It’s been a hectic few days. I wish I had more time to share some of the craziness with you, but the truth is that I’m not at all prepared for the Vegas road trip on which I’m about to embark. I think the kids’ mother is even less prepared than I am, so we are really going to be flying by the seat of our pants. Should be an adventure. Probably you won’t see any blog updates until I get to Vegas on July 1, but I’ll try to get on Twitter when I can. Here’s a quick cast of characters so that you’ll have an idea of what I’m in for:
Henry – Just turned 8. Intense and mature for his age in a lot of ways, but also very sensitive. Has a long attention span and likes to lose himself in big projects, stories, books, etc. Believes in doing things the right way and gets upset when he fails, which of course happens a lot because he is 8 and trying to do things like build a remote controlled helicopter. Also gets upset and sulky very easily if you reprimand him or speak to him sternly. Loves being clever and tricking people. I’ve started teaching him a little about poker, and he really likes the idea of bluffing.
Oliver – Wild. You can see it in his eyes. About 4 years old. Everything he does is big and loud and involves a lot of movement. Communication isn’t just about words for him; whatever he wants to say he conveys with big facial expressions and the pitch of his voice and usually jumping and flailing his arms. It’s really hard to imagine him stuck in a car seat for hours at a time. When asked about what color to paint the boys’ new bedroom, his vote was black, because ninjas. Second choice was camouflage.
Walter – About 18 months old and barely talking. He’s very laid back, usually content just to watch his brothers. Tries to join in on what they are doing but doesn’t get too frustrated by his many limitations. Now that he’s walking, the fact that he’s so quiet has become a liability, because it’s easy for him to slip off and get into trouble. As the third child, he’s accustomed to not getting a lot of attention.
Jerica – My cousin’s wife. A devoted if often harried mother. Originally from rural Idaho, has worked as a snowboarding teacher and a lactation consultant. She’s the sort of mom who will help the boys catch toads or make their own make-believe kitchen. I suspect that her usual discomfort with electronic entertainment is going to get compromised on this trip.