This morning we tried an experiment: what happens when you mix baking soda with vinegar (and food coloring)?
An explosion! according to Ian.
The boys mixed and played for nearly two hours. Mommy bliss (and kid bliss too, actually). We learned a few things along the way as well:
* “Winegar smells kinda yucky.”
* Baking soda tastes “not too good.”
* You can’t actually get your hands clean by washing them in the colored vinegar.
Perhaps most important, we learned that it’s almost as much fun to play with un-colored vinegar as with the colored stuff. Yeah, I hadn’t totally thought that through. But all was not lost! As it happens, the very thing that made the mess was the solution to it as well. I told the boys that when they were done, they could scrub the table with their mixture, which, of course, was a win win: the stain came off the table and the boys were busy and happy for an additional twenty minutes at least.
I was quickly running out of ideas for our impromptu scavenger hunt. I had already sent Simon (and, in theory, Ian) to bring me back a stick as long as my hand, a green leaf, a brown leaf, a rock, a yellow flower, a blade of grass. Simon suggested a red flower, but I realized the only red flowers in sight were not for picking. And in a flash of foolishness? brilliance? a little from column A, a little from column B? I gave Simon my iPhone and sent him to take a picture of the red flowers. He came back absolutely beaming, and with a decent shot to boot.
He spent the next 15 minutes or so eagerly running off to take a picture of this and that and coming back after each picture to show me what he had seen. We could have continued, but then he wanted to play fireman, and, well, that’s fun too.
Later that evening, Jason and I were struggling for sanity with forty-five minutes or so to go before bedtime. The light was softening, the shadows were just beginning to lengthen, and I wanted nothing more than to grab my camera and escape for a walk. And again the same flash of foolishness or brilliance hit me: I did grab my camera, but I also handed Simon my iPhone, and I and the boys headed to the park to take pictures. In theory, we took pictures of the same things (we took turns picking the subject), but as you can imagine, our perspectives are quite different. I hope that this will be just the first of many times we take our cameras out together (and, in fact, we did go out the next morning as well). I think it will be a great time to push myself creatively and also to challenge myself technically—to use my camera on manual mode, for example.
In the midst of this, I remembered a long-neglected blog I started a year or so ago: Pictychy. I re-read the About page and realized that, yeah, I still want to do that. So, I’ll be posting some of my favorites over there. Check back or add it to your RSS feed to see what we’re up to.
Yesterday—which happened to be my 39th birthday—brought a handful of firsts (in chronological order):
* Clara’s first tooth. She’s been working on it for weeks now, but it’s finally visible for sure.
* the first time Ian sat in the big boy swings without help. He gave very clear instructions for being pushed: “Higher! Higher! Higher! Enough!”
* the first time I realized Simon can carry a tune when he tries. He likes to sing, I think, but singing in tune is hit and miss. He did a perfect (to my ear, at least) rendition of the Olympics theme song (Bahm BAHM bah buhm buhm buhm bumm ....).
* the first time Simon stopped in his whining tracks and apologized with real sorrow for behaving badly. Oh, goodness. (I suppose this is a little hard to pin down, as he has sometimes apologized unprompted and has definitely apologized with sincerity, but something about this one seemed particularly mature.)
* the first time Ian said, “I love you, Mommy” completely unprompted and out of the blue (i.e., not in response to me saying, “I love you”). A heart melter, that one.
It seems like maybe there was one more Ian-related one earlier in the day, but I’m getting old, and my memory . . . what’s the word? . . .