Here are some highlights:
- Although Paul is VERY busy, it doesn't take a lot of "stuff" to entertain him. He needs rocks, pine cones, water to throw rocks and pine cones in, and some wildlife.
- My son is sexist. He told my mom to go in the kitchen and make coffee and me to go in the kitchen and cook dinner. Super.
- Paul follows around my dad all day and all night. Is this possibly because my dad doesn't care if he eats nothing but cookies for every single meal? Even when Paul was banished from another cookie because he wouldn't finish his fruit, we caught my dad sneaking him some sweet snacks. When approached, by dad just shrugged his shoulders and told us to calm down as he handed off another artificially colored animal cookie.
- My mom rented the bigger cabin so Paul could have is own room to avoid Ryan and I having to sleep with our crazy sleeper toddler. If we share a room, he sometimes wakes up in the middle of the night, sees us and then thinks he should no longer have to be stuck in his stupid crib when he could cuddle (or lay horizontally in between) with his parents. Anyway, in his own room we had to position his crib right next to the double bed. In the morning, I heard some commotion from down the hall. When I walked in, he proudly showed me how he could shimmy out of his crib to the bed, jump on the bed, and then use a "huge bounce" to jump back in his crib. He was very proud of himself. I was not.
- We lost Paul for about 60 seconds. The cabin had a wrap around deck. On the open side we set up a trap of baby gates and a bench, so the dogs could go in and out without us having to deal with them every second. We were eating breakfast while Paul was playing with his trucks outside and after a little bit, things seemed too quiet. We all jumped out of our seats and rushed on the deck. Paul was nowhere to be found. Some people started to become hysterically, while others remained calm. A minute later, I saw Paul on the road, taking a stroll or in his words, "going on an adventure." He somehow wiggled his way out of the baby gate booby trap, and had some one on one time with nature. We then discussed when wanting to go on adventure you had to take a buddy. It was a rule. His two favorite new words are rule and buddy, but he doesn't really understand the life lesson.
- My mom sings Paul a lot of songs. A LOT. This trip he told her, "That's enough Grandma." But when she stopped, he requested more. When we returned home he asked for a weekend favorite, the Chug Song. I had to email my mom for the words. When I started to sing he interrupted me, "No Elaine. That's Grandma's song." I live with the boss.
- One of the best parts of the trip is when we were packing up to leave, which is always a little hectic with 4 adults, a toddler, and two dogs. As we were putting in the last load, my dad turned to me and told me what a nice job both Ryan and I do with Paul. We spend a lot of time with Paul, teaching him manners, and songs, and letters. Reading him books, playing with cars, encouraging him to share his toys. Ryan spends hours playing hide and seek and chasing him around the house. We also spend many of our days trying to hold on to our shit, not lose our temper, distracting bad behavior, and enforcing time-outs and apologies. We have never done this before, and some days Ryan and I both lay down on the couch after Paul has gone to bed, exhausted, wondering if we are doing everything we should be doing. It is nice to hear some encouragement from a seasoned parent, who obviously did some things right since I am his daughter! :)
- Overall, we had a great trip. And my son recently let me know that we needed some cookies at "Paul's house."