Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Texan Tales of Troughs

Our latest adventure to Texas was an (all too short) five day trip to the Farm. It was wonderful in every way, and even though we found ourselves in the heat of the Summer, we found lots of creative ways of staying cool!

The most memorable of which was a cattle trough my dad cleaned out and filled up - it was our makeshift backyard pool - and it worked beautifully! Daniel loved it. We also hit up the local water park twice during our trip. Designed for young families, it was perfect for Daniel's age and energy level. There were slides, climbing structures, a lazy river and fountains galore.

We also got creative with a bunch of dollar store water guns (and 2 big green water hoses) for an hour of screaming, running, and retaliation. Even Grampa got in on the fun :) And you can imagine why there are no fancy photos of this particular occasion!

Daniel was able to spend quality time with some of his favorite people:

Gramma: Daniel's plaything for five days. He hauled her around by her hand, practicing being bossy.
Tex: Provider of all fun farm items. See: Appendix A: Cattle Trough. Appendix B: Tractors.
Grampa: They spoke their own language, almost literally. Those two existed in their own bubble, and communicated on their own level. It was precious.
Mema: She, possibly the wisest of all women, knows how to get a toddler to do something. (The answer: Tell him not to do it. For example, "Daniel don't you touch my toes!" Hilarious.)
Molly: The very senior labrador retriever who obeys Daniel's commands better than those of any adult on the farm.

The days passed all too quickly, full of ping pong, massage chairs, golf cart rides, harmonica concerts and a very special blender in the kitchen.

We can't wait until Christmas!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Captain Consideration

It's a new era, alright. Daniel was never particularly inconsiderate towards us, but he has been party to the "I'm a toddler - the world revolves around me" syndrome.

Out of the blue, he has turned into Captain Consideration.

When we sneeze, instead of saying "bless you", he urgently asks if we are ok: "Mommy! You ok?!"

He constantly invites us to play with him. It's like something clicked in his brain that we don't always have to be with him, and he needs to invite us. And let me tell you - it's absolutely irresistable when he interrupts chores with those big brown eyes... "Mommy, you want to play too? Ok! Hold me hand..." and he drags me off to his room to play.

When we are at the dinner table, if he is done before us and goes to play, he approaches the table every three minutes and very politely asks each of us: "Mommy, you all done? You want to play cars too? Daddy, you all done? You want to play?"

When he plays with a toy, he insists on giving one to us as well. He is intent on making sure we have as much or more in our hands as he has in his. If we set it down - he runs over and "re-gifts" it to us: "Mommy, here. This mommy's toy... and this Daniel's toy." He even gives us Zona from time to time - and she's worth the world to him.

He congratulates us constantly - I'm sure it's because we praise his every effort. If we are helping him spell letters, he'll turn to us beaming: "Mommy! You DID it! Yay!" The most recent episode of this happened at the Wal-Mart Customer Service Counter. He was spelling "Customer Service" and I was repeating each letter. After a very loud congratulations from him to me, a few of the people in line even turned, laughing, and applauded my spelling efforts. Nice.

He made a huge mess in the bathtub the other night (which he had to help clean up). But the next morning he ran to the tub, saw it was clean, and turned to me: "Mommy! You clean it! Good job!" (My favorite: Sometimes he'll walk in on us using the toilet, and no doubt as a reflection of our potty training efforts with him, he'll "high-five" us and congratulate us on the effort. Hilarious.)

And maybe the sweetest development has been his sympathetic tendencies. Last night I banged my knee in the garage and it kind of knocked the wind out of me. I was bent over, trying not to a) cuss or b) cry... and Daniel ran up to me: "Mommy! You ok?! Mommy! What happen?!" I told him I got an ouchie, and he immediately dropped to his knees, stood up and said "My got ouchie too!"

Ready for the kicker? He grabbed my hand, led me inside and said, "We got ouchie together."

Melt me.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

"It's not WHAT you say...'s how you say it."

As Daniel's vocabulary continues to explode, I have noticed that what brings me the most joy (or laughter, depending on the situation) is not so much the new words he can say, but the pronunciations that are evolving over time.

Here is a short list of some of my favorites:

3, 4, 5: Inexplicably, these previously correct numbers have become: "Threef, Fourf, Fife"
"Hold Me Hand" ... I will be sad the day he fixes this.
"Mommy, wha-you doooing?" He delivers this question with a HEAVY Irish accent.
Orange: "O-Jun"
Elephant: "Epotent"
Blueberries: "Boo-berries"
Harmonica: "Mon-ca"
"I gone get you!" In that perfect little sing-song voice... when he wants to be chased.
"Ah - more!" Somehow, these two syllables became permanently linked in Daniel's mind.
MommyDaddy (When he's crying, we apparently become one person to him...!)
"I got TWO" When he discovers 2 of his bedtime animals at the same time... this is a rare treat.
Cracker: "Crackter"
"That's a BIG one..." Regarding anything and everything larger than Daniel expected.
Lightning: "Lightmeen" (Usually followed by "That's a BIG lightmeen!")
"You're Mine" / "I'm Yours": Wrestling phrases used by both father & son.
"I'm Mine": Wrestling phrase used by Daniel when he gets confused.
Chuckie Cheese: "Chuckie Chickie"
"It's funny" or "That silly" with his super cheesy, squinty laugh.
"My do it!" Usually about getting into the car seat. Sometimes about picking a boogar.
Blanket: "Blankeen"
Helicopter: "Hepicopter"
"Listen... Shh, Listen!" He is always silencing us to hear what's in the background.
"Vrilll": What he thinks the letter "V" sounds like. Don't ask.
Stuck: His favorite verb. "It's stucking!"
Cereal: "See-rolls" (Always plural).
Here It Comes: (in sing song) "Heeee Cubbs!"
Movie: "Moomie"
Nothing: Nuffing! (What are you doing, Daniel? Um...Nuffing!")
"Cheers!" "Bing!" (Since our glasses don't really clink, we have to make the noise ourselves!)
Clean Up Song: "Cwean Crup, Cwean Crup, Everybody Everywhere...!"
"Moe Ghen": More Again... As in, play that tractor scene of Cars "moe ghen" :)
"Togeder": I love that this word has entered his vocabulary.
Spoon: "Poon". Until tonight, when he finally got the "SP" nailed. With emphasis!
His Name: "Dano Maro" :)

I could go on forever! If we ask him, "Daniel, what are you doing?" He always conjugates his answers twice, including the word "doing": "I doing the eating the cereal!" It's fun to hear how he's acquiring language, piece by piece.