Our Trip to DC

July 29, 2013 at 10:39 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Oh how time flies. Two years ago, Liam and Jeanie played together like peas and carrots.

Now look how they’ve grown.

We arrived on Tuesday and stayed with my friend Sarah until Saturday. Liam behaved wonderfully on the flight. I wish I could say the same for the rest of the trip. It had its ups and downs. We had a great time at Gravelly Point Park watching airplanes land with some old friends and new siblings, and another great day at my friend Stacy’s house with her three boys. It took Liam awhile to warm up to everyone and start playing, but not as long as it used to. He spent about 15 minutes watching the kids play on the “roller coaster” before, with some encouragement, he tried it himself.

We took Jeanie and Liam on the Metro, out to lunch at my favorite burger spot Matchbox, and to the Smithsonian. I had such fond memories of my outings with Liam when he was little, but I failed to consider how taking a stroller would make everything a nuisance. I used to carry Liam around on my back everywhere, but now he’s in this awkward transition – too big to be carried and to small to walk very far on his own. I was amazed when Sarah suggested leaving her stroller at home. Save for a tiny bit of whining right before we made it back on the Metro home, Jean was happy to walk the whole way. We discovered a new animal exhibit at the Natural History Museum, and while she ran and pointed and squealed with delight at all of the taxidermy, Liam moped and fussed and demanded I keep him moving. Not. Fun. We had planned to hit Air & Space, but halfway across the Mall I called a time out. Liam was clearly not in the mood, and holy cow were my legs itchy! We had gone to the park the evening before and I’d been ravaged by mosquitoes. I thought surely the bites would disappear the next day, but some strange combo of my body chemistry, the heat, and maybe stress of the day, and each bite had swollen into massive, ugly, agitated hives. I was sad to disappoint Sarah and Jean but cutting our outing short, and I was frankly embarrassed by Liam’s behavior.

That wouldn’t be the last time.

For the most part the kids played great. They swam in the pool. (And, yes, Jeanie is a good three inches taller than Liam, and 8 pounds heavier, even though she’s 6 months younger.)

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They played at the park.

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And they played at the house.

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Liam was particularly fond of Jeanie’s Barbie dollhouse. Mostly because it had an elevator. They had meals together and watched movies and for the most part got along. But there were also times when they didn’t get along. And I realized some things about Liam. How he’s not great at sharing. How aggressive he could be, and how he wouldn’t stop horse play after she asked him to. How he whined about how much he “hated” to do everything. How he bossed her around and wasn’t very polite. At one point I walked in to the room where they were both playing and Liam started screaming at me to get out, even getting up and pushing me out the door and hitting me.

Wow. My kid is a brat. How did this happen?!

Sarah is a great friend, and I’m so thankful this happened while I was with her, because not only does she have experience from working at a day care, but she’s one of the most honest people I know. We had an insightful talk about parenting and she had a lot of great advice. She even gave me a Supernanny book that helped her with some issues she’d had with Jean. And I feel empowered now to nip these behaviors in the bud before Liam fulfills that only child stereotype.

We’ve only been home a day and a half, and we’ve already made some progress. He knows we mean business about time out. He’s dressing himself and opening the fridge all by himself. And this is the second night he’s slept with his lamp off and his new, brighter night light. We still need to work on the whining, and I’m hoping he’ll work more on sharing when he starts school in September. I’m giving him some simple chores and encouraging him to do more things for himself. And once we’ve mastered that, I plan to tackle the picky eating. Which I’m Not Looking Forward To. This child rearing is a tricky business, and I was deluded to think it was getting easier as he got older. Sigh.

Let’s end on a high note, more pictures!

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