Thursday, October 28, 2010

Soccer Days

It's October and it's been raining for almost a week. I love the rain, but not in the fall, not when days are supposed to grow gradually colder and shorter, slowly easing us into voluntary hibernation, not when the leaves haven't even turned yet and the the World Series isn't over. I guess I just love the rain when it's expected, and not when my shoes suck and my giant, Gust Buster umbrella is at my brother's house.

When I picked Carrie up from school today she was in a better mood than she's been in all week. She shared some the highlights, vented the lowlights, and asked me how my day was. It had been seven hours, but I struggled to remember what I'd done with all that time. I felt honest saying, "It was a good day," but drew a blank when I tried to fill in some of the details.

When I was in high school I used to watch our varsity soccer team play. There was a kid named Mike Something-or-other who played striker and was always the fastest guy on the field. He would race easily past the opposing defenders, and our excited cheers from the sidelines went something like, "Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, awwwwww," because what he had in speed and stamina he completely lacked in skill. Mike's effort would invariably end with him cursing himself after kicking the ball out-of-bounds or directly to their goalie. By the end of the game he was often bent over with exhaustion with absolutely nothing to show for it.

That's kind of what my day felt like.

So, I now call them "Soccer Days" - those days that take a lot of work with very little to show for it. There was no vacuuming or laundry done, no videos made or projects completed. There were no milestones reached or words spoken, no unforgettable memories of cuteness. Well, maybe some - but mostly it was just a day of putting one foot in front of another with small goals as simple as returning the videos, dropping off the mail, or trying not to let poop get on the diaper changing station. I did manage to return the videos...

Amari and I began the day at the Calverts for her regular dose of beat down. Amari continues to grow more assertive with Hunter, but Hunter also continues to hit her even in the face of loud "No's" from both Jim and me. Today I experimented by putting him in lock down after he hit Amari. I sat him in my lab, wrapped my arms around him, and wouldn't let him move. Within thirty seconds, however, he was squirming and crying and yelling, "CPS, CPS," so I released him. I'm at a loss about what to do with Hunter's aggression. I like that Amari is defending herself, but I don't like that she's taking on his behaviors. Perhaps this is just something that all toddlers go through and pretty soon Amari will be putting the hurt on some other poor, unsuspecting kid.

After that, the day gets a little blurry. Amari ate, pooped, napped, and played. Grannie C relieved me for an hour so I could get some exercise and then I'm pretty sure there was more eating, pooping, and crying after that.

The cool thing that happened last night and today is that Amari learned to play the kazoo. No complete songs yet, but she's got the pentatonic scale down perfectly. She continues to say "Bah" for everything food related, crawls rather than walks, and prefers to have me carry her rather than do either of those things.  She is clingy/securely attached, whiny/expressive, and no matter how much she does either, I happily oblige, pick her up to my hip and doing my best to figure out what she wants.

Amari after not meeting the diaper station goal

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