This phase of my life is awesome. There are days when I want to freeze time and keep my children to myself forever. I suppose that recording (in an unfortunate amount of detail) their idiosyncrasies is the next best thing.
Saturday morning, we made our way to the zoo. The Blaser family was kind enough to chauffeur our entire family. With five young children, Michelle and I often joke that our quality 'hang out' time occurs when driving together or as we talk on the phone when our kids are sleeping.
While on a play-date, conversations are frequently interrupted as we referee our feuding three year olds (Talon & Eliza), console an upset toddler after a spill on the playground (Colby & Henry) or soothe to sleep sweet baby, Nate. We love our jobs but are easily distracted from our train of thought.
You can understand why I look forward to the outings where a friend and I can travel in the same vehicle. Considering that our children generally behave well (or sleep) while we travel, we have the opportunity to have a meaningful conversation. We discuss our childhoods, dating histories, our husband's career plans, dream vacation spots and the latest episode of The Bachelorette without interruption.
Recently we discovered that if we both hit Sonic for slushies and drinks after story time, we can roll down our respective car windows and chit-chat while our kids stay occupied with their slush. To lead a productive social life as a Mother, creativity is required.
Returning to our weekend recap, I'd say that our trip to the zoo was a success. It was great having Andrew with us. That extra pair of adult eyes made things easier, not to mention, he could ensure the well being of our kids as I soaked in time with Nate! Henry gave us a surprise when he climbed the steep stairs to reach the slide on his own accord. Andrew was there to assist him down the slide until they both felt brave enough to let him go at it on his own.
With doting Grandparents, every "first" is worth documenting. Right?
Henry's vocabulary is flourishing. Of course, his words are modified in a way that most people would have to second guess what he's attempting to say. He frequently says: ball, uh-oh, bye-bye, thank you, mine, dog, dot, choo-choo, Mama, etc.
He woke us up one night for a late night diaper change. As Andrew placed his little fresh bummy back into his crib, a very sleepy Henry bid Andrew farewell as he whispered in his low voice, "Bye-Bye!"
As for Miss Eliza, she's thrilled to be anywhere that involves children. She's incredibly friendly and is quick to introduce herself to anyone who makes eye contact. Her latest thrill is taking part in all of my telephone conversations. She's very into traffic lights, gender and "Family Prayer Night" (family home evening) .
"Mom! The red lights says STOP!" While eating a meal as a family, she'll insist that we put down our forks as she excuses herself to use the bathroom.
"Red light!" she'll scream. Translation: cease what you're doing this instant! It is not permissible that we continue our meal until she returns from the potty, grabs a handful of sanitizer and yells, "Green light!" - which is our cue that we can return to our dinner.
In terms of her obsession with gender identification, she informs me regularly,
"I'm a girl like you Mom and Henry's a boy like Daddy." Or she'll say, "There are two girls in the car and one boy." However, if she happens to be wearing a Thomas shirt, she likes to pretend that she's a boy, like Thomas. The other day I was trying to get her to try some lasagna.
"Thomas loves to eat lasagna." I lied. "Big girls and Thomas like to try new food."
"No Mom." she said, "Thomas can't eat. Thomas doesn't have any hands." I lost that round.
Her interest seems to be shifting as I watch her nurture her stuffed animals and play pretend with her dolls. This afternoon she spent time with her dress-ups As I look at that picture of 'Princess Eliza' clutching her beloved train, I know that I will forever have a soft spot for that cheeky little engine. Next to her Daddy, he was her first love. Moments later, Henry recovers the discarded train and happily totes him around. It's as if she's subconsciously passing the baton to her younger counter-part.