Academic Leigh Speaking

A professor, four kids, and a crash course in work/life balance

Here’s How the Day Goes July 21, 2011

Filed under: Events,Family Life,Moving — leighj @ 12:15 am

With P in Grand Rapids at a conference, I’ve been flying solo with the boys for oh, 37 hours. It is not so bad, but I suspect that’s because they’re napping at the same time and P’s dad comes over to help with dinner/bed routine.

Yesterday was a day in the house because we were waiting for the Verizon tech to hook up the internet. Then it was too hot to do anything else. I used kitchen projects to entertain the boys. Lasagne and hummus. Went pretty well until Seamus wanted to touch everything I was putting in the lasagne. He’s had a couple of time outs now for not listening. It’s probably not the parenting ideal because it’s so general and a less defined rule than I would like, but so be it. There are things we can’t take away from him. For instance, if he’s playing with a key and jabs me or something else with it, I take it away. If he’s turning the power cord for the computer off, then I can’t take it away or put it somewhere else. Blah. Not interesting.

We went to a really cool park today that was close by. It comes on the heels of reading some article in the New York Times about “Can a Playground be too Safe?” I was intrigued by the article’s contention that we as a society have taken all the thrill out of a playground in the hopes of keeping children safe and keep them from falling and fearing heights. The article suggests that a fall actually helps overcome a fear of heights. I was excited to discover that this playground had two really big slides. (Read the article, then you’ll understand about the progression kids go through of pushing themselves to be daring and at the same time knowing their own limits.) We climbed up to them and Seamus studied them for a while and then proclaimed them too big to go down. BUT! He did want to try the zip line bar this time, after he was so scared of the monkey bars last time, so I got to see this article play out right in front of me. At this park, there were an astounding number of push toys, cars, ride on toys, and dump trucks. (I assume they were donated by individuals, not the city because some of them were in great shape and some left something to be desired, like another wheel…) He wore himself out by 8:30 am, so I ventured to Springfield without a GPS. It was a success.

Gilbert is walking. Or taking multiple steps. Kid is fearless. He also is hilarious trying to share his food with Seamus, us, and then popping it back in his mouth. He also does this funny thing where if I lay him down on the bed to swaddle him (yes, hahaha, I’m still swaddling an almost toddler, because it works!) he’ll start laughing delightedly and try to crawl to the head of the bed. Gil likes soft stuffed things more than S ever did, and he makes a point of grabbing them, burying his face in whatever it is–stuffed animal, blanket, pillow, pile of laundry–and cooing and laughing. He then rolls around, and sometimes he’s not even sleepy when he does this little dance.

Totally unrelated factoid: I’ve seen and talked to a lot more Eastern Europeans here in 2 weeks than my entire time in New Mexico.

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