Wednesday, March 24, 2010


This morning I left home to what I think is commonly referred to as domestic bliss. I guess it would have been more blissful if I hadn’t been leaving it and had played more of a role that morning than making the dink cry in hysteria when he saw me put on my shoes and kiss him bye-bye for the next seven hours…but the recovery scene that I caught through the screen door from the carport had me leaving with a smile on my face. J knew just the trick to calm down D, which is one of his favorite “let me help” activities—cooking eggs. J was standing there at the stove in his boxers, holding D on his hip (still in his fleece pajama snuggle suit). Daddy let the dink help open the carton of eggs, and then break each one in the bowl. The report I got later was that D no longer lightly taps the egg in the bowl and hands it off to be cracked for real—no, now he smashes the whole thing fearless onto the counter or whatever the nearest hard surface is. (So fun to rinse albumen from your child’s hand before breakfast.) And then comes the beating of the eggs, pouring them into the pan, and don’t forget grabbing the stick of butter from the fridge to grease the pan first. It’s amazing what kind of stuff that kid has picked up from watching us. Last night I had to fuss at him for throwing his bib into the trash can, but you really can’t blame him. He watches me cooking and cleaning in the kitchen all day, throwing away endless amounts of high chair refuse, wet paper towels, and empty cartons, jars, and bottles (that’s correct, I live in the only city in the world without recycling). I really hate leaving him in the mornings, when he’s bright-eyed and hungry for stimulation and adventure, and especially lately since he’s started clinging to my leg from the moment he wakes up, knowing that I’ll leave him if he lets me alone long enough to put on makeup and shoes. But recovery scenes like that, when you realize that you’re seeing your husband in the exact position that you dreamed about years ago before you even got married…that goes a long way in making up for it.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Just a week ago, I declared that “go, go-gee” was the dink’s quirky little way of saying “go.”

Turns out I underestimated him. The kid was giving me direct orders: Go get it! Or maybe he’s just directing himself when he says it. Either way, there are many things in our house to be gotten—his sippy cup of milk when he wakes up (an urgent go-gee!), his Jane’s Great Adventure book (once again, urgent), daddy from bed (“let’s go-gee him”), and a multitude of toys, kitchen items, and other inanimate objects that the dink loves to point to while he’s on my hip. I’ve found myself, more than I’d like to admit, turning circles around the kitchen as we go-gee the vent over the range, the Keurig coffee maker, the red cast iron dutch oven…until I realize that if I don’t stop, these directions may one day turn into “Give me some juice now!” or “Get your ass out of bed” Oh, but my dink would never.

The joy in the pointing and inspecting ritual is the special sound of excitement that D makes. It’s onomatopoeia at its finest. He puts the tip of his tongue between his teeth, barely sticking out, and hardly moving it, makes a strong “s” sound. For those of us who learned that making an “s” sound involves smiling, this would be very difficult. But it comes natural to him, and it’s a sound J and I try to repeat to each other when pointing to things, but as we’ve learned time and again, there are many, many things that are adorable when children do, yet annoying, inappropriate, or stupid when adults do…like stuffing as many strawberries as possible into one’s mouth, inspecting one’s genitalia in the bathtub for ten minutes, or my recent favorite, running in place as fast as possible on one’s tiptoes as a form of dance.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I always figured this would happen one day, but it still caught me off guard that it happened so soon. At 16 months and 2 days, the dink has officially declared his profound adoration for his Papa (pronounced paw-paw). On Friday evening, I met my dad in Covington to pass off the dink for the night so J and I could go out, get a decent night’s sleep, and talk to some Chinese people about renovating our kitchen. I was feeling hesitant about the whole episode, since we haven’t left the little man since our 5-day trip to the Dominican Republic exactly the day after his first birthday. But alas, my worry was for naught.

The dink spotted Papa as soon as I pulled him from his carseat, and he begged to get down. He started whining, and my dad reassured him “She’s not leaving you yet!” but then realized that the purpose of the whine was to be picked up…by Papa. From there, the dink wouldn’t let Papa put him down. Dad had to uninstall my carseat and reinstall it in his truck, all with one hand because the dink was permanently attached to his hip. When the carseat was finally installed, that dink happily let Papa buckle him in and looked at me like “See ya!” as I kissed him bye-bye and they pulled off. It was utterly unbelievable. Two minutes later, I called my mom to tell her about the dink’s newfound obsession with his Papa, but she had already gotten off the phone with the adored Papa himself, who had told her smugly, “Well, I think D likes me!”

I won’t say that it was bittersweet or anything dramatic like that. But it kind of was. Sure, I’ve realized before that the dink really liked his daycare teacher when he learned how to say her name (Kee---lly) and chanted it the whole way home, but this was an attachment that I’ve truly seen with no other (excluding Daddy). The most amazing this about it is that he doesn’t even see Papa that much! Maybe once a month, and always when I’m there as well. It was like he just felt some sort of instinctual connection to this grandfather-figure in his life. It’s like Susan at work always says about kids: “They get it. More than you think.” I guess before long he’ll be peeing outside with Papa on the compost pile.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Guh, Guh, Go-gee. This is the dink’s way of telling me it is time to go! Lately, he’s been waking up super early, as early as 4:45 a.m. and can’t figure out how to go back to sleep. So J and I try to enforce bogus rules, like “he can’t get out of bed before 5:30.” While waiting, the dink divides his time between trying to go back to sleep and practicing his words---mamaaaa, dadaaa, bye-byyye, yeah, yeah, yeah! (usually repeated with increasing emphasis). There’s also uh-oh and night-night, and maybe even calling of the cats (clicking his tongue). Finally, when he’s had enough of this routine, he stands on the door side of his crib and whines loudly and emotionally…and I stumble into his room and try to find a balance of praising him for playing alone for a while and also letting him know that it was still too early for him to wake up. This balance, of course, is inachievable and ridiculous, which is why this insanely early routine has persisted for the past few weeks. J and I are stuck, tired, not in the mood for tough love, and holding out hope that daylight savings time beginning is going to save us this weekend.

This morning, when I walked into the dink’s room at 5:29 a.m., he crawled quickly toward me, unsure of whether or not I would tell him to go to sleep or pick him up. As I reached my hands toward him, he leaned in to be lifted, and as he was rising out of the crib, he threw his lovey back down inside of it and say “bye-byyye” in that low-pitched, sing-song way of his. Then “uh, uh” pointing to the light switch so I’d let him turn it on, then down on the floor to look at me, making his baby sign for eat/drink (fingers bunched together, tapping mouth), and then marching toward his bedroom door, saying “guh guh, go-gee” all the way to the kitchen. The amount of instruction that I take from a 16 month old (today!) just blows me away. I wouldn’t stand for anyone else in the entire world directing me around like that, except maybe in prison or under some sort of kidnapping. But this life under the dink’s direction is the farthest thing from prison. I’d run laps around the house outside totally naked in the morning if his laughs and smiles were my reward.