Thursday, June 10, 2010

Partly to Mostly Sunny

My daughter is a "sunny" child. Happy, easy-going, eager to please. At 3, she already has a sense of humor, and her enthusiasm regarding just about everything makes her so much fun to be around. She randomly bestows kisses, loves to snuggle, and has one of those sweet grins that just makes you want to melt.

But sometimes, the clouds roll in. And when the dark clouds cover up the sun in Lauren's world, you better watch out.

About a month ago, I had woken up early to get started on Lauren's birthday cake. A true labor of love because Betty Crocker I am not. So I'm slaving away in the kitchen when I hear Lauren coming down the stairs. I go over to the stairs to greet her, and she sneers, "Go away. I don't want you." Uh, someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed.

Often when we're driving, we play what I'll call the "I love you" game. I say "I love you Lauren Looby Lu," or some other silly name, and she responds with "I love you" and a silly name for me. So we're driving home from her swimming lesson last week and I start the game. "I don't want to play that game," she says with a pout, while chomping on a pretzel. I guess I should have known her priority would be food, not indulging Mom in some goofy game.

Usually the dark clouds come out of nowhere and then retreat quickly, just like a summer thunderstorm. However, other children sometimes bring on the stormy weather. We recently had a park incident that ensured no future friendship with a particular little boy. I had one eye on Lauren and one on Alex's soccer game. After a few minutes on the playground, she comes running back to me, claiming a little boy hit her. I didn't actually see it happen, but she does not usually lie, so I suggested she tell him hitting is not nice, and then go play on another part of the playground. She runs back over and when I check on her a minute later, I see her talking sternly to the kid, shaking her finger in his face. Oy. I'm glad she stood up for herself, but the finger-shaking was a little much ...

Lauren's generally "sunny" disposition makes it easier to get through the "stormy" days. It's hard to get angry at a kid who alternately sings "Tomorrow" (from Annie) and "Squirrels in My Pants" (from Phineas and Ferb) while wearing a princess dress and mismatched high heels. I know things may cloud over more often during the tween and teenage years. Until then, I'll just don my shades and enjoy the sun.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Mud vs. Fun

So I went camping over the Memorial Day weekend. For one night, in a cabin. YES, that is still camping. I don't care what anyone else thinks.

I was, uh, ambivalent about the trip (does camping even count as a trip?). I appreciate being outdoors, yada, yada, yada, but I need a hotel room or my own bed at night. Not to mention a bathroom with a tile floor (linoleum would suffice) that I can access without going outside.

Alex and Brian camped for four nights, and Lauren joined them for two nights. They all had a great time. I learned my little princess is not as "princess-y" as I thought. Take exhibit A:

While wading through a little creek behind our cabin, her shoes got stuck in the muck and she fell down. Surprisingly, she didn't mind a bit. I think she might have wanted to play in the water if she had not been literally stuck. Instead of rushing to help her out, I took advantage of a prime photo-taking opportunity. Fortunately Alex came to the rescue:

Exhibit B also involves water. Murky, muddy water:

My little Bo Derek wannabe was like a pig in slop at the beach. I cringed anytime she splashed water in her face. I know the ocean is just as dirty but, well, it's the ocean.

My son fancies himself an experienced camper. But do true campers bring this amenity?

Yes, that's a microwave. I also doubt many--if any--campers request an emergency box of this:

Matzo. Alex loves it. He was a little disappointed when I told him it would not work for mountain pies.

So my final verdict on the weekend? Sorta gross, but lots of fun. My kids had such a great time playing with their cousins, and I enjoyed watching them.

There was baseball:

Lots of eating:

And lots of cuteness:

Oops, wrong picture (yes, I'm actually smiling in the yucky shower).

There we go. Yes, lots of cuteness. I'd go camping again. Okay, I said it. Good thing there are only a few people who read my blog and can thus hold me accountable ...