Hooray, summer is here! Well, it’s been here for a while, but my lovely procrastinating self is just now getting around to posting lots of pictures of us enjoying our summer.
First, random pictures.
Rosie’s personality is shining through this summer, and it turns out her personality can be summed up as crafty and ornery. She is SO ORNERY! I didn’t realize what a polite term that was until I had kids. But you cannot take your eyes off of her! She climbs anything and everything and somehow knows the best way to destroy things. She thinks non-spill sippy cups are simply a challenge. I finally figured out how to gate off the basement stairs since she figured out how to climb the cardboard box that I’d been using to to block it off. But that didn’t stop her; she just climbed the chair. And the cool play microwave Mitchell picked up at a garage sale? Merely a stepping stool to get to the real microwave. She does, however, still love some adorable cuddles, even if the only things available are stuffed animals.
Mitchell, meanwhile, is rocking the imaginative play. Holy crap, I had no idea this age could be so dang cute! We looked at a few “preschool” programs around here, but decided to keep him home one more year and just do pre-K next year for a number of reasons. Mostly 1) he already knew all of the end-of-the-year goals for the preschool programs, like letter and number recognition; and 2) he is absolutely terrified of other adults. We aren’t talking about a little bit of fear, or just not wanting to mind them. We’re talking absolutely terrified, near-phobia. He doesn’t mind me leaving him places as long as he’s allowed to go about his business and play with the other kids. But if another adult tries to interact with him, best case scenario is he tries to hide. Worst case happened at the pool, when the instructor thought the best way to ease his fear was to sneak up behind him and pull him into the pool. He screamed. I’ve never seen him so scared. I kept motioning her to bring him back over, but I didn’t want to create a scene because I was scared that would just scare him more. Another instructor finally listened to me say that it wasn’t the water he was scared of (yet), but the instructor, and he intervened. And then he invited us to join private swim lessons instead of coming back to group swim lessons. So yeah. We kinda got kicked out of swim lessons. We’ll see how soccer goes next month…
But anyway. Imaginative play. He has some favorite books and movies right now that he will act out/play along with word for word. Sometimes I have no idea what he’s telling me until I recognize the line of script from a movie or something. One of his favorites right now is a little anime thing by Disney called My Neighbor Totoro. It creeps nerdy engineer Justin out. It’s hilarious. He hates watching it. Zootopia is another favorite, and he still insists on wearing his Woody costume whenever it’s clean. When he takes it off, he says “Look! I turned back into Mitchell!”
He’s starting to flex his independent muscles, too. The other day I let him order at Waffle House. It was a hilariously long and complicated order, and I was sure his eyes were waaaaay bigger than his stomach. But no. He ate almost everything.
Finally, our trips to a couple parks here in Dayton. The Cox Arboretum has a very very very tall tree house that I will never ever ever be climbing again. It turns out my stomach does not like being that high up. And Wygerzen remains my children’s favorite place in the world. We went to a story time there, and both kids insisted on taking their babies.
Oh, the babies. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned the babies yet. We stalk a store here called Once Upon a Child. They buy and sell used kids’ goods, like toys, clothes, books, etc. They usually have great prices. The other day, I spotted a nice little toy that was a musical “crib” that came with a chattering little monkey that makes little slurping sounds when you feed it a bottle. So it came home with us, intended for Rosie. Mitchell LOVED it. I tried looking it up, and it turned out it was discontinued in 2008 and sold online for oodles of money. Of course. So I told Mitchell we would go to Target and Toys R Us to see if they had a comparable baby that he’d like. I pointed out the FurReal animals that were very similar, but he didn’t like them. I pointed out the Baby Alive dolls, but no. He wasn’t interested in any of them.
Side story: When I was a kid, my favorite book was called Kitty’s New Doll. In the book, Kitty’s mom takes her to a toy store and points out all the dolls that Kitty could get. Dolls that can walk, dolls that can talk. Dolls that can drink a bottle, dolls that can say “mama”. Dolls whose eyes open and close. But Kitty wants a simple rag doll that doesn’t do anything, because then in her imagination, the doll can do anything.
So. We’re in Toys R Us and Mitchell is knocking down all my suggestions. He then picks out a simple plastic molded doll that comes with a cheap little bath tub (like, I wouldn’t even call this plastic…more like plastic mixed with paper) and fake bottles of baby soap. The doll is so cheaply made that they didn’t even trim the edges where the mold’s edges met, so there are bits of plastic still hanging off its toes. But that’s the baby he wants. The worst part was, even though it was so obviously cheap, the price tag didn’t reflect that. But he loved that little doll. And he still does. That doll goes everywhere with us. And if it doesn’t, the moment we get home, Mitchell runs through the house yelling, “Baby! I’m home! Oh, baby, don’t cry, I’ll rock you to sleep.” It’s so stinking adorable. Our house has been filling up with garage sale doll finds, like a baby carriage, crib, trike, etc. It’s the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen, watching him care for this little baby.
And then they do a mommy dog pile 🙂 While I’m working, sometimes.
Finally, fun at the mall!
Whew. Just noticed a couple more pictures. We have a toad in our backyard and Mitchell caught it the other night. He insisted on holding it like a baby and talking to it. Rosie wanted nothing to do with it.