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The Golden Hour

February 9th, 2007

Kenny is napping.   He is naping for the 19th day in a row, that is, every day that we have been living in Scottsdale.   For those of you who may be new to this blog, Kenny did not nap for most of the first 15 months of his life.   In fact, his  real  name was “No Nap Joe.”   So I need you to understand that having an hour to myself, a consistant hour that I can actually count on, is entirely new, entirely foreign and even a little wierd.   Oh, I’m enjoying it, don’t get me wrong; it’s just that it’s so unusual that the house seems spooky-quiet and I… can I say it?… I miss my little boy!   I’m totally not used to a minute without him during the day and here I am, doing laundry without him hanging on my leg or pulling clothes out of the dryer; here I am eating a snack that is neither healthy or kid-friendly without him pleading for a bite; here I am writing on the computer without him begging to sit in my lap so he can mash his little fingers into the keys…

What can I say?   I just love my little guy.   He has learned to give a killer hug.   And he sings and he clings and he dances with the best of them.   Just yesterday I was going on about his incessant chatter and yet when he’s asleep, I miss the sounds of his garbled and constant talk.   Ah, but he’ll be awake any minute and then it’s off to the races again.   These are the best of times, aren’t they?   (no, I don’t mean that naptimes are the best of times)   I mean that these times, when my baby boy is little and sweet and loves me unconditionally, and yet is able to start telling me what he thinks, what he wants and what he needs.   When he loves to hold on tight to my hand at the park, and when he does dive into the fray with the other kids, he always looks up to see where I am, and to make sure I’m watching him.

What a wonder to be loved like this, and to love so much in return.

Commentary

February 8th, 2007

Kenny knows so many words now that I live in the world of a non-stop commentary.   The grocery store, the mall, the park, at home in the kitchen, the living room, the bathroom… I am so proud of him and yet…

Is it awful to wish for a moment or two of silence?

Here we were in the bathroom at the mall:   “Poddy!   Mama poddy!   POOOOOP!   Poop?   Mama Poop?   Push!   Push!”   (By the way, “push” means that he wants to flush the toilet for me.   Oh help me sweet anonymity.)

Here was the grocery store:   “Waffle!   Waf-a-dip!   Apple?   Ornge?   Ornge!   Pa-LEEEEEESE?   Waler.   O-juice.   O-JUICE!”

And the car: “Cracker.   A-done.   Mama, a-done!   Udder cracker.   Nooooooo udder cracker…..”

And at bedtime: “Teddy.   Puppy.   Baa.   Udder Teddy.   Ree-ree! (music)   Nigh-nigh.   Udder Teddy.   Snack?”

Who taught this kid to talk so soon?

Puppy Love & Kisses

February 7th, 2007

Kenny used to have a little stuffed dog, which he was never overly attached to, but played with from time to time.   We lost it while we were in Hawaii last month… apparently it fell out of his stroller during a walk in Lahaina town.   Twice.   It was returned to us the first time by a young man who had spent the night on the beach, thanks to being kicked out of his apartment, and used Puppy as a pillow.   Alas,  Puppy’s good fortune was short-lived, as Kenny dropped it again out of his stroller the very next day, and he was never seen from again.  

But wouldn’t you know it, yesterday we saw one that looked just like it in the Hallmark  section of the grocery store.   Kenny nearly flung himself out of the cart in joyous  delight at the sight of the long-lost pal.   (I bought it, of course.   Who could say no?)   Anyway, Kenny spent most of the day yesterday totting “Puppy!” around, and generally sharing his day with him.   Puppy ate with us, played t-ball with us, went on a walk with us and helped spy out the mouse in Goodnight Moon with us.   But the kicker was snacktime:   Kenny had eaten roughly half a wheel of smoked gouda (his favorite… don’t ask), and asked for more.   I said, “No, honey; you’ve had enough” at which point he thrust Puppy into my face and said, “Cheese!   Puppy!   Pa-leelee?”   Oh, could anyone resist that?   I carved out another slice and he actually pretended to feed it to his stuffed puppy, making sounds and everything.   Then he hunched up his shoulders and turned around ever so slightly, and, thinking I couldn’t see him, he  quickly stuffed the gouda into his mouth, chewed, swallowed, and turned around to repeat the charade.

This went on for about eight slices before I cut him off.   He tried the same thing today when he asked for a cookie and I said no.   “Puppy!   Too-Tee!   Pa-leeelese?”   “Puppy wants a cookie?”   “Puppy!”   “No.”   “Puppy!   Puppy!”   “Oh, well, maybe one…”   I’m a sucker.   And you have to admit that this kid has flare.

But don’t think that this love affair with Puppy has in anyway diminished his adoration of Dudley.   Dudley will always be Kenny’s number one pal.   He follows him around, climbs all over him, feeds him his unwanted vegetables and curls up next to him when Dudley’s trying to take a snooze.     All in all, you might say that Dudley is Kenny’s first best friend.   Except I might need to find him some  different friends, because today while I was getting dressed, I heard a wild cackle burst from around the corner.   I leaned around and there was Kenny, tongue sticking out and Dudley licking his face with abandon.   I grabbed Kenny and said, “NO!   Kenny, don’t do that!” and he cackled louder, lunged at Dudley, mouth open and submitted himself to another kissy-face.   Gross.   So gross.   Dudley claims it wasn’t his fault, of course.   I mean, what would you do?

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The PGA Tour Stops Here

February 5th, 2007

When we were in Hawaii last month, the PGA tour was kicking off in Kapalua.   This past weekend, we were again in the same town as a stop on the tour here when the PGA held a tourny  in Scottsdale.   Now, I’m not a huge golf fan; oh, I’ll watch it every once in a while ~  I think it looks like fun, and how many sports are there where you can go for a walk on a gorgeous piece of land and get paid for it?   But suffice to say that we have never taken Kenny to a game, nor watched one on TV in his presence.   My in-laws live on a golf course part of the year, so he’s most definitely observed a few drives and putts, and that’s the only explanation I can think of as to why Kenny suddenly took it up today:

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Yes, that’s him in the backyard, playing golf with a frying pan and a wiffle ball.   I was making his dinner, and turned around to spy his intense game…

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(It’s just coincedental, by the way, that he’s dressed that way…   he and I went to MOPS this morning, and I am always conscious of the fact that Scottsdale, AZ is a wealthy town with very well-dressed toddlers dotting the playgroup landscape.)   But there he was, carefully lining up his shots and then swinging with determination.   He even managed to hit his target a few times…

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… though a few times he was caught in the gravel trap…

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That’s my boy.   This is the same kid who takes his wiffle balls everywhere he goes.   Like Linus with his blanket, Kenny can’t leave home without “Ball” and “Udder Ball.”   Today, he actually took both balls and his plastic baseball bat with him into the MOPS classroom.   I explained to the amused volunteer that they were his “security items” and she nodded knowingly, as if a two-foot-high lad in a sweater vest is most always expected to be totting some sort of sporting equipment.   Teddy bears are for sissies.

Who Needs Sleep?

February 2nd, 2007

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Not my little angel.   Another sleepless night for Kenny, and yet when he got up this morning, he was all smiles and boundless energy.   I left him in the living room while I went to get my coffee, and came back to find him on the couch looking at his favorite book… a William Wegman coffee table book called, “Fay.”   He thinks Fay is Dudley, and will page entraced through the book, stopping to point at each shot… “Dudley!   Udder Dudley!   Dudley a ball!   Dudley hat!”   It’s bizarre and charming.

As to the “Udder Dudley” comment, Kenny has picked up this quirk of labeling objects.   For example, he will have a ball in one hand, which he calls “Ball” and in the other hand another ball, which he calls, “Udder ball.”   (other ball)   Meaning, if we are driving in the car and he has two wiffle balls in his hands (which we can’t seem to leave home without), and he drops one, he will shout, “UDDER BALL!   UDDER BALL!” until I am able to gumby-like twist my body to retrieve the missing ball.   Or if we are finished reading a book, he will get up and go to the book shelf, saying, “Udder book.”  

But back to the night of no sleep, my little No Nap Joe took a two hour nap in the stroller today: one hour while we walked, and the other parked in his room.   If only I had had the good sense to nap myself.   Ah, but our day together was swell: a trip to the park, a walk, a My-Gym class, and lots of coloring and reading a building blocks.   Tonight I took Kenny on a date to California Pizza Kitchen, and we were the toast of the restaurant.   So how can I begrudge a little lost sleep?

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After all, tonight it’s Casey’s turn.

And the White Flag Flew

February 1st, 2007

Last night Casey was away ~ back to Maryland for some business.   Though I tried to go to bed early, I got way too into my scandalous book and stayed up until I was closer to midnight than I needed to be.   Kenny woke up at 3:00 AM, instead of 1:15.   (There goes my theory about something  specifically happening at 1:15 to  wake him up.)   This time, I let him cry himself back to sleep.   That lasted until 3:30.   I was still not ready to give in, so I let him cry until 3:55, and when the sobs turned to screams, I went in.

I opened the door and he was instantly silent.   I walked over to him, and he held out his arms.   “Chair,” he said quietly.   I curled his little body against me and we sat in the chair for about a half and hour.   But he was wide awake.   You could tell that he knew he was supposed to be sleeping, but he just couldn’t.   I was afraid that I’d fall asleep in the chair and he would be off roaming through the house until dawn, so I climbed into the guest bed that’s in his room and we snuggled in together.   Except that he thought that was the coolest thing ever, and kept popping up, saying, “Mama!   Big Bed!”   I finally got him settled down (as the clock hit 4:30), when Dudley seemed to notice that I was no longer in my bed, and he must have been worried, because he came looking for me.   His trusty weimaraner nose got him to Kenny’s room, where he  leaped onto the bed in relief and gratitude that I had not deserted him at this darkest hour.

Kenny though that Dudley flying into the bed was even cooler than cool, and that got him jazzed up all over again.   Another fifteen minutes went by before all of us fell asleep:   Kenny curled up against my stomach with his head on my shoulder, Dudley curled into the crook of my bended knees, and me, terribly uncomfortable, but unwilling to chance waking either of them up again.

Ah, but the restless sleep wasn’t meant to last… Kenny popped up at 6:30 and dove on top of my head.   “MAMA!”   Then, spying Dudley, he dove on top of a very surprised Dudley.   “DUDLEEEEEE!”   As he slid off the bed and headed to his legos, I considered the possibility of letting myself fall asleep again, but realized that doing so would give both Dudley and Kenny run of the house.   And let’s face it, it’s not like I’d wake up to the surprise of a breakfast in bed and the  smell of frying bacon and eggs; more likely, I’d wake up to Kenny climbing onto the stove, and  stirfrying his diaper.

And speaking of Dudley having the run of the house?   Let’s just say that he was really bad today.   He  destroyed a record number of Kenny’s blocks, ate a measuring spoon, splintered the 9-ball  rack on top of the pool table, raced through the house with a silk throw pillow, and ate my new bra.    And that was all before noon.   It’s my fault entirely: when Casey is out of town, I can’t run with both the baby and the dog, and since I can’t leave Kenny home alone, all Dudley gets is a dinky walk around the neighborhood.   Four miles of walking is nothing for this beast, and the piddly walks leave him aching with pent-up energy.   As I’ve been writing this, I’ve gotten up twelve times to take things out of his mouth, most notably the end of the toilet paper roll.   Yes, my dog just toilet papered my house.   I need to write a commercial for MasterCard starring my dog.   Except instead of the ending saying that something is “Priceless” I’ll have it say, “Owning  a weimaraner?   Pricey.   Somethings money can’t buy; for everything else, there’s Dudley.”

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