Thursday, November 20, 2008

Dances with penguins

Where am I? Who am I? Who are you?

Seems I forgot myself for a moment. Or two months. Time is marching right over me. I feel like we’ve been busy as hell but I’m not clear on what it is we’ve been busy with. As always. Mark explained that doing ANYTHING with two small children is extremely busy. So true.

Noah turned FOUR. We had a DANCE PARTY at the Angler Movement Arts Center, where he has been taking a creative movement class. It’s not something they typically do there but in an effort to find someplace creative to have his party I pitched the idea to Katherine, the owner and she was really cooperative and affordable. I think there were 15 preschoolers along with their parents and a few toddler siblings. A nice assortment of old friends, neighborhood friends and new friends. Katherine did a short performance for them based on the alphabet and then she did a class with them where they duplicated her dance and then just bounced around to the music. The kids really seemed to have a blast. And I think the parents liked watching their kids enjoying the class. We took a few little videos which I’ve been meaning to load on youtube for weeks. But the best part of the party was that Noah was totally in his element. He’s not always outgoing in groups, but this was his place, his teacher, and all his friends and he was loving it.

One thing I have to mention about Noah is that in a group situation he latches on to one person. He doesn’t really play in a group. Even at his own party he was completely focused on his 6 year old cousin Aelan, whom he adores. In fact he keeps telling me that he is going to marry her when he grows up so he can spend every day with her. I’ve tried to explain about marrying cousins and told him they can certainly be best friends and roommates but he seems undeterred, even telling me that he and Aelan discussed it at his birthday party.

Another funny thing about Noah’s party was that he didn’t pay much mind to the girl he had BEGGED me to invite. In his dance class is a little girl named Evan - she is fair skinned with light eyes and white blonde hair with a dyed pink streak in it. She is totally adorable and also very rockin. And Noah has the biggest crush on her. After every class he comes out and tells me how much fun he had dancing with Evan – and even his teacher was giggling about how cute he is about it. A couple of weeks before his party we ran into Evan and her father at our local playground. She was running around in a pack of kids and not paying Noah much mind. He was upset. He kept dejectedly saying “Maybe she doesn’t remember me. Why won’t she play with me?” I explained that she was playing with other kids and he could join in but of course that isn’t what he had in mind. But before we left Evan said goodbye to him and he perked up. We stopped at the pizza place to pick up dinner and there was Evan and her Dad eating. We said Hi and headed out – at which point Noah told me he wished we were eating there with them. And then he said we HAD to invite him to his birthday party. So I gave Evan’s mom an invite maybe two weeks before the party and she didn’t RSVP. And the morning of his party Noah was asking me if Evan was coming and I told him she wasn’t but he would still have fun. Lo and behold her Mom calls that morning and asks if it is too late to come. Noah was so excited – and then ignored her. Playing it cool, taste of her own medicine I guess.

As we do every year we made a disc of Noah’s favorite songs of the year as a party favorite. I am certain the other parents are ready to bludgeon me as I too am sick of listening to it over and over again. I don’t have as much control on what he hears and takes a liking to anymore and thus I’ve had to endure a million listenings of “Hot, Hot, Hot.” Of course some songs I couldn’t put on his disc like MIA’s “Paper Planes” and Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab.” I had a hard time explaining to Noah why they couldn’t be on the kiddie playlist.

Christmas is coming. And I am none to bright. Noah has been perusing catalogs that come in the mail and only a parent who is a complete sadist would allow their child to do that. I have repeatedly explained to Noah that he has too many toys already. It really is shameful the amount of stuff we already have. No child needs this much stuff but our families and friends are so generous and I myself try to encourage his interests and end up buying unnecessary stuff. So I’m trying to focus on art supplies, books, videos, mazes, music, and dot-to-dots for the holidays. Of course he’s planning on asking Santa for a real penguin, a real monkey, a foosball table and an electric guitar. I think he might be a bit disappointed with how the holiday rolls.

DAMN this is long. This is why I never get around to blogging. I know it’s going to take me an hour.

And on to RAY. I was always able to kid myself that I was in charge with Noah but Ray is clearly the boss of me. He is so jovial, fun and good natured generally but I fear his displeasure and anger. I have this “just don’t piss off the baby” mentality. Because once he gets going, watch out. And I don’t have the stomach for it. Sometimes it is even too much for Noah. But damn that kid has a smile that could set the world on fire.

Ray has really started playing in the last few weeks. Focusing on pushing trains around, making animals walk along the ground, taking people from place to place. It’s a big change and a welcome one. He’s actually engaging in solo play for decent amounts of time. It is wonderful. He loves books. He’ll pick up a book and back up into your lap and hand it to you. His favorite is “Frosty the Snowman” because we sing it. He’s still a huge animal lover – snuggling up to the cats, pointing out every dog, squealing with glee at the aquarium, waving hello to pigeons. I’m not really a dog person – have always felt if I wanted that much damn responsibility I’d have a baby, I certainly don’t want to walk around in frigid weather, and forget the idea of me picking up warm poops from the sidewalk. (SHUDDER.) But sometimes I see how delighted Ray is just to spot a dog and I think he’ll someday have us buying a puppy. Ya know, if it gets along with Noah’s pet penguin.

OH- and I designed and ordered my Christmas cards. So if you want one and I don't have your up to date address PLEASE send me an email me at strangeafoot at gmail dot com.


Grandma said...

Ahhhh! The "don't piss off the baby" mentality. I remember it well!!

lonna said...

I have one of those kids who is easy to anger and his anger is insane. I so wish that I had some advice to pass on. It has totally mellowed, but I don't know how much of that is due to us.I do know that 12 months to 4 years and 6 months was a really, really, really long time. Thank god they are cute and funny too.

patrice said...

I was wondering who Jem was!! so that was a real pink streak?

I don't think I've ever seen ray be more than just fussy. if you fear it, I can't imagine it. you have to film it.

bella and I are going to go through her old toys and give the ones that are still nice away. so we can make room for new ones. she took this as we are going to go door to door, ask to see the kid's toys, and if the kid has no toys, we'll give her one of ours. so...there may be a little refining of the plan.

you know, bella was uncharacteristically shy at noah's party. I don't know why. she eventually got into things, but was very clingy. but she had a great time. it was a cute party.

Wendy Hitch said...

I am feeling the same way about time... where the hell does it go? How can the actual day seem so long and yet weeks fly by in the blink of an eye? Is is really almost Christmas time?
Noah was such a star at his party. It didn't matter that he didn't really hang out with anyone besides his cousin. All his friends know how much he loves them and they were there because they love him back. So cute to hear about his little crush. I love it!!
I have never seen that side of Ray before either. You do an awesome job at keeping him happy.