Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Winter Days

I canceled a playdate today.

Have I ever told you that I hate playdates?  Really, I think they are stupid.  Having a good friend come over to play every once a while?  Totally acceptable.  But scheduling your child's play?  Dumb.

I didn't have this pack of kids so that my kids can find other kids to play with.  Need a playmate? You have three to choose from.
Everyone is gone or sleeping?  Enjoy this sacred time to have every single toy in the house all to yourself.  It will last but five minutes.

We live in a great neighborhood where a number of peers are but a house or two away.  I just think kids play better when we let them follow their own natural inclinations instead of forcing them into a prearranged meeting.

I find that most playdates are just a lot of work for me.  They never seem to want to do the same thing at the same time and I end up having to mediate or start thinking up activities to suit both parties.

Yesterday the big kids were outside with a neighbor friend for at least two hours playing some game in a snow fort where they had to periodically run to the fire hydrant on our corner to gain their super powers.

Seriously.  Kids' imaginations are amazing when we just leave them to their own devices.

In other news we're thinking about breaking out the swim trunks and sprinklers today with temps reaching the 40s.  I would take a snowstorm every single day in winter if we could just stay above freezing.  But that's the crazy Minnesotan in me talking.  I also find it totally gratifying to get out the garden spade and chop up all the ice pack in the sidewalk.  It just feels so amazing when I get good path going and huge chunks start freeing themselves from three months of suffocating the pavement.

Oh and also the storm sewer!  You know what I'm talking about, right?  When there's a huge melt puddle (lake!) because the storm drain is blocked with snow and ice and you really have to work to chisel through it all and when you finally break through, even if it's just a tiny hole, the water just gushes.  Man, that's my favorite.

But let's talk about less obsessive things because doing a full self evaluation of all my idiosyncrasies scares even me.

I have been somewhat of a socialite lately.  I mean everything is relative but I have to admit that the main ingredient in me not taking a leap off that cliff this winter is that I have been getting out of the house quite regularly.

Having two toddlers in a too-small house takes a CRAZY amount of energy, patience and wits.  But a definite positive over last year's setup, having a newborn, is that it is much much much easier for me to leave everyone with someone who is not me.  Being able to pass the feeding and bedtime process onto someone else because it's easy is just such a relief.

Of course, I would never really call this easy, but it's amazing how your perspective changes when you've walked through the valley of the shadow of death and breastfeeding and no sleep and constant crying.

I choose now.

As I type this I'm witnessing Bobby trying to steady himself on his big, strong, one-year-old legs.  He's days away from walking.  I'm eating it up this time.  Not forcing it like I did with the others.  I know this time is fleeting.  Sometimes the ache pounds on my chest making it difficult to breathe.  And other times the passing of another stage lifts a weight making it easier to breath.  I can't decide.  I can never decide.

Here he goes.  Balancing in a squat, standing himself up tall.  He grabs onto the walker close by.  He expertly swings it around in the direction he desires and just as he's about to get going he teeters to one side, then the other and plops down on his bottom.

He lets out a little whine and looks up at me.

"It's OK," I say to my boy, "Try it again."

And so he does.  Again.  And again.  And again.

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