The Purple of Life

She told me to hold on to the purple in my life.

My Photo
Location: Chicago, United States

I'm a 37-year-old editor and city dweller, wife and mother, moderately liberal and radically optimistic. I would fill my perfect day with a cup of coffee and the Op Ed section, a flea market and the playground, a run along Lake Michigan, a walk through the neighborhood with my son and my greyhound, a Cuban dinner and a bottle of red with my husband, and an evening flight to some European city. I wouldn't be picky about which one.

August 2, 2012

At 21 months: So I will not forget

The beach fills him with unbridled joy. He loves splashing in the surf, chasing seagulls, playing in the sand. He’s just started feeling brave enough to stand and walk in the water by himself, without holding our hands.

He’s getting more confident about stairs, too, and can often climb them without help, if there’s a railing.

He points at airplanes and asks “mah?” Same with cars, buildings, fences, fire hydrants, pretty much anything we pass on a walk when he’s feeling vocal. And the construction machinery in our neighborhood this summer has been a giant attraction. We may or may not have spent a full hour one morning watching it in action.

In a previous entry, I mentioned that after he hands something to a person, he nods his head emphatically, as if to say, “There. I gave it to you.” In a true “duh” moment, John and I realized that he was bowing, as he was taught by his foster family. We’re keeping this going; if we bow to him, he bows back.

He loves it when I rub and tickle his chubby thighs. His arms and legs are the brownest brown after half a summer spent outside, punctuated by a few pale-pink scars on his knees and elbows.

He “blows” me a kiss in the morning when he sees me carrying my work bag. And he wants to blow bubbles, but so far he just holds the wand near his mouth and looks up at me.

A fun game we play on the back deck: I creep toward him as he runs around the furniture giggling hysterically; he allows himself to be caught and I tickle him and kiss his neck.

He likes “Ring Around the Rosey,” “Hello Everybody,” “The Wheels on the Bus,” “El Pollito.” When he wants us to sing, he tries to do the accompanying hand motions and/or bops his head, and it’s up to us to figure out which song is being requested.

Current favorite foods: Yogurt, grapes, strawberries, animal crackers, zucchini, scrambled eggs, fruit smoothies, cheese, hummus, sweet potato, Cheerios, raisins, anything in soy sauce.

When faced with an in-ground swimming pool for the first time, he eagerly allowed himself to be placed in a blow-up tube and paddled away like a pro. His happiness at being in that pool is hard to describe.

He laughs when people around him are laughing.

Our current bedtime routine: Bath, pajamas, hair blow-dry if needed, warm milk, toothbrushing (“With some on top and some beneath, they brush and brush and brush their teeth”), Aquaphor on his upper lip where the pacifier chafes, pacifier. Reading three books (the last one usually being “The Going to Bed Book” by Sandra Boynton), saying “Time for sleep; night-night, light” as we turn off the light and turn on the white-noise machine, going into the crib, and then singing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” until he’s asleep.

He still loves balls and toy cars and his stuffed musical seahorse. The broom is an endless source of fascination, as is the dustpan. (Would that it were always so.)

This week I bought him a new Sandra Boynton book. He climbed into my lap so we could read it together, and he was visibly excited to turn the pages. It just swelled my heart.

He rides in a green plastic toddler seat on the front of John’s bike, pointing at things as we fly down the street to a restaurant or the zoo, Marvin the Martian in his big black helmet.

He now drinks out of a sippy cup without letting the water cascade down his chin for fun.

Current favorite books: Anything by Boynton, “Go Dogs, Go,” “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” “Five Little Puppies Jumping on the Bed,” “The Pigeon Loves Things That Go,” and a book of classic nursery rhymes. He can identify certain animals and objects in books, such as a mouse and the moon.

Almost every day, we’re amazed to discover he understands a new English word: “sleep,” “more,” “airplane,” “phone.”

He’s been taking a music class for babies and toddlers. At the first one, he stayed on my lap the whole time, silently taking it all in (finding comfort and security in me, his mom; oh, these things still bring me so much happiness). By the third class, he was running around, grabbing instruments, moving his arms to the music, but still wanting to be held if he wasn’t quite sure about a certain activity.

Other than a full diaper, he has no bad smells. This fascinates me about toddlers.

Sometimes, when he’s watching his Pororo cartoons on YouTube, he waves to the characters, as if they could see him and wave back. And this just pulls at me so deeply, makes me want to protect him from all the scary things in this world. It almost gives me a tug of sadness. He is so innocent. He is so little.

When we bring him into our bed to sleep, he immediately burrows up against me.

On my first day back at work, he and John and Stella met me in the neighborhood as I walked home from the el. When I saw them, I crouched down and called to Will, and he ran along the sidewalk to me (he’s getting faster, but he still has that clumsy, jerky toddler gait) with a grin on his face, and I caught him and hugged him, his arms around my neck. I will never forget that moment.

Labels: , , , , ,


Blogger Jessamyn said...

Reading, heart swelling along with you, and possibly even a few tears. :) So glad, as always, that you're writing and sharing with us.

10:46 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home