Toddlers are passionate and frequently negative. The books say this is the beginning of them carving out their individual identity. It makes sense to me that you have to be able to say No or your Yes is always going to be weak. So part of me that is fine with him uttering his offended little denials of this food or that book but it isn’t altogether easy to say goodbye to the relaxed kid who took what he was offered and enjoyed every book.

He is a sweet and really good kid but he feels more frustration and sadness and it’s strange knowing how much more lies inevitably, ahead. As a parent I sometimes have the heartbreaking feeling of having gotten him into such a terrible mess and yet I know that the being game is the only game in town. If you don’t exist you don’t cry but you don’t laugh or love either.

When he wants a book read to him (450 times in an average day) he makes a noise like the music during the shower scene in “Psycho”. How does one respond to this?

Isaac: “RE – RE – RE -RE!” (Spider cracks form in all glass objects.)
Daddy or Mommy: “Of course sweetie” or “For Gods sake, cut that out” or simply “AiYEEEEEE!”He is still wild for birdies. He goes to bed calling out to them and wakes up asking after them. When he recognizes one in a drawing or photo he has to shout it out with the satisfaction of seeing something very important. Buses and trucks also hit this sweet spot as well as dogs and cats but without the edge of sheer intensity that birdies bring.
I took him to Green Lake yesterday and we walked into a wild wind. Whitecaps were leaping and leaves flying but strangely it wasn’t very cold. I wanted to walk him to where the birds are but didn’t find them at the usual spots we walked on and on around the lake and finally found a collection of ducks. They looked us over and watched expectantly. I threw them some cheerios and they came closer. Now lately when showing Isaac pictures of ducks we say:” Quack quack quack” as duckily as we can. His rendering of this is “Gaga”: He calls them gaga birdies. Now meanwhile, seagulls and grebes and geese and crows had all gathered with that sixth sense for handouts. Isaac became incredibly excited, laughing and after telling every single one that it was in fact, a birdie, he began to yell at them in what I guess he figures is their language.Ga Ga GAGAGAGAGAGA! GAGAGGA! GAGGAGA! Ga Ga GAGAGAGAGAGA! GAGAGGA! GAGGAGA! GAGAGAGAGAGA! GAGAGGA! GAGGAGA!

For at my best guess, around a minute and a half. He looked like a tiny little Mussolini yelling at a crowd of fascist ducks. He got so worked up that I started to realize I had gotten us into something tricky to get out of. Here he was communing with his “people” at last and it was getting on to time to leave. As I pulled the stroller back from the lake and started to roll away he bust into tears and deep throated sobs. Good going Hugh. He is a baby though, and within a few hundred feet started to notice other birds and dogs such and grew quiet. But he’s now old enough that he’s getting his feet caught in the glue of wanting and needing and not wanting to let go. You’re welcome kid.

Conversation in the car on the way home:
Isaac: Hewo.

Hugh: Hewo.
Isaac: Hewo.
Hugh: Hewo.
Isaac: Hewo.
Hugh: (oops) Hello.
Isaac: Hewo.
Hugh: Hello.
Isaac: Hello.
Hugh: Hello.
Isaac: Hello.
(Silence)
Isaac: Hewo.

Things I can’t believe I said this week:

  1. “Please, no. I hate Timmy Tiptoes”
  2. “No, it’s a boat not a dog. It looks like a dog, and it has a dog face but it’s a boat.”
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