Monday, July 14, 2014


For The Wife's birthday this year, I took the three boys to Dollar Tree. We walked all the way through the store and looked in every aisle: "What present could you pick for Mommy that SHE would like or use?" So, I talked them out of things like water guns (not her style), Justice League cotton candy (....maybe she actually would have liked that), a wiffle bat and ball, and a set of 48 crayons, and I tried to get them to think like her for a minute. Eventually, they settled on a pink sunglasses case (from The Boy), an outside thermometer (from Little Bear), and some pink and white fake flowers (from The Baby). We went home, I wrapped the presents, and they all made birthday cards for her.

Plans for her birthday wound up being a lot more flexible than I expected. I expected that we'd go to a nice family breakfast, then I'd work around the house while she took the boys to the Sunday concert at the park, we'd have a nice lunch together, then I'd go to rehearsal while she stayed with the boys. We'd have a relaxed family dinner at home, then early-ish to bed because the kids start camp the next day (today). I figured we'd bring the presents to breakfast to give to her.


Everyone slept late in the morning, and by the time I finished my exercise, everyone was still asleep at 8AM. We had a nice breakfast at home, and The Wife did, indeed, take the kids to the concert and let me start working on her car: specifically, the 1,500 paint chips that have come off the car this past winter. We went out to lunch after the concert at a nice Mexican place in Monroeville, then we all went up to my rehearsal. On the way home, Grandma and Grandpa (who had just returned from spending the weekend in Maryland) offered to take the kids and let us go out for a drink or something on her birthday, so we went directly to their house to cook dinner. There, we discovered that we had left the iPads under the pavilion at the church, where the kids were playing with them.

Two hours later, I was back home with the iPads. I'd love to be mad at the kids - they were playing with them, they has responsibility for them. However, who was the idiot that left his iPad in the care of small children? That would be me. So, considering that I didn't get back to dinner until around 7, and considering that 2 and 3 were melting down in front of us because of exhaustion, we decided discretion was the better part of valor and took the kids home to bed.


Little Bear had an emotional meltdown last night, triggered by 1) his perception that The Boy got more snuggles than he did at bedtime and 2) his nervousness about attending camp for the first time. I wasn't able to help him - and The Baby was irritating The Wife - so we swapped and things were good. I honestly don't know much about the camp that they're attending, other than having some knowledge of the campgrounds (at the Family Park). The Wife knew a bit about their daily schedule and the other kids in his camp group, which helped a lot. He works himself up into a frenzy over things like this; he's the most emo and excitable of the children. On one hand, I'm glad he's sensitive. On the other hand, I'm concerned about depression later in life - G-d knows it runs in the family.

The Baby, meanwhile, wanted to read Bugs, Bugs, Bugs, by Bob Barner; and Don't Wake Up The Bear, by Marjorie Murray. Don't Wake Up The Bear is a cute story about various woodland animals cuddling up with a soft, warm, hibernating bear to stave off winter's chill.... only to run in panic when a mouse's sneeze wakes up the grumpy bear. It's very cute and has an oft-repeated line, "....and DON'T WAKE UP THE BEAR," which The Baby whispers along with me. He snuggled himself to sleep soon after, while I read myself a book.

His knee is coming along. He's able to limp along for short distances, and he's trying to run as much as he can. We're still glad that he's getting examined tomorrow at Children's, but it's nice to see him improving much, much faster than we ever could.

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