A few days ago I was with the three older kids at the library, trying to give them a much needed outing. It’s a tough venue, because their interests are spread three directions. Avey wants to look for interesting books, Carver wants to fiddle with their iPads, and Hakan just wants to run through the aisles and occasionally pull books off the shelves.
As Hakan was perusing, he encountered a young woman working to put books back on shelves. He stopped and watched her for a moment, and when she noticed him, she said, “Hi, what’s your name?” Hakan panicked for a moment, then put his palm on his chest and answered, “Uh, Carver!”
Avey and I erupted with laughter and corrected him, “No, you are Hakan!” Although, in an age where a male can identify as a woman, and a white person can identify as a black person, maybe I should be more accepting of Hakan’s wish to identify as his older brother.
We’ve had to become more inventive with our efforts to entertain these older kiddies lately. Most days are an uphill battle to shovel some calories into them and get them into some partially clean clothes that match well enough. Thankfully, Avey has been mostly very helpful. She’s usually more than willing to hold Merritt, and otherwise has been great at entertaining the other boys.
One big help this week was a play structure kindly handed down to us from some friends. The weather cooperated most of this week so that the kids could occupy themselves in the backyard. Carver especially enjoys playing “family,” where he puts on a backpack and pretends to go to work and such. I strapped a chalkboard to the structure a few days ago, so now Avey is also using it as a schoolhouse to teach Carver how to write his name. If we can manage to keep delegating this parenting stuff to her, we might just survive.
The little guy has been smiling more regularly, and is certainly spending more time looking around and taking stock of everything. One of his favorite things is to wait until Kira or I get close to getting some work started, and then to fill his diaper or just start fussing for no discernible reason. Still, he makes up for his challenges with his efforts to hold up his head, and little stares of wonder. He cooed at Avey just a little while ago as she was trying to catch him smiling. We are excited for more of that soon.
We’ve had a lot of activity outside with our sparrow neighbors, too. Although we’ve had a second birdhouse out there for much longer than the first one, it was on the market all that time with no interested buyers. Finally, just this week a lovely couple made us an offer and moved in. It’s been fun to watch them come and go to make their new home just how they like it.
We’ve watched with much interest the development of the baby sparrows in Avey’s birdhouse. We’ve counted three for sure, so their parents are hard at work day and night. They sure seem like they’ve grown, and so we are anxiously watching for when they start emerging from their home to try flying. It’s funny how the birds are ready to leave the nest after just a few weeks, while Merritt can’t even hold his head up in the same time. Avey’s 8, and she still hasn’t learned to fly – what are we doing wrong? I blame the schools.