Friday, May 30, 2008

Knowing what's important

On Wednesday night, the kids rode their bikes down to the train bridge after dinner. As Chava and I were coming up the hill toward home, we passed a man and a woman who, by the look of their ravaged faces, were likely alcoholics or drug addicts. The woman looked like she might be missing her teeth; her mouth had that collapsed, unhappy look to it. As they walked past, Chava asked me, "Why that lady so sad, Mama?" I told her I didn't know why she was sad. Chavie thought about it a minute and said, "Her t.v. broke, Mama?" I'm glad she still thinks that would be about the saddest thing imaginable.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Grumpaw's New Boat

We (minus Al) had a great time on Dad's boat on Saturday last. Chava was a holy terror after keeping everyone up in Scituate past midnight the night before, but as soon as she saw her brother get butt nekkid for a dip, her mood turned right around. Maddox was unusually fearless and has made me promise that next time I will go in so I can catch him as he jumps. I haven't told him yet that I won't be going in the water until August.

Eli and Vernie show us around.

Maddox at the helm.

Chava was the first official boat napper.

A good look - if you're 4.


The kids (and one overgrown kid) warm up after their swim by watching a video. I told Dad his boat is nicer than my house. So I'm moving in.


Those are Noah's feet. He was most disappointed that our camera doesn't respond fast enough to get him mid-flight as he jumped off the lido deck in to the water.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Nature vs. nurture, take 2

On Saturday, Maddox caught Al swigging cider straight out of the container (nasty habit, I would never do that). So, naturally, he asked if he could drink some that way, too - Al was only too happy to aid and abet in this important rite of passage:

Of course, Chava came over to see what all the action was (that child is SERIOUS about being in the center of everything). No matter what he tried, Al just could not convince her that chugging right out of the container was of any interest, at all.

The good news is that I don't drink cider, so only Al will get to enjoy the special backwash left by a 4 year old chugger.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I can't talk about what comes out of Maddox's butt

It's going better, but I don't want to jinx it.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

I was dying of poop. I'm better, but might die again.

I would guess that most parents like to imagine what their kids will grow up to be. Funny, I never really asked my mom what I was like as a kid - I know what kind of hair I had, and I remember that I liked Art better than Gym, but it would be interesting to know what she and my dad thought of me when I was too young to think of myself.

I can tell you what I think of my kids. I think Chava is going to be the kind of kid who is friends with everyone, who is totally undaunted by social cliques and the horrible discrimination I see going on in Maddox's class already. Then she's going to grow in to the kind of kid who is always up to something ("C'mon, guys, let's all show up for second grade on Tuesday with NO PANTS! It will be awesome!") but the teachers will continue to like her anyway because she's smart and really good intentioned underneath it all. Al and I have already talked about the parties she is likely to have in high school and beyond, and our need to lock up the liquor.

Maddox, I'm not so sure. I think Maddox is smart, and he has a great imagination and likes to get kids rallied around him to play some pretty complicated, made-up games (the last one involved the playground structure at school turning in to the inside of Doctor Dangerous' body, with the slide being his mouth so he could barf the kids right out). But he worries. And he gets upset easily. And he would be wayyyyy too nervous about what would happen to let his sister host a kegger at our house (maybe that's how nature takes care of us - partners siblings with such different personalities so that we minimize the amount of vomit we have to clean out of our couches).

The last two weeks have been draining. Maddox agreed that he would give up diapers and so we have spent countless hours trying to get the poop out. He begged for diapers. He held it in. And then he held it in some more. And then his belly hurt, and he still held it in. My days consisted of going to work, picking up the kids, spending time in the bathroom while Maddox screamed and cried, and washing skid marks out of underwear. I will save you from any more details. He finally went last night (after 10 days!!!) but I fear we are not quite back to the place where we can do things in the evening like, oh, maybe talk to one another.

So, what kind of kid is Maddox? He is a wonderful, loving, funny, charming, creative kid. He's a vigilent kid. He's a planner, and a thinker. And he's anally retentive. I'm not sure what that means for the years to come.