Wednesday, October 28, 2015

I smelled it and it's not vanilla

"Paugie, it is vanilla. See, here's the container. It says V.A.N.I.L.L.A. which spells vanilla." "No, it's not vanilla. I smelled it and it's not vanilla." "Paugie, here, taste it. See? It's vanilla!" "It's delicious and I do like it, but I can't eat it because I smelled it and it's not vanilla." Welcome to Paugie-land where four year old reasoning reigns supreme.

Conversation between Bundle and Paugie:
"I dreamed I was a dragon..."
"A whale?"
"Yes, I was a humpback whale and Bundle was a centipede."
"You mean, I was a squid."
"Yes, I dreamed that I was a whale and Bundle was a squid. Jevy was a lemur..."
"Jevy was a pronghorn sheep?"
"Yes, I dreamed I was a whale, Bundle was a squid and Jevy was a sheep. Kelty was a kitten. I drove Mama's car to come rescue..."
"Dragon's can't drive cars, Paugie."
Sometimes - every now and again - I crave an adult conversation. :-)

"Paugie, would you like some water?" "No, Mama, I'm not thirsty." 10. 9. 8. 7. 6. 5. 4. 3. 2. 1 seconds later. "Mama, I'm so thirsty. Can you get me some water, please?"

"Mama, can I have a morning mug?" "No, Paugie, because it's bedtime and it will make you pee-pee in your bed." "Whaaaaatttttt?" (tears and bluster included) "Paugie, I'm very sorry. You can have one in the morning!" "No, I will just have one tonight and when I have to pee-pee, I'll hold it until I can't hold it." Yeah... that's kind of the point.

Whisperings in my ear: "Mama, guess how much I love you?" "How much Paugie?" "More than all the leaves that are falling from the trees." 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The number three

As I reflect upon the last three years that I have been able to share with you, dearest blue-eyed wonder, I am astounded at all you have taught me and I find myself earnestly anticipating what I have yet to learn from you in the years to come. 

From your tiniest (and just to be clear, you've never exactly been "tiny" - you've always been off the charts in every way possible) moments, you have been insistent upon the importance of physical touch and close proximity to the ones you love (Mommy and Daddy, in particular). You were so adamant in the matter that I purchased a carrier when you were 3 months old to enable me to complete my daily tasks and responsibilities with you strapped onto me, snuggled in as close as you could get. Those days/weeks/months having you next to me, feeling your gentle breathing, kissing your insanely soft head are some of the sweetest of my life. 

You're a boy full of mystery, and thoughtful reverie, and overflowing with joy. 

You don't readily share your emotions, but when you smile and let out that prodigious laugh, all the joy inside you is overwhelmingly/beautifully evident and brings so much joy to those around you. 

You're a complicated and complex combination of so much that is meaningful and you reflect the depth that is humanity and what it was created to be. 

Your love is never bold and rarely overt, but it is fierce and steady. "Steady Jevy", as your Uncle Crease so aptly labeled you. 

You are loyal and your love, once earned, is dependable and relentless.

You find life in what has been created around you, and your delight in it is unrestrained. You can be quite terribly pesky and obnoxious when you are denied what you feel you are entitled to: entire day spent outside reveling in all that is to be experienced in it's wonder, or having to continue onward down a trail leading away from a beloved water hole (perfect for tossing stones and making great splashes), 

You are determined and not easily deterred from any task you set your mind upon - so much fortitude of character and resolve is embedded deeply within the core of who you are. I know this will bring you tremendous strength as you grow into the man you are to be and face the challenges of life. You will have the resolve necessary to weather those storms and hold your feet steadfast to the course that you are to walk. 

Even in your (often stubborn) determination to do as you wish, you are receptive and eventually willing to adhere to our guidance as we endeavor to teach you right from wrong, or even just a better way of doing something. 

Once you master a challenge (the slide, climbing onto every high(est) surface possible, a game, a lengthy hike) you tuck away every morsel of knowledge you gained in the process and look eagerly to/for the next challenge that awaits you. Keeping your active mind engaged/stimulated is one of my full-time jobs. 

You play an integral, albeit subtle, role in this band of brothers. You lead, you follow, you work as part of the team, and you work independently - all as you see fit. 

You find joy in simple and in complex things and you express that joy with no reservation. I often find you and Kelty sharing together at the kitchen table, giggling at one another or mimicking each other in some silly antic, or romping about the house in full gallop, one leading the way and the other following. Currently, you're both going through the kitchen cabinets, trying bowls on your head for size.

You are magnificent and I adore you. You have challenged me beyond measure, helped me see the limits of myself, given me new insight into humanity and it's complexity and shown me that love is truly most powerful.

Happy birthday dearly beloved three year old! 

Ponderings of an Uncle

Protector and lover, 
Ideal older brother, 
Energy never done:
Garrulous fun,
Madigan the Mighty.

The Hobbit-child, 
Observes the wild.
From perch on the couch, 
In studious slouch: 
Reflective Paugie.

Chewing the shirt, 
Gaze divert. 
Walk for a mile.
Happy, sideways smile: 
Steady Jevy. 

Little heart shmelter, 
Loving and sweet. 
Steady on the feet: 
Constant Kelty.

These poems were written by beloved Uncle Crease, upon observing this band of brothers over the weekend. His observations are keen and accurate and reflect his devotion to loving each of these little critters. We love you, Uncle Crease! 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Master of delivery

I laid down on the kitchen floor and your tearful self melted into my arms. As you laid yourself atop me, I told you how deeply you are loved and you looked up and smiled. These usually brief encounters are nuggets of gold in a treasure chest I hold in my heart, and this was particularly meaningful because it lasted for 10 minutes. When I shifted to move, you grunted your disapproval, and snuggled closer into my neck. Careful, I may not ever let you go. 

Your bucket full of charms is well supplied and you have become a master of it's delivery. 

You take so much delight in helping where you are able: removing groceries from the truck, picking up trains, unloading the dishwasher, cleaning the bathrooms, filling up the dog's water/food bowls and vacuuming. Yeah, you might be a tiny bit obsessed with the vacuum cleaner, but it's okay... you're allowed to have one flaw.  

When I'm feeding you your bedtime milk, you let me kiss on those luscious cheeks and I make sure you get at least 100 kisses. It's the least I can do. 

Your are SO VERY OPINIONATED and there is little doubt regarding what you desire or plan. Daddy has much less hesitation about disappointing you than I do... he's not buffaloed by your antics the way Mommy is. 

You might be small(er), but you can hold your own. After you were being particularly pesky in repeatedly snatching Jevy's puzzle while he tried to master it, he gently pushed you to the floor and sat upon you to resume his puzzle task. You looked to me in protest, but seeing how you most assuredly brought this upon yourself, I left you to resolve it accordingly (which you did - moving out from underneath Jevy and pursuing a more wholesome and less irritating activity). 

Your brothers are always looking out for you, worrying about every potential danger you may encounter, assisting you on the stairs, ensuring you safely navigate the slide, sharing their snacks with you and kissing on you every chance they get. 

That spark in your eyes - it makes you who you are. Shmelty Caleb, you have made this family complete and I love every minute of you. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

6 milliseconds long... hefty but without serious harm.

As I broke up a squabble between the eldest two a few minutes ago, Madigan stated: "Mama, that fight was 6 milliseconds long... hefty, but without serious harm." Lest I be overly concerned. 

"Mama, some animals have to eat leaves when there's a drought, because that gives them their source of water. I think we're having a drought, because we haven't had rain for weeks and weeks and weeks. We probably need to incorporate leaves into our diet. The only problem is that they're yuck. So, I guess we can't do that. Maybe we can just take our sippy cups to the sea and fill them up. That won't work, though, because the sea water is salty. We'll just have to drink milk." He's probably not an internal processor. 

The fall leaves may be dull this year, but the impulse to be outside is not lessened. Today, sitting upon some boulders in a cedar forest, we had a prodigious feast of coffee cake with strawberry jam, almonds, cheese, milk (because apparently there's a water shortage in TN since it hasn't rained for a few days), dark chocolate (are you seeing a common denominator in our adventures?), apples and raisins. These tiny humans (for they are indeed human, though my first-born is still convinced that human-hood is achieved upon reaching adulthood), walked over 2 miles today! Astounding. They were each equipped with an emergency whistle and the strict instructions to whistle 3 times should some emergency occur (SOS). This, of course, was practiced in great measure on our journey to the park. Madigan and Paugie both noticed that there were several sink holes (24x12 foot) where the ground had simply created a large chasm... I presume there is a substantial cave system underneath the area. Really fascinating and the inspiration for much speculation today. 

Note the wee person at base of tree.