Thursday, September 29, 2011

Just kidding

Whenever Mama and I see a trait like this in our kids, we say, "We're in trouble."

We know that these traits can only become magnified as they get older. Here's hoping they use their powers for good, not evil.

Jewel's most recently manifesting power is deceptive jokes. This morning, she woke up after 3B had been picked up by the school bus, and had this conversation with Mama:
Jewel: Where's 3B?
Mama: He's at school. The bus already came and picked him up.
Jewel: No. He's at the playground.
Mama: No. He's at school right now.
Jewel: No. He's at the playground.
Mama: No. The bus picked him up.
Jewel: No. He's at the playground.
Mama: No. He went to school.
Jewel: Just kidding.
Let's just hope that when she calls to say she crashed the car, she ends the conversation the same way...unlike her old man when he was 16.

Papa Bradstein will ride 200 miles across Massachusetts in two days to help fight cancer. Please support his ride.

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Sleeping peacefully, waking up peckish

According to Baby Center

Lispingstuttering, and mispronouncing certain sounds are common speech issues for 5-year-olds. Most are absolutely normal for now and are usually outgrown over the next few years. If you have any concerns, it's a good idea to point out speech problems to your child's doctor. Most of these blips sort themselves out on their own, but sometimes speech therapy can help.
Stuttering doesn't seem to be a problem here. I'm surprised, in fact, that neither kid has asked me, "Did I stutter?" after one of their commands.

Not to make light of lisping or stuttering or any other of the speech issues...we've had some. My favorite was when 3B would stutter whole phrases. A sentence might come out as, "The fire engine...the fire engine...the fire engine...the fire going to help people."

It was usually amusing and always a good reminder to be patient, since the payoff was always worth the wait. Grammy explained at the time that his mouth and brain were just out of sync and that the stuttering was the equivalent of idling his engine while the gears in his speech transmission got synced up.

Jewel hasn't gotten to this stage yet, if she will, but she is speaking in full sentences, as well as regularly using "please" and "thank you." And yes, we all know that's because she hangs around Mama all day.

While it's nice to know that all of her gears are turning at the appropriate speed, I sometimes wish that she could be a regular two-year-old and just say "no" all the time rather than reciting essays about why she doesn't particularly want to, at this precise moment, do exactly what we want her to. Of course, she is still two, so when the essay doesn't work, she does bust out a pretty mean tantrum.

Too bad for her that she's the second child, which means tantrums don't really faze us. Or slow us down. Or cause us to change course.

Oh, we're so mean.

Despite that, Jewel's finally warming up to me a bit, after going through quite the mommy-only phase. Last night at bedtime she gave me about seven (but who's counting?) bedtime kisses. Nothing could make me sleep more peacefully than that.

Except perhaps knowing that I didn't have to get up for a 4 a.m. meeting today. When I got home from that, 3B was already up, which portends a long day, in every sense of that phrase, for everyone. But we had fun cozying on the couch together, looking through my work. (fwiw, he likes the site redesign I'm overseeing)

After awhile though, it was time for breakfast number two...or is that lunch, since I'd already been up four hours?

"I'm getting a little hungry," I said. "Would you like some breakfast too, 3B?"

"Me too. I'm feeling a little peckish."

Other facts that make me sleep peacefully: my five-year-old has a better daily vocabulary than I do.

Papa Bradstein will ride 200 miles across Massachusetts in two days to help fight cancer. Please support his ride.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Breathing through my ear

Even if you had tried to explain to me, you couldn't have succeeded. Or perhaps it's that I couldn't have understood.

I've got a fat lip and my nose is sore and feels closer to my left eye than ever before. I feel a fatigue that makes it seem as if my bones will liquefy, my limbs will flop and I will end up on the floor like a wet mop.

Last night, while reading stories to Jewel, she cracked me right in the lip with the spine of one of her favorite books ("Baby Food," if you must know), but that was nothing compared to the blow 3B landed on me the night before.

It was my fault, really.

Well, sort of.

We were having a tickle fight, launching gootchy goo attacks on each other, in the confines of his bed, which is the lower bunk. Never a good idea to have an MMA match in a cave. OK, sure, in a wire cage at the center of an arena--but not on a lower bunk with a merciless weasel. Actually, he's not at all merciless since he's always laughing too hard, but he is a squirming weasel, which is why he almost broke my nose.

Or did.

But I don't think so.

But after the back of his head hit my nose sideways, I felt like I was breathing out of my left ear for about five minutes. The crack was something like a musket shot and both of us froze like we were frozen in carbonite. And, to be fair, his head was still sore the next morning.

On top of the injuries, we had two--count them: two--playdates last night. One neighbor came over and we went over to another neighbors, so at least they were all in the building, but still. Is there anything so tiring as weasel wrangling?


There isn't.

Especially when you have to breathe through your ear.

Papa Bradstein will ride 200 miles across Massachusetts in two days to help fight cancer. Please support his ride.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Good day with some swordplay

Yesterday was a good day, even if it did involve some swordplay with our neighbor.

Even though it was a crazy busy day at work, I was able to leave on time, which meant that I got home while the sun was still up, surprising everyone. That meant that there was plenty of time to help with dinner, baths, books, bedtime and homework.

All of which went well since there was plenty of time to get through them without rushing. 3B was excited to tell me about music class--Monday's special class is music--during which they got to play maracas, triangles memory fails me here, but a couple of other percussion instruments.

"Do you know why the triangle is an important instrument?"


"Because one little triangle can wake you up."

That would be a nice change from the cacophony of drums, guitars, melodica, and tambourines that usually awaken me on weekends.

After dinner, our next-door neighbor stopped by to visit Jewel. He also plays with 3B, which is a sword with two edges, both of which are razor sharp. Fortunately, the swords that they play with aren't so deadly, although 3B did club our neighbor hard enough with his wooden sword from the Ren Faire that his knee was still hurting today.

Fortunately for our neighbor, we have an array of blades to choose from. Last night was the cutlass vs. the katana. They fought to a draw, both having been dismembered and died several times--definitely a happy ending for all.

Papa Bradstein will ride 200 miles across Massachusetts in two days to help fight cancer. Please support his ride.

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Rolling joy

It's been awhile, but this year's Pan-Mass Challenge was better than I can describe here. My video and the others you can find give some idea, but it really is hard to explain or show the totality of the experience.

As we ride, I am constantly calling out "Thank you!" to people lining the route with signs, many of whom stand for hours, cheering on riders, handing out food and water that they personally purchased. When I'm not shouting out my thanks, I'm giving a "Woo hoo!" as we flash by.

One woman I was riding with as part of team Phat Tuesday said that I was "joyful" and asked me why. I stumbled through many words looking for an answer.

What came immediately to mind was how beautiful the day was and how liberating it felt to roll through it on my bike, across roads that, while technically open to all traffic, were dominated PMC riders. But even if it had been pouring rain, as many had feared, it would have been as beautiful a day.

As I reflected, between "thank you" and "woo hoo" shout outs, I heard again what everyone lining the route was saying, I thought again of all my supporters and I remembered all of those faces on my jersey, the ones I look in the eye every time I ride, the ones watching out over the route as I rolled through it. And that reminded me why it was such a beautiful day and why I felt such joy. It's all about the people.

We are all there together, and we bring with us all of our supporters and others who can't make it, and we are all moving forward not just across the land but also across time into the future, and all of us are working to make that future better than the present. Despite having suffered grievous and devastating losses, we are all still hopeful.

That hope is what you hear me shouting out as I spin by. That hope is what keeps me warm in the rain and keeps me pushing into the wind. That transcendent shared hope is what brings me joy.

Papa Bradstein will ride 200 miles across Massachusetts in two days to help fight cancer. Please support his ride.

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