What a crazy spring! It looks like summer will be a little mellower (as we get geared up for a crazy fall….)
So, the first crazy thing was that Silas and I were living in Michigan for two months, as I was directing Romeo and Juliet for Pigeon Creek Shakespeare. That was fun, but really hard on both of us. Silas was a lot more clingy and fragile than usual, and he really missed JC (as did I). He was sleeping through the night for about two months before we left, but only did it twice the whole time we were there. Single parenting is crazy stuff, too. Wow. I don’t know how some people do that all the time!
We managed to have some fun, though.
Silas enjoyed hanging out with our hosts’ granddaughter, Persephone. She’s a couple months younger than he is, and a total cutie. Because they have grandkids close to Silas’ age, our hosts’ home was well-equipped for a toddler.
Linda (our hostess and self-described “handy ma’am”) built that sandbox one evening!
Linda also took Silas to the playground, the beach, and the playplace at the mall. He really enjoyed his outings with her (and I enjoyed having a chance to grab a nap!).
They have two VERY patient dogs, whom Silas adored. Unfortunately, they were super-alert to any food he dropped, including a couple of grapes, which are poisonous to dogs. They had to spend a few days in the veterinary hospital, during which Silas wandered around the house, completely inconsolable, saying, “Puppies? Puppies?”
Steve, our host, is an accountant, and we were there during tax season, so we didn’t see much of him. When he was home, though, he played Cat Stevens songs for Silas.
Both Spring Lake and Grand Haven have wonderful libraries, with lots of programming for kids. We spent a ton of time at the library (thank you, Ottawa County tax payers).
There are also a lot of wonderful parks, beaches, and wilderness areas. Since Silas was still a bit small for most playground equipment, he enjoyed going to these less structured places. The unseasonably warm spring was a real blessing for us.
Mom and Gary came to visit us around the middle of our stay. We were thrilled to see them. They took Silas to the beach, the circus, and the fantastic Grand Rapids Children’s Museum.
JC also came to visit us. He was able to spend a week with us, which was wonderful. While he was there, we went to the Fred Meijer Gardens, where they had a big butterfly exhibit. It was incredible.
It reminded me of our time in Costa Rica. I can’t wait to take Silas to the cloudforest. He enjoyed the butterflies in captivity a ton.
A week or so later, we went back to see the butterflies, this time with Persephone and Taleah (her mom, who was in Julius Caesar when I directed it a few years ago, and who introduced me to her parents). Taleah showed us a neat part of the gardens I would never have found on my own–an indoor, miniature version of the sculpture garden, just for kids.
Persephone is Silas’ kind of girl…
Silas even got to see the high school matinees of R&J. He amazed me by sitting through a whole hour of the show, each of the three days. I timed it so they were different hours, so he saw the whole thing. When we got home, Mom and Gary took him to our local children’s museum, where some little girls were putting on a “play” in the play theater. Mom said that Silas quietly sat in one of the audience chairs until they were done, and then applauded. That kid knows what to do in a theater.
…And then it was time to go home. Silas is a pretty good traveler, as long as I keep the snacks coming.
We also stopped at the Children’s Museum in Pittsburgh, which helped. That one is really worth a visit, btw.
(He’s doing the “Shake Your Sillies Out” dance…or maybe preparing to bite the head off a chicken).
I’m glad that we had our Michigan adventure. It was important for me to get some sense of my own limitations and test myself and my family. No lasting damage, and we made some new friends. Of course, the whole thing was complicated by one piece of news that we didn’t share with many people until we got back…
Yep, baby #2 is due in late September! We’re really excited, but…wow. First trimester + single parenting a toddler 700 miles from home…yeah. It was hard.
But we got through it, and now things are really good. If I weren’t too lazy to figure out how to hook up my scanner, I would share some ultrasound photos. Oh well, I always think those are kind of creepy anyway. The short version is, the baby looks healthy, and we were able to see that all systems are developing correctly. SO… yay! Baby! We’re not sure how much of this Silas understands. One night, he patted my belly and said, “Night baby!”…then he rolled over and did the same thing to JC. Hm.
Big brother practice.
We think he’ll do well with the baby. He’s…very affectionate, these days.
(and, luckily, has patient friends)
He likes to help around the house, like by feeding the dog (one kibble at a time),
and unloading the dishwasher.
He brought me flowers for the first time!
He’s obsessed with puddles.
^—This was the day I ordered his galoshes.
He’s really into imaginative play, which sort of came out of nowhere one day. We were sitting outside, and he started hitting the picnic table with a stick. I said, “Nice stick,” and he said, “Hammer!” Ever since then, it’s been nonstop. His panda always needs to use the potty. His elephant constantly wants to eat.
The elephant also is a big reader, apparently (notice which book Silas thought the elephant would enjoy).
I’ve got to get this kid a dress-up box. Instead, he just finds whatever he can around the house…
Pretending to be a chicken…
He’s also really been into building block towers, but apparently I don’t have any pictures of that yet. He asks us to help him build houses for his small toys. Very cute.
Silas is also very into painting. He painted a dog that really looked like a dog yesterday. Then he covered it with paint scribbles. Hm.
It looks like a dog, right?
is this my kid? Yes, this is.
Generally, I’m just constantly astounded by stuff he comes up with. In addition to knowing several letter sounds (s, m, c, d), we think he has one sightword (“bird”). He knows pretty much all the primary and secondary colors (though he does confuse green and black), as well as a few shapes. The other day, he told me that one of his blocks was a purple circle. I didn’t want to be a jerk and tell him it was a cylinder.
A couple of weeks ago, we went to Idlewild in Pennsylvania, so we could meet Silas’ new cousin, Olivia. He hasn’t stopped talking about it since. Olivia is 8, and she wanted him to go on some rides with her. I was…kind of nervous about it. I couldn’t go with them, and I never really know what kind of crazy thing he’s going to do. He loved it! There was even one ride where he had to go *by himself* and he did great. Ever since then, about 70% of his conversation is this: “Daggon [dragon]! Horse! Leeevah [olivia]! Boat!”
I can’t believe how grown up he is already. In the fall, he’ll go to Sunday school. Without me. My mind just doesn’t even know how to comprehend that.
Fantastic as Silas is, he’s not the only thing going on in our lives (though he certainly takes up most of our attention). We also spend lots of time with our Little, Carlos. He’s growing up to be a really great kid. He’s very sweet to Silas. When we took them to the zoo, and bowling, Carlos made sure that Silas had fun too. He’s always trying to find ways to include him.
I took Carlos on a BB/BS horseback riding thing. He had lots of fun, but the best part for me was seeing how he helped out another boy, who was nervous about the whole horse thing.
Well, and now the summer stretches ahead of us. I think we’re going to do lots of fun stuff (pool! hiking! eating!), but not overextend ourselves. We have a few things we want to get taken care of before the baby gets here, but we’ve also agreed to a moratorium on major home improvement for at least a year. So..yeah…Time to chill out and be happy.
Thanks to Wendy Werner, Katie Smith, Kassi Adkins, and Linda Namenye for photos.