And this is how I've been spending my time.
There's another reason why the entries are a little sparse over here though, and it's the Cling Factor. Right now, right this moment, it's hitting about 9.7 on the Richter scale, explaining the midget seemingly permanently attached to my lap whose hands I need to keep batting away from the keyboard. If he's not here, he's wrapped his arms around my thighs and is hanging on so tightly that if there were an abyss beneath my feet deep enough to lead to China, you'd shake your head with grim understanding and say "Oh dear. That is a problem.".
Every day this methane gas producing, vertically challenged, neat freak's level understanding measurably grows. For some time now, when I say "shower?", he's been toddling over to the bathroom (and by 'bathroom', I really do mean 'bathroom') door and thumping it while mumbling something about "mah mah", and at bedtime, he holds out his copy of Goodnight Moon and requests "Moh moh". We live near a train line and after ignoring my excited cries of "Look Darling! A train" for, like, ever, now whenever he hears the wig wags, he perks up, points out the window and tells me "cah!", or "bah!". So okay, we're still working on that one, because generally cars are "cah!" and buses are cause for celebration, "BAH!!!". Last night he hit a new height when he saw a truck and rather than scratching his head, computing something about this thing looking like some kind of hybrid bus, train and car thing and calling it a "...", he joyfully recruited Mr Pointer Finger and correctly identified it as an "keh!".
One of the things he does, though I'm not quite sure how appropriate it is, is when we're in the shower, he maneouvres himself behind me so he can pat my rearendicular region while happily identifying it as my "bah dum, bah dum!". Um, I never taught him that. Seriously. What I did teach him though, was to locate his own bah dum, which he does quite frequently, and always with joyous abandon.
These days, he mostly feeds himself too, and does a fine job of it with only a minor proportion of cereal ending up in his ears and up his nose. When he's finished, he piles all his spoons (one for each hand and one for luck) into the bowl and holds it up for me to take away. Then he'll whip off his bib and politely request, "ub."
that's me in the background, my 'ta da!' skillfully averting a meltdown by turning a crisis situation into an achievement.
Did you get a load of the bruise on his left cheek? Headfirst into the corner of a milk crate. Awesome.
Now, about all of the above, up to and including the swan dive into the dairy case, I've been impressed with it all because I'm a) his mother and b) easily impressed.
And then he started building things.
And that also impressed me greatly because seriously, he's seventeen months old. Would you cop a load of that symmetry?!
Each day there's more to be impressed with. Like yesterday, we went for a long walk and when we came home hours later, the first thing Daniel did was rush into the bedroom to pick up the absorbent disposable undergarment I'd removed from his tush earlier, wrapped, and then forgotten to dispose of. I was all *eek!* thinking he was going to do something gross like try to eat it, but as I also didn't want to take away what he felt was his winning moment, what with all the crowing and proud waving of his trophy above his head, I didn't grab it from him, I told him "Good boy! Now let's go put it in the bin!", thinking, shyeah, right, like that's going to happen without a fight....and Daniel hightailed it out of the bedroom, little legs pumping, arms waggling above his head, undergarments held high, and leading the way with his rotund little belly, while I strolled ahead, ambling at a snail's pace and looking back to see if he'd caught up yet. "Come on Darling, this way!", I chirped, veering left toward the laundry. Dude hung a right though, and as I rolled my eyes in despair and wondered how I'd be able to disarm him without a precipitating a monumental shitfit, he took off into the front room, wobbled up to the front door, banged on it and effectively requested it be opened. Which it summarily was, so he wobbled out of it, across the porch and toward to the bins outside. Finally buying a clue, I got there first so I could open the lid, and Daniel stood right up on his tippy toes and tossed his skivvies inside.
This morning we woke up and after a good morning cuddle ("cuh-deh!"), I told him "Come on, Sport, let's get you some clean pants!", and Daniel promptly rolled off the bed and headed toward the change table. Holding a clean nappy (that's a diaper, for you superfreaks) aloft, he hopped back on the bed before laying conveniently on his back with his legs in the air.
Thing is, none of the stuff he does is Check it, My Kid Is A Genius stuff. It's what all children do. They play, they grow and they learn, and they're all equally impressive for every single of their own individual accomplishments. What totally blows my mind is the dedication they give to whatever task it is at hand. Like when Daniel was learning how to roll over from his back to his front. He tried and tried and never gave up until he finally flipped his little self over. Or when he was so little and so bobble headed. Put him on the floor with Mr Bunny and he'd fight to keep his focus on him and he'd fight to control his uncontrollable limbs, and he kept fighting until one day he could reach out with that barely controlled arm and thwack that fucker's lights out. Now his job is to understand and to be understood, and he's taking it on with as much alacrity and determination as he's faced any of his other monumental tasks. You've got to hand it to those little people because seriously, how many adults with lives so full of frustration and failure, would ever persist enough to the part where achievement sets in?