Today was overall a relaxed Sunday, as relaxing as it gets with three young children around. Dave got to wash his car and do stuff outside, which meant the boys could zoom around the sidewalk terrorizing the occasional pedestrian with their bicycles.
[ Hmm, having some YouTube trouble.... come back later, hopefully the video upload will succeed?? ]
Meantime, during these antics, Katrina sat on the grass and pointed at birds, for a little while anyway.
Dave told me about a now-rare blowout with Gabriel this morning (while I mercifully slept late, still battling a horrible headache). It started and escalated the usual ways, with Gabriel on timeouts again and again, hurling insults and threats and things, and ending up back on timeout.
But, he's older now, and is learning he doesn't want to be on timeout. As Gabriel was building up to another obnoxious comment, Dave warned him again to think very carefully before he said anything. So Gabriel said, "FINE Stupid Dad, then I'm going to WRITE something mean about you!" And off he stormed to our craft area, where he furiously pulled out a crayon and paper.
Silence for a few minutes, then, "How do you spell 'ticket' ? "
See, the boys know that some tickets are good (Chuck E Cheese, amusement parks, movies), and some tickets are bad (from police). So, a serious threat from them is a "bad ticket," a threat Gabriel carried out with a yellow crayon. He didn't seem to think it reduced the impact to need help spelling it!
Fortunately, our wily firstborn recovered, and was angelic the rest of the day. As stubborn and determined as he can be, it never ceases to warm my heart to see how tender and nurturing and completely loving he is with Katrina. Out of the blue, he'll say that she is the cutest baby in the world, or that he loves something she's wearing (!), or that we should paint pink flowers all over the walls in the whole house.
Today while she was having lunch (cottage cheese and applesauce, a staple of my childhood!), he had fun imitating her goofy semi-laugh, making her actually laugh:
Before bedtime, Gabriel came downstairs to get something, and saw me as I was about to write his name on his lunchbag. I still try to come up with a creative and fun and different way to write his name each time, though I'm running out of ideas! But this time, he wanted to write his name himself.
And he did -- I was blown away with what a nice, sweet job he did! Writing isn't his strength, especially compared to the near-calligraphy of some of his classmates, but he continues to surprise me. He was very proud of himself, and I made a big deal of it and kissed him a lot. I'm always happy to have an excuse for that.
The only downside to the experience was that Julian, whose skill and inclination to write doesn't surprise me at all (and is far superior to Gabriel's at his age) got a hold of the same blue Sharpie Gabriel had used while I was distracted.....note to self: LOSE THE SHARPIES!!