Sunday, February 26, 2017

All better

Alden is zooming towards three and leaving toddlerhood far behind him.  It's remarkable how much changes between two and three.  He now expresses he thoughts and desires in a way that is much easier to understand.  And, while still prone to tantrums and bouts of completely illogical reasoning, he can also be reasoned with now.

A year ago, he had to have an x-ray to check out what was going on in his chest -- and it sucked.  He screamed.  He couldn't be reasoned with.  He was terrified out of his mind.  This week, Alden and I spent a night at the ER together again -- another respiratory infection -- and the x-ray this time was so much easier.  I told him it was a big camera that was going to take his picture.  He seemed suspicious and looked nervous, but stuck out his chest and smiled for the camera.  So nice to be able to talk to him and explain what is going on!

I would like not to have to spend another night at the hospital with Alden -- it's not a fun place to be for an evening.  But, it did get me reflecting on how much he has changed.  He told me, "I don't like the hospital.  I want to go home."  He cuddled and observed everything going on around us.  He asked about the various noises and bleeps and beeps from the machines.  Towards the end, he was fed up with being there and having to have sensors on his fingers.  He told the nurse he was all better and could go home, realizing that saying, "I'm sick.  I don't feel good" was not going to get him home any faster.  He had a 102.5 fever, lowish oxygen levels, and a high heart rate.  We all knew he wasn't feeling well.  But, he looked the nurse in the eye and said, "I'm better.  I feel good.  I can go home."  And, that, is the difference between two and three.

Luckily, today Alden is feeling much better.  He is still coughing and still has a runny nose, but the fever is gone and he is bouncing off the walls.  I hate when they are sick, but I appreciate the ability to talk to him about how he is feeling.

We also took Alden to get a haircut recently, and he climbed up right on the chair, ready to go.  When the hair dresser told him to stay still, he froze in place.  He looked down as instructed.  Just between visits to the hair salon, he changed so much.  He is now so much better at following directions and understanding what is going on.  After his hair cut was over, he turned to me and said, "it's still long!  It didn't get cut!"  Eric and I love his shaggy hair, and so had only asked for it to be trimmed.  Alden noticed!

In just a few weeks, he'll be THREE!

Valentine's Day

As usual, I'm behind in posting and keeping up on life in general.  Maybe it's good, given the current political climate, that time passes quickly.  But, sometimes I wish I could slow down our day to day even as we zoom towards the next election and, hopefully, a change of administration. Politics has been dominating my thinking and work these days.  But, having children is a nice buffer from the fear and horror I feel every time I turn on the news.  Kids keep it real -- needing their needs met, making jokes, playing together (and fighting), and focusing on the micro of their individual lives rather than the macro of the greater world around them.  It's a needed change of pace when the world around us has turned so ominous.

Valentine's Day this year was a good example.  This is not a holiday high on my list of holidays worth celebrating.  In fact, I don't think it's on the list at all.  But, the kids - and Kailey especially -- were so excited about Valentine's Day.  In past years, I've remembered (at the last minute) to rush to the store and buy the obligatory pack of cards to hand out at school. That, followed by realizing I have no idea who is in the class, how to spell names correctly, or how many cards we really need.  There are ways around these oversights -- cards do not have to be individually addressed (everyone is getting the same card anyway) and buying an extra pack of cards guarantees that we won't be short.  My point is, I haven't spent a lot of time on Valentine's Day. 

This year, Kai knew it was coming up.  And, being the crafty person she is, started making cards weeks before the holiday arrived.  She had a plan for what she wanted to do for each of her classmates, and no interest in buying pre-made cards at the store.  She told me she needed red construction paper, stickers, and little boxes of candy hearts.  She fretted when, two weeks out, I still hadn't bought her supplies.  She wanted to get going! 

She made a card for each person in her class, her teacher, and her cats.  She made Alden, Eric and me multiple cards.  My favorite had a picture of two pieces of dancing bacon and it said, "I love you more than bacon, and I really love bacon!"  I'm pretty sure she cribbed it from somewhere, but it was cute.

Kai spent HOURS making cards, turning what I consider to be a commercialized and somewhat ridiculous holiday into her own expression of friendship and love for the people she spends her days with. 

Alden, of course, is too young to really understand or anticipate the holiday.  But, when he got his pack of cards at school, he was very excited.  He spent the next several days dumping all the cards on the floor and picking them up, one by one, exclaiming, "I LOVE this one!"  Then he would dance around in excitement among the cards.

Other than buying them each a card and a chocolate covered marshmallow made to look like a farm animal, we didn't do anything out of the ordinary for Valentine's Day.  And, they didn't seem to notice or care.  This was Kai's opportunity to express herself -- she relished the chance to make something for each of her classmates.  She had a great time celebrating the holiday because she loves to create and she wants her friends to know she cares.  And, in that way, she made the holiday what it should be -- a day of saying, "I care about you".

When I told her I wasn't a big fan of Valentine's Day, she turned to me and said, "How can you not like a holiday that is about love?"  I hadn't really ever considered Valentine's Day to really be about love . But, that's what it meant for her.  And, that's what she expressed leading up to the day and on the holiday itself. 

I love how they live in the moment and draw out the essence of each day.  I love being a mom to these two!

Here is a sampling of the cards Kai made: