Growing Pains


Our Saturday  started at 7:00 this morning when the alarm went off.  We managed to be out of the house by 7:35, despite a full-blown temper tantrum from Robbie that ended with him grabbing a Go Cats shirt from the laundry hamper – complete with a hole in the arm pit – and going to the car without shoes or socks on.  Eventually, we got him wrangled into shoes, socks, and a sweatshirt, and we were headed to Boston College to run the Red Bandanna Run ( – you should really check out the story behind the race; it’s inspiring).

This was our first race with a jogging stroller.  One I picked up last night, actually, since we didn’t have a sitter this morning.  The $67 investment should pay for itself in two races, and, if I get Justin to push it, it doesn’t impact my time at all.  As soon as we got started with the race, Robbie looked up and said, “Mama, QiQi run!”  I think this was the first race that Justin and I actually ran together – from start to finish.  No one tried to outdo the other.  It was our first real family run.  And we finished in 35 minutes, only 30 seconds off my best time.  Who knew I just needed to make Justin push a stroller to slow him down to my time?

We stopped for coffee after our run and evaluated our choices for the day.  Since it was so gorgeous, we decided the day called for a little yard work.  Two days of downpours left a lot of leaves in our yard, and our back door needed a second coat of paint.  Between the three of us, we finished the work in less than an hour.  Yes, the three of us.  On our way home, we stopped by the hardware store to pick up some supplies.  At the checkout, I found a child’s rake.  Having experienced yard work with Robbie, I know it’s best if he has his own tools.  Trust me.  It was $9.99 very well spent.  For the most part.

Much to the surprise of my two boys, I planned to do the front yard, too.  Robbie was happy cruise up and down the sidewalk in his Cozy Coupe (a side-of-the-road find a few months ago).  While he was playing, I thought I would use his little rake to get under the mums and between the day lilies and spider wort.  But I was not slick enough.

Robbie spied my illicit rake use within fifteen seconds (perhaps because Justin shouted, “Here, Mommy.  You can use Robbie’s rake!”) and came running.  He grabbed it from my hands, said, “QiQi rake, Mama”, and took off toward the backyard.  Eventually, he came back, used it for a few seconds, and then dropped it again.  Not having learned my lesson, I tried for the rake again only to get the same result.  He did, however, eventually do a little more raking and put some of the leaves in the bag.  Robbie decided it would be permissible for me to use his broom, which he kindly brought to me.  Unfortunately, it was not what I needed.

Later in the day, after everyone’s afternoon nap, we got dressed to run errands.  Robbie saw that I was wearing a UK shirt (with crying Louisville fans on the back) and insisted he be outfitted in Go Cats gear.  After he got dressed, Justin came upstairs to check on our progress.  Robbie took one look at his father and could barely contain his disgust.  He marched over to Justin, pointed at Justin’s shirt, and said, “Daddy, Go Cats shirt.  Daddy, shirt.  Cats.”  And what was Justin supposed to do?  He went and changed clothes and we looked like “that” family in the coordinating outfits for the evening.

It’s been a perfect family Saturday, so I should be ecstatic, right?  And, on many levels, I am.  However, there’s a little bit about it all that makes me sad.  Because having a toddler big enough to help with yard work, ask to watch Cats Ball, and convince everyone to change clothes to support his favorite team means that he isn’t a baby anymore.


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