Point of view

My son loves cars. And trains. And motorcycles. And planes.

Especially planes.

I don’t remember when this love affair began, but Per Christian has panic attacks of excitement whenever we drive past the airport. I’m not sure it’s possible to yell “PLANE!” louder or with more frequency than he does in the 30 seconds it takes us to drive by. I think planes are in his DNA, inherited from the many pilots on the paternal side of his gene pool.

So I didn’t pay too much attention when he started yelling, “plane!plane!plane!” in the mornings as we were walking down the steps to our garage. I assumed he was imagining his toy plane upstairs, or maybe his Elias and the Plane book waiting for him in his car seat.

Or maybe he’s thinking about cats. Who knows.

But then it happened again, and again, and again… So I finally stopped this morning and asked him, “Where is the plane, sweetie? Can you show mommy the plane?”

Here’s the view of a 2-year old walking down our stairs. Can you find his plane?

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Here’s a closer look. How about now. Can you find the plane….?

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Ah, yes!!! There it is!

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Okay, so not really a plane per se, but still something flying through the air with wings. Only a fantastic, creative 2-year-old mind sees a laundry basket and dreams of planes.

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Weekend at Bernie’s

I’d had some experience now taking care of Per Christian alone while Pappa P is traveling. And, like I mentioned here and here, it hasn’t always gone smoothly.

However, this most recent weekend was a glorious exception. Pappa was away on business and then a self-invented “while-I’m-in-Europe-I-might-as-well-see-some-football” kind of trip, so I’ve been on my own with our little two-year-old for the last five days. And – miracles upon miracles! – during that entire time, nobody was ill, nothing stopped working, nothing burned down and no body parts were lost.

Miracles, indeed.

I bought myself one bottle of white wine on Wednesday and am only now having my last glass. One bottle for five nights of drinking alone – that’s about normal, right? I don’t even know anymore.

I think this was arguably my first single-parent weekend that went off without a hitch. Enjoyable, even. Per Christian is at such a great exploration age, he loves his cars and trucks and trains and books (as long as they’re about cars and trucks and trains), and I’ve found no better entertainment for my son than a body of water and a big pile of rocks.

It’s parenting in high-gear, folks, and I’m finally catching on.

They’re forecasting a spot of rain for Canaria tomorrow, which I’ll welcome with open arms. Just as long as Pappa’s plane doesn’t get delayed – miracles can only last so long and I’m not taking any chances.

Our new foster dog Kira loves little blond Norwegian boys

Our new foster dog Kira apparently has a thing for  Norwegian boys. Don’t we all?

Saturday morning pj's

Saturday morning pj’s

Destined to be a runner!

Destined to be a runner!

Water. Rocks. Dog. Several minutes in a row of quiet amusement.

Water. Rocks. Dog. Several actual minutes in a row of quiet amusement.

Sunday morning pj's

Sunday morning pj’s

"Helping" mommy with the dishes

“Helping” mommy with the dishes

I don't know why our son looks like a girl here - maybe time for another hair cut?

I don’t know why our son looks like a girl here – maybe time for another hair cut?

New dog, same dog-walking technique...

New dog, but same dog-walking technique…

No day is complete without mommy being suckered into ice cream

No day is complete without mommy being suckered into dishing out some ice cream…

The little things

A friend here recently shared a quote with me:

The greatest thing about being a parent is all the little things your child does everyday that make you smile… the worst thing is not being able to remember them all.

So perfect, and so very, very true.

In an effort to not forget, we’ve put together a somewhat random list of the goofy 2-year-old things that make us laugh these days.

(Note of Disclaimer – I  just read J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy, which scared the beejeezus out of me about ever having a miserable teenager in the house. I may need to reread this list in 11 years to remember that I didn’t always want to disown my offspring…)

Anyway, The List:

  • Min! Min! – This morning, I took CIMG2594a taste of Per Christian’s oatmeal and he pushed me away saying, “Det er min!” (it’s mine). Yesterday, we visited Pappa at work and all the writing apparatus on his desk were “min, min!” That being said, he’s surprisingly good at sharing, even with The Holy Grail of his life these days (hint – it begins with “ice” and ends with “cream”).
  • My son is a bossypants in multiple languages. If I sit down for even a minute, he’s pushing me off the chair saying, “come on! come on!” If I linger too long with some other parents, he’s out the door yelling “vamos!” at me from the car park. If I read his mind incorrectly and give him the wrong yogurt/fruit/bread/juice/etcetcetc, he says, “nei! denne! denne!” (that one!) while pointing to god-only-knows-what. And heaven help us if we’re Skyping with Gran and Grandad in the U.S. when it’s time for his Curious George cartoons – then he waves wildly at the computer camera and yells, “Byebye! See you!” every 30 seconds until we end the conversation. Our little Fidel is living up to his reputation.
  • My son has a harem of three little girls that he loves from his barnehagen. They are – (in descending levels of infatuation) “Mila!” (aka – Jamila), “Ikke-berg!” (Ingeborg), and “Isa!” (this one he gets right, more or less). If he’s in a grumpy mood in the morning and I need to get him going faster, I just remind him that one of these lovely ladies is awaiting his arrival at the barnehagen (if he’ll just hurry-the-F-up, ahem…). It puts a smile on his face and a skip in his step every time. Men are such simple creatures.
  • Despite his love of the ladies, Per Christian can still CIMG2600hold his own with the big boys. At least he tries. I watch with a mixture of pride and fear whenever he plays with a group of older boys, who are all so much taller and more solid and less fragile that my son. He might not run as fast or climb as high (yet), but he doesn’t ever quit. He loves to chase and be chased and always pumps his arms like he’s just about to cross some imaginary finish line. We used to think the arm-pumping was strange, but now I think it makes him destined to be on Oxford’s Blue Team of something-or-other.
  • Every meal time ends with him saying, “ferdig!” (finished), followed promptly by, “ball! ball!” No matter how much or how little he’s eaten by then, the Mommy feeding window has closed and the meal is over.
  • We have a bit of a clothes fetish going on at the moment. Not a specific type of clothing, just the need for clothes in general. You’d think a young boy being raised in constant sunshine and warm weather would basically live in his diaper or bathing suit. But not our fastidious little man – he demands shirt, pants, socks and shoes. Always. I sense it’s only a matter of time before he starts demanding french-cuff shirts and raiding his Pappa’s cufflink collection. Like father, like son
  • His fussiness about clothing extends IMG_0547(naturally) to his hands. A smudge of morning oatmeal on his little pinky elicits a loud-pitched, “Oh nei!” A bit of yogurt dribbling down his hand? “Oh nei!” A trace of dirt under his nails? “Oh nei!” This attention to detail does not, however, extend to his face. Our kid is the one excessively washing his hands in the sink while his face is happily covered with chocolate ice cream.
  • After months of repetitive ABC singing, our little parrot is starting to catch on. His melody is actually pretty solid, but the letters are somewhat random in their order. There’s nothing quite like waking up at 7am to the sound of your child singing, “ABCFGHK…QMNP….XYZ!” Sing it loud and sing it proud, my son.

There are of course a ton more, and the tragedy is that I can’t remember them all now. What about your own little ones? How will you remember all the daily miracles?

What now…?

This was Per Christian one year ago:

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And this was yesterday:

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One year ago, my son could hardly stand on his own two feet. Now, he’s literally running circles around me, dressing himself in the morning and eating his own breakfast. All the cliches you hear about time flying by are actually true – these miniature humans do not, in fact, stay miniature forever.

I’ve been incredibly lucky to spend as much time with him as I have these past two years. I’ve had a full year of maternity leave and now a full year’s leave of absence from my career in Norway. I’ve been able to jog him to barnehagen twice a week and pick him up every afternoon. I’ve introduced him to the beach and the pool and been able to witness first-hand all of his first-time discoveries. I know he loves spaghetti and oatmeal with raisins and bread with brown cheese, and I know he hates papayas and is skeptical of melon.

He is not always pleasant and I’m not always patient and we don’t always agree, but in 20-20 hindsight, I can appreciate the gift I’ve had these past two years.

But now the jig is up – there are no more benefits, no more salary checks and no more “oh-I’m-just-taking-a-leave-of-absence” line of excuses. My son is a walking, talking, functioning human being now. I’m fairly certain he’s happier playing with his gal pals at barnehagen than he is at home with me. The inevitable has happened where he doesn’t need me all-day, every-day anymore.

Plenty of people would “hint” that now is the perfect time for #2, but that’s not in our field of interest these days. Or even in the ballpark. We are opting for sleep-filled nights and white wine in the afternoon over Baby 2.0 right now. Sorry, dear grandparents, but you raised selfish children and now you must love us for it.

What I really, really want to do is to get back to work. But I don’t have my corporate job in Norway to fall back on anymore and similar opportunities here in Gran Canaria are limited. So right now, for probably the first time in my life, the sky really is the limit. The only thing stopping me is lack of imagination or willpower or balls.

So… what now?