Friday, September 21, 2007

Bye Bye Binky

As some of you may know, Miles is a bink-a-holic. The kid loves binkies. A lot. Too much. WAY too much. If he sees another kid's binky laying on the floor, he immediately notices it, picks it up, ponders a while whether he should just go for it and pop it in his mouth before finally relenting and finding it's owner. For a long time we have struggled along playing his binky-centered game. Many a night a bedtime, Miles stubbornly resisted laying down, while his two exhausted, bedraggled parents searched the house on hands and knees looking for a binky, ANY binky. It could be three years old and covered in cat hair from being under the couch. No biggie, we'll wash it, Miles will go to bed. Sigh... it's been a long road. For a long time, we didn't dare leave the house without a binky stashed in one of our pockets. God forbid we are out and there's a meltdown and the only thing Miles needs to calm down is his binks. We have been chained to the darn thing.

I am announcing, that as of this morning, we are officially a BINKY-FREE household. Miles had one, sad looking, chewed up binky left to his name and he really really really really wanted a Henry train (Thomas' friend). So, I bribed him. The two of us went grocery shopping and when we were walking in, I suggested he could pick out a new train ("HENRY???!!"), if he could throw away his binky before we left the store. I explained how he was a big boy, his binky had a big hole in it from him chewing it, it was bad for his teeth... this all went over his head. He was going to get Henry, and that was all that mattered.

It was just that easy, too! We headed straight for the toy section, he picked out his new Henry, and we proceeded with the grocery shopping. He told several people he was big now and could have Henry, and they sort of smiled funny and went about their shopping. It was the BEST shopping trip I've had with Miles in a long, long, LONG time. We stopped at the garbage can at the exit, he took one meaningful suck on his beloved bink and popped it in the can. He said "Bye Bye Binky"!! And that was that.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Dirty Dirty Boy

Miles is definitely a little boy through and through. If there's a truck, train, matchbox car or dirt, he's all-together thrilled. Dirt is really the main ingredient in the fun. First thing on a school day, I have to get the kids fed, dressed, teeth brushed, bag packed and out the door for Max to catch the bus. (Only one of these children has to actually GET on the bus, but if I didn't go through the process with both, the wee one would haul ass outside in a diaper and ladybug rain boots to see what he was missing.) So every morning, by 8:20, we are all dressed and clean to start the day. We wave goodbye to Max. By 8:25, Miles has literally laid down in his favorite patch of dirt and perhaps rolled over a couple of times for good measure. He likes to drive his little vehicles through mounds of filth and he likes to get up close and personal with said filth, hence he lays directly in it. When it's time to go inside, I know now to take his boots off on the deck and unroll his pant legs BEFORE entering the house to avoid the shower of rocks, dirt and sometimes moss from soiling my kitchen floor. He is chronically filthy. He doesn't so much play in the nice soft green grass, he prefers the garden, or the patches under the trees where grass won't grow, or the gravel and dirt driveway. Oh, how he loves the driveway. I can actually remember a time when my Max, at age 1, was terrified of touching grass because we lived in a city and didn't have any grass. He didn't like getting dirty and the most he would venture was to throw pebbles down the storm-drains in the street. Rob and I lovingly referred to him as our "city kid". Miles is our "country boy". If he could sleep with his trains in the dirt next to the driveway he would. This picture was taken by Grampa a couple of weeks ago. When we took his boots off he left a pile of sand in my dining room.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Kindergarten Days

The time for Kindergarten has come. The first day of "real" school for "big kids". My little Max is a "school-ager" as he calls it. I looked forward the the first day of school all summer long, really. Every time I heard him declare with a slight whine that he was booooored and there was nothing to doooooo, I'd think ahead to the days when he'd be so busy all day long that he'd be glad for some downtime. And, for the first few days of school, he climb down off the bus, walk with me inside, kick off his shoes and put his feet up, grabbing the remote. He was exhausted. Really, really, really exhausted. But, boy was it great! I'd ask him how was school? What did you do? What was your favorite part? "I don't really remember what we did today mom, but we had BURGERS for lunch!". He has a hard time recalling what they worked on in class, or what songs they sang in Music. But, boy can he rattle off he had for "Hot Lunch": Turkey Sandwich, Assorted Fruit, Strawberry Milk and Jello!!!!! Wow! He can also remember happily what they did in Gym Class. Hmm... lunch and gym, what else is important? So, even though the first big day of Kindergarten is now weeks behind us, I thought I should post this picture. I needed to document the occasion and come out of my state of slacker-ness. Happy School Days!

Crisp Morning Air, Fresh Cow Manure and Chest Pain

Since the start of school this year, I've had big plans. After being on Weight Watchers for several weeks now and having a total loss so far of approximately 20 pounds, I decided I should start to... you know... exercise. Or something. I knew that I should start with a new pair of sneakers because, well, I didn't have any. Oh, ok, I had some, but they are the "lawn mowing" sneakers and they are an eternal shade of poopy green and they smell. So, I took my birthday gift card for Target (thank you E & K!) and grabbed some sporty new kicks. Step 1 was complete. Today was the kick off of "walking after the bus leaves exercise routine". Miles is always up for a complimentary ride in his stroller; he likes to point and shout out instructions while snacking on various foods and putting his feet up on his cup holder tray. It was a brisk (ok, fricken cold) New England morning so I actually had to scrounge up a real had for Miles to wear that would cover his ears, and grabbed myself a sweatshirt and hit the pavement. In an effort for a fresh, new version of a regular old walk, I decided to go UP the hill that winds into rural cow country at an alarmingly steep rate. I had big ideas that Miles and I would stroll past the farms, cows and horses would come to the fence and greet us, giving Miles a fantastic childhood memory, while affording me a good bout of calorie-burning. I headed up the hill and immediately knew that I had underestimated the work it would be. I'd gotten about six or seven houses up and felt my breath labor and sweat broke out on my brow. Wow, I knew that I was not in peak physical condition, but this hill was STEEP. I am really huffing and puffing now, determined not to look too ridiculous pushing the carriage up a hill at 90 degrees (because, it really looks silly!) and hoping I'd be able to catch my breath soon. Five minutes later, my glasses are useless as they have fogged over with cold sweat, my breathing is still labored, and my little Miles is yelling at me to go faster. Alas, I make it to the first cow farm. I use this as an excuse to halt the stroller to a quick stop, rip my sweatshirt off and wipe my face with it and start mopping the fog off my glasses, all while panting to Miles to "look, honey, see the cute cows having their breakfast?" Then, the smell hit me. Fresh, pungent, awful cow manure. It curled into my nostrils, making my nose hairs singe and I swear I was puffing away so hard, I could actually TASTE it. Forcing down the urge to vomit, I put myself together and we continue on our walk. Next we saw a horse. Or, was it a pony? Perhaps a mule? I swear to goodness, I could not tell. You say, it's obvious which is which, but this must've been some crossbreed or something, because it was just indistinguishable. We left it at saying goodbye to "pony-horsey". Next, more cows, but in a dewy field several yards back, so no over-powering stink here. At this point I'm starting to feel under control now and thinking it's not so bad and I figured we should turn back now before Miles' nose gets any runnier. Past the cows frolicking in the field (well, not frolicking really), past the pony-horsey, past the stink factory and finally to the newly named "Death Hill". It was *almost* as bad going down as it was going up. I had a frantic, tense feeling that both the stroller and I could go careening down the hill out of control in an alarming painful fashion. My knees strained, my back was aching, and finally, mercifully, we reached our driveway. Miles popped out of the stroller with an urgent need to find dirt to drive his vehicles in, while I plopped down in the hammock and closed my eyes for a moment. Was that the vision I'd had of our walk? Nope. But... did I die on the side of the road? Nope. Did I suffer an asthma attack or heart failure in front of Stinky Farm? Nope. All in all, a success. Here's to more crisp autumn morning walks in the country.