Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Alligator Boys Go To Alaska

Alligators are my son’s favorite animals. Snapping alligators, he’ll specify. And from the very beginning he has dubbed both himself and my husband (his father) The Alligator Boys. It’s been this way for years. Occasionally I get to be an honorary alligator but typically I’m excluded from the reptilian posse. And for the past month it’s been: “Sorry Mama, but the Alligator Boys are going to Alaska and you can’t come”. I’d put on a sad face and pretend to be disappointed.

But if you’re (or have been) a parent to a wild toddler, you know that ten days worth of peace and quiet are priceless to a sleep-deprived mama.

Can't go to Alaska?


‘Cause the Honeybadger Girls are going to be enjoying life, let me tell you.

Let there be no mistake: I love Alaska. I love visiting, I love seeing family, I love the gorgeous scenery. But nothing can beat a little down time right now; it’s been a long year.

Normally I’d be green with envy seeing fun pictures like this:

And this (Ben’s first ski lesson):

But I happily plowed my way through five books, stayed in my PJs all day, ate cereal for dinner more  than I should of, and in general had a delightfully introverted week. My Papa was also staying at the house so that was a pleasant interlude to our quiet days.

Unfortunately the Alligator Boys caught the flu or a bad cold (or a combo of the two) on their first full day in Anchorage so they ended up having a rough stay. Being sick away from home is no fun. Fortunately they were in the best possible away-from-home location (my in-law’s house) and there was plenty of TLC, hot tubbing, and hot cocoa breaks. And the Alligators Boys are nothing if not tough so they rallied for a spot of ice fishing:

Ben is still waxing poetic about his tasty salmon, the water slide park, and the BIG, SCARY, AWESOME skiing hill. 

Frankly, I’m not entirely convinced they were even sick, based on the number of activities they did. 

I’ll admit that there are times when I’ve yearned for those quiet early days of parenting. Toddlers, particularly of Ben’s temperament, are all about movement, interaction, loud noises, and incessant talking.

Emma is currently working on her walking and babbling, which proceed at a slower and quieter pace. It’s a lovely change.

We took long naps and played in the yard. Bailey snored away next to us. Spring has come to Seattle; we’re soaking up the vitamin D, listening to the renewed bird chatter, and watching the plants awaken. 

I also was able to tackle a few house projects: painting the basement stairs, 

and doing a bit of tile work in the upstairs bathroom. More to come on this later. 

Amazing how much you can get done with just a wee babe to care for.

But our boys came back into town on Saturday night and once again the house is ringing with laughter and we’re glad to have the family back together. Ben is taller (I swear it!) and ran into my arms and promised that I, too, get to go to Alaska with them next time. And Emma made sure to show off all her new tricks, including her ability to clear her plate in two second flat by expeditiously dumping it on the floor. 

And the standing thing, which is a nice little feat for our baby girl. Walking is just around the corner.

In the meantime, I’m thinking of purchasing tickets for the Alligator Boys to go to Alaska next year, as well.