Saturday, October 31, 2009

Too Much Fun

Imagine my surprise to find this little vignette at the dogs' dishes following a visit by the little Pompettes and Hannekenites! Thirty year old Fisher-Price farm animals thoughtfully led to eat and drink by some little someone.To watch different styles and stages of play emerging in Eden(3), Ellis(2), and Judah(1) is more fun than I ever could have imagined. Even Norah is obviously eyeing up her sister and cousins and struggles to "engage" though at 6 months, sitting up and playing peek a boo are her biggest accomplishments.
Being a "YaYa" is more fun than I could have imagined, even with the over the top descriptions of grandparenting by friends who "passed this way" before me. What I missed in "participation" twenty five years ago as I struggled to keep up with four urchins, five years old and under, I am making up for now as I frequently answer the call to "healing" albeit through the strange doctoring methods of a toddler. (Best purchase of the last six months...a Target Dr's Kit. I figured before I purchased it that if I was the "patient" I would be able to spend some time laying on my back on the sofa as I was "cured"...I particularly enjoy these healing sessions later in the afternoons) The kids are all most fascinated by the hypodermic needle and often go for the plastic pharmaceuticals before doing any testing. Ellis will cycle once or twice through all the diagnostics, however,punctuating the examinations with," Now do this..."
We do lots of coloring, which I like so much that Steve bought me my very own,virginal,telescoping mongo Crayola set which sits safely encased in it's cellophane in "my room". It is fascinating to watch the little one's fine motor skills grow through coloring. Eden has moved into a phase of carefully drawing intricate small interlocking figures while Ellis has a more vibrant, Jackson Pollack style and requests that I "Draw Baby", at which time I am required to draw a circle after which Ms. Hanneken tells me the particular facial part I am to fill in next. It is clear in ALL these games, WHO is the boss and who is the "bossed".
Judah just goes for the (new) Fisher Price Nativity scene. It has EVERYTHING he admires in a good toy: Animals, music when you push a button, more animals, light on when you push the button, a monkey, building parts you must snap together at his direction, lots of dogs from several FP sets, Strawberry Shortcake character "pets, and finally...out come the Pretty Ponies ( he loves 'em).
Eden has recently taken to a fuzzy duck hand puppet my Mom made for the kids when they were ittle-bitty. She repeats his sad, sad story. He is "Duck-a-lor" and he is very lonesome because one night his Mom and Dad and sister and little brother all left him and flew "far far away to Old Mexico"....and it takes three days to get there. ( It is difficult not to guffaw at these gems, but you KNOW it'd break the spell. As it is, sometimes, when I start playing with Judah and make the donkey talk, he will stop and give me a look that ABSOLUTELY says, "You DO know you are making a fool of yourself, don't you? These are plastic animals, you know that, right, YaYa?"
We don't give Judah enough credit, though. He understands everything we say. Yesterday Steve mentioned that the Small Sesame Street finger puppet of Bert with the mangled black dread locks had been in mouths of innumerable children over the past thirty we grimaced over the thought,he looked us straight in the eye and inserted the nasty thing in his mouth and gave it a good tongue bath.
I think I should do an ad for Fisher Price toys. I am so thankful I held onto the kids favorite toys for these three decades. It is so gratifying to watch these little ones enjoy the toys every bit as much as their Mom's did once upon a time. Of course I have to watch them more carefully as thirty year old "little people" are choking hazards. But to see Ellis pick up the FP camera with the rotating "FLASHCUBE"(remember those?) and say "Take a pitcha...Say cheeze...CUTE ONE!"...or to have Uncle Christian see his nephew, Judah enjoying a little Tomy gas pump and exclaim, "Hey, that's mine!" It's really almost TOO MUCH FUN...but I don't really think that is possible, do you?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

All Buttoned Up

Only complete color blindness could cause a person to miss the dazzling color reminders in the leaves. Every year I wish I could finally name the exquisitely dramatic color of the tree the Cardinals and Cedar Waxwings so love in our back yard... That and find some way to keep those breathtaking leaves on the tree to stare at for just alittle longer.
Just like a high school marching band after weeks of practice,the ragged, zig zag fluttering lines of honking geese are now sleek "V's" ready for the big trip south.
Steve's motorcycle is(safely) pinned into the nose of the garage by the golf cart which made it's way from Sandy Pines to hibernate in town for the winter.
Spring and summer birds have left, replaced by the Juncos, Chickadees and bossy Blue Jays. There are surprising new friends: male and female Rose-breasted Grosbeaks,a Yellow Shafted Flicker, and best of all a small colony of beautiful little Red-breasted Nuthatches.
The water is off at the lake. Three carloads of "stuff" that didn't get anywhere near enough use this summer have "come home" along with the contents of cupboards and refrigerators
Those brilliant Mercurochrome ( a good attempt at that perfect color name...)leaves are showcased by the grey skies. Time to begin early morning coffee "dates" with my little (life saving)S.A.D. Light Box.
All the shrubs and plants have been cut back. Following my Grandma's example, I am now enjoying my geraniums indoors on my sun porch. Best of all, my friend, Donna took what the marauding rabbits and moles left of my overgrown "cottage garden" and transformed it to a more Fibromyalgia friendly, minimum upkeep garden. Every time I look out the front door I see the new little flagstone path and bench. In the Spring, all kinds of new perennial "friends" will introduce themselves and finally, I will have DAFFODILS and new tulips that Donna has kept a "surprise".
The garage has been cleaned.The "flotsam and jetsam" left behind when Christian's Conestoga Wagon ( Ford Taurus) headed west to California has been absorbed into the basement leaving us ready to more effectively battle the trails of slush and dislodged ice chunks of the coming months.
The fall house cleaning has been done...even surprised the family with a turkey dinner with all the trimmings to further confirm it's "that time of year", and the huge bag of apples I "earned" in exchange for loving on Ellis and Norah while their Mom picked at Crane's Orchard has been turned into a stack of pies in the freezer to be parcelled out as comfort food as needed through the winter.
We are definitely "all buttoned up" for fall...and beyond.