Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Better get in before July finishes!

Surgery, summer and slackness have all contributed to a lack of blogginess on my part. I have realised that July is almost over, and I have nary a photograph or blog entry to prove we were actually in existence. June was all over the place. Thankfully we had ‘Naomi the Wonderful’ to help us out in what otherwise would have been a disastrous situation. Thank you so much to Naomi for putting up with a couple of exuberant lads with such grace and fortitude. Unfortunately, circumstances did not allow us to give Naomi the full Chicago treatment afforded her siblings... but hopefully she will return sometime in the future. 

Nic is speaking less ‘Nicolese’ and more English at the moment. This is improving his friendship with Luc out of sight. Luc is Nic’s first port of call for any new discovery or ‘show and tell’ opportunity. Nic refers to himself as ‘Nicky’ and Luc as ‘Lukie’... but calls Paul and I ‘Mum’ and ‘Dad’. Good to see he is continuing the Australian tradition of shortening long names and lengthening short ones!  A friend accused us of putting Nic on a rack - he seems to have stretched this summer. People can’t get over how tall the boys are - apparently much taller than the average 4 and 2½ year old. 

The challenges of raising two ebullient children continue. We spend a lot of time with friends James and William (approximately the same age). This is a wonderful opportunity to socialise, but Gabrielle and I tear our hair out at the ‘pack mentality’ that comes to the fore when boys get together. Why some poor innocent child is chosen to be the ‘bad guy’ at each park is beyond us, as is the need to hit sticks, collect rocks and get as dirty as is humanly possible. I rub my expanding tummy in these sometimes mortifying situations with a “please be a girl, please be a girl” mantra. Testosterone can be so tiresome. We wonder if the other mums and carers in the park think all Australian children are so poorly behaved?!  Nic continues to be a ‘challenge’... but wins us over repeatedly with his animated displays of affection, sense of humour and totally forgiving demeanor. It is equally testing and rewarding having a child with such a ‘big personality’. 

Curiosity is growing along with the boys’ size. Luc hits us up with some serious questions at bedtime to elicit a little more ‘awake’ and ‘parent time’ from us: ‘Why is air invisible?’, ‘Why did they kill Jesus?’, ‘How do we breathe?’, ‘Why do cars use gas?’, ‘Why is gas expensive?’ Oh for a question requiring a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response! Luc’s life ambition at the moment is to be “the first astronaut on Mars” - a somewhat lofty goal! 

Summer is Chicago’s most magnificent season - although my ‘condition’ means that we are not taking full advantage of it. Unfortunately, we had to cancel our planned road-trip via Niagra Falls to upstate New York - due to doctor’s instructions and a want to be close to a hospital! We have been to a couple of Street festivals and the boys have been to the beach... but we are all still feeling a little city-bound. Hopefully, our trip to Australia over Christmas will allow us some real ‘vacation’ time. 

Photo: Boys at Pump it Up for friend Callan’s birthday party... back in June!