Tuesday, October 29, 2013

What We Learned: 36 Months

We have known that Bennett was a miracle from the first fleck of a heartbeat we saw on an ultrasound. When we met that slimey, screaming, hairy newborn we knew he was a miracle. When we dedicated our wide-eyed baby we knew he was a miracle. When he finally crawled, finally walked, finally talked, we knew he was a miracle. On his third birthday, the knowledge of what a pure, sweet, amazing miracle our child proves to be day in and day out is still a surprise, still a miracle. Getting to witness this child grow and become his own little person has been such a delightful journey. Three years later I am proud to say I am not taking that for granted.

Bennett learned that you can celebrate birthdays for days.

We learned that one celebration calls for pancakes, one for doughnuts, and one for cake.

Bennett learned that he is three years old.

We learned that sometimes he's two and sometimes he's five and to just nod and go with it.

Bennett learned that bats are interesting, witches are scary, and mom is a princess.

We learned that it's normal to come home and find a nekkid little kid coloring, fighting snakes or playing trains.

Bennett learned to master the juice box.

We learned that everything is still splattered with milk and shoulders are covered in drool.

Bennett learned how to drive a truck, buckle in a baby dinosaur, and load the truck.

We learned this is the age of exploding imaginations.

Bennett learned that instruction manuals, calendars and coloring books tell the best stories.

Bennett learned to have opinions on jackets, underwear, socks and footwear.

We learned that our kid has some mad fashion skills, when he chooses to put pants on that is.

Monday, October 28, 2013

A Party!

Saturday we celebrated B's birthday with his first kiddy party. We have had a little shindig for the mister every year, but after far too many invites to classmates' parties, I didn't think I could avoid it any longer. When Bennett woke up on the wrong side of the bed Saturday morning, I wish I had.

I once worked with a woman who only had horrible things to say about her kid. Her daughter misbehaved, stole and lied. The kid was three. I felt bad for the mother, but worse for the kid. Then Saturday, at my son's third birthday, I was making jokes about his awful behavior. He was telling me he didn't want to have a party. He didn't want his friends to come and he was going to throw them and their presents in the water. Yikes.

Thankfully, when the first of eight children arrived with their parents, my kid was happy, polite and the perfect host.

We were shocked when Bennett said he didn't want a cake at his party, but would prefer doughnuts. Alrighty, works for me.

The rest of the day was just as successful, the scavenger hunt to fill the tool boxes, decorating the hard hats, the menu, the friends. Sure, the present opening was a hot mess, but with eight toddlers we should have expected nothing less.
But it was fun! My kid was thrilled. Everyone seemed happy they came.

I convinced my husband to help me assemble tool boxes from woodworking kits. I sent him outside in the cold to drill holes in construction cones. He went on a wild goose chase to pick up the balloons and we both stayed up late cooking and cleaning. I understand a little better why parties are at the park, Germy Cheese and anywhere but home. I also understand a little better just how much I was asking of my own parents when they wrote murder mysteries, baked my cake and hosted dozens of sleepovers. I also understand just how much your barnacles deserve to be celebrated, wood glue, construction sets and all.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Playing Hooky

Bennett attends a Montessori school full-time. It's one of those situations where the teachers and staff treat it like a fancy preparatory academy and the parents operate like it's a daycare and disregard rules about snotty noses (I'm a primary offender) and wish they were open past rush hour and on the weekends (only sometimes). Because of this confusion, we parents are faced with quarterly parent-teacher conferences and the corresponding school closings (this is only slightly less annoying than closures for "summer vacation" and "fall break"). We send our kids (with green noses) to school 40 hours a week because we work 40 hours a week and would much prefer daily texts and notes home than wrangling back-up child care or sacrificing our precious vacation days for said parent-teacher conferences.

The inevitable happens and yet another school closure sneaks up and you and you gripe and moan. But then you don't have to wake up and shower and you can enjoy your leisurely cup of coffee while you kiss your husband goodbye and you kick up your heels. Parent-teacher days maybe, perhaps don't suck.

Bennett certainly doesn't think so. When your day begins with the discovery of Lightning McQueen stamps at the post office, it has to be an indicator of a pretty awesome day. From there, we treated ourselves to breakfast smoothies immediately followed by a lollipop at the kiddie hair salon. You would have thought I blew this little kids mind when I took him to the indoor play area at the mall. I'm not sure we will ever take this kid on a legitimate vacation when this is the kind of fun he can find by himself at the freaking mall.

I didn't think this kid even liked to dance, but apparently super-sized faucets bring it out of him.
We had a legitimate errand to run at the mall, but the kid got sidetracked by Build a Bear. The lights! The music! The stuffed my little pony on roller skates! The grown adults that program plastic hearts to contain teddy bear personalities! I knew we were a goner when he saw the play bath tub where he got to brush his new best friend's fur.
Not sure if he's concerned or concentrating.
But to this little kid, the supreme ultimate was the packaging. His new friend got a house! That we had to carry around the rest of the day! All future purchases had to go to the house! (We have not seen the new best friend since he can't come out of said house.) Next time, we're buying the cheapest creation there, going straight for the bathtub and departing with the house.
The spoiling only continued from there, grilled cheese and chocolate milk for lunch. A visit to the toy store for a "I'm sorry I made you get a flu shot on the best day ever" toy train. And as if mom hadn't spoiled this kid silly enough for one day, she taught him about licking batter off the beater. 

I'm going to have to negotiate for more days off because we can't wait until the next parent-teacher conference. For the record, his teachers told us he is smart, attentive and not the least bit spoiled. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

2013 Is Not the Year of the Blog

So, in response to my lack of posts, I am going to fill you in with some pictures from my absence. In summary, my kid is still cute.

Master Cupcake Eater
Not embarrassed of his mom quite yet
Driver on the right side of the car, barn in the passenger's seat and cute kid relegated to the back.
Staying in the lines. 
Time for a haircut.
And a live action feed:

Pantless Joe Jackson

Dinosaurs on their 225 millionth birthday