Tonight, however, I declare a success. James was getting home late, near to bedtime. I had two hours to kill after dinner. Our first game was indoor soccer. I wouldn't usually allow something like that, but I'm getting over a nasty stomach flu and just wanted peace in the home. I held Benjamin in front of the couch and we played goalie while the boys tried to score on me.
Next we all sat on the floor and rolled the ball to each other, as I explained to the boys that we needed to play something that Benjamin could join in on. Their patience and understanding was amazing. Colin found it hard to jump out of competitive mode (I can't blame him - I'm one of the most competitive people I know!), but Caleb was so compassionate. He always rolled the ball to Benjamin, then helped him retrieve, then encouraged him and instructed him on how to roll it to someone else.
Next we played musical pillows, due to a lack of small chairs in the home, and the idea of using our big kitchen chairs just seemed dangerous. I placed two pillows on the ground, and the three of us walked around in a circle while I sang a song. When I stopped, we all vied for a pillow. No one was really out, since we all just got up and continued on. Benjamin wandered around us, laughing hysterically and randomly throwing himself down on the pillows. The boys never seemed to catch on that I always knew when the music was going to stop, although I did graciously allow them to beat me to the pillows sometimes.
Colin and Caleb then played a near violent game of freeze tag while I gave myself and my poor stomach a rest. As they tore around the circle of our front hall, kitchen, and living room at top racing speeds, I knew it was only a matter of time before someone touched the other and sent them flying into a piece of furniture or a sharp corner of some sort.
So I quickly moved them onto our final game: freeze dance. In this game, I sat on the couch and sang songs, while the boys danced. When I stopped, they had to freeze. I sang popular children's songs like "She'll be comin' round the mountain" and "Pop! Goes the Weasel," laughing so hard I cried as I watched them. Colin really has the hang of the game, but has the most awkward, writhing, dance moves ever. Caleb just sort of moved freely to the music, but every time he froze, he would put both hands out to the side and open his mouth super-wide in a wild sort of smile. No matter what position he was in when I stopped singing, he always assumed this position.
Then Colin asked to sing, which meant I had to try and dance. Colin, who knows an endless amount of songs, chose to improvise instead, both melody and lyrics. "I once had to go upstairs, and saw something in the bedroom, but the light was off so I couldn't make out what it was. So I got the stoooooooooool...and turned on the liiiiiiiight..." (you get the idea.) He would get so caught up in the song he would forget to stop so we could freeze! And Caleb thought I was hilarious as I pulled out all sorts of "dance moves" like Walking like an Egyptian, or Disco moves, or crossing the knees, stuff like that. He loved that once where it looks like you're crossing your hands over your knees, and worked his hardest to emulate it.
Not to be outdone, Caleb also wanted his chance at singing. Even he has a good 10 or 12 songs in his repertoire, and still he chose improvisation: "I had to go la la la la la la la la laaaa...Before I see la la la la la la laaaaa...Then take the la la la la la la la laaaaaa." Too funny.
We have such fun, my boys and me.