Jul 25, 2009

Photographic evidence

I have not been taking many pictures lately. Something about the craziness of daily family life makes me less capable of documenting it, but occasionally I resurrect old habits. These pictures are proof that certain things are part of life.

In Lexi's world, we have been favored with lots of smiles and coos. Of course we LOVE this. Lexi is spending more of her days in an alert fashion, awake and looking at the world. (Thus far she has been a very sleepy baby.) We are falling into a good routine that includes 7-8 hours of sleep for me every night. Gavin's affection for his sister continues, although he also loves her binky. Zachary is very good to pick Lexi up when she cries. I get nervous when he walks around with her, but he has reasonably good instincts.

In Gavin's world, we have been exasperated by a heightened level of mischief and messes. Oh, this boy! I wonder some days how we will survive. I am grateful for a dear friend who lets me vent to her (mostly via email). Here are two excerpts about Gavin from Thursday:

I am somewhat beside myself at the moment. I spent a good portion of the afternoon cleaning up the kitchen and sweeping and mopping the floor. The floor was an especially giant undertaking, given its condition (imagine a mixture of milk, cottage cheese, root beer, yogurt, and ground up cereal and crackers splatted all around the table). I finally finished around 4:30. Now it is 6:45. We just finished dinner and Garry left for home teaching. As I was clearing the dishes, I heard what sounded like rushing water. I couldn’t figure it out, but it seemed to be coming from the dining room. I found Gavin sitting on the table, pouring the last of a full two liters of Sprite into a very small cup. It was all over him, the table, several chairs, and the floor. I grabbed the empty bottle and the full cup, and while I transferred them to the sink, Gavin fell off the table and cut his lip with his teeth. He almost passed out, he was crying so hard.

[then later]

The “catastrophic scene” I attempted to describe to Garry was not, of course, a real catastrophe, but rather another series of Gavin-induced messes that reduced me to shreds today. He completely wrecked Lexi’s bedroom while I was nursing her in the rocking chair (emptied drawers and closet shelves and laundry hamper, climbed in and fell out of the crib, scaled the dresser, knocked things off the walls, broke the lamp). Then he followed me into the kitchen, where I attempted to straighten up. I didn’t have my TV babysitter and he wasn’t interested in toys, even if I played with him. So he set about trying to destroy the kitchen. He has figured out that if he rattles the locked cabinet doors hard enough, the locks pop open. So BANG-BANG-BANG-BANG-BANG-MESS! Then I stoop to clean/rescue, and he moves on to the next cupboard, and I attempt to thwart (and laugh uncontrollably - my new reaction). He laughs and moves on. This went on and on. He was especially determined to access the cupboards next to the pantry, which house light bulbs, candles, cake decorating stuff – lots of breakables and messy things. We went back and forth a few times, and I made a last-ditch, desperate attempt to block both cupboards with my body. I was horizontal on the floor. So he pulled my hair – a great big fistful. I yelped and moved, and he dove straight for the cupboard! Retelling it, I can’t believe I didn’t just relocate the two of us…but where? We are without a safe zone, even at home! I finally remembered that we have a portable crib, so I pulled that out of a closet and set it up in the kitchen. He spent more than an hour in it (eventually Garry fixed the TV, so a movie pacified him for a stretch), which is how I got my floor mopped (the first time). The floor became very important – I had to have a measure of control over my life, and for a brief time, I could control the floor. Oh, how lovely it looked. And now it is hopelessly sticky.

This is very much how every day goes with little Gavin.

In the big boys' world, swimming lessons have happened every weekday for two weeks. (This photo is one of two I took the entire session, and in the other one, the boys are totally stoic.) I was convinced that the title for their classes was "How to Goof Around in the Water, Levels 2 and 4." But amazingly, both boys passed their levels and supposedly gained new skills. (I did not see much of lesson time.) Zachary, whose class was really called "Stroke Development," learned things like the butterfly stroke, swimming under water, treading water with a scissor kick, and survival floats. In Level 2, Tyler learned "Fundamental Aquatic Skills." My favorite skill from the checklist on the certificate was "combined arm and leg actions on front and back." Sounds pretty sophisticated, don't you think? Swimming was great fun for the big boys and great work for me on the sidelines, as Gavin was not a fan of the stroller and wreaked havoc if I left him out. But I made a friend, whose boy is a friend from Zach's school. I have high hopes of play dates for those boys in the future.

This picture proves that I took the kids to the park (before swimming lessons, as you can see) one day this week. It was hot. Zachary practiced his inline skating, and also attempted to romp on the playground equipment while wearing his skates. The boys raided my purse while I was talking to another mom friend, and ate two sleeves of Ritz crackers and nine fruit leathers. So much for snack time later! We all had a good time, though.
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