Mornings have been busy and good the last two days. Afternoons have not. Casey is using up all my patience and then some. She is continually hitting Jack or pushing him or touching him when he doesn’t want to be touched. She goes to time out, she gets toys taken away and none of it seems to matter. I don’t think she’s being malicious at all…she just thinks it’s a fun way to play. It doesn’t matter if I’m sitting here right beside her, she reaches her arm out and bops Jack on the head or swats him on the back. I’m hoping it’s just a phase that will pass like all the other ones, but it is really wearing me down lately. I’m also wondering about some type of force field that can be put up around her and prevents her from touching Jack.
Jack: What is that?
Me: It’s a…RV…a Winnebago…a motor home. You can go on trips and live in it.
Jack: We should do that next time.
Me: That would be nice on our trip to Maine. (I’m visualizing myself driving a huge RV with Jack, Casey and Tugger wandering around in the back, bouncing off the walls as I hit bumps and swerve to avoid things.)
Jack: Yeah, can we get one?
Me: No, it costs a lot of money to buy one.
Jack: Hmmm…where can we get a lot of money?
(Pause. I can’t wait to hear what he comes up with.)
Jack: I know! We can get it out of my piggy bank in my playroom.
He was so proud of himself for solving that problem. Then I told him he would probably need to fill the whole playroom with pennies and quarters to be able to buy an RV.
Jack: There’s my new school Mommy.
Me: Yes, you’ll start there after the summer.
Jack: Are you going to work after you’re done taking care of us?
Me: When am I going to be done taking care of you?
Jack: Ummm…I think eighteen.
Me: What should I do for work?
Jack: Well, Daddy is smarter than you. Maybe Daddy can take care of us and then you can work when you’re done taking care of us.
Me: Okay, just let me know when I’m done.
Jack has been enjoying everything related to being outside every since the weather got warm. The Legos have been tossed aside, the cars sit in their bin (until Casey tosses them around the room for fun) and Candyland is taking a little break.
We’ve been spending hours outside and Jack makes his way through every toy in the garage and then every toy in the backyard. We play baseball…sometimes Jack hits, sometimes he’s the pitcher. He rides his tricycle up and down the driveway. He rides his scooter up and down the driveway. He pushes strollers around. He gets the hockey net out and plays hockey. Then it’s on to the bubbles and the sidewalk chalk. There’s also the little playhouse outside and Jack and Casey climb in and out the doors and windows.
But Jack’s true love (right now) is golf. In the last month or two, Pat finally convinced him to place his hands correctly on the club and he’s been pretty serious about his golf since then. And Pat likes it even more that Jack is so into it. They’ve got a big net set up in the backyard so they can practice without driving balls into neighbors’ houses or the woods. They’ve gone out to the golf course and played nine holes a few times and they’ve gone to the driving range.
Jack practices his golf in the driveway, in the grass, in the mulch and even a couple of times out of the sandbox. He says, “Mommy, I’m trying to hit the ball and Casey is talking. She’s not supposed to talk when I’m hitting the ball.” I told him we have to modify the golf rules he is learning when we are home and that Casey isn’t quite old enough to understand that rule.
He says, “Mommy, I’m just going to practice my chipping now and then I’m going to practice my putting.” And he really know the difference. It’s amazing what he has learned in the last couple months. He is happy every time he hits the ball no matter where it goes. He told Pat last week, “I like the sound it makes when the ball goes in the hole.”
I was just trying to think what he plays with when we are inside and then I remembered all the little pieces of construction paper that are all over the house. He loves to cut things up with the scissors. His specialty is making hearts, but he is happy to just cut it into little pieces and give them away to anyone who will take them. Or to put them in an envelope and ask me to address it to the grandparents. Or to spread them over the floor. And then to cry when I vaccuum some tiny shred up from the floor. He also likes other office supplies like the pencil sharpener and the stapler and the hole puncher. He’s on a quest to sharpen all the colored pencils in this house so that they’re weapons-grade sharp.
Sometimes there are whole cupboards of toys in this house that sit untouched for months, while other toys get used over and over again. Usually just when I think that Jack and Casey aren’t going to play with something and I’m ready to put it in our toy graveyard, it becomes their favorite toy for a while. It’s always interesting to see what they’re playing with at any given time. Since I’m trying to “capture the days” here, I thought I’d try to write once a month about what toys are currently the “in” toys.
For Casey, it’s her big bin of dolls and accessories. She has about 4 or 5 dolls with bathtubs and bath accessories, as well as about 8 pairs of princess heels, some tutus and other girlie stuff in one bin. It’s been sitting in the cupboard since Christmas but apparently April is the month to be playing with it all. It’s so cute watching her play with her dolls and taking care of them. Sometimes they nap, sometimes they get baths and sometimes they go in the “car cart” to the store. (She calls her shopping cart and all shopping carts at stores “car carts.”) She has a couple of bags and she fills them them up with all her doll bathtub accessories and carries it around with her. Sometimes she shoves her “babies” into the bag too.
There is one specific pair of shoes that are Casey’s favorites. She got them for her birthday and they have one of the Disney princesses on them. She has been wearing them everywhere…she plays in them like they are sneakers while she’s out riding her bike, clip clopping down the driveway.
Casey also has a favorite doll and I think her name is Grace or Sarah, but mostly we just call her Baby. She asked me where Baby was a few days ago and I said I didn’t know. She said, “out there” and pointed outside at the sandbox. I told her I didn’t think baby was in the sandbox. Sure enough, a couple days later, she said it again – “Baby’s in there” and we opened up the sand box to find her, not too worse the wear for a few nights in a sand box. I think she may also have spent the night out on the lawn and gotten a little shower a few days ago too.
On Monday we went to the “Elmo Store” also known as “Tar-jay” or plain old Target to most people. Jack and Casey like to walk down the aisles and look at all the toys. I told them we weren’t buying any toys and we did pretty well sticking to that plan. Then Casey spotted a princess lunch box and I’m pretty sure she wasn’t leaving the store without it. I tried to get her to put it back once, but then I gave in. I thought it was too cute how much she loved it on first sight despite the fact that she didn’t really know what it was for. She just loved carrying that princess bag around and was so proud of it. On the way home from the store, she sang, “Bag, bag, bag, bag…” causing Jack to complain that she was too loud and he couldn’t hear his movie. Since then, she’s been able to fit Baby, Barbie, a book and her purple ball in her bag and carry them around wherever she goes. (Barbie is just another baby to her and I think that’s pretty funny too.) The bag is also useful for bopping Jack on the head, another enjoyable pastime for Casey right now.
So Casey’s been getting all girly in the month of April and it’s fascinating to watch her imagination start to work. She’s also in a bit of a hitting phase…it’s so much fun to hit Jack with her hands, feet, lunch box, golf clubs, hockey sticks, or anything else she can get her hands on. And she’s already figured out that the best time to do it is when I am doing something else and not there to stop her. Hopefully we’ll get that out of her system soon and it won’t be something I need to write too much about in future months.
There was a moment on Sunday morning where I just started laughing at what had just been said and done.
I was trying to clean some spots off the cabinets and was using some spray to clean them. Once Jack caught sight of the spray he wanted to be my helper and do all the spraying. I really didn’t have a lot I wanted to clean, but we moved on to a few different surfaces so he could do some spraying. (I’m pretty sure I am still trying to clean little drops of milk off of various surfaces in the kitchen from the days when Casey would toss her bottle off the high chair and splatter milk everywhere.)
After I told Jack that we were all done with the spray, he asked, “Can we do the windows now? I really want to clean the windows.” And I said no. What child asks his mother to clean the windows only to have the mother say no? He asked multiple times and I finally ended up raising my voice to emphasize the answer of “No!”
My raised voice drew Pat into the kitchen and he decided to distract the kids with some cotton candy leftover from the hockey game. “Who wants cotton candy?” was quickly followed by choruses of “I do! I do!” They jumped in their chairs and Pat split it up. Jack had no problem inhaling most of his. But Casey thought she had been tricked. She kept saying she wanted “CANDY!” which was obviously not that pink stuff on the table. We tried to convince her that it was the candy and told her how good it was.
Pat decided if she tasted it, she would see what she was missing. So he tried to force feed her cotton candy. She still wanted nothing to do with it…wouldn’t even let it touch her lips.
And that was the point where I just laughed. We became parents who won’t let our kids clean the windows and will then force feed them cotton candy. Stay tuned for the week where we don’t let them take baths and only feed them ice cream for meals.
On Friday night, Jack went to a Norfolk Admirals hockey game with Pat. It was stick night so Jack was excited about getting a hockey stick. When they came into the house, Jack was very excited to show me his tee. “A tee? Where’s your hockey stick?”, I asked.
He said, “They ran out of them so I didn’t get one.” And he said it so bravely but as he finished talking he just looked at me and broke down crying. It was like he’d been holding it all in and trying to be a big boy about the fact that he didn’t get the hockey stick but when he finally got home to his mommy, he let it all out.
It broke my heart. And I just started crying with him. Pat came in and couldn’t figure out why I was crying. I just felt so sad for my little 3 year old boy, who only wanted the promised free hockey stick.
A couple minutes later, he was fine but I’ll never forget how disappointed and sad he looked and feeling his little body shake as I held him while he cried.
It may have been a little overemotional on both our parts, as I was watching a sad movie before he came in and he was definitely overtired. But the people who didn’t order enough hockey sticks so my little boy could get one should be ashamed!