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August 13, 2013

Kids Update

Touching base with those of you who follow what our kids are doing rather than what we're up to. The rest of you might want to skip this one!

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I meant to write this two weeks ago, when we got back from visiting with Abe’s folks, but somehow never got around to it! We’d met up with Jim and Vickie at a halfway point and stayed two nights in a hotel. It was a lot less time in the truck (7 hours instead of 10 or 11 each way), which makes a big difference to how irritable the kids get, but it meant that the trip was shorter. It seems like no sooner had we arrived and relaxed from driving, then we had to set off again. Still, worth it to see the grandparents, who very kindly took the kids to the zoo, which they LOVED, especially as Nicky got to see his favorite animal – a papa lion.

 
Over and over, I find myself wishing that both mine and Abe’s family lived closer, and Leo is starting to come to the same conclusion. Following the trip, Leo had this concversation with Abe:

“Papa, do we have a telescope?”
“Yes, it’s up in the storage room right now. Why?”
“I wanted to use it to see Momo and Popo’s house.”
“They live too far away. You won’t be able to see their house.”
“But you can see the moon. Are they further than that?”

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That just about sums up what stage Leo’s at. It’s not just that he’s constantly asking questions (which of course he is), it’s that the questions show a follow-through of thought that is maturing. Right now, he’s super into science. We bought him a POOF-Slinky 0SA221 Scientific Explorer My First Mind Blowing Science Kit, 11-Activities – he loves it, and it’s led to a whole bunch more experiments, bug collecting, tests, etc. He does seem to enjoy learning and is interested in almost anything you want to teach him, but sometimes lacks the patience to keep up (he is 5 after all).

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It seems like every day he gets bigger and is capable of doing more things. He’s actually a genuine help with a lot of chores. The cutest thing is watching him herd the guineas from the barn, around the property, into the garden. Of course, Nicky tries to help, but generally just charges into their midst, scattering them to the winds! And that sums up Nicky’s stage!

He is as cute as a bug. He follows Leo around everywhere and does whatever big brother does, and yet he’s also totally happy playing by himself. In fact, he is overall a very self-contained, laid-back little chap that goes with just about any flow. Leo’s very bossy and likes to direct entire games and conversations, and for the most part Nicky is content to play his part. But he’s not a pushover – he will stand his ground in no uncertain terms when he wants.

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Speaking of which, he’s starting to throw tantrums, but his idea of a tantrum is easier than Leo’s was – Nicky wants to be ALONE when he’s upset or grumpy. Nothing you can do or say, except give him his time to cry and then he’ll come back to the group fine. It works well for us… you know, ignoring him when he’s being a brat.

He’s a great talker. Though his speech isn’t yet super clear, he will say very complicated sentences without any trouble. If you don’t understand him, he’ll repeat the whole sentence using extravagant hand gestures, and then sigh at you. Amazing how stupid parents can be at times, huh?

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A few major differences between the two:
1) Leo is very meticulous, and always has been. Even as a baby, he would line up his toys in neat little rows. Now, as he gets bigger, he pays a lot of attention to details, and consequently can get far more frustrated, as things don’t always go “just so” in life. Nicky, on the other hand, just doesn’t care. Far more easy going, less prone to frustration, more of a slob!

2) Leo has always been very social. Loves everyone, will kiss and hug anyone, wants to be with people. Nico does not. He loves us and is his normal, happy self in our company. He has a few other chosen ones whom he deems worthy, but everyone is suspicious. He’ll hide behind me when people try and pinch his cheeks, etc. and tell them “No!” very crossly. He shakes people’s hands when he meets them (mainly because that’s the rule), but then he’ll get the hell away from them.

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3) Favorites. Leo has had favorite colors, animals, games, etc. but they change from time to time and are not that important. Nicky isn’t like that. When he likes something, he REALLY likes it. Yellow is the color. A dragon could fly past the window and Nicky’s comment would be “Is there a yellow one?”. It even applies to food and toys. If you want to really get on his good side, wear yellow clothes and give him a yellow toy or candy – you’ll be in.

Well, this is already way too long (sorry), so I’ll end it here.

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