I told Xander a little bit more about my granddad's and grandpa's service in the United States military, and reminded him that his Uncle Jeremy serves in our military, too. Erik and I tried to explain a little bit about how our soldiers are fighting right now, but it is a little hard for a 5-year-old who is obsessed with knights and castles and good guys and bad guys to understand. Or is it just that it is hard for us to understand, and thus hard to talk about with our children?
We hung Xander's homemade flag outside on our house's flag holder.
In the afternoon, we all went to the pool. Xander treaded water and swam laps that way with a life jacket on, and Nick loved being dunked up and down in the water (full submersion) and yelling, "I did it! I did it!" for what seemed like an hour. I am proud of both of them.
Nick does things to melt my heart every day, but tonight it was saying, "Nigh-nigh Dander," to his older brother and singing loudly and imprecisely with me as I sang his nightly lullaby. Then he realized he could stick his tongue partway out between his teeth and make a silly sound, so he went down to bed doing that and giggling.
I have to preface this by saying this is not always how it works around here, but this is an example of a time when things ended happily.
Xander and Nick were both out in the living room using the wooden blocks. Nick made a ground floor; Xander built a tall skyscraper on it. Then of course Nick knocked it down. Xander started crying and complaining about it. He can get very angry these days...sometimes.
I went over and held him and said, "That is so sad."
He said, "No, he knocked it over!"
I said, "Oh, that is soooo sad and frustrating!" while rocking him on the glider chair.
He said, "Let me build another one!" in a cheerful voice. So I let him build another one.
There was one block still standing and Xander said, "Look, Nick started it already! He started it by knocking it over! Great job starting it, Nick!"
They decided to play together. Nick knocked over some blocks again. Xander just got excited this time. He ran around the room in circles, shouting, "Super hero!" So Nick ran around in circles saying, "Supah heeyah!"
It is breakfast time. At our table, we can see into the backyard, and we like to watch all the birds that come into it. Xander especially likes to look for and identify the birds. This morning he doesn't quite believe me that the browner birds that look like cardinals really are female cardinals.
Today we are laughing at something we have never seen before. A large squirrel ran up and around our porch frame. Every time it stopped, one or two ravens flew up to chase it off. The squirrel would run away, but when it paused, those birds would chase it again. The squirrel was larger than the birds, but it was certainly persecuted right out of our yard!
Last year, at age 4, Xander was asked by his teachers what he was thankful for. He said his toys.
This year (tonight), at age 5, I asked him what made him happiest. He said, "When someone says sorry when they hurt me or hurt my feelings."
I think that sums up a lot about the transition from age 4 to age 5.
And tonight on Skype, Nick waved to his great-grandma and Grandma Lucy and said, "Bye, amma, bye, amma!" He totally knows who his grandmas are, and what to call them! (I suspected he was saying "Grandma" back when Grandma Bonnie watched the boys overnight.)
The kids are playing outside while I am on the computer/watching. Nick loves our backyard's dirt circle and Xander has dubbed him Dirt-Man; he is Spider-Man. I am actually Spider-Girl. You didn't know that, did you?
Xander says Nick is the bad guy. Nick says, "I am bah guy, bah guy, bah guy." I guess they agree on one thing.
Meanwhile, this week I am in the midst of deep cleaning rooms in the house. Hmmm.