Turning 3 this week.
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Steven is the most independent kid in the world. I mean that sincerely. He wants help with NOTHING, until it becomes perfectly clear after 3 hours or so that he simply cannot do something by himself (favorite phrase: "I DO IT!").
Walking down the stairs is certainly no exception. Since the ones in my house are hardwood with a ceramic tile landing, however, I'm hesitant to let him go it alone. Especially since he refuses to think the railing might actually help with his stability.
So yesterday morning, I took my usual place in front of Steven going down the stairs, and to my surprise, I hear him say "Mommy, I want to hold your hand." Aww. I gladly obliged.
Then, after a few steps, he says, "Mommy, you are soooo beautiful."
Now, I really don't care if that's something he heard from a movie, or something my daycare provider taught him, or if he actually made the connection between his birthday is coming up and how saying that could have an effect on his loot... It just doesn't matter.
I should've done this kid thing years ago.
So the Indiana State Fair ended yesterday. All I have to say is THANK GOD. I could usually care less...I mean, I like going to the fair and all, if for nothing else but the digustingly yummy food, but the dern Fair Train rumbles right past my neighborhood. And again, I could usually care less, after all, I grew up right next to a train track and used to love hearing the trains roll by. But that was all before I had a (soon-to-be) 3 year old.
Last year, Steven didn't mind the train at all, which thankfully only runs for the week and a half during the fair. Every time the whistle blew, he'd stop whatever he was doing, pop his head up and look at me with a perfectly formed "O" mouth....a la Eddie Murphy in Mr Robinson's neighborhood...and that would be it. But this year was different. If we were outside when that whistle blew, utter panic would ensue. He could not run in the house fast enough, yelling "come on Mommy, come on Mommy!!"...as if the train was going to rumble right up our driveway and mow him down in his tracks.
And it only got worse at night. When Steven heard the whistle, you'd think monsters were crawling out from under his bed and grabbing his ankles. I'd sit with him until the Evil Fair Train "went to bed," and eventually, he'd believe me that it was really done for the night and then could release me to go to bed. I tried everything to convince him that the fair train was a nice train, "like Thomas!", but most people know there is no convincing a toddler of anything rational.
But even more irrational, through all this terror, Steven kept insisting that he wanted to ride on the fair train. He didn't want to see it or hear it, but by gum, he wanted to ride it. So, I thought I'd test him on the last day of the fair. We were going to march up to that station and put his money where his mouth is. I was fully expecting to simply turn around and go home, and he would quit bothering me about wanting to ride the train.
Low and behold, he not only marched right up the stairs of that train (even while the whistle was blowing loud enough to wake up Terre Haute), but he rode on that train like a champ--waving at everything along the way.
I thought, "Hooray! He's over his Fair Train fear! I did it! I'm Supermom!"....but the second we got home from the fair and opened up our car doors, the train was departing from the station and of course blowing its obnoxious whistle, and YEP, Steven was LAUNCHING out of his car seat and into the house, his little legs looking like Road Runner blur, screaming "come on Mommy, come on Mommy!!!"
I'm just going to stop trying to figure it out. Until next year.
Steven and I took our first real vacation together a couple weeks ago. Hotel room and everything. What is it about hotel rooms that make kids think they can stay up 5 hours past their normal bedtime, yet still wake up at the normal time?
I had to take another week off to make up for the week of lost sleep. It was a nice thought, but the clock is still way off for us both. My exhaustion became apparent yesterday.
I went to Menard's to get some odds and ends. Steven just had to get out of the cart because he wanted to flip through the carpet samples. Then he just had to get out to play in the play area. We also picked up a darling little blue metal watering-can because he just had to "water" everything on the bottom shelves along the way to checkout.
Even though the trip took 2 hours longer than it normally would have, I was simply too tired to insist he stay in the cart, and out of the patience required to deal with the inevitable shrieks of torture. As if I kept him in the cart and pulled out his nose hairs one by one just for my enjoyment as I cruised the aisles.
When we finally got up front, I took about 20 seconds to unload my cart. I looked up and he was gone. Completely gone. We were right next to the automatic doors, too.
I've never really known what it feels like to panic. I thought I did, but nope. Nothing close.
After several minutes (minutes that lasted years) and several sympathic looks (the kind of looks frantic moms always get when screaming the name of their no-where-to-be-seen child in a public place), some lovely Menards worker in the flooring section walkie-talkied the front to say he had a small boy with bright blue watering can flipping through the carpet samples.
Funny, I also thought I knew what relief was. Like a good sneeze or finally reaching a bathroom stall at a rock concert. Nope. Nothing close.
I know I didn't show my gratitude nearly enough to that lovely worker because I was so inconsolably relieved and busy telling Steven to never ever ever ever do that again. I think I'll go back with a box of chocolates and a card. And pay off his mortgage.
I'll also be getting more sleep now that I'm back to work. And perhaps a leash.
I bought some patio furniture yesterday while I was out with a friend. The table is a fairly good size rectangle with a glass top, and not cheap.
Since I don't live too far from the store, we came up with a brilliant idea of stuffing everything into my smallish car that we possibly could...The table went about halfway into my trunk, and we tied it down with bungee cords. The rest of the space was filled with the patio seats. I waited at the store while my friend took everything to my house to drop it off, then come back and get me.
After waiting about 20 minutes, my cell phone rings. An ominous tone from my friend is on the line saying I have a million pieces of glass in my trunk and on the road after it shattered going over a bump.
That was sooooooooooooooo funny.
Steven loves the mall. The food court, the mini-playground, and ogling at all the other babies confined to strollers.
Mom loves the mall, too. The clothes, the candles, shower gels and lotions galore.... It's even fun to check out the hair extensions booth, just in case I ever need a cheerleader ponytail for just the right occasion.
Last night's mall-mission: mom needs a bra. I'm sure a 2 year old couldn't imagine anything more fun to do. Seriously. Have you ever tried to navigate a stroller through the JC Penny's lingerie racks? If so, you'd know that it would be easier to skipper the USS Ronald Reagan down the Wabash River. As a result, Steven is able to gleefully grab hanger after hanger of the largest sized undergarments (always relegated to the lowest racks), leaving a pile of granny briefs in our wake. He giggles as if he knows exactly how mortified I am.
Equally as enjoyable is having Steven and his 80 pound stroller, which handles as well as a grocery cart on squashed grapes, accompany me into the fitting room. "Mommmmie, I don't like dat." Thanks, Steven, I'll take your opinion into consideration. "Mommmmie, dat's too big!" If you're referring to the clothes I'm trying on, thank you very much! (but if you're referring to what is going into the clothes I'm trying on, mind your own business!)
After banging into several doors, clothing racks, and other frazzled moms with strollers, we finally worked our way to the "main mall," like an oasis in the shopping desert.
But then I saw something that made me pause in my usual enjoyment of mall-offerings: they've actually hired an Easter Bunny to sit in the middle of the mall, à la Santa Claus, for little children to visit. Now I suppose there's nothing wrong with that...except, well, what do kids ask the Easter Bunny to bring them that he doesn't already know? Decorated eggs? Chocolate bunnies? Jelly Beans? Do little kids actually ask the creepy bunny with only one facial expression for these items as if they may not get them this year? Or has the holiday evolved so it's now in fashion to ask for Big Wheels and Holly Hobby Bake Ovens for Easter Sunday?
Did I miss a step?
I recently came across a print of a famous portrait of Napoleon Bonaparte by the artist Jacques-Louis David--who I'd never heard of. It depicts the young, pre-Emperor on horseback charging over the Alps on a military campaign, c 1804. It's quite striking, but something that would be more suitable for a museum rather than my modest home. Something about it, however, wouldn't let me put it down. So I got it.
I found myself wondering about the artist. The internet at my fingertips, I looked up Monsieur David and found articles chronicling his life as a painter, a French Revolutionary, and later, an exile. Turns out he was commissioned by Napoleon, and did several images of him during his reign. After his fall, David imposed a self-exile to Brussels, where he died of injuries from being run over by a carriage. His body was buried in Brussels, but, oddly, his heart was buried in Paris.
The internet is an amazing thing...link after link took me to more information, where I learned that Napoleon was in fact on a mule when he crossed the Alps, but requested to be on horseback for the painting. Much more noble and glamorous, I would assume. Each subsequent painting displayed on the websites told a story of the rise and fall of the Emperor--from grand, majestic looking pieces (coronation, throne-sitting) slowly evolving into sad, defeated images (retreating from a snowy Russia, the ship carrying his remains in the dark of night...).
How depressing to think oil and canvas are no longer needed when you can aim and push your finger to document Richard Nixon shaking hands with Elvis.
Looking at a winter storm through the eyes (and language) of a two-year-old puts an entirely different perspective on the event.
Driving from daycare to home in white-out conditions: "It's no, it's no!"
As mommy nearly collides with the nice plow stradling the shoulder and the slow lane of the highway and just over the hill: "Wow, look, no-truck!"
Watching Frosty, built earlier that day, getting buried in 3 foot drifts: "Where no-man?"
After the plows so graciously dumped an 8' high by 10' wide mess smack-dab in the front yard" "Oooooh, das big no-pile!"
While going outside to play in the 8x10 mess: "Mommy, I wearin no-pants!"
So, according to Steven, it sounds as though nothing has happened in the last few days. Nothing at all.
Over the weekend, I watched The Train (1964). It takes place in and around Paris days before the Allied Liberation during WWII, 1944. A Nazi colonel, knowing the allies are coming and realizing the value of paintings by Van Gogh, Manet, Picasso, Degas, Renoir and others, orders the artwork to be crated and loaded onto a train bound for Germany. It becomes his obsession. Burt Lancaster is the French railman, eventually ordered to engineer the train.
It is a fascinating look at the French Resistance, National Pride, and the character transformation of a man who at first is ambivalent about a bunch of paint on canvas, yet ends up risking his life over and over to prevent them from being stolen.
Watch for Burt Lancaster, a former circus performer, doing all his own breathtaking stunts. He has no lines toward the last part of the movie, but his actions speak volumes. It's quick-paced and suspensful, and the last 5 minutes are incredibly emotional.
Well done: ****1\2 out of *****
It was about 10 degrees out this morning when I dropped Steven off at daycare. He looked like the Stay-Puffed Marshmallow Man, only shorter. Amazes me how oblivious kids are to the cold, as he takes his painfully sweet time waddling from the car to the front door. Can't hurry him along... "I do it, I do it!" I answer by rolling my eyes.
Commute uneventful, unless you count being cut-off while turning left onto Michigan Rd from I-465 as an event. Do people really think I'm exiting just to get back onto the interstate again? I digress, not many are likely familiar with the annoying lack of turn-lane paint on the NW side.
Monday blahs. "What did you do this weekend? What movies did you watch? Cold enough for ya?"
Swiped the morning coffee from accounting instead of spending the two minutes it takes to make more. Yes, I'm one of those.
Lunch break.... Rather than brave the cold, braved the Klipsch cafe. Had a Junior High moment holding my tray scanning the room for a friendly table. Opted for engineers. Big mistake--they speak in tongue. Snarfed a burger, got a refill, back to work. Found marketing co-workers spending their lunch hour watching The Rocketeer on laser disc. Yeah, laser disc. Cooool.
Mid afternoon email from HR...if I owned a Colts shirt I could wear jeans and tennis shoes for the rest of the week. Is it worth the 30 bucks? Hmm... have to give it some thought. Pre-pregnancy jeans not fitting so well these days.
Sunny out finally. Windy, though. Still looks frozen. Traffic moving good for now.
Work day will end with picking up Steven at daycare to the proud and joyous cries of "Mommy, Mommy, I in time-ouuut, I in time-OUT!"
It seems even he knows if Time Out is the worst thing that happens to him all day, it's still a pretty darn good day.