June 30, 2015
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It began with my husband and his great appreciation for asparagus that neither my son nor I bought. Mr. Man has preferences now, not consistent ones, mind you, but he declares what he will eat and when. Fortunately, such edicts are agreeable to most things.
But, that night it was asparagus, which spurred on future dialogues about the contents of his meals. Little Man sits in is high chair gorging himself on whatever protein is available, ignoring the fruit or vegetable that I know he enjoys. Yesterday it was halved grapes. He finished his veggie burger with great zeal before I selected a grape off his tray to demonstrate the tastiness of the offering. I smile with an enthusiastic, “Mmm…” that fell short of my husband’s exhortations, but communicated my point well enough. On cue, my son smiles, selecting a grape half, and hands it to me. I thank him as I appreciate the sweet crispness; he rewards me with a smile and selects another for me to enjoy. We have several exchanges before he chooses one of the few remaining grapes for himself. He has his rhythm, so I give him more.
Spontaneously, I hold my flat palm to him. He smiles and shares one of his grapes before clutching another for himself.
With this process he makes a joke, attempting the feed his sippy cup a grape and laughing at the impossibility…always the generous one…Or not, sometimes he hopes the sippy cup will eat his undesirables like the dog we will refuse to adopt…
My favorite, however, is the fake-out. He holds out a grape to me, but as I greet his hand with my own, he pulls back, jamming the grape through smiling lips.
June 16, 2015
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I could lie and claim great operatic genius with my renderings of traditional lullabies when my son sits on my lap only moments before sleep. In close embrace, his tired body leaning against my chest in perfect stillness. And, I sing as though I possess great efficacy while my son listens. I utter the final words, and he signs, “More,” with his tired, enthusiastic hands; who am I to argue? With slight seam another round of low, quiet keyed Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Another request for encore at its close, and I comply. If only this could continue all night, or until my son slips off into his dreams noted by a light snore. A third request met with my sign for the experience to conclude, but even in his drifting state, he shakes his head, “No.” We sit precious seconds before I lift him to his crib.
He rolls onto his belly, arms and knees tucked beneath, half-heartedly listening to his nightly story. Deep breaths as I cross the room and close the door. I linger with my hand on the knob, unclear of what action I await permission. Perhaps the gentle sting of transition, but I walk softly to my marriage bed hoping to preserve the moment for just a few more precious seconds. I sigh entering our bedroom; how I love the little being who derives engrossed, simple pleasure from the minutia I offer.
June 4, 2015
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Tending to the perpetual needs and whims of a toddler I learned to derive pleasure from the small things that remind me that I am an adult capable of thinking beyond the dubious smell starting to linger in a room. John Oliver is such a diversion, and a hilarious one at that. Not only can I watch him and pride myself on my vague awareness of most the issues he discusses (Perhaps motherhood hasn’t completely fried my brain…), I can also reliably elicit hearty belly chuckles whenever I have the urge.
Such was the case one fine mid morning. I remember it well. It was a pleasant enough day. I managed to both exercise and shower without incident before Little Man awakened from his first nap of the day. While he played independently, I decided to eat my breakfast while enjoying an episode critiquing the judicial system. It was five minutes into my shaking cackles when I heard a noise from the kitchen I could not quite place. Sauntering into the other room I look before me noting that despite the brilliance of John Oliver, it probably isn’t acceptable to have your toddler playing with knives from the dishwasher he apparently can open. I wonder which development benchmark that particular skill meets…
To be specific, my son was wielding a butter knife in one hand and a steak knife in the other; it couldn’t be a spatula or spoon. Unsure if the proper reaction I should exhibit…should it be a visible freak-out of religious zealot proportions? Should I approach like one would a potentially rabid dog? I opted for brisk, calm walk while my son giggled, baring all teeth in absolute delight. Fortunately he did not lose a digit, obliviously unscathed from the incident. Clearly I can add this experience to my notches of parenting excellence…