During the school year, I work five half-days, coming in late because I drop the boys off at school. During the summer I work 2 full days and one half-day. For one month I’ve been half an hour late every day and didn’t know it, because I forgot that the office opens at 8:00, not 8:30. I did wonder why my paycheck was a little short, but I never wondered why nobody arrived at the same time as me, and they were all quietly working by the time I got there. I am completely my father’s daughter. (My Daddy used to drive to work, then forgot that he had driven, and just walk home.)
I was trying to give Roman a piano lesson and Julian was hovering, trying to play the piano too. I told him to go read a book or do something on his own. He got a banana and started eating it near Roman, who got annoyed because he could smell banana while he was trying to play the piano. I reminded Julian that when his Kindergarten teacher was working with a student, the others would do their own work, not eat bananas too close to each other’s faces. He laughed. Finally I had to send him away, into the garage with Rick. Apparently that broke his little heart, which I never meant to do, so Rick spent time with him, drawing a big picture of him. But he didn’t learn his lesson because later, I had to tell him again that it wasn’t his lesson, and to go read a book to himself. So he picked up a book, sat on the couch, and began reading loudly to himself: “Julian,” then proceeded to read the book out loud. Aargh! He can’t stop pushing buttons! And I can’t stop laughing when he does! But really Roman has a right to his lesson. Julian’s not the only one. So he’s going to have to learn.
Julian’s Baseball Game
Julian hit the ball twice. But he got tagged out because he decided to skip to the next base instead of running. And one time he was standing on first base with his fingers in his ears, staring into space, instead of paying attention. Then on second base he found himself with one of the boys from tae kwon do, and they were having a little conversation. I think Julian plays baseball mainly for the snack 🙂
Ten Copies of Roman
Earlier this month, Roman was pretending to have 10 copies of himself, so everything he said, he said ten times.
My body is experiencing medication withdrawal and good God it’s horrible! I know from experience that I will make it through, but the knowing isn’t helping right now. Then Julian’s baseball coach used this as his e-mail signature: 2 Corinthians 12:9 – “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Then someone brought up the same verse at work today. This has really spoken to me lately and I thought I’d pass it on!
Julian’s teachers are telling me he’s really coming out of his shell, making close new friends, participating more. Great! It only took nine months! I heard the same story last year in preschool, around April. He got a pretty strong dose of the “slow to warm up” gene. I remember how overwhelming a room full of kids was in Kindergarten. Even today, a loud, crowded room feels like an explosion to me. It takes a while to gather my wits and relax. I’m just happy we’re not a military or missionary family, moving to a new place just when the kids have made friends. That’s hard on most people, but especially hard on the more cautious types.
Rick and I have been noticing an unpleasant odor in our house lately. So this weekend we determined to find it. We washed the slipcovers, throw pillows, basket liners, and curtains; scrubbed a wall; vacuumed and mopped under the furniture and appliances; emptied two closets; and cut the fabric off the bottom of the couch to look for dead mice. Finally after several hours, I lifted a cushion off the desk chair and found the culprit: a purple, glittery, hard-boiled Easter egg that someone had sat on, with maggots in it. I’m relieved we got rid of the smell before Julian’s birthday party this weekend, and I’m happy we can stop that senseless cleaning now.
We’re almost two weeks into summer break. This afternoon I have almost three hours of quiet time because the boys are going to art camp at Noah’s Art. Roman has been so excited. He said, “I can’t wait to go to Noah’s Art! Last year it was so much fun!” When I have a quiet house I like to blog or journal. It helps clear my head and relaxes me. I’ve been keeping a journal on and off since I was a little girl. Every once in a while I like to look through the old ones. The funniest to look back on is about how mad I was at my parents for not allowing me to watch Three’s Company. I imagine these blog entries will be fun to look back on someday too.
So here’s how our summer has been so far:
We started our break with a trip to Texas to visit Grandma and Grandpa VanFleet. It’s hot where they live, and no shade trees for relief, so we stay in the air-conditioning a lot. They have a nice, comfortable house, where I’m not even invited to wash dishes, so I look at it as a little holiday retreat. I read a lot and go for long walks in the country in the morning or evening when it’s not as hot. Roman and Julian play a lot; their favorite time is when their cousin Jack comes over. This year our boys met two new cousins, girls about their age. After their visit Roman said, “That was super-duper fun!” He gets silly when he meets new people he likes, especially girls. Roman has been into Yu Gi Oh lately. He tried to teach me and Rick to play it, but we didn’t understand! I printed the rules off the internet, watched an instructional video that he wanted me to watch, all to no avail. I didn’t get it, and neither did Grandma. Maybe you have to be eight to get Yu Gi Oh.
We went shopping on Memorial Day. We went to the Container Store and Home Goods, two stores we don’t have here. I was having a lot of fun, but we got hungry so we had lunch at Steak n Shake. Steak n Shake tastes great but it gives Roman a stomachache. He always orders a milk shake, downs it, and groans in pain for a long time afterward. This time after complaining about his stomachache he said, “You don’t care about me! You just want to shop!” He waited outside of Michael’s for us to finish shopping, laying on his Daddy’s lap. So we had to cut our shopping trip short.
On the drive to Texas and back they were so good! They played their video games, and when they tired of that, they played with their stuffed animals together. Much of the way we listened to “Annoying Stories” on CD. The stories are aptly named. They’re funny, but they are annoying. So of course, they loved it.
Their new craze now that we are home is Skylanders, the video game. Julian is a rich little boy with his birthday money, so he purchased the game and they played for hours this past weekend. But it’s hard to play without all the characters, which you cannot unlock like you can in other games. No, these you have to buy at $9 each. So a $60 game ends up costing $380 by the time you buy all the characters. Grr. Today they played with their neighbor friends. They played on the trampoline, rode bikes, played inside, even had a water balloon fight, until they finally wore me down and got permission to play Skylanders.
They’ve also been playing Poker a lot, taught to them by their Daddy.
One day I came home from work and found that Julian could ride his bike without training wheels! Rick had taken the boys to the park to ride bikes and Julian learned that afternoon.
And finally, the piano. Julian is obsessed with playing the piano. He practices in short bursts all the time. He has blown through most of the beginner’s piano book I bought. Soon he’ll need a new one. That kid learns fast. He always amazes me. But sometimes I think he pushes himself too hard. He’s very persistent, practicing through his tears, until he can play it right. When he was learning to skate, it was the same thing. Every time he fell, he’d be in tears, but he would insist on getting back up and skating again until he could do it. He loves the piano practice chart I made him, because he gets a cute ink stamp in his color of choice, every day he practices. Roman really wanted to learn to play the violin, but I can’t teach him that. So I told him that if he practiced the piano and proved himself responsible, he could take violin lessons in the fall. Roman is quite the opposite of Julian when it comes to ambition and persistence. As soon as something is hard or boring, he wants to quit. He requires much more pushing on our part. I can’t wait to see how it goes.
Since the kids are home this summer, finding time to write is a struggle. I know I need to carve out some quiet time when my mind is sharp, but part of me just wants to enjoy my family while I can.