Sunday, June 21, 2015

Summer Shenanigans

Our "school year" obligations consisted of one measly preschool class that was two hours long three times a week. But man. It's amazing how much that one little obligation occupied us. Now that preschool is behind us and an open schedule is ahead of us, I'm finding us with a lot of down time and two little boys that need some entertainment lest they physically and emotionally bite each other's heads off.

Enter Play-Doh.
Enter t-ball camp.
T-ball camp sounded like just the thing to fill our open schedule. In theory. Baseball is Jeff's favorite sport, so he's eager for Eli to find the joy in his passion. I was eager for Eli to have a fun little activity to call his own over the summer break. Carson was excited to get some undivided attention from me in the shade of the trees while Eli had class just a few yards away. Lincoln was on board to angelically sleep through every lesson. In theory.
The first lesson went just so. Eli loved the game. Carson loved the mommy time. I loved the shade. Lincoln loved his Zzzzs. Peace. Bliss. Exactly what I wanted. 
After the first class, the high school girls running the program came up to the parents and said, "Hey, could you guys help us out?" I openly stared at her in confusion, trying to figure out if they had waters they wanted help handing out or sizing t-shirts for the kids for the season or what exactly it was they needed help with.

Unable to determine an immediate need for help, I said with a now fussy baby in a carseat in one arm, my purse plus Carson slung over another arm, and Eli now freely roaming a parking lot, "Help with...what?"

"Well if the parents could would be a lot easier for us."
"You mean help with the camp?" 
"Yeah. Like, I don't know if you saw, but the kids were really crazy today and it's just hard to keep all of their attention, so if the parents could just be there with their kids it would really help."
"Okay." I said. Surely a few eager baseball enthusiast dads would show up to help the girls run the next practice and I'd be set with my hands full of two other children on the sidelines. In theory.
Next practice began with the coaches asking each child where their parent was so their parents could throw the ball with them. After realizing there was no getting out of what I have renamed "Mommy and Me T-ball Camp," I put on a smile while lugging Lincoln to the middle of a baseball battleground, hoping he wouldn't become the unsuspecting target of a preschooler's pitch. I convinced Carson to join in on the fun and had him happy and participating only to turn around and find Eli had turned sour. 

He would not. Do. Anything. He completely shut himself down and stood slouched over with arms limply dangling and a frown to fully get the point across that he was not going to make this easy for me. One of the coaches came over to me and said, "Oh that's so funny! He was just fine a minute ago!"

How weird that he's started acting up now that his mom has invaded this little activity that we all thought would be his source of independence for the summer. I glared at Eli as I concocted a bribe strong enough to snap him out of his sassiness. 

"Eli. We're going to go get a treat after this and you only get one if you're a nice boy." I said in a sing-song voice in an attempt to make the bribe more enticing. Then I tossed the ball at him. 

He stood there and stared at me blankly and let the ball hit him in the thigh. The ball rolled away from him, but the blank stare remained as he appeared unfazed. I tossed another ball at him reminding him one last time of the chance to cash in on a desperate mommy situation with a treat. 

I hit him in the stomach with him making no effort to catch the ball. Finally he picked the ball up, so I got excited thinking he had decided to shape up for the rest of the practice. Before I knew it there was a ball flying at my face and Mr. Sass was mischievously giggling to himself.

And that's the moment we quit t-ball camp. I'll play catch with Eli in the comfort of my own backyard minus the sass attacks, thank you very much.
On days when t-ball gets the best of me, I get the chance to unwind with a less violent bunch -- the young women!
We went on a hike about a week ago and had a blast! Except for the part where I stared a snake in the eyeballs.
With t-ball off the docket, that leaves extra time to make visits to Granny's house!
One morning Eli got it in his head that we were going to Grandma's house. He and Carson spent a couple hours packing up their "Grandma Backpacks" in the morning and then proceeded to carry them around the house ALL DAY! I kept saying, "Eli, I don't think we're going to Grandma's house today, bud." And Eli would reply, "I know. I'm wearing this backpack just in case."
Two days later when Eli finally accepted that we weren't going to Grandma's any time soon, he presented the contents of his backpack one by one to the ever patient Lincoln. The next day we DID end up going to my Mom's house really last minute and the first thing Eli said when I told him we were going was, "Oh no! I emptied my backpack!" You could say he was caught without any oil in his lamp when it proved to be his reckoning day, poor guy. 
Here are some other contents that were emptied much to my disliking! I have a strict legos-must-stay-on-a-blanket-at-all-times-and-never-be-dumped-out-all-over-the-floor rule. Unfortunately Carson is not inclined to take an interest in rule enforcement.
Lincoln has made my life a little easier by learning how to hold his own binky in. He still doesn't love binkies, but he has become a major hand chomper. Lincoln sleeps down the hall a little bit from us. I woke up last night to a strange noise and wandered out in the hall to investigate. As I woke up a little more, I realized it was Lincoln ferociously sucking on his hands! I went into his room expecting him to be awake and ready to eat, but he was sound asleep chomping away at his fingers so loud that it WOKE ME UP!
He has also started temperamentally rolling over. By temperamentally, I mean he only does it for Jeff when no one else is looking.
Thankfully the library does fun story times in the summer! We went to one where the aquarium brought in some animals and the boys got to touch a snake.
And our favorite way to kill time in the summer is to chill in our backyard in the evenings.
Sometimes we impersonate Mario.
And other times we impersonate Sonic the Hedgehog.
Or we make up our own characters inspired by our crazy hair like The TrampoLincoln.
Easy going Lincoln does not even care when he scooches himself off his blanket and ends up with his head straight on the grass with his brother attacking him.

Eli "swaddled" Lincoln one night. Lincoln is so happy to let Eli do whatever the heck Eli wants to do with him. One day at church Eli was squishing Lincoln's face in every which direction during the entire hour of Sacrament meeting. Lincoln was smiling and giggling all the while. Moments later, one of my friends lightly touched Lincoln's face and he scowled at her like she had wronged him in an unforgivable way. It cracked me up to see the stark contrast between the touch of his doting brother and the touch of a stranger.
We hit up a splash pad yesterday where Carson swaddled himself.
And today we celebrated D. Jeffery. Without getting too cliche mushy gushy, we think Jeff's the best. He is so sweet with our boys. He's everything I ever wanted in a dad for my kids. He's definitely the favorite parent around here until the kids start appreciating my cooking and I can win them over with food and treats. Happy Father's Day!


Rebecca said...

I love the story of your t-ball class from you-know-where. Ha! I'm impressed you've made it to a library story time! We haven't even ventured out for one of those yet. Love the pictures of all the boys and especially the ones of TrampoLincoln.

Kim said...

I love the story of Eli having his backpack all prepared to come here and when the day finally came, he had emptied out the contents. It was cute to see his stuff all lined up by Lincoln. I had to laugh at "You could say he was caught without any oil in his lamp when it proved to be his reckoning day, poor guy." So funny!!

All the impersonator photos made me chuckle. I absolutely love the picture of Jeff with the three sons in the last picture. So sweet. Each one of them.

LC said...

I love that last picture of Jeff and the boys. I remember the days of us receiving texts from him saying "i can see you." on campus.
And now he's an awesome dad! I love you guys.