Tuesday, August 21, 2007

So Grown Up

Kemper and Rowan had their second tooth cleaning appointment recently. They did such a great job. Unlike the first time, they each sat alone in the chair while they hygienist did her job. Neither moved, both opened wide when asked, etc. They were apparently more tolerant and obedient than many adult patients! When it was time for the dentist to look them over, she checked Rowan first. Kemper got in the chair for his turn, and she said, "Your brother has 20 teeth. How many teeth do you think you have?" To which he replied, "Well, I'm missing one, but I still have all the rest." Too cute.

(In case anyone is reading who didn't already know this, Kemper had to have one of his front teeth pulled at 18months after knocking it all the way up into his jaw when he fell at a friend's house.)

Alone Time

We've been trying to spend some one-on-one time with the boys, and have been successful the past couple of weekends. A recent Saturday found me picking peaches with Rowan, while Morgan took Kemper fishing. A good time was had by all. Kemper caught one fish (and released it, since the Charles river isn't as clean as they say), and asked if sometime he could keep what he catches and bring it home for mommy to cook. Rowan ate some good fresh peaches and nectarines, then drove the old tractor on the farm's playground before we headed home. Mom and dad have it easy, with only one kid to keep track of. We miss out on family togetherness, but in the end it usually is worth it.

Out and About

Last week I had no daycare or summer camp scheduled, so in a very uncharacteristic moment, I planned ahead and got passes to the Science Museum from our local library. I was a bit nervous, as the last time I tried going there on my own with the boys, it was a disaster. They were just too young. But this time, it was a smashing success.

Not that they really did much other than press buttons and listen to the prerecorded information at the displays, but they had a blast. Boston's museum has a Van de Graaff generator, and they put on a live lightning show each day. It's a pretty cool thing, but loud and dark. I was worried it would scare the boys, but it was their favorite part of the visit! That and the replica of one of the Apollo capsules.

We left after 3 1/2 hours, not because the boys were acting badly, but because the parking fees are outrageous and I was getting worried about how much that was going to cost. But this was definitely a record for our little group.

It was such a success, I joined for a year. We'll definitely be going back.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Over The Hump?

Lately it seems like we might be leaving the terrible twos behind. Sure, my boys are now 3 1/2, but I can assure you that they have been terrible well past their twos. But in the past few weeks, there have been little indications that they're really becoming little boys instead of toddlers.

Kemper, picky eater extraordinaire (I'm sure that came from me), has been very brave and tried pretty much everything we've presented. He's gone from eating only pizza, tortellini, macaroni & cheese, and chicken fingers to salmon, lentils with rice, quiche, ham sandwiches, clam chowder, lo mein, and baked ziti. In short, it seems my days of cooking two dinners each night are becoming a thing of the past. What a relief! Of course, it's always most successful if we eat as a family, which can be tricky during the week when Morgan is working. But we're trying.

I can actually convince the boys to clean up their toys. Sort of. And with lots of nagging. But they're starting to get it. Kemper occasionally says, "Mommy, I think I'll go clean up the living room." What mom wouldn't be thrilled at this? I hate nagging about something so unimportant, though, so I've enlisted the help of the House Fairy. It's silly, but it works. (If you want more information about her, check out her website: www.housefairy.org)

Bedtime is usually a breeze. Aside from the occasional tussle over how many books we'll read, they're ready to get to bed most nights. The last time we had a sitter, they had a good nap during the day but still asked her if they could go to bed around 7, then did so without any fanfare. Sometimes Rowan still sneaks out of his room to ask stalling questions. "Mommy, about what time are we going to wake up?" "Mommy, I'm sweaty so will you check on me later and put my blanket back on me?" Or similar things.

There are, of course, still tantrums and occasional bad days. But those will last forever, I think. I keep running into parents of older kids at the grocery or similar locations, usually when I'm being stern with the boys about not listening, and they universally say, "Oh, it just gets worse, you wait!" Hmmm. That may be, but at least now they can reason somewhat, and can finally be trusted (most of the time) not to run away from us when we aren't looking.