Raph really is a good big brother. He loves his baby Colin very much. I have to remind myself of this fact when he tries to push him down the stairs now and then, but all in all, good big brother.
At school the teacher will sometimes ask each kid a question and then post all the responses at the door for us to see. One of the little things they do so that we have some insight as to what happens there each day. Only thing you will every hear from a 4 yr old is, "I don't know." or "I played with my teachers and friends." Alrighty then.
Last week posted outside the room was What I like about myself. I scroll thru the answers. All typical things, my hair, my fingers, my eyes...then there was Raph's answer. "My baby brother Colin." Awwww! I don't think he understood the question but the sentiment was there. And that was a far superior answer than the kid after him: "My underwear".
Later in the week they asked the kids who their favorite friend was. I found this a little odd, b/c it singles out kids and what if no one picked someone? Anyway, Raph's answer was "My baby brother Colin" Awwwwww! And then he told me Owen said Raph was his favorite friend but I didn't pick Owen, I picked Colin.
One night Raph and I were snuggered up on the couch after Colin was in bed and he saw the wedding portrait of Mike and I on the wall.
R: Mommy. Why did you and Daddy get married?
M: Because we loved each other.
R: I wish Colin was a girl or something.
M: Why do you wish Colin was a girl?
R: Because I would want to marry him b/c I love Colin.
Awwww! Ok so its more than a little misguided but again the sentiment is there. He very much loves his baby brother. I must always remember those moments when I hear him abusing his beloved.
The Great Forest Park Balloon Race was last week and the night before they have a Balloon Glow. They have, what seems like, millions of balloons all bunched together in the center of the park and have them all lit up at intervals. An air horn blows and they all burn and have that beautiful orange glow to them. Its fun, but you have to get there. Its in the middle of the park with limited parking. This means walking...lots of walking.
We had to trek over to where the balloons were. We didn't bring a stroller b/c mostly that's a beating trying to off road in a stroller. Mike had the cooler and intermitantly carried Raph and I carried Colin. He was so cute b/c he probably said "Whazzat!?" About 637 times on the way over to the balloons. There was much to see, we took a tunnel under the highway (I did not feel safe), thru the park...police horses, helicopters, and balloons oh my! You could see the balloons long before we actually got to them so our conversation went like this:
M: Helicopter C: Whazzat!?
C: Whazzat!? OOOooooo!
C: Whazzat!? OOoooo Booon!
M: yes balloon
C: Whazzat!? Geeeeee. OOOOOOOoooo
He was about to jump out of his skin by the time we got to the balloons, until someone fired the burner when we were right next to it. Then he started crying. The leader of the race is the Energizer bunny so I kept telling him there's the bunny and he'd do the bunny sign. Yeah for cute baby signs! After they took down the balloons there were fireworks. Then the conversation turned to this:
C: Whazzat!? Boooom! about 900 times
It was fun and I got a workout carrying Colin 18 miles in the dark thru the golf course. That and I'm taking muscle relaxers because of my cupcake injury. So muscle relaxers + 2 beers + no dinner = drunk Marcella. Opps.
As you all know Raph is allergic to milk, egg and peanut. And has only just recently added chicken nuggets into his diet. Effectively he's vegan by default. This, as you might imagine, presents all sorts of challenges in feeding him. He's allergic to half the things out there, amazingly picky about the remaining half and subsists on next to nothing (in terms of variety). I would like to also point out that he does not tolerate change well. At all. In the last year he's finally come to terms with the change of seasons and what that does to your wardrobe. He was that 19 mo old screaming, "WEEVES! WEEVES!!!" and trying to rip the offending sleeves off his arms because, presumably, they were burning his flesh. Did I mention he's got a flare for the dramatic?
Add up all of those hurtles and you've got dining with Raph = hair pulling, wailing and gnashing of teeth (but only on other teeth, not actual food).
Today's goal was to get him to taste and almond butter and honey sandwich...you know Honey Nut Cheerios in sandwich form? I made a delectable sandwich, cookie cuttered it into a T-Rex and told Raph, "If you take one bite you can eat whatever you want. You just have to try it." He promptly told me that he was not hungry today and probably wouldn't be hungry later either.
Then Colin gets out a box of crackers. Raph wanted some...what?! I thought you weren't hungry! I explain again, taste the sandwich then the cheez its. After some complaining Raph asks me, "Mommy, do you know that song at the end of Shrek the Third where he says 'be myself'?" Yes. "Yeah, Mommy that song is about how you should let me be myself and that means with food too. If I don't want to eat a honey butter sandwich then you should let me be myself and not eat it."
Oh TOUCHE!!! That would make your Daddy proud! How do you argue with that? He's right, after all, shouldn't I let him be himself? WRONG! I'm not trying to poison him or make him eat fish eyeballs. It was a very good almond butter and honey sandwich. I tried it, it was fab.
So I respond, "Yeah, well I'm your mommy and I said you need to take a bite then you can have crackers." We negotiated down to a honey only sandwich, he took a bite, proclaimed it was nasty and had his crackers. I have to try, right?
Oh what was that? Colin now says 'dirty'? Yes he does. Especially when he's eating yogurt. Mmmm, wall yogurt!*
*Please note that he had only just begun to eat the yogurt, it was on the walls, floors, chairs, table, over the pony wall onto my diaper bag, in his hair, eyelashes, on his clothes and maybe in his mouth. I'm not sure. He remained naked the rest of the night until he was finished eating.
Colin is equally challenging with food. He has no official limitations, outside those that come with a handful of teeth, yet he is probably more picky than Raph. Imagine that! He is picky about food, already, and yet he has a wide array of non-food items that he consumes regularly. His latest, blue bath tub tints. I can't WAIT to see what that diaper will look like...
~~~I wanna...thank you..for lettin' me be myself...oh yeah! I wanna, thank you, for lettin' me be myself...oh YE-AH!~~~
Colin's been extra special and whiney tonight. Then growls in a devil voice. In an attempt to make him stop whiney/growling/screaming Mike just yells at him louder in his best wrestler voice. So this is what it sounded like in my kitchen.
Me: Colin Ihave had ENOUGH.
Raph: YEAH! I've had enough too!
Raph found this costume in a box of hand-me-downs today. He immediately put it on and didn't really take it off. Colin got a little freaked out by the mask and would cry. Raph, in all his big brother glory kept popping up in his face from around corners and walls, "HEY! Colin! Its just me. HEY!!!" That didn't help Colin's crying which was already at a code orange today.
We were going to the grocery store and he asks, "Mommy, does it not matter to the people who live at the grocery store what I wear?" Wait, what? In Raph-speak that means, Mommy I want to wear my Spiderman costume to the grocery store, will the people who work there not care if I wear it? And the mask?
So we went off to the grocery store. He puts on his mask as we enter and promptly runs smack into a display. ::THWACK:: This old lady drew a quick breath, brought her hand to her mouth, "Oh dear!" I laugh uncontrollably, rub his head, then guide him to the cart. He takes off the mask, screws up his nose and rubs his head. Poor buddy.
He carried on as usual at the grocery store, aside from a few snorting, laughing fits from his mother on occasion who kept thinking of the smacking into the display incident. Every now and then someone would *recognize* him and he would turn bright read and hide his face. In the car he said he didn't like people knowing how he was b/c they would think he was the black Spiderman (the new cartoon/movie has Spiderman's alter ego wear a black spidey suit). I assured him no one thought he was the bad Spiderman b/c he was wearing red and blue. "And white too Mommy." Yes red, white and blue spidey. My hero.