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Saturday, June 7, 2008

Today I did something I’ve never done before. I dressed a baby doll. And undressed her and dressed her again, three times. Why Kylie wanted me to do that, when I’m sure she could have done a better job herself, I’m not sure, but I have to admit that by the last time through I was getting better at getting the arms and legs to go in the right holes. I actually was pretty pleased with myself, but Kylie was already off finding something else for the doll to wear, so I had to be satisfied with my own accomplishment.

That bit of fun came after about three hours of nonstop fun with Aiden and Kylie. Their parents are out of town, so the rest of the family showed up tonight to keep the kids from missing them too much (and to help take some of the nonstop fun of baby sitting off Suzanne’s shoulders). When Mom and I got there, Aiden was hitting the ball off the tee to Eric. “One time,” he announced with a giggle, “I hit the ball hard and got Uncle Eric right in the stomach.”

Kylie had a turn with the bat as well, and while she didn’t hit the ball quite as hard, she had just as much fun with it. At one point, though, she got into a bit of a sulk and was sitting in the lawn chair with her arms folded. Aiden walked over to her, gave her a hug, and said, “Come on, Kylie. It’s your turn. Make me proud of you.”

Somehow I couldn’t convince the little ones that I was too old to chase them around the backyard. Or maybe it was myself I had a hard time convincing, because we spent a lot of time doing just that. They invented a game called Jail. I was the jailer. “I’m the criminal,” Aiden told me. “Put me in jail.” Well, that part was pretty easy, since the jail was created by moving chairs around a little. But he kept escaping and running away, and the chase was on again. Meanwhile, Kylie went to jail very easily every time. Sometimes she locked herself up, like Otis of Mayberry.

After dinner, Kylie was reluctant to let Suzanne give her a bath until I promised her I would still be there when she got out of the tub. Then as she was winding down, she wanted me to come into her room with her and watch a movie. Eric asked if he could come, too. “No,” she informed him, “just Uncle Mike.” Well, she can be very fickle, and I’m not around her all that much, so nobody took offense. But you can bet I’m going to take advantage of the chance to spend time with her when she’s asking for me like that.

7 June 2008

Kylie at bat.

Now I’m home, and tired, and sore, and happy to be so. I’m also more impressed every day with the sparkling personalities and keen intellect of the two youngest members of the family. When Aiden was hitting the ball and getting ready to move on to something else, he said he would hit it four more times. After one hit, he said, “Three more times!” And so on. As far as I know, he figured that out on his own, without any formal training in subtraction.

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