Thursday, February 23, 2006

Fab day!!

Well, after consulting B, I decided to defer the possible "playdate" this afternoon with a school friend to another day. The main event on today's schedule was taking our Japanese teacher to lunch, but there were plenty of projects around the house to keep us happily busy... & they did! During breakfast B got to giggling about a series of vignettes he's been imagining, involving his Rusagi (rabbit-inspired bionicles) & inventions that they had created, but were fantastic failures. I had broached the idea of doing some drawing together earlier this week, but he said he wasn't good at drawing & didn't want to. This morning, I casually mentioned that, although these vignettes would make funny written stories, they'd be even funnier if he cartooned them... & he bit! One of my Sunday school kids had lent me a book on drawing manga characters & I've really been wanting to try it out. B said that he'd try cartooning the Rusagi while I was doing my manga, so we settled at the dining room table, each with our drawing pads & pencils (we had to share the eraser, though :) & got to work. I coached B a bit at first, pointing out the shapes the Rusagi's face was made of, then suggested that he do a detailed drawing first & then a simpler version that would be quicker to draw for his cartoons. He took it from there. I worked through the first few chapters of the manga book, practising eyes & head shapes, & doing a LOT of erasing. B was clearly relaxed & having a great time because he also erased a lot, & normally he detests erasing. I would occasionally leave the room to move laundry into the dryer, change the fish's water & clean the bowl, or run the dishwasher, but he kept with it. I really enjoyed the pictures he made of the Rusagi- he coloured the detailed one & drew a pink tongue sticking out, which was really cute. He drew a bunch of faces with different, goofy eyes, giggling all the while. He made sure to compliment my drawings occasionally, too :) After 1 1/2 hours he'd had enough, and I was astounded by his persistence. He progressed from faces to full bodies, to completing one of his cartoons & it gives him the giggles just to look at it. I was quite pleased by my drawings, too :) It's been about 25 years since I took my college art courses... 'nuff said! Just about the time we finished our drawings, our Japanese teacher, Tomoko, called to say she was sick :( She was very bummed to miss lunch with us, but I assured her we'd do it another time, maybe during Easter break. B wanted to show me a Pokeman episode on one of the tapes he & dad got at the library, so we watched it before going out to our favourite Japanese restaurant sans Tomoko.

After lunch, B said he wanted to work on his legos. He decided earlier this week to reconstitute all of his Alpha Team sets. Most of them were shredded at least a year ago to make new versions of the sets. C tries to keep the pieces together once B has moved on to another project, so he'd unearthed all the Alpha Teams for B on Monday & that's been his main occupation the past few days. I've been impressed by the concentration & determination he's shown with this project. Looking through boxes of teesy pieces mingled helter-skelter (as opposed to opening a new set with only the right pieces in it) is not something he has a lot of patience for & he usually needs one of us with him when he does it. He has asked for very little assistance, though, & has managed to re-create a bunch of the sets. He's been taking time to play with them in between bouts of building frenzy :) So, he spent about 40 minutes this afternoon working on legos while I went up to my 3rd floor sewing/craft room (formerly the attic) & sewed. When I heard him turn on the tv (the tv room is at the bottom of the attic stairs) I suggested he watch just one episode & then we'd do something together.

The "something together" was the big project for the day- getting the seedlings planted for our garden this summer. As I mentioned a couple posts ago, I used to start all of my plants from seed before B was born, but had not found the time since. C & I found my API seed starter kits earlier in the week (during a lego-finding mission, actually :) & all of the pieces were there (yay!). So, I draped a counter with plastic & we went to work. B made it clear that he did not want to touch the "dirt" (germination mix) & I said that was fine... I got the sets put together (bless me, the instructions were still there, too!) & mushed the dampened soil into the little chambers, then gave B an old chopstick to poke holes for the seeds. We planted (all from Seeds of Change): cherry tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, bell peppers, Peruvian purple chiles, Oregon tomatoes, broccoli, basil, cinnamon basil, columbines, nicotiana, & larkspur. Theres a load more seeds to direct-sow, too (B sat & read the packages while I was mucking in the dirt, discussing planting methods- he's most excited about the edamame seeds &, for some reason, the zucchini...). I got the API kits set up in front of the sliding-glass door in the kitchen (southern exposure) & filled them with water. And now we wait! I am so glad we found time to do it!!

We had a snack & were both pretty tired, so we watched more Pokeman until it was time for me to make dinner. C came home from work & we spent dinner brainstorming things to do with tomorrow's pre-school-aged lunch guest. B only got squirrelly once, when I reminisced about his preschool years (thinking about himself as a baby & young child really makes him twitchy for some reason), but was easily jollied back to good humour. C took the ball after dinner & they played B's Exo-Force game while I finished my sewing project. Then it was kiss goodnight- & B was asleep. No meltdowns or getting "stuck" today. Loads of giggling & interesting discussions. Yummy lunch. Only a couple instances of "listing", which were easily diverted into conversation. It was a dream day- I told C I almost wish we didn't have to send him back to school... selfish, I know, but such a day is precious & rare, & experiencing my kid in such a relaxed state was truly a gift.


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