Sunday, September 21, 2014

Made Up Words

This summer, the boys developed their own language.  I could hear bits and pieces of it being carefully constructed throughout the first few weeks of their vacation.  It was interesting.  It was weird.  I was completely amused.

Then, we took a five thousand mile road trip.  (No. Really.)  Somewhere just after the Colorado border, the boys began to whisper a secret phrase to each other .  They repeated that particular phrase over and over in the midst of a thousand giggles.  Soon the whispers turned into indoor voices.  Over time, the indoor voices morphed into outdoor voices.  As we neared Denver, their outdoor voices quickly escalated to shouts and peels of laughter.  My husband and I were beginning to develop headaches.  Hopefully, there would be a strong tail wind behind our car that would propel us to the next stop in our journey.  Unfortunately, a traffic jam began that slowed us down to nearly a crawl.

However, the traffic jam did not put a damper on the boys shouts and laughter.  They screamed that phrase at the top of their lungs.  I was pretty sure I would dream about this phrase in the middle of the night.  My husband pleaded with the boys.  "Guys.  Be quiet."  The pleas soon became shouts of desperation.  "Be quiet!  I need to concentrate!"  The traffic was bad and people were beginning to develop road rage.  Yet,  all we could hear was their secret phrase.  "Scarm!  Scarm!  Det e one!!"

Scarm.  Scarm.  Det e oneDoes anyone know the meaning of that phrase?  The boys won't tell me when I ask.  I don't think they know what it means.  I think they just like the off beat rhythm of the phrase.  They whisper it.  They shout it.  They chase each other while screaming it.  They repeated it for days as we drove across the flat plains, around dry mesas, over the Continental Divide, down winding mountain roads, and across desolate deserts.  We would whiz past roaring rivers, thick pine forests, tall ocean cliffs, enormous Sequoias, and prickly Joshua trees all while hearing the phrase.  "Scarm!  Scarm!  Det e one!"

Now, you might say.  "Why didn't you just hand them each a DVD player or your smart phones?"  Ahh!  We don't have all that stuff.  We just expected the children to play while we drove.  Well, our children exceeded our expectations.

Right now, it's September.  I've finally grown used to the phrase.  "Scarm.  Scarm.  Det e one."  Sometimes, I use it in jokes when talking to my family.  The kids think I'm weird.  My husband laughs hysterically or eyeballs me with a stinky eye.  The phrase is being repeated less often now.  We're grateful.  Yet every now and then, the phrase makes an appearance.

The other day, Son #1 ran up to me with a serious look on his face.  He whispered in my ear.  "Mom, I have something important to tell you."

I leaned over and asked.  "What is it?"

Son #1 stepped back with a smirk on his face and yelled.  "Scarm!  Scarm!!  Det e one!!!"

Oooh, little boy!  I'll get you and your puppy dog, too!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Chinook and Doggie

A few months ago, Abuelita (Grandma) went on a cruise to Alaska.  While she was there, she bought the boys each a stuffed animal (Siberian huskies).  Son #1 and Son #2 were immediately enchanted with their new, plush toys.  As they held their treasures tightly, my husband and I suggested that they come up with names for their stuffed huskies.  Son #1 was unsure of what to name his new toy so his Tia (Aunt) and I began to do a search of Alaskan names. We tried out several names before Son #1 finally settled on the name Chinook.  Son #1 hugged and kissed Chinook affectionately.  Then, he ran off to play a new game with his stuffed friend.  Next, we turned our attention to Son #2.  He was clutching his stuffed dog to his chest as he strolled around the living area.  I caught my youngest son's eye and asked.  "What's your doggie's name?"  Son #2 paused for a moment and replied seriously.  "Doggie." 

From the moment they named their stuffed pups, our boys and their dogs were inseparable.  They ate with their dogs.  They slept with their dogs.  They played cars with their dogs.  They played trains with their dogs.  Chinook and Doggie even went with us to visit Grandma and Grandpa during summer vacation.

The boys were very excited about visiting Grandma and Grandpa.  They were particularly excited about staying at the beach during our visit.  Upon arriving at the beach, our sons unpacked their friends and ran up the stairs to the condo.  Son #1 chattered nonstop with Grandma about the ocean waves, the sand, and the supplies we brought to make sandcastles.  Son #2 quietly explored the balcony with Doggie. 

At first, Son #2 and Doggie peeked through the railing at the beach just yards away.  Then, my youngest son investigated the wooden rocking chair behind him.  He touched the chair with his hand and it rocked backward.  Son #2 jumped back, startled.  Slowly, he walked toward the chair and pressed it again.  Instantly, the chair began to swing back and forth.  Son #2 laughed and rattled off a few phrases to Doggie.  Then, he sat his dog on the chair. 

Son #2 rocked Doggie on the chair for several minutes until he realized that he had not explored underneath it.  Quickly, he slowed the swinging chair to a stop.  Then, he grabbed Doggie and crawled underneath to gain a whole new perspective.  Son #2 started up a new conversation with his stuffed friend.  I'm sure they discussed their surroundings and the fascinating chair.  They also played peek-a-boo when their conversation had grown old. 

Eventually, the sun began to set along the misty horizon.  Son #1 and Son #2 gathered up their stuffed friends.  They stumbled sleepily to bed and cuddled with their pups.   My husband and I tucked them into bed.  Then, we kissed them goodnight.  As we turned to leave, Son #1 cried out.  "Chinook needs a kiss, too."  My husband and I laughed.  "Oh no!  We forgot."  We bent down to kiss Chinook as well.  Son #2 was not going to be left out.  "Doggie needs kiss."  He commanded holding out his dog before us.  "Right.  Right."  My husband assured.  We each planted a kiss on Doggie's head.  Now that everyone had been kissed, we tucked our kids and their dogs into bed once again.

Monday, September 1, 2014

The Fountains at the Water Park

One day, we took the kids to the local swimming pool with their older cousins.  Son #1 and Son #2 were thrilled to be hanging out with their teenage cousins.  My little ones admire their cousins greatly and try to act just like them.  Their cousins are absolutely amazing particularly because of the sincere attention they pay to  their ankle biting relatives.  A lot of teenagers might be annoyed by two young tots shadowing their every move.  Yet, these two teenagers take the time to talk and play with Son #1 and Son #2 on their level. 

When we arrived at the pool, Son #1 and Son #2 sprinted to the booth.  They hopped up and down screaming with excitement as my husband handed several dollar bills to the cashier.  The cashier gave us a brief synopsis of the pool's amenities and then motioned for us to enter.  We parted ways as we each took a child to the changing rooms.  Son #2 pulled on my hand straining to exit the boring changing room.  I laughed and said.  "Alright.  Alright.  We'll be outside in a second." 

My youngest son and I passed through the dimly lit hall into the bright sunshine.  A clear, gleaming pool stood before us with small fountains, a splash pad, and water slides of varying sizes.  The kids' eyes grew wide with awe.  Then, they raced to their relatives lounging by the water.  Son #1 whirled in circles, tugging at our arms and shouting about the water.  Son #2 pushed on my legs and pleaded.  "Les go wim!"  Finally, my husband and I took the kids to the shallow end of the pool and entered the icy water.  (It may have been hot outside but the water in the pool was definitely not bath water.)

Son #1 played with one of his cousins in a couple of the interactive water features.   They ran from buckets of water and slid under mushroom waterfalls.  Son #1 practiced swimming in the slightly deeper end of the shallow area.  Sometimes, his cousin took off to the water slides in the deep end of the pool.  Son #1 even made a few friends while sliding down the water slide at the shallow end of the pool.

Son #2 was a bit more timid about getting into the water.  At first, he tiptoed around at the edge of the splash pad and avoided the interactive buckets and waterfalls.  Then, he noticed something odd about the edge of the pool.  Every now and then, tiny fountains would pop up as if from nowhere.  He yelped out in surprise the first time the fountains popped up beside him.  I placed my foot on top of one of the holes and blocked the spray the second time the fountains appeared.  Son #2 grinned impishly and copied my moves.  Pretty soon, he was hopping up and down the line of fountains covering as many of the holes as he could. 

As time passed, we began to play another game.  When Son #2 would get close to one of my fountains, I would splash him by kicking water into the air with my foot.  Son #2 gleefully laughed and ran away.  Sometimes, he would retaliate with splashes of his own.  We kept at our game for quite a while until Son #1 called me over to watch him swim.

While I watched my oldest son swim, Son #2 continued to stomp on the tiny fountains.  Another toddler soon joined his game.  They leaped from fountain to fountain in an effort to stop the spraying water.  Son #2 thought their game was fun but decided to ramp up the excitement.  The next time the little friend came near, my youngest son swept his foot across the water to splash him.  His young friend looked confused.  I strode across the pool and admonished my naughty son.  "No splashing babies!  O.K.?"  Son #2 looked at me sincerely and said.  "O.K."

The two little ones continued to play peacefully until Son #2 splashed him again.  I gave my youngest son the stinky eye and shook my finger at him.  "That's not nice."  I said sternly.  Son #2 meekly replied.  "I sorry."  Then, he resumed playing nicely with his friend.

Some time later, I noticed that Son #2 had splashed his tiny friend again.  This time, his friend decided to get even.  The little one swiftly scooped water up into the air and skillfully splashed my youngest son.  Son #2 looked shocked for a moment and then began to cry.  The little boy's father quickly came over to scold his young son.  Before the little one could get into trouble, I ran over and explained.  "My son splashed your little one a few times before your son finally splashed my son.  I was actually hoping your son would get him back."  The young father and I laughed at the situation. 

After the father and his son were gone, I picked up my baby and wiped his face.  "See what happens when you splash other people?!?"  I said in a playful manner.  Son #2 grunted and wiggled down from my arms.  The little rascal had not learned his lesson because he began to splash at me once again.