Samantha is five months old and in size 2 diapers now. She's getting a lot more hair, and her eyebrows have darkened and filled in too. She can't crawl per se, but she is definitely mobile--rolling, scooching backwards, rotating all around on her belly, and generally making it from one side of a room to another in pursuit of something to grab. She can sit up by herself for a little while, but she will then usually topple over when her stamina flags. She doesn't really play with her toes yet, and though she puts her hands in her mouth she doesn't seem to have interest in mouthing toys yet. But she is a happy baby and laughs and smiles all the time.
One of Marcus's favorite things to do is to "play" with her--I put her down on the living room floor with a few toys and he plays around her with Legos or train tracks, or something else, talking to her as he does: "Samantha! Why did you roll over THERE? Messy Bear is HERE, Samantha!" etc. It's fabulous to watch them together. She reaches and grabs for his things, and will roll and scooch all over the floor to get at one of his structures.
At the beginning of this month, we all went to a welcome session at the elementary school Marcus will be starting kindergarten at in September. Robert, who's been away for work a lot in the past two months, had just landed from California, and we went straight from meeting him at home in the morning to the school welcome session. Marcus was more than a little hyper, and Robert was too. While Marcus is really a great big brother, when he gets overly excited for various reasons he can't quite control his body, which results in him pulling Samantha's arms or legs or "patting" her head extra vigorously, and so on. Being in a strange new setting and seeing Robert for the first time in a week naturally led to all sorts of less-than-ideal behavior at the school open house, and Samantha made her displeasure known at the parts of this that were directed at her.
The rest of the welcome session was great, though, and when we were coming home, just Marcus, Samantha, and me (Robert having gone on to work), I tried to talk to Marcus about the morning. We were climbing the stairs to our apartment when I said, "Marcus, I wanted to talk to you about what happened at the school. I was really not happy with your behavior, but do you know what one thing I was the most unhappy about?"
I glanced over my shoulder, and behind me, I saw Marcus hang his head. "You mean when I was standing on the table?"
"Uh, right," I said, "we don't stand on tables, but there was something else that I was really unhappy about."
"You mean when I took off my shoe and ran down the hallway?"
"Well, I didn't like that, but there was something else that I really didn't like," I said.
"Was it when I started spinning in circles and yelling 'LA! LA! LA! LA! LA!' when the woman was talking?"
I thought about the morning and suddenly realized this conversation could go on for quite awhile. "No," I said quickly, "I meant when you were pulling at Samantha's arms and hurting her."
"OH!" Marcus said. "That's what you meanted?"
"I'm sorry, Mommy--I won't do that anymore!" He used a sad puppydog voice. We were still climbing the stairs, so I couldn't see his face, but I was pretty sure it matched.
"You know what, Marcus? I know you're a good big brother. I know you don't mean to hurt Samantha. And here's what's going to happen--when we go through that door--" (we were near the top now, right by our apartment, and I pulled out all the stops for an excited, upbeat voice) "--and inside our house, we're going to be different people. People who can control their bodies even when they're excited! People who don't pull each other's arms and who don't hurt each other! What do you say?"
I turned around and grinned at him as I fished out the apartment door key and started to put it in the lock.
Marcus's face crumpled, and the wails started. "NOOOOOO! I don't WANT to be 'different people'! I want to be the SAME people! Please, Mommy, please, I'll be good, I don't WANT to be 'different people'!"
I sighed. We went into the apartment.
Just a few days after that, we went to the Wake up the Earth Festival in JP/the Southwest Corridor. As always on weekends in Boston, we ran into all sorts of old friends and acquaintances--someone who remembered Marcus from when he started at the local daycare at five months old, people from church, online friends, fellow karate students. Boston is really a small town in so many ways.
The festival itself was great--we "marched" (it's such a low-key and liberal event it seems odd to even use that word) in the dragon-themed parade, we got some yummy Puerto Rican food, we loved the giant cardboard slide set up on a grassy hill, and we took advantage of all of the other activities (bubbles, hula hoops, touch tanks, acrobat performances, a fun steampunk-ish brass band).
It was cloudy, and had rained the day before, but it was a really nice day out. Of course, Marcus fell asleep at some point and we found ourselves with two sleeping kids as we headed home.
Last weekend, Mother's Day weekend, we went to a small fair on the grounds of a private school in Wellesley. It was free admission and then about $2 for a ride or event--Marcus had fun on the giant slide, ponies, and bouncy houses, and there was a baby animal petting area, plus a nice playground to run around in after the rides themselves closed up for the day.
On Sunday we packed a picnic in the stroller and went to church, where Sam was much-admired by the girls in our kindergarten Sunday School class.
After church we went to the Arboretum for Lilac Sunday; we spread out on blankets in the shade with Miriam and Davis. Davis spent most of his time on the edge of the pond with the boys, looking at mud and frogs and fish, and Miriam and I sat with the babies. When they left, Robert took Marcus riding his bike on all the Arb paths for about an hour and I crocheted while Sam napped. There were lots of people and kids, a steel band playing in the distance, and a display of the landscaping trucks and other equipment that kids could climb on. It was a beautiful warm day, and we had a great, relaxing time.
At home that evening, we grilled burgers and made homemade ice cream for the end of a lovely weekend.
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Created: 5/15/12. Last Modified: 5/15/12.