Plan B: a nearby baylands park. Maybe we could find another letterbox in this park via Dave's iPhone, but even if not (and that didn't work), nothing lost -- it's a neat nature preserve on the bay. It's mostly marshland with trails and wooden bridges, lots of birds, a duck pond, a launch for hand-carried non-motororized sailboats, and a small county airport right next to it.
We walked out to a vista deck on the bay that was really, really windy. Since we weren't expecting to go here, we weren't prepared at all. Katrina was wearing only a thin little dress, but she was pretty protected from the wind in the jogging stroller.
This preserve abuts a busy county airport, with small planes landing and taking off every few minutes. We walked out to watch the runway for a while.
My little camera is no good at distant wildlife shots, but I loved these birds, so colorful.
Before we left, we attempted a photo shoot. Not easy given that the boys were in one of their impossible out-of-control giggle fits and that Katrina never likes her picture taken. This was the best we could do, but I'll take it!
I wish I could say that I spent today revering motherhood, reflecting on its joys and meaning and importance, but much of it was instead spent in exasperation at the constant rudeness and disobedience of boys. It is SO frustrating. Absolutely everything turns into a minor battle, something as simple as "close that gate" or "stop running that toy on the walls," is met with defiance, being ignored, escalation, or just plain No. By the end of the day, I was ready to snap at the slightest backtalk.
At least Katrina was competely, utterly delightful this morning especially, charming and sweet and saying adorable things and laughing a lot. The boys, on the other hand, defied every request, talked back at just about anything we said, and were awful again and again.
There were many good moments though. Thanks to moving and lots of toys having been stored away for a while, Gabriel has rediscovered his Snap Circuits and is taking them to a new level now, experimenting with his own circuits. Dave's been helping him a lot, and I get a kick out of watching them work together. It's watching my little boy growing up right before my eyes.
And Julian wrote me a song!! He asked for help spelling some words, and I suggested he put the date and his name on it, but otherwise, he did this entirely himself.
Sung to the tune of "Bingo":
I love you and she loves me and
Mommy was her name-o
and Mommy was her name-o
May 10th 2009
(I discovered that the way he writes a '9' is to turn the paper upside-down and write a '6'!)
Still, I could do without the insults ("bye UGLY MOM!") and the threats ("if you don't help me right now then I'm not going to put away my project") and the backtalk, ("no YOU put away my plate!") and the whining and crying ("I hurt my foot, I can't pick up the puzzle pieces!") -- and that's just Julian.
I'm losing faith that we know what to do -- it used to seem more obvious at night, when they're in bed and we can regain perspective and form plans and prepare for the next incidents, but today, I just have no idea. I guess nothing characterizes motherhood more than that.