May 31, 2008

Training them young

I had two full days with Brayden Lee this week. My daughter went to a Reds baseball game with friends on Thursday night, and since Friday is my normal day to babysit, I offered to just keep him overnight. (My purely selfish reason was that if she picked him up at 11pm to take him home, he'd be wide awake and not get much sleep, and I'd be stuck with a cranky child on Friday!)

On Thursday evening after dinner (he ate spaghetti - yay! Something other than chicken nuggets!), Brayden and Jeff went out for some hot tub time. (We turn the temp down to 96 and I set a timer for 15 minutes.) How sweet is this photo of Umpa (Jeff) and Brayden? They have such a wonderful relationship -- you can see it in both their eyes!

After the hot tub, Brayden played with his garage and cars for awhile (which is a very calming and quiet activity for him), then it was off to bed to read a story. I have a book called "Ten Little Monkeys" which has been his favorite book at my house since he was old enough to read to (6 months). We hadn't read it for at least a month, so he was happy when I pulled it out. Each page has a little monkey poem, plus a number 1 through 10. On each page, he pointed to the number and asked me what it was. When we got to the page with the big green 10 on it, Brayden said, "Umma! Two Number 10!" and pointed at the page, then flipped the book closed to point at another number 10 on the cover! I thought that was quite clever :)

Brayden hadn't slept at our house for several months, so his "big bed" (our guest bed) was a little strange to him (he naps in my bed normally), so it took him awhile to fall asleep -- about 11pm! He slept until 7am the next morning, which is really about 2-3 hours less than he'd normally sleep.

We decided to clean house before going out (I do try to teach him that we have to do our work first), so Brayden vaccuumed the family room and kitchen for me. How's that for big help?

The most fun we had, though, was when we went to a yard sale I'd seen advertised in the paper (because it had his size clothes and toys). We arrived and walked up the driveway, and Brayden timidly held my hand as I looked around. I did find some great clothes (nearly new Children's Place and OshKosh clothes for 50 cents each!), and asked Brayden if he saw any toy he'd like and he said.. "Ummmmm....... noooooo....." I chose a Hot Wheels Steering Wheel for him to play with in the car, and I found an age-appropriate battery-operated race car for him. He was so excited to play with the steering wheel when we got back in the car! I said to him, "Do you want to go back to Umma's house and play with your race car?" and he said... "One more yard sale!" LOL So off we went.. to one more yard sale...

At the next yard sale, Brayden had the hang of the whole thing. He walked into the garage like he owned the place. I told him to look for a toy to buy, so he began looking at everything around. He walked by so many things I thought he'd like, but about half-way around the tables, he suddenly said, "Umma! Red Elmo cup!" and sure enough, clutched in his little hands was a great plastic cup shaped like Elmo's head... for .10 cents. "Do you want to get that?" "Yes!" and then he kept looking and found a very small toy watering can for another .10 cents. And look what I found for him -- for $3 (it sells on Amazon for $55!).
When we got back to my house, the first thing Brayden wanted to do was have some applejuice in his Elmo cup. He's used to Sippy Cups, so when he took his first drink, he dribbled a bit. He took a look at the cup and said, "No top! Big boy cup!" and was so proud of himself.
We actually had a thoroughly enjoyable day together (which is pretty standard). We cleaned house, went to two yard sales, Brayden had some Umpa time, and we spent time reading, drawing, and playing outside. Brayden is officially the flower-waterer now with his new little watering can, and the morning glory seeds I planted on the back deck have suddenly sprung out of the dirt and are two inches tall since Brayden watered them. It must be the love and absolute joy of a little boy watering his first flowers that made them grow like that.

No comments: