Saturday, January 29, 2022

A few things I didn't say this week

Here are some warm, glowing pictures from last Sunday, which I've been meaning to write about all week long and simply haven't:

This pandemic is strange for so many reasons, but a few new ways it feels strange is all the growing that we've done behind our closed doors. We grew an entirely new person and no one has really met her or even seen her. The clothes my children wore at the beginning of the pandemic have grown too small. Zoë's dresses have become scandalously short, while Benjamin's pant cuffs long ago bid his ankles farewell. I obviously need to switch out Zoë's wardrobe, and have plenty of hand-me-downs for such purposes, but Benjamin is another story. To get him re-outfitted I'd have to go shopping (gross).

So we'll just wait until the spring (we're almost there, folks!) and turn all his pants into shorts. That should buy us a few more months before we have to actually go shopping.

We went to the park the other day, which I should post pictures of as well, and Alexander told me that he no longer likes the masks I made for him at the beginning of the pandemic—the cute little masks with the teddy bears and alphabet letters. He thinks they're too babyish for him. 

He was two years old when he picked out the fabric from our stash. 

He's since doubled his age, so I guess his choices were rather infantile.

And now we have a new baby and no one has met her. 

And my heart feels heavy because I'm tired of avoiding places and I'm tired of picking out fabric for masks (though we're highly dependent on N-95s at the moment, anyway) and I'm tired of being alone.

But also, my heart is bursting babies are beautiful and my children are delightful.

Zoë wants to be a babysitter when she grows up. That was the grand plan she came up with when we took a few minutes to write about what we wanted to be. We got her a set of Babysitter Club graphic novels for Christmas. I wonder if that helped inspire her choice, but I don't care either way. I'm kind of happy to have a child who likes babies so much. I also always loved, loved, loved babies. Borrowing babies was my favourite activity. And all I wanted to be when I grew up was a mom (though now that I'm a mom I know that I need other things in life, too) and I think that's a fine aspiration.

This young man is still intent on being a National Park Ranger. I went ahead and ordered a wood carving kit for him for Valentine's Day. I would tell you not to tell him about it, but Benjamin is an enthusiastic mail-getter and when this wood carving kit arrived, it was unfortunately mailed in its original box with a shipping label slapped on it, so Benjamin came screaming down the driveway, "Look what Dad ordered! Look what Dad ordered!" (because I had ordered it on Andrew's account). 

So it's no surprise that it's here. Though he doesn't know when he'll be getting it. 

We don't always do big gifts on Valentine's Day, but sometimes we do. Especially when we're two years into a global pandemic and I feel like we need to be doing a little something extra to support our children's growth and hobbies and overall well-being.

Here's sweet Alexander, who was so happy he had his owl mask Auntie K sent him in his pocket rather than the babyish bears and alphabet one I made him, not that he needed a mask this particular day. We went to the park for a little picnic and Alexander was thrilled to spot this grey heron:

It's just behind his shoulder on that little island in the pond. Here:

His outfit was spectacular:

He announced, very matter-of-factly, that he would like to be an owl when he grows up. I'm not particularly surprised by this desire of his, though I also am not sure if it's really possible to encourage him in this direction either. So mostly I just get excited about birds with him when we see them (because he still gets excited about birds even if he no longer is excited about his baby masks). 

Other than ornithology, I'm not sure he has high aspirations. He's been sleeping in a big box all week, and while that's fun for now, I hope his future holds more than that. I do love how he punched a constellation of air holes for himself.

He has a tentative plan for this box to be his Halloween costume this year. He said he would like to be, and I quote, "a fetus in a uterus," but that by October he might be ready to be an "already-borned baby." And, I mean, the timeline just about checks out there. 

We'll see how long he sleeps in that box for.

Anyway, here are a few pictures of Phoebe at the park:

She wasn't very impressed by the swing. Here she is yawning to let me know she's ready for a nap, not swinging time:

And here she is napping:

All zoomed in like that you can't tell that she's really napping in a mess of picnic boxes and homework books (but really she was napping in a mess of picnic boxes and homework books; also, her hood is a little big):

We're in the middle of a cold snap right now. The temperature plummeted yesterday evening and we even got a few midnight flurries. Andrew opened the living room window, stuck his head out, and sighed, "Ahhh! It smells like winter!" which was kind of a funny thing to say.

Nothing stuck to the ground, though, and things were sunny and dry when we woke up this morning (if not still really cold). 

My brother made me laugh because he said, "Georgia has more snow than Alberta" and made some remark about what a warm winter they've been having up there. I only laugh about that because this winter my brother has also complained about how horribly cold things have been. While we were enjoying 70°F weather at Christmas he was hovering around -40°C/F (emphasis on the negative)!

How quickly we forget the hard things we endure, like -40° weather.

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