I feel like my parenting life is a completely different experience when the weather is cool enough to spend more time outside. We’ve headed off to the park after breakfast most mornings lately for 1-2 hours. They get some much needed wiggles out, we all breathe in plenty of fresh, cool air, and the sunshine is just warm enough to be wonderful.
Both kids splash in the puddles left from the sprinklers, climb and slide, and invent “abbenture” stories. Sophie “paints” with water or mud and decorates little sections (like her favorite post lamp) with flowers and leaves and rocks. Milo digs in the dirt, follows bugs, and cakes his fingernails in mud. They still need lots of supervision (safety, bickering, etc.), so it’s not a good time for me to read books, but I’ve listened to podcasts and brought my planner or notebook for brainstorming and planning. It’s just heaven. Fresh air is magical.
p.s. I’m itching to set up a fairy garden for Sophie. I think she’d just love it!
2. Favorite words lately.
Out of nowhere, both of our kids have started using the words “mudder” and “fodder” for me and Michael. We don’t (and haven’t ever) insist on that level of formality, and I find it hilarious. They’ll even stop what they’re doing and ask “are you my mudder?” Yep. I’m your mudder.
3. A better Halloween.
My heart was so happy about how this year’s Halloween has gone compared to last year. I’d never thought about it before having a child with special needs, but Halloween really is the worst holiday for special needs. Strange sounds, scary decorations and masks, unpredictable costumes on other people that make them even harder to “read,” a bunch of candy that’s not allergy-friendly or texturally okay.
People want to ask you questions, wait for you to give them answers you may or not be able to respond to, and there’s a lot of tough social cues to watch out for (is someone joking or serious? How many pieces of candy am I supposed to take? I can’t make my mouth move to say “please” or “thank you” or tell you what I’m dressed up as).
Last year, even though Sophie LOVES dressing up and loved wearing her costume at home, she could hardly bear to put it on outside of the house for parties or the trunk-or-treat we went to. This year, she remembers last year and her speech has more or less caught up (though some of the social cues are still difficult). Both kids had a great time trick or treating at Michael’s work. I’m helping at her classroom party today and we’ll go to a trunk-or-treat tonight. My heart could burst with happiness.
4. In love with alone time.
This guy has been savoring alone time a LOT. Like, a lot lot. He often requests to walk through Barnes and Noble (which he refers to as “Thomas Trains” because of the train table). The escalator may as well be an amusement park ride, and between the lego and train tables, the rows of books (especially car books), and the toys, it’s his favorite place on earth.
When we’re not at Thomas Trains, we do a lot of this. Chatting over afternoon snack, playing “traffic” (in which my part is solely to exclaim over the prowess and power of his various vehicles), or going to play in the backyard. It occurred to me this week that next school year, Sophie will be in full-day kindergarten and it will just be the two of us when he’s not in preschool.
5. We took family pictures this week.
(These are not they.) My incredibly (INCREDIBLY) talented friend Abbie took them, and I can hardly wait to get them all back. I told Michael walking in that Abbie will take the best possible pictures with what she has to work with. For some reason, family pictures are just not our forte. Milo and Sophie are so distracted with being outside and at least one of them is always on cooperation strike. Both children usually only want me to hold them, and Michael and I suddenly forget how our faces work. But if the few pictures she showed me are any indication, she worked miracles. Hallelujah!