Daily Archives: December 6, 2014

Day 55: Boy gets the camera

All of the photos below were taken by Boy. Today was pretty uneventful, as we only have a couple of days before the whirlwind of The Nutcracker, and Girl has a cold. It was supposed to start raining this afternoon, so earlier in the day I wanted to get some raking done and get the leaves out of the gutter in the back.

But during that time, Boy got hold of the camera, and took a bunch of pictures of me raking leaves, playing with the dog, in quick succession, because he wants to make some stop animation movies with the older neighborhood boy who came over the other day.

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Such a movie is potentially hilarious (imagine from the perspective of an eight year old boy, a movie of his mom bustling around, doing whatever it is on earth that she does). He also took pictures of Girl and I watching some birds, of Girl talking, of me talking. And some pictures of kind of random things, from his own perspective.

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Our sidewalk, our street

The kids also collected pinecones and acorns from our yard to bring to the rescue squirrel trio we are (hopefully) visiting on Monday. We thought it might be helpful to familiarize them with some of the things they’ll be eating in the future, when we bring them to our yard in the spring.

Girl, squirrel-food collecting
Girl, squirrel-food collecting

But when it started raining, we all headed inside for the rest of the afternoon and evening. By this time, Girl’s temperature was running pretty high, so I tried to get her to rest while Boy played Minecraft. He and his neighborhood friend had made ships the other day (and then blown them up), but today Boy tried to make a ship like his friend’s with masts and billowing white sails. I can tell he likes this kid a lot.

And he doesn’t talk about it, but I can tell he’s anxious about The Nutcracker this week. I just hope it goes smoothly, and I look forward to a sunnier (and proud!) boy afterwards. It’s a pretty cool thing to be on a big stage in front of a few hundred people with professional dancers.

Tomorrow: Christmas tree.

Day 54: Building and baking with mom

Last night Boy told me really earnestly that he wanted me to build Legos with him. Something that I haven’t done in…years, actually. He said he wanted to make a museum building that he’d been thinking about, but he wanted me to make the things to go inside the museum.

So this morning, first thing, after a light breakfast of toast for the kids and coffee for me, I sat down on Boy’s floor amidst the Lego drawers and built with him for over an hour.

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The museum (white building) has displays inside, and the cafe (brown and tan building) has tables, chairs, and a cash register. After we built for a while, Boy continued working while Girl and I went and made pancakes for second breakfast. And after that we all took the dog outside.

I said that I wanted to build a fairy house, but they were free to join me. And they did. (They said I was being a little bossy, and I reminded them that it was my fairy house, but I really appreciated their help.) Of course, I really am hoping that they learned enough and liked it enough to want to start building their OWN fairy houses, without my bossiness.

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The fairy house even includes separate men’s and ladies’ room, outside the eating and sleeping area.

Men's bath and toilet (with leaf toilet paper).
Men’s bath and toilet (with leaf toilet paper).
Ladies' bath and toilet.
Ladies’ bath and toilet, with pinecone backrest for comfort of use.

When we were done, we came inside, had lunch, and added gardens to our museum compound.

Front view of museum, cafe, and gardens.
Front view of museum, cafe, and gardens.
Rear view of museum, cafe, and gardens.
Rear view of museum, cafe, and gardens.

And after all that, Boy wanted to make cookies, so we did that, too. Boy read the recipe, but I had to help with some of the mixing because their little arms aren’t strong enough to deal with butter and sugar as wet ingredients. Boy put the pan in the oven by himself for the first time, and transferred the cookies from the hot sheet to the cooling rack. I made dinner; Papa came home.

(I’ve been reading about meltdowns; what they mean, how to handle them. One hypothesis is that they can signal big fears, and that empathy and inviting the child to express and talk about what they are afraid of will help, though in the short term the meltdowns can become worse. So I’m trying out that approach with some surprising results. More about that another day, though, I think.)

At the end of the day I had a wonderful birthday present: my neighbor-friend treated me to a Mom’s night out with co-op ladies (they meet once a month but I can rarely go). It was so much fun, and the food and my drink were so good. It’s always nice to go out with friends, but this was a particularly welcome outing.