Sunday, April 25, 2010


To J and I, the dink is a lively, bright, silly, super-busy little boy who loves to dance, scream, and smile. But somehow, in the presence of others, he becomes an emotion-less, unresponsive toddler with incredible levels of shyness that prevent him from saying hello or goodbye, interacting with other humans, and really doing much else than burying his head on my shoulder or looking off blankly into the distance. It’s purported that when J or I leave the dink with said “others” that he returns to the land of the living and drops the act. When picking the dink up from daycare the other day, I stopped and chatted with one of his “old” teachers, and the whole time D laid his head on my chest and looked down or to the side…anywhere but at the teacher’s face. She tried to talk to him, and he smushed his whole head into my armpit. I told her that I couldn’t believe he was acting so shy, and she said “That’s okay, he gave me a hug and a kiss this morning.” Stinker!

I guess we all do this to an extent—act differently with our parents than we do with others. But it’s hard to believe that the dink has caught on to that already. Is he putting on a show to protect my feelings? Is he afraid I’ll get upset if he shows affection for other female figures in his life? Or is he really just painfully shy? I don’t buy that he is. The kid stands at the end of the driveway in the afternoons and waves and yells “hi” to all of the kids walking home from the bus. My mom says that my sister and I were similar as children. Granny used to take us around town to the makeup store and country club, trying to show off her smart grandkids, and supposedly all we would do was stare dumbly at the floor are barely even say hello. We may have even picked our noses. I think at one point Granny threatened to stop taking us anywhere if we insisted on acting like idiots. So I guess it runs in the family. I hope one day the dink switches gears and takes after his daddy's love for showing off and being in the center of attention. Can genetics work like that?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


The poor dink is being introduced to what promises to be a ritual performed thousands of times over in the next ten years or so: the slathering of sunscreen over his cheeks, forehead, ear lobes, chest, and his crown of his head, where all of his blond hairs swirls out in a fashion that’s remarkably similar to his dad, his Pop, and even his little cousin.

Over the weekend, we went to the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival and our church’s crawfish cooking competition. The dink thoroughly enjoyed his time spent outdoors, although the highlight for him, I think, was avidly watching children bounce up and down through the window of a Space Walk (a.k.a. The Bouncy Castle). He was totally mesmerized by the whole scenario (who isn’t?), and quite taken by a charming 3-year-old little girl who quit bouncing now and then to talk to J and the dink through the window. She told J “I like your baby” and “I know how babies are born.” We’ll probably limit the dink’s time with her at the next church function.

This time of year, when spring is in full force and festivals and summer vacations and birthday parties are lining up quickly, it’s easy to live from event to event, getting through the in-between days of regularity and routine by looking forward to the next thing. But ever since the dink turned one, and I looked at him one day squatting to play in that butt-poised-ever-so-slightly-above-the-floor position that only toddlers can tolerate, and I realized that he is not my little baby anymore, already…I can’t bring myself to look forward to the next thing. I’m afraid that if I focus on what’s coming up, even as soon as next week, that I’ll somehow make these lingering days of baby cheeks and bedtime rocking pass even more quickly than they already do.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Declan is quite the kisser. There is nothing sweeter than when I ask for a hug and a kiss, and he comes running from across the room, arms wide open, with a giddy grin on his face, cheeks bouncing with each step and all. I usually squat on the ground to receive him, and then we stand up for the kiss. After months, the child has finally learned how to pucker his lips when leaning in for one, instead of coming at you with a wet mouth wide open. And lately, he’s picked up the “I’m about to kiss you”—mmmmmWA! The best is when the kiss is his idea. Sometimes, when I’m holding him, he’ll surprise me suddenly by turning his lips up and mmmm-ing. Love it. I caught him giving his Papa three unsolicited kisses in a row over the weekend, which was just too sweet to even describe. And the latest event in the dink’s kissing evolution is the three-way family kiss that makes him laugh and squeal with delight. J holds him, starts “mmm-ing,” which makes dink lean down to kiss me, and then J jumps in to meet our lips at the last minute. It’s the ritual family kiss, and let me tell you, you can’t have just one of those… If you forward to the second half of this video, there’s some footage of the dink giving night-night kisses to his daddy and his cousins after staying up too late at Maman and Papa’s.


In a perfect dichotomy, my sister had her baby on Good Friday. We don’t have any goofy nicknames for her yet, so I’ll just call her E. She weighed 7 pounds, 11 ounces, and was 20 inches long. We spent Friday morning at the hospital, taking turns visiting M and the baby. She has really long feet and a very small face. Her nose is quite distinguished, however (for her age), and I still haven’t really seen her eyes open yet. My favorite part of the whole day was when my mom was holding E, doing her classic rocking/bouncing combination move, and S (proud big brother #1) ran to her side, concerned, and said “Maman! Don’t rock her too hard!”

The dink, however, was not so receptive to the new little one. In M's room, J held the dink on his lap while I held little E across the room. And when I say the dink made the saddest, pouty face you could ever imagine—it actually might be sadder than you can imagine. He just looked at me, with those big blue eyes so round, his eyebrows raised, and the perfect frown with his bottom lip stuck out so far. He was looking at me like I had just slapped him or told him that I didn’t want to be his mommy anymore. He kept burying his head in J’s chest, and after a few minutes, started crying softly. It was so sad. J and I have been trying to get pregnant with #2 for what seems like eternity, and one friend recently told me that maybe the reason it hasn’t happened yet is that God knows that the dink needs undivided attention from J and I for just a little longer. I thought that was a nice way of looking at it. And if that scene was any indication, the dink may not be ready for quite a while…

Thursday, April 1, 2010


The dink is getting to the point where he’ll attempt to say almost anything. The result is usually about 40% accurate (with the exception of choice favorite words), but he usually gets the intonation right when he tries.

The other week, we started trying to get him to say his name. He tries really hard, but it comes out as “Ducka,” or sometimes even “Ducky.” So Ducky is the dink’s newest nickname. What loving parents we are, making fun of our 16 month old’s honest attempts at communicating with us. Sometimes, he tries to say “D,” which is one of J’s nicknames for him. He likes to attempt “Good job, D” after helping me snap him in his carseat, pick up Cheerios off the floor, or Velcro his shoes. He is quite the self-congratulator. I picture him one day as an over-confident teenager, combing his straight-as-a-board blond hair to the side in the mirror and smiling at how good he looks. What am I talking about—there is no such thing as an over-confident teenager. But at least I don’t think he’ll be much for self-flogging later on.

The best thing he said recently was “whoa” used in such perfect context. J and I got a new rug for our bedroom, which we placed at the foot of the bed. D usually plays in that area in the mornings while we get dressed, so I knew he’d be excited to see something new. I called him into the bedroom, and he came running in, took two steps on the rug and screamed “whoa!” with the perfect intonation and energy, like “what the heck is this new, amazing thing doing here?!” I say amazing, because he immediately starting flopping himself on the rug and rolling over side to side, like he had been waiting his whole life just have a soft surface to get silly on. We really need to get some carpet in the house.