We’ve been living up summer over here. Most afternoons have found us in the backyard, in the pool, the kids splashing and swimming and running off to the swingset while I occasionally get some reading done. They’re at their best outside: less inclined to fight, to exclude, to tantrum. Of course that still does happen. But not nearly as much as when we’re all cooped up.
I love our backyard. It’s shaded and somehow there’s always a breeze back there, even on the hottest of days where the branches are still everywhere else. It’s comfortable and cool and the perfect spot to summer with a book and some water and my lawn chair and the occasional (read: daily) freezee pop.
True confessions: I wrote the above two paragraphs a couple of weeks ago. August is actually the absolute worst. I'm sure next year I'll be wishing it were longer (because KINDERGARTENNNNNNN) but, well, it's still this year and the kids have basically forgotten how to play outside and just wander around in circles whining and/or fighting. So. Yeah. I'm over it.
(And yes I realize that mere months ago I was complaining about winter but that was after a literal six months of snow. My self-awareness has grown as I've realized that my tolerance for any given season is about a two month time period (with the exception of fall) so my new proposal is an eight-month year with two months each for spring, summer, fall, and winter. Who's with me? Let's get on that.)
We went on our annual family vacation up north in July. It was the most enjoyable year in awhile. I wasn’t breastfeeding anyone, we didn’t really care about nap schedules since it was just easier to wear them out and then put them to bed at night, we were more comfortable with the kids in the water given their recent swimming lessons and the magic of life jackets.
Brooklyn was the fishiest of fish and I’m amazed we got her out of the water at all. Caden loved any boat he could con a ride on, from the paddleboat to the pontoon to the stand-up paddleboard. Nolan gloried in being his full summer-kid self and also ate all the snacks he could get his hands on. I enjoyed more time in the surprisingly warm lake than in the past few years combined, enjoyed a drink or three, and devoted entire chunks of time to reading. It was glorious.
NOLAN IS USING THE POTTY. The kid I thought would be in diapers forever due to all of his “I a BABY!” and “I no YIKE it!” and all that running away from the actual potty up and decided out of the blue that hey, the potty isn’t so bad, after all.
About a month ago he was pulling at the front of his pants so I asked him, as I’ve asked him one hundred million times before, “You look like you have to go potty. Do you want to go on the potty?” and instead of screaming "NOOOO" he gave me a spirited “YEAH!” and ran to the potty, where he pulled down his pants, sat down, and went like he’s been doing it all his life. (I had a slight moment of “Are you KIDDING me?” as he probably could have been potty trained six months ago, but whatever.)
So. We’re going potty. And for the first time in about 4 ½ years, I have exactly ZERO children in diapers. Praise the Lord.
Nolan also sometimes doesn't nap. And rarely naps for more than 60 minutes. It’s the worst thing ever. Fix it, Jesus.
Caden obsessively and compulsively saved up for a $99.99 LEGO Batman set. Specifically this LEGO Batman set or as he calls it, “The one hundred dollar Batman LEGO set that has the Batcave and Bruce Wayne and Alfred Dad and the Penguin.” Yeah. That one. Then he obsessively and compulsively carved out time each day to work on putting it together (often by himself and please just go look at that "8-14"-year old age suggestion on it again) and spent the rest of the time keeping Nolan away from it. Every night he thanks God for “my Batman LEGO set with the Batcave because it makes me so happy.”
Earlier this month I spent some time in Denver with my favorite group of women - a group of mamas and writers just like me. It was also the first time we met in person. Little did I know that my favorite group of people could also be ones I'd never actually "met" before, but I guess that's the Internet for ya.
They were smart, fierce, funny, passionate, wonderful, lovely, extraordinary women. We may start our own commune just so we don't have to hop on a plane in order to see each other and can help each other take care of babies and make meals and give each other time off to go write for days at a time. Okay, probably not, but we can dream. It was perfect and wonderful (besides a four-hour flight delay on my way out of town) and I can't wait to do it again.
Upon my (very, very late at night) return from Denver, Tyson told me, "If anything is too hard today, don't do it." I took that as my cue to procure Happy Meals for lunch.
I'm also taking it as my motto for the rest of summer. We've summered and now we are surviving. I'm resting, reading, and yelling instructions or corrections from my chair. This is where we're at, people.
Some toddler and preschooler-isms I'm loving lately:
- "Oosp" (oops). Nolan always mixes up the last two letters. It's ridiculously endearing and part of the reason I want to read Blue Hat, Green Hat with him every. single. day. It also sounds like it should be a thing from IKEA. The Oosp floor lamp or something.
- "Sun scream" (sunscreen). Those "m"s and those "n"s, man. They're tough.
- "Nusic" (music). See above.
- "Fly splatter" (fly swatter). You know their version is better.
- "Constructions" (instructions). Like the booklets of instructions that come with all those LEGO sets. Another preschooler-ism that I'm convinced is better than the original.
- "The day before this day" and "the day after this one". Because no matter how much we remind them, those four-year olds have a tough time remembering the words "yesterday" and "tomorrow" but can string their own set of words together pretty well to get the point across.