Wednesday, September 24, 2008

After 15 forevers, a new post!

So I am basically the meanest mommy EVER because I just made Jack sit in his crib for the last 45 minutes, alternating between talking in a cute voice to lure me in and crying at full volume when talking didn't work. Sorry, pal, naptime rules. We're trying to ditch the bottle thing we've had going since I weaned him off nursing... So at naptime now, instead of giving him a bottle of milk, I give him a sippy cup of milk. When we get to the point where we've had a solid week of smooth naptimes, then the bedtime bottle goes away, too. Ideally, in about two weeks, we'll have a bottle-free home. Pretty soon, I'm going to phase out the milk-drinking-at-sleeping-times routine all together so that potty training can be a reality.

Anyway, after 45 minutes of him making as much noise as possible and me ignoring him, he's sleeping and I get a chance to update this.

We've been traveling all over the place - most recently to Tennessee - and staying incredibly busy around the house and visiting friends. I've been behind on projects and chores from all the traveling and the temptations offered by cooler weather and the ability to spend time outside again.

I'm ready to start updating the blog again (finally!) but I'm going to be lazy today and just copy a few stories from our baby website, so if you've read that recently, I'm sorry, but here you go. My next one will be better (I know, promises, promises!)

I call this collection, "Tales from Toddlerhood"...

Actually, there are quite a few things about Jack that strike me as pretty far from "normal"... I won't list them all, but one personality trait that cracks me up is his insistence on drinking a cup of coffee at breakfast with me. (He and I have so many goofy routines it's ridiculous...) No, he doesn't get regular coffee - I bought him some decaff coffee singles so I can brew one mug at a time of decaff for him - but he has his own mug and it must be prepared exactly the same way as mine and must be cooled with exactly one ice cube. No warmer and no cooler will do. We must eat a waffle together. In fact, meals must be served to all persons present at the same time or Jack gets very upset. And you cannot have something on your plate that he doesn't have on his. Even if he won't eat it, like Caesar salad, a piece of it must be on his plate before he can continue eating. This is very serious stuff, here.

Justin brought home a popcorn air popper a while ago since we discovered Jack's love of popcorn. Jack knows where it lives and if he sees it, he sets it up and points at it an hollers, "poh caaahn" over and over until someone makes him some damn popcorn. And he must be picked up for the procedure. "Up" gets repeated in the kitchen about 100 times a day, as Jack is fascinated by all the activity that takes place on the counter-top out of his eyesight. "Up up up!" he calls as he tries to climb up your legs (you know, to make sure you're aware that he's serious about his request). He's also become a huge fan of informing me of when things are finished by announcing, "DONE!" Anyone finishes a drink, cleans off a plate, throws something away, turns something off, and Jack is there to proclaim the task officially "done". We park the car, "done." We leave a building, "done." A dog on the side of the road finishes peeing, "done." In the morning, Jack wakes up and finds his aforementioned bottle in his crib, empty and he ceremoniously announces, "done!" and I know he's ready to get up. However, there is a crucial distinction: when Jack is, himself, finished with something, he says, "ALL done." So whereas we grammatically-aware adults realize that "cakes are done, people are finished," Jack realizes that bottles are done and he is all done.

Among Jack's many talents is his new-found ability to speak in rudimentary sentences to ask questions, including, "where goin'?" "where'd go?" "what'e doin'?" As well as those to indicate a desire such as, "Ah wan' go." In fact, as we were driving through the stunning landscape of Tennessee, Jack would repeatedly point out the car window and tell us that he wanted to go out there. "Ah wan' GO!" he'd shout from his car seat, gesturing wildly at the passing trees and lakes. Last night, though, his adorable question-asking made a couple cool leaps that I wouldn't have really anticipated being as neat as it is. First, we were looking at a book he has based on the movie Cars. It was a picture of almost all the characters, including Mater (the tow-truck), and Jack would point at one vehicle's eyes and ask what it was, so I would tell him, "Those are Sally's eyes," and so on while he occasionally pointed at his own eyes to tell me he knew what I was talking about. Then he started pointing out headlights on each vehicle. When he got to Mater, who only has one headlight because he's a piece of junk, Jack pointed at the empty space in the picture where a second light would have been and looked at me and asked, "Where'd go?" putting his hands palm-up and shrugging his shoulders. I was floored. I had no idea he was looking so closely at the picture to notice that Mater was missing a headlight. Then, as we were reading our second book, Jack noticed that his flashlight (his "on"... he calls lights "on"'s [probably my fault]) was on the floor in front of us, still turned on. He started fidgeting so I reached down, turned it off and stuffed it under a pillow (out of sight, out of mind, being my thought) so we could continue reading. Apparently Jack had fully expected me to hand him his "on" because he looked at me like, "uuuh, wtf?" and asked, "where ON go? where ON?" He was no longer just asking, "where go?" but now he's specifying what he was looking for with a noun. Cool, right? Pretty advanced stuff, but then you realize he's talking to you about the same "on" that caused a circle of light on the carpet of a darkened hallway that he chased around for a full 30 minutes just before we started reading as if it were a living entity. Way to go, Jack.
Also, Jack's got a thing for bugs. "Buhb" he calls it. We're forever chasing them around outside and he says, "blech!" if they get too close or if he wants to be goofy like me. On a fairly regular basis, he gets down on his hands and knees and blows ants he finds on the driveway, causing them to fly away and him to cackle mischievously. He'll also chase hopping crickets and grasshoppers and follow flies and butterflies around whenever possible. Recently he was given a set of 2-inch long plastic bugs so he sat in the back of the car with them clutched in his mitts saying, "buhb buhb buhb buhb!" and giggling, then saying, "blech! buhb!" and showing them to me. They're gross, and he knows I think so, because he's taken to chasing me around the house with them, and throwing them on my lap whenever possible. "Buhb!" he hollers, "Blech!" then points and laughs at me. Charming, truly.

Honestly, I could go on for hours about him. I could write pages upon pages of amusing anecdotes about the adorable things Jack does. I could talk about how cute it is to take him to McD's for dessert after dinner when Justin has duty and lose sight of him while I'm placing our order, just to find him sitting in a booth, patting the table, waiting for me to bring him something delicious to eat, or how funny he is with his love of kicking balls and riding his new trike... but I have to go get some housework accomplished while he sleeps.


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