a day in your life

To Paul: this is how you spent the day you turned 3 years and 5 months old.

You walk out of your room and cheerfully announce that the light is green. Annie is still asleep, so we close the door quietly and tiptoe out. You climb up on the bed and sit next to Dad to discuss our next steps. Putting on our new fuzzy pinks is the decision. We do it, so quietly, and get through the rest of the routine. Downstairs, you select four “mango chewies” while I microwave you some waffles. You relish your breakfast and our undivided attention until Annie wakes up around 7:40.

We discuss the weather map and the shape of states. You dispute my assertion that Colorado is a square, and we find an actually square to confirm your hypothesis.
We discuss the weather map and the shape of states. You dispute my assertion that Colorado is a square, and we find an actually square to confirm your hypothesis.

You’re ready for the donut run and start loading yourself in the stroller pronto. We administer your chewable vitamins and stash some extra warm clothes under the stroller, and off you go, down to the trail and around a loop to Mopac. You’re back around 9:30, and I pick a dozen sprinkles off your shirt.

like a pair of pink marshmallows
like a pair of pink marshmallows

You and Annie play an elaborate game of turtle-family downstairs while Dad and I shower, then we hop into the car and head out for dim sum with the Crowders. Dad buckles you in, after which you decide you want to buckle yourself. Dad declines, and you literally scream in fury for the first five minutes of our drive.

Paul: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!

Dad, calmly: Please don’t scream in the car, Paul, it’s too loud.

Paul: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!

Dad, calmly: Please don’t scream in the car, Paul, it’s too loud.

Paul: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!

Dad, calmly: Please don’t scream in the car, Paul, it’s too loud.

At the restaurant, you are delighted to be seated in a GREEN booster seat, and nibble on a number of things before the pineapple cream dumpling of your dreams arrives. It’s a wonder you have any room in your tummy after our non-stop eating spree this morning, but you’re very patient through the meal. Dad takes you and Annie outside while we split the check, and we run around the corner for some bubble tea. You and Annie share some strawberry milk tea, and then officially start bouncing off the walls.

Where is my pineapple bun?
Where is my pineapple bun?

Back home, we head upstairs to play. We’re all characters in a castle, and you are also approximately 30 cars, which have terrible pile-up accidents and also come crashing against the walls one by one, creating castle-rattling earthquakes. Some individuals reform.

We head downstairs, and your playing on the coffee table when you look at me and announce cheerfully, “I’m holding it!” while tinkle runs out of your pant legs. I do not think it means what you think it means. We clean up with the usual mini-lecture. If you have to go potty, stop, and go right away—a tip you’ll whisper to Dad later in the day. You have some Dad time, playing and talking and having a snack. We all watch a couple episodes of Dinosaur Train.

You really like this show.
You really like this show.

Our friends the Brocks come over, and Annie whirls Poppy away for some Frozen-related activities while you mostly play solo, absorbed in your cars and the big cardboard box I have fashioned into Mater. Your cars are living in it like a big truck-shaped fortress. Later, you drag it back and forth across the house and sit on it until it comes to pieces and you tell me you don’t want it anymore “because it’s smushed.”

You play a really exciting game with other kids and the doorbell, wherein you ring it and talk to Dad and I via our phones. This goes on for some time. When dinner is ready, you sit down between Doug and Annie for grapes and steak, and ultimately a yogurt popsicle in my lap. We decide to introduce Poppy to the new Frozen short we just discovered, and you all watch 20 minutes of cartoons while we clean up the kitchen.

We say goodbye to our guests. To Poppy, you ask, “Do you want me to get close to you for you can have some of my warmth?” An offer I find sweet, but she declines. Bye, Brocks! You have been angling for a “night walk” since you heard Silas took one, so we bridge the gap to bedtime with jackets, headlamps, and a very enthusiastic walk to the end of the block and back. I talk you into the bathtub with a reminder that the turtle eggs you’ve been playing with all week are actually bath toys. You and Annie spend 15 minutes playing in the tub.

For storytime, Dad and I both get to do a rendition of Super Happy Magic Forest, and then he gives hugs, says goodbye, and heads to the airport for a standard California jaunt. You get in bed reluctantly, and I have to threaten no story to stop your disagreements and interruptions, but finally we make it through a hybrid Dinosaur-Train-meets-Frozen adventure. We’re big into fan fiction these days. I say goodnight at 7:35, and by the time Annie tiptoes out at 7:45 to tell me her ant bites are hurting, you’re already asleep.

a day in your life

To Annie: this is how you spent the day you turned 4 years and 9 months old.

You stride into our room with a smile. It’s time to get up, and you’re pleased to be first. I sit down to offer you my lap, and you snuggle into it. Paul arrives a minute or two later with the entire stuffed cow collection. “Do you want to play?” You do. You name the cows Tabibi (the baby), Snow Lilly (the sister—that’s you), and Sally (mom), and get right to it. Dad and I let it go on for a few minutes before we gently insinuate ourselves to get your morning lists rolling. You both get through them with only a little harrumphing, and we’re down to breakfast. Another day of dried mango and mini-pancakes. Mmm, glucose.

Dad takes you to school, where you both want to be dropped off second. Paul wins, but you sneak across the hall after Dad has left you in the All Stars for one last hug—an irresistible request. Your War on Shoes continues unabated, and he notices that yours are, of course, already off.

It’s a good day at school. You spend circle time talking about the calendar, the days of the week, and the number date. Apparently you even nap for an hour.

That's you with Ms. Liz in front.
That’s you with Ms. Liz in front.

Dad picks you up relatively early due to news coverage suggesting the storm of the century is headed our way. At 4pm, he finds you and Paul playing together on the playground, and when you spot him, you both run up for a hug.

On the way home you ask for a story (“and it’s a long one”), but instead you all spot several graveyards and talk about them instead. The conversation shifts to meteorology. “I have a hypothesis,” you offer: “It’s a scientist on the radio telling us about the weather.” Dad offers that it’s probably a reporter who had heard from a meteorologist, who is a scientist of the weather. Then you ask how they knew when there would be tornadoes, and is it when there is warm air and cold air in a mix together? And yeah, you officially know as much as we do about tornadoes.

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You meet me on the stairs at home, excited to show me your bubble necklace from a classmate’s birthday, then settle into Dad’s lap for a chapter of Harry Potter while Paul and I assemble dinner. We eat. Then, exciting surprise: Dad has discovered a previously-unwatched, 7-minute Frozen video about Anna’s birthday. We watch it three times, and then go outside to blow some of your bubbles and check on the weather.

Somehow this turns into a completely awesome Frozen 2 dance party. We do the whole soundtrack. It’s outstanding.

We head upstairs for the final routine, and I read you the current favorite: Super Happy Magic Forest. (Dennis, no!!) We eventually get you into bed, and Dad tells the final story, about Smaug’s 76th treasure (Paladium, and he turns everyone into superheroes).

We think we’re done, but there’s still that storm. At 8:15, you see lightning out the window, and you both run into our room with this important information. I head back with you to watch from Paul’s bed, and Dad spots us on the monitor and joins us (also, of course, with Sous in a light panic).

kids on monitor 1-10 storm

We spend an hour watching the storm. You declare yourself the WEATHER REPORTER and keep us up-to-date. “Weather report: BIG chance of lightning. Medium rain. … You don’t need to watch—I’ll give you the report.” In your spare time, you propose we invent a language. “Uhhh-hhh: means YES. Uhhhhhh: means THUNDER.” It’s tonal? Somehow I also end up with alphabet stickers on my face.

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Anyway, eventually I’m falling out of the bed, and the storm is passing but not quite gone. So we send you back to your respective beds, and I spread a blanket on the floor for me. We all fall asleep: Paul, then you, then me.