Wednesday, October 24, 2007

10/24/07 Night play

Silly boys. I should have taken this before they'd worn themselves out; by now they were just hyper-wired-tired. I was inspired by a mom friend who'd taken something like this of her 3-year-old twins romping around together before bedtime, though she did a better job keeping her kids actually in the video.

I took them upstairs and got them to do some yoga breathing with eyes closed and whispered "Namaste"s to try to settle them down, which worked for .004 seconds.

Julian helped me make dinner tonight. I've found this is a great way of keeping the boys under control during my prime-time of trying to make dinner, feed Katrina, and keep her safe from her over-affectionate brothers. All it takes is engaging one of the boys, then I'm in good shape.

Cracking eggs is a big honor, and today Julian got to do it. I helped him, of course, but then he got to mix the eggs. Then he got to put things into a bowl and mix it up.

Gabriel had initially refused to help me with the eggs, then he was incensed when he discovered Julian would be replacing him. How lucky am I that my boys fight over who's going to help me make dinner!

In fact, as I mentioned, I've started a food blog, sort of a silly amateurish one, but it's fun do to a recap of something new I've tried. And especially when I see how much fun the boys have helping me, and how much fun I have involving them (well, except when Julian blows into a bowl of bread crumbs), it occurs to me that this is about more than just nourishment. Food is something all people have in common. It can bring the family together in so many ways, giving us something to do and explore together. If I succeed, we'll have warm family experiences together now, which will turn to warm family memories for the kids later. When they're grown up, I want them to look forward to coming home for a good home-cooked meal and Mom making their favorite just because they're visiting.

On the flip side, I've talked to adults who came from homes in which they grew up not liking the food, and that becomes a source of anxiety, instead of happy anticipation, in going home for a visit. I'm lucky, I'm not among those; I always look forward to visiting home and glomming as much as I can from my mother (who is an excellent cook). I hope my kids remember helping me cook and bake, and that they learn to do so as well, and that enjoying the food at home will be something they remember fondly as part of their childhood.

Now, where was I.

This morning, I went running at Fremont Older Space Preserve, in an attempt to keep the run shorter. That part didn't work exactly, because it was a positively glorious morning, and I was having no end of fun exploring new trails. But....they weren't so new. I was overwhelmed with deja-vu, then flat-out recognition. I used to ride these trails on horses! Way, way WAY back when, in the days when Garrod Farms rented horses to people without guides or groups, and sent them off to the well-worn trails of the open space preserve. And here I was, years later, running the same trails. These trails are shorter than at Rancho, some parts are very steep, and you have to be on the alert for mountain bikes. The views are beautiful, and it's just about impossible to get lost, since the network of trails pretty much all hook back up to the main one to get back to the parking lot.

Once again, my child-free morning was spent running and recovering and doing little else. The recovery was partly from, again, this awful migraine. It was better today, but that could be because I finally took the last Imitrex pill I have. I hate the side-effects, but I'm getting despondent about my constantly foggy and stressful state. Ten days of migraine is a record, though I can't say this is the most intense one I've ever had.

After picking up Julian and Katrina this afternoon, before picking up Gabriel, I had a wonderful experience. I made myself a salad and sat down and enjoyed it while reading the newspaper and sipping coffee....while my two young children happily played together for an hour!. No crying, no screaming, no ordering, no correcting. Julian was so sweet, helping Katrina open things on a toy, handing her back a ball to put in a tower, laughing together. Sometimes she laughed so hard that I'd rush out to see if she was crying, but no, she was just having a great time playing with her brother. I wish I didn't have to break up the party to go get Gabriel from school.

But how nice and sweet and heartwarming! No matter how stressful three young children can be, or any one of them can be at any time, it always makes me so happy to see the adoration the boys shower on Katrina. Often too much, they can drive me crazy, and she tires of the relentless attention, but seeing how much they completely love her, talk about her, want to make her happy, is utterly endearing. I never would have expected this devotion from two young boys, but then, children are like that. Full of surprises, some so wonderful you've never have been able to fathom then until living them for yourself.

Newsflash: Gabriel just fell out of bed again. We heard the clunk from way downstairs, which means he hit hard. His bed is pretty high! Dave found him fast asleep on the floor, cushy and comfy as could be. How is he ever going to night-train?!


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