Thursday, July 17, 2008

Sidewalk Chalk, Visitors and the Guitar

I was thinking about what to write in this post the entire time I did the dishes, which took forever, since we hate our dishwasher soap and end up washing everything by hand (and re-washing anything we had put in the dishwasher). If anyone knows of a great safe-for-kids dishwasher soap that's NOT Seventh Generation, I'd love to have a recommendation. Lucky us, we bought Seventh Generation in bulk, after a completely random few wonderful cycles, and now we have it until we're 80. But we're willing to buy something else now, to save our dishwater hands.

Anyway, I would write all I had been thinking, but I can't, because Trevor is sitting in the chair five feet away playing his guitar, and I'm unable to think while he does it. I'm not one of those smarties who listened to music while they did their homework, that's for sure. While I typically really enjoy his guitar sessions, tonight my brain is like a game of Pong, with very few clever thoughts bouncing around, and I can't think past the next verse of his song. So I'm just going to do a highlight reel of our day....

Lunch downtown with Trevor and the girls, and then off to the craft store so Berit could pick out paintbrushes and sidewalk chalk. (Green brushes, green tub of chalk.) While heading back to the car, three sets of men complimented me on Berit's outfit. Ah, the hallmark of good parenting: Cute kids' clothes. Spirits lifted, I made up a fun race game to get Berit moving, worn out and to our car in time for her to fall fast asleep on the way home. No dice. Instead, she did my most hated thing she does in the car: "I HAVE A STICK! I HAVE A STICK!" While thrashing around in her carseat, red-faced, exhausted. She claims to have a stick poking her lower back in her carseat, but no such stick exists, and I know, because several times I've pulled the car over and checked. I'm done pulling off to the side of the road, standing my toddler on the curb or small strip of grass next to the car, and rubbing both her back, butt and carseat in a number of different directions to find out of anything stands up, pokes or rears when brushed. So she yelped the whole way home, and I yelled "Put your hand over it!" the whole ride home, and no surprise that Marta also screamed the whole ride home. Once home, no nap yet again, but she was funny and smart and I let her get away with it. 

She was very patient, so when Marta fell asleep we stripped her clothes off (didn't want to mar the suddenly trendy outfit she had on) and headed out for sidewalk chalk. It was her first time with it, and she was delighted so much so that I kept thinking, "Don't forget this day, don't forget this day," until I got out the camera and started taking pictures. She was shocked that we could color anywhere on our driveway and walkway. "Here! Here!" she said. We drew our family, of course, and peanuts, a bird, and an egg, among other things of her choosing. I have to admit that I was fairly impressed with my own sidewalk chalk abilities. 

Then I got out the icing on the cake for Berit: Paint. She was introduced to paint last year, but she doesn't remember it, so today was like her first time. She was very serious about it, and wouldn't even look up for a picture, saying, "No Mom, I'm busy painting." She was precise and knew exactly what she wanted and where it should go, and by which brush it should be delivered. I sat there with a dumb smile watching her until she said, "Come on Mom, you gotta paint too."

Later, we took Marta out to do sidewalk chalk with us, and Marta was so thrilled to have her bare feet on our sidewalk that she let out a series of happy screeches and kept turning around to flash me her my-cheeks-can't-get-any-bigger smile.

So now Trevor and I are sitting here waiting for his friend Kevin, Kevin's girlfriend, and Kevin's girlfriend's dog to arrive, as they're spending the weekend with us, hopefully not drowning in rain. Chicagoans that they are, I feel they'll want to have more action than we usually provide in these parts, so it'd be good if we could get out to music in the park and the lake. 

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