Wednesday, June 14, 2006

So like I said, I'm back. It's been an interesting few weeks.

Some highlights:

1) The child has launched himself into the World of the Verbal with a ferocity that is both exciting and terrifying. Often it will be some time before we recognize that the collection of syllables he's been producing is actually a word. "Ca-kah," he'd say over and over until one of us realized he was asking for a cracker. "Kak kak kak!" he'd shriek, pointing wildly from his highchair into the air. This one took several days to figure out: he was pointing at a mobile of clay doves that hangs in our kitchen and wanted us to make them fly. To him, they were ducks, hence the "kak, kak," which duh, Mama, everyone knows is what ducks say. On the other hand, however, birds, apparently, hiss. So now he clarifies himself by pointing to the mobile and hissing. Of course.

By the way--cats? They say "gon." If we engaged in a serious game of "what do animals in YOUR culture say?", I think we'd discover he's actually Cambodian. But we're trying not to plumb that line too much.

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The above is a video of him saying his new Everyword. It seems that all children must go through a phase where a particular word gains so much currency it must be used in every possibe circumstance, even the ones that seem outside of the bounds of logic. Foo, evidently, had her doggies and Juniper had her apples. Us? We've got bicycles. Oh, have we got bicycles. Big-boy bikes, tricycles, exercise bikes, even wheelchairs and wheeled walkers--all are bicycles, and all must be announced with the same fervor and zeal, often in a sort of bicycle mantra: "Biiiiiiicycle," he'll chirp, dragging syllabies out, and then suddenly rapid fire repitition takes over "bicycle-bicycle-bicycle-bicycle-bicycle."

We actually think that in some way the word 'bicycle' has become the 'smurf' of its time---as in "dude, that is sooo bicycle of him to give me that cookie!" or "I cannot have a bath, the water's too bicycle for me." In fact, a few days ago, I put him in his crib at nighttime, and he looked at me, smiled a sweet sleepy smile around his paci and said "biiiiiicycle." Then he rolled over and went to sleep.

Fortunately, it seems a NUMBER of D's favorite things have a similar "initial bilabial stop-middle syllable voiceless velar stop" phonetic pattern like bicycle. For those of you not pursuing graduate study in linguistics, that means that many of his favorite words have a B or P (called bilabial stops because you stop the flow of air with both lips) at the beginning and a hard K sound (called a voiceless velar stop because--you guessed it--you stop the flow of air by touching your tongue to your soft palate, also called the velum) in the middle. To whit: bicycle, peek-a-boo, breakfast, Sparky (the dog downstairs), pinecone, backpack. It's frightening how much of one's vocabularic needs can be met by that one sound combination.

2) In the intervening weeks, we have learned to savor the forgotten joys of home ownership. We hired an outfit called Bet Your Grass (sorry, nice Mormon neighbors) to deforest our property on a regular basis only to be reminded that "The Dry Season" is just about upon us, which means we need to hire another party to water our lawn. So that it will grow. So that we can pay to have it cut again. This strikes me as silly, especially since in the high desert we are going to be diverting, like, rivers and stuff so that the stupid Kentucky fescue on our yard can survive. Needless to say, we are vigorously exploring xeriscaping (sorry again, nice, green-lawn havin' Mormon neighbors).

3) One grad student income - one mortgage payment - rent - bills for two places of semi-residence = we need a money tree, and fast. Maybe we can xeriscape one.

4) We are almost officially grownups. Want to know what finally convinced us? It wasn't having a baby together. It wasn't getting a mortgage. No, it was choosing a new sofa. Almost our entire married lives, we have plunked our butts on the futon from my college days, and we decided it was time. We've found the one we want, and we're waiting to see if it feels the same way about us. All I can tell you is that it's dark brown leather, very comfy to be with, and probably has an infectious laugh. Since this blog is officially for D to have a record of his life, I want him to know that his mama was such a dork that she personified the new queen sleeper sofa upon which he will probably make a pass at his prom date one day.

5) It's my blogaversary today. Mommymatic's a year old! There is no way I can say how much blogging has helped me on this parenting path, but you have only to glance at my blogroll to know that I've had some very fine company on this journey. I want to do an individual blurb about each blog on the roll, but it will have to wait, I'm afraid. All I can say right now is that when I feel I have no home at all, no community, nobody who gets me, my eyes wander to that list, and I remember something--and usually several things--about each person there that reminds me that somebody somewhere does get me.