sun sets on rocky labyrinth as front loaded cookies crumble

Happy New Year! Best wishes for a wonderful 2018. While most of the USA is in a deep freeze, we’ve been warm and toasty here in Santa Barbara. The air quality is back to beautiful and the sky is blue again. Normality has returned. (Well, I did have to wear a sweater this morning.)

It was a hectic time for the grand(est)sons. Tiger, shunning the very concept of ‘nap’ spends his day running: he seems to be incapable of walking anywhere. He plays much of the time with his dump truck, front-loader, excavator and flat bed truck. The photo shows these machines, which are roughly full-size, parked on our living room carpet.

Tiger's Trucks

tiger trucks 2

As mentioned last week, with Mitra, he used the trucks to transport rocks in nearby Mission Park to the Labyrinth construction site. In the house, he generally moves magnetic letters from the front of the dishwasher to the coffee table. It is arduous work that took most of the day on Thursday. It was a special day because Mitra was visiting and we had planned a joint dinner. We put him in the car seat and I gave instructions to Mitra.

“Keep him awake, Mitra. It will be very difficult if he falls asl

“Sure, Dad.” Mitra replied. “
It’s a 5 minute drive, he can’t asleep that fast,” Mitra thought.
“I know you’re thinking that he can’t fall asleep in such a short drive, Mitr
a.” I noted.


“… but he has fallen asleep before I backed out of the driveway. If he falls asleep, someone will have to hold him through dinner. Talk to him. Ti
ckle him. Tell him stories, but..”

(He woke up when the pasta arrived.)


School is out, the nanny is ill and it’s a
holiday week, so we’ve had a lot of time with Arrow and Tiger. In addition to sleeping through dinner and playing with his trucks, Tiger has been helping Nazy with cooking duties.

“We are making a chocolate cake, Dan!” He enthused. “And I’m helping.”

“I can see that,” I responded.

Tiger is enamored with numbers. I took him to Rusty’s Pizza, where he likes both the pizza and the car racing video game. Normally, he just likes to crash his car, but once he let me drive and we finished 2nd and actually made the leader board. I thought he’d be excited as I entered TIGER on said leader board.
cookie cooking Tiger 2017

“We did great!” I exclaimed. “Look at your name up there.”

“I want to be 10, not 2.” He replied.

“There are only 8 cars in the race, Tiger.” I explained. “
Even if you drive, we can’t finish 10th.” I thought, conveniently ignoring the fact that while each race had 8 cars, the leader board had 10 entries.

“No! I
just want to be number 10. You can do it, Dan.”

The next day, we had brunch with Melika and the boys. At the restaurant, Jeannine’s, you place your order and they give you a little flag with a number. You find a table and set up your flag. Then they bring your order. When we got to our table, Tiger noticed that..

“I don’t want number 13. I want number 20.”

“But, Tiger,” Nazy began naively attempting reason. “If we take number 20, they will bring the wrong food to us.”

“But I
just want…” Tiger responded.

“They’ll bring
peas and broccoli instead of pancakes and syrup.” I interrupted.

What’s wrong with that?” Nazy thought.

When our explanations didn’t pan out, Melika took the boys for a ‘walk,' but ended up carrying them both.

Last week Tiger and Mitra, working with the front loader and the dump truck, built a labyrinth in the Mission Park. This week, I took Arrow for walk to Mission Park.
mel and boys Dec 29 2017

He was really excited about walking on uneven g
round. And then he saw THE LABYRINTH. There was a moment of mesmerized contemplation as he considered the raw beauty and mystery of this wonderful work of art that had simply appeared in the backwaters of the dry park. And then, clearly offended by this unnatural intrusion on the beauty of the dusty space, he began to pick up the rocks and throw them away.

“Let’s continue our journey, Arrow,” I calmly suggested, hoping that Tiger wouldn’t come along and see what was happening. “Why don’t you hold my hand?”

Arrow looked at me.

“We can see the kumquats,” I claimed. “And the pretty roses.”

Arrow grabbed my hand and began walking.

Arrow and the Laberynth

After a while, he decided that he didn’t need to hold my hand as he walked slowly into the sunset.
As you can see from the photo, blue skies and beautiful sunsets have returned to Santa Barbara. The fires are literally (well) behind us. The weather is beautiful. And, at least according to local forecasts, someone has finally reminded Mother Nature that it is “The Rainy Season”. Actual precipitation is forecast for later this week.

arrow at Sunset Dec 30 2017

Arrow has also been turning on the charm with Nazy. He is also very curious and increasingly assertive with Tiger.

We missed Darius, Christiane and the Lovely Leandra at Christmas this year. They were
in Lebanon. Darius will be visiting us here in Santa Barbara in early January before he flies on to Bellingham for the winter semester.

All the best wishes for a wonderful
2018, a year where, hopefully, the country undergoes fundamental transformation as it comes to its senses — learning that while you can have your own opinion, no one is allowed to have their own facts.

Nazy and Arrow

naz and arrow in kitchen Dec 20176

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