Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Bite of the Acting Bug

Ethan has a love/hate relationship with our vacuum cleaner. Most of the time it's hate. He used to break into a fit of tears upon hearing the distinct noise. Not wanting him to be in such anguish every time we went on a cleaning spree, we worked really hard to make progress towards mending their relationship. Here's a breakdown of our four-step vacuum fence mending process:

1) Mama makes a big deal of waving to and saying hello to the vacuum.
2) Mama gets down on the floor and actually kisses - yes, kisses - the vacuum.
3) Mama encourages Ethan to show an equal level of enthusiasm towards his nemesis.
4) Mama points out vacuum cleaners in the real world (Target, friend's houses, etc.) and repeats the greeting process. No kissing this time, I have my dignity to preserve. At least while I'm in the company of others.

After a few weeks of this, we saw sweet success! Ethan not only was no longer scared of the vacuum, but actually enjoyed seeing and waving to them! Hurrah! We're brilliant parents! BRILLIANT, I say!

And then, out of the blue one day, he re-developed his fear. Ryan pulled out the vacuum, and Ethan reacted in sheer terror. His jaw dropped, his eyes widened, he threw his arms open, and began to shake. If it wasn't so sad to see him scared, I would have laughed.

Okay, I did laugh. Hey, funny is funny.

It was so funny, in fact, that Ryan recounted this story to his parents one evening over dinner, complete with demonstrative reenactment. Ethan saw the silly pose that his Daddy struck, copied it, and got a big laugh from his adoring fans. And a star was born.

He now regularly puts on "Scared Shows" for us, intermittently pretending to be terrified and giggling at his trick over and over again for minutes at a time. We caught this on film and wanted to share it with you. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

My Funny Valentine

It's been a sweet, sweet eighteen months since his birth, which means it's time for another Ethan stats update!

- Is impossibly cute, as seen above, but has a new and inexplicable blinding fear of camera equipment and strobe lights. This made our photo shoot quite difficult, as a screaming, crying, blotchy baby wasn't exactly what we were going for. Luckily, Daddy is a professional, and managed to get a few good shots!
- Weighs a whopping 28 pounds. TWENTY EIGHT POUNDS! Sheesh. Do you realize how close 28 is to 30? I'm honestly quite shocked that I don't have more obvious muscle mass from lugging that big lug around for the last year and a half.
- Measures 35 inches tall, unless you (like I do) think that the nurse miscalculated at his last checkup. I'm giving him a credit of one inch and am calling him an even three feet.
- Uses running as his primary mode of transportation, and as a result has recently split open his lip, scraped up his forehead, and incurred countless bruises.
- Has begun to develop manners, and will spontaneously say "thank you" when you give him something, and ask for "help, please" when he's frustrated. It's sounds more like "tae coo" and "bup, peas" but we know what he means and it's good enough for us!
- Has a mouth full of teeth and a head full of hair, and has received three official haircuts to date. We're still waiting on his two year molars... at least I think we are. I would try to feel his gums at the back of his mouth, but he gets all Little Shop of Horrors on you and clamps down now. I've analyzed the risk vs. reward, and have decided I just don't care enough to know for sure whether or not all of his teeth have broken through.
- Loves all vehicles (the bigger, the better), ride-on toys, bathtub crayons, knocking over blocks, playing musical instruments, and reading books. He also likes to pick up toys, place them in a bucket, and then violently shake the bucket until all of the toys fall out. Peek-a-boo, games of chase, and piggy back rides are also big hits in this house.
- Dances to every type of music imaginable, including muzak in the market, hip hop in the mall, and ballads on Kleenex commercials. He likes tunes with a steady, thumping beat, and will turn around, bob his head, bend his knees and shake his booty, and run in place a la Flashdance.
- Is no longer Mama's little baby, though I must admit I still try to cradle and cuddle him like I did when he was a wee thing. I'm learning to embrace the fact that my sweet baby is a little boy now, and am cherishing every minute of his boyhood... because I know that before I know it, he'll be all grown up!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Who's In Charge, Here?

Seven Signs That My Kid Is The Boss of Me

1) I adjust my schedule according to his every need. Think Anne Hathaway's character in "The Devil Wears Prada" - Ethan is my Meryl Streep. If he wants/needs/demands something, I hop to it. (What, you want lunch? But not your lunch - you want my lunch? Well, I was kind of hungry, but what's mine is yours! No, take it, please, I really shouldn't have more than a Diet Coke for a midday meal, anyway. After all, that baby weight isn't going to lose itself!)

2) Six out of the six CDs that my car's stereo changer can have loaded are of the kid's variety. Nursery songs, silly songs, songs that are impossible to get out of your head. (I could serenade you with seven different versions of "If You're Happy and You Know It." Some will end with jazz hands.)

3) I get paid in kisses and hugs, smiles and laughs. And smeared crackers all over my pants. And spilled juice boxes. And an army of soiled diapers... but mostly in kisses and hugs. (Seriously, though, babies are priceless. And broke, apparently. I keep checking the mail for my monthly mommy paycheck, but it never comes.)

4) The vast majority of the sentences I say out loud throughout the day are horribly gramatically incorrect. I have to fight the urge in conversations with adults to simplify my sentences to two or three word utterances. ("Ethan want up? Mama help? Good asking!" can quickly turn into "Ryan hungry? Sarah make meal? Good eating!")

5) Instead of movie theaters, restaurants, and bars, a hot date now consists of trips to the park, Babies R Us, or a kid's play place. Our darling little one is a perpetual third wheel. (Feel free to read this and feel compelled to offer to babysit. Really, feel free!)

6) I have so many job responsibilities, I bring my work home with me. I also bring my work to the grocery store with me, to the post office with me, and sometimes to the bathroom with me. (Labor laws flew out the window the second I went into labor - there's no mandatory 15 minute break and 30 minute lunch in this household!)

7) While watching an episode of "The Wiggles" - not that I let my toddler watch TV, of course - I have been known to exclaim aloud, "Oh, I love this song!" when the fab four start to sing a particular tune. (I'm partial to the Captain Feathersword-related ditties "Captain's Magic Buttons" and "Blow Me Down.")

Though he's taken over my life, he's completely captured my heart, and I wouldn't have it any other way! I'd elaborate on all of the mushy gushy stuff, but I think I hear my boss calling me now. Can't be late - he'll make me pay if I dawdle!