After an exceptionally cold January, we seem to be having a record-breakingly warm February – which means the weather has been absolutely perfect for enjoying our cool and shady little backyard and patio again! The main disadvantage of the backyard is that there isn’t enough space for the boys to actually run; the two main advantages are that it is completely child-safe so my baby can play without feeling the need to constantly test the limits, and that I can slip into the house to do dishes or dinner prep if necessary (the kitchen window opens right onto the patio).
Look at those eyes. Oh my goodness. He’s so beautiful… and at the same time so mischievous! He takes delight in crossing boundaries in a way my firstborn never did – but he is also far more bold and adventurous. He’s at least six months younger than Rondel was when he finally became comfortable on a slide, for example, and he’ll go up and down time and time again, even on the tall slides at the playground.
The white stuff all over him is cloud dough; the back patio is the perfect place for messy play like that, and I let the boys migrate to the yard to play more before bringing them in for a bath.
One of Rondel’s most-loved Christmas presents (which we actually opened nearer to Epiphany) was this set of construction trucks from my parents, supplemented with another construction set my in-laws had found for him over a year ago. These trucks live in a special spot in the garden, where I had a summer crop planted but then left empty for the sake of these trucks. Rondel spends so much time here digging with the trucks and telling me what they are building and doing, and I love watching him!
He asked me to take a picture of him eating a leaf and this is the best I got because he wouldn’t look at me! In Arizona, early spring is one of the most fruitful times of year because all the winter crops are flourishing as the few night freezes fade and are forgotten. Right now we have four types of lettuce, arugula, kale, cilantro, oregano, and mint in our main garden, and English peas growing around the trellised garden by the walls (Yes! They can grow out here in the low desert! They just need the right microenvironment, which our tiny yard happens to provide.) Rondel, in his typical information-accumulating way, can identify all the different plants that we have, and enjoys snacking on them while playing outside. The arugula is apparently a bit too “spicy” for his taste, though 🙂
Limerick wants to do everything his big brother does, but Rondel isn’t always happy about having a small interfering shadow. I’m discovering that if I try to persuade Rondel to accept Limerick’s presence, he usually refuses outright, but if I redirect Limerick or let them drift together slowly, Rondel will make space for his brother to join him, and include him in his games. This was a rare moment where they were playing happily next to each other without Limerick destroying Rondel’s creations in his attempt to be like and play with the brother he adores.
Don’t forget to join the link-up today at Like Mother, Like Daughter!