JD just returned from eight days in Lethbridge, Alberta. He was a delegate for the National Science Fair. Basically, he said, he spent a week in the sun having intelligent conversations with hundreds of teenagers way smarter than him. He was sooo happy. Then he came home to:
a) snow in late May
b) a sorta potty-trained toddler (which, as it turns out, produces WAY more disgusting scenarios than a not-at-all potty-trained toddler) and
c) a pre-schooler whose capacity for intelligent conversation is limited to whatever you can squeeze in between the complete (and apparently hilarious) nonsense that comes out of his mouth.
And if you haven`t already done the math, this means that I spent eight days fielding all the poop and nonsense alone. I will talk about it after I come back from spa-land (and by spa-land, I mean a shower that *might not* get interrupted instead of *will for sure* get interrupted.)
Jasper: Look Mum! It`s sunny bees! (dust floating in the light)
Jasper: Don`t take mine picture Mum. That might break the camera.
Look Ma! No hands.
We accidentally discovered that Jasper is 100% potty trained: if he’s naked from the waist down. If he is NOT naked from the waist down, he is 100% not potty trained.
So there has been a lot of this around here lately. (Hoping to find a toddler sized kilt supplier)
He seems to prefer streaking in the front yard where everyone can see him (Bonus: the neighbor has probably forgotten about my shotty car battery.) He’s vaguely aware of things like modesty and privacy. James was getting dressed this morning and Jasper stood in their bedroom doorway and asked if he’d like some privacy. James said yes and Jasper said, “Okay. I’ll just watch you.”
He is also considerate enough to ask me the same thing when I’m in the bathroom and when I say yes, it would be nice, he says “Okay”, joins me, and closes the door behind him.
Jasper’s timing with all this is excellent because being pantsless before May in the Yukon is irresponsible.
I’m not sure why James is the one without pants in this next shot. Or why Jasper is freaking out at his gum boot.
And then there’s this guy who is mostly oblivious to the changes in temperature and attire. James staged and shot this photo. I stopped the photo shoot when Jasper volunteered to be prop manager.
Two months old.
Sage had his six week check-up yesterday, only one week behind schedule. This is a major step forward for my parenting since Jasper didn’t even have a six week check up. If he had, it would have gone something like this:
Doctor: It appears your baby hates the world. He is also very large. Okay, bye.
On a related note, Sage is now 9 lbs 11 oz which is what Jasper weighed when he was born. That combined with the fact that Sage cries about 100% less than Jasper did makes me feel like I just got seven weeks worth of baby for free. (I’m not saying Sage never cries. I’m saying Jasper was an overachiever)
On an unrelated note, the car wouldn’t start yesterday and I had to ask our neighbor to give me a jump for the way-too-manyth time. He didn’t have to pull up onto a two foot snowbank this time which probably means he judged me slightly less for not having replaced the battery in our car yet. He spotted Sage’s car seat in the back and was shocked that I had had another baby. I told him the muumuu parka I own does a good job of hiding impending children. Then he made the very good point that you can’t tell males from females around here until about May. It was a healing conversation, I felt.
Speaking of snowbanks, one just fell from the sky all over Whitehorse the other day and oh, what was that? Yes, I know it’s late April. Congratulations on all of the green and flowery type things growing where you live.
The boys took off their shirts, put on sunhats, and made sandcastles out of wooden blocks on our living room floor to celebrate the death of Spring.
James has been apprenticing for the position of media manager around here. He took these next two photos. I’ll let you be impressed and then I’ll show you some of the video footage he’s taken. It’s probably a lot like being inside his head.
I have noticed lately that when you start to make more than just one or two babies, the time, thought, and attention you can put into things like explanations starts to face-plant. This is okay because the older ones pick up the slack and fill in all the blanks for the younger ones. The other day James and Jasper attacked me with wooden butter knives and pot lid shields and I told them to “go fight poverty”. James asked me what poverty was and I was more or less satisfied with the answer I gave him. Moments later he ordered Jasper to stop fighting dragons and help him fight the poor people. That same day, I heard him tell Jasper that “Mum and Dad used to be married but then they had kids so they’re not anymore. ” Sage, you are in for a real education.
As for J.D. and I , we have been practicing ingenuity (coping) in our own ways. Pre-Sage, I pretty consistently helped J.D. get a lunch together for school. Post-Sage, I sometimes provide verbal direction (i.e. “there are things in the cupboard” or “look in the fridge. Actually, don’t.” ) The other morning, J.D. grabbed a frozen container of “chili” from the freezer for his lunch. Turned out to be pumpkin puree but it was okay. He just ate a bigger piece of the cake that was in the staff room. And on my end, I have found that re-purposing a play pen can really make it seem like I have a couple of days before the laundry needs to be done.
Sage was baptized on Easter morning at the 9 am mass. James is in a pre-school program two days a week that starts at 9 am and so far, since Sage has been born, we have arrived to preschool no earlier than 9:25. 9 am is not a time we are capable of arriving places. Sometimes we can be on route to places by 9 am. Sometimes. However, anything is possible with the Lord on your side, and we did make it to the church with minutes (not many. Only one, actually) to spare. Our children were not well groomed. Both James and Jasper woke up with the worst and most untamable hair I have ever seen on either of them. Also, I put Jasper in overalls and a nice shirt, but then he insisted on wearing his gum boots and it was hard to tell if we were heading to a baptism or a barn dance. Our friends Andrea and Michel were Sage’s Godparents, and they have four kids so there was a lot of “activity” up around the baptismal font. At one point, a hotwheels car came flying out of the mob of children. Sage slept through the whole thing despite having had an entire pitcher of cold (holy) water poured over his head. He probably thought one of his brothers was behind it and decided to play dead.
I was on it enough to bring the camera, not on it enough to have someone make use of it. Sorry grandparents. Thankfully, a friend snapped some proof of the event with her iphone. I think that’s what happens after the third child. You don’t lovingly document their milestones. You try, if possible, to collect proof that they existed.
As for the rest of Easter, J.D. set up a little Easter scene similar to the one I made last year – you know, the true meaning and all that. Four minutes after they woke up, Jasper had turned it into a car ramp and James had compiled a list of awesome places I should hide eggs.
James turned five on Saturday. A whole hand full of fingers.
He had definite ideas about what his birthday should look like. He wanted a chocolate pan(birthday)cake for breakfast, he wanted a game of pin the something on the something, he wanted to invite everyone in the universe to his birthday party, he wanted to blow out some fire, and he wanted sushi for supper. Almost all of his dreams came true. We had to narrow the guest list down to five.
I did not make that cake. Thank you for considering, even for a moment, that I did.
J.D.’s mum was here all last week. Not only did she make that cake, she filled our fridge and freezer, emptied our laundry baskets, and had Jasper requesting that she alone be the one to change his butt. Miraculous on all accounts.
Jasper woke up yesterday morning with a purple eye. I’m not sure if you remember, but the same thing happened to James when Jasper was pretty much the exact same age as Sage. They must slip out of bed in the middle of the night to punch their older brothers in the face. One of the less discussed newborn reflexes.
The other day, J.D. asked James if he would grow up to be a good man. James told him, “Yes. I will be a good man just like you, Dad.” When J.D. told me, I smiled warmly. (Actually, I burst into tears and started leaking breastmilk everywhere.)
If all newborns were like Sage, I would have seventeen more. Yesterday was his due date, so maybe this is where he puts the clutch in gear and really shows me how life with three boys is going to go, but for now I will bask in his good graces.