A Week With The Kids

This week Christine was off to Paris for a much needed "Girls Vacation" while I hung out with the kids.

My little chunder monkeys started off the week with their traditional "Mom just left the house so lets see how Dad handles bodily fluids" routine. Fortunately they really wanted to get on with the week so I was spared the full Mr. Mom meets Tropic Thunder experience.

Once that was out of their system we got on to some serious parenting. I purchased three bottles of Diet Coke and a few boxes of Mentos. The plan was to combine them in an irresponsible manner to an explosive end.

Our early designs didn't quite work as planned. It's possible they could have worked but the kids were so eager to help they did things like throw one Mento into the Coke bottle "To get it started." We lost 2 boxes that way. Then Conner then came up with the brilliant idea to protect the final batch of Mentos by putting them in a sealed container full of water. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!  Alas, I still have hopes of a 10 foot Mento/Coke eruption, but it's going to take a little more design work and a much more rigorous approach to procedure adherence.

Biking was next on our list. My goal was to get Conner off training wheels. I gave myself a week. Conner gave me 2 minutes.

By the next day he was looking for curbs to jump.

Alex and Conner went off on adventures while Allison stuck nearby on her training wheels.

And this was Conner after an hour in a parking lot.

High off Conner's success I decided to get Allison off training wheels. Allison doesn't seem to have Conner's complete lack of fear and I think her bike is a little too heavy for her, so it was a bit slower going. She tended to fall when she realized I wasn't holding her. As long as she thought I was holding her she was fine. Even so, by day 2 she was off and going.

I've learned 2 things from this experience:
  1. Fear can really hold a person back.
  2. The most exhausting exercise in the world is running, hunched over, holding a 4 year old's bike seat.

Allergy season is in full swing and it's been bugging the boys. Alex started taking samples of pollen and looking at it under his microscope. I hope he finds a better allergy cure. Somehow we got onto the topic of looking at blood under the microscope. Just a few hours later I cut my leg while carrying some garbage out of the house. You'd think I'd learn. Fortunately there were no stitches this time and the boys were happy to have a fresh sample.

At one point the boys were in school at the same time which left Allison and I to do some yard work. She's getting pretty strong.

She's also getting pretty smart. Right after I took that picture she said. "Daddy. Can I take the pictures while you move the rocks?" That was the last rock she picked up.

Conner was disappointed that we didn't have a flag at our house for Memorial Day so he made one. When I asked him how many stars he had on the flag he said. "Fifty. See five rows of ten."  I think he's going to be just fine in first grade math next year.

Christine was off having a grand time in Paris. We'd wake up each morning to a video message from her. It had the kids completely captivated.

I remember a time when long distance calls were a big deal. That time has passed. We saw Christine every night on FaceTime.

On Thursday I went to Allison's last day of preschool. One of the class traditions is for the "Person of the Day" to ask people questions about their last name and then choose someone to answer. It was nice to see her looking so comfortable in front of the class. 

Thursday was also the day they celebrated her birthday so Allison was soaking up the attention.

Friday night my parents took the kids and I went out for an awesome bike ride. We didn't push too hard but still set a new record for the Harvard loop. I'm starting to think that ride can be done on a hybrid in 52 minutes if I really work at it. A big step from my previous goal of completing it in under an hour.

Conner chose that night, away from home to loose his second front tooth. Even so, the tooth fairy came through! In other news, Conner has made it abundantly clear what he wants for Christmas.

And then as quickly as it started it was over. We headed off to the airport to get Christine and rode up and down the escalator while she made her way through customs. It's good to have her back.


Somewhere over the course of the week I managed to fit in a few house projects - Cleaning out my shop, sanding and painting molding, spackling (you can't have a week off without spackling something in this house), and even fixing the stuck door that has more than once trapped one of our kids in the bathroom.

The bathroom door is kind of a funny project. The sound of a child screaming from the bathroom fills a parent with the dread of the disgusting. So many times the relief of learning that the screaming was nothing more than a trapped kid that that the bathroom door defect became something of an old friend. I'd grown to love that stuck door for every Mr. Mom meets Tropic Thunder experience it wasn't. I almost didn't want to fix it. Almost...