Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Emmett is the best brother ever

On the (13+ hour!) drive home, we grabbed lunch at Wendy's. Emmett loves Wendy's, because kids meals come with a tiny shake. He doesn't get them often, though, because Wendy's has lousy food. So Emmett had his shake and was very happy.

We were eating in the car, and Luke wanted some shake, too. With no prodding from us, Emmett shared the shake with Luke, feeding him with a spoon. The only trouble happened when Emmett's eyes were glued to the DVD player so he was just waving a spoon of ice cream in front of Luke's face and Luke had no chance of getting it. That was just once, though, as he quickly realized that he had to actually aim for Luke's mouth.

I don't think nearly enough space here is devoted to just how great Emmett is with Luke, but that would probably get tedious anyway. In any case, he's a great brother and I hope Luke is learning something that he'll be able to apply when the new baby is here!

Luke is me

Last night, Luke was eating chili for dinner. He was actually eating it, too (I guess he was finally hungry). Well, there was corn in the chili. Luke doesn't like corn. He'd eaten some I'm sure, but finally he noticed a piece of corn in his mouth and didn't like it. When he gets food in his mouth that he doesn't like, he'll open his mouth and make complaining noises. When he was younger I'd get a paper towel and let him spit it out, but that got old pretty fast, so now I encourage him to take a drink and get it swallowed (a significant fraction still gets spit out). Anyway, while he was deciding what to do, he made little fists and shook his arms a bit.

This move is one that I apparently made famous as a kid, clenching my hands into two little fists so tightly that my arms would shake. There is even a picture somewhere. I promise that I don't do it anymore, so mimicry is no explanation. David is amazed.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Neighborhood Grinch

This afternoon some neighborhood friends of Emmett's were over playing when they started to argue a bit. They usually work things out pretty well so I didn't say anything. I heard a little complaining about something Emmett had done to his friend, but I couldn't make out what it was.

Then his friend said, quite emphatically, "You're not going to get any presents!" At this point I was really tempted to jump in - Christmas at my house is not conditional. Emmett knows it - it's come up before when he asked about the words to "Santa Claus is Coming to Town."

Before I could even think of what I might say, Emmett shot back just as emphatically, "Yeah, well Santa doesn't even exist!" That didn't phase Emmett's friend, who replied, "Yes he does, and he's watching us all the time!" Fortunately that was the end of the exchange, and they ran down to Emmett's room to play a screaming game.

David said I had to blog this.

We just got a new marble run, quadrilla. It's a little tricky to set up, so I've been doing most of the building so far. So I'm setting up a marble run, and Luke says to me, "Why are you bein' a bitch?"

Startled, I say, "What?" and he repeats, "Why are you bein' a bitch?"

Ok, so now my mind is racing - Clearly I must have mis-heard, where might he have heard this, he's being very matter-of-fact which is unnerving and since kids pick up the emotion of a word like that also kind of strange, the sort of curse words that occasionally slip through around here are those that might be uttered in frustration, not personal attacks, what is going on???

I try again and say "What?" This time, I hear "Why are you building a bitch," so I ask him, "Building what?" He points to the marble run and says, "A bridge! Why are you building a bridge?"

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Festivus every night

When I'm putting Luke to bed, we'll talk a bit before he settles in to go to sleep. Lately, this time has featured an "airing of grievances" just about every night. Sometimes they're things that have happened that day, sometimes from weeks or months before. I hear about how when I go to "talk to the other moms" (that is, I'm out of the house for a meeting and David puts Luke to bed), he gets really sad. Or how Grandma stole his train and gave it to his friend and he was really upset (that is, insisted that he share trains when playing in Barnes & Noble). Last night I heard that he doesn't want to ride on the Submarine ride at Disneyland anymore - he didn't like it.

Of course, after acknowledging that these things are upsetting, I try to bring the conversation around to the positive. He has an easy time coming up with things he likes to do with Grandma or ride at Disneyland. I've had more trouble figuring out the positive for him when I'm away from him, so I'll just comfort him and then try to change the subject.

What's Emmett up to?

He's reading everything in the house. Which is, of course, a good thing. Except if you're trying to get him to put on some socks, or tell you what he wants to drink with dinner. Sometimes, I'll put my hand over his eyes and ask a question, so he'll hear me (just standing right next to him, saying his name and asking a question usually doesn't work).

He's also been playing with a pretty simple calculator that we have around, and asking me what all the keys do. So we've talked about squaring numbers and square roots, exponents and roots higher than two, and I've learned that even on this pretty simple calculator, there are buttons that I don't know the function of.

Finally, I have to mention how great Emmett is with Luke. Luke is in a, um, difficult phase. He's really clingy, often unwilling to share (but sometimes will!), rather demanding etc. Emmett gets prizes from Spanish school each day, and he almost always lets Luke play with them in the car on the ride home (even knowing that Luke sometimes destroys them!). He's also great about working with Luke and trying to cooperate and keep them both happy when they're playing with the same toy. I only hope some of this rubs off on Luke before the new baby gets here!

Luke and the baby

For a while, Luke insisted that there was a baby in his belly, too. And every time I'd ask him if he thought it was a baby girl or a baby boy, he'd say, "It's a baby EMMETT!" and then laugh. Or I'd ask if it would be a baby sister or a baby brother, and he'd say, "A baby Emmett!" I think he loves the idea of Emmett being the baby and him being the big kid.