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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A Fairly Typical Morning and John Deeres Don’t Speak Russian!

It’s 7:30am. I have no idea what time Matthew wandered out to the sofa to continue his slumber, but there he rests. Once Matthew is asleep he is OUT. I’ve cut his fingernails, trimmed his hair and even vacuumed in his room when he’s been asleep. It comes to no surprise to me, now, that Matthew has remained asleep while Zachary and I are out here making some noise. But it appears that Zach is on a mission to test just how deep Matthew’s sleep really is.

Every time I look over, Matthew’s got a different object piled on him or placed carefully in his hand. Random toys have been clutched sleepily in his hand as has Blankie which Zachary seems to have lovingly shared with his brother (the ultimate sign of affection). Matthew has continued snoring throughout my attempts to wipe Zach’s runny nose (accompanied by tortured screams…his, not mine) and Zach kicking the entire high chair tray down to the floor while I fed him breakfast.

When I was in the kitchen preparing oatmeal, Zach was wandering about inflicting all sorts of brotherly love on sleeping Matthew. I heard a thwack, thwack, thwack. Hmmm, that’s one I better check out. Zachary was whacking Matthew on the head with his empty bottle. Ahhh, sweet revenge! That’s what you get, big brother, for never sharing your John Deere tractors with me. Mooouuuahhh-ahhh-ahhhh! [evil baby laugh]. Matthew merely rubbed his head, grunted and rolled over.

* * * * *

On Saturday, we rode the ferry to Vashon Island for our yearly Engaged Encounter BBQ. Of course this year was a little bit more stressful for us as Mike and I are the Coordinators and therefore sort-of “in charge.” (A scary thought)! Not only did we have to pack our boys and all of their necessities for a long day at the beach but we also brought two huge coolers – one full of raw meat products for the grill and one full of booze. (Catholics know how to party)!

Mike carefully researched the ferry boat times to figure out which we should be on. We arrived with no problems; made sure we were in the right line and eagerly awaited the arrival of our boat. After about 30 minutes wait, engines were starting and cars began to drive on to the ferry. All I could do was laugh when our engine wouldn’t start; Mike had left the lights on. Turns out this is a fairly typical occurrence and one of the ferry employees told us that we were “the fourth dead battery of the morning! And it’s only 10am!” They’re completely prepared for this, and within minutes another employee rolled up a battery on a cart and started ours in seconds. We made our ferry no problem with only a little bit of uncalled for excitement.

The highlight of Zach’s day was baptizing himself in the cold and salty Puget Sound. The day was overcast a but a little warm with occasional sprinkles; I hadn’t stripped him down to his swim trunks ‘cuz it was just a little too cold for that. I’d brought plenty of changes of clothes. I didn’t intend for him to get completely soaked head-to-toe though, but I realized after fighting it, that wetness was inevitable. Zachary splashed and kicked in the water and repeatedly dunked his forehead in, grinning from ear-to-ear every time he stood up.

Matthew’s day will always be remembered as the day that he met and fell in love with Nastya. Nastya is a 16 year-old exchange student from Belarus who speaks Russian and hardly any English – though she’s learning! Nastya will be staying with our friends Tom and Elaine and their two teenage girls for six weeks this summer. Matthew took a liking to Nastya on the ferry ride back home. He dragged her all around the boat, pointing out the extinguishers that the “fighterfighters” use to put out fires. Nastya told Matthew what those things were called in Russian.

Back in the car, Matthew kept trying to understand this Nastya and foreign language business. “Why does she speak French?” he asked. (Matthew assumes all other languages are French since he’s familiar with my occasional attempts to speak it to the boys). The entire ride home we explained to Matthew that Nastya speaks Russian and lives on the other side of the world. Later, I showed him on a map where Belarus was. (I’m pretty sure that’s the first time I’ve ever researched the where-abouts of Belarus).

As a thank you for our hard work as Coordinators, Tom and Elaine and their girls (Nastya included) offered to watch the boys the next night while we went to a movie. (Harry Potter)! Matthew had been talking nonstop about Nastya and how he’d share his John Deeres with her. Turns out that the sharing came with strings attached. When Nastya’s tractors started answering Matthew’s in Russian, he emphatically cried, “No! No! John Deeres don’t speak Russian!!!”

Upon our return, the Haydens filled us in on this, their favorite Matthewism of the evening. Mike’s response was, “John Deeres in Russia probably speak Russian!” Hmmm, do they have John Deeres in Russia? It must be like how the cows in France say “Mu” instead of “Moo,” and the dogs don’t woof, they “oauh oauh.”

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