Perfect Christmas

Christmas Eve feast

Last door opened on kids' advent calendar

Homemade ornaments

Opening stockings

And a perfect day of excitement and happiness!


Winter’s been a little hard for D. In the beginning of December it was warm enough some days that we could still go to the nearby state park and to the wildlife refuge to ride bikes. But the last couple of weeks have been cold, and of course the days have been very short. A goes off to school in the morning and in the afternoon he has his homework, and that keeps him in his routine, but D doesn’t have that. We have playdates and library storytime and swimming, we take the dog on long walks, we snuggle together to read, we do literacy and math lessons, and we make holiday crafts, but it’s not quite enough. I hadn’t realized before just how much bike riding calms D. On cold days, without his bike he is wired. Talking constantly, literally not stopping unless he is asleep. He talks when he’s playing, eating, in the bathroom, everywhere. And he’s always talking to me, always. His favorite topic is When I’m big and he tells me over and over about the cargo truck and the fire engine he will drive and how big they will be and what street they will be on and how many things they will carry and what he’ll eat for breakfast before he goes out to drive them and how the food will go down his esophagus and his stomach will mush it and how strong he will be and how strong his trucks will be and how many wheels they will have and how many people will be needed to drive them. Increasingly, it is less complete thoughts and more single words shouted over and over: Ma, ma, ma, protein, ma, protein, protein, protein - yes, sweetie, eggs have protein - ma, protein, protein, ma, protein – yes, protein makes your muscles strong – ma, protein. protein! proooo-teeeeeen! ma, protein, protein, protein, ma, protein, protein – OKAY!!! PROTEIN!!! - or sometimes it's just wordless yelling. The little guy just needs Christmas to be over, for one, and then after Christmas we will start looking at preschools for maybe two days a week. He’s not ready for full-time, more than ever he either clings to me or orients too much to other caregivers, but he needs the structure on the days that he doesn’t have a planned activity, and frankly, I need a break. 
When one is down, the other is up. At the beginning of the winter, while D was still fairly calm, A went through a rough patch, when he was yelling at me and ordering us around a lot. Now things are much better. A has really enjoyed the holiday preparations. He's excited for Christmas but not losing his mind like D is. Last night we went caroling with a big neighborhood group (I love this neighborhood!) and A had the best time, running to ring doorbells, excited to sing the songs I had taught him at home, and picking up the words to new songs on the fly. A has such drive to learn, to be part of the group, to fully live in this new world of his.

Finally, this past week the boys had an impressive achievement. I left them at their friends' house to run what I thought would be a quick errand and ended up being away for three hours. I was so late we completely missed A's swimming lesson. When I returned, they moaned for a bit, I validated their feelings, A and I came up with a plan to make up for the missed lesson, and then... that's it. They were fine. What a long way we have come.