Monday, August 29, 2011

New Thing #40: Playhouses & Pictograms

Monday! Monday! Monday! Ole! How goes? How are you? Will you ever answer me?! What did you get into this weekend? We had a great weekend here at Chateau Chaos. On Saturday morning we made our annual visit to the Peach Festival...this is where Daddy & I had our first date, so it has become a tradition for us. We checked out the kid-friendly rides and all of us enjoyed the obligatory peach sundae. After naptime, the LP went to Grammy and Grandpa's for a sleepover (they seem to be having lots of sleepovers lately, don't they?), because Daddy's band was playing their annual gig at a golf tournament hosted by the family of three out of the five band members. The boys did an outstanding job, as per usual, and we had a most excellent evening out. On Sunday morning we walked over to Starbucks and had coffee together on the patio before going over to Grammy and Grandpa's for a family lunch with everyone. By all accounts, the LP also had an excellent evening and while they were happy to see us, LP1 did say that she didn't want to go home. Unfortunately for her, we like having her around and made both of them come home.

Have you ever had so many things to do that you just don't know where to start and so you end up half-starting some things, never really finishing them, focusing your efforts on things you shouldn't be doing and ending up just feeling generally frustrated? I think that is how I would describe my day today. Lately I seem to lack the ability to focus and get things done. I'm all over the place and accomplishing very little. I am hoping a good sleep tonight (yeah, LP2 I'm looking at you, please no more deciding to be up for 2 hours in the middle of the night) might help me regroup. Either that or I'm going to start drinking rocket fuel.

After I realized that getting anything on my to-do list done was just an exercise in futility today, I decided to just play with the LP. We went for a walk to the store. LP1 was trying to entice butterflies to come to her. Perhaps yelling "HEY BUTTERFLY, COME BACK" at top volume is not the way to draw the delicate butterfly to you. It is, however, an excellent way to startle a man working on a boat on his driveway as you pass by, causing him to drop a hammer and give you a Stare of Disapproval. I didn't realize that small children should be muzzled. I've sort of been operating under the assumption that when we're out for a walk in the wide open air in the middle of the afternoon that it is acceptable to be noisy. My bad.

Once we returned from the store I set the LP loose in the backyard. It was a lovely summer day and I know they were itching to get outside. I pushed LP2 in the swing for awhile and listened to his happy swinging sounds. I pushed LP1 in her car for awhile and dutifully took orders about where we should go and how fast I should be going. Eventually both of them got bored. LP1 wandered into her playhouse and started to talk on the phone. As I saw LP2 watching her, I realized he was finally big enough to hold his own in the playhouse and I put him in there with her.

For her second birthday, LP1 was given an amazing playhouse. It is the perfect size for the LP and LP1 has spent many happy hours in there this summer.

If they could just make this a little bigger & swap out the sink for a bar, this would make an excellent Mommy playhouse

LP2 has been a nimble little monkey as of late. Although he is not yet walking, he has figured out how to pull himself up onto anything that is at his height. He has discovered the joy of opening doors and pulling out all the contents behind the door. Indeed, there is nothing quite like tripping over an onion you didn't realize was in the middle of the kitchen floor. And earlier today, he went from playing in with the kitchen centre in a corner of the living room to scaling the stairs and playing Daddy's guitar upstairs in the bedroom all while I was in another room. Yes, I realize I should not leave him. However, UNTIL THIS AFTERNOON he did not make wild breaks for another part of the house or crawl up the stairs entirely on his own and it wasn't like I was gone for very long. HE IS JUST THAT FAST. Don't judge me. But this is not the point I'm trying to make. Given that he can stand for longer, is more curious about things and can open doors, I knew he was ready to actually play in the playhouse.

The LP LOVED being in the playhouse together. I often play this game with LP1 where she closes the shutters on each end of it and I knock on them, demanding bizarre things in a silly voice. We played that game again. But for LP2, opening and closing the doors was just another variation of peek-a-boo, one of his favourite games. He stood at one end and we played for a good ten minutes. Hearing him let loose those infectious baby giggles was wonderful. LP1 had left a play necklace in there and it wasn't long before he had scooped it up in one chubby fist and was shaking it at me. At one point, he moved to one of the open windows and we played a game that only he understood where he would try to shove it in my mouth, I would make a terrible face and he would laugh. As he stood there, holding onto the side of the house and making conversation, I realized again how quickly he is growing up. Every day he moves a little farther away from "baby" and closer to "toddler". 

LP1 alternated between calling people on the playhouse phone to playing with us. I think she liked being able to share the playhouse with her brother. We were in there for at least forty minutes together, and that is a long time by LP standards. Eventually she tired of playing in there and fetched me some bubbles to blow for the two of them. I don't know what it is about bubbles that enchants children, but they were loving them...especially because they were the special purple ones.

Don't be fooled. These leave purple soap marks all over you. I looked like I had been mugged by a beet. Yes, it washes off but that is not the point.

When I got tired of making bubbles, we went to the patio and drew pictures on it with chalk. I love doing this with the kids. Sometimes we write names or draw shapes or make hopscotch courts. Today I look requests from LP1 for what to draw (with my stellar artistic ability) and attempted to prevent LP2 from putting chalk in his mouth. My art wasn't really keeping anyone's attention for very long and it was nearly dinnertime. We headed in for a drink and a snack. All that fresh air works up an appetite.

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