23 October 2010


Eamon is strangely good at the barber's. For someone who cannot stand to sit still or wait patiently (let me tell you about our last trip to Busch Gardens when we looked like Those Parents with That Child), he politely climbs into the barber's chair and is surprisingly patient during the haircut. I've watched perfectly behaved five year olds in the waiting room turn into hellions during the haircut. But Eamon likes Ms. Alicia and therefore condescends to let her trim his hair as long as he can play with a comb.
On this last occasion, after having completely given up on ever getting his hair to part, I told my mom (they take him during the week because there are fewer people and therefore shorter waits) to just cut it short. In fact, I told her to get the same haircut that Aaron has because Eamon seems to have inherited his father's stubborn cowlicks (which combined with my coarse, ridiculously thick hair...ugh. Sorry, kiddo).

So, the haircut went off as planned, and Eamon came home with the same haircut as his father. It's a good haircut, but it definitely makes him look about 3 or 4, especially since he's so tall already. My favorite part of the haircut, though, was what happened when Eamon got home. Running around, he suddenly caught sight of himself in a mirror. He gasped, grabbed at his hair in shock, and shouted, "UH OH!"

14 October 2010

The First Rule of Fight Club

KATE: (when asked about Eamon's current resemblance to Tyler Durden) ...and then Eamon grabbed the hanging light and swung down the stairs, narrowly missing the sword-wielding Ninjas just in time to fend off an attack from the Somalian pirate with a roundhouse kick and then running out into the street to save the house from the stampede of bulls that were accidentally let loose when the train that was transporting them collided with the toxic waste truck...

AARON: ...and that's when he tripped on the curb and scraped his nose.

Bah. Reality is overrated. If anyone asks, kid, you saved this house, the town, that bus of Japanese orphan tourists, and probably even the entire world with your quick actions and valor. You have our eternal gratitude, and we hereby crown you King of Everything.

And that is le fact.

(BTW, what exactly is your father trying to cover up with this "curb" story, anyway?")

09 October 2010

The Reluctant Scholar

So, my mother, the retired pediatric nurse practioner, warned me that kids don't progress evenly. They tend to leap forward all at once, then just sit of chill and tread water for awhile (how's that for a mixed metaphor?). It's exciting during the leap periods and, if you're like me, a little worrisome during the chill periods.

Faithful readers (um, are there any? Maybe?) know that Eamon had his tongue and lip frenula clipped recently. He was tongue-tied, and it turned out that he was lip-tied, too, and wasn't saying much at all by 18 months of age. Maybe 1 or 2 words, and those weren't particularly consistent. He stopped babbling pretty much completely, and was totally resorting to sign language.

His pushy mother (you know, me) pushed for the tongue-release surgery. Within 2 weeks afterwards, Eamon started babbling a litle more and trying out new sounds. And then he kind of stopped again. And I worried. Had I put my child through pain and trauma for nothing? Was there something MORE wrong? Would he actually need speech therapy? I only really expressed these fears to my mother because I was afraid that everyone else would just dismiss my fears and tell me to be patient and just wait it out.

My mother didn't dismiss my fears, but she did tell me to be patient and wait until at least 2 before I started to really worry.

So we waited. I knew the lack of speech wasn't an autistic issue (the child looooves people, stimulus, and interaction). I was pretty sure it wasn't a processing issue because Eamon could follow directions just fine...when he wanted to. So I was okay (sort of) with just waiting it out.

And it paid off. So, good job there, Mom. In the past few weeks, Eamon has suddenly started speaking a lot more. His words aren't always entirely clear ("book" comes out "bk," for instance), but he is attempting all kinds of words. He's also gone back to babbling, trying out different sounds even if he can't use them in words ("p," "s," "l"). He know reliably says at least 15 words, with more being added every day. He still uses some of his sign language, but even attempts those words (the other day, I got a "peas" for "please").

The thing about Eamon, though, is that it can sometimes be hard to assess what he does and does not know because he has no interest in showing off. He seems to feel that if he knows it, and he knows that he knows it, why does he need to show anyone else? If you ask him to say a word (even one that it's been proven that he can say), he just shakes his head, smiles, and says "No." If he says something new, and you ask him to repeat it to make sure that he really did say it, he refuses. But he'll repeat it later when he feels like it, and you realize that he really did know it the whole time.

(Sometimes I get the feeling he thinks I am rather unintelligent because I keep asking him to repeat things. He gets this look on his face like, "What? Did you not get it the first time?")

But I'm pretty sure that he's pretty smart, whether he feels the need to show anyone or not. He loves counting and if I ask him to show one finger, he can. He won't do more, but I think it's more because he doesn't have the fine motor coordination yet to hold up 2. He understands the concept of three books before bed (protests if he doesn't get 3, but never expects more, jumping straight up to brush his teeth after the third book).

Also, the other day while reading with my mother, he pointed to the letter "O" and said "O." He then pointed to the letter "M" and said "mmmmm." He wouldn't do it again for her, but the next day I pointed to a magnetic letter O on our fridge and said, "What is that?" and he immediately said "O." He then pointed to the letter "E" and said "eeee."

I next asked him about the letter M but he just started yelling "No no no no no!" because, come on lady, how many of these stupid letters do you need me to say? I got the feeling that he thought I should know those letters; if I didn't, that wasn't his problem, and maybe I should be the one practicing.

03 October 2010

Dear Mr./Mrs. X

As a teacher, I can't help but think about these things when I look at my little baby. I sometimes imagine the conversations and parent/teacher conferences I'm going to have one day regarding one Eamon Wolfe.

To the Future Teachers of Eamon,

Hi. This is Eamon.

Yes, he's very cute. Yes, he knows it.

He knows exactly how to use it, too. Whenever he pushes your limits, it's always with that devil may care smile and that twinkle in his eye. If you yell at him, he'll just smile even bigger, not because he thinks it's funny but because he knows that eventually, that 1000 watt smile will melt even the coldest heart.

So if you're trying to discipline him, it's probably best not to look at him while you do it.

There are some things that you need to know about Eamon.

First of all, he's very curious. And when I say "curious," I mean about EVERYTHING. You might be tempted to think he's hyper, the way that he runs to examine this, no this, no that, no this, around and around and around (for the record, we do feed him plenty; he stays so thin because he rarely stops moving). But don't jump to conclusions--the child can concentrate when he feels like it. When something is interesting. I've watched him sit and do puzzles for 15 minutes at a time--an extraordinary length of time for a child his age.

I guess what I'm saying is, your teaching better be interesting. Otherwise, Lord help you (and me, with all the phone calls I'll be getting).

Also, Eamon has a great sense of humor. He's terribly goofy, and more or less lives to make others laugh. He smiles through most of the day, but sometimes he lets his desire to entertain get the better of him. And he's very social; he's never yet met someone he couldn't charm. I am not exaggerating when I say that other children his age at parks and at the gym follow him around. We have often had both boys and girls chase him around, trying to kiss him. Eamon doesn't really seem to care, just acknowledging his charisma as a fact of life.

So, well, if you seat him by himself so that he doesn't distract others...yeah, I'll understand. He'll probably still find something to distract himself (a pencil! a desk! a shadow!), because he can find something interesting in just about everything. He's still listening even if he doesn't look like it.

I have to warn you, though, that Eamon is a perfectionist. When you start a new skill, if Eamon can't do it perfectly the first time...he's going to insist that he can't do it at all, and then probably try to run around and do something else. It's frustrating...I know...but just keep encouraging him. Feel free to bribe him with Teddy Grahams if you need to (or whatever the pre-school equivalent is).

And he'll probably be a lot more interested in math than reading. The child loves counting, but could give a flip about the alphabet. He loves puzzles and figuring out anything mechanical, but has been slow to talk. We promise that we really do read to him every night, and he has tons of books that he does sit and look through. Books about dinosaurs and lions seem to be his favorite. And he likes rhyming books. Oh, and books about counting, of course. So if you have a rhyming book about counting dinosaurs or lions, he'll probably read that one over and over.

I guess the upshot is, if you have a sense of humor and wonder, you and Eamon are going to get along great. I know that he can be a handful, but he's probably also one of the most upbeat and good-natured kids you're going to meet. And while his boundless energy can be exhausting for those around him, he really just wants to love you. And have you love him in return.

You know, like all kids.

Feel free to call if you have any questions,

Eamon's Mom