Last night the temperature plummeted and it spit rain/sleet/snow for a couple hours. The result was a snow day for most businesses when there was only black ice on bridges. The high today was only 36 degrees so we didn't leave the house for the second day straight. Quint was a huge whiny butt. He may not be feeling good and I know Hank isn't feeling good. He's had a fever, has been pulling at an ear, and is way too snugly when I'm holding him. So going outside in this weather was out of the question. Mid-morning, when Quint wanted to lay in my lap and have me cover him up, I knew it was time to administer Advil all around. After that, things got better.
And snow day inspiration struck!
I got our camping tent out of the garage and put it up in the loft. Now let me tell you about this tent. It was bought at the beginning of my disaster preparedness binge when I wasn't willing to spend hardly any money on the project. I found this 9ft x 9ft tent on craigslist for $20. It's got a bit of a funky smell, but we have camped with it once. (What can I say, my wonderful hubby is a city boy to the core.) So it's not new, is sandy inside and has leaves on the outside. After Quint has caught me fiddling with it and is now completely underfoot, it dawns on me that one person is simply not capable of putting up a tent of that size. Picture lots of cussing and springy stick comedy here. I finally leave it until Uncle Four wakes up from his long winter's nap. I ask him if he thinks it will fit in the loft, or if I'm just smoking crack. He thinks it will fit!
We get the whole darned thing up only to realize that the door of the tent is as far away from the loft door as possible. And it is barely possible for me to get back to that door once the whole tent is up. So we take it down again and rotate it-twice-before we actually have it in the right place. And then I vacuum out the sand.
Quint is delighted with a REAL tent! Not just a blanket over dining chairs. I tell him I'll try to "find" the ball-pit balls so he can play with them in the tent. I close him out of the loft and get out the huge box of annoying toys. (The toy vacuum that won't stand up. The tumbling tiger that will only stand on his head. The psychotic teddy bear that speaks whenever you bump it in the middle of the night. And all the extremely heavy toys that look like you're supposed to throw them at your brother's head. And nearly 200 ball pit balls.) Quint hasn't seen the balls for at least a month. He spends about 30 minutes running around in the tent in the balls yelling "hello balls!" which after the 85th repetition, is actually "bellow halls!"
When Papa gets home, Papa and Quint disappear into the tent. Quint runs up and down the stairs several times, not looking for me (what a nice change!) and continues to play upstairs with Papa. After he's in bed, I peek in the tent and find that Papa had made them a nest of blankets, pillows, and a flash light. Very cool Papa time.
Hank is so much fun at this age. He's a great size. I can play rough with him and not throw my back out. I can dangle him upside down and make him giggle. He's animated and responds to conversation across the room. He communicates physically. When he's upset, he will clamp down on my arm and neck in a tight little baby hug. When I get down on the floor beside him while he's sitting, he will lean over with one arm, hug me, and sit back up to play. When he's hungry, he will lean over, grab my shirt collar with one hand and try to yank it down. Or he will try to nurse on my bare shoulder. When he's excited he will flop both arms and legs up and down, HARD, as if he's trying to take flight. He already has an "aw-shucks" look!
Since I first bathed them at the same time last Tuesday, it has finally occurred to them that they can do things TOGETHER! Hank has tried to lean over and hug Quint! Quint has started requesting a Hank kiss before bed as if he were, you know, an actual person in this household! There's only an occasional "No, Hank!" when he takes a toy. Quint will share his applesauce with Hank. They're starting to become, you know, brothers!! It's fun to see.