Four And a Half

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Four and a half is challenging. Its not the terrible twos…actually the twos weren’t that bad at all. The threes were a bit rough. But this has been the most challenging. Four and a half is defiance. four and a half is letting go off my hand and running off in the middle of the mall. Four and a half is back to back time outs. Four and a half is a constant state of negotiation. I can handle the dawdling over shoes or breakfast, I can handle the whining even. I can’t handle the defiance, that moment when he just says no when I ask him to do something. There are fewer and fewer cuddles, more and more jumping and wrestling.

But four and a half is also sweet. I adore the non stop chatter coming from the back seat when we drive around. I love that he wants to share everything with me and I’m still his favorite person. This conversation sums up all the awesomeness of four and a half

Me: Thanks for helping me with the laundry, you have been a really good helper today

Bun: yeah, I am a good helper Are you glad you borned me?

Me: Yes, I’m glad I borned you

Bun:I’m glad you picked me.

.:Heart Bursts:.

And the five minutes later we are back to the spitting and shouting and yelling.

Four and a half will also pass and maybe I’ll say it wasn’t so bad. But right now…its a challenge

Philly {2}

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Eating breakfast outdoors on the terrace of our hotel. Don’t be fooled by the food on his plate though- Bun only ate the piece of waffle he is holding in his hand

Philly Skyline. Our hotel is the hexagon shaped building with the balconies in the foreground

Pretty details on the old Philadelphia Railroad building.

We had some delicious Roti Telur ( Puffy fried bread with chicken curry) at a Malaysian restaurant in China town

More yummy malaysian dishes. I want some malaysian right now….yummmm

We spent an afternoon at the park around Swann Fountain. The setting sun was beautiful and spray of the fountain felt heavenly

I’m not really sure what Bun is doing in this photo but he looks cute so I’m keeping it

Busssss! Bussss!!! Busss!!! (Think “Squirrel” from Up)

Classic Fountain Photo- Check!

Most of these photos are from our Day 2 in Philly, where we also explored downtown, Chinatown and visited the Philly zoo.

More photos at Part 1 and Part 3

Gorillas

While in Columbus, I found out that our hotel was very near to the Columbus zoo and decided to check it out. It was a really hot day and we had very little time so we only decided to hit up a few exhibits, but turns out even that was too ambitious. It was very very crowded and it was almost impossible to get close to the exhibits.

However, the Gorilla exhibit was fairly deserted when we got there and I was able to let Bun out of his stroller and run around. It was one of our favorite parts of the zoo trips. The other favorite was a little animal show they had where they had rescued dogs, cats and some animals do fun tricks.

Bun recognized the gorillas as monkeys and made his monkey noises but he kept pointing at them and saying “baby baby.” I don’t know if he feels some sort of kinship with them but watching a mama gorilla cuddling a baby, I definitely felt a connection. I’m not saying, I recognized her as my long lost ancestor or anything like that but I could relate to the maternal feeling even in an animal. The way she groomed her baby by nibble on his face was almost identical to how I almost can’t help myself and nibble and nuzzle on Bun’s cheeks, nose, ears any chance that I can. It really reinforced my belief that a mother’s love is probably one of the most primal feelings we have, perhaps even more so than the preservation of the self.

Okay, so I guess this post got kinda sentimental- not where I had originally intended it to go.

Love. Hate. Shoes

No this post is not about my relationship with shoes. That one is pretty straight forward- I love them. Always have, Always will. Hate, dislike, ambivalence, doubt were never words for that relationship.

No this is about Bun’s complicated relationship with shoes or joooewz as he calls them. On one hand shoes is one of his favorite words right up there with Dog. In fact it’s his go to word in a pinch, whenever he wants to have a conversation with me and runs out of his limited vocabulary, but wants to keep talking he’ll randomly say shoes, you know just for kicks. I cannot pass by the shoe aisles at target or payless at the mall without hearing a rendition of “joooewz, joooewz, joooewz” chant. Also, he now knows that if I want him to wear shoes, its a good bet that we are going out. Another very favorite word and activity.

Once he actually has his shoes on and pointed at them, giggled and been left alone with them, the hate part kicks in. He is adamant about taking them off. I’m forever putting them back on when I get him out of the car seat. But things came to a head last friday. I was meeting an old friend and we had to swing by Walgreens to pick up a prescription and run a few errands. Somewhere between Walgreens and the errands Bun had managed to take off his shoes and lose them. Yes lose them. They weren’t in the car or in any of my bags. I could not take my kid to a play area without shoes,so we had to add Target to our list of stops and pick up a pair. And the cycle continued, he was thrilled while we looked at shoes, tried them on, paid for them, left the store. I put them on him in the car and of course when we pulled up to Panera and I went to get him out of the car seat, the shoes were off.  He smiled at me and said “joooewz”

Toddlers. Sigh

Just the Backyard

It seems like everyone is at the park today. I can’t blame them, its gorgeous, sunny and 75 degrees in February. I, however am not feeling like a social mama, so after seeing that two of our favorite parks are jam packed with kids, especially older ones, I decided just hanging outside our townhouse would be fine. And it was! Bun today has discovered sticks, weeds, flowers and grass.

I only had my phone with me so the pics are less than good, but it tells the story

Now that Bun is a pro at walking on grass, he is willing to go exploring anywhere, as long as I’m close enough to hold his hand of course

I debated long and hard about whether to teach Bun that these little white flowers were weeds or not. I decided to focus on teaching him “flowers” because it seems like a sweeter word to learn. He looked at these for a long time and even picked a few and handed them to me. He also tried to eat some.

Next he found some twigs and carried them around proudly. He started out with the smaller ones at first but eventually decided that he was confident enough to play with this big one.

And then in usual boy fashion, he went on a destroying rampage. He broke up all the little twigs into itty bitty little pieces.

He played happily with twigs and grass for at least 45 minutes and then we took our little walk around the yard and went home.

Sweet Little Boys

Saturday afternoon Bun and I were hanging out in the front of our townhouse, getting into our usual trouble when a little boy maybe seven or eight walked by us walking his chihuahua. Bun was naturally thrilled and raced over towards the “doh” as he calls it. The little boy stopped and helped Bun pet the dog and told me the dog’s name and and spent some time playing . And finally it was time to say “buh buh” and “taaaaaaaaaa- ta” Just as the little boy and his dog was walking away he turned around came back to me and said this

There’s a car headed this way, you might want to be careful with him (points to Bun). I can’t see the color because the sun is in my eye, but I thought you should know.”

All I managed to say in return was “Thank You for giving me a heads up” How sweet for a little 7 year old to look out for some neighbors he has never met before. I hope Bun grows up to be this little boy.