Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Saying Bye-Bye to Nana & Papa

James' Nana & Papa, as he calls my parents, visited this past week-end. Despite being on the mend from a nasty bacterial infection resulting in a double ear infection and double conjunctivitis, James had a lovely time -- playing trains, taking baths, doing his happy naked dance, and visiting all the animals at the zoo.

He fell asleep on the way home from the airport today and continued his nap at home. When he awoke this afternoon, we were playing around the house when he ran down the hallway and began pounding on the closed door to the office/guest room. I was curious what had him so motivated, so I opened the door. He walked to the center of the room and looked around, stunned and forsaken, repeating plaintively, "Papa? Papa? Ooch ooch!" (translated: Grandpa! Grandpa! Come play trains with me!).

Photos of our recent adventures will be coming soon!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Adventures in the Mundane

James and I went to get the oil changed and a maintenance check-up on the car this morning. The timing wasn't ideal, since the past several days I've been struggling a bit with feeling distracted in my attentions for the boy -- on Saturday it was cleaning snake cages, on Sunday a monumental day of cooking and baking, and yesterday with some boring old laundry. While my cleaning habits have certainly never been described as "anal," too often I worry that five minutes spent doing dishes is five minutes with my toddler son that I'll never have back. This is irrational, of course -- I have the gift of an abundance of quality time with my son and it is healthy for him to play by himself for periods. (Spying on him when he thinks he's unattended is a treat as well -- Becky found him repeatedly imitating the "slide" sound in one of his audio books and this morning I found him cooing and making train sounds while pulling his Thomas locomotive around the room.) Nonetheless, my penchant for hyperbole and dramatics wins out and, despite a clean kitchen, I'm retroactively saddened by each minute spent in distraction. So, I worried this morning would be another drag-the-boy-along-for-what-daddy-wants-to-do affair, me placating him with grapes while in some protracted discussion with the mechanics about the health of our station wagon. It was not. Rather, James sat patiently on the counter for the two minutes (total) it took to check in and pay out; the duration of the morning was spent on a leisurely and sunny walk, chasing Canada geese and norther pintails at the nearby park, and chasing each other around the maze of playground equipment. The birds, as tall as him and certainly faster on their feet, were unafraid of his advances: rather than unanimously take wing in fear, they casually strolled off. When they were finally trapped between the water and the advancing menace, they flocked off with a fury of beating wings. James asked for "more, more" repeatedly, even after I explained that it is impossible for me to coax the birds back, just as I cannot conjure more fire trucks or predict train schedules. Oh, the failures of a father. Being out of the house, away from work, and outside on a sunny early-spring morning was the perfect and unpredicted recipe for quality time, a fortuitous encounter like a snow day or getting stopped by a train on your way somewhere you don't want to go. James has taught me much about surprises and making the best of a moment, any moment.

Noodles! (with Mamma)

As often as I can I try to plan some adventures for James and I to have in our evenings together - it sure beats being in the house all the time. Yesterday we had big plans - get some lavender oil (it might help him sleep better) and go play at Gymboree.

After picking James up from PS1 we headed to Whole Foods. James pushed a "child-sized" cart, rode in the car shopping cart, filled his own cup from the water jug (over and over with mamma drinking big gulps to keep it from overflowing), and ran up and down a ramp about a bazillion times. I bought us some pizza and noodles to have for dinner before we went off to play. After finding a booth to sit in (so I could sit on the outside and keep James on the inside) the fun began.

He climbed the window ledge (So he could get a better view? I'm not sure as it was a floor to ceiling window), found my receipt and had fun crumpling it up and throwing into the next booth, and decided what he really needed to do was climb on the table. We compromised with me allowing him to sit on the table but not stand as was his original intention.

He quickly discovered the bag with our purchases. He pulled down the edge, peered inside, looked up at me and said, "Noodles?!" Being no dummy myself, I knew it was time to bust out the noodles.

After cutting them into small pieces we took turn scooping bites onto the fork for James to eat with an occasional hand darting in to grab an extra handful of noodles. By this point James was very happy and very excited. He began to flap his arms, and with a mouth covered in the object of his affection, chant, "Noodles! Noodles! Noodles!" He would pause only long enough to grab another bite or smile at my laughter before going back to his flapping and chanting.

As I glanced out the window I saw a passenger in a car waving, smiling, and laughing at James and his antics and I thought, I am indeed a very lucky mamma.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

New James Photos

We've finally uploaded some photos from February and some from March! See James playing with his friend Iris, taking his first bike ride, watching, trains, swimming, helping make a cake, and making his favorite "smile" face for the camera!

All photos are posted here: