Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Month 14: Off and Running. Literally.

This kid operates at the speed of light. He is in constant motion - sometimes I think just for the sake of motion. He occasionally (accidentally?) breaks into a run every now and then, his arms either in the T-Rex position, or wide open, as if hoping to take flight.

Even when he's sitting down he's still moving, absent-mindedly flapping his arms and legs, or shaking his head so hard he gets dizzy (something he enjoys immensely).

His mind is apparently moving at warp speed too - he wants to read everything in sight. He brings us his books, our books, electronics manuals, DVD and CD cases...anything that vaguely resembles a book. I think my favorite is when he selects a book that is too heavy for him to carry, and hauls it across the floor by a corner.

His vocabulary is increasing too - he now mimics new words, animals sounds (sheep and cow, specifically), and says "bah" for book, ball, and rock. This week he started saying "1, 2, 3" (although it sounds more like "uoh, ooo, eee..."). Oh - and he loves to say "na na" for banana - almost as much as he loves to eat them. He'll down an entire banana as a pre-meal appetizer. If anyone in a two block radius says the word "banana" he screams "na na!!" and bolts for the kitchen, pointing at the banana rack. Unbelievable.

As much as I hate the phrase "a boy's boy", Daniel definitely fits the bill... he's completely obsessed with rocks (and throwing them), bugs, dirt, and getting as dirty as humanly possible during a simple trip to the park. Needless to say, his bathwater turns impressive shades of brown. He loves playing catch, kicking a ball back and forth and even playing basketball with his mini hoop at preschool.

"Ball" is the word du jour, and he has an impressive ability to see balls everywhere. (Last week he was at the park and started yelling "bah! bah! bah!" and running towards a rock bed. We chased across the park to stop him, but once we got there, we realized there was a small pink ball imbedded in the rocks that was impossibly hard to see.)

He naps with as much vigor as he plays, crashing harder and faster than ever before. After a recent trip to IKEA during which he ran and played through every model room display, he fell asleep within ten seconds of being strapped in his car seat. No exaggeration.

All this rough and tumble play has shown us that Daniel definitely inherited my skin - he bruises easily, little bumps turn into red welts, little scratches turn into long white streaks, and his poor face turns beat red in the heat. His teeth are from Fernando though - the rate of entry, at least. We've lost track of what tooth came in when, and even how many are in - our best guess is somewhere around 13 or 14. Maybe more.

Lately, Daniel's favorite games include "scary daddy" (where Fernando simply hides and jumps out with a scary face), "chasing mommy" (I think you get the gist of that one), splashing in the tub, stacking and nesting toys, putting things inside containers, being upside down, climbing stair, and dancing. He loves to dance.

Well, this posting kind of turned into an all-over-the-board update, but I guess those aren't terrible once in a while.

Consider yourself updated!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Month 13: Vampires and Super Fast Slides

So maybe it wasn't a REAL vampire, but Daniel has officially been bitten. Twice. By a kid in his new classroom. My sweet little man - with teeth marks on his skin.

The interesting part about this whole scenario is actually the parental component - Fernando and I react in completely opposite ways to the biting. A few of my friends at work have young boys who have gone through the biting phase - both being bitten and being the biter. (Say that ten times fast.) So in a way, I halfway expected something like this to happen soon. While I'm not thrilled that he was bitten, I'm just glad he wasn't the biter.

Fernando had an entirely different take on the situation. His protective claws came out - in fact, I haven't seen him this angry in a long time. Either he's been watching too much Law and Order, or it's a result from having two younger sisters and looking out for them their whole life. After we were told about the first biting incident, Ferni had to take a long walk and a longer drive to cool off. To protect the family's privacy, we weren't told which child did the biting, and I'm glad. I'm nervous as to what might have happened to the child. Or the parents. (Or the parents' car).

He finally walked back in my office, and simply said, "We better never have a girl" and walked out. It's true - if he's this protective with a son, I cannot imagine what a sweet little girl would do to his nerves.

In happier news, we have been frequenting the local parks nearly every evening. The weather is beautiful, the fresh air is welcome (albeit packed full of allergens and pollution, thank you Phoenix), and the exercise is just enough to get Daniel good and tired (and dirty) before his nighttime bath. The slides are particularly fun, and with Daniel sitting between our legs, some of the slides go breathtakingly fast. Either that or I'm just getting older.

Something about a trip to the park is relaxing to all of us, taking our mind off work stress, and re-focusing us on the important stuff - each other. Sometimes we take balls and toys, sometimes we take dinner and eat in the grass or grill out, and sometimes, like tonight, we just roll up our sleeves and get dirty, playing in the sand and rocks.

I hope we never getting too busy or grown up to stop taking trips to the park.