On Saturday I had a wedding that I thought would end dave earlier than planned, and it did, so I got home just before 6:00 just in time to whip the kids into their costumes and head 1 minute down the road to our YMCA which, as the crow flies, is just through the woods and over a field.
Saturday was their Haunted Hike on the grounds of Camp Halfmoon and it was very cute. Just the right amount of creepy for Parker and Drew's first haunted experience. We got there at the perfect time, which was just at the tail end of when it was still light, and it very quickly melted into total darkness for the walk in the woods.
Other than our corm maze, we haven't done much Halloween stuff this year (yet) because I REFUSE to do any more apple picking due to our experience a few years ago, but this was a great little excursion to break them into haunted events. More fun later this week!
Drew hates haircuts. I may have mentioned this. Like, we have to shut the window in the bathroom (in the summer) so the neighbors won't hear his shrieks and howls and think we're abusing him. It has gotten a bit better since he's gotten older, but not much. He freaks out about the feeling of hair on his skin, and the sound of the clippers in his ear. Probably an autistic nightmare in all ways imaginable. But at any rate, it has to be done, and we usually wait until he's homeless looking before we break down and acknowledge that we have to do it.
This time, he had mentioned interest in a mohawk, at least to the extent of what he thinks one is. He just wanted spiky hair of some kind, I think, so we thought we'd entertain him and let him have his little "mohawk" for a day or two.
He howled while we cut his hair, but smiled when it was over. For some reason, I happened to have a sample-sized tube of hair gel tucked in the way back of my bathroom drawer, which he happily let me apply. "Do I look like a punk??" he asked.
Adorbs. An adorable punk.
I think he was a little bummed that there was no school today, to show off his "hoo-hawk," as Parker called it. But there's always tomorrow.
On Saturday Drew was invited to his classmate Konnor's birthday party..... at a Cross Fit gym! It was interesting because I'd never been in one of these places, and didn't know that they did birthday parties there. But apparently they do. It was fun, and Drew was exhausted. He definitely got a workout!
Brotherly love..... they still bathe together as they have ever since Parker outgrew the inflatable duck. Sometimes it goes well, sometimes not. Parker whines and pitches a fit every single time about not wanting to take a bath, but of course once he's in there we can't drag him out. Just like Drew says he doesn't like bubble baths, but after he got over the horror of the bubbles stuck to his fingers he kept asking for more. Hmmmmm.
I thought I would do the Elf on the Shelf thing this year, because everybody was so into it last year, and then I snatched it up for 50% off at Target after-Christmas clearance last year. Well, it has not been the biggest hit thus far (Day 2).
Starting right after Thanksgiving, we read the book to the kids to get them used to the idea of it. Parker was kind of oblivious (he doesn't get it, he's just grasping the whole Santa concept) and Drew went into the fetal position, sobbing in Dave's arms at the very THOUGHT of this weird elf in his house. I emailed his therapist, thinking this was some kind of adverse autism thing, maybe a splash of anxiety, you know..... something. She was kind enough to give us lots of suggestions for how to make it work for Drew so that he would be okay with it.
Now (in retrospect) I'm thinking it wasn't really much of an autistic reaction at all, it's just the reaction of a smart kid because this thing is FREAKY. He's not old enough to really understand the point of it, so all he sees is very strange activity going on. Fair enough.
One of Cass's suggestions was to see if Drew would be okay with having the elf come just for Parker. And he was mostly reluctantly agreeable with that (as he is MORE than happy to throw Parker under the bus for any reason whatsoever). So I told him, the Elf is coming on December 1st, just for Parker. And he goes, "is it REAL, or is it PRETEND??" He was very concerned about this.
The elf appeared on the mantle, perched on the "Wish" word. Drew stared at it for a second then pointed to his brother and said, "PARKER." But he didn't cry or anything. We had to choose a name. They had no suggestions at all, just blank stares. See? They really just don't GET it in the foggiest. Drew eventually wanted to call it Pinky, because his current favorite stuffed animal (a penguin Pillow Pet) is called Pinky. Dave said, "no, we can't have 2 Pinkies; how about Finky?" So they were vaguely confused and were like whatever, okay.....
(Parker later suggested "Time" as his name. This, coming from the kid who has sort of named his Pillow Pet "Hurt." I'm thinking he has no idea the point of naming something.)
So then, Day 2...... Finky relocated to inside a wreath. We had to remind the kids to even look for him. They were so not interested. They kind of look around with that expression that you might have when you've just seen a spider, and then it disappeared, so you're kind of looking around in all the corners going " Where DID IT GO?????"
Today was Drew's first day of kindergarten! What a big boy. He was actually excited about it, and was very cooperative this morning, except for his new shoes. Said they were too tight. All right, I'm not fighting him over shoes on the first day of school. He endured my picture taking on this very soggy and disgustingly muggy morning. My camera was completely fogged over and would not clear up, it was so humid.
I made him pose with this little chalkboard for a while, and he was fine with it, except he's all into doing the super exaggerated smile.
So then we got to school and I had him hold the sign again (because he doesn't know enough to be mortified by that yet ;) in front of the rock sign. It was hard to get a good picture because Parker was all in the way, Drew wasn't focused (not that I blame him), blah blah, finally I gave up and turned around and there was a CROWD behind me waiting to take pictures in that same spot. Way to piss off the other parents on the very first day. Embarrassed, I got back to the car and checked my time stamps on the pictures and was relieved to see it was only 30 seconds for that series of photos. It sure felt like four minutes. So that's not too indulgent; they can get over it.
Must have been a pretty tiring day, since he went to sleep right away and didn't even wake up when the earth-shattering blasts from the pumpkin field rattled the walls of the house. Normally that kind of thing sends him into hysterics but he didn't even budge through it!
We have to thank our somehow-relatives Laurie and Joe, and Kelly and Aaron, for the awesome Home Depot car that was the biggest hit ever of the late summer and fall. In June, they offered it to us because Austin had outgrown it, and finally in August I remembered the offer and went to pick it up. I hate that I waited so long, because they (Drew and Parker) sure would have loved it throughout the summer, but I'm a moron and can't remember anything and completely forgot about it. I'm often reminded of an old Married With Children line, when Kelly Bundy said, "See, if you take a gallon of knowledge and pour it into a shot glass of a brain, you're gonna spill some. In other words, certain basic information had to be sacrificed." Mommy brain. My biggest problem comes from wandering around trying to figure out what in the HELL it was I was supposed to be doing.
Anyway, the kids loved the car. Understatement. What's not to love? I was actually really impressed with this little thing, the battery life is awesome. Usually we plugged it in every night, but often times we forgot and it was fine for a 2nd day, and a 3rd. Great battery! It's so funny how quickly a 3 year old can learn to navigate a 3-point turn, and travel in reverse just as easily as forward. Hard to say who loved it more, Drew or Parker, but they both absolutely loved every minute of it. And they share so beautifully. It was an issue that was totally non-negotiable and they know when their turn is up and it's time to hand it over. This is happily a common theme with all toys, and they share beautifully. I don't know how we did it, but it's not an issue.