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The Lent Project: Day 13

We're a little ashamed to say it. But NASCAR has been sneaking into our lives. We blame the boy.

It starts innocently enough with a movie he enjoys. Then it progresses to watching the M&Ms car on YouTube. Then you know the driver's name of said car. Pretty soon, you find yourself having a weekend discussion--even though neither of you cares at all--about rules and design updates over the last decade. Then you know phrases like Car of Tomorrow.

We still don't get it. How is it fun? A sport? Interesting? Aren't the cars really all the same with minor variance? How is there skill involved beyond just random chance of winning?

So we watched the first half of the Daytona 500 yesterday to get some of the curiosity out of our systems. It was cool to watch Danica Patrick become the first woman to lead a lap under green flag. But then Cole woke up from his nap, watched 15 minutes, then wanted "Cars!" The movie, sorry. Lightning McQueen is bigger than life.

That said, I may take Cole to a race one day if his interest in machines continues. Like golf, I can say from experience that seeing it live is a tad more exciting--a small tad--than watching on TV.

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It was an exciting weekend around our house. We actually left it!

Our membership to the zoo expires at the end of this month and we had passes left that we wanted to use. So our goal was to have the kids ready to go immediately after naps, head straight to the dolphin show first, and keep our fingers crossed.

Happy to say that this experience was much better than the last trip to the zoo where an epic meltdown ended our visit with friends. It was bitterly cold, not crowded, and the kids complained about the temperature so we didn't stay long. But the dolphins were a huge hit.

Well, they were a huge hit for Leda, at least. Cole is much more reserved about some things. She's the clapping, squealing with delight kid who smiles and laughs and bounces to music and keeps her eyes on everything while fascinated. Cole, on the other hand, is easily scared about new experiences or things/places he doesn't pick himself. So we sat down and had to distract him with crackers and set up a perimeter. Leda sat on my lap or the bench while he preferred to squat down on the floor between benches, head down, with his eyes ever-so-slightly looking at the dolphin tank. While Leda was pure joy, he was a more measured, calculating type. He's the kind of boy who gives a head tilt, stone-faced, and shows neither joy nor displeasure until he's fully taken in the experience. The only indication that he'd enjoyed the show, really, was that upon exiting he wanted to go to the underwater viewing area below the stands to see more.

Then yesterday, we made our weekly trip to Target to do the grocery shopping. A blissfully non-event (sometimes we're not so lucky) until the checkout. Cole was in the large basket of the cart, trying to be helpful by putting all the items on the belt when he got to the juice. Not really his fault at all. I hadn't pulled the cart close enough, it was a heavy item, I wasn't watching...and Tropicana's large plastic jugs are made of non-shatterproof, harder material...that cracks when you drop it.

So I ran back to the juice aisle at the back of the store while a poor Target employee got paper towels and someone helped Kelly move all our items to another register to pay. Couldn't even be mad at the kid.

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Who I can be mad at is the two kids together lately. They're like pre-match boxers taunting each other into violence. And, make no mistake, Leda gives as good as she gets now.

Cole has an affinity for both not being able to keep his hands to himself and excited play that manifests with slaps, kicks, and throwing things at you. We're working on it. At least he's not a biter. But Leda won't learn and actually thinks some of the wrestling situations they get involved in are hilarious. He sits on her head and she laughs, stands up, then chances him around the room as if baiting him to do it again. She follows him around making it hard to enforce the "no touching your sister" rule--when she's the one bothering him! Of course, sometimes he just runs by and pushes her down for no reason.

This morning, it's been a long line of "don't touch your sister." "Don't hit your sister." "Don't throw that at your sister." Followed, just when he steers clear, by a tiny 18 month old coming over, grabbing the toy he's holding, pulling his foot, grabbing his shirt to pull him over, etc..

Ah, sibling rivalry. I'm thankful I was an only child now. We intentionally had two for just this sort of thing...yes, we brought it on ourselves...but I'm not sure I thought it would begin so early. We were prepared for backseat "I'm not touching you" and "don't make me pull this car over" but trying to explain to a 2 year old that he needs to keep his hands to himself is getting a little ridiculous.