Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Look out for that milestone!


Babies sure change fast, huh? I mean, I know it's a cliche to say that it seems like just last week Jack was crawling and babbling and this week he's walking and talking, using a spoon and holding his own cup, but, in my defense, JUST LAST WEEK he was only crawling and babbling and had no idea that the spoon functioned as a tool of any kind and thought that the best way to get water was to lower his head to the cup and bite like hell on the spout.

I guess that the walking technically started in the middle of last week, and the cup thing was on Saturday, but today was like a milestone EXPLOSION. He started the day when he saw Peter Rabbit on his breakfast plate and told me what a bunny says. (It scrunches up its nose and makes a little huffing noise, in case you were not aware. You have not seen adorable until you've seen a baby do this.) Later, I caught him trying to play with the air conditioner's power cord, and we had a little conversation about that, with me saying, "No, no. Don't touch," and him shaking his finger at it and then confirming with me that he had it right. He followed up by identifying his toes and my toes and his ear and fingers (but not my ear or fingers), and then we spent some time looking out the window, watching the "caaaaaaaaahhhhhhhs" drive by. The mystery of how to get the ball popper to pop was unraveled after lunch. He still knows what an elephant says, and at suppertime, just when I had finished regaling The Husband with all of Jack's accomplishments, he blew my mind by using his spoon to eat applesauce instead of using it to wave at air molecules like he usually does. (I mean that Jack used the spoon, not The Husband. The Husband has been able to use his spoon to eat applesauce for months now.) I think meals are going to be a bit messier for awhile.

Sometime during the past week, he started pointing out all of the clocks in the house. He has always loved himself a good clock - the difference now is that he consistently identifies them as "cok" because he's been practicing the "k" sound for days now. At the In-Laws', Jack knows where the bird with the wings that spin is in the garden, and he knows where the birds are that hang from the chandelier and the china closet door in the dining room. He tweets when he wants to play with them. He also knows which round things with hands and words are clocks and which one is the barometer. Why tell a baby what a barometer is, you say? Well, he asked me. What, I'm supposed to lie and say it's a clock?

Jack's current favorite game is "Where's The Duck?" in which I hide his rubber duckie in some clever spot such as the middle of his bedroom floor and he finds it. Sometimes I can hide it under a blanket, but only if he watches me put it there, and only if I put it close to the blanket's edge. "Where's The Duck?" is so popular, in fact, that it could be used to distract Jack from the fact that his mother whacked his face and head on the door, if such a thing were ever to happen which of course it never would. Ahem. But Jack also enjoys a good round of "Crawling Around On The Floor While Holding Random Household Items Such As A Post-It Or A Tupperware Lid Or A Scrap Of Ripped Up Tissue If I Can Get It." I think he likes the way the different things slide along as he goes.

It's really been an incredible week. Some of the things that he's learned we've been practicing, like what a bunny says, but some of them he seems to have picked up osmotically, like the fingers, or the spoon. I think he asked once me last week what fingers were, but, honestly, I'd been focusing on toes and noses.

Jack is at a stage now where he plays happily by himself when he's awake and when he's tired, he snuggles up to his blanket and says, "Mmmmmmmm!" He gives hugs freely and giggles with abandon. OK, sure, sometimes he shrieks just to hear how it sounds (bad), and he hasn't entirely given up on biting. But I am so in love with him that I want to freeze him here forever, except then I wouldn't find out what he'll be like tomorrow.

Happy eleven month birthday, one day late, Jack. You're pretty awesome.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Aragog junior

We have had a spider living essentially on our back door for the better part of the summer. The web stretched across the topmost corner of the door and didn't really get in the way of anyone trying to go in or out. And since spiders are known to eat other, peskier bugs, The Husband and I were more than willing to allow this spider tenancy on our back door.

Now, the back door is not one I use very often, but The Husband uses it once a week when he takes out the trash. For the past several weeks, he has been returning from the trash duty with reports that the spider was getting larger and the web more intrusive.

"Pish tosh!" I always retorted, because The Husband is well known to have a thing about spiders. "How big can it be?"

I found out yesterday when I had to bring our trash down to the garbage bins outside and was very nearly killed by the biggest spider I have ever seen. Its web stretched across the top third of the doorway, and when I opened the door, I apparently caused the web to shake and the spider scuttled down extremely close to my head to find out what tasty treat it had snared. Naturally, I screamed and slammed the door shut, because I am well known to keep a cool head in these sorts of circumstances.

I could not bring myself to pass under that web, so I found an old stick (the back entryway is where we store our leftover wood from our never ending home improvement projects) and attempted to swat the spider off. Unfortunately, I was only able to manage to knock of bits of the web in between ducking behind the door to protect myself from the giant spider who was rebuilding the web even as I destroyed it. I could actually see the silk coming out of the spider's butt. I ended up taking an old stick and going out through the front door and around to the back so that I could knock the spider off from a safe distance, because I could not bring myself to walk under that web. What if the spider had landed on my head? WHAT THEN?

This post is brought to you by Emily who inspired me to write about my own spider incident. Sadly, I do not have a picture of my spider, but it was almost as big as Emily's and a sort of speckled tan. Emily definitely wins, however, since her spider was black and hairy and IN HER KITCHEN.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Words and phrases Jack understands or at least reacts appropriately to

Dover (in-laws' dog's name)
Want a cookie?
What does an elephant say? (sometimes)
Who's the best baby? (sometimes)

The lack of "Mama," "Mom," Mommy," "Mother," "Ma," "Mum," "Maman," or any other permutation of the word is not an oversight as he has absolutely no idea what these sounds indicate, previous claims to the contrary notwithstanding. Also unrepresented: All the words I sign except for "Daddy." He sort of understands signs, but he tends to use the sign for "more" to mean both "more" and "all done." This can prove to be a mite frustrating.

Still in all, my baby is currently tons o' fun, and I wouldn't trade him for the world. If he'd just stop biting me when he nurses, I would have not one complaint. Knock on wood. KNOCK ON WOOD.

Monday, September 10, 2007

I know this isn't a terribly original idea for a topic

My dinner conversations of late:


"A clock."


"A clock."


"A clock."


"A clock."


"A clock."


"A clock."


"A clock."


"A clock."


"The china closet."


"A clock."

Sunday, September 09, 2007

She does notice when the sink is dirty though, unlike SOME PARTIES I COULD MENTION

Big Sister #4's faucets leak. They've leaked for as long as they've owned the house, as far as I can remember, and she and Brother-in-law #4 have decided that enough is enough, they are going to replace the leaky faucets. So they've asked The Husband to do it. The Husband is kind of the go-to guy for technical support and home repair in my family. I know, technical support AND home repair. And he's not into sports! I hit the jackpot with this one, my friends. He does like anime, though, so you can't have everything.


So I informed The Husband that he would be installing a new kitchen faucet and a new bathroom faucets at Big Sister #4's house as soon as she got around to actually purchasing the new hardware. "That's an easy job, though, right?" I asked The Husband.

"Sure," he said, "as long as whoever put in the old one didn't do anything stupid, like solder the pipes together."

"Oh, yeah, that would stink," I replied. "I hope they didn't."

"Well, Big Sister #4 would have noticed, right?" asked The Husband. I gave him a puzzled look. "But wasn't she shutting the water off under the sink?" he said. "She would have seen if the pipes were soldered together."

"Um," I said, wondering how to break this to him. Frankly, I was impressed that Big Sister #4 even knew how to turn the water off under the sink.

"Oh, I understand," he said, the light dawning. "I guess she was too busy thinking about SportsCenter to notice the pipes, huh."

The five most horrifying sounds in the world

5. A cat fight. (With actual cats, mind you.)
4. The sound that a knife makes when scraped sideways on a plate.
3. The sound you hear when you call a fax machine.
2. Nails on a chalkboard.
1. Jack grinding his top two teeth against his bottom two teeth.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Didn't he just start crawling two minutes ago?

JUST THIS SECOND, Jack took two tentative steps all on his own with no furniture or Mama Legs anywhere in sight to grab onto. Thank heavens for peripheral vision, because I almost missed it.

We're in for it.

Just call me Tim Rice

I like to sing, and, as such, I sing to Jack quite a lot. His favorite songs are "Five Little Ducks," "The Itsy Bitsy Spider," "Shake Your Sillies Out," and "Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ra." He also likes a few songs of my own creation: "Clean Pants" (to the tune of "My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean;" just substitute "clean pants" for "bonnie"), "Darlin' Angel," which is just "Earth Angel with one word changed, and "Stinky Butt."

In fact, "Stinky Butt" may just be his favorite song of all, and I came up with the lyrics entirely by myself, thank you very much. It goes like this:

Stinky, stinky, stinky butt!
Stinky, stinky, stinky butt!
Stinky, stinky, stinky, stinky,
Stinky, stinky, stinky butt!

It's a little bit better with the tune. But not much.