We spent the week at the beach. Little Seth survived this excursion with all remaining teeth intact. He has however developed a much greater vocabulary since the first vacation and is now able to say, “I fell on rock” when you ask, “where’s your tooth?”
It was a very nice week from which I walked away with a few insights.
- Some people say that they take their kids outside or to a playground or somewhere to let them run around for a couple hours and tire them out so that they sleep better. I realized that to tire out my boys, we have to spend 2 hours on the beach, 2 hours at the pool and hot tub, back for 1.5 hours on the beach and 2.5 hours in the pool/hot tub. Sunshine, sand castles and surf-boards definitely required. Then and only then will they fall asleep. (In fact, after 3 days of this schedule, Micah fell asleep at 5:12 pm one evening and slept through the night….until 5:30 the next morning!)
- My mother and sister are fantastic! They let me get out 3 mornings for a run – it was delightful to have a break from the boys (especially the morning that Micah decided to have a fit).
- In general, I have a rule of “no TV on vacation” – this rule, however, has a couple exceptions, such as “except when you’re really bothering me and I need some quiet” and “except when we’re staying in a small condo with glass furniture and you are really being a pest to the other boys,” and naturally “except when it’s a continuous rain day.”
- I spent one of my runs pondering names. I realized I have trouble while writing this blog remembering what the boys’ “fictional” names are, so I’ve decided to start using their real names:
- Little Guy is the tiny little two-year-old. He gets that name because he really is very small….in comparison to the rest of the boys around him. He probably looks quite huge, though, if you’re a long-haired teddy bear hamster.
- Mr. Ornery is the four-year-old, who is actually more impish (mischievous) than he is ornery (ill-tempered), but let’s face it – “Mr. Ornery” has a better ring than “Mr. Imp” so I plan to use it despite Merriam-Webster’s definitive definition. Mr. Ornery likes to run around in cahoots with my sister’s 3-year-old son, henceforth to be referred to as “The Rascal.” The Rascal is really a mix of Dennis the Menace, Curious George and Tansmanian Devil. He is brilliant and knows exactly what he should and shouldn’t do….and therefore does all the “shouldn’t do’s” in as rapid a sequence as possible. I have often said that The Rascal has a “two minute leash” – if you can’t see where he is and what he’s doing within 2 minutes, you better get off your bum and go find him. Of late, I’ve noted that Mr. Ornery and The Rascal have a “1 minute leash” whenever they disappear together. The Rascal has had 2 haircuts in the past 2 weeks by a Mr. Ornery who denies the very possibility even when the evidence is within his own hands.
- Super Tall Boy – this is my attempt to be edifying towards the 7-year-old, because I’m more likely to call him “The Grump” than any other descriptor….but that seems a bit judgmental. Actually, I have told Super Tall Boy several (and I mean MANY) times now, that I am going to officially change his name to “One.” Now that he knows my joke, he actually gets grumpy when I say it, but I do remind him that I can call him by his “real” name 4 or 5 times, but I never get a response. However, if I say “O-n-e” in just that tone, I get an immediate “what?” I used to consider this a joke until this afternoon, when The Rascal had disappeared for 117 seconds and I thought I better find him. I called his name 7 or 8 times as I walked around the house. Finally, I said “Rascal, I’m going to put you in time out if you don’t come out……One….” As soon as the word “one” left my mouth, ST Boy who was playing a video game in the other room said “What?!?” I laughed – deny it as much as you’d like, but your name is “One.”
- By an eagle’s flight, the beach is 10 hours from our house. It took us over 15 hours to get home yesterday. We reached our driveway around 1:20 am and I carried the younger two boys up to bed. This woke them up and they chattered and played for a few minutes until getting to sleep. Consequently, I have little alertness tonight and off to bed….hoping for more than 4 hours tonight. I am a night owl….I wish my boys weren’t morning birds!