clouds as thoughts

the cool weather is settling in.  shimmying its shoulders into the armchair that is the lower mainland.  week by week i can feel fall's chill edge a little deeper into my bones that then signal me to grasp for wooly socks and sweaters.  the kids have been living in their polyester pj's, chloe with a cotton one beneath for extra warmth as her crib is more exposed to the draftier window sill.

we only made it to the main street before turning around from our walk this morning.  it was too cold and the windy, and chloe would not keep her hat on.  as we passed one of the tiny parks in our neighbourhood, moses asked if he could go for "just a little bit".  the slides were wet so i distracted him with picking up a few fiery red leaves from the surrounding piles.  this led us to a tiny adventure of tree-hopping for different coloured leaves.  i was so happy.  i have been wanting to try to incorporate more of these types of activities into our day.  we have yet to organize them into different categories.  we can do that after his nap...

i'm feeling ok.  i've been up and down, but it was really great to have downtime this Thanksgiving weekend;  it was the first weekend where neither kev nor i had to take off during nap time to do buttons or car work while the other headed the fort alone.  it was refreshing to recharge as a unit, we were able to have conversation or share in the tidying up.

this Thanksgiving was the opposite of last year where we had 3 consecutive dinners to attend.  this year, they seemed to all fall on the same day, leaving us with only one to choose from: Kev's Nana, Kev's immediate family, my mom's (my brother called me at 4pm to ask me!) or my friend Bronwen.  We wound up at Bronwen's Vegan Thanksgiving.  my brother was too last minute, nana's would be awkwardly small with most relatives heading elsewhere, and we had just had Saturday night dinner with Kev's family the night before.  still, i wish we had ended up at the latter.  not to say that Bronwen put on a bad dinner, but more because i should have known better than to force a square block into a circle hole...

the food was delicious as usual, but what is delicious food when you are unable to fully enjoy it?  the pressing matter of having your children fed first takes precedence as usual and leads to eating your own food with only the necessary intention of fuelling your body.  you can't force your children to be able to wait patiently the same way an adult can shrug off a slightly hungry stomach.  nor can you expect them to politely sit and allow you to eat and socialize in peace.  and on top of that, have a group of blissfully ignorant childless people ask you if you have tried xyz with your children.  they don't get it.  they have the freedom to sit and lounge and enjoy one another's uninterrupted company.  they can sit and let their minds wander or participate wildly in the conversation, never once distracted.  it is a simple simple freedom, so easily taken for granted.  and it isn't their fault and they are not bad people.  i was the same way.  there is no grey area, you either know or you don't know.

i'm over Harlow.  i still consider Aife.  i love Parker.  i don't know why i have such a problem naming children.  Liam Moses Pax.  Still want to change it after 30 days, after 2.5 years...  i know kids should grow into their names, but i can't imagine everyone does.  i truly feel like chloe should have a more androgynous name and the James as the middle name doesn't seem to be doing it for me anymore.  i also feel like chloe doesn't go with O'brien.  kev, of course, just rolls his eyes in exasperation.

this sketch resurfaced the other night.  kevin found it in a stack of papers.  i drew this back in 2006-2007 while i was working at Qzina (chocolate distributor).  it is frighteningly accurate to me.  it is a portrait of my family at my dad's funeral - left to right: myself, my brother, my sister, and my mom.

i can't tell you how much i hate not having my dad and his mom around; how much i miss the regularity and warmth of family gatherings with that side of my family; how glaringly bright both their personalities shone and how much joy they were capable of exuding to everyone they met.  it is too easy to picture them laughing and playing with moses and chloe.  everything would not only be better, it would be astronomically better.

sigh.

chloe seems to understand
come
banana (she is really REALLY trying to say this)
momo
down
no (obeying is a different matter)

moses is completely bipolar as his terrible twos continue.  he is actually learning (and interested) to read which is phenomenal.  on the other end of the spectrum there are the dinner time force feedings and constant chasing to dress him.  he is always more than generous to add kicking, flailing and crying as the cherry on top.  his sentences are becoming more complex.  today was the first time in his life without any prompting that he said "I love you mom".  it was wonderful.  he woke up and came to my room where i was lazily hanging with chloe, he climbed in beside me and as i wrapped my arm around his little body, that's when the words tumbled out.  he has developed quite the fear of dogs.  he is forever talking about dogs coming to get him or bite him, even in our house!  a few nights ago he was terrified when he woke up around midnight.  he came into our room and he was so afraid of all the shadows and shapes he could make out in the dark.  the blinds were 2 inches from being all the way closed and as he lay down beside me and his eyes were level with the couple inches of window to the outside, he kept saying someone was going to get him.  as if my own nightly thoughts of such things were bad enough, here he was encouraging my fear.

i think that's all i've got.  my first day of work is this friday.  it is setting a fire under my butt to REALLY get moving on all my projects before my schedule really adds up.

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