Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Milestones all around

One thing I neglected to mention yesterday in assessing the vacation as a whole was the fact that the one-year anniversary of this here blog came in went, unheralded, while I was decamped. There no immediately obvious non-awkward ways to shoehorn in such an acknowledgement, and really, it’s not like I’ve been blogging for 365 uninterrupted days or anything remotely so remarkable. Still, considering I started the blog to see how long I would stick with it, the fact that I’ve more or less kept at it as a going thing from one August to another is worthy of at least a mention, right?

Funny enough, I took a glance back at the post that went up one year ago today and saw that it mainly concerned two evergreen topics hereabouts: the little guy’s ongoing development from baby-lump to personhood, and ethnic takeout food. Afghan kabobs, specifically in the latter case, which as circumstance would have it was exactly what we had for dinner on the night we returned home from vacation, since provisions were low in our household, as were energy levels for actually putting together a homemade meal.

So, menu-wise, I unashamedly admit we are very much a “stick-with-what-works” family. It’s fairly cool, though, to see this whole blog experiment bearing fruit in serving as an online historical record of sorts. As the little guy rapidly approaches his second birthday, I have trouble on my own remembering where he was a year ago, which (if my younger self is to be believed) was somewhere approximate to “intelligent pet with potential.” It’s mind-boggling how much of that potential has been realized in twelve months. When I brought home the kabobs this past Sunday evening, the little guy sat in a chair at the dinner table and we fixed him a plate of chick peas and rice and pre-cut chicken and pre-torn naan bread and gave him a big-person spoon and a big-person fork and he went to town feeding himself. He offered running commentary (“I’m eating beans!” “I want more bread!” “You’re all done!” – that last one when I had fairly rapidly cleaned my plate, something I seriously need to start modulating lest I set too bad an example for my child’s nascent table manners) and kindly informed us when he was finished. It’s like having a really short, moody and moochy roommate.

Of course oddball roommates often justify themselves with hilariousness, and our little guy is no exception. The laffs come now when he makes inexplicable pronouncements. We’ve gotten used to his stock phrases and requests, the observations he reliably makes when being read the same book for the hundredth time, but every once in a while he’ll come up with something out of left field. Like when my wife reads him a book about a kitten chasing bees and butterflies and my son admonishes very gravely, “We don’t eat bees.” Clearly this is something he was genuinely worried we might do if he didn’t expressly forbid it. But how did such a scenario even occur to him? We haven’t yet reached the point where “Why did you say that?” elicits a well-considered response from him, so we may in fact never know.

A possible nightmarish conclusion
Slightly more difficult to work around is the fact that the little guy still has a few kinks to work out in the system. When he’s in his carseat in the back, and my wife is safely seatbelted into the passenger seat, and I am likewise in the driver’s seat, and we are all hurtling up Interstate 95 at speed, and the little guy keeps repeating over and over again “I want THAT one I want THAT one I WANT THAT ONE” and ostensibly pointing at … something … somewhere … in the pile of roadtrip debris that has accumulated in the back half of the family car over the course of a week, it’s frustrating for everyone. The proper corrective to this situation would be to ask the little guy to be more specific, but we’re pretty sure that he doesn’t fully grasp the concept. My wife indulged in a bit of vaudevillian repartee for a while (“Which one, honey?” “THAT one!” “Which one?” “THAT ONE!” &c.) and then fell back on something we say pretty frequently to the little guy: “Use your words!” Of course, we generally employ that strategy when he’s backsliding into grunts, so I can only imagine what was going through his mind at that conversational gambit. I suspect it was along the lines of “Mother, surely you will concede that ‘I’, ‘want’, ‘that’, and ‘one’ are all distinct and comprehensible English words, and as such your demand for word-usage seems unbearably obtuse!” Or, you know, something to that effect.

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