I think I’ll just let the pictures tell the story here. Words would just get in the way.
Remember my dream? The one where I can sit undisturbed for five minutes and maybe finish an adult beverage before it goes warm and flat? I caught another glimpse of the dream recently. It’s now tantalizingly close.
One recent weekday, feeling lumpy and lazy and bereft of creative and instructionally educational ideas to distract the kids, but not yet desperate enough to resort to Netflix, we Tom Sawyered the girls into thinking that using big sponges and soapy buckets would be a fun activity. We managed to get a solid quarter panel and one tire washed before a swarming pile of ants caught their attention.
The parental nirvana of chores and free child labor is in sight!
Cecilia really loves arts and crafts. Each day she comes home from school (i.e., day care) with a stack of drawings that we review at dinner. Most of them still retain a scribbling, scrawling Pollack-like quality, but the tide appears to be slowly moving toward more and more recognizable shapes. The tall blob in the family pictures now sports glasses.
That emerging vision and consistency were on display last Sunday afternoon in the third annual candy binge/Gingerbread House decorating activity. This year she definitely had a plan and it went beyond just slapping candy haphazardly on the walls (and in her mouth). She was looking at overall appearance, balance, design, precision and landscaping. She was especially proud of her multi-colored sparkling lawn.
This pre-fab kit from Target (buy with cash!) is probably the best one we’ve tried. There was plenty of icing, the walls were thick and stayed standing, there were some cute details, and a decent variety of candy included, but still supplemented.
I should also mention that the annual Gingerbread House tradition is always followed by the annual ‘Run Up and Down the Snowdrifts till Daddy Can Feel Your Heart Through Your Snowsuit.’ It’s either that or give her a dram of whiskey to counteract all that sugar and food dye.
It needs to be answered every day and it’s a question that strikes fear into the hearts of most parents: what am I going to do with my child today? How am I going to occupy the next fourteen hours? What can we do that will hold her attention for more than six seconds?
I’m sure this question will start to sort itself out as they get older and into more activities but right now a well-rested four year old is a vibrating, unstable atomic particle. If we don’t find a way to vent that energy we can safely declare our household a federal disaster zone before lunch.
Did I mention that we also have a puppy? A very energetic puppy?
Make that two unstable particles.
Put another way: take a honey badger, add a rattlesnake, plus a low-level tropical storm and put a roof over it and I feel like you’d have our typical weekend.
Luckily, Momma recently discovered a simple distraction that drives both of them to exhaustion.
For a solid ten minutes.
I’ll take it.
As I look out the window the peas are thigh high, climbing the trellis and starting to flower so this is long overdue, but for those of you wondering, Cecilia and I had Pea Day III in early April (a few weeks late but it was a chilly spring) and planted our spring crop of sugar snap peas in the garden.
With each passing year, we get closer to actually planting straight rows! This year Cecilia was very keen on checking for worms and giving the peas their dinner (water) and a comfy bed (nicely raked).
Two months later and so far, so good. Peas have sprouted relatively close to the trellis. Rabbits have yet to find them and Dash seems satisfied to let them be (why waste time with peas when delicious strawberries are just a few feet away). Couldn’t ask for much more.