I have a book I want to try to finish reading tonight and we are supposed to watch the season finale of Falling Skies in about 45 minutes, so for once, I really must keep this short!
We went to the Balloon Festival today. We went last year, and it was a disastor. It was 90 something degrees, we had to park far away, nothing was really open, and Natalie cried on the two rides we tried to take her on.
But, this year was awesome.
First of all, the weather was very nice (and not being about a week from giving birth helped, too). We missed the little kid races, which would have been fun to try William in, but maybe we'll do it next year. Instead, we walked around a few times. After a little coaxing, Natalie agreed to ride a pony! First we just pointed them out to her. Then we said we'd go over and say hi. Then she pet it. Then she agreed to ride it. I walked with her. She smiled and giggled the whole time!
A little later we went to the carnival section. Natalie rode on a car ride all by herself! She wasn't scared at all! She even waved and figured out how to use the buzzer button. Next, she rode the train with William and me. Then, she wanted to go on this spinning dragon ride, that was similar to the teacups. We cut her off after that because each ride was three tickets and each ticket a dollar and some two of the rides we had to pay for an adult, too. (So, $15 for three rides). Next we went back over to the kids section of the festival and she went in a bouncy house for the first time and loved it (even though she cried for me to help her up when another kid knocked her over) and she got her face painted.
I really enjoyed seeing Natalie having such a good time. It got me thinking about how when a child is a baby the ways they have fun often are very dependent on an adult entertaining them or making a connection with them. But the kind of fun Natalie had today was really independent of us. She was having fun not because she was playing with us, but by experiencing these new things.
William had an okay time. He would have liked to walk around more and touch stuff and run through the bushes into the river, but he mostly stayed in the stroller. He got to looked at a lot of things, and he did get to run around a little and get carried some.
What really has been awesome about William is watching him communicate more and more. I'm not sure if its just more and more new skills showing through or if it is us adjusting to him as we realize what he can do. But he just seems exponentially smarter all the time. For example, Natalie was pretending to throw her doll up in the air like Mike does the kids. She said, "Whee!" each time. Then William who was sitting on my lap on the couch started throwing his hands up saying "Whee." It seems like he is almost saying so many words. The list includes: good night, Natalie, Grandpa, yeah, sissy. But it is also what we figure out he understands. By far my favorite is "William, can I have a kiss?" And he pauses, smiles, and leans in to give him a toothy kiss on the lips! But tonight at bed time, he was squirming around and he touched a book on the bed. I asked, "Do you want another book?" and he picked it up and handed it to me, completely ready for me to read to him again. And yesterday at nap time, he had a book fest with Mike. He snuggled in between Mike and the book bucket with his back to the wall and just pulled out book after, after book. We've noticed that William gets mad or frustrated when he doesn't get his way. Its a clearly different reaction than hurt or tired or sad. (Natalie didn't ever really act mad as a baby; if she got frustrated she might band a toy, but she would then move on to something else. Now, if she gets frustrated she is reduced to a whiny crying). Mike was imitating William's mad act, and William laughed. I asked, "Daddy do it again?" and after a little pause, it sounded like he said, "Yeah." There is also the fact that when we say goodnight to the house every night, William waves and says something that sounds like goodnight to Daddy and Natalie. When we look at pictures, everything is Dada, though. I'm wondering if it is because I started by showing him pictures of Mike or if he's trying to say "that." Never says Mumma in pictures though. And I swear, its sounds like he sings the tune to the alphabet song.
Also new to William's repertoire is spinning in a circle and backing down off furniture. And if he were an inch taller he would be climbing up on the couch no problem.
Okay, only fifteen minutes left to read, but it was worth it to capture the wonderful little things going on around here today.