Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tanner-Knievel: Our Little Daredevil

Let me preface by saying that I would almost rather have one of my children end up in prison than grow up to be a stuntman. Seriously. I wonder how Jackie Chan's mother gets through the day.
So imagine my surprise (and terror) as I discover that Tanner is a fearless little daredevil. I have done nothing to nurture these tendencies but find that they are growing despite my attempts to squelch them.

I've already posted a picture of Tanner sitting at the very tippy-top of our outdoor playset. He's been doing that particular stunt for MONTHS now, and it no longer stops my heart a few beats to find him on his favorite perch. He has recently graduated to new tricks: A few weeks ago, upon parking in the driveway after preschool pick-up, I told Tanner he could go ahead and get out of the minivan and head into the house while I talked to Carter through the driver's side window. I was suddenly startled to hear noises above my head: SOMETHING was on TOP of the van! Carter, wide-eyed with fear and admiration, cried out, "Oh my gosh! Tanner is on the van! How the heck did he get up there?!?" Sure enough, Tan was standing on the minivan rooftop, arms raised in triumph, shouting, "I am SO COOL!!!" And then, as I scrambled to react without panic. . . of course, he jumped.
The following week, I heard thumping noises upstairs and asked Carter to check on the kids. "If they're jumping on Tanner's bed again, tell them they're in big trouble!" I instructed. He came back with a stupefied grin, "Well, they're not jumping on the bed, but I think you'd better come see this for yourself!" I walked into Tanner's room to find him standing on top of his narrow 4' high dresser, waiting for me. Before I had time to freak out, he launched into a full-on aerial front flip onto the middle of his bed! Then without missing a beat, stood up, took the first of several bows, and said, "Thank you! Thank you very much!"

Since then, I have found him shimmying up the column in front of our house (trying to get to the roof), walking on TOP of the monkey bars, and teaching the triplets how to do dive rolls off the living room couch. He is forever flipping and rolling and jumping and twirling, and he is confident that all these stunts make him very, very cool.
It doesn't help that he's found a true fan in his big brother; Carter probably wishes he could get away with half of Tanner's tricks. "He is the coolest four-year-old ever!" I heard Carter say. He finds Tan's stunts amazing and captivating. I find them horrifying beyond measure, but what's a mother to do? I've considered covering him in bubble-wrap and making him wear a helmet, but I suspect that this would only give him (and me) a false sense of security. So instead I keep hoping that this is a phase he'll outgrow. Soon.
p.s.- Tanner has blue hair because of "Crazy Hair Day" at preschool. The interior ceiling of my van still has fluorescent blue marks everywhere-testament to his Tigger-like bounciness. And you may note an injury by his mouth in some of the photos. Occupational hazard of being a daredevil, perhaps? Actually, this particular injury came from ticking off one of his sisters: occupational hazard of being Bailey's brother.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Halloween Pics

Finally... I am posting our Halloween costume pictures. It was a blast-- the kids were SO into it this year! (Even Carter, who took great pains to dress up as the Joker. Take note: I did his Joker makeup while driving to the church party, at night, in the dark. Pretty proud of myself. Perhaps I missed my true calling in life as a makeup artist?!?)

You would think that the costumes require no explanation, but as is our way, there's a story behind each of them. As follows:

Carter- the Joker ("but not the cheesy joker from the other Batmans. The Dark Knight Joker.") He refused to consider the pre-fab Joker costumes found at every costume shop in the city ("too lame") and also refused my creative ideas born of desperation (such as Rit-dying a lab coat purple). Instead, he waited til the last possible second, assuming that I had taken care of it and then wondered why I hadn't gotten him a costume. Hmm... so we improvised with a Dark Knight Joker t-shirt and sloppy makeup.

Taylor- "Mrs. Edward Cullen" (ie- vampire bride, based upon the Twilight book series. A series she has never read, but has heard Quinn, Carter and I talk about at great length.) I bought a fancy makeup kit and Taylor insisted on doing it herself, despite my evident skills. She also wore a nametag that said, "Hello, I'm ... Mrs. Cullen." (It's all in the details, even if nobody else knows what you're talking about, right?)

Tanner- Knight in "Shiny" Armour (who refused to wear his shiny armour for more than 5 seconds, despite major attempts at candy bribery.) At the last moment, he also found last year's costume and decided to be "Mr. Incredible" with very bad teeth. Oooookay....

Sydney, Riley & Bailey- There was never any question that the girls wanted to be Disney princesses, so I was thrilled to find 3 princess costumes at a reasonable price in September. I brought home the Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty costumes, set them out on the couch and hoped the girls would naturally gravitate to the appropriate costume without a fist fight. Bailey staked out Cinderella before the other two could protest, so Sydney grabbed Snow White ("She has bwackish hair just wike me!") which left Sleeping Beauty for Ri. Problem: none of the girls have seen Sleeping Beauty so none of them were interested in being her. "What princess is this?" Riley wanted to know. Thinking quick on my feet, I lied: "Ariel." "But Ariel has flippers!" Riley started to cry. "No, no... this is the dress Ariel wears after she has legs," I insisted, keeping the lie alive. New Problem: Now they ALL wanted the Sleeping Beauty dress because they all wanted to be Ariel With Legs. So there was a scuffle after all. Confouded by the fact that, after one party, the girls found a Belle costume (worn by Taylor when she was 4), and Dictator Bailey determined that Sydney had to be Belle since she looks like Belle, and then Bailey appropriated the Snow White costume. Just like a true tyrant. So, in the end, between all the parties we attended and the trick-or-treating, each girl was at least 2 different princesses. Except Riley, who wasn't about to give up the Ariel With Legs costume.

Keeping with tradition, the Rosses and Williamsons came over and we had dinner and then took the kids trick-or-treating together. Carter and Daniel went together, Kassidy and Taylor went together, and our friends each grabbed a little one, which left Quinn and I trailing along to watch the fun. The little guys dragged whoever was holding their hand from house to house, and we had to laugh at their tirelessness in pursuit of candy. Tanner insisted on saying "Happy Halloween!" to everyone he saw, and Riley shyly told everyone "Stank you" when they gave her candy. We had a great time! Call me ghoulish, but Halloween is my favorite! :)