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
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
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
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
Labels: adoption, family, good things, reflection, summer, Will