3.12.2004

ah mornings....
I have never been a morning person
some things never change, coffee and an earlier bedtime can help
but a child with nightmares in the middle of the night
his midnight transfer to my bed
then the patter of little feet kicking me in the back through the night (through the pillow buffer between us)
the owner of those little feet waking all chipper and happy to be up and awake before 6am
can all add up to make for a tough start to the day
luckily Lisa takes over and lets me steal a few more minutes of sleep each morning

my boss is cool
there is a degree of flexibilty
my said "In Time" is 9am, but a 9:30 arrival is acceptable and nearly the rule these days
but one minute past 9:30 and I feel like I am abusing the flexible system
sure, every once in a while
but lately I am unlikely to mount my bike before 9:15
not that there is so much to do
but each little thing can be a wrestling match
this am Dean discovered Lisa's dental floss
it was like there was kite string everywhere
I chased it down only no kite, just giggling Dean at the end of the unraveled wax coated string
sure that is wrong, he may know it is wrong
that may be what makes it so fun, mischevious
but it may be more a matter of curiousity
and well, we do not want to punish his curiousity
could not get Dean to let me to change his diaper
once the diaper was changed, could not get him to put on his pants
as I reached for his coat he took down his pants
tried tactics of distraction
naming his favorite things
one of which, "do you want to put some toys in your backpack?"
this is usually the clincher, the backpack gets filled, then put on his back, then we march out the door
no backpack
so this morning everything was more by force rather than the gentle drawing of him out the door
once his coat, hat, and gloves were on...Dean was waiting by the door, so I needed to leash the dogs and put coat, hat, and shoes on myself
he got a free ride this am
we were too late for climbing trees, throwing stones, and playing "fighter power" with the sticks he finds on the trail
the dogs ran leashless in the woods as my Ben Gay coated back braced itself with a 40 pound monkey bouncing around on my shoulders
we arrived
we settled in to what he calls "art class"
this morning I brought some of the Baby Announcements for some of the teachers and staff
Laura the proper Peruvian teach of Deans pressed the announcement to her heart
Dean was very pleased to present it to her
I was pleased to find a purpose of one of the several hundred remaining announcements, as we printed the smallest run, 500 total

well that was this morning
it is a beautiful day this morning

last night was warm enough for a hike on that same loop across the street
when I got home from work I could see that Dean was very active

apparently he was also a meltdown waiting to happen
from the sight of dried smudges of dirt on his face
it looked like he had already cried and wiped his face with his dirty little hands
to try and ease the burden off lisa who had Grant in her arms I offered to take Dean for a hike with the dogs
Dean made it clear, "I do not want to go for a hike."
I tried to lure him in with the opportunity to see the sun just before it drops off the horizon
Dean made a face and stood his ground, "I do not want to see the sunset"
all the while our neighbor's son Elijah was listening in, and he wanted to go for a hike in the woods with us
we have done this loop with Elijah several times before and the boys always have a good time
so Elijah tried to talk Dean into taking a hike
it was a funny sight
from a few steps away it was clear what Elijah was trying to communicate
his gestures with his hads were clear, but his bilingual upbringing has him conveying full sentences with one word
by this time I can fill in the blank
but it can be a funny sight
especially due to Elijah's size
if Dean is tall and boyish looking for a 2.5 year old boy, looking more like a 4 or 5 year old
then Elijah looks like he is 6
he is a tower of power
fast and nimble
often speaking with his hands
which in a debating situation means that he pushes other children over
Dean really digs Elijah, and vice versa
Elijah did not have to be too persuasive
it was decided, they would join me for the hike
so I had the leashes in one hand
and the two boy's hands in the other
we waited by the parked cars for a chance to cross our busy highly traversed road
once we finally crossed I heard, Kurt call out
he wanted to join us with Alec, a smaller and a tad younger boy
we waited for the others just as we entered the woods
Elijah did not want any more people to come along
he nearly threw a fit
even with his broken communication it was clear, he did not want Alec to come along
there was some slight discussion
during the discussion Dean had taken off
he was already 50 yards down the hill
I ran after him
leaving Kurt to deal with Elijah and his issues...which more than likely had to do with the issue of "three"
with three there is always an odd man out
and Elijah was showing this right off the bat
once I caught Dean I could see that Elijah had run right after me and the hike had begun with Kurt and Alec
it was tough
Dean and Elijah were not only faster than Alec, but they did not seem to want to include him
almost like they learned to "ditch" him early on
no children at this age are particularly good at sharing
so fighting for position on the log
or
tugging for the same stick is to be expected

once on the main trail we were on our way
Dean and Elijah had stepped into a game that was designed to get them to move faster
basically I claim to be chasing them and they claim to be chasing each other
rarely does anyone ever catch anyone
unless they get stuck at a large log
when that bottleneck occurs, I grab them, wrestle with them for two seconds, they giggle endlessly, I raise them over the obstacle, and then the game begins again, Dean asking, "can you get me? can you get me again? can you get me and Elijah?" That was the game. A very effective game for getting these guys around the loop and getting them around the loop fast. On this day the unconcious effort to "ditch" Alec had a bit of mischief in the air. Dean kept running off the trail. A firm rule..."Stay on the Trail!"
so when Kurt bisected the woods to catch up, he got a tongue lashing
I have no right to tell him how to behave, but if we do not stay on the trail, how can we tell the kids to stay on the trail?
Just like the parents who make their kids wear bicycle helmets, yet they refuse to wear them themselves!
the practice what I say, not what I do method is not good
in any case
Alec was a little left out
Kurt was sure to be sad and protective as any parent would while his child is being left out
but
there will be times when Alec and another child bond, thus excluding other children from their activities

enough for now
back to work
last night after the hike
I dropped Elijah off, Dean squeezed through the door uninvited and so did I
it is alway more easy to entertain the two boys than one
the toys get are all given a revived sense of purpose
toys that were ignored since the day of purchase are fought over
it is quite a site

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