The difference between these two brothers is best explained with this photograph. Audric, who typically wakes up chatty and happy, can’t understand why Gideon tells him to “GO AWAY-Y-Y!!!” and “LEAVE ME ALO-O-O-N-E-E!!!” repeatedly until his demands for warm milk have been sated and his mood slowly improves.
Some days, I take my time warming the milk, just so that I can enjoy this scene for a little while and plan my revenge.
Meet our little chameleon, who likes to don different hats on a daily basis, and changes his accessories with the flair of a Seventh Avenue fashionista. I’m not sure what that will mean when he gets older, but I’m pretty sure Halloweens around here will be AWESOME.
I had some time, and a couple of very bored children, so I decided to set up our regular camping tent in the middle of the living room for some extra fun. Gideon watched me as I wrestled the tent poles in our small living room, and he repeated a couple of times, “Mami, I don’t think this is such a good idea.” Nonsense, I told him, as I whipped the poles into our wallpaper and nearly garroted Audric. Once again, the animals baled before the assault on their senses became unbearable. But when the tent was fully set up, we chased bears, we hid under blankets and read books by flashlight, and we watched “Dora The Explorer” from behind the tent flaps.
And when Stefan was charged with dismantling my fine work at bedtime, I’m sure he agreed that it was all worth it.
Earlier this year, Stefan signed up for the Warrior Dash, a muddy, obstacle-laden 5K race that takes place annually in Hollister, CA. Since the race was scheduled to take place on my birthday weekend at the end of October, we decided to make a family vacation of it and rent a place in nearby Monterey.
It was an awesome weekend, filled with sunshine, lots of exercise and beach time, and quite a bit of silliness. Stefan placed in the top ten percent of race participants, and me and the boys worked up a sweat playing corn hole toss and eating dried fruit. Plus, we danced in our free viking helmets.
We capped off the weekend with a visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Monterey Bay Marina, where we got so close to the sea lions on the pier that we could smell their breath (it reeked of rotten herring), and we watched one sea lion cow push a calf (maybe her own?) off the jagged rocks where they were sunning themselves and into the water– ten feet below.
For the first time in their young lives, the boys were speechless.
(As a side note, I’m not entirely sure that baby made it back okay, perhaps making sea lions ineligible for Marine Life Parent-of-the-Year award. Bummer.)
Both Gideon and Audric came down with a really bad head cold this past weekend, which means that all of us have been crying more than usual. I’ve had to be creative in how to entertain them since I’m not one of those parents that likes to take their sick kids to the park so that they can inflict their pain and germs on others. But this has its drawbacks, since sick and bored kids means a lot of misery for everyone, see comment about crying above.
On Saturday, I strung up one of our hammocks across the arbor in our backyard and invited them to take naps there. Gideon was the only one to be mildly interested as Audric was busy collecting walnuts from our tree, but the quiet rocking for a half-hour soon transformed into frenzied tricycling over Audric’s walnut collection.
MANY tears that time.
Then on Sunday and Monday we took turns building with blocks, stringing up yarn for “spider webs” in our living room, building forts, and playing dress-up. All activities were met with interest at first, followed by lethargy and then, yup, more tears.
After Gideon’s fever broke on Monday he informed me that he was no longer sick, and I was instructed not to refer to his illness any longer. I agreed as long as he would continue taking daily naps and drinking lots of fluids so that Audric would get better, too. Of course it’s not logical, but thankfully I’m still smarter than him and will happily manipulate his feelings of sibling rivalry in order to bring some health back into our house.
Audric is feeling much better, thanks for asking.