave, we could. If we wanted to stay forever we could make up our minds to do that and make it happen.
But we’re in that in-between place. We love it here. We love the time that we’ve had here and all that we’re able to do and all that we’ve learned. Still, we’ve never thought we’d stay forever. Someday, we thought, we would want a yard and more space and even a house. As of right now, however, that is still a somewhat hazy vision. We don’t know where we would want to go. We don’t know what would persuade us that city life is worth leaving. It’s all so nebulous.
Part of me thinks that maybe we will just end up living here forever simply because we’ll never make up our minds to leave. And the other part imagines that tomorrow something could happen and we’d have a month to pack up all our belongings and re-settle.
So maybe that’s why every day of certainty, every day that we are able to wake up and say, “This is our home,” feels like a success. And it makes me want to dig in a little deeper just to have that security.