Friday, August 20, 2010


He'll hug and kiss perfect strangers. He loves to get on the couch, instruct me to put a blanket (kit-kit) on him, and pretend to go night-night. He holds two loveys and Elmo all in his little arms when I pull him from his crib each morning... I'd say I definitely got lucky on getting a snuggly one.

The dink's favorite thing to snuggle with lately is unfortunately not his mommy; it's the cat. The formerly-feral outside cat. Actually, it's a good thing that he's taken so much interest in Number Two lately, who has been hanging around the driveway more since we buried poor Number One in the backyard. And Two doesn't seem to mind. The dink's goal in the afternoons is to get as many "hugs" from the cat as possible. I attract her by sitting on the driveway and inviting her to come get her "pets" from me. I stroke her a few times to get her feeling amorous, and then the dink moves in for the kill. He yells "HUG!" and points at her. Then he squats down and leans his head into her side, and she does that cat thing where they arch their back and rub it against you (the dink's face). He loves it. One successful hug like that is usually repeated by 8-10 attempts for more. And then of course I have to join in a few times ("Mommy! HUG!", and he points at the cat). I have to give it to Number Two, though--she sure doesn't run away.

The other day when J got home from work, the three of us were sitting on the floor of the dink's room playing with Mr. Potato Head, and the dink suddenly jumps up and yells, "Mommy! HUG!" and points to J. He wanted to see Mommy and Daddy hug. Then last night he tried to pull the same game, but this time he wanted us to kiss. He leaned in and gave J a sweet kiss on the mouth and then looked at him and pointed his finger at me, going "Mommy!" Soon enough, that turned into the three of us trying to kiss together at the same time, and the dink almost hysterical with excitement from it all.

To see how much enjoyment he gets out of watching us hug or kiss is really remarkable. For all the effort you put into making sure that your child knows that you love him so he'll feel safe and taken care of, you don't realize that you could accomplish half that task by showing your partner the same effort. When J walks in the door in the evening, I enjoy sitting back and watching his reunion with the dink, which usually involves the dink screaming "Daddy!" the second he hears a car door, then running around the house excitedly waiting for J to chase him, catch him, pick him up, throw him, etc. And I don't usually take part in the celebration. But I should. The dink needs to see us hug and kiss hello as much as we need to take the time to appreciate each other's presence on a daily basis. Leave it to the dink to teach me a lesson about taking care of the ones you love.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Lately the dink’s been learning how to sing. We’ve had to cover our mouths from giggling a few times during mass when he chimes in with his high-pitched mono-syllabic whinnies. I would never stop him from trying to join in, but I offer up a prayer each time that he’s inherited his dad’s singing voice and not my tone-deafness.

He’s also pretty good at catching the last word of each line of Mary Had a Little Lamb, about 50% of the words in Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and about 9-10 letters in the ABCs. And any day now, I’m expecting him to sing all 10 verses of Wheels on the Bus by himself because he makes me sing it so many damn times before bed each night. After reading his favorite Cars and Trucks book and naming all the animals in A Day at the Zoo, then prayers and nighttime diapers and kisses for Daddy and turning out the lights, we sing Wheels on the Bus 2-3 times, the first time complete with hand motions and beepbeepbeeps and ups and downs, the second time with dink joining in only on his favorite verses—the people going yakety-yak and the babies going wah-wah-wah… And then the third time, I sing alone as the dink yawns and snuggles with Elmo and Lovey in my lap. Occasionally he’ll lift his face up to me in between verses for a kiss, and I’m usually sold then on singing that never-ending song as many times as he requests.

The other night during story time, I guess the dink was feeling adventurous and brought me a new book—Love You Forever. Now I know I’ve read this book before but for some reason I felt myself hurrying through the pages to find out if the old woman would actually break into her grown son’s house to rock him in his sleep. And of course she did. The dink was interested in the drawing of her car with a ladder on top and kept wanting to see the “truck” page again and again while I was quickly flipping through to the ending. And when I got to the part where the man holds his dying mother in the rocking chair, I started crying so hard that my tears were falling all over the dink’s arm. Is it wrong for me to wish my own son the pain of holding me when I die? To fantasize about sneaking into his house as an adult and summoning mammoth strength to rock him in his sleep like a baby? Hmm. Probably so. Better enjoy Wheels on the Bus while it lasts.