Nothing

Wow, so my voice was completely MIA for five whole days last week, and let me tell you it gets tough going through the world with only the words you can convey are “yes,” “no,” “I don’t know,” and “F— you.”  Poor Kevin got flipped off more than I’d like to admit last week.

Anyway, how about an update on the boys this week?

Vincenzo:  “V”

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We don’t see much of him lately.  He’s either with his friends or bugging us to get a phone so that he can text his friends when he’s not with them.  (Yes, he is the only fifth grader on the planet of the Earth who does not have his own phone.)  I mean, he is gone so much he even has his own germ biome separate from the rest of us—we’ll all be sitting around with colds and sore throats, and Vincenzo will be in the bathroom puking his guts out. 

As little as we see V, we see even less of his sweatshirts and jackets, which he leaves around the school and town like calling cards.  Everywhere we go, people come out of their houses and lean out of cars to return a sweatshirt of his they found.  I’ve got a plan now, though—we are going to buy him sweatshirts that are nearly impossible to lose.

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Vincenzo lives in the moment and doesn’t overthink things.  He has zero opinions about anything, from what he wants to eat to who he wants to have over to play.  “I don’t know, Mom—I definitely want to have someone over, but you pick who.” 

Two things I’ll never understand about V: how he loves Toxic Waste candies and how he loves jumping from hot water into cold then back to hot again.  (Pictured below was a lay in the snow after a soak in the hot tub.)

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At 4.5 feet tall and 70 pounds, he is one of the shortest, skinniest kids in his class, but he can still wrestle a 100-pound friend to the ground before returning to the couch to reread Ender’s Game for the nth time.

He is a favorite of his younger cousins because, well because he never really outgrew his early childhood.

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And at 4.5 feet tall and 70 pounds soaking wet, maybe he never will.

Rocco Taco:

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Rocco has come down with the same affliction that struck Vincenzo about five years back: an obsession with books.  He now gets in trouble just as much as V for reading when he shouldn’t be.  During read aloud with my boys last night I caught Rocco hiding under the covers, reading his own book while listening to the one I was reading.  Incorrigible child!

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Rcocco is a do-first-think-later kind of kid and one who loves nothing more than a good argument.  You tell him to brush his teeth then put on pajamas and get into bed and he instead lays out a five minute explanation of how it wouldn’t matter if he brushed teeth first or put on pajamas first, so really he could do either, and you snap at him, “JUST GET READY FOR BED ALREADY!”  Ten minutes later you see him walk out of his room wearing swim clothes and reading a book.  We have yell at Rocco a bit more than we like.  He doesn’t mind the yelling, which drives us crazy. 

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(Here he is with his leprechaun trap.  I can hear Pinterest weeping.)

Like Vincenzo, Rocco lives in the moment and doesn’t hold grudges.  Last year some kid got expelled for trying to choke Rocco; this year Rocco loves to play with that kid at recess.

Rocco is resilient.  He is more likely to get mad instead of sad.  He thinks his older brother is a superhero, and he giggles his way through movies at the theater.  He’ll make you so mad you want to throw him off the deck, then he’ll pat your arm and say, “It’s okay, Mom.  Don’t be mad.”

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I just love this kid.

Leo.  Leo, Leo, Leo. 

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He went through a rabid phase in his fours and we kept hoping it would pass and it finally did…only to give way to an even more rabid, ferile, and screamy phase. We’ve been saying, “This too shall pass” for over two years now.

He’s very sweet when his brothers aren’t around, and his teachers cannot say enough about what a wonderful boy he is, but then Rocco asks Leo to please pass the butter and Leo screams, “DON’T TALK TO ME, ROCCO!  I DIDN’T WANT YOU TO SAY THAT!”  Then he slides down his chair like a melting popsicle and ends up in a puddle at Kevin’s feet.  We get out some towels, mop him up, prop him back on his chair, and ask if he would like anymore grapes.  “WAAAAAAAHHHH!”  And he melts onto the floor again. 

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But when it’s just me and Leo, he is all hops and snuggles, playing baseball with battle axes and beach balls, baking cookies, trying on various facewear, then curling up in bed with me and listening to me read Narnia books, dragon books, picture books, tax returns–absolutely anything that has words in it.  He’s not picky.

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Leo loves when his older brothers need help with something that he is able to do, like fetch silverware or put their coats away.  Fortunately, his older brothers have not caught on and taken advantage of Leo’s over-eagerness to prove his Bigness.

In conclusion, I apologize on Leo’s behalf if you have tried to tickle him or teas him in the past year or hug him or ask him how his day was.  He probably yelled, “ENNNNNHHH!” or perhaps bit one of your fingers off.  What he meant to say was, “I’m kind of going through some stuff right now, but with Mom’s gentle guidance I’m sure I will grow up to be a calm, reasonable, well-adjusted adult without any residual self esteem issues from having been born  the “baby” of the family.”

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I have such a soft spot for this guy.  He’s my little buddy, and I know he would murder me in my sleep if he knew this, but when I kiss his puffy cheeks I still get a baby fix.  This one is always going to be my baby.

WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
Cornbread taco bake
Cinnamon roasted squash
Fresh vegetables
Chocolate almond bundt cake

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