Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Nate headed off to kindergarten yesterday and showed us again what a dream child he is.


We'd been talking up the fun of kindergarten and gone to an orientation; he was super shy during orientation, but didn't balk at the thought of it. The night before kindergarten was starting he said he didn't want to go, but it was in the context of a horrible tired hysterical tantrum, and he was asleep 7 seconds later. I didn't worry too much.


Monday morning we got up early and gabbed and got ready nice and leisurely. Stewart snapped some pics as we headed out the door, and we drove off. I had talked with him about walking him in, but while we were driving I told him I'd walk him to the door; that I knew he could go inside by himself.


So we parked and walked to the front of the school, milling around with a lot of other parents and kids. It was a treat to watch the little Pre-K kids waiting with their little bags and nap-rolls; they looked so tiny and sweet! Nate hung by my side, quieter than usual but holding up. When the doors opened and kids started in, Nate hesitated but seemed game - he had definitely absorbed that it was an important day. I knelt down with him and told him how incredibly proud I was of him, to have a wonderful day, that he'd be great. He gave me a kiss on the lips; a very rare occurrence. I stood up to say goodbye and heard him say something quietly: ironically he told me he'd said, very sweetly, "let me go."


I let him go. I smiled while he walked away from me. It was all terribly symbolic and touching and I teared up a bit but mostly grinned at my sweet happy son. We smiled and waved and blew kisses all the way down the ramp, and I headed home with my Jack.


I got there early to pick him up, as I always seem to, and waited what seemed like forever for his blonde head to be escorted out. He looked up and saw me waiting, and yelled "It was great!" He said it again when he got to me, and we headed home with Stella. After we'd dropped her off (carpool!), I remembered to ask him about his lunch: I'd packed a few special things in there. He liked the apple slices with hearts and the rice crackers and the name cookies, but what he mentioned was the note I'd taped to the top of his snack: Mommy ♥s Nate. He told me he found my letter, and that when he read it he kissed it. Then when we got home he taped it on the fridge, and added his own note (totally his idea, done completely by himself, except for spelling Mom):


He headed off to Chinese day today without a problem: jumped out of the car, yelled "I love you!" and slammed the door. He's on his way.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Little boy growing

Here are things that Nate does by himself now:

  • Peel carrots (he loves this!)


  • "Read" comic books.


  • Pour cereal, pull stool to the fridge to get the milk, pour milk, make "breakfast" for himself and Jack (please excuse the clothes, he dressed himself)


  • Clean up the toys in the basement, sometimes surprisingly well. The housekeepers were coming on Wednesday and I was trying to get us off to the zoo; I called down to Nate and asked him to help clean up the basement and he said "okay!" and headed downstairs to work on it. Huh.

  • Make friends in airports.


  • Climb into Jack's crib to fetch "pink doll and paci" that are requested 10 times a day.

  • Pinch samosas closed


  • Decide to share his silly bandz with friends because they don't have any.

  • Color the front walkway bricks with sidewalk chalk, making a pattern as he goes along.


  • Water the plants in the backyard

  • Really help with Aunt Drebba's charity auction


  • Horse around with cousins


  • Know to be careful with feelings: The other night he said he wanted Daddy to put him to bed because Number 2 is better than Number 1 and Daddy was Number 2...well, we were both Number 2 but Daddy was Number 3...

    He's pretty fabulous.
  • Tuesday, August 24, 2010

    Nate's first blog post!

    Today we went to the zoo, and on the way home I decided to include some "journal" entries from Nate as part of this blog. It'll help us all remember what we've seen and done, and give a better window into Nate's mind as he grows up.

    So from here on, in this entry, it will be only Nate's words and my pictures.


    We went to two playgrounds. One was a pizza one and one was the prairie-dog one. And we could pop up through little holes like prairie dogs.


    I had a great time seeing the animals. I saw lions, I saw goats, we saw prairie dogs...what else did we see? (Leah: we saw monkeys, we saw snakes, we saw lizards...)

    We saw turtles and fishes, those are reptile animals. We saw lions.


    I liked the lions because I liked how they look.



    Monday, August 23, 2010

    So happy together

    It's been a long day filled with Jack smearing poop around and laundry and cleaning up after everyone. Stewart left early and came home late, and I escaped to the recliner for a few minutes of reading blogs.

    Nate and Stewart are playing with a photo program on the Mac, taking silly distorted pictures of themselves. I hear giggling, and then Nate says "Mom, you've gotta come see this. You've gotta be in the picture." and I put down this laptop, walk over, and giggle with my kid. So grateful that he wants me in the picture.


    Wednesday, August 18, 2010

    I'm Jack

    Hi, I'm Jack River. My Mom's been calling me just "River" a lot these days; I know it and respond to it, and Mom's feeling very sneaky and pleased with herself.

    I'm getting towards turning three, but I'm still not sure of a lot of things.

    Am I right-handed?




    Whatever. This much I know: I love noodles.





    Wednesday, August 4, 2010

    It's like everything I've been pouring into Nate for the past (almost) 5 years has taken root all at once.

    This morning he got breakfast made for him and Jack - all I had to do was provide the bowls and strap Jack in. Then, when he was done eating, Nate looked at me and said "I'm sorry I poured too much milk and wasted some food, but I'm done." And somehow because he acknowledged it, I was able to be all "no worries!" It was so amazing.

    Yesterday we had the aforementioned "basement cleaning" incident. He also gets pink doll from Jack's crib when Jack asks him, helps Jack with the crazy-complicated Viewmaster, gets his own apples and juice from the fridge, and scolds Jack when he begs for more TV. Such a smart, sensible, grumpy little-old man.


    Tuesday, August 3, 2010

    So much to say

    There's just so much I want to say about these boys of mine, and time keeps marching on and there are more and more things to say about them and try to remember, and I'm totally failing at it. Even when I try, even when I write a good entry, I still fail. Because I can't capture their voices, the nuances of our lives. I can't capture the joy and frustration the way I want to, and I know that's what's keeping me from coming back and writing: knowing that I'm going to fail no matter how hard I try.

    But I'm going to try anyway, because something has got to be better than nothing. So here's what I say to say:

    When I get frustrated with Jack or discipline him at all, he throws himself at me and says in an anguished tone: "But I love you!" Today when I was holding him and telling him not to throw toys he calmly said "But I want to kiss you!" and delivered a chaste kiss on my lips.

    There are no words to describe how I feel about Jack. He is my heart, forward and back and all the way around.


    Nate and I are friends, finally. He wants me to put him to bed at night. He holds my hands when we walk places, and tries to carry bags for me. I push all of my frustrations down and try to relax and play and laugh and pull out my very best fart jokes.

    Tonight he called me down to the basement and showed me how he'd cleaned everything up, put it away in the right bins. It honestly looked great. I mentally patted myself on the back. Then he got really frustrated because Jack actually took out and played with some toys, thereby messing up the beautiful room, and scowled when I explained that we'd play for 10 minutes and then we could clean up again. So I un-patted myself and rebuked myself for all those times he was little and I snapped at him for messing something up or spilling something or not being orderly. Ugh.

    Either way, great or horrible Mom, Nate is a great (and only rarely horrible) kid. Sometimes he runs out and plays in the rain with me, and sometimes he doesn't want to get his clothes wet. He's a bit of a worrier. He's a little anal. He either came by it naturally or I was too hard on him. Whatever it is, he is who he is now. He's smart, kind, sensitive, and actually sometimes sweet. He praises Jack for behavior now, in a high-pitched Mom voice: "Jack, you did a really good job on the puzzle!" It's darling.


    Maybe I'll try to post at least one sentence every day. We'll see.