Tuesday, January 29, 2008

the boy who loved too much

maybe you remember that t2 had a hitting problem a while back. he was getting hitting and hello mixed up and everytime he wanted to say hi to another kid he'd swat at them. he'd also hit when he was frustrated, but that was less often. we combated that issue with the old adage 'hug, don't hit' (see also, 'don't cry, try') and spent a good number of weeks showing him what we meant.
so here's what he does now: he sees another kid that he's interested in. he watches that kid for a little while. he usually does some kind of dance or a few little prances to get that kid's attention. when that doesn't work, he engulfs them in a hug, usually knocking them over. occasionally the hug is followed by a huge, slimy open mouth kiss.
he's also been known to do this to adults. and to a lesser degree, things (see kissy flower pic above). nothing's safe.
how's that for a turn around?
thing is, most kids don't like to be swallowed in a hug by another toddler. the other thing is that he isn't particularly discriminating about what size kid he chooses to "love." last week it was a still crawling baby girl. yesterday it was a boy his who was his age but who was quite a bit bigger and heismaned him.
i try to run interference when i see he's got his love face on, but i don't always get there in time. when he makes a move, he does it fast (like his dad).
i was talking to a friend about this last week - kinda laughing about it, really. she's a bit older, with a 9 year old boy, and she said when her son was 1 1/2 - 2 he'd excitedly run up to other kids and shove them over. then he'd look bewildered and hurt when they started crying.
she told me what so many other moms have - "it's just boys." they're so physical and not armed with the language skills girls have at a young age. that doesn't make them any less excited to see and meet new people, though, so they just do it the best way they know how. brute force. HI, I LIKE YOU. WHAM! LET'S BE FRIENDS!
that makes sense. little t only has about 5 solid words in his arsenal and hi isn't one of them (though he does wave). and like most boys, he's physical. he gets a huge kick out of flopping himself on the floor, bonking things on his head (or his head on things) and jumping on or off anything.
we name everything we see, talk to him constantly, read to him, sing to him, expose him to other kids who talk and though he understands most everything we say, few real words have crossed his lips. i can't help but think someday soon his little head is going to explode if he doesn't start spewing some of that knowledge he's storing.
until then, i guess i'll keep running interference, replacing 'hug, don't hit' with 'hey hey little lover. don't smother.'

Sunday, January 27, 2008

rain's good and all but ...

an entire week of steady downpours? is that really necessary?
the puddle annihilator hasn't let me forget for one second that the weather has been wet. it's all puddles all the time. throw in a few rocks and some leaves and i can keep him occupied for close to an hour. yesterday he tried to put his face in an especially large one. denied access, he moved on to making huge splashes that tidal-waved his entire body.
maybe today i'll take some video of the madness.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

thanks auntie kates

dear fake aunt katie
hi. it's me, little tayloe. thank you so much for coming all the way from new york city to visit me. i remember that we went to joshua tree and that we had a fun time playing in the desert dirt. i also remember that you made me eggs. that was nice because not even my mom does that very much.
you really helped mom and dad take care of me when they weren't feeling well and in return i promise to come to new york someday soon to help you. you may have noticed that i'm very good at putting trash in the trash can. and if you need puddles jumped in, i'm your man.
wuv you.
little tayloe

ps - isn't it sad about heath ledger? new york city sure is a crazy place.

Monday, January 14, 2008

who are we?

fortunately, the bad haircut is starting to grow out a little. but notice the unnatural arc on those bangs. um, yeah.
today i did something i never thought i'd do - i took a sample of my dna and sent it away to people i don't know, people i'll never meet.
tayloe's become friends with the director of the genographic project, which is trying to answer the question of how we all got to where we are today. it's a good question, especially since there's genetic evidence that shows we all descended from one african ancestor who lived 60,000 years ago. some day when little tayloe asks us how he got here, maybe we can give him a really solid answer - even map it out for him. and maybe, too, i can start to accurately answer the 'are you swedish' questions.
so i swab, swab, swabbed the inside of my cheeks and tayloe did too. his results will trace his mitochondrial DNA (passed from mother to child) and so will mine (because that's all i can do, what with me missing the Y chromosome and all).
we still want to do his father's family and my father's family and each of our mother's father's families so if some of you randomly receive these genographic kits in the mail, you'll know who they're from. open 'em up and send 'em in. it's completely anonymous - your name isn't attached to your dna - and you'll be part of mapping the human journey.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Monday, January 07, 2008

first bad haircut

it happens to everyone eventually, i guess. i took t2 to get a trim late last week and it turned out pretty awful. i keep repeating what i said to the lady -- just a little around the ears and his bangs and in the back -- and wondering if somehow those simple instructions sounded like 'attach the flowbee to his head.'
bye bye cute little dutch boy. now it's all choppy and uneven - because of course he wouldn't hold still. she didn't even have any lollipops. i thought these people were professionals!
it's not obvious to anyone but me (and tayloe, who promptly upon our return home said, 'honey, what the hell did you do to his hair?'), but i feel compelled to tell total strangers. someone comments on his blondeness and i start blabbing on about our bad cut. i'm getting a reputation.
so as predicted, little tayloe has taken to telling wolly what to do - mainly, to go lie down. i must say "wolly go lie down please" 1,000 times a day, so it's no surprise. he copies everything, from my hand motions (swinging my arm out and pointing at wolly's bed) to my tone of voice (sometimes pretty irritated).
the funny thing is that wolly actually listens, sometimes more often than he does when i say it. it's true i guess -- the hand that feeds the dog is the hand that rules the world.

Friday, January 04, 2008

dad dominates wii

this is one of the 12 things i had on my camera. i'd forgotten about it until now, but i had to share it. pardon the laughing by moi in the background. i can't help it though, there's something utterly hilarious about my dad playing an interactive video game and his obvious thrill in doing so.
so it turns out, eating road food for a week does wonders toward improving ones diet once more natural sustenance is available. i've had five salads in 40 hours and the thought of anything in a package repulses me. it's supposed to rain and be cool for the next 3 days, so i decided to cook a chicken and make chicken stock, chicken noodle soup and chicken salad. i'm also thinking about baking some bread.
somebody stop me.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

the beverly hillbillies

hey, we're home. in la that is. got back just yesterday, and i gotta tell ya there's not much i'm missing about the car or I-40 right now. even though we had room in the driveway, tayloe and i parked the wagon across the street and out of sight and both made 'ew' sounds when we realized one of us had to get in it this morning to go fetch some milk.
not it.
our car will probably forever smell like french fries, moldy apple juice, dog and rotten raisins. we were so loaded down from top to bottom we caught other travelers actually laughing at us.
i just plugged in my camera and downloaded photos from the last 30 days (which, mind you, includes christmas) and i have exactly 12 photographs. um, was i asleep?
tayloe did take some photos of christmas morning and amazingly got all 20-something of us tearing through presents at mt.airy, but they're on his camera. there's also a great one of t2 with aunt mary and his amazing, enormous stuffed fish she gifted him. those are coming soon, but in the meantime did any one else get any good ones?
speaking of aunt mary, she's gettin hitched!! engaged on christmas day - isn't that romantic??!!
our trip back was as wham-bam as it gets. we literally drove 9 hours for 5 straight days. i felt sorry for us for a while, because let's face it - singing the itsy-bitsy spider 5,000 times a day isn't unlike ramming bamboo shoots under your nails.
then one bitter cold morning (it was still dark) near topeka, kansas we were pulling away from the motel 6 when i saw a portly, streaky-haired gal hunched over a cup of 7-11 coffee shuffling across the icy parking lot. she was headed for the front office, no doubt just beginning a long day of motel 6 desk duty.
i thought, you know, life's pretty good.
we talked about everything under the sun and when we were done, we moved on to answering life's most troubling questions. like who makes better snackfoods, nabisco or kraft. and counting the number of rock songs with drug references. or quizzing each other on the nickname of every state. somehow new jersey got 'the land of enchantment.' that one really stumps me.
my favorite pass time with t2 became singing whatever song i wanted, but using the hand motions he loves and copies. so i'd do my best rendition of me & bobby mcgee (tayloe on backup) while hand motioning twinkle twinkle little star, little bunny foo-foo, the itsy-bitsy spider or all three.
when we finally reached los angeles city limits, i thought we were both going to cry. you'd of thought we'd just placed first in the boston marathon with all the high fiving and back patting and woo-hooing we did. it was so green and lush and at least yesterday was very warm. best of all we were home.
it was a lovely 2 months and we are beyond blessed to have a beautiful, if not a little eccentric, family and even more blessed to have been so warmly and lovingly welcomed and taken care of.
warm fuzzies and big love, ya'll.