Recently, Timothy has been trying things on – baseball caps, safety helmets, winter stocking caps — even ballet tutu’s. And since he’s been trying some new things, I’ll try writing a blog entry with a combination of lessons and bedtime stories.
First, some lessons…
In the past I have mentioned that Timothy has a tendency of slamming doors. The good news is that he’s being much gentler closing doors these days, but he enjoys opening doors as well, which can be a mixed blessing.
Speaking of doors, many older homes have a door or two whose lock doesn’t work well. In our house, it’s the door of the bathroom on the first floor whose lock has a tendency to get stuck. The bathroom is located in what could be referred to as a ‘high traffic’ and ‘visible’ area.
For the record, in 13 years, only one person (possibly me, but I won’t confirm) has ever really gotten locked in the bathroom and had to exit by climbing out of the first floor window — which is when we finally got a key to open the lock.
Bottom line, if you’re a guest in our house, you can either lock the bathroom door and hope it doesn’t stick, or leave the door unlocked and hope that Timothy doesn’t fling open the bathroom door (see above Timothy’s recent interest in opening doors and also the ‘high traffic’ location of the bathroom).
The lesson is that, if you’re a guest in our house, you’d better have a sense of adventure if you’re going to use the bathroom on the main floor.
We’re seasoned parents, and so we always bring a back up outfit for Timothy when we go out, in case of an emergency.
Last week, our family visited the awesome staff at Voyageur Outward Bound’s Homeplace location (in Ely, MN). It was raining when we arrived, and Timothy wasted no time in finding puddles to jump into and sit in. Extra outfit? Got it.
But this weekend, Timothy had an upset stomach, and we were out with him, and his stomach started making some gurgling sounds. Before we knew it, he was throwing up, and it soaked my shirt, pants and my shoes (possibly known as ‘the trifecta’ in the barf business). The vomit was everywhere. Or actually I should say everywhere except on him. Somehow, the king of the colon covered all of the people and surfaces around him but didn’t get anything on himself. He felt fine after a good night’s sleep, and our lesson is that while we’ll always bring extra clothes for T, in the future we’ll remember to bring an extra outfit for us, too.
In the past few weeks, after dinner, our family has sometimes played a game of ‘Duck Duck Grey Duck’ (or ‘Duck Duck Goose’ for those unfortunate souls living outside Minnesota). We normally play it outside, but after dinner recently, Timothy requested an indoor game of DDGD. So we circled up in our small living room.
T was ‘it’ first, and said his version of the word ‘Duck’ and tapped Laura on the head, and then walked around the outside of the circle and said ‘Duck’ and tapped me, and then continued walking and tapped Catherine and made a noise that was clear that she was indeed the ‘grey duck’.
Catherine got up, but before she could begin the chase, Timothy ran a little wide and veered into our big stereo cabinet.
The boy-meets-cabinet impact resulted in a small ‘thud’ sound, but our little energizer bunny popped right back up and continued the quest to outrun his sister around the circle and sat down in her vacated spot.
The lesson is that if we decide to play the inside version of Duck Duck Grey Duck, we’ll give ourselves a little extra room. And we’ll stay a long ways away from that big stereo cabinet.
And a pair of bedtime stories…
One night, I was reading to Timothy at bedtime. As usual, once he had gone to sleep, I snuck out of his bedroom and sat at the dining room table in the next room.
Suddenly, I heard the sound of his bedroom door opening, and I looked up to see Timothy walking toward our room. As I stood up to investigate, he started running, and by the time I reached the hallway, he was quickly scaling up the side of our tall bed. It was impressive — he looked like a combination of ‘The Fugitive’ and ‘American Ninja Warrior’.
On another evening, I was lying in T’s bed with him, reading some bedtime books when Laura popped her head in to check on us.
Timothy noticed Laura and exclaimed ‘Baba’ (mom) and then, as if I was an outgoing contestant on the ‘Bachelor’, he turned and politely smiled at me, and gave me a few kisses on the cheek.
I asked if I was expected to leave, to which he quickly replied ‘yesssss’.
Moments after having been unceremoniously ushered out of his room, I was standing in the dining room, when Timothy ran out of his bedroom and came up to me. I braced for an invitation back into his room, but I was caught a little off guard when he said, ‘Dada’ and made the sign for ‘water’ — as in ‘hey, sorry that the reading thing didn’t work out for you tonight, but please make yourself useful and get me a cold one’.
The world can be a scary place at the moment, and I have talked with many people who are losing hope about where we are going as a country and as a world. But I disagree. I see many, many challenges before us, but I also see many, many signs of hope, from the young adults I work with at Voyageur Outward Bound to the great organizations and schools we partner with, to the impressive young people who we serve. They give me real hope.
And I see many reasons to hope when I talk with our two daughters. In the next ten days, both Elisabeth and Catherine will be leaving home to spend the next nine months overseas — Elisa in France and Cat to blend in with the other Lee’s in South Korea (she’s been given two different host families, both named Lee). We’re so proud of them both for jumping into a new experience, and for helping to shrink the world a little by meeting new people and understanding other cultures and languages.
We’re praying for their safety and are confident that this will be a year of great growth, friendship and learning (probably for all of us). But we will miss them both tremendously, and their little brother Timothy is going to miss them a ton.
We love you both, Elisabeth and Catherine!
Always grateful and hopeful,