Owen and I were reading a book about pirates. One of the pages showed mermaids, which sent my mind in the following direction:
1.I used to pretend to be a mermaid all the time. Like many kids from Arizona, I spent a good five months of the year in the pool, and for a good solid year, I would make anybody willing to put up with it play Mermaids. There wasn't too much to it---I would be a mermaid, swimming through the ocean, flopping my gorgeous mane of flowing hair about. My brother would be a shark, and it would be my job, as a mermaid, to run away from him and/or beat him up.
2. As I was thinking about the mermaids, I thought about Ariel from The Little Mermaid, and had a sudden wave of sadness that I would never have a daughter to play Ariel with.
3. This was immediately followed by self-disgust because I. Am. Not. Having. This. Conversation. Again. If I was meant to have a girl, God would have made it happen (or still will). I love every chubby bit of my Joely. ENOUGH, already.
4. This was followed by a rare burst of insight: I only think about having a daughter when I am tired or hungry. Instead of going down this boring road, I should consider eating grapes.
5. I ate some grapes. I realized that I didn't really want a daughter. At that moment, I was feeling a little worn down. What I was really craving was understanding.
If I want somebody to understand me, I could save myself all sorts of trouble and expense and just call a friend.
When Owen wants to stop Joel from doing something, he has taken to framing it as concern. He'll say, "I don't want Joel in the bathroom because I don't want him flushing down the toilet." or "I don't want Joel playing with my dump truck because it might hurt his teeth."
Whether this is a new and improved method of manipulating us or real concern for his brother's welfare, I'll take it.
During lunch today, Owen said, "Mommy, feed Joel some alphabet soup so he can talk to me."
When I turn around the corner and see Joel, once again, holding two fistfuls of potting soil, I swear he is smirking at me. "What are you gonna do, Mom?" he seems to ask.
For Owen's benefit, I pick him up and say, "Joel, you're taking a break. I'll tell you when you can get up."
As you can imagine, this is a powerful discipline tool. Joel is truly sorry for his misdeeds. So sorry that he heads right back for the plant like a heat-seeking missile.
Owen placed pillows all over the floor, then stood up on the couch and said, "I'm jumping in the pool! SPLOOSH!" He landed on the pillowed floor with a thud, giggled to himself, and did the same thing about thirty more times.
Joel cracked up every time he said, "SPLOOSH!"