Our toddlers are 16-months old. While they still have a very selfish, toddler view of the world, they have started actually interacting with each other in a more meaningful way. I love seeing all of my boys playing together; I feel like I'm watching (and nurturing!) the foundations being built to life-long friendships between all three of my precious boys. As for the one-year olds, it is hilarious and entrancing watching two toddlers discover the world around them. This is definitely one of those "double the fun" times.
|"Do you like see-food?"|
|"You promise I get a turn after this, right?"|
"Of course, of course..."
|"On your mark... get set..."|
|"Wow. Dad's lawn mower makes a lot more noise than ours..."|
"Here comes the dump truck!"
I know, I know. A lot of pictures of just the toddlers. Well, as any momma of a four-year old knows, four-year olds do not play in one place. While the toddlers often stop what they are doing to sit and watch something loud or unusual (such as the lawn mower), the four-year old immediately jumps into action! Their big brother is currently a 1. obstacle course guy 2. a rock-n-roll guy 3. a football guy 4. a BIG MUSCLES guy 5. a karate guy 6. a good cook guy... I'm sure I'm missing a few things. The other obstacle in getting a picture of all three boys is that the preschooler's games are much too advanced for the toddlers. When we go in the front yard, he wants to ride his bike up and down the driveway. The toddlers, on the other hand, like to push around their Fisher Price corn poppers. Usually, during play, the toddlers are occupied with one thing and the preschooler is doing something more elaborate and age appropriate. As the momma, the toddlers are the greater urgency, to use a triage approach. I can direct the preschooler verbally but must bodily move the toddlers. When we go to the park, I can let the preschooler play on a different area within eyesight; D can swing while I hover over his brothers on the little tykes playground making sure no toddlers hurdle themselves head first over the side of the slide. Also, now that D has actually started preschool, I have large chunks of time with just the toddlers, something that has been very enjoyable to me. It is great to have a chance to interact with them only on their age level. This is the first time that I have had significant one-on-two time with them (and get pictures of them!).
We do participate in many, many group family activities. We like to have the kids participate in our household chores, like mowing the lawn. The toddlers push their Fisher Price lawn mowers around the driveway while D rides on his John Deere Gator as Husband cuts the grass. We are all outside and the boys get to imitate Daddy, help with some little things, and generally learn that the grass does not cut itself. Inside the house, I have the boys help unload the dishwasher, fold the laundry, clean the kitchen floor, and wipe down the highchairs. None of these things are ever really times that I have my camera on me. However, it is so adorable seeing the three of them cleaning the kitchen floor that I really do need to record it one of these days. We do a lot of fun family activities too, spending most of our time hanging out in the backyard or the sunroom. We do things like push trucks, do puzzles (usually easier block puzzles, having our oldest teach his brothers), blocks, rolling and kicking balls (kicking balls outside only!), playing with push toys and wagons... all sorts of things. We read a lot together. I've started teaching the preschooler the sounds of the letters. Now he's interested in the more basic books with less of plot again, books that are easy to find these "sounds." Sometimes the toddlers will be absorbed in their own happenings and I can curl up with D and we can read a longer, more in-depth book that has a storyline. These kind of moments are hard to take a picture of. When you are absorbed in them, the last thing you want to do is interrupt the moment to grab your camera. I did recently capture my husband setting up our new play equipment with the boys. C and O felt that standing on the landing was the best use of their help. D was actually quite a big help, screwing in one side of the equipment. It is amazing what four-year olds are capable of! We are constantly amazed at the inner-workings of his mind... :)
|Daddy has a lot of helpers!|
|Screwing the pieces together-- go, D man!|
|Enjoying the fruits of their labor.|