Sunday, July 08, 2018

Sidewalk chalk and cookies

"You will never get caught up with blogging," Andrew warned me, "If you keep visiting with people and doing things!"

I know. It's true. Life has been very rich lately, full of friends, family, and fun. Today, for example, we took the kids up to Salt Lake City, on a whim, to visit the Church History Museum (which was fantastically designed) and to see the Christus statue (which we skipped when we took the kids to Temple Square at Christmas because the line was a mile long (almost); there was no line today). We also schlepped them up to the Capitol Building for a little tour. And then we came home and the girls played a game (Pirate's Cove) with Richard and Michael. And then the grown ups stayed up and visited.

And here we are, even further behind than I was before.

But instead of getting caught up today I'm just going to write about Benjamin because he's so sweet.

As an end-of-the-year present, his teacher gifted each student a piece of sidewalk chalk and a booklet of games to play with the sidewalk chalk. It sat ignored in his backpack (along with everything else he'd brought home at the end of the year) until we were packing for our trip to Canada. I couldn't find the backpack Benjamin usually packs in (it was in Miriam's closet—I found it after we got home) but I did find his school backpack so that's what he had to pack in. We had to empty it out first, however (don't judge), which is when we found the forgotten gift.

Finding a forgotten treasure (like a $5 bill in the pocket of your winter coat...or a gift your teacher had given to you a month previously) is as good as receiving something brand new, so Benjamin was all excited about his gift again.

Today he wanted me to play a game with him and since Zoë was out shopping with Andrew and the girls were both occupied at the piano(s) and Alexander wasn't letting me get any work done, anyway, I figured I could take some one-on-one time with Benjamin.

So I said, "Sure, buddy. We can do that. What game do you want to play?"

"This one," he said, flipping to a page titled Follow the Path.

There was a little illustration of stepping stones, which looked easy enough to replicate, so I said, "Great. Let's do it!"

"Okay, first we have to make some cookies."


"Cookies. We need cookies first."

"I didn't agree to cookies," I said. "I agreed to playing chalk games outside."

"Mom," he said, doing his best to sound official as he read to me from the card. "It says here—step 4—'Have a small "reward" for your child at the end of the path. Maybe their favorite teddy bear is waiting for them, or a plate of their favourite cookies. Have fun with this one!' So we need cookies."

"That's not going to happen," I said, trying not to laugh.

"We have to follow the directions," he said.

"Fine. We can put one of your favourite toys at the end of the path."

"I don't have a favourite toy," he said.

"Then we'll have to come up with something else because we're not making cookies right now."

You've got to give him credit for trying! Maybe one day we'll make some cookies together (baking with children sometimes requires more patience than I'm able to muster) but today was not that day. Instead we created our own variation of the game: a tri-colour cobblestone path of sorts with a big star at the end. We would each pick a colour of "stone" to be our path to the star, hopping over the other colours. It was pretty fun.*

Benjamin is a very fun person. Too much fun, sometimes.

Diana got to meet Benjamin when she came out a few months ago, but Richard had never met him before. His first comment about him was, "Benjamin has more energy than anybody I know!"

That one sentence validates my entire parental experience. Channelling all that energy is utterly exhausting.

Piper's graduation (the main reason for the timing of our Canada trip) was outside in George Lane Park, the traditional location for her school (which was once my school). In the middle of the ceremony, Patrick texted me to ask if he could take Benjamin to the playground rather than making him sit on his chair until the end.

"He's not just fidgeting," he told me. "He's vibrating. I think at some point he's going to explode."

Yes, he has quite a lot of energy. I wrote just a few weeks ago about how proud he was that he'd "finally done it" and put holes in his Sunday pants. Well, he put holes in his other Sunday pants last week so we stopped to get him some new pants on the way home from Salt Lake today. I don't know how he managed to put holes in two pairs of Sunday pants in just one year (keep in mind that he also wears his pants backwards quite regularly), but he did it! He's just constantly, constantly on the go.

He's a very large part of why my life has been so full lately (but I wouldn't have it any other way).

* Alexander enjoyed exploring the yard without having anyone come over to squish him or pull on him or sit on him or...whatever. I kept a somewhat watchful eye on him, but was also trying to give Benjamin his fair share of mom time so it wasn't a super watchful eye. When we came back inside he kept making a funny face, which he's been doing a lot recently since he's actively teething. But this face was just so weird that I decided to take a look in his mouth. He had a leaf plastered to the roof of his mouth and was quite bothered by it. He did not appreciate me fishing it out (until it was over with and then he was quite happy to have his mouth back to normal).

1 comment:

  1. I sat in with Aylin’s class this week because two deep and the teachers husband was doing his monthly national guard duty. There are7 kids who regularily attend. Four are Aylin a set of premature triplets. Can you imagine four Benjamins in a room. Sweet, but INTENSE!