Branching Out

December has been about trying new things with the kids. We’ve been to two Christmas parties with them that went pretty well. Justin has been good about playing with whatever kids are around and even Brayden hasn’t been the destructive beast he often can be. I laughed when a woman I don’t know very well commented that Brayden is a tank — she didn’t even know that that’s his nickname. Brayden is fascinated by babies and is amazingly gentle with kids who are smaller than him, but it’s a whole different story with the older ones.

In that spirit of trying new things, we took them to a Disney movie yesterday, which was their first time in a theatre. Justin talked a bit throughout the movie and kept wanting to stand up, which we expected, but he wasn’t overly disruptive and seemed to enjoy the show. Brayden sat on his booster seat, totally absorbed in the movie, munching a bowl of Cheerios like it was popcorn — so cute. Afterwards we went to a McDonald’s with a play area and let them run and jump and climb. So that was dinner and a movie, toddler style. A good time.

This morning we took them over to the kick-ass water complex to splash and play. There are three big waterslides at this place that we’d never done before, so I asked Justin if he wanted to try them, and he was all for it (he was just barely tall enough to slide, so poor Brayden didn’t qualify). I thought Justin might freak out because he had to go down this big slide all by himself, but he never hesitated. It’s weird how some insignificant thing will set him off, but then he’ll surprise us by stepping up like that. Anyway, he had fun, and I was super proud.

I’m also proud of myself for finally allowing the boys to play around with paint and glue and stuff at home. I’ve never encouraged that before because a) it’s messy and b) I have to sit there with them while they do it. But now we have construction paper and scissors and glue and fingerpaints and it’s a good way to kill an hour in the afternoons.

And we have plenty of hours to fill for the next while, since Christmas holidays have begun and most of our usual activities are on hold for a couple weeks. The snow we got last week is all but gone, which is fine with me, but the kids would love to get a pile of white stuff to play in. We made snow angels and played around with the sled one day, but we won’t be doing that again for a while apparently. We do have family coming to visit, but not for another 10 days, so we’ll have to see what we can come up with to do.

Merry Christmas everybody!