Sunday, February 28, 2010

life does change, doesn't it?

I looked at the blog today and realized I haven't posted anything for a month! Well, February was a busy one....

What happened was that I agreed to help a friend of mine with her maternity leave (she works at Delphi). She was due at the end of February, but the baby decided he was ready at the beginning of the month! I've been (hectically, but happily) running ever since!

I don't think it's worth trying to write a lengthy summary of what we've been up to the past month. Suffice it to say, I have been checking students' literature papers again (so enjoyable!) while Jack has been having tons of fun at "school" -- a co-op nursery for kids whose parents work at the school. They practice the alphabet, counting, colors, and so on.... He is eating it up!

I'm not sure if it's because of school or just because of Jack's age, but the watchword for our interactions has really been "adaptability". He is always surprising me with something new! I thought I'd share two funny things that happened today:

Exhibit A:

At tonight's bedtime, Jack was intermittently asking for "blanket, blanket!" (Which can mean he's asking for a physical blanket, or to be tucked in.) Well, he had two blankets in his bed and when I first tried to tuck him in he wouldn't lay down. Therefore, no tucking-in blanket! And the rule is that once he's in his room for bedtime, that's it. We will come help him if he's hungry or thirsty, but no more.

Well, this time he was being pretty darn civilized in his request, and he kept asking when I told him his blankets were in his bed. He was coming to the door and politely trying again at about five-minute intervals, but starting to get upset that I wasn't responding. After a while I thought, This doesn't have the normal bedtime avoidance flavor. Hmmm.... so I came over to his door and said, "blanket, huh?"

To which he nodded and let out a watery, relieved giggle. "Blanket!"

"It's really that important?"

Vigorous nodding and a wobbly "Yeah!"

Well, shoot. If he's going to say "yeah," for the first time.... I couldn't resist, even if he was conning me! So I tucked him in nice and snug. He was happy as can be, and out within two minutes!

Well. Apparently he is REALLY doing big-boy bedtime now!

Exhibit B:

We went to Lowes with Alex while he picked up some stuff for work. Jack and I wandered over to the gardening section while Alex was looking at plumbing fixtures and boring stuff like that. First thing I know when we reach the gardening section, Jack pulls a watering can off the shelf and tells me "spout" -- while pointing to the right bit.

"Wow!" I say, "that's right!"

All business, he points to the handle. "Ahn-doo," he says. Pretty good for someone who hasn't mastered "h" or "l" yet!

I am grinning like an idiot at this point. "Like a teapot!" I exclaim, figuring it out. (They sing "I'm a little teapot" at school sometimes.)

He grins at me and tips the watering can over.

We sat there and sang "I'm a little teapot" four times before he allowed that we could move on, and he was SO happy.

What I've really concluded from these events (and many others) is that the biggest thing you can do for your kids is to understand that they are growing up quickly, and to expect these ridiculously grown-up, surprising or "advanced" things to appear all the time - because for every time he throws a toy with an angry yell, chews on something he shouldn't, or takes a swing at someone (something picked up from school, which he is testing) there is also a time when he offers to shake hands when he meets someone, helps to do the laundry, or reveals that he knows a good dozen letters in the alphabet!

How much nicer for both of us to focus on the grown-up parts. I'm sure it invites more of them; he looks so proud when we notice he did something well and praise him for it. :)


Amy said...

Aren't kids awesome! They are waaaaaay smarter and more civilized than most adults give them credit for.

Melissa said...

I have to agree! :)