Friday, February 22, 2008

Family, side by side

The boys' nana, aunt Erin and baby cousin Brendan came in town last weekend. We went to Kaleidoscope and Union Station. Ate barbeque. Hung out. Watched the weathermen have a cow over the inch of snow heading our way. You know, all the things we like to do in Kansas City.

We ate breakfast. Well, people do that everywhere. But did you know that biscuits and gravy are a regional food? My mother-in-law and sister-in-law ate them for the first time this visit. I almost cried for them. They'd been deprived for so long. Then I remembered that they could eat lobsters, steamers and fried clam bellies year round, so I dried my eyes.

J.J. and his cousin Brendan became best of friends. Here's how you know that boy toddlers are best friends. They yell really loud. Then they hug each other really tight. And then they fall down. This is the equivalent of girls giving each other friendship bracelets.

Brendan--who is one--also had a good influence on J.J. and our other children that don't know the alphabet. He could name every letter. Now J.J. is trying to do this. To him, every letter is E. When we read an alphabet book, he's like, "E. E again. E. E. This letter is E is well. E. E. E. E. E." But its a start.

But you know how it is with toddlers. Most the time they do their own thing, only side by side. They're like little office workers in imaginary cubicles.

Pretty soon, it was the last night of the trip.

We said prayers in the boys room. I prayed for safe travels for everybody.

Johnny said, "And I pray that their flight gets cancelled."

It was a possibility. The airport was shut down a few days earlier because of snow.

I explained to him that Nana and Erin and Brendan wanted to go home to see Papa and Uncle Jon.

He said, "Couldn't Papa and Uncle Jon just move here?"

He asked, "If school is cancelled, will their flight be cancelled?"

His best case scenario was school would call and say there was a snow day. Then the airport would call and say they were having a snow day, as well. Then the president would call and say that all Bostonians must move to Missouri by order of law.

Earlier in the trip, Johnny was getting nervous because time was ticking away.

He said, "I wish seconds were minutes."

"Why?" I asked.

"So that I could spend more time with Nana."

"Make sure you're spending time with her and not on the computer the whole time," I said.

Their Nana gave them Webkinz and Johnny and Richie were hooked.

These are stuffed animals that have their own online world. You play games to earn kinzcash. Then you use that to buy them food and things for the pet's room.

Richie bought his a bowling ball. Then he set his sights on a Frigidaire.

"I'm going to buy my Webkinz a refrigerator," he said.

"I'm going to fill my refrigerator with donuts."

"I'm going to sell my swimming pool and buy a refrigerator."

A new refrigerator was all he talked about. He sounded eerily like me.

He did buy a refrigerator and filled it with donuts. Then he bought miniature cowboy boots and a cowboy hat for his little frog Webkinz. Yeehaw!

Johnny, meanwhile, bought a sofa, glass top coffee table and clock for his Webkinz. It was like a My First Bachelor Pad furniture set.

One game you can play to earn money is Triple Strike Solitaire. This happens to be one of my top three favorite solitaire games.

Johnny wanted me to play this to earn him money. He bought a T.V. and had been watching a cooking show. Next he wanted to buy a stove to try the recipes.

Maybe I shouldn't do this for him. In the real world, when you need a new appliance, you--and only you--earn money by playing online solitaire for eight hours. I'm kidding. That's only if you have an office job. Otherwise, you put it on the credit card.

I just can't help myself. I can say no to black jack and slot machines. But if they had a solitaire table in Las Vegas, they would have to cut me off.

He bought the stove.

And he got his wish for a snow day. Only it happened two days late--on Thursday instead of Tuesday. The flight wasn't cancelled.

Johnny was left with the promise that as he got older, he could stay in Boston for a long time with his grandparents.

I kept thinking during their visit, if Johnny wants to spend time with his Nana, then why is he on the computer? But I think big kids are like toddlers when it comes to family. They don't care what everybody is doing, as long as they're doing it side by side.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's sad that the excitement of the arrival of family visitors always ends in tears when they go.

I love the way you ended this one.

7:10 AM  
Anonymous Erin said...

We had a wonderful time visiting you all. I know Brendan loved playing with his cousins! Miss you all already - can't wait for summer.

p.s. biscuits and gravy are great!

6:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was so happy to spend time with all of you. I have big plans that when I retire, the boys can spend summer vacations and school vacations with us. Will that day ever come? According to my husband, it won't be till LONG after he retires! They can still come if he is home. That may hurry up my retirement real quick! I am still marveling at the instant connection the boys had with each other. They just sort of knew they belonged together. And the way Brendan adored his Uncle Justin was amazing in one so young. He must see his Daddy in both of his Uncles. One of the things I always impressed on my sons when they were growing up was the importance of family, that they still believe in to this day. It is nice to see that in my grandsons too! Love you guys! Jeanne

5:52 AM  

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