Chip says all of our names now. We had him perform for the video camera last night and with a little prodding, he told all of us our names and managed to work in his goofy smile-for-the-camera face. Actually, he says anything he wants to at this point, with just enough grammatical twists and turns to make it adorable.
Mare and Chip play together very nicely. I didn’t know if this would happen as Mare is 3.5 years older than him, while she is only 2.5 years younger than Bird. But, as Chip gets older, they pair off more and more. I know she is still playing mommy to him, but they can spend an hour in the basement together, playing blocks or jumping on cushions and building forts. And she is so proud of their playtime.
It isn’t surprising that Mare turns to Chip, because while she loves to play nicely with Bird, it doesn’t always happen that way. Bird can be moody and Mare can tease. Luckily, as Bird gets older there are many activities that she can do solo. Reading, of course, can occupy her for hours. She has been known to read a Judy Moody, Clarice Bean or Katie Kazoo book in one sitting. She loves making potholders and this Christmas she got a latch hook set. I taught her how to do it and she finished three rows last night and was working on it when I left for work this morning.
Things with Bird have improved so much the last month. She is quite lovely to be around most of the time and when she isn’t, it is no where near the nastiness that we were seeing this fall. What has changed? A lot. John is done with school, so mom has help and isn’t a frazzled mess. Soccer ended. Choir has been on hiatus since December 8th. Mare dropped all of her activities, so we aren’t running her around. So. That tells me a lot. I may desire that my children be well rounded. They may *want* to do all these activities in theory. But when it comes to actually doing them, it is far too disruptive to do them any good. This means we will have to make some tough choices – because keeping dance and piano as a constant means there isn’t much room for anything else. That includes choir, the cheer leading clinic she wants to attend this spring and soccer in the fall.