a bit of kindness

So many people are doing good.  There is so much talk about the crazy and the cruel, but there are so many still doing so much good.

Today Little O and the Parakeet spent the morning productive but in pajamas and all of sudden the time came when they just had to get OUT.  So, after lunch they suited up and went for a walk to play on the playground in the sunshine.  It was cold, but bright and there might not be a better time.

Little O decided he would leave in full Captain America costume.  He put on the t-shirt, the button that speaks when you push it, his bright blue cape, mask and shield.  Do not worry, he still had on a winter hat, gloves and coat. He also insisted on wearing his rain boots since they have some red like the super hero himself.

Little O does look quite fantastic in his mask.  He is very serious holding his shield and walking up Western.
One man, who is delivering packages, comes back out of a store and thanks him for “protecting our neighborhood and our streets”.
Many passers-by call out to him, “Hi Captain America!”
The Parakeet does her best to stop the ‘rats’ and other bad guys on the playground and finally they are both pooped.  They decide to take the bus back home.  As they get on, the Parakeet digs around in her purse and realizes she does not have her wallet – and therefore no bus card.
She tells the driver, “we need to get off. We dont have our card”.
A nice woman runs to the front of the bus with her purse saying, “Just let me pay for you”
THe parakeet is grateful and asks Little O to tell her Thank you also.
Then, the driver says “You guys are fine. Sit down. It’s not every day I get Captain America.”
They sit and O asks why they get to stay.  The Parakeet tells him its because he’s special and that Captain America gets a free ride.  It’s a quiet bus, so that gets a laugh from most of the adults in the front section.

O is pleased with himself and he smiles.  As they walk up the stairs to peel off their boots and hats at home – he turns to his mom and says quietly, “oh mom. what a great walk. EVERYONE loved my costume.”

Choices

Little O recently wrote on the wall with markers.  Consequently, he is not allowed to use markers unless a grown-up is with him.  On New Year’s Eve, the Parakeet was working to get the horror that was her room clean enough for their friends to put a pack n play in there for their baby.  Little O wasn’t up for folding his parents clothes and opted to color.  The Parakeet agreed as long as he was in the hall outside her room. 
He colored a while.  She spent an embarrassing amount of time unpacking, sorting, folding and picking up a wardrobe worth of clothes from the floor.
When she checked on the O, she noticed a bright pink A on the wall above the stairwell.  When asked about it, Little O said he needed everyone to know this was a one “A” house.  Whatever that meant it wasn’t a reason to write on the wall.
He spent five minutes facing the wall and had his markers taken away until further notice.

When they were going to bed for the night, he wanted to help with the prayer.  He is usually content for Mom to pray, but he asked to learn something new and repeat what Mom said.  Remembering something she once learned, the Parakeet tried to include some adoration, confession, and thankfulness before asking for something from God – the Parakeet reached confession and said, “I am so sorry for the bad choices I made today”.
Rather than repeating, Little O said, “Excuse me, mom”
“Yes?”
“What if we didn’t make any bad choices today? I can’t say that”
” I seem to remember a pretty bad choice with some markers on the wall”
” Oh yes, OK…I’ll say this:  Hi. God.  I’m sorry for the one bad choice I made today”

Oh Dear.  What are they in for with this one?

On His 4th

For memory-sake, the Parakeet asked Little O a few questions on his 4th Birthday.

1.  What is your favorite color?  Green and Orange
2.  favorite toy? refused to answer
3.  favorite fruit? blueberries
4.  favorite tv show?  Curious George
5.  favorite food for lunch?  macaroni and cheese
6.  favorite outfit?  refused to answer (but he asks for his ‘pirate’ shirt a lot)
7.  favorite game?  refused to answer (but loves wrestling and fighting with dad and if he sits still he likes chutes and ladders)
8.  favorite snack? pirate’s booty
9.  favorite animal? giraffe
10.  favorite song?  row row row your boat
11.  favorite book?  The Little Engine that Could
12.  best friend?  Liam Graham
13.  favorite cereal?  Cheerios
14.  favorite thing outside? playground
15.  favorite drink? juice
16.  favorite holiday? christmas
17.  what do you like to take with you to bed at night?  cozy and pac (blanket and pacifier – maybe that won’t be the case at 5 year old bday?)
18.  favorite breakfast food?  pancakes
19.  what do you want for birthday dinner?  cake and pizza and hot dogs
20.  what do you want to be when you grow up?  refused to answer

XOXO Little O, cutie-pie Man.

Saturday

This Day.
It’s only 2:30.  Little O woke up at 6AM.  He is standing next to his mother’s bed and remembering two promises, “It’s a play-mommy day, right?”
The Parakeet nods half-asleep.
“We’re making cupcakes and going to the playground, right?”
The Parakeet smiles, “That’s right bud.Good Memory!”  She high-fives him and rolls out of bed.
The huz says good-bye to them both and heads to the shop.  The bird and the O eat a quick breakfast and are making cupcakes by 7:15.  There isn’t enough sugar, and with a little convincing, the O walks with the Parakeet to a local convenience store that happens to be open before 8 to buy a bag of sugar.  They have to walk to a second one two blocks past the first.
When Little O tries to protest, “How could that store not be open?” The Parakeet quiets him with a “Well, most people are trying to sleep”
They return home and finish their chocolate cupcakes before 9:00.  As they bake O fills the sink to play with dishes and the Keet talks to her own mother on the phone.
After that it’s a bike ride to a lesser-visited playground, a chance run-in with a little girl from his pre-school.  They play together for an hour just fabulously.  They meet O’s old babysitter and the bird’s dear friend for more conversation and walking and playground-climbing.
Little O and the Parakeet make ham sandwiches and eat them in the backyard.
They make pink frosting and their chocolate cupcakes are ready for tomorrow’s baby shower.  Little O eats ‘just one’ and covers his in sprinkles left from Christmas.
He plays quietly by himself while she calls the Huz to check-in and reads one chapter of a book to herself.
She reads him a Dr. Suess favorite and he settles in for a nap.
It’s just 2PM and the day has been so full.  She cleans the baking dishes and sweeps the kitchen floor with a calm feeling that’s hard to explain.  As she tosses the crumbs into the trash, she realizes she is so happy, so grateful.  What a Saturday.  And only half-way done.

Raising a Prince

Little O was at school on Tuesday.  Nap is part of his day.  During nap, he had an accident.  This isn’t an every day thing, but it happens.  As the teachers were encouraging him to get undressed and dressed in other clothes, he kept saying that he didn’t know how.

With lots of encouragement, he finally put on his own underwear, socks and pants.
The teachers said they were so proud of him and ‘look, he did know how!’

Little O replied, “maybe i do, but don’t tell my mom – I like her to do it”

SERIOUSLY? It’s intentional. oh. dear.

This Happened.

Little O doesn’t do so great with transition. It might be developmental and it might be his “age” or it might be his personality.  More than likely it’s all of the above.  His parents and teachers work to let him know what’s coming next, the order of events, if you will.  Advance warning certainly helps, but it doesn’t always ease the pain.  Leaving school at the end of the day is particularly tough and often embarrassing.  Some days he cries just seeing his mother walk in the room, “Noooo! I don’t want to go.”  Woah.
Last week-ish, the Parakeet bought ice cream.  They never have ice cream in the house.  Little O was so excited and adorable.  He could hardly stand it shaking from excitement.  The Huz had the great idea that ice cream was only for school days.  Little O could earn ice cream by leaving school without a fit.  WOW. Genius.
Little O knows that he has to get his shoes and coat and head out without a fit and then he gets ice cream.  3 School Days. 3 Successes.
Then, there was today.
The Parakeet went to pick Little O up from school.  He saw her and whined, “No I don’t want to go”.  The Parakeet gave him more time to play and chatted with his teacher for a while.  Then, she started the “Hey O, two more minutes” thing.  He ignored her.  She asked him to get his shoes.  He ran away, “No I’m NOT going home”.  He even got as far as the closet of the quiet room.  She reminded him very calmly about his treat at home.  He started to get his shoes and coat but then grabbed at toys slamming them around and playing loud.  She asked him to come to her.  He said “NO” and started to throw a fit.  She let him know he had lost his ice cream.
Instant Tears.
“I WANT My Ice Cream!”……..”I Want My Ice Cream”.   She put on his hat and coat and helped him to the door.  The other parents were a little concerned.  The teacher knew exactly what happened.  Owen walked to the car crying.  She put him in his car-seat and started to drive home.  She wasn’t sure she had ever heard fake cries of this magnitude and drama.
“But I want it. I need my ICE CREAM….MYYYYY IIIIICCCCEEE CrreeEeEEAAAAmmmm”
“O, you had a fit. You weren’t cooperative. You did not earn ice cream today”
“But I want Ice Cream TODAY. When can I have it?”
“You can try again on the next school day”
“Oh, but I want it TODAYYYY!!!!!”
“O, you didn’t earn ice cream because you threw a fit and throwing another fit in the car is not going to earn ice cream either”
Small decrease in volume.  Hiccups.  Deep Breaths.
“What can I do to get Ice Cream?”
“You can leave school without having a fit”
“BUT what can I do to get Ice Cream TODAY?”
“There is no ice cream today, Bud. I cant give you any ice cream.  You can try again on Wednesday”
” No Not WEDNESDAY.  TODAY!!!!! I WANT ICE CREAM TODAY!!!!”
The tears got real. The crying was so loud. The Parakeet knew he was so genuinely disappointed.  She also was trying not to laugh. She also knew at this point there was no way she could give in.
The sobs continued and then through tears, “Who’s going to help me? Someone’s got to help me get ice cream.  SOMEONE help me get ice cream”
This was just comical.
The above conversation repeated three or four times until the Parakeet said she understood he was sid and she was sorry he was upset, but he needed to have better behavior to get ice cream.
“You’re making ME UPSET, Mom”
She grinned and bit her cheek so she didn’t let out a sound. He could not see because she was still driving.
“What’s tomorrow, Mom?”
“Tomorrow is Tuesday.”
“Do we go to school on Tuesday?”
“No bud – we go to church on Tuesday”
“Oooooo……I want Ice Cream after this day. The day we go to church”
“We can try again tomorrow.  You can leave church with no fits and have ice cream”
“What?”
“You can leave church with no fits and earn ice cream”
“Thanks, Mom. Thanks for letting me try again after this day.  I need to try again for ice cream”

and that was really the end of it. twenty minutes later. Yeesh.  Stay strong, Moms.

9. WOW.


The Parakeet is fairly certain she has done an anniversary post for the last 5ish years.
So – even though blogging is sporadic lately – there has to be an Anniversary post.  It’s starting to be that the Bird doesn’t want to say her age anymore – when does that happen? Apparently when you’ve been married nine years and you have a three-year old and it’s 2011 and you just sit down some days and go “What is happening? Slow down!”
Anyway…
Last year’s anniversary found them sailing the carribean and indulging in the most luxurious of ways.  This year, they walked themselves over to a local BYOB and had the most delicious French-Mexican cuisine.  Maybe the fact that those two types of food are so hard to imagine together is the reason they are so great.
By a strange twist of fate (well more like a missed Amtrak) the Huz’ sister was in town so she got babysitter duty and they called off their generous neighbor.  It was very rainy after a strange string of really warm October days.  They walked through Winnemac Park and commented again on how grateful they were to have it just one block from home – such a lovely respite in the city – little trails and trees of changing colors – they talked and held hands and chose a wine carefully.  It was simple and romantic.
If the Parakeet had to describe the past year of their marriage, she might go to those two words.  The Huz and the Parakeet have done a lot of growing recently.  After a few years of stress beginning businesses and parenthood, the past year was one of rekindled love and gratitude.  They are making more time for each other, listening harder, complimenting more, sacrificing more – growing up.
Getting married early doesn’t make you any more mature.  It just means you have someone with whom you are sharing those early pains of adulthood.  They talked a lot last night about what it meant to go through most of their twenties married.  It meant for the experimenting, the searching, the playing, and the failing – they had partners. For the scrapes and the starting over and the dreaming and the planning, they have had each other.  Nine years later, it is like a big welcoming hug to know they have accepted each others growth, even encouraged it and ideally become better people.  This isn’t the last ‘nine year cycle’ to be sure, but it was the first and it’s an accomplishment.

Happy Anniversary, kids! You’re not so young anymore.

(and yes, this picture had to be scanned)