Playing with others has never been high on Danny’s list of things to do – nor has it come easily to him. He loves his brothers like nothing else, though, and wants to play with them…even when he doesn’t know how.
There is a lot of fighting, a lot of mine not yours. He loves to steal toys and hide them from Andrew, to run up and hit Eric will force to get him to play.
Buy when it clicks, it’s beautiful. Like this spinner at the playground down the way. They spent a full 10 minutes, the big ones taking turns spinning each other and laughing uproariously.
Moments like these are what it’s all about.
“Here you go, Mommy,” Andrew said with his ting 2 year old voice, setting the trowel down beside me. I smiled brightly down at him. “Scooping.”
“Thank you, Andrew!” I exclaimes, and he grinned back.
“Welcome, Mommy! Bye bye!” He trundled off and hopped into his little plastic car. Shutting the door, he turned the key, cranked over his shoulder, backed up a little, then “drove” away.
It was a moment, a flash, of the future to come. Today, he went about 4 feet, but it looked so real…and one day, crazy enough, it will be.
But today, I’ll just enjoy the littleness of him.
The language that Andrew is so easily able to pick up and master no less than amazes me. I totally have to watch what I say, because he WILL pick it up. Like today.
“No, Danny! Stop it stop it! No push! 3, 2, 1, outside!”
Think I count down a little when someone isn’t listening? Yeah, just maybe.
Yes, we are alive.
Our annual Easter egg hunt at our house was an amazing success. The boys were all so excited to go outside first thing in the morning, and the weather cooperated quite nicely.
Eric (now 7, sheesh) was the most excited, of course. We made him wait at first so his brothers could search, and he had almost as much fun helping them as he did looking for himself. He was pointing out eggs and whispering hints and standing beside eggs saying, “Nope, no eggs around here!” to try to get them to come look. When we finally let him at it, he started strong, but quickly started getting too excited to notice things…like the egg right beside him. Of course, we made him pose before we pointed out it was just right there.
Danny, 6 and still a bundle of perpetual motion, split his time between looking for eggs and chasing all the morning birds. He colored his own eggs this year, including fishing them out, and did a great job of it. Hunting he was less skilled at, and after seeing Andrew’s success, opted to follow Andrew around and then steal his eggs once the little brother found them. Devious little dude.
And Andrew, oh Andrew. He ran all over the yard with glee. “Mommy! Find eggs!” “Ok, find it Daddy!” “Oh! There it is! Eggs!” He was incredibly good at finding them too, finding a few Eric had passed right over, and was delighted by the fact. When he found the second to last egg, Eric rushed over and asked, “Andrew, can you please give that one to me?”
“No! Andrew’s eggs!”
He certainly has learned to stick up for himself.
There aren’t many crafts that catch Danny’s attention, but now that summer is here and I’m doing more table time with Eric, I’ve been trying to find activities they will both enjoy – or ones I can easily modify and do at two levels at once.
When I saw a craft for lava lamps, I immediately knew it would captivate them both.
As a bonus for this totally not crafty mom, it was super easy to do!
The prep Eric and I did alone, mostly for the potential spill factor. First, we filled a water bottle a little more than halfway with oil. Honestly, after doing it, I should have gone more for 3/4 full – now I know!
Once that’s done, I filled it the rest of the way with water, leaving about an inch at the top. Be careful to add the water slowly, or you will get a bubbly mess in your bottle! Fortunately, the bubbly one was the first, and they dissipated while I prepped a second bottle real quick.
Eric loved adding the food coloring – 10 drops to start. (There were many, many more before we were done!)
This is where I brought Danny in, and we went to town. I broke a few Alka-Seltzer tablets into quarters and let the boys drop in one piece at a time. Bam! Lava lamps!
Danny giggled in delight, dropping in tablet after tablet as I handed them over, and Eric “experimented” – his words, not mine! He started playing with the colors, and he was amazed when he added yellow drops to his blue bottle and got green!
Awesome bonus, as the bottles got more saturate with Alka-Seltzer, we started getting little tornadoes in the bottles.
This lasted a good hour, the older boys having a blast with the bottles, Andrew doing his favorite thing: watching his brothers. I ran downstairs at one point and printed off this simple color chart, and Eric learned a bit about colors, too! Then, of course, he started turning the food coloring bottles into a tower, then into battling ninjas, but hey… It’s the thought that counts.
I think this is definitely one we will repeat!
Maybe this will get me back into blogging more often? I was sitting here thinking that I at least had to post something about Christmas, if only for the purpose of being able to remember, years from now, what the kids were like!
Of course, Eric and Christmas were a match made in heaven. He is the perfect age: old enough to be so excited and understand all the ins and outs of the holiday – Santa, Jesus, presents both given and received, spending time with family – and young enough to not be totally wrapped up in the stuff. There were very few “large” gifts, none from us, and yet he was so thrilled and so thankful for everything he received. “Mario jammies? That’s my FAVORITE!” “Mommy, a new BOARD GAME!” “Look, I got new bedtime stories!!” Everything, almost literally, was what he “always wanted,” and he was truly appreciative of it all. It was awesome.
And then there was the family aspect, and another year of getting to watch these two grow up together…
They were instantly best friends and playmates, though toward the end of the visit, you could tell they were starting to wear on each other’s nerves just a little bit. (Plus, they were both getting so worn out and exhausted from the excitement that everything was a challenge…)
As for Danny, he had a blast in his own way. He warmed up very quickly to all the family we visited, and he even opened a few presents. At one point, we got him to open 3 or 4 in a row before he abandoned the gift opening to actually play with something he’d received. He was very into giving hugs and kisses all around when asked, started using his words or PECS a bit with people that weren’t me or daddy, and overall had a pretty great holiday. He even spent some time playing with and around the other two!
All in all, it was a pretty great holiday, followed now by a great week of relaxing at home together. Danny’s favorite gifts from this week are probably his LeapPad, his Little People farm book (with about ten billion flaps and words in it), and the Hot Wheels track for the bath tub that totally makes bath tub worth his while. Eric’s are harder to pinpoint, since they are still ALL his favorites, but if I had to choose 3 they’d be Super Mario Galaxy, the Zhu Zhu pet (aka hamster toy) he got from Santa, and his Imaginest stuff. And Danny’s Hot Wheels track for the bath tub, heh. Danny got to play with it first for a bath, and Eric came in halfway through and gave a wounded, “Mommy! Why don’t I get to play with THAT?!?!” Honestly though, when it comes to Eric, there are no flops or least favorites – he’s having a hard time deciding what to play with at any given time.