Sunday, March 29, 2009

For the Record

Earlier this week at dinner we had an important goal setting discussion.

Dallin: "Know what I want to be when I grow up? A guy that works at the Jelly Bean Factory."
We all mumbled some admiration for his foresight between bites of grilled cheese. Jelly beans everyday--how can you go wrong.
Afton: "I want to be a mom!" -- followed by a shy look up at me.
Again, "good choice," we all agreed. And then Lindsey was queried.
Lindsey: "I'm going to be a robot that goes on your floor." (it took 2 guesses before we correctly interpreted it.)
I followed her statement with the same nodding and validation I gave the other two, but Dallin and Aft made no effort to support such a decision.
Dallin: "HOW are you going to do that?"
Lindsey: "I'm gonna go beep, beep, beep, beep, beep (with fully synchronized robotic arm and head movements)."
I guess that shut Dallin right down, because he turned to his chicken noodle soup after that and let it go, until I reopened the discussion.
Me: "So, what do you think Davy should be."
Afton: "He should work at a store."
Dallin: "Which one. . . . like Costco. . . or Target?"
Afton: "Target"
Dallin: (excited now with a new idea) "No--he should work at the pizza part of Costco--you know, with Churros and pizza!"
"And lemonade!" I piped in.
Lindsey: "Day-fee should be a robot too!"

Anyway--so the good news is, it looks like we won't be having to pay for college for anyone (except Lindsey who may need to pursue some very advanced degrees in physics, biology and physiology, etc., and even then. . . . . she may be better off with some cardboard boxes and aluminum foil). And we may also be looking forward to some jelly bean and Costco Eatery perks in the not so distant future!!! Whoo Hoo! Who said parenthood doesn't have it's rewards?!?

Afton expanded on her plans for motherhood to me the day following the above conversation. She intends to have 24 children (or 34), the first one(s) will be twin girls named Rose and Flower. They will be followed by several other sets of twins, mostly girls, with some boys thrown in. I don't believe she is planning on having any single births, but when I introduced the idea of triplets to her, she decided she is definitely going to have some of those too. Oh, and, she is going to be a NICE mom. NOT like me.
Me: "So I'm not nice?"
Afton (and Dallin threw in his agreement): "No. I'm going to let them do whatever they want."
Me: "So what if they only want to eat candy and stay up all night and watch TV."
Afton: "Oh, they can only eat healthy stuff and can only watch one TV show and . . . (she went on about not too many video games, etc)"

So I ended that conversation feeling good and certain and smug in knowing that she would be told eventually by Rose and Flower that they were going to be NICE moms too someday.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Ends of Eras

If it weren't for that thrilling feeling in my ribcage as I watch my kids do something new for the first time, I would have given up long ago. Given up on teaching them anything whatsoever--not that it would stop any one's progress much. I guess I'm just too much a lover of status-quo or nostalgia or whatever it is, to let these kiddies grow up. But they do.
Davy, in particular, is KILLING me right now. He is so scrumptiously cute I could devour him, revealing myself as the true offspring-consuming arachnid that I am. Instead, I tide-over my appetite with hugs so tight he finally grunts and pushes away from my hunched shoulders--arched forward to incarcerate him with my elbows and forearms. Of course, I am an easily swayed prison master and set him free with only a love paddle on his diapered rump for bail. In return I receive a gapy-toothed grin, a few deep, open-mouthed, laughy breaths and some drunken' sailor toddling steps to clap at.
Just as I am typing this I look up to see Davy pull himself up at the red chair then venture out on his own, the right arm up and out for balance and the left punching the air above him at the beat of four or five punches per step. His face a mix of wonder and trepidation. What thing could I possibly do today to feel so surprised and delighted with myself?
Along with the walking, he is also forging ahead with it's rhyming twin "talking." Earlier during a quick trip to Nordstrom Rack to return a few items (which somehow ended up costing me $28), Davy squeaked out one of his E.T. style "hhhhiiiiiiiiiiiiieeeee"s and the lady at the register looked down in delight to find his big, little eyes staring up at her and his wrist still swivelling it's greeting. She may have thought it was cute, but I got the motherly thrill. Perhaps you've been in love with a child enough to have also felt the thrilling circus inside your stomach that I feel when watching my children's sweet, surprising and always unique progress. It's breathtaking. Other's may smile or take a peak at the leaps of progress, but don't usually care that much. They may be sucking on a lollipop, but they certainly aren't looking at a sunsetting Grand Canyon view like a mother does. I wonder if what I'm feeling while watching him feels as good as Davy does when he takes those steps.
But the REAL purpose of this post (or was at the outset) is to chronicle the sad ache that comes with the end of eras--like the crawling era. It just doesn't come back, ever again, once it is completely replaced with walking. Thus, the memories need to be recorded--memories like Davy getting taken on "walks" with Afton,

his dirty legs and hands and tops of feet,

crawling and aaaaaaaaaahhhhhing, and shaking his head at the same time,

crawling and pushing things on the floor at the same time (like my now scratched and scarred cell phone),

crawling then stopping to sit and rest and look around until he gets excited then hurriedly crawling again,

knowing that if you lie down on the floor you will soon be crawled upon and conquered by a heavily breathing and babbling soft body that will slobber and gnaw on you and ultimately produce laughter from your own tired body,

and the happy slapping sound of his hands on the hard floor signaling his coming. (Which sound I strategically use for the sweeping competition I have with Davy nearly every time the broom and dustpan come out of the closet. Their arrival in the kitchen arena somehow signals Davy that I will now be sweeping all the crumbs, toys, broken pencil lead, bits of paper, and dried carrot bits that he spends much of his awake time hunting for, into one consolidated and easily accessible pile in the middle of the kitchen floor. His arrival at that pile before I get it into the dustpan and garbage increases his treasure finding efficiency 400%. And he knows that I do everything I can to stop him. The competition has gotten pretty fierce lately. He's got skills and I am constantly having to up my game.)
Add these to a number of other heart alluring traits of a crawler and you've got one foot shuffling, reluctant mama. I will let this baby grow up, but I'm in no hurry to do it.

Lindsey is also turning into a "big girl" who "wears undies" and who loves to tell that to anyone who gives her a moment of their precious attention. We're as proud as punch of her, but she is even more proud to now be in the ranks of Afton, Dallin, Jakie, Violet, Roxy and her other undie wearing mentors. But more on her in the next post, when she takes on the "big three".

Davy giving his soft, tickley snuggles

What handsome bros.

Bad case of crawlers knee and foot

Afton using a yo yo for his walk

Davy gets absolutely giddy when out with his walker on the street while all the kids are riding their bikes and scooters around him. It's soo cool to be part of the neighborhood gang.