Christopher left early Sunday for Russia, and we put Ethan on a plane back to Provo. I had a babysitter on standby to help me with the dinner and bedtime routine every night, but I didn’t end up needing it. It has been a great week.
The sun has been shining, but it is chilly so we haven’t spent much time outside. Still, just having the sun shine and being able to walk outside for a few minutes with Ben has been nice.
The kids had no school Wednesday or Thursday for parent-teacher conferences. Yeah, it didn’t make sense to me either to cancel school for two whole days for conferences, but whatever. Wednesday I watched Dalton and Rylan while Shay did her conferences. After we headed to the pool at the athletic club nearby. I got a week guest pass to try it out, and as nice as it is, it is expensive. At least twice as much as the YMCA plus you have to register and pay extra for childcare. Seriously? It’s such a shame the YMCA doesn’t build a facility on the plateau, because they say this athletic club is plenty accessible. Yes, for rich people. Of which there are plenty here. There are other YMCAs in Seattle but the nearest one is about a half hour drive and I’m just not up for that.
However, it was nice taking the kids swimming. Logan fell asleep in the stroller and I hopped in the small, warm pool with Ben. The bigger, lap pool was a bit cooler, but Megan and Gavin played in it a bit with a few other kids. Ben was SO happy to be back in the water. That kid is a fish. Half the time he “swam” without his float, but it wasn’t really swimming, it was basically drowning and every few seconds I would lift him out of the water. But he thinks he can swim, and after we swam for about 45 minutes and Logan woke up, I knew we would have to leave. I couldn’t nurse Logan and keep tabs on Ben, and the lifeguard wouldn’t let Ben just swim with his life jacket alone (“arms length”), so we had to pack it up and get to the car. Logan was livid, of course, that he was not fed immediately, but he survived. In fact, by the time we got home, three of the kids were screaming. Gavin, because he was cold, Logan, because he was hungry, and Ben, because the two of them were screaming. But the car ride was only a few minutes, and a few minutes after that everyone was fed, dry, warm, and in the bed for quiet time. I have made Megan and Gavin spend from noon to two in their beds reading, which has made for a nice school break.
Thursday morning Shay watched Ben and Gavin while I had my conferences. Megan actually led her parent-teacher conference, which was cute. She is doing well, of course, and her teacher is perfect for her–young, fun, energetic, creative, supportive. Gavin’s conference was also great, and his teacher is perfect for him–older, no-nonsense, but still nurturing. He is reading so well, it makes me so happy. A love of reading is one of the things I try so hard to instill in my kids, for them and me. Gavin’s graduation to chapter books is another reason why this week went so smoothly. He has been going to bed without complaint, because he has a book to look forward to. He has blown through about 30 Magic Tree House books in the last few weeks.
Megan has been a huge help this week, too. Wednesday night was especially nice. I was trying to get Logan to sleep, and she was playing with Ben in the playroom. When Logan wouldn’t go down, I told Megan I’d put Ben to bed, and she said, “It’s okay, I’ll do it.” AND SHE DID. She read to him, and tucked him in with all his “stuff”– music, white noise machine, nightlight, pacifier, blanket. The only thing she forgot was to brush his teeth, but who cares? Then, she came in and held Logan so I could do the dishes. It was SO NICE. Then we watched Jeopardy together. We have been watching Jeopardy together every night, and she’s getting pretty darn good at it. She used to only get one or two answers a game, and tonight I think she got about 10. She even beat me a few times, and once tonight she answered one right that none of the adults got. It had to do with what kind of store an ironmonger owns. Apparently, a hardware store.
Shay brought over her Exersaucer and Logan is happy she did. Shay getting pregnant when she did is really working out well for me, because she’s loaning me all kinds of baby gear that I got rid of when I was definitely never having another baby after Ben and moving all over the country. Plus, we found out this week that Shay is finally having a GIRL so I’m sure she’ll probably go buy all new pink stuff anyway!
Logan was pretty good this week. Still quite demanding, but he definitely prefers the Exersaucer to the bouncy seat. He’s SO over those. He fusses in the evening still but tonight I laid him down around 8:30 and he went to sleep without crying. High five.
Ben just amazes me every day, with both the amount of trouble he causes and how cute he is. Look how happy he is in this picture. He is happy because he climbed up to reach Logan’s medicine dropper and is playing with it. And then he put some goldfish food granules in the dropper, which he had spilled on the carpet and I was in the process of vacuuming up. And I couldn’t get them out, and had to throw it away. That kind of stuff is pretty typical. But just when he knows he’s in trouble, he busts out with the funny words, because he knows I can’t resist. “That’s odd!” is a good one. Also, lately when I get mad and tell him to do something or else, he says, “Yes, Officer Mommy!” No clue where he got that from.
Gavin has been great this week and I have had loads of patience with him. He managed to pitch two tantrums (including the after-pool wet, cold, and hungry one) and sometimes I wonder if it’s normal and then I just don’t worry about it. I watched Parenthood this week and laughed and laughed. Gavin is so much like Steve Martin’s kid and Christopher is just like Steve Martin. The scene with the toddler that looks like Ben running around on the stage and Steve Martin looks like he’s going to lose it reminded me so much of Christopher and then he realizes everyone is laughing and it’s okay. I remember seeing bits and pieces of that movie growing up and I only remembered the crude parts, but watching it as a parent of four, in its entirety, made me really appreciate the message. Life is messy. It’s a roller coaster ride. Get over it, and do your best.