I completely changed my game plan for the afternoon session. I decided to clean up the kitchen and cook a nice dinner while the children played a computer game. I got a lot more out of the second session. But then no one would eat the nice dinner. Not even Abe.
So I retreated to the basement, where I deteriorated into a hysterical ball of tears and giggling. Abe sat at my feet, patting my legs and wondering if maybe I didn't have PMS. Finally, Liam heard the commotion and made his way very carefully down the stairs. Standing in the doorway, he looked in with grave concern on his face. "Mommy crying?" he asked. "Mommy sad?" "Oh, it's okay, sweetie," I told him, trying to look happy. He broke into a sunshine smile and toddled over to the couch, climbing up and snuggling with me. "Okay, Mommy," he said, all sparkly eyes and rosy cheeks. He gave me a great big hug and a kiss and all my frustrations melted away. I'm so grateful for our little angel.
Last month Liam started attending the special education preschool offered by the school district. They did some testing on him and were like, "Oh! Hey! This four-year-old is more like a two-and-a-half-year-old! He could probably benefit from some special education!" And so off he goes, for two hours a day, two hours a week, which seems to me to be just about right.
Here he is on his very first day of school:
About to leave!
Here in the classroom!
(Soren is behind Liam in both pictures because I couldn't get Liam to stop rocking back and forth between his feet, so Soren volunteered to hold him in place for me. Also, the very bad haircut is a buzz cut that resulted from a very-close-to-the-scalp-in-places haircut that Soren gave him.)
....and this was his very first bus ride! He panicked for just a moment when I started to walk away, but then calmed down and looked out the window. "Bye Daddy!" he said, waving at Abe.
He's only been able to go to school a handful of times, due to Parent/Teacher Conference and Spring Break, and he can't really tell me much about what's going on or how he feels about it, which causes me a little anxiety. However, Briar texted me one day to say that when he got off the bus one day, he marched up the steps into the house excitedly, shouting to me about how his day was. I asked her what he was saying and she responded, "Well, it was something like, 'Mommy! Hwwgwf! Jfeddh! And so on.'" But it seemed to be positive, so I took that to be a good sign.
Eating a bowl of "pillow cereal" (frosted mini wheats.)
Ready for a fiesta.
Wearing Mommy's makeup.
Pretending that he, too, has lost a tooth (Soren lost his first tooth!)
"Wootch dis, Mommy!" He likes to have his remote control truck do flips off the couch.
Just being adorable.
Helping me crisp some chickpeas.
Dyeing Easter eggs.
Some other notes:
One week someone had just begun to say the closing prayer in Relief Society when Liam came bursting through the front door. He spotted me immediately and rushed over, face glowing, chubby hands clutching the birthday gift he had received in Primary that day. "Bertday!" he shouted, oblivious to the setting. My friend Shacone leaned over and remarked, "I think that's the cutest thing I've ever seen!" Agreed.
Liam has periodic bursts of runny stools that will sometimes last for weeks. They come and go and are never tied to any other symptoms, so we've always just kind of waved them off as being a kid thing. A month or so ago, however, we decided it might be best to have him tested for allergies and a possible gluten sensitivity (Abe's mother and a couple of his siblings have Celiac disease). So we went to the doctor and they had to do a blood draw. Liam was an absolute dream during the whole procedure. He lay very quietly and very still on the soft exam table. He didn't cry at all when they poked him. He waited patiently while they filled three little vials with his blood. He just seemed so meek and humble and submissive. It both warmed and broke my heart.
One night during family prayers, Soren was saying the prayer. He was going through the usual litany of family members, blessing Mommy and Daddy and Soren and Liam and Briar and Mice Mice, but while he was listing people, Liam kept whispering a prompt to him: "Clee! Clee!" He wanted to make sure that Soren blessed their Auntie Collette.
At dinner I very gracefully managed to cut my thumb on a serrated knife. Liam made sure to kiss my owie better. Thrice.
Liam loves a toy guitar that Soren received for his birthday. It doesn't make a very musical noise, but he'll sit and strum it while I sing songs. One day I heard him sitting alone in his room, strumming and singing by himself.
Liam's version of striking up a conversation goes like this: "Uh, Mommy?" "Yes?" "Uh, cars, a trucks, a air-panes, a cookies, and nuffing." He will repeat this statement (and similar ones) ad nauseum until you repeat it back in acknowledgment.
When Liam doesn't get his way, he'll often hang his head in sad disappointment and walk slowly to his bedroom. One day when I told him "no" he lay down on the floor and rested his head on his hands. Pretty adorable.
Liam's favorite thing in all the world is to be chased around. At home it's a fun game, but he particularly enjoys running away from me in public settings, giggling wildly. Church, parking lots, stores...it's all fair game.
His second favorite thing in the world is covering his eyes while I wonder aloud where my little boy has gone. He'll uncover his face with an "air-ee-is!" and laugh at my surprise that he was right there the whole time. He will play either of these games on continuous repeat for as long as someone is willing to participate.
Liam is shockingly good at hitting a regular-sized baseball with a regular-sized bat.
Liam is never thirsty; he is, however, often "hungry for water."
I love this child!