Sometimes it is easier said than done to be gentle on yourself. Use this wallpaper as a reminder. Happy Friday.
I almost missed it... but I didn't!
Apparently, it is only "National Tea Day" in Britain today.
"International Tea Day", as celebrated by several Asian and African countries, is December 15.
Me? I'm good with celebrating both. Because the only thing better than one day a year to celebrate tea?
Two days. Am I right?
Sometimes I wonder if Levi really is our most exasperating child to date, or if it only seems that way because he is the child I deal with daily now? Has time only dimmed the memory of what it was like having not just one, but three little boys underfoot all day? Or, when they weren't underfoot, finding trouble in as many ways as possible?
Already by 10 a.m. this morning, Levi had emptied an almost-full bottle of expensive shower gel into the bath and flipped the main breaker switch for the house once. (Unfortunately, this switch is easily accessible from Jabin's bed, so this has been his new favourite trick. The first time it happened I called Atco to come fix our power because that's usually the problem when our power goes out! Yeah, I can't wait to get the bill for that little act of idiocy. And yes, buying a latch for the breaker box door is on my list for this week.)
It isn't the childish acts themselves that I find so exasperating, because all children at this age are constantly pushing limits and exploring their world. It is the fact that this wasn't the first time either of those particular boundaries had been crossed, and not only that, he was VERY aware of what the consequences for crossing those boundaries again would be.
But this uber-intelligent, hard-headed little boy doesn't seem to care. Well, he cares when he receives the consequences. But not enough to prevent him from misbehaving in the exact same way again.
It is very frustrating.
On the other hand, Levi can also be pretty sweet. He is already learning to use his manners, often asking for things with "peeeese!" and saying "Nang-oo" when given something he wants. Today, he even replied with "weh-come, Mommy!" when I said "thank you" to him.
Of all the boys, his imagination is also the most active at this age. He is constantly coming up with imaginary ideas that really surprise us. Simple rectangular shapes like blocks of wood became phones long ago, as one very mundane example. (I can't think of any really GREAT recent ones at the moment, though I know they exist.)
This morning, it was a Wii controller that was his communication device of choice. In fact, he has phone conversations with family members nearly every day. (Just in case you didn't know, Grandpas and Grandmas and Uncles and Aunties and Jenn! Have your ears been burning?)
This morning, he laid two Nerf dart guns on his ride-on truck and ran up to me, all excited to tell me about it.
"Is that a tank?" I asked.
"Tank!" he exclaimed. But that wasn't the end of it. The dart guns were soon joined by a stack of large plastic Tyrannasaurs (yes, plural), jumbo giant puzzle pieces, toy trucks, cars, cameras, and an assortment of other toys. With each addition, he would run up to me and exclaim about it.
"Mommy! BIG tank!"
Because when you have a tank, it's either Go big or go home, right?
And things are getting better all the time. On Saturday, after a visit from Levi's birth mom Jennifer, for the first time I felt that instead of being the dirty sock he had no use for while she was here, he actually wanted to spend time with both of us. As you may guess, this hasn't really been the case before.
I wondered how long that would take. Only 18 months. That's not bad, I guess. (Does that make us a pair of sock mommies, Jenn? :-D)
This isn't actually the first time we have gone through this whole "stubborn/dramatic child" thing. Jude was equally as stubborn and strong-willed about doing what he wanted instead of what he should, and Noah seemed to have an equally-small association of actions with consequences.
On hard days like today, it is helpful to look at how our other kids are turning out. It encourages me that if I just keep doing what I'm doing, there is hope that he will be as great a kid as his big brothers are turning out to be.
And I try to enjoy the fun parts as much as I can in the meantime.
Last week was busy, as per usual.
I spent Thursday canning tomatoes and freezing beets with my mother.
But that was nothing compared to the haul Levi got a couple days before.
When we were visiting our family in September, we received a lovely bag of gifts from Jason's aunt and uncle. Aunt Donna works at a jewellery store, and she always finds the neatest gifts for the kids.
This little mug for Levi may just be the most adorable thing she's ever given one of my kids. And the best part?
Wait for it...
Today was the day to take fall portraits. I was working on taking a self-portrait, and of course Levi wanted to be involved.
But the moment I picked him up and gave him this smooch, he wanted to be running around again.
Noah has been coming up with some pretty fun stuff over the last few weeks. Just now, as he was coming to give me a goodnight hug and kiss, he started asking me questions (e.g. stalling):
"Mom, who invented comics?"
"I don't know. Why?"
"Oh. Well, if he is still alive, I would like to say 'thank you' to him."
I smiled. "Well, I guess you'll have to do some research tomorrow and find out. But I don't think he's still alive."
Another thought occurred to him.
"Mom, who invented pianos?"
A short discourse followed about the era they were invented in, but the end result was, "I'm not sure. Look it up."
"Okay, Mom? Who invented bicycles?" He giggled.
"I used to know that one, but I forget. You will have to look it up on Wikipedia. Tomorrow. Now, go to bed!"
A few days ago, the temperatures here plummeted to below freezing, with some nasty wind and a little bit of snow thrown in. I've heard that elsewhere in Alberta had even more snow, which floors me--this is early, even for Alberta.
When he got home from school on Monday, Noah came in the door and announced, "I love winter, and I hate winter!"
"Okay," I said. Then he started on what could have been a prepared presentation.
"Why I Love Winter. One. We don't have to cut grass." He ticked it off on his finger. "Two. we get hot chocolate when we come in from outside. And three--" (Three has been redacted due to my faulty memory!)
I interrupted him there to do an urgent task, and said to come back and finish in a few moments. He picked up right where he left off a few minutes later.
"Why I Hate Winter. One. It's COLD!! Two. We have to go to school. And three..." Honestly, I'm not sure he came up with a three for this one.
Maybe Noah has a future in public speaking after all?
The First Day of School in our house came with high emotions for every member of our family this year.
Jude, just beginning Junior High, was both excited and nervous to be in a new school with unfamiliar classrooms, teachers, and routines, but also glad to be able to see his friends on a daily basis again.
Noah, despite acting quite hyper last night and this morning, kept insisting that he was NOT excited "because of all the WORK!"
Jabin was just plain ol' excited to see his friends again. He loves school.
Mom was excited, too. The last couple of weeks, listening to the boys quarrel, has been an endurance test for my sanity.
Jason, being part of the overworked tech department for a school division, looks forward to the First Day of School with the opposite of excitement. The day is likely to be a long string of calls and putting out fires, just like it always is. It's the day itself that is the endurance test for him.
Fortunately, it will all be over by tonight, honey. :-)
Levi was just excited to go to town this morning. (We took Noah and Jabin to school to help them get their supplies to their classrooms.) Then, he was excited to play outside. Now, he's excited to go on a walk with Mommy.
Yay! for fall routine.
What is special about your day today, friends?