A Day in the Life: Tristan

Anyone who has a child just beginning to talk knows that repetitive conversations are common, routine, highly predictable, and flippin' adorable. I think this "day in the life" would be best served if I go through our daily conversations for all of you. Before you realize, all those baby convos slowly form into intelligent discussions.  However, you were so inundated with the repetition that you didn't catch the transformation. So this shall serve as a record!

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Tristan's day begins around 7am as well, seeing as we all need to take Noah to the bus stop :) Most days he wakes up around 6:30 with Noah, heads over to the playroom, and watches a movie while munching on cereal (which he seldom finishes before we come home from the bus stop). All this is accomplished without parental intervention (I love having an independent 6yr old!). As long as there's an interesting movie playing I won't hear a whine or scream from Tristan until after Noah leaves for school. Tristan walks the entire route to the bus stop, unless he chooses to run that day. He and Noah always race from the crosswalk to the stop itself. Noah always wins and Tristan giggles behind him.  They sit together on the bench and take turns tickling each other or talking to our neighbors until the bus arrives.  The bus driver and monitor looooove Tristan. His blond hair and brown eyes are a rare occurrence here in Spain. This cute little "rubio" is well-loved and appreciated for his dastardly good looks by all Spaniards and he knows it! They give him a little honk and wave then they're off to school and we begin our trek home.  A conversation begins:

Mommy, Daddy at work?
Yeah Daddy had to go to work today, but he'll be home later.
I want cold water.
I will give you some water when we get home.
But I don't want to!
OK then I won't give you water.
But, I want some!
Make up your mind, Tristan.
Can me and Noah have snack?
You mean you and Brennan? Noah's at school.
Me Brennan have popcorn?
No... no popcorn. It makes your tummy hurt, remember?
Maybe later.
Can have 'nowuh bar and yourt?
Yes you can have a granola bar and some yogurt, but you have to eat it all.
OK, Mommy.  Can have popcorn?
No I already told you no popcorn.
But, I WANT TO!!!
No. Don't ask me again.
But, I want some.
I know you want some, but I said "no" twice already. Don't ask me again.
But, I want some.
Tristan!  I said no!  Don't ask me again!!
But I want to.
Sigh... why do you do this every morning?
I have no reason!

Now we're back at home.  He asks for popcorn, cookies, chips, anything else "snack-like" for another few minutes.  I'm making breakfast right now, Tristan.  He pulls a chair up to the counter and pokes every item within reach and asks me if I'm using it for its intended purpose:  "Mommy, you put milk in egg?  You use fork to mixing egg?  That spatula, Mommy? You put eggs in skillet?  You cooking eggs, Mommy? You make scramble eggs, Mommy? You put salt and pepper on eggs, Mommy? You like make eggs, Mommy?  You like eggs, Mommy"?  I know the point of this redundant display serves as a means to improve his speech, vocabulary, understanding of objects and their usage, understanding of chronology, and many other useful life lessons... but it can be pretty annoying.  STILL, I am a good Mommy.  Every day I repeat what he says, but correctly so he can learn how to speak properly.  I also ask him questions, add details, and offer suggestions: "Yes I make my scrambled eggs with milk.  Do you know where milk comes from?  It comes from cows!  Yes I use a fork to beat the eggs and milk together, you want to try it?"... and so on.  After all, the reason kids form these little talking routines is to gain more knowledge of the outside world and improve communication skills by practicing their vocabulary.  Anyway, back to it... we all sit down to our meal.  Everyone usually eats everything.  Up to the playroom for the boys.  Mommy's short coffee break (HA!).

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I am not good with mornings.  If I get up before they do and get my quiet time I'm fine, but usually that doesn't happen.  So... it's a rush of changing diapers, checking the weather, getting kids dressed and fed, making lunch, answering little boy questions, reading take-home fliers from school (one more time), wrangling dogs, putting on shoes, looking for socks, looking for keys, kissing boo-boos... it's morning madness!  You can really get a sense of the morning chaos if you read all the "day in the life" together and picture each child doing what they do.  This is why I need my coffee break so badly.  It's my deep breath before diving into the pool (in this metaphor the pool represents our playroom haha).  Once I have that I'm ready for the rest of my day.  Tristan's wails and screams are usually what compel me to end my coffee break.  He does not handle teasing well.  He can dish it out by the bushel, but he doesn't like baring the brunt of his brothers' taunting... and Brennan is wickedly good at teasing.  Up to the playroom I go to break up fights and dive into a world of magic and wondermenOH DEAR GOD!!  Come on let's go change your diapers.

Tristan "helps" by playing a rousing game of peek-a-boo or bringing numerous toys to Brennan while I change him.  This makes for a wriggly but fun changing experience.  Now it's Tristan's turn:
Mommy I poop in my pull-up.
Yeah and where are you supposed to poop?
On the potty.  I don't want to.
I know, but you are a big boy and you need to use the potty.
No, I just fine.

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I throw some underwear on him and resign myself to his unwillingness to use the potty.  Frankly, I'm not keen on the whole arguing, sitting and waiting, butt-wiping while standing, cleaning off the seat, and rinsing out poo-filled underwear that potty training provides anyway.  He'll get there eventually.  OK!  One more time... to the playroom for preschool and music!!!  Tristan knows this routine and asks me if he can learn his letters, colors, and shapes now.  I'm glad he finally has a desire to learn.  He used to scream and beg to watch movies.  Tristan loves our letter flash cards that I made for Noah years ago.  His favorite one is "O" because I drew a picture of Shrek on the back (for ogre).  We're going to begin our more focused approach to letters, concentrating on one or two a week.  I just wanted him to get the hang of what letters are, what the alphabet is, and their general appearance.  Once I've tortured Tristan for a sufficient amount of time he joins Brennan for some free-stylin' playtime.  They tackle, wrestle, tickle, chase, play nicely, smack, yell, cry, talk, kiss, hug, whine, drool, jump, fall, and roll around for a good while until lunchtime.

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Making lunch with Tristan is an exercise in patience.  He will start his normal poking and repetitive conversations about everything going on.  Then he will poke some more and taste everything... including raw meat if I'm not very vigilant.  I can tell him eleventy billion times about the dangers of licking raw meat and you know what he does?  He pokes, licks, and then says "I get real sick, Mommy?" which tells me he knows, but doesn't seem to fully grasp the gravity of his actions.  He asks to try a piece of anything I cut and will eat it: raw garlic, onion, zucchini, uncooked pasta, peppers, carrots, mushrooms.  When he asks to eat these morsels he is sure to lean onto the counter while placing his finger directly on top of said treat... while I am cutting... with a knife.  This is also noted by a clever "Knife sharp. I get cut, Mommy? Be careful, Mommy"!  I spent a lot of time and energy saying "Stop touching everything!", but he never stops.  He can't stop.  He's Tristan!! lol.  The only way to prevent food poisoning or dismemberment is to hand over a little piece from everything I cut before he asks or leans.  Then I get a "MMMMmm pepper.  Thank you, Mommy! Good".  Problem solved.  We eat our lunches.  The kids go to the playroom again to finish their cookies before nap time.

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Tristan is a good little napper.  He barely fusses at all and stays asleep for 3 hours.  God forbid he doesn't get his 30 minutes of "sit and do nothing with mommy" time before we get Noah from the bus stop, though.  I have to wake him up an hour before we leave so I'm not stuck with a screaming Tristan all the way to and from the bus stop.  He wakes up in a bad mood, asking for water and food.  He wants a banana.  Suddenly he changes his mind and wants an apple or yogurt.  He never eats any of it.  He will spend 30 minutes sort of nibbling, then tell me "I don't want my nana.  I frow it away".  I don't bother giving him anything but water when he first wakes up.  He cries and cries if I don't just sit there with him and stare blankly at the TV.  Once he's had enough of that he's perfectly fine.  This is easy enough to accomplish when Brennan is happy to run around alone (and he usually is).  We play outside for a little while.  Time to get Noah!

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Tristan and I have the same conversation every afternoon while we wait for the bus to drop off Noah.  Sometimes he will also tell me the color of every car passing or about the life and family of random insects in our general area.  We also have a good time lizard hunting, pointing out dog poop, picking up rocks and pinecones, and playing in the dirt along the way:

Where Noah bus, Mommy?
It's on the way here.
It on way here?
Yeah it has to drive a long way.
A long way? It far away?
Yes, but it will be here soon.
It be here soon, Mommy? Noah go school?
Yep, Noah went to school, but he's coming home in a little bit.
A liyl bit, Mommy?
There green bus, Mommy!!!
Yeah the green bus comes first and then Noah's bus!
There blue bus!! Noah bus here!!!!

Noah is given a HUGE hug, which makes the bus driver and monitor fall in love with Tristan even more.  Then they either race home or hold hands and walk.  Tristan starts talking about snacktime and asks Noah if he got a green face at school.  Noah's a sweetheart and always indulges his little brother's redundant interrogation.  They have their snack and play outside until Daddy gets home.  Then it's Daddy time while I make dinner.

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After dinner we have bath time, story time, and bed time.  It all goes pretty smoothly.  Tristan makes his protests about eating, usually he wants me to feed him like a baby.  I believe this is a phase that will soon pass.  They all go to sleep and then we start all over again the next morning... except for Brennan, who always makes another appearance sometime during the night.

Here are some videos from this week.


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