Yesterday afternoon my husband and I were trying to have a fairly serious and relevant-to-our-life conversation. During the attempted ten minutes of meaningful dialog, one or both children interrupted each of us approximately every fifteen seconds.
Frustrated, my husband asked, Why is it impossible for your mother and I to have a conversation without being interrupted every freakin’ minute?
Our oldest son thought for a moment before responding, Because we’re always around?
Tell him what he wins, friends.
It was one of those more or less typical Saturdays except that it opened with a 9:30 am birthday party at a jumping castle place outside of the city. I brought both boys and appreciated their ability to jump, slide and climb gigantic inflatables for an hour before juice and cake were consumed well before noon. My husband “took the morning off” from all of us while we were out of the house.
Later, my kids stomped around in the backyard for an hour or so while I warned them not to step in poop. It’s been a drizzly week or so and we haven’t tracked our dog’s comings and goings very closely.
Then I took them to the movies (wow, this is a really scintillating post).
This time it wasn’t The Lego Movie. There was no popcorn, a fact that would surface afterward as a negative. We attended a free filming of Khumba, a South African family film in which a deeply insecure half-striped zebra sets out to find a magical water hole in order to find his missing stripes. The movie was part of the 24th Cascade Festival of African Films and took place at the community college down the road. This very sweet Lion King-ish tale was well attended and received. While our oldest son totally got it, our youngest sort of understood the story but really, mostly liked it when I slid him a lollipop an hour into the film. He wasn’t heavy enough to make the folding movie seat sit down so he sat in my lap for the entire duration of the film.
Then we went home.
Yesterday our youngest said something that I swore to myself I’d remember — it had to do with love and turtles — but I can’t remember now. It was very sweet, though, trust me.
This is important because I tried to remember that he had been very sweet every time he crossed me after the movie… his “NO” echoing loudly when I asked him do something… anything… and then I decided to take an hour or so “off” from the family. Fortunately his father was home at the time.
Our conversations with the boys have been varied and entertaining, a saving grace for when I’ve had it up to HERE with one or both of them lately. Our oldest was very excited when an image of Nelson Mandela came across the screen prior the movie. Mr. Mandela came up in conversation later, rather unexpectedly.
Me: You know, Miles, your eyes are very pretty. You have very long eyelashes.
M: Do people ever cut their eyelashes?
Me: No, I don’t believe so.
M: No one?
Me: No, it’s nice to have long eyelashes, actually.
M: Not even Nelson Mandela? Nelson Mandela didn’t cut his eyelashes?
(riding bikes today) Me: M, you know before you were born your dad and I used to go for a bike ride and we called it a “love ride”.
M: Really? Can you and I have a love ride?
M: Right now? Like this can be a love ride?
M: Ok, watch out for this tricky part. I’m super fast. I have a lot of breath in my body, too.
We proceeded to love ride around the park several times. He’s getting so big, and I’m glad for it. I don’t miss the baby days. If I’d been blogging back then I can’t imagine the posts would have been coherent. I do have a special place in my heart for parents of babes, though, babes in arms that humble and adore you 24 hours a day. I remember the way in which my husband could hold our babies, football-style, their big bright eyes calmly looking around the room while resting in his arms. I know well the aches of nursing or sleeping in a particularly uncomfortable position because that’s what made the child eat or sleep, and it was worth it. I no longer research the “best stroller” or “best carseat” or “best baby carrier”… we have moved onto soccer cleats and bicycles and backpacks. I read once about the so-called “latency” period of parenting… ages six through eleven… past unsleeping baby/terrible toddler land and yet not into teenage drama. I get that… we’re in it, at least with one… it’s rather wonderful and funny and definitely keeps me on my toes.
Later, the big guy spent a good hour drawing dragons in a plain old notebook he’d found somewhere.
M: Come here! Do you want to see Whispering Death?
M: Whispering Death!
I had no idea what he was talking about, but it seemed like I had no other option but to go see. Turns out that Whispering Death is a dragon. Here he is.
I also examined this guy:
Discussing, spelling and drawing dragons was a pretty neat way to spend a few minutes, in a focused way that perhaps only a six-year-going-on-seven-year-old can do. As we wrap up our more or less normal weekend, I look forward to the week ahead, and perhaps another love ride or two.