We spent last Sunday morning in the apple orchard. It was the boys’ first time picking apples — not sure how we missed out on this fun fall activity for the past four falls — and they loved it. Thankfully, the bees weren’t out in full force, especially since both boys act like their world is melting when any kind of insect gets too close for comfort
We picked without any plan – grabbing anything and everything off the trees that caught our fancy.
And ended up with two huge bags of mismatched types of apples.
And then got to smell the yummy fruits of our labor simmering away in the crockpot all afternoon for some homemade applesauce. I imagine we may try to fit another orchard trip in before picking season turns to pumpkins. The applesauce is just too easy to make and too big a hit with the munchkins to pass up another batch.
Lucas is all about “take my picture, mommy” these days. And I’m totally happy to comply. He knows a good photo opp when he sees one.
While walking around the neighborhood this week, our five-year old neighbor says “Lucas, you really like green shirts, huh?” You know your child has a self-imposed uniform when another child takes notice!
The uniform doesn’t end with green shirts though. It’s a combo — orange sweat pant shorts and green shirts. Every morning is a battle over the uniform. He’d wear some variety of this outfit every day if we didn’t suggest other clothing.
Arts and crafts are not on my radar. I never randomly suggest “hey, let’s color” or “how about some play dough action?” I have no idea if we are out of construction paper or if the markers have dried up, because arts and crafts don’t enter my thoughts.
This is probably because Lucas has no interest. The few times I’ve half heartedly offered up a coloring book, or asked if he’d be interested in applying some stickers, I’m shot down. He’s my wild imagination boy – all about taking toys, trinkets or even his fingers, and transforming them into some wild tableau of creativity – full of incredible plot development and nuanced characters.
But Ben is putting crafts back on the radar. He’s not interested in Lucas-style play. I plop him down in front of toys and he whines and cries for me to hold him. I offer up a bin of cars or farm animals and he loses interest in less than a minute. However, recently, he’s been asking to color. And boy can he color… for twenty, thirty, forty minutes!!! He will sit and plop stickers onto paper. He opens and closes the markers, attempts to color within the lines – doesn’t just feverishly scribble on the page and run away (ahem, Lucas.).
Even better, he will do all of this while I make dinner, do dishes, or try and get something done. He doesn’t whine and scream “up me, mommy!” or “I need mommmmmmmyyyyy” over and over again. He’s delighted with the arts and crafts, and I’m hell bent on remembering to offer them up as a choice for him.
That time your four year old looks wayyyyy too small to ride on the swings at the fair… Can’t even bend his knees.
In a true “this is what parenting looks like” moment, I was going to the bathroom and both the boys were standing three inches away. I asked them to “exit please” and pointed at the door.
Lucas jumped back, took Ben’s hand and pulled him through the doorway. Then he turned around, and very dramatically, drew a large X through the air of the doorway. He said, “Benjamin, I’m X’ing out the door. Mommy told us to X-it out and that means she wants privacy.”
Lucas started pre-K last week — our final year before the big transition to kindergarten! He was thrilled to head out and start a new class — he was significantly less thrilled to wear “nice” clothes to school.
Ben begrudgingly joined in the morning pictures, but no sign for him quite yet. His class switched from camp format to school format, but it’s the same teacher and many of the same kids. He’ll probably have a few more months of Older Toddlers before heading upstairs and joining the big kids melee.
We had an awesome week at the beach last week with family. It is such a blessing to have time away to relax, recharge and connect with folks we don’t get to see every day. Even better, it’s awesome to have a week so full of laughs that your cheeks ache as you drive away.
Here’s a glimpse.