I promised Aleks that after painting pictures, we'd go paint the dollhouse outside. We needed to get outside since the boys have been stuck indoors the whole winter and now I keep explaining how we don't want to potentially expose anyone with a weakened immune system to chicken pox, should we actually be incubating the chicken pox. That's still a pretty big "if." So far, Bastian had a pimple-looking thing under his arm on his right side, which turned out, remarkably, to be indeed just a pimple. There are several red marks here and there on his body as well, but they look like they could be anything at all and do not strike me really as being actual pox. Mostly we just have this crummy cold, which we also picked up at the chicken pox party.
Bastian claimed the mailer bag with the two diapers inside as his immediately, and after some time, put the bag on his head and wrestled with his brother. They do this sort of thing often and find it to be hysterical whereas I just get irritated whenever Bastian actually gets hurt from all the rough-housing and comes to me crying, wanting to be nursed. I am pretty much done with nursing, but he feels totally opposite. He wants to nurse often. Ugh.Aleks is not always very good about realizing when Bastian is actually hurt or acknowledging that perhaps he should not play so rough. He can take whatever Bastian has to dish out and usually is pretty amused even by Bastian sitting on his head. He's a strong big kid now. He can take anything, except perhaps gum in his hair or whatever a very hard wall has dealt to his hard-as-a-rock cranium.
After I made dinner (before anyone was hungry this time), we ventured outside to paint the dollhouse. This was my dollhouse when I was teeny and was originally orange. In high school, I painted it blue with a girlfriend when we decided to paint anything we could find with the only paint I had, which was of course, blue. Then the house got transformed yellow when I was pregnant with Aleks and my sisters and I painted Aunt Natty's room orange and yellow while waiting for me to go into labor (incidentally, we had plenty of time and finished a week or more before I ever actually started labor). Natty used it as a bookshelf. A few years ago, I asked Natty to bring it up so Aleks could grow up free of gender prescriptions. He has shown absolutely zero interest in playing with the dolls and furniture I acquired for this thing, merely throwing them about breaking my ebay-earned wooden doll furniture periodically. Thank goodness for wood glue. Not too long ago, we put most of the doll furniture in storage, leaving but a few pieces so the bendy dolls would have enough places to sit, but avoiding the constant chaos of two boys who care nothing for their decor nor well-being, for that matter. Aleks was keen on painting it, however. So much so that one day he randomly took what he was using to paint pictures with to add a couple of big red blobs to the structure.
We didn't get very far on the painting, ultimately. Our paint was an ancient acrylic ultramarine blue inherited from my schizophrenic aunt and is now overly thick and goes on sort of blotchy.
The boys quickly abandoned attempts to coat over the yellow in order to play soccer with our bio-engineering major neighbor, Brad and his bio-engineering major roommate, Chris. Chris and Brad met on Facebook and are remarkably similar in taste and disposition. They make a good team and humor me and my sons by playing ball with them on a Thursday evening.
Bastian and Aleks didn't have any particular game in mind when it came to the half-deflated soccer ball. They were content to run around in circles chasing after it, knocking one another down into the grass.
Aleks wanted Brad to throw the ball really super high, pointing to some invisible spot in the sky. I believe he meant to the sky itself, but he seemed content when it didn't even quite make it past the second floor.
In his attempts to join in the game, Bastian frequently fell over the ball, failing to kick, catch or even really throw the thing.
When Brad left for a run and Chris left for a shower, Aleks refused to go to the park, preferring to await the neighbors return so he could show off his awesome Legos. So I got out the bikes so Bastian wouldn't go running into the street instead.
Aleks got a two-wheeler for Christmas, complete with a bike helmet and training wheels, yet prefers to ride the tricycle. In my naiveté, I thought that Bastian would upgrade to the tricycle and Aleks would make his way towards riding the two-wheeler, steadily gaining enough confidence to forgo the training wheels. Instead, they stick to what they know: Aleks on the trike and Bastian on the push-mobile.
Aleks decided he was hungry (big surprise since he didn't eat his dinner that I worked so hard on) and went back in to make himself a peanut butter sandwich. Bastian obviously decided he needed one as well and they sat down on the lawn to enjoy them while Brad rested after his seven-mile run.
Still chock-full of plenty of energy, the boys ran around the house a bit. Bastian wanted to climb on a neighbor's car, but opted for ours after I dissuaded him. Then he discovered the "claw" in the garage and the boys joined forces to try to turn the compost pile. Papa would be so proud. There are many, many worms under there these days. We may yet have very good soil for the growing season.
After all, the growing season comes fast upon us. The lavender is starting to come back, one of two perennials I planted last year. We are waiting for later in the summer to see if the mums made it for once. This is the second year in a row that we have attempted mums, but we have yet to see the green return to their heavily browned and dried stems.
Since they both were filthy after all that running around, eating peanut butter and painting, I persuaded them into the bathtub for a citrus and lavender bubble calming fest. They both got sufficiently zoned out and Bastian fell asleep in his shark towel in the office chair watching cartoons while I cleaned up and talked to Jon's dad on the phone. Aleks passed out later in the same chair watching a video about creepy crawlies produced by National Geographic. He thinks exploring sounds cool. I agreed whole-heartedly.