Artist: Paul Klingner
Bryan: Did you like the kiwi?
Annie: I liked it! I’m just more into chocolate. You know. Kids’ life.
Paul: If you don’t let me have a free snack, I’m hitting you.
Bryan: I don’t negotiate with terrorists.
To Paul: this is how you spent the day you turned 4 years and 10 months old.
It’s officially the time when I start referring to you as “almost five.” We have a big, awesome day to report today. Dan and Peanut are here for the first time since The Pandemic, and it’s a Saturday, so we have lots of plans.
You wake up with a project to show off, an “American plane” in red, white, and blue. I spell the word at your request so you can label it appropriately. After a quick breakfast, you launch off before 8am with ambitions to walk around the whole trail loop, over 10 miles in the June heat. On the way, you hunt for and find our family brick on the trail.
The recently-reopened library is about at the halfway point, and your parade makes a pitstop for a gigantic poop and three books to support your spirits through the last miles. You do plenty of walking, too, and at the end, we celebrate with 3-D printed medals to commemorate your achievement.
We eat a giant pile of tacos for lunch. I give all the boys haircuts, starting with you. (Just a trim around the edges—your summer buzz cut needs no improvement.) You captain a Central Market trip with Annie, Peanut and I, stocking up on fruit and yogurt. You travel by clinging to the side of the cart. We buy $15 of apricots.
After a little down time watching Dad and Dan play Gran Turismo, you head for the swings. We do a little swing/hose-spray/bubbles combo, and then fill up the wading pool for major splashing. You and Annie pretend to dig through the water, splashing the grown-ups. No one minds much in the high-90s heat.
For dinner, you inhale half a hot dog, capped with lego-shaped candy for dessert. We decide the wading pool was basically a bath (there was bubble soap) and skip straight to an episode of Nature Cat to wind down. I read you a few pages of Harry Potter 2, which you mostly ignore. Sleep comes quickly. Goodnight, buddy.
To Annie: this is how you spent the day you turned 6 years and 2 months old.
You and Paul are on the move first thing, constructing something big in your room. We listen until about 7:20, when you invite us to the ribbon cutting for your new library. You’ve got blankets and pillows on the floor, books distributed in piles, and big ambitions to move your beds to locate lost items. The tension between furniture moving and maintaining perfectly tidy floor coverings is nearly unbearable, but you persist and eventually make it down to breakfast.
No Kindergarten lesson this morning. The school year is over, and I confess I sort of miss a little brain stretching first thing. Bryan drops you off on his way to the climbing gym, and you and Paul sail into Colibri, queen and king of the yard.
There’s water play every day now instead of the Montessori time, and I hear later about Paul sneaking around with a squirt gun, and some sort of water explosion machine. Face painting is also a regular occurence, today no exception. The volume of clothing and towels you go through now is…high.
A wonderful surprise at pick-up: Dan is in the car with Dad! By the time you arrive home, you’re over your shyness already, and excited to read books with Peanut and give her your latest updates. You remember every present she has given you, and display your butterfly dress with rainbow sleeves to show her it still fits, and you still love it, and one of your friends has it, too!
You hunt for unicorns during and through dinner, then retrieve the memory card game Peanut and Dan made for us years ago and play a round with me. We all work together on a tower with the building kit that’s their latest piece of generosity. It becomes a double tower, and then a unicorn/dragon/race car, and you pilot it around the house.
We inch our way up the stairs with books, and make it to bed at last. Peanut sticks around for the latest installment Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. We say goodnight, and only have to herd you two back to bed a time or three before you fall asleep.