Friday, August 27, 2010

A Vlach-Tastic Summer

We've had an absolute blast this summer! Now that Madeline's 3 1/2 and Charlie's 18 months, we're on the go, even more so lately because Charlie is dropping his morning nap. We've been visiting the zoo, swimming in our neighborhood pool a few times a week, climbing on the playground before the sun is fully up, wading in the stream that winds around a walking loop we enjoy, playing in the warm rain, jumping at Jump Zone (a warehouse filled with inflatables), and otherwise filling our days with friends, play dates, birthday parties, sprinklers and an endless supply of popsicles. It's been so hot, even the ice cream man stopped coming around. I guess everyone stays inside when it's 104 degrees.

This morning, as we were leaving a pottery painting birthday party, Madeline ran ahead and held the door open for me. She said something I couldn't quite understand, then hustled to open the next door in the vestibule. When she repeated herself a second time, I realized that she was saying, "After you, my dear." She told me that's what daddy always says. These days, she's bursting with ideas, pointing out her letters everywhere we go and asking "Why?" non stop. I'm surprised by how often I have to reference Wikipedia to answer a 3-year-old's questions. She loves to collect things she finds, like acorns, and she's so excited to practice cutting with her monkey scissors that so far, she's clipped Charlie's shoelaces and a small chunk of her own hair. She'd be happy to wear her brother's outgrown onesies every day. We've compromised, and I simply ask that she wears her clothes over them when we leave the house.

Madeline calls Charlie her Little Man. They have giggle fits at the dinner table, in the car and before bedtime that are the best entertainment ever. I always stop whatever I'm doing to absorb the sound of both my children laughing together. Maybe cars of the future will run on that stuff. Ten seconds of it can erase a day's worth of frustrations.

Charlie can entertain himself for 20 minutes just playing with a zipper. He loves to kiss and hug! It's irresistible, even when he comes at you covered in snot and leftover yogurt, lips pursed and arms outstretched. He's such a boy, banging trucks, growling like a lion, and pointing out cars; all this while wearing Madeline's sundress and rhinestone dress up necklaces. He is a man who knows what he wants, even though he can't quite tell us what that is yet. If Madeline's in a "why stage," then Charlie is surely in a temper tantrum phase. If I put pineapples in his bowl and he wanted them on the plate, oh boy, he'll unleash a torrent of Charlie-fury.... As we try to articulate things for him, he'll emphatically nod or shake his head, understanding every word. I love how when we're reading books, he tries to open the car door in a photograph or lift an apple off the page to eat. He's tough as nails. The kid doesn't bat an eyelash when he gets swept off his feet, bowled over and tripped up. But with six teeth coming in, last night he woke up crying. I couldn't believe how heavy he was as I lifted his limp body out of this crib. He laid his head on my shoulder and wrapped his arms around my neck while I gently rocked him; his legs dangled past my knees.

This is the hardest work I've ever done. It takes stamina, endurance, creativity (it's not easy getting a kid to do something they don't want to do) and reserves of patience that I think would challenge Mother Teresa. But it's truly the most fun I've ever had in my whole life!


The Brown Family said...

Look at Charlie's hair! It's gotten so long since I last saw you guys! Love the summer stories and pictures. And good for you for dropping the chores to listen to the laughter, it is the absolute best! Miss you all!

Mollie said...

Megs, your blog posts make me want to end my selfish life right now and have kids! Loved the story about Mads opening the doors the way her dad does!

Johanna said...

Love the pictures. I can't BELIEVE how grown up Charlie looks in that one with the Lacrosse stick!

Chelsea said...

What sweet, beautiful, silly children you have! It's so important to chronicle these silly little traits and sweets things they do and say. Someday they'll be all grown and we'll only have pictures and our blogs to look back and remember these sweet times!