So, bubbles are like, the cheapest toy in existence. At Target, the kids kept asking for all of these crazy, ridiculous toys. So, we plunked some bubbles in the cart instead, and *shazam*, super happy kids, for like, six bucks. We got bubble blowers, extra bubble solution, and even a throwable foam airplane that spits bubbles out of the back as it flies. Magic.
Oops, accidentally got some other kids in the video. Oh well, it's focused on Phoebe, and if you're looking at the other kids, you're doing it wrong. That there is the little springboard that Phoebe flipped off of, but I didn't catch it on video, so she's only tumbling here, like she was supposed to. She was also the only kid in the class that was able to cartwheel over the obstacle without falling. On her first try. Nailed it, again.
Christa and I had been talking about getting the kids into some sort of extracurricular activities since their swimming classes ended. When we first moved here, they went to MyGym to play and have fun, but it was overpriced for what they were doing, and we ended up pulling them out of those classes. So, we talked to the kids, and Charlie decided that she wanted to take karate, and Phoebe wanted to do gymnastics. I'm not permitted to take videos at Charlie's karate studio, but Phoebe's going to The Little Gym, and as long as I don't include other kids in videos, they're fine with me taking them. So far, she's done amazingly well. On the first day, they were supposed to hop off of a springboard, and do a little tumble. Phoebe did a complete flip. Nailed it.
Isn't there always a straggler? While we were playing games, Thea fell asleep in my lap. Once I moved her to the couch, Charlie climbed into my lap, and then she fell asleep, so I moved her to the couch as well. So, Phoebe and I continued to play two-person-Pictionary, for pretty much forever, and ever. It was almost midnight before she finally crashed, and if I remember correctly, she fell asleep while it was my turn to draw.
I've been teaching Phoebe how to play chess for about two years. The thing about chess is that with as much strategy is involved, it can take years to learn how to play properly, as opposed to just knowing how all of the pieces move. She's known how to move the pieces for more than the two years, but Phoebe hates losing, and that applies to anything, even a game where you learn by losing. She's very, very smart, and has what it takes to learn the strategy of the game, and looking several moves ahead, but what she doesn't have, is patience. She's getting there, but I think it might be a few more months of playing every week before she's really got it down.
Phoebe tends to be our athlete. She's tiny, agile, and enough of a daredevil to climb a tree, or jump off of something high. One of the neighbor kids, Dia, had just gotten a pogo stick, and offered for Phoebe to try it out. Dia was having a bit of trouble, and couldn't quite get the hang of it. This was Phoebe's second try, and she pretty much nailed it.
Charlie is amazing. She's our superhero too, and here, she's refusing help, and teaching herself how to rollerskate. Charlie may not quite be the natural athlete that Phoebe is, but when Charlie wants to learn how to do something, she will not give up until she learns it. She's incredibly brave, tough, and determined. She will fall down, skin her knees, wince, and get right back up and try again, she rarely cries about it, and she has no fear. I was looking forward to teaching Charlie how to ride her bike without her training wheels. When the day came, and her training wheels came off, she just rode that damn thing away. I never had to hold her shoulders, give her a push, or even run behind her. Why? Because Charlie had wanted to learn, so, before those training wheels came off, she borrowed bigger kids' bikes, and rode, and fell, and got up, and tried again, and again. Phoebe learned to ride without her training wheels over the course of a week, with our help. Charlie taught herself, in three days. She's really, really incredible.
Thea and I go every day to "pick up Sissies". I park far enough away that we don't have to fight for parking, and where we go to meet the girls, we can see where both classrooms let out, making sure nothing ever goes awry. The few blocks we walk are always filled with running, racing, shoulder rides, or "hopping like a bunny". This was the same day as her immunization, not much more than an hour later. I think it speaks volumes about her character, and her resilience that she's running and smiling like any other day. Our incredibly brave little superhero.
So, Phoebe, Charlie and I made a playlist of all of the stuff we listen to in the car, and at home, that we all like. Over the years, the type of music that everyone in the family likes has all melded together. Everyone reaches out and brings a little more stuff to our scene. Mom's Tegan & Sara, Dad's Foals and Shout Out Louds, and all the stuff Mom and Dad found together, like M83. Then, we dance to it.
Thea wanted a bike, so, being awesome parents, we got her one. Then, she didn't want a bike. She just scooted around on it every once in awhile, using her feet on the ground to push her forward. We kept trying to show her how to use the pedals properly, and she kept not caring. Then one day, we were outside playing, and she asked me to push her. I helped her get her feet on the pedals, and she just rode off. I had to show her how to use the handlebars to steer, but that only took 30 minutes or so, the pedals were no issue. Proving just like she did with learning colors, that she's a stubborn bastard, that knows how to do all sorts of stuff, but isn't going to do it until she wants to.