Friday, July 17, 2009

7/17/09 Cousin Love

This afternoon, Katrina was puttering around the family room, trying to "fix" pencils (they needed sharpening), and looking for someone to play with. Cousin Aidan to the rescue! "Draw me a house!" she demanded. "In YELLOW!" And he sweetly, happily, complied.

This moment was so sweet that I tried to get some video of her ordering him what to do. Just as I was about to hit "start," she said, "Aidan, I love you SO MUCH!" ARGH! I missed it! They went on to draw-play for some time, but the impulsive joyful expression wasn't repeated verbally, though the sentiment was clearly continued.

I'm fascinated and delighted to see how Katrina and her cousins really interact this visit, for the first time. Her cousins do a lot more drawing, playing with games, and imaginative play than her brothers, who are all about functional play, cars, physical games, competition and poop-talk. She's really enjoying the diversity.

Through my sister's eyes, I'm realizing again what a wonderful place we live in. So many places to go and see and things to do, and so many inexpensive, or free, as we did today. A new favorite spot: the Palo Alto Baylands, with its long walkway to a windy vista point of the bay; the marshlands and bird habitat, the trail to the small but busy municipal airport. And a duck pond that someday we'll visit when we run out of things to see in the regular spots.

The windy vista point, which was quite calm today.

And the walkway -- er, runway -- to get there. Wait, we haven't gotten to the airport yet!

Our outings have revealed interesting pairings. Two of the cousins bring up the rear, putz around, complain, ask how much farther, and make us to yell to them to catch up.

And two are full of energy, run ahead, explore, ask if they can go, and make us to yell at them to wait.

Another big dinner production tonight, the star of which was a Poulet au Vinaigre chicken dish, that all the grownups loved. Katrina didn't approve, and flat-out refused to even look at the food, even her favorite rice.

I don't "do" food battles, but that doesn't mean I don't grit my teeth, wring my hands and roll my eyes when my toddler goes to bed without a bite of dinner. We have suspicions about the state of her tummy, and Aidan's saying his throat is sort, so let's hope our last day together tomorrow is one of good health all around.


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