A few notes from April:
1. Two interactions with Max and Aviva, respectively, that perfectly capture my relationship with them:
Max: When I get home every day I come up to Max and say, "I need something." He thinks for just a second, then rolls his eyes, wrinkles his dimples with a smile and says, "A hug and kiss?" Right answer. I love that he always knows that what I need is a hug and a kiss. And he gives a great hug. His kisses need a little work, but I'm OK with that.
Aviva: This story will make no sense to those who don't know Aviva's looks (they really do pierce to the heart, the bones, the sinews, everything), but the other night I went to put Aviva to bed and had the bottle ready and she just looked over her shoulder at me, nestled closer to Kristin (who was holding her), and disdainfully looked down her nose in my general direction. I knew right then that I would get no closer to her that night, and maybe not the next day. Her force of will mirrors that of only one other woman I've ever met: Kristin.
2. In case you haven't noticed, Max has a single pose for every planned picture. It includes the following ingredients: (1) A tilt of the head; (2) One arm crooked at the elbow with the hand on the waist; (3) One hand hanging loosely to the side; (4) a mischievous smile and (5) a hip sticking out just so.
3. Uncle Garrett was in town last week and, as I've said before, nothing draws me more toward my family than when I see them play with my kids and see how my kids respond. I love Garrett more now than I did before (which is saying something) because my kids, even Aviva, love their Uncle Garrett.
4. There's something special and idillic about the first week of real spring, where the kids play at the park cheerfully, you can talk to your wife for a little bit without any worries, and everyone is just so happy. It's a bummer that eventually allergies, hotter weather, and cranky kids get in the way.
5. Max has recently developed a little bit of 'Tude lately. Big time, in fact. We're pondering how best to respond and teach him to respond nicely to his parents, his friends, and strangers. 'Cause everything recently has come out as a scream and a protest. Any thoughts?
6. We thought we had Max potty-trained. Check that. Max is potty trained. He knows how to use the toilet and when to use the toilet, it's just that he'd rather play in his own pee than stop and go to the bathroom (luckily, the poo still bothers him). We've tried a number of different tactics -- rewards for going potty, delaying gratification until he goes potty, etc. Nothing seems to work. I'm afraid we may be close to undertaking what one of my colleagues did with his four year old son: each trip to the toilet the 4-year old son got $1. Yeah, that could add up and he could have more discretionary spending than me. Thoughts, suggestions?