One nice thing about having Papa Logan here is I get to sleep in a little bit. Of course, Bastian has been nursing a lot in the morning, which is not exactly restful at all for this night owl, but I haven't had to get up and feed him every day. Papa Logan has to deal with whatever ridiculousness the boys dish out about how precisely to deliver food to them. From what I've overheard in dreams, however, it doesn't seem like he's been giving Papa Logan too hard a time. About that anyway.
Once I arose, I again made my giant cup of coffee and sat down to peruse the internets. Papa Logan and Bastian sat on the couch reading The Nose Book, which was Aleks' favorite when he was just a baby. Back when I sat around reading all day. Poor Bastian has not known the joys of being read to hardly at all. He takes it when he can get it. He still likes books though, so it's not like his love of reading was prematurely squashed. There are books all over this house. He'll love books just fine, I'm sure.
While I ate my early-afternoon breakfast, Bastian sat and played with blocks and the marble run, lining them all up in specified orders, according to shape and color, like the good little son of an Obsessive Compulsive should.
Even the marbles were grouped, despite their tendency to roll. The vacuum cord helped keep everything orderly.
The alphabet blocks have four colors: red, blue, green, and yellow. Bastian insists on only ever displaying the green and yellow sides. Always. It must be so. I've switched them before to see what would happen, and he goes and switches them right back. I'm writing it off as idiosyncratic preference rather than weird neurological anomaly. When he's still doing this at 10 with everything rather than just the alphabet blocks, then maybe I'll get concerned. Maybe.
Once everything was all set up, he started pew-pewing with the blocks.
Aleks was busy making lots of Lego ships. I thought for sure this was Janga Fett's Slave I, but he said it was a droid ship. Hence the droid, I suppose. It looks remarkably like Slave I though.
Bastian played with the Millennium Falcon and Star Destroyer that Aleks made. He made pew! pew! noises, as is to be expected.
We decided to take a walk to Turtle Park to spend some time outside, and let the children wear themselves out (as though that ever works). The boys both conned Papa Logan into pushing them. Aleks is slowly learning to pump his legs, but still prefers the baby swings for some unknown reason. Okay, I asked. It's because he doesn't know how to swing on his own yet, so it's easier to be pushed in the baby swings than on the big kid swings.
Aleks kept requesting super pushes, which Papa Logan didn't really get at first. I joined in after a bit. I've got the coordinated effort down by having them not swinging at precisely the same time so you go back and forth between the two with each arm. I prefer sitting and reading or knitting while they play, to be honest.
Aleks wanted to dig his giant whole to the Earth's core again.
I sat down with him so I could ignore the med student families yapping away. I did a big portion of the digging.
I'm not sure if this was the biggest hole to date or not. I don't think so. I'm pretty sure that we've had them wider so a small child could fit quite comfortably inside instead of having their feet all squished up.
It could have been much wider, but Aleks climbed in and took a bunch of sand with him, so I gave up.
My dad thought it would be great if Bastian came to sit down in this boat instead of playing near Aleks and I and sending sand down into our pit of despair, but I warned him that he likes to be pushed around in this thing whenever he sits down. To my surprise, Bastian did not require pushing about.
He found a plastic saw on the playground and ran around sawing sand all over the place. The place is kind of weird. People "donate" toys to the place all the time. I think that's great and have picked up many a dollar store shovel-and-bucket set for our own contribution, however, the thing that bothers me is when the toys are not actually designated for sand use and have no real practical purpose at the playground. Yet the kids play with them. I'm the only person I know that has ever gone around and thrown the old, yucky, broken toys away. If I say it too loudly, though, I'm afraid that one of the Stroller Brigade will hunt me down. Seriously, though, a rubbermaid tub? On the playground? At least there's no lid, but c'mon...
Aleks had designs early in the day on going to Tommy's for some meal or another. I agreed, but told him he had to calm the hell down and cooperate with us because it has been so hard the last few days and his wildness was not improving my or my father's moods at all and our unhappy moods were certainly not improving Aleks' wildness.
I want to love my kids' wildness, their tendency to ignore authority, to do what they want, to be free and creative and whatnot, but... I find it very difficult. Particularly when stress is running high due to Papa being in Mexico and my dad being paranoid about the kids falling off some high surface or another or wrestling like maniacal chickens. So...I'm not thrilled with the manipulation and the total coercion of the situation, but shit, it is what it is. I'm not even approaching a good way of doing this right now, let alone having the energy and willpower to contemplate and practice my ideal.
But, we went to Tommy's. At about this time, which was around 4:30 or 5 o'clock, I was pretty much ready for the day to be over and for the kids to go to bed already. We almost walked out of Tommy's, in fact, because Bastian was screaming about nursing, which I couldn't handle just then. I am so far from that AP/NFL ideal right now, it's not even funny. We ended up staying, enjoying our food, and managing the walk back home okay.
Back at the house, the boys played outside with the neighbor kids while my dad kept an eye out. They made a big soup in a puddle in the neighbor's driveway, tossing leaves inside and stirring with sticks. When Bastian came inside, I told Papa Logan it was okay to leave Aleks outside alone so long as we checked on him now and then. He was fine, though he did eventually go inside the daycare lady's house, which I have explicitly explained many times is not okay when I'm left under the impression that he's outside. When I went out to look for him, I saw that the kids had taken bits of the compost pile and added it to the puddle. My neighbor, Chris, saw it later and I told him I'd planned to get it out, but hadn't and he said it was okay.
We tried to finish painting the dollhouse together, but things went awry pretty quickly. Bastian stuck his hands directly in the paint and started painting himself and others, specifically Papa Logan's bald head. Papa Logan was not pleased. Into the bath Bastian went. A few minutes later, Aleks stuck his hands directly in the paint and made quite the mess and became a danger to my house and furniture, so into the bath he went. My dad helped the boys, who were putting paint-flecked water into their mouths and throwing things about in the bathroom while I finished up the doll house. My dad is not particularly adept at handling the boys' craziness. We should have reversed the responsibilities.
After their bath, the boys ran around crazy. And I mean crazy. Aleks was mad at Papa Logan about the bath, so he started throwing cars at him, which I had to stop him and tell him was not okay. Finally, I got them to sit and watch the rest of The Waterhorse since they'd both fallen asleep the night previous, and then I had a big drink.
They finally went down around 10 or so. I watched movies alone and then Heather came and watched Wristcutters with me. I'd already seen it, but she had not. It's really funny.