His very first cone of ice cream to eat all on his own was a waffle cone bigger than his head. He loved it deeply.
It loved him back. They became one in a melty explosion of chocolate toddler happiness.
You just can’t stand in the way of a love so deep (and sticky) as this – you just put it outside, watch the sweet carnage unfold, laugh and take lots of photos.
Mark it down on the list of fun stuff I’ll miss witnessing one day.
For a very long time, this is a rule that Braden has respected. Hey, if Mommy says fingers in the nose is a “no-no” and there’s even a book backing her up, it must be true.
But now we have reached the Age of Contrary. We see evidence of this with classic conversations like, “Here’s your peanut butter and jelly sandwich.” “NO. Dat’s not peanut butter jelly sandwich, DAT’S PEANUT BUTTER JELLY.”
And who could not see the genius in “Sit down at the table now.” “NO, I HAVE TO SIT IN DIS CHAIR NOW.” (The chair at the table.)
And if it’s fun to say “NO” to things just so you can restate them in a different way, well, then it must also be delightful to do things that have been forbidden. It’s all just part of the same circle of fun, right? Of course it is!
Life without testing the boundaries is boring, my friends. And the boundary between fingers and boogers is just SCREAMING TO BE BROKEN.
I mean, just look at how much fun this little dingaling is clearly having!
And so it goes, the boy realized that perhaps even if the book and The Mommy say fingers in the nose is not so groovy a thing to do, it can, in theory, still be done. And so he tested this idea, and found that yes, it can be done, and in fact, he quite enjoys sticking his fingers in his nose.
Over and over again.
it kills me that he can make even booger picking cute
Though it is clearly quite a bother to request a tissue before nostril exploration has begun, apparently it is no problem at all to do the same thing once one’s finger has been befouled. He walks over to me with his finger stuck out in front of him, a fine specimen riding the peak of his pointer, and says, “Put my booger in a tissue.”
Such gifts he presents to me, and lo, they take my breath away. It is an honor, such an honor.
And hey, I guess I have some idea of where he gets the appreciation for sticking things in his nostrils.
At least he’s not sticking other things in his nose.
And this would be one of the many reasons: he’s super in-tune with sounds of all kinds. He often recites things like stories from books and the words of songs, which I find terribly awesome. Somehow, however, his love for sounds themselves is even more intriguing and endearing to me. He picks up on sounds that I have learned to zone out. He doesn’t ignore any of them. He hears every creak, pop, ding, whirr, chirp, and squeak in the world around him.
Even before he could talk, he was an expert at mimicking the microwave, dish-washer, toaster, birds chirping, airplanes flying, and water running, just to name a few.
“Mommy, I hear sound!” flies off his lips with unbridled delight every day, still. I’m adding this to the “joys” category of parenting, and I’m once again incredibly glad that I always have my camera nearby. The days just seem to fly by, but I have these memories documented.
He looked for those letters among the rest and laid them out like that on the side of the tub.
Then he did this:
If it doesn’t sound familiar to you, here ya go:
I spend a lot of my time with a little boy and a little dog, and we mix it up together with this and that.
Sometimes a little bit of the other.
I am very fond of throwing open the blinds as far and wide as they will go when the sun comes out to play at this time of year. I am not a fan of being cold and gray. I need light and warmth and vibrance or I forget how to breathe.
The dog is very, very fond of sleeping in puddles of sun on the carpet. (I have to admit that I am, too.)
What he did not realize, however, is that if one chooses to sleep among the train tracks of the little boy, one gives up all rights not to be built upon.
I was the foreman, looking on and supervising. I must confess that I felt this was a questionable choice of foundation.
But the builder, the artist, had a vision, and he followed through.
The foundation was kind of not interested in allowing the vision to be realized.
In fact, the foundation was all, “I am utterly displeased with the choice of building materials and deeply disturbed that nobody found it necessary to request my permission to build on these grounds. Oh and I’m definitely thinking of peeing on something you like as a form of revenge.”
But the little boy builder was not going to give up so easily, and quickly went for a second try at his plan once the foundation had resettled.
But the foundation was all, “Uh. No.”
He had other things in mind.
The little boy was unsure of how to proceed.
But then the builder decided he was really always meant to be a masseuse, and a compromise was reached.
And everyone was happy.
Which, when laying in puddles of sunny carpet among train tracks, is really not all that surprising.
But we love them. And their wrapper. Wanna see how 2 sickies entertain one another when they’re home alone at snack time?
Be warned, this is about 5 minutes of your life you will never get back. It will, however, leave you with a goofy grin on your face and a feeling of happy deep within you. If it doesn’t, you likely have a dead fish for a heart. Good luck with that.
So? Do you have the happy?
Braden is sick again and that means he’s coughing in that special way that toddlers have which makes you clench up and wait for the inevitable choking sound every.single.time. Over and over again, I listen to him gag and gasp and make the phlegmy struggling sounds for breath that keep my blood pressure just a little higher than it really ought to be.
Last night he couldn’t sleep, and was pulling out one excuse after another to climb from his bed and yell down the stairs to us. His pleas for us to turn the music on, then off again, to find his toy car, and to turn on the light were all mingled with whimpers and punctuated by cries and sometimes soft, tired moans. Every request was just code for, “I need you, please come be with me, I’m feeling poorly and I just can’t be alone tonight.” Mommy is the ultimate translator – all those words and words and words, but a Mommy can see right through them. They pour off either side of the real request like oil parting and running this way and that on the surface of turbulent water.
But this night it was not just Mommy to the rescue. Often Mommy has to be the one who answers the call, who throws her hair over her shoulder and dashes off, valiantly. Mommy is so often the one who is here, so Mommy plays the heroine. But sometimes I get to fold my cape up for a beat. I write my story, I speak from my point of view. But he cuts through my view, too.
He listened to the translation of messages Mommy could hear floating down the stairs. When Mommy came down after a visit with the little sleep fighter, he heard all the things she said about little boys who are terribly unable to fall asleep because ohhh, they are just in need of togetherness and tender closeness. Mommy, who was distraught because of deadlines and projects. Mommy, who felt torn between work commitments and life priorities.
Daddy saw the worry and frustration on her tired face, and even though he had already done the bath routine and the bedtime routine, he smiled kindly, then set his face and stood up. He dashed off to go sit with the unwitting mini-villian upstairs, who was really just a little boy making too much noise for his tiny, tired body, until he could be tricked (loved) into falling comfortably asleep. He went in search of hugs and cuddles that would be stronger and more fierce than coughs and sneezes.
He answered the needs of the boy and the needs of the Mommy, all in a single bound.
I briefly saw his brightly colored cape flap at the corner of the stairwell right before he disappeared from view and I continued to tap at the keys, only momentarily wondering who that masked man was.
And if you don’t think this is important, you wouldn’t fit in around here at all.
And I fart in your general direction.