With a little over two months before we meet our newest little man, it's safe to say that nesting has taken up residence in our home and my mind. It's taken root here, which may explain why I've promoted it from a verb to guest status. (Although, true be told, it's just that kind of a year - a reevaluation year, if you will. A new job for one family member, a growing girl with growing stuff and activities, a boy suddenly on the move, and another boy about to move in. It just seems smart to take a little time to make sure everything is working for us and not against us as we embark on all this newness). I find myself in the thick of it, spending each free moment sorting, making, redesigning, and reading all manner of how-to manuals and organization books. While I tend to enjoy the process (and get embarrassing huge thrills out of taking the smallest of measures to improve a room or system) I don't want to get too busy to record a few stories from the week past. Turns out, I'm not the only one with much on my mind. Here are a few of Audrey's thoughts from last week (and a small indication of just what we're up against daily with this one who is a little too smart for her mama's own good):
Wednesday night, Jason took Audrey up to bed. As he tucked her in, she asked him about monsters. Jason told her not to worry that he was bigger than monsters.
"Are you bigger than the Abominable Snowman?" she asked. (We had let her watch an old version of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer last Christmas, which I forgot included the Abominable Snowman).
"You're bigger than the Abominable Snowman," he said.
"What!" she said, before asking about the elves and how big they were.
"The elves are tiny. They only come up past your ankles," he said.
"But they were bigger than the reindeer," she said.
"But the reindeer pull Santa's sleigh, Dad."
Thursday night was one of those evenings where, by morning, everyone was in the master bed. I woke up to a child nestled on each side. Audrey woke up first. I told her I was going to the bathroom and would be right back. I forgot to tell her not to wake up her brother. I came back to find him wide awake.
"Did you wake up your brother?" I asked.
"I did this (touching his face) and it didn't wake him up. I did this (poking another spot), but it didn't wake him up. Then, I did this (tickling his leg) and he woke up!"
Luckily, she was in the mood not only to poke and prod her brother (trial-and-error style), but also to play. As I got ready and cleaned the bathroom sink, she led him on a search through the master bedroom and bath for Emmy (who had already taken her leave downstairs). Not able to find Emmy, she led Nathan on a scavenger hunt for things that are soft like Emmy - stray pillow feathers, stuffed animals, and the like. I cleaned and listened to the PBS special unfolding in my bathroom.
Friday night, she was praying with Jason before bed.
"God, why do lions roar?" she asked. "God, why are wolves meat-eaters?"
"That's not how you pray," Jason said. "When you pray, you ask for help for something or say thank you for something."
"God, help me understand why lions roar. Help me understand why wolves are meat-eaters."
Nathan has his own thought processes fast at work, ones that involve motion and figuring out how to pull himself up onto the couch with (and sometimes without) assistance, thoughts that cause him to break into dashes around the kitchen island and into the family room in pursuit of his sister or the dog. His thoughts cause him to burst into laughter (the contagious belly kind that don't seem right coming out of one so small) at the smallest sights: blocks tumbling out of bags, a ball almost caught. These are the moments, those breaks in the nesting process, that bring me back to why I spend so much time preparing, clearing spaces for play, building tools and stocking cabinets in preparation for growth. Because, that's what we're doing - building little people, one big thought, one belly laugh at a time.
It's a Plesiosaur Wall Decoration, didn't you know (the plesiosaur, a sea creature who lived at the time of the dinosaurs laid its eggs on the beach and is suspended in tissue paper water, above, surrounded by red fish)? She's the latest dinosaur creation to leave our kitchen table - again from the book Crafts for Kids Who Are Wild About Dinosaurs.