Kent has gone to bed, and Jack is using his time wisely by cleaning the area around Kent's high chair and sweeping crumbs off the floor. He made a comment just now that it was nice to sweep without a meltdown (since Kent really wants to hold the broom when we sweep, and he gets pretty upset if we just want to finish quickly without his help). Sensing that Jack was missing his son, I offered to yell, "E sweep!" and try to grab the broom from him, then pick up the dustpan and carry it into another room, pull the cat's tail while he wasn't looking, pull something down off the counter, and then bring him a book that I wanted to read right at that moment. Jack said, "Um, I think I'll just sweep. Thanks."

It's funny because it's true. This could all happen in the span of about two minutes, if he were awake. We love our little boy more than I can express, but we like it when he goes to sleep.

Kent does manage to find moments of calm, though, like today, when I gave him a bowl of dry rigatoni noodles, two straws, and two chopsticks, and let him go to town. This was an offshoot of a suggestion in MaryAnn F. Kohl's First Art, which I've checked out from the library and think I need to own because of its awesome ideas and tips on letting toddlers explore with their hands. He entertained himself silently for about 20 minutes, just stringing the noodles onto said objects, pulling them off, dumping out the bowl of noodles, putting them all back, and doing it all over again. I actually had a chance to do some dishes and start a loaf of bread without stopping every couple of minutes to heal the emotional hurts that are a regular part of his day as a Busy, Inquisitive Toddler. The quiet time was nice, but it was also cool because I know he's working on his coordination and concentration with little tasks like noodle stringing.

In non-Kent news, we have an exciting event coming up this Sunday: our church's annual Ice Cream Social. Last year, I entered an ice cream that I envisioned as Dreamsicle flavor, vanilla with some orange soda-y flavor. I liked it and got several compliments, but the judges, two college students, picked a plain vanilla ice cream as the winner. I decided they had immature palates. This year, I'm trying another crazy flavor, secretly hoping that the judges will reward me but being okay with it if they don't. I've already tested this flavor out on Jack and his parents, and it received the go-ahead. So look out, UPC, Coconut Cashew Chai is coming at ya.

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Why not get him a small broom and make sweeping under his chair an activity for him? Even if he doesn't get it clean he is learning about taking care of himself.
Yeah, that's the kind of thing I think about during dinner while I'm watching crumbs fall to the floor, but not afterward-- he does know where to get kitchen towels and clean up messes if he spills his cup, so sweeping is probably next on the list.
OK that's hilarious - I can just see you acting like Kent, saying "E sweep!" :-)

Coconut Cashew Chai sounds awesome. If they don't appreciate it, well, that's more for you.

p.s. my word is "tries" They've been more like real words lately, and now it IS an actual word!
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