Monday, November 23, 2015

Chit Chatty

I generally do my grocery shopping during weekday mornings when Benjamin is at school for a few reasons: 1. one fewer child, 2. grocery stores and Target are the only places open at 8:30 a.m. and we're already in the car and 3. somewhere to go! Claire particularly loves the car carts or even better, the mini ones she can ram into other unsuspecting shoppers' shins.

Leaving the first (of two) grocery stores this morning, one guy commented how Claire was "speaking a language only a mother could understand." And I suppose because I definitely understood her rattling off all the items in our cart that he was correct. But, I'd give her more credit than that. She's bold with speech. She talks a lot and has quite the impressive vocabulary.

Benjamin is at the nonstop talking and question-asking stage. If I dare talk to Elliot when he gets home from work, Benjamin will become frustrated and then say, "Mom, you're not letting me talk!" Our adult conversation time happens between the hours of 8-10 p.m. and that is all.

Claire is following suit and is definitely yapping all the livelong day. It's adorable and sort of exhausting, but I encourage those little dendrites in formation and talk to her all day. Poor husband doesn't get much conversation at night because I'm so tired from talking all day. Conversations about toys and books and not throwing food on the floor for the 683rd time, but still talking.

I don't recall Benjamin talking all day at her age. I know his speech was fine, but she's particularly chatty in comparison. I attribute much of that to having a big brother and listening to the sophisticated (for her age) conversation that takes place between us. I try not to dumb-down language, but it's so darn difficult when she refers to all treats as "paw-coles." And so I sometimes use that adorable language because she's my last baby and I can if I want to, okay?

She's also privy to knowing wonderful words like booger, of which she pronounces incredibly well. And then laughs. And if you're really lucky enough to have your face within reach, locates one and goes in for the dig. Thanks, Benjamin.

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Room

A few months ago, my mom bought us a certificate for this place nearby called The Room. The whole premise is that six people (max) are locked in a room and have to puzzle, search, riddle and unlock their way out.

We booked a babysitter for 9 p.m. on a Sunday night thinking we'd totally be able to sneak away for 1.5 hours (including travel time) for this experience and the kids would have no clue we even left.

Not so. Like every seasoned parent knows, someone is going to be sick or inevitably scream your name because they lost a blanket or something. Sure enough, Benjamin woke in that little window of time and all the babysitter gave me was, "Well, let's just say I was not the person he wanted to see when the door opened."

He's an angry sick kid. Frankly, he spent the greater part of a year before this just being angry for no apparent reason. We're turning a corner, but sick Benjamin is not pleasant. This week has been pretty brutal. I'm certain there was kicking and screaming for that babysitter. Maybe even spitting. I just feel bad for the poor high-schooler neighbor girl who was in English class this morning thinking that she may never want children because of my punkass three-year-old. At least she had plenty of material for her Quick Write this morning.

But The Room.

We arrived and immediately saw the teammates who we'd be locked in a room with for an hour. Four total nerds. They were geeky. They reminded me of my LA rocket scientist friends, except those friends were also a bit wild and crazy in addition to being crazy smart. These four guys shared a compact car to the place (carpooling, how green!). For three of the four, this wasn't their first "room" experience. In fact, they referred to themselves as avid hobbyists. We even had to introduce ourselves to them before they wanted to get started. Their idea. Actually that guy in the blue shirt holding the sign. He was the ring leader.
Do you ever look at pictures and ask yourself WHY you do the stupid hand-on-hip thing? Just me? Probably.
We were given the rule spiel and then they locked us in with the geeks and set the alarm. We searched under everything, found hidden passages and locked boxes (to be unlocked), solved math problems and riddles and puzzle boxes. We used magnets and string and water and picked apart every bit in this bedroom-sized study room. I kind of felt like I was in the game Clue, in the library with Colonel Mustard. Except there were 5 of them, plus me.

It was definitely an experience. We used one of the three clues allotted to us and finished with almost 10 minutes to spare, making our escape. It was fun. It was totally weird. It was the nerdiest thing I've done in years.