inbisibibble buttercups and other hiwawity

my family is awesome.

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we have returned home from our week in upstate new york, where the apple crisp and orange-red-yellow trees provided a lovely backdrop for a joyful reunion. luigi (now 6) and mario (now 4) greeted cousin quinn enthusiastically and not 5 minutes later they were in a puppy pile. quinn’s most vivid memories of last may’s trip, in order, were 1) the lego bin, 2) peach pie (grammy hurried to pull another one out of the freezer for him) and 3) battleship, all of which he dove right into and heartily enjoyed again.

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going to the home of one’s family of origin lends itself to analysis of the nature/nurture teeter totter of science. it’s totally obvious which ones shared both nature and nurture when the 5 original family members are laughing at some ridiculous inside joke involving a handheld electronic baseball game from the 80’s, or memories of lining up and “milking” our stuffed animals, and the other 6 people at the table are staring blankly, politely smiling along. but then there are the cousins, only having spent a cumulative 2 weeks in one anothers’ presence, who share a great deal in common more than average children one might pluck off the street.

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they share a very similar (large) capacity for imagination. luigi had us laughing when the boys were all running around making ghost sounds and spooking us, when he stopped suddenly and realized he was a ghost because, “oh no, i forgot to take my extra keep alive this morning!” featuring in the playtime imagination-scape this week were kings, queens, shamans, pokemon, ghosts, harry potter, and lots of death and healing/resurrection, with many spells and pokemon powers tossed in. “i found a ‘specto patronum rainbow power! it puts one hundred moons up in the sky!” mario told my brother and i, one night as we were chaperoning them running around outside after dark.

they also share precociously large vocabularies for people their size. it’s no wonder, with grammy around, who is modeling lifelong learning with her current passion for honing her skills of identifying the heirloom apple varieties growing in the ancient orchards on the farm. when my son starts dropping terminology about the conspicuous lenticels on the apple i pack for his lunch, i will know where he got the lingo. quinn asked me as we were getting settled on board the first plane, “when will the plane start taxiing?” he also mentioned something about a squadron, which made perfect sense at the time, though i can’t remember his usage. now that he is 7, he retains very few cute-isms in his vocabulary, but he did explain how he was gripping a ball at one point this week by naming which fingers were where, including “thumb, index finger, middle finger, rain finger, and pinky.” it’s so nice to get a dose of mario, who speaks cute-ese still at 4. he calls suction cups “buttercups” and things that you can’t see are “inbisibibble” to him. i loved listening to him muse about ghosts being inbisibibble (that’s why daddy can drink them instead of eat them like he has to do with monsters) and the sky being inbisibibble, too.

mario theorized at length one dinner time that a car would make a good candidate for pulling a truck out of a ditch, because “cars are faster than twactors.” he also got into a lengthy discussion with me one night about cauliflower, with which he had been unfamiliar. he guessed it might be like broccoli, only white, and i said yes, that it was broccoli’s cousin named cauliflower. he thought it was wonderful to be eating a cousin vegetable.

my favorite cute-ism of the week. mario stating that something quinn did was “just hiwawious.”

speaking of how these kids think; overheard at grammy and grampy’s house:

luigi: “wow cousin quinn, it’s amazing, all the stuff you can do! they don’t teach you that at cortland schools!”

c.q.: “yeah, they just teach you what they want you to think!”

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grammy and grampy were awed by quinn’s reading level compared to last may, when he was slogging through bob books one painstaking word at a time. this time he was reading a pokemon junior chapter book (squirtle’s rescue) fluently.

the two older cousins got to have home school together with grammy one morning, and did a project with her that my sister-in-law and i are not allowed to know about until christmas eve. lots of schooling/homeschooling/lifelong learning discussions were had among the educator types. we also got to tag along on a homeschool day hike at a local nature center, during which quinn became engaged in the nature once i handed him my camera; he was taking “stadium” shots for his pokemon “trainer” cards that he plans to make, while i was secretly encouraging his scientific observation skills. he didn’t become interested in locating ambush bugs among the purple asters until he began to think of their potential as pokemon characters.

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Picture 403my sistah-in-law is pretty handy with my camera

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the kids spontaneously began a demolition project on one of grampy’s old hay wagons early in the week, and then grampy harnessed their exuberant energy into actually completing the project, since it was something that was on his agenda anyway. grampy is no slouch in the emergent curriculum department.

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those cousins undoubtedly get some of their awesomeness from their dad. because sharing is caring, i submit exhibit a:


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for those of you who know me, i am not a small person. until i’m next to this guy.

i think a photo montage is in order, so without further ado i will conclude this post by overwhelming you with my favorite shots from the trip…

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(that’s our house and barn in the background)

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rich gets some photo credit!

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monarch Picture 280

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already looking forward to next year!

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