Alden has a way with words and describing his experiences. I wish I was better about writing down all the things he comes up with. He has a great vocabulary and when he hits a wall with the words he knows, the things he comes up with to get you to the same conclusion, often blow me away.
The other night, I was putting him to bed and had finished his three stories and "talk about the day" (something we started with Kai when she was a toddler that she loved and, similarly, Alden loves to talk of the day. Essentially, we just walk through exactly what happened in the day, recalling what we did together and, often, the things they did away from us. I think it helps them to process the day, reflect, and also realize that even when we are not with them, we are aware of what they are doing and thinking of them. Of course, they don't articulate their love of "talking of the day" as a result of those benefits -- but, that's my theory as to why they like it so much).
Anyway... we had finished the stories and the talk of the day and I had turned out the light and turned to Alden and said, "now, close your eyes." Alden said, "I don't want to close my eyes because I don't like the movies and pictures that come when I close my eyes." I was stunned. For two reasons. One, that was such an apt way to describe dreams. Two, because why didn't he like his dreams? But, then I realized how it only really takes one bad dream to turn you off dreams for awhile -- and they can be scary. So funny how that's true of so many things. We, as people, remember all the negative comments we get and have to receive the same compliment 5 times before it sinks in. We remember our nightmares and forget the wonderful dreams. I think that's another benefit to talking about the day -- it's an opportunity to just reflect on all the things that are otherwise forgotten about in the hum drum of living. And to remind ourselves of all the good things that happened. It's also why I love this blog. It's a way of just remembering all those small, positive moments in raising little people -- because it's easy to focus on how much work it is and how busy and stressed I am all the time. But, the act of taking out my computer to tell one of the little stories of wonder and amazement that comes from raising kids keeps me focused on what an amazing (and fleeting) experience this is.
But, I digress. I turned to Alden and said, "do you mean you don't want to dream?" Alden said, "I don't want to close my eyes and see the movies." I reminded him that he loves movies and he said, "not the movies when I close my eyes." I rubbed his head and hugged him and said, "many of those videos are lovely. And, mama and dada will always keep you safe. And we love you. Tonight, let's hope for sweet dreams." He was sleepy and turned over and fell asleep.. hopefully to sweet dreams.
Another example of Alden's imagery -- we were watching a nature documentary and there was an avalanche in the documentary. The footage of the avalanche went on for a couple of minutes and we really got to saw how massive and destructive big avalanches can be. Then, the documentary went on and after several minutes, Alden turned to me and said, "where did the mountain wave go?" The mountain wave! That's exactly what it was.
Alden loves to play pretend these days. He wants to pretend he's a dinosaur, a baby, a bird, a builder.... he asks us to play pretend multiple times a day. He isn't into dress up -- but, he likes to have props and to make up stories as he goes along.
The other day, when I was trying to get Alden to come set the table for dinner he said, "one minute, Mama. You have to be patient." I cracked up. How many time does he hear that same phrase, but it was funny to hear it coming out of his mouth. Patience!
He is constantly recounting tales to us and, if it appears we're no listening, he grabs our face and says, "Mama. Listen. I'm talking to you." He also says to me at least twice a day, "Mama -- I want milk and snuggles with you!" He loves to have his sippy cup of milk while we snuggle on the couch and he rubs my "nickel" (a mole on my neck that both he and Kai love to rub... weird, I know). He just bounded over here and grabbed onto my neck and said, "Mama... I want milk and snuggles". I told him to go get milk from Eric (who is in the kitchen) and before he bounded off he clarified that we had to lay lengthwise on the couch (since I'm sitting up at the moment). I assured him that when he returned with the milk, we'd lay down and have a proper snuggle. He'll be back in a moment.
It's 7:45 AM. I've been up with them for two hours already. We've built a fort. Made coffee. And now will be doing "milk and snuggles" before diving into breakfast prep and then, clean up. Gone are the days of sleeping in late and eventually getting up and heading to brunch with friends. The days are definitely long, but it is so true that the years are short (too short) -- and I'm excited to hear what images and phrases pop out of his mind today as he navigates his day.
Happy Sunday in June!