outings

i don’t know why it’s always such a battle to leave the house in the morning. no matter WHAT i say we are doing — even if it was gus’ idea!!! — getting through the morning routine is total hell. partly it’s just this age. everything is supposed to be a battle (sohelpmegod). and partly it’s just me. i’ve lost all my playful parentness.  i just want him to put on his <censored> underpants already and brush his <censored> <censored> teeth for the love of <censored> <censored> <censored>.

i need to start starting over with every new day, instead of still being leftover cranky about the last 4567 mornings of this <censored>. i could pick up yet another inspiring book about ideas about how to be a respectful parent to my kid. they definitely always give me some motivation to try new ways to get through the rough patches. and all the reading i have done in the past three years has definitely made jeremy and i better parents. but lately i swear they just make me realize belatedly what new lows i have reached as a parent, since i know have this whole toolbag of nifty parenting tricks i could be using, none of which are half as satisfying or appealing in-the-moment as screeching at my ornery 3 yr old is.

sigh.

but. BUT. when we DO get out the door — everything is SO. MUCH. BETTER. not that spending a morning at home every now and then isn’t nice — it is. but everyone is so much happier once we are out the door. everyone’s mood changes. everyone’s spirit lifts. it’s so nice to get outside.

we went to the arboretum this morning with our friends jackie and jonah. i wasn’t sure what to expect. gus and jonah have almost nothing in common beyond their 3 yr old orneriness. while jonah is freakishly (if you ask me) advanced at the fine motor skillz (skillz which are almost entirely lacking in gus repertoire), gus has spent the last 3 years perfecting his gross motor skillz. so while they both like art projects, for example, gus is more like a jackson pollack wannabe whereas jonah is more like a monet. and then at the playground, where gus is busy asking me to race him to the top of a 20 ft slide, jonah is more content to swing in a swing for 20 minutes. they like each other just fine, they just don’t jump into games with each other as easily as they do with other kids.

still, the arboretum was just about the perfect spot for both of them this morning. jonah gave us a tour of his “house” — pointing out where the kitchen, and bathroom, and elevator, and other rooms and things were back behind some big gorgeous trees and up a hill on a little hiking path — and gus totally loved playing along. gus asked if there as a “museum science” in the arboretum and jonah said yes there was, and they both ran off to find it. then they found a little bridge and spent 20 minutes or so throwing pine cones off of it together. and then they played a ridiculous feed-mama-leaves-and-pretend-they-are-all-kinds-of-crazy-treats game for another 10 minutes. it was all very silly and fun. and it was drizzling and cold the whole time, so we all felt very virtuous for getting out into nature in such miserable weather.

the morning ended when jonah started to feel cold and gus started to feel hungry (maybe because the little punk eschewed breakfast this morning) (also, did you see that big fancy vocabulary word i pulled out there? oh yes mama still has it! the big words! i haz them! take that day light savings!) and they started shoving each other around like the 3 yr buttholes that they are. the emotions, they run high.

calum, for his part, freaking LOVED the morning. what is more entertaining than watching two big kids all dressed in blue run around, throwing things this way and that, yelling, laughing, and running through wet yellow leaves and green grass all morning? kind of too perfect entertainment. even for mamas.

the afternoon was really nice too. calum napped forever (since i screwed up his morning nap twice. awesome) and so gus and i played chutes and ladders, candyland, chess, checkers, tavli, slapjack, and boxing (okay, really it was war, but since we are talking a lot about war and how terrible it is right now since uncle birdlegs is in afghanistan, i didn’t want him thinking there was anything fun about war. so i changed the name. poor guys and his stupid treehugging parents, i know i know). and then calum woke up and we played some ball with him and calum totally lost his mind he loved it so much.

and i won’t talk about how gus totally lost his <censored> at dinnertime tonight because he didn’t want to eat dinner because he was SO HUNGRY, because otherwise it was a totally awesome day.

and then we showed gus newsies for the first time, and he LOVED it.

so, yea, i’m calling this day a win for mama after all.

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