27 November 2010

Thankful: The Incomplete, Annotated List

There are so many things for which I am thankful; however, here are the ones that I currenly have pictures for.

First of all, I am thankful that all these children turned out whole and happy and wonderful.

Secondly, I am thankful that all it took to get Eamon to start smiling for the camera was to teach him the word "CHEEEEESE!" Of course, it means that you get the smile seen above, but whatever. It's better than the back of his head, which is what I was getting before.

Thirdly, I am thankful for hugs that only slightly resemble headlocks. They are highly amusing.

Fourthly, I am thankful for wonderful Omas and Opas who keep kids occupied and get up with them at 5:00AM on Black Friday and even convince them to go back to sleep until 7:30AM!!!

Fifthly, I am thankful for little men with rakes, who slept in until 6:30AM again on Brown Saturday!!!

Sixthly, I am thankful for the two men seen above, who are my entire world.

But mostly...

I am thankful for the above picture, which I will use to blackmail Eamon when he is 15 and I need him to behave like a decent human again.


25 November 2010

On the Sixes

Nothing has progressed on the Daylight Savings Catastrophe that has Eamon up at 5:15 AM every morning. His system is not adjusting, he is always up early, and I am increasingly tired and desperate.

The other morning, I even broke the cardinal rule and when Eamon woke up at 5:17AM, I took him into our bed, hoping that maybe my presence would be enough comfort to get him back to sleep. The following drama ensued.

KATE: You can get up at six o'clock, Eamon. SIX. Not until SIX. If you can't sleep, just lie still and be quiet so that Mommy can sleep. SIX, Eamon. We can wake up at SIX.

Quiet. Kate starts to fall asleep. Eamon lies still and is quiet.

EAMON: (at 5:26AM) Mimi? Sih?

KATE: No. Go back to sleep.


EAMON: (at 5:36AM) Mimi? Mimi? Sih?



EAMON: (at 5:46AM) Sih! Sih! Mimi!




KATE: (whimpers)

Well, we finally made it to 6:00 and got up. I learned an important lesson: yes, Eamon knows what a 6 looks like, even in digital, but obviously can't distinguish between minutes and hours. It was like having the world's cutest snooze alarm.

I was relating this little anecdote to my husband, who has this annoying habit of being extraneously sensible about things, and he just blinked at me and said, "Then put a piece of paper or something over the minutes."

Well, then.

I think I will.

We're going away for Thanksgiving, but that's what we're going to try this weekend. And we shall see, my friends. We shall see.

21 November 2010


Getting him ready to go to his grandparents' house, every morning as we walk out the door, all I hear is, "Sthim? Sthim?"

Every time. EVERY TIME. Every time we drive by Riverside Wellness Center, from the backseat emerges an excited squeal, "Sthim?"

We have always known that Eamon enjoyed swimming, but now that he is able to talk a bit and express what is on his mind, turns out that he doesn't just like it as much as obsess over it.

Of course, we do swim lessons every Saturday morning, but that is no longer enough. So we take him swimming during the "Family Swim" time at our gym on Saturday or Sunday nights. We are the only family ever there. Sometimes, we are the only people there. So the pool therefore belongs to Eamon Wolfe, and he is happy.

He sthims and sthims and sthims. He kicks the entire time, puts his head underwater, swims on his own with his pool noodle to keep him afloat, and after half an hour or 45 minutes, you can tell that he is exhausted, that there is little energy left in his tiny limbs, but when you ask him if he wants to get out, he screams, "NO NO NO NO NO! STHIM! STHIM!"

Sthim away, little man. Sthim away. Just make sure I get front-row seats at the 2028 Olympics, all right?

19 November 2010


Gather round, all, for a history lesson that might dramatically change your life.

(And no snorting about Wikipedia as my source, you encyclopedia snobs. Because statistically speaking, Wikipedia is about as accurate as Brittanica no matter how much Brittanica whines otherwise)

Do you like this picture? I thought it was quite nice, with the sun dappling the grass and the cute little boy. We took this picture at about 7:00AM last Saturday, because of course we were already up and it was already light out.

I hear you gasp. Light? At 7:00AM in November?! But should it be light?!

Of course it should be. Because of this crazy l'il thing called (pause for dramatic cough) DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME.

You see, my friends, we revert to Daylight Savings Time every summer in order to...um. Well, it's hard to say. At one point, it was supposedly to save on incandescent lighting...so maybe it's to save electricity? No, because it doesn't significantly alter our electricity consumption. For farming? No, farmers don't really like it either.

SO THEN WHY DO WE DO IT? I hear you crying (you are all very loud today, btw).

Well, friends, as near as I can figure it...

...the reason that we screw up everyone's sleep patterns twice a year...

...(including the cherub you see here, who used to be a fabulous sleeper, but now, no matter WHAT I do, has woken up at 5:15AM every day since Daylight Savings ended)...

...is because in 1865, some New Zealand entomologist wanted more time after work in the evening to collect insects.

So thank you, George Vernon Hudson. I hope those bugs were REALLY awesome.

13 November 2010

A Penny for Your Thoughts

Oh, Eamon.

My desire for you to start talking, in full complete sentences, is purely selfish.

You see, you are one of the goofiest people I have ever met. You think "silly" is a goal and you strive to meet it every day. You are crazy and bizarre and I don't even think you're marching to the beat of your own drummer, but possibly a trombonist or maybe even the sound rubber boots make on wet tile. And I don't think you're marching, either, but possibly tangoing or even hula-hooping.

Sometimes, when we are in the car driving to your grandparents' house, and you are looking contemplatively out the window, you will suddenly break out into hysterical laughter, silly faces, and crazy noises, flinging your arms and kicking your feet wildly as if the world is simply too fantastic, too great, too amazing to hold it in any longer...and then after a few seconds, you go right back to staring out the window. I can't help but laugh, too, and I just want to know...what were you thinking about?

And you are talking...more and more each day. I am no longer shocked when you learn a new word, because each day you add at least three more to your vocabulary. Today you told us that you were going to "smim" in the "puh" and that you were eating a "brry" with your "tust" at breakfast.

But I know it's not enough for you, either: that you are always thinking more and anxious to say everything on your mind and sometimes you are frustrated when we cannot decipher your string of unintelligible syllables that you obviously mean to be a sentence of immense gravity.

And though you find the Pidgin-Eamon-English so frustrating, each day you are also finding ways to show us more and more of what you actually know. You are able to say almost every letter in the alphabet, or at least the sound (except for the nefarious H and its evil compatriot Y), and today, you even pointed to the word ME, and said "Mmmm" and then "eeeee," and then looked expectantly at me. When I said the whole word "ME" you smiled knowingly and made we did it again and again. "Mmmm....eeee." "Me." "Mmmm....eeee." "Me."

And who knows? Without the accompanying speech, it's hard to gauge what you actually can do. Maybe you can already read. Maybe you're figured out a cure for cancer. Maybe you've developed an effective method of time travel or have secretly worked out how to start a colony on Mars or have written four operas in your head already.

But the real reason I want you to be able to talk? The purely selfish reason? Because I am pretty sure, pretty gosh darn sure, that one day, I will be able to tell you this joke:

Two ions were walking down the street. The first ion looked at the other and said worriedly, "Dude, I think I've lost an electron."

"Are you sure?" asked the second.

"Yeah," replied the first. "I'm positive."

And Eamon? I think you, unlike almost every other person I have ever met, will laugh hysterically with me at that joke, and then tell me one equally as terrible and funny.

So about those operas? Eh, I don't care. The cure for cancer would be nice, but really, I just want to know what you're thinking about when you burst into laughter for seemingly no reason at all.

Because I have a feeling you might be the coolest person I know.

08 November 2010

Well, Whaddya Know?

When you have a late-talker like Eamon, it can be hard sometimes to judge what they are and are not picking up. Because he doesn't automatically repeat everything we say, I admit that sometimes we say things that we shouldn't in front of him, which will probably have some very embarrassing consequences very soon.

It also means, however, that even though we worked with him on things like the alphabet and numbers, for the longest time we had no way of knowing whether he was "getting it." The other problem is that Eamon doesn't like to show off, generally, and will not answer a question just because you ask it. "What's that?" when you point to a number, letter, or animal is often followed by flagrant ignoring of your question. He has better things to do than perform. Sheesh.

That is why this weekend has been particularly exciting. Over the past couple of weeks, Eamon has been talking more and more and appears to finally be understanding how to express himself. He's using more words, and even putting two words or a word and a sign together to convey his ideas.

Moreover, he's able to finally talk enough to show us that all that working with letters and numbers hasn't been us just throwing concepts into a giant abyss. He's been paying attention the entire time.

For instance, on the way to my parents' on Friday, I caught him in the back seat "singing" something to the effect of "Ah, buh, see, duh, eee, ffff, guh-ee...hsotughsol...." Apparently, he can't quite get his tongue around the "H" sound, so decided to abandon the effort. After all, 26 letters is kind of extraneous, when you think about it.

Then this Saturday, we took him to the mall. Every time he spotted his favorite letters on the store signs, he started yelling them out to us. Finally, we stood in front of Borders book store, and asked him each letter. He knew them all...and read them to us in order. He could also read all the letters in The Daily Show's book Earth...until the H, which just seems to be throwing him.

But I knew that he had been working on his letters for awhile. In fact, I think he knows most of them, so I wasn't too surprised that he could read them in order.

What did amaze me was this morning. We were sitting on the steps (I like to sit on steps...I don't know why...and Eamon does, too) eating some Fruit Snacks. I only ever let him have one at a time because I am paranoid about him choking. He always, of course, wants more than that.

"ONE," I said, handing him one. "You can only have ONE."

In my other hand, though, I was holding two more. He pointed to them. "TWO," he said.

Then, just for good measure, he carried on, "FREE, FO."

So, well, he can count, too. At least up to four. Possibly more, but again, his difficulty with speech makes it hard to tell when he doesn't understand/know something and when he just can't say it.

That being said, I am excited that he seems to know so much, but also worried. If he's actually been paying attention all this time, it means that he's not only picked up the letters and numbers things, but probably also some other choice words that might have accidentally been uttered in his presence, and it's only a matter of time before he surprises me with some of those gems as well.

Let's just hope it's not in front of anyone else.

05 November 2010

One Nap, Two Nap, No Nap...Please Nap?

He had me fooled. I thought that Eamon Wolfe (my child; see every other blog post) knew what he was doing. He seemed pretty competent and reliable about this whole "being a small child" thing.

If the books and the milestone charts said that he should be sitting up around 5 months, he sat up around 5 months. He was never early, and rarely late. If the books said to crawl around 7 months, he showed zero proclivity to do so until 7 months on the dot. We excused him on the talking aspect, though, because of the tongue-tie thing, and he is doing his best to make up ground on that particular aspect.

But now we've found something else, another area in which Eamon has obviously not done any research because he's doing it all wrong: napping.

Eamon? Has anyone seen Eamon? Where are you, Eamon?!

First of all, he's running late. Most books say that around 18 months most kids will start to go from two naps to one nap. Well, 18 months came and went and Eamon just kind of ignored that particular milestone. We briefly attempted it one weekend, during which he was a cranky, irritable, whiny mess. After a quick conference with all concerned, we came to consensus that we would let Eamon take the lead on this one and let us know when he was ready for just one nap a day.

So 18 months became 19, which rolled into 20, which stretched into 21, which meandered into 22, which is where we are now. And Eamon is finally, finally, starting to edge towards only 1 nap a day.

But here's the problem: IT'S THE WRONG NAP.

WAIT! What's that in the curtains? Is that...a little boy?!

See, according to "the experts" (good for them, they published a book), the kid is supposed to give up the MORNING NAP, and then move towards 1 MIDDLE OF THE DAY NAP. But Eamon? He is confused, and is instead trying to still take his morning nap from 9-11ish, and then wants to give up the afternoon nap. This means that he is trying to stay up from 11-7, and folks, quite frankly, my perfect fabulous little munchkin of joy and happiness disappears somewhere around hour 5 1/2 and becomes the evil gnome of doom and misery and cranky-pantsedness.
And yes, we've discussed the idea of putting him down earlier around 6...but then he sleeps for 11 hours and is up around 5AM, and that is NOT A VIABLE OPTION.
I have sat Eamon down. I have had this discussion. I've attempted to show him charts and graphs explaining why we cannot keep the morning nap as it is and just give up our afternoon nap, but it's not getting through to him. When I ask him whether he understands, I usually just get answers like "SHOCKS!" as he attempts to take off his socks, or "DOH!" because he wants to open the door and go outside. It almost makes me think that he's not even paying attention.
I'm not really sure what to do here. I get that he's inexperienced at the whole "life" thing, but he's not taking any of my suggestions seriously on this one. I think I am going to have to put him on a Plan of Action, and that this might just be one of those dilemmas that we have to work on consisently over the course of many weeks or, Lord help us, many months to solve. I have every confidence that, as a team, we can all work through it together and find a solution and suits everyone's needs.

There you are, Eamon! By the way, don't forget that your Annual Performance Review is coming up in December.

01 November 2010

The Friendly Lion Who Hates Things on His Head

There was a Great Halloween Debate this year about whether we should even take Eamon trick-or-treating.

Point the first: Eamon doesn't like sweet things. So why bother going knocking door-to-door to ask for some?

Point the second: Eamon really likes people. And doors (don't ask me why; he's 22 months old and that should be reason enough). So maybe he would enjoy trick-or-treating?

Point the third: Eamon doesn't understand "dressing up." So why bother?

Point the fourth: But Eamon really likes lions and he picked out his own lion costume.

Point the fifth: With all other things being equal, eh, why not?

So out we went. We went first thing while it was still light and before the inevitable late evening crankiness. Eamon put on his costume easily enough, though was a little upset when I undressed him from his regular day clothes and then would not let him take a bath (why else would I undress him in the evening?) He would not, however, put on the hood that actually made him look like a lion, rather than just a very cute little boy in a furry yellow jumpsuit.

We did manage one picture with the hood up. One picture.

We then set out on our sojourn. We decided to just try 2 or 3 houses and then head back, but our plan was quickly amended when it turned out that Eamon.Loved.Trick.or.Treating.

On so many walks previously, he desired nothing more than to go up to every door with cries of "Door! Door!" If anyone was out on their lawn during these walks, he wanted to meet them, to let them fawn over him, and could not understand why we were were against the idea of him introducing himself to the neighborhood.

But this--this was The Walk He Had Been Waiting For. He got to go up to doors and knock. Or ring the doorbell, which was astoundingly fun and we had to remind him not to do 3 or 4 or 55 times per house.

And then, after he knocked or rang--the door would open! And people would appear! And they would tell him how adorable he was! And they would give him things!!!!
(Side note: he did not understand what they were giving him or why, but he understood that the getting was good--and gosh darn it, he wanted those packages of things, whatever the heck they were).

After awhile, he seemed to grasp the idea of "candy" as an abstract concept. He knew that it was something to be "eaten" and much of the time he was not winning the adoration of complete strangers was spent attempting to "feed" the candy to his father. I think he thought of it kind of like his fake plastic food, though, rather than as actual edible objects.

After walking about 3 blocks, Eamon finally started to get tired...of walking, but not of Trick-or-Treating. We had a hard time convincing him that some houses were not participating; he was pretty sure that everyone wanted to meet the cute little mane-less lion. The only houses he didn't want to visit were the ones where the owners were dressed up themselves or had on masks. He didn't mind walking by costumed people as we went from house to house, but was determined not to take anything from anyone in a mask (probably not a bad life policy, come to that).
When we got home, Eamon immediately sat in the entry way and dumped out his bucket on the floor as if to take stock of his loot. He carefully surveyed every piece of candy...and then carefully put each piece back in the bucket. He then dumped the bucket again, put each piece back one by one, and continued in this way for a good 10 minutes. After awhile we decided that one or two pieces of candy wouldn't hurt him, so we sifted through and picked out something we thought he would like.
First, I gave him some M&Ms. He took them suspiciously, like Jack's mother with the enchanted beans, and just held them in his hand. I then tried to convince him to eat one, which he did with a raised eyebrow like maybe his mother had lost her mind. Everything was going well into he bit into an M&M...and blanched like I had given him sawdust, then spit it right out and handed it to me. He could not be induced to eat another.
Mind you, this is the child who eats raw lemons like they are apples.

So then we tried a lollipop. He took a few licks of that, but was quickly annoyed that he couldn't just eat it. He handed it to his father without a backwards glance.
Okay. No chocolate, no lollipops. In a last ditch effort we decided to try some Swedish Fish, because who doesn't like Swedish Fish? And he ate one. Then two! Hotdog, we had finally found something! But the third got stuck on his tooth, as Swedish Fish are wont to do, and it freaked him out. Aaron had to pry the thing off Eamon's tooth and after that, Eamon was done with his foray into Halloween candy.
Eamon took his bucket full of his prized possessions, dumped them into the large bowl of Halloween candy so I could give it all out to other Trick-or-Treaters, and went to watch Sesame Street on the computer with his father. Because, people, the real spirit of Halloween is not the candy...it is having people adore and fawn over you.
And thus ended Eamon's First Real Halloween.