Tuesday, July 18

Hey Jude! July 2006

Hey Jude,

This week you turn 20 months old. This is the month that we haven't been able to go to the park every evening because after being teased with the most idyllic spring ever in the history of the Earth, we are currently baking in the oven that is now what we used to call "ousside". Consequently, you're running a grove in the floor from the foyer to the breezeway to the breakfast nook to the kitchen to the butlers pantry through the dining room, around the dining room table, across the library and back to the foyer. 'Cause, you know, we have energy to expend, despite the tropical rainforest on the other side of the front door.

You are doing a whole lotta talking...9/10ths of it is still in that alien language you babies speak. But it sure sounds like you're having entire conversations with us, even if we are too dense to understand what you're telling us. It's ok most of the time though because you seem to enjoy holding both sides of the conversation and cutting us a break. The other 1/10th consists of words which we actually, thankfully, understand (you're very patient with us, I have to say). This month we've heard "pungent" (that was while watching the Food Network...who says TV rots your brain!?), "octopus" and according to your Nana, "gecko" (as in the Geico gecko). Oh, and we can't forget this months most favorite word and new recreational pastime, "No!". Or actually, more linguistically precise, "eeeeNoooooo!".

Yes, "No!". You tell everything "No!". You tell your Nana "No!". You tell me "No!". You tell the cats "No!". You tell all the furniture in the house "No!". You even tell your Dad "No!", which is baffling considering that as his mere presence materializes into the same room with us, I, the one who carried you and slept with your foot jammed up under my rib for months, suddenly becomes chopped liver. You say "No!" when you really don't mean it. We know because frequently when you are offered your nightime bottle you say "No!", and not a millisecond later reach out and snatch it from my retreating hand. Oh and when you're not telling us all "No!" you're telling us all to "Mooooooooove!" Even the furniture, which, despite your best efforts, doesn't listen.

Not to point out extremes here, but one second it's "No!" and the next second you're the perfect cherubic angel as you fold your hands together to say grace at dinner. Of course, you giggle the whole way through your dad's reverent rendition of supper prayers. But I suspect my peeking and winking at you the whole time probably doesn't encourge an attitude of worship and piety either.

You can't pass by a mirror without checking your hair and running your hand through it to smooth it out. I'm guessing genetic traits die hard here and that you'll be like me, obsessed with your hair just a tad. Good thing you have such great hair. Come to think of it, your Dad happens to spend time preoccupied with his hair as well. There are the special, super cool and masculine hair products he uses and wasn't it just recently he stopped outside the door of my kittylair/office after a haircut and asked, "Is my head crooked?" I think it was and I think I fell out of my chair laughing.

Taking you to the store has become a complete comic drama. Two nights ago I told your Dad that I'm not taking you to the store ever again until you're, like...at least two...and even then I'm not sure. Between the "wow is she the worst mother ever" looks I get at Costco as you're crawling flat on the floor underneath the shopping cart and the aching arms I end up with at Safeway because you insist I carry you while I'm pushing the cart and putting stuff in it with you hanging upside down, head by my knee reaching for everything in sight. I can't take it anymore. In any store, if I try to put you in the cart to ride you either squeal like a banshee or you drop each item over the side of the cart one at a time as I push you through the aisles. I even thought that putting you in one of those stupid "kiddie car" shopping carts (that I hate so much since that woman at the Kroger in Conway, AR ran over my foot with one) would keep you occupied for a five minute run into the store. Uh-uh. I didn't figure in the extra seemingly eternal era required for you to get out of the kiddie car and back in about 40 times. I'm not doin' it anymore. Your Dad can.

As far as "firsts" go, this month was a cool one for you since you watched your first Fourth of July fireworks. You were enthralled. You chilled out, relaxed in your Dad's arms, eyes to the sky and "ooohed" and "ahhhhed" and clapped the entire show. It was pretty spectacular, I have to admit. You also got your first taste of live music with the cheesy Elvis impersonator and his band that were playing that night. You stopped dead in your tracks and stayed rooted to the spot the second your eyes lit on the drummer, the keyboardist and the bass player with their shiny instruments and their sparkly outfits. I don't think I've ever seen you actually stand still for that long. The rest of the night every time you took time out from playing volleyball in the sand with the big kids you'd dance and stomp and clap as Elvis crooned. People sitting nearby and walking through the crowd kept telling me how cute and how sociable you are. We knew THAT already!

Your Nana came and stayed with you while your Dad and I took a little holiday to Vegas. It was the first vacation we have had since about 6 months before you arrived on the scene, and it was so bittersweet. We needed a change of venue and some fun and yet, every second away from you ripped my heart out. Poor you, you ended up with a very, VERY bad ear infection and I think your Nana lovingly held you in her arms for about 4 days straight. This makes ear infection number 5, we're gonna have to talk tubes, little man.

I loved this month with you. An infectiously fun and playful small human is materializing right before my eyes. From your standing in front of the TV doing stretches with Miss. Melanie on PBS Sprout to your running and hurling yourself into the giant LoveSac in our bedroom (a sac attack, as it were) you are a bundle of challenge, entertainment and fun...and I so totally dig you.


PS. Oh and I don't want us to forget our conversation we have at least three times a day, every day, rain or shine.

You: "Mom"
Me: "Jude"
You: "Mom"
Me: "Jude"
You: "Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom"
Me: "Jude, Jude Jude Jude Jude"
You: "Jude, Jude, Jude, Jude, Jude"

Yay Jude! Kiss Kiss, Baby.

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