hanging in the air

January 5, 2011

So you guys, I don't know if you've noticed but Jude is a toddler.  A full-blown walking-around throwing-things rootin-tootin hyphen-using toddler.  Ok, maybe he doesn't use hyphens.  YET.  Regardless, we're head on into a new era of semi-communication and flash-fire burgeoning emotions.  Sixteen months old, if you care to keep track, which I often don't because I have trouble remembering what day of the week it is.

{Over the holidays we were at my in-law's sitting around in the living room and even as Jude galloped around in front of me I suddenly yelled out to Jon, "JON! The monitor! THE MONITOR!! Is it ON?!" because I forgot that he wasn't asleep.  While I was looking at him.  My general confusion these days knows no bounds.  I'd blame it on "baby" or "sleep" or whatever that crap is people complain about, but the truth is I was like this before.  Weeeird.}

There's this thing about toddlers.  They're sweet and salty, bitter and tasty, hot and sour.  In one moment the Jude can be hitting me in the face with a block because he doesn't want to put on his shoes; in the next moment he can be hugging the dog around the throat and exclaiming, "Dog! Ka! Ka!" and he leans in close for a kiss.  He holds up the telephone to his ear and says, "Elloooo?  Ohhdkay."  I think that's how they trick you into continuing to like them.  For every moment of annoying screaming horror they do a new trick twice as adorable.  It makes it easy to forget all those times he headbutts me in the collar bone when he squeals with wild abandon and runs wildly down the empty aisle of the computer store.  He glances back over his shoulder as he runs to make sure I'm still there with a light in his eyes that could only be pure unadulterated joy.

In the infant stage all I heard was how tired I would be, how terrible.  Then baby– how annoying, how awful, and don't you DARE want them to walk early!  It's the same with toddlers.  All I hear is how AWFUL they are, how exhausting, how many tantrums they throw.  You know what?  At every stage of parenting so far I have been pleasantly surprised.  I like this.  I like the Jude.  I like being with him.  I've liked every stage.  They each have their hard parts.  Were people honestly expecting anything less? Expecting this to be easy?  But they've also had their great parts, parts that more than compensated for the hard work.

While we were visiting my in-laws Jude discovered a little cabinet in the kitchen down near the floor, perfect height for him to open-close, open-close, open-close the door (which is a very novel game if you weren't aware).  And inside this little cabinet were boxes of crackers.  Every time he would get within reach of that cabinet he would run over and get out the crackers.  Then he would go to a person, stop, very deliberately set the crackers down, and sign more more more, more more more.  And because that's fucking adorable I would give him some crackers.  He was so excited about it that we started practicing the sign for cracker ("cracking" your dominant fist on your opposite elbow).  After a few minutes, a few demonstrations, and a few bribery crackers he ran over and signed more more more.  He looked down at his arms, and then showed us his elbow.  more more more cracker.  I just about died, I did.  This is actually zombie grumbles, blogging from beyond the grave.  Probably explains the smell.

So, toddlers.  They're one part ASSHOLE: two parts frosted CUPPIN' CAKES.  In between moments where I want to rip my hair out from the screaming I'm having the most fun ever.  Ever.  Really.

hi, i'm bang.  i'm in your tent, being a surprise creeper and photobombing your photos.
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