Monday, December 27, 2010

A simple gift

A classic – a brown paper bag serving as the coveted toy. Twice we had put it in the recycle bin. What use had it once the candy cane and fruit from the Christmas Eve church service had been eaten? Each time, Ethan asked where his paper bag was, so we got it out. Who can blame him? It fit perfectly into his new little wagon.

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Another Ethan first: He laid out train tracks.

After a long period of treating his new train set with the utmost care and kindness, Ethan eventually decided to “dismantle” it. Not knowing how long a new layout would last, our reconstruction was a simple circuit that spared most of the set. We didn’t know what a blessing this would be until one day when I came downstairs and noticed Ethan linking tracks together. He wanted some help with the bridge, but otherwise, this is a layout he “engineered” all by himself.

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

“I want” only in make-believe

Previously, the single word “I-did-it” meant “I want to do it” (or sometimes actually “I did it”). For the last few months, Ethan has been saying “aba” for “I want”. For example, “Aba games” can mean he wants me to bring Big Blanky Bun to life to play with him. This works for food too, such as “Aba apple” or the general “Aba hungry.”

This evening Ethan was “reading” a storybook to himself, flipping through the pages, inventing narration for each. He used a voice for Cookie Monster, who was telling about what foods he wanted. Cookie Monster didn’t use the Ethan shorthand, however; Cookie Monster said, “I want apple”, “I want carrot”, etc. Personally, having a fondness for the cuteness of Ethan’s language, I hope Cookie Monster doesn’t teach Ethan grammar lessons too soon.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Another Ethan first: He drew a picture.

Ethan has transitioned from random scribbles to meaningful shapes. His first images were the moon, stars, and a man.

His paintbrush was a water pen. The canvas turns from white to blue as it gets wet (then goes back to white as it dries).

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Another Ethan first: He corrected Mommy’s grammar.

Beth was reading Clara Cow Wraps Up Warm to Ethan. On one page, Ethan pointed to two mice. Beth, being cute, said, “Oh look, two mousies.” Ethan said, “No. Uh uh. Mice.”

Monday, November 8, 2010

Another Ethan first: He showed his awareness of style.

Mommy put on Ethan’s shirt, but had to wait for some reason to put his pants on. Ethan’s reaction: “Mommy, doesn’t match!”

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Another Ethan first: He put his hands in his pockets.

The early evenings and cool nights of Autumn bring new joys, including the joy of teaching our little one something we take for granted. Ethan and I were walking outside, and as the sun went down, it turned a bit cool while remaining breezy. Ethan had his warm wool coat on, but no mittens. I noticed that I had placed my hands in my coat pockets and thought Ethan might want to as well. I felt Ethan’s hands; they were indeed cool. So I showed him how to slip his hands under the coat pocket flaps and into the pockets. Then I got to watch him run through the leaf piles, hands in pockets. What a cute site!

Later inside, I took him to a dark room to show him the moonlight on the carpet. He touched the carpet to see what it felt like. He also got to see how he and Bunny cast a shadow in the moonlight. Finally I showed him a phenomenon that probably made no sense to him, although he didn’t seem to mind: When we turn on the room light, the moonlight disappears, and when we turn it off, it comes back.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Another Ethan first: He asked to have his picture taken.

As Ethan was jumping in a leaf pile, he must have remembered the all the pictures I took earlier in the season. He said to me, “I want Daddy pictures.” I had to run into the house to get the camera, but he made it worth my while. He started doing all kinds of tricks. After each one, he would run next to me to look at the picture I’d just taken.

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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Another Ethan first: He found the Big Dipper.

It was a perfect celestial autumn evening: cool, calm, not a cloud in the sky, and the half moon tucked safely below the horizon, which was a soft blue gradient in the afterglow of the set sun. Ethan spotted the first star, then more stars, as we lay atop his backyard play set. Slowly, the sky filled with them.

I carried Ethan along the meadow path, the street lights and lights from neighbors’ windows hidden by the tree line. We heard geese honking in the river and saw an occasional gaggle fly overhead. As we approached, we could make out their shape against the glowing horizon’s reflection on the water, until finally, with a step too close and an ill-timed crouch, the shadows fled as we heard the stirring water, flapping wings, and excited calls.

In the ensuing quiet, we took in the now fuller sky – its brilliant stars, its red planet twinkling lustrously, along the horizon chasing after the sun. We even saw the occasional moving star, blinking red and white –airplanes, as Ethan learned.

In the north, hanging low like a ladle of cream sufficient to satisfy every kitten that could possibly be hiding in the sky, was the Big Dipper. It stood out bright and bold as I showed Ethan the handle and the cup. The seven points of light in the sky were clear to Ethan like a picture in a story book. Later, when we were walking up the back yard, I asked him if he could show me the Big Dipper. First, he pointed randomly at the sky. I said, no, find the Big Dipper in sky. He searched around, and just has I had pointed out the famous asterism 15 minutes earlier, this time, he pointed it out to me.

Ethan loves his train set.

Earlier this year, Ethan’s grandpa and uncle teamed up to make play tables for the grandkids. Next, I protected Ethan’s table with non-toxic Clear Coat from The Old Fashioned Milk Paint Co. And finally, today, the train set arrived. We set it up while he was napping. When he saw it, our often wild monkey was surprisingly quiet, studying the trains and tracks. As he carefully guided the trains, he seemed more like a child playing with a new chess board than the kid in a candy store I was expecting.

There is a product called SureTrack that locks the tracks together. We’d read reviews that said it was a must have for this type of train set. It doesn’t look like Ethan will have a use for it. The SureTrack packaging says it’s for ages 3 and up; after seeing Ethan playing today, it’s hard to imagine a child that age needing it.

After the three of us played together for about a half hour, the toy held his attention for I don’t know how long before it was time for dinner, a walk outside, and sleepy-sleepy-now. For a moment, it looked like pulling himself away would be too great a challenge, but the promise of playing more later changed his mind, making the experience enjoyable from end to end.

Update: When Ethan woke up the next morning, the first words out of his mouth were, “Downstairs. Choo choo train.” He played trains for hour before coming up for breakfast.

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Another Ethan first: He saved up.

Tonight for dinner, grapes were the bargaining chips (in exchange for spaghetti squash, mostly). Ethan decided he wanted two grapes. I told him that to get two, he needed to earn one (a bite of squash), not eat it, and then earn another. It took a few tries, since the grapes are so tempting, but he figured it out. After enjoying the fruits of his labor, he decided he wanted three grapes. He saved up for that, too.

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Another Ethan first: He played the piano like Daddy.

From upstairs Beth heard the sound of piano playing – not a song, just playing around: some glissandos and simple notes. She had to go downstairs to look. Was it Daddy just toying around, or was it Ethan? She found it was Ethan, who has now discovered a more delicate form of expression on piano.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Another Ethan first: He ran to Mommy’s rescue.

Ethan belly slid down the stairs and came running to me: “Ouey! Ouey! Boo bun!” I got the rabbit-wrapped ice pack from the freezer and asked where it hurt. Instead of answering, Ethan just ran back up the stairs. It was Mommy who was hurt. Ethan had accidentally poked her near the eye with a corner of a book.

I was surprised, since Ethan’s tone and intensity were exactly as if he had been hurt. I was also proud and quite thankful for a boy who cares so much for his mother.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

“Two bunnies home”

Ethan’s favorite stuffed animal, Big Blanky Bun, has a twin. We bought two so that we’d have a backup in case one gets lost. Neither one is set aside; they’re both in active service. Ethan knows this, and if he doesn’t have both at bed time, he usually asks for “two bunnies”. If they’re readily locatable, then fine, but if not, we let Ethan know “just one bunny tonight” (otherwise, the whole backup plan goes right out the window).

Tonight Ethan wanted some reassurance. He wanted to know that both bunnies were safely at home, even if not with him for bedtime. Fortunately, he took my word when I confirmed his timid assertion, “Two bunnies home.”

Monday, August 16, 2010

“Big jump Blanky Bun”

Ethan likes to climb onto the ottoman, then jump off so that I can catch him while lying on the floor. He calls this “Bug jump Daddy”. Today, Ethan told me it was Big Blanky Bun’s turn to do the jumping. Of course, Ethan took plenty of turns, too.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Another Ethan first: He asked for more toys.

Ethan’s favorite toys are probably the little wooden vehicles we bought from a local craftsman. We only have a few, and now Ethan has a request: “More tractor.”

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Another Ethan first: He took Big Blanky Bun for a wagon ride.

What better way to go for a wagon ride than sporting a hat and scarf that Mommy is sizing up in preparation for Hollandfest? Only something was different this time: instead of me pulling Ethan in the wagon, our little boy was walking down the street beside me pulling his bunny behind him.

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What do you mow?

Sometimes Ethan’s questions make me realize how much everyday knowledge I take for granted. Today, he was asking what gets mowed with a lawn mower. The grass? Yes. The mulch under the neighbor’s tree? No. The driveway? No.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Another Ethan first: He named a missing tune.

Ethan has four music boxes in his bedroom, some or all of which we wind as part of the bedtime ritual. Depending on how well studied he is of late in the Big Book of Bedtime Stalling Tactics, the ritual can outlast the springs on some of the music boxes. Today at naptime, Beth wound up the windmill, the bear, the lion, and the round music box, but before she could take her leave, Ethan asked her to wind the windmill back up. Since there were still three music boxes playing on, Beth hadn’t realized it was stopped. But Ethan knew.

Shortly after Beth wound the windmill, Ethan asked her to wind the lion, which had now stopped. After Beth took care of the lion, finally he was ready to nap.

I’m reminded of when Ethan critiqued an opus; he sure knows his sounds!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Another Ethan first: He tried to defy the laws of physics.

“If Daddy can apply force to the back of the chair to push me in, why can’t I?”

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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Another Ethan first: He returned to skipped pages.

Ethan chose Dr. Seuss’s Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? for his bedtime story. After “He can go like a train”, he turned several pages at once, landing on “he can even make a noise like a goldfish kiss”. The page skip might have been intentional because the next page was his favorite, “Mr. Brown makes thunder!” He had been talking about that sound.

Quickly then the book came to The End—too quickly for Ethan. I was about to put the book on his dresser when he started flipping backward and forward through the pages. He skipped pages we’d already read, ending up on a fresh page. So I read a few more pages, and we made more wonderful sounds, just like like Mr. Brown can do. Then after a little bit of Big and Little Nutbrown Hare, it was off to bed.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Another Ethan first: He said which pajamas he wanted.

As I was about to put Ethan's pajamas on him, he started saying "monkey" and pointing. It turned out he had a favorite pair in mind. Not wanting him to roast that warm summer night, I was grateful for his pliability in considering other nightwear.

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Another Ethan first: He just wanted to go home.

While Beth was at voice and violin lessons, Ethan and I took a stroll in the meadow behind our house late this afternoon. I caught a frog for Ethan to see and touch. Later we followed a turkey. It was walking along the same path as us, about fifteen steps ahead (Daddy steps, that is). Eventually, the turkey left the path into the tall grass, which we thought was the end of our fowl adventure. However, further on, the path came right up to the river. As we approached the bank, just a few steps in front of us, the same turkey darted out of the tall grass, got a good running start, and flew across the river into a tree on the other side. (This turkey was alone, which is unusual. It had been on our deck hours earlier and was at the end of our yard just before we went on our stroll.)

We had many other fun little adventures—broad patches of tall grass gone to seed, flowers, lone daisies, moths, butterflies, even stretches of path that were soggy wet (but thankfully not muddy, so wearing quality sandals and carrying Ethan worked well). We fought off the mosquitoes in the deep woods and appreciated their absence when we returned to the open meadow.

Ethan had a wonderful time. He walked himself the entire way, except where it was wet. In the past, we would carry him or pull him in the wagon much of the time. Finally though, he hit a limit. Weary from the journey, Ethan stopped, looked at me, and said, “Home.” He didn’t realize we were already heading home and were half way there. I picked him up so I could show him our destination in the distance: home.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Another Ethan first: He tested our consistency.

Sitting at our friend Bill’s dining room table, we all had organic vanilla ice cream for dessert. Ethan finished his bowl about the same time as the rest of us. He turned to me and said “more ice cream”. As impressed as I was with the three-word construction, unfortunately, he’d had all that we wanted him to have for now, and so I had to gently give him an answer that he didn’t want to hear.

So he asked Mommy. (She said no, too.)

Dislocated thumb?

Ethan found an entertaining ride during our recent visit to an elderly friend’s house. We brought dinner, and while Beth was preparing the final touches, Ethan asked to ride the motorized stair lift. Normally Bill, who can no longer walk, uses it to get up or down the stairway. For Ethan, however, the lift was an ongoing source of amusement, once I showed him how to use the rocker switch at the end of the right arm rest to command the chair’s movement.

After countless round trips, Ethan hopped off and came over to join us as we started eating. At the table, Ethan pointed to his left thumb and complained that it hurt. This was the thumb he had used push and hold the rocker switch, something that required a lot of force for him. As I looked at it, I was shocked. It looked completely out of place! I took his hand and started to examine what I believed to be a dislocated thumb, but was quickly relieved to find that in reality, he was just fine. I showed him how to do some thumb exercises, and then he felt fine.

While comparing his thumbs, I was impressed by his far-reaching range of motion. Unless something changes as he grows up, I think Ethan will be double jointed.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Another Ethan first: He reflected on his complexion.

While I was changing Ethan, he pulled on his face to make a silly expression. Where he got the idea from, I have no idea. While cute in its own way, I didn’t want to encourage the behavior, so I downplayed it as best I could. Still, Ethan could tell I was surprised. At the first opportunity, he ran to the full length mirror in our bedroom to take a look at his handiwork.

If you can summarize a boy’s character by guessing what kind of clown he will be when he grows up, I’m predicting Resourceful Clown.

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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Bedtime shadow puppets are back!

Early this week, we had a few evenings in a row with clear skies. After 7:00 when Ethan goes to bed, the sun is now low in the horizon, getting ready to set. The way his room is oriented, the sun projects a screen just above his crib, providing a perfect stage for shadow puppet theater. Ethan likes Beth’s bunny and my dog, moose, and butterfly. But the one shadow he asks for by name is “Bun”; that’s what he calls the shadow cast by an animated Big Blanky Bun.

Unfortunately, Bun had to cancel the last three days due to technical difficulties (clouds). This was a big disappointment to Ethan. One night I tried to cheer him up by breaking out into song: “The sun will come out tomorrow…” Ethan was not impressed. It turned out not to be true, anyway.

Tonight, however, the sun was back out, and so were the bedtime shadow puppets.

Another Ethan first: He toyed with Daddy.

Sometimes when food-bargaining with Ethan, to get him to eat his veggies, it’s helpful to remind him of the yummy strawberry, cheese, cracker, etc., that awaits the disappearance of a few green beans or the like. To get his attention, sometimes I hold the strawberry (or whatever) within his reach, and ask him if we wants it, only to respond to his acceptance with the “after you eat your beans” condition. Ethan often tries to take the food, which has turned into a game to see who is quicker. Fortunately, we both enjoy the whole experience.

I had the tables turned on me today. Ethan took a piece of strawberry from his plate and offered it to me. This was unusual, since he likes that fruit so much, but he had eaten quite a bit already and sometimes offers food when he’s getting full. As I reached to accept the strawberry, he quickly pulled his hand back and popped the piece into his mouth. He had his typical look of knowing he got away with something. Indeed, he certainly got the best of me.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Another Ethan first: Big Blanky Bun said “Hi there!”

This morning, Beth and Ethan were playing with his barn. Beth held two of the little barnyard animals, a squirrel and a cat, pretending to that that the animals were talking to each other. Ethan took a turn, making little “talking sounds” for the toys.

Later, Beth took Ethan grocery shopping. Ethan rode in the shopping cart along with Big Blanky Bun. Ethan brought the stuffed rabbit to life as he never had before. The rabbit was observant, looking over the edge of the cart. The blue and white bun also spoke his first words: “Hi There!”

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Another Ethan first: He formed his own phrase.

Ethan has been stringing words together for many months now. “Ice cream” was among the first, and shortly after came “I did it” (which to this day also means “I want to do it”). Today at the museum, we heard something new: two words that Ethan put together himself. He used the words to describe one of the other museum patrons, a man of average height but above average width, someone who could be politely described as plump, a bit round, or as Ethan simply put it, a “big man”.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Another Ethan first: He bargained with himself.

We have long employing bargaining to help Ethan to eat healthy foods. Most of the time, we put some of the less tasty food on his plate first, and when that is gone, put the down some of a favorite. Today, I used three phases: some green beans, then a piece of avocado, and finally…. a raspberry—yum! After several rounds of those three, I switched to oatmeal and currents. These, rather than have Ethan eat them serially, I combined into single-byte spoonfuls.

After a few spoonfuls, it decided to try something new. I put the oatmeal and currents in front of Ethan and asked him to scoop the oatmeal and add the currents himself. And so he did! The temptation to sneak the currents directly was still there, however, necessitating Beth taking over supervision when I left to get the camera.

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Friday, May 7, 2010

Another Ethan first: He brought me a spoon.

I was making pizza for the couple dozen teenagers converging on our house for TrueU. Ethan was “helping”, which was beginning to mean a big floury mess. So I asked him to help for real, specifically to get me a spoon to spread the pizza sauce. He knew just where to go. In no time at all, the sauce was laid, and it was time for the mozzarella—I sprinkled and Ethan snacked!

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Another Ethan first: He critiqued an opus.

Ethan and I made a last-minute trip to the theater where Beth plays in the orchestra. I was expediting the publication of a booklet that accompanied an anniversary gift for the maestro. After my work was done, Ethan and I stayed around to listen to a bit of the rehearsal, since he doesn’t go to the concerts yet.

We went up to the balcony of the theater, where Ethan looked on at the playing with sustained interest as the orchestra concluded a short piece. With the music stopped, Ethan’s interest waned, and so we made our way to the balcony exit ramp. As we started down, the orchestra began playing another piece. Ethan turned around to see, and we headed back to our front row seats. Ethan was captivated throughout the whole piece, which the orchestra played without interruption from the maestro for about five minutes.

The opus was a jazz violin concerto. Among its unusual features was an ending with the solo violinist playing a squeaky high note on his E string backed by a dissonant chord from the orchestra. The last measure concluded, and the hall fell into a momentary silence, broken by a brief commentary from Ethan: “uh oh”.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Another Ethan first: He hit a ball with a bat.

The equipment was a birthday present (2 years today). On his very first try he hit what might have been a seeing-eye single between the first and second basemen.

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Another Ethan first: He swung hands free.

Supposedly, Ethan is learning by watching us, but I don’t remember showboating “Look ma, no hands!” any time since he was born. Regardless, swinging in the back yard has taken on a new adventure for him now that he has gone hands free. This no hands business has carried over to other areas, such as when I give him the bouncies while while carrying him down the stairs. That’s all good, so long as he doesn’t try to pull his stunt on his play set on the regular (non-infant) swing.

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Another Ethan first: He rode a tricycle.

This was also the first time I saw him get really frustrated. A couple times, he didn’t know which leg to push with, but with some persistence, he figured out the sequence and was on his way.

See video

Monday, April 5, 2010

Another Ethan first: He whispered good night.

Mommy has been reading Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? to Ethan lately. One of the things Mr. Brown can do is whisper. Tonight when I whispered “good night” to Ethan as I was leaving his room, he whispered back, “good night”.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

At peace with a promise

Ethan was not a happy camper at bedtime tonight. We were thinking we’d just have to put him in the crib and hope for Sucka to come to the rescue, but then through the overwhelming sadness I heard “milk”. We had just brushed his teeth, so I offered him water instead: I put him in the crib as I told him, “Wait here and I’ll be back in a minute with some water.” To my surprise, he immediately stopped crying and looked at me with anticipation. It was the first time he was so clearly swayed by a promise of something he had to wait this long for: he understood what I offered, even though he couldn’t see it at the moment, and he was content to wait alone a minute for me to run downstairs and get him some water. When I got back up, he was still content, and then very happy to have his water. With that, sleep came easy.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Another Ethan first: He climbed a ladder.

Ethan has gone down the slide on the neighbor’s play set dozens of times, most recently all by himself by climbing the arched ladder to the platform. Today, to inaugurate our purchase and relocation of the play set, he took the most direct way into the tower: straight up the vertical ladder.

See video

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Another Ethan first: He closed his jack-in-the-box.

Exactly two months after learning to pop open the jack-in-the-box, Ethan can now perform the delicate act of reclosing it. This is no simple task, as his jack is a little butterfly with wings that tend to get in the way of closing the lid. It helps that Ethan has little hands, one to hold down the butterfly and slip out at the last second while the other closes the lid.

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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Another Ethan first: He talked in his sleep.

He wasn’t comprehensible, which I think is common for sleep talkers. Of course, Ethan is used to not having full articulation, so should it be any surprise that even in his sleep, he fully extended his arm to point through the crib slats to some supposed object of his dreamy desire?

Another Ethan first: He asked me to help him find his bun.

When Ethan wants something, he’ll often emphatically repeat a word related to what he wants. If I don’t understand what he’s asking, I’ll tell him, “Show me what you want.” Then he will point and if need be walk over to whatever he wants to eat, discover, or play with.

This happened today when he wanted something that sounded like “bay”; however, his usual directness in leading me was replaced by tentativeness. He slowly led me through a few rooms, retracing his path a few times, repeating “bay” as he pointed in front of him. As the journey lengthened, his version of dismayed desperation was welling up in him. Fortunately, he spotted Big Blanky Bun lying on the dinette floor, and I realized that for the first time, he couldn’t have shown me what he wanted, because he hadn’t known where it was. But now he did, and as soon as he scooped up his bun, Sucka came and contentment reigned.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Another Ethan first: He climbed down from his high chair.

Within a couple weeks of learning to climb in, Ethan now has the high chair round trip figured out.

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Another Ethan first: He asked permission to eat a cookie.

At the fellowship meal after church today, I watched Ethan reach up to the serving table and take a cookie. Then, to my surprise, he came over by me and held up the cookie, as if to ask whether he could have it. I said yes since I was so glad that he asked and because it was a rather healthy type of cookie. Of course, my decision was also influenced by the way he carried it over to me: in his mouth!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Another Ethan first: He called for Daddy.

Ethan goes to sleep at night very well. We have a bedtime ritual that we do after washing hands, brushing teeth, and reading stories. I always ask him if he can say “Mommy, and Daddy, and Ethan, and Buo”, giving him lots of kisses and tickles on “Buo” (pronounced boo, short for buoy).

Next, Ethan asks me to let him hold various objects around the room. On a wall shelf he has a windmill music box, a bear-in-a-hammock music box, his infant knit cap, his baby hair brush, a Precious Moments figure of a boy with his bun, and a little Peter Rabbit book. On the window sill, he has the music box from his baby mobile. On his dresser, he has a lion-holding-a-lamb music box that plays, “Jesus Loves the Little Children”. Ethan asks for three, four, or sometimes more of these items. For any music boxes he selects, I wind them up, except the bear (his favorite), which he can wind himself. It doesn’t bother him at all to have two, three, or four music boxes playing at once.

Ethan also asks to look out the window, so I’ll lift him out for a moment to gaze with me on the dark (or not so dark, depending on the snow, clouds, and moonlight) backyard and river valley. He usually points out the window and makes the “tweet, tweet” sound he uses to imitate a bird. I remind him that there are no birds out, that they are all in their nests sleeping. I don’t know why he makes the bird sound, but it provides a nice segue back into the crib.

Last, Ethan asks for his blankets, and Beth or I put them on him. He usually goes right to sleep without any crying. Sometimes, he wants to overextend the ritual, so he starts crying after I leave the room, but fortunately, after a few seconds he puts his head down and begins to doze off. Today was one of those brief moments of dissatisfaction, only instead of just making a crying sound, he cried out “Daddy”. So sad and cute at the same time—good thing it was only for a few seconds.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Another Ethan first: He tried to tell me.

This afternoon we were packing up to go ice skating as soon as Ethan woke up from his nap. Beth packed up most everything while I changed Ethan. There was only one item remaining: Big Blanky Bun. I started walking around the house, carrying Ethan and asking him to help me find it. I couldn’t find it anywhere, and Ethan wasn’t pointing to anything. He did keep saying, “Bun”, however, which didn’t make any sense to me. After I was ready to give up and brave the car ride bun free, he turned in my arms and said, “this”, holding in front of my face Big Blanky Bun, whom he’d been carrying all along.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Another Ethan first: He climbed up a sled hill.

We have a gently sloping sled hill in our back yard, which is good for starters. The neighbor two doors down has one much steeper, though. Tonight with the fresh new snow, the neighbors were out, so we decided to join them. After going once, he didn’t get back on the sled for me to pull him up like normal. Instead, he discovered the other side of the sledding experience: climbing back up the hill. This was no simple feat for our little boy, but he was determined and eventually made it to the top, just in time for a nice sled ride home.

Another Ethan first: He climbed into his high chair.

Getting ready for meals just got a bit easier. Our little monkey can now climb into his high chair all by himself.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Another Ethan first: He arranged his bunnies around his crib.

From the day he was born, little stuffed bunnies have kept watch over Ethan while he slept. They have long been a source of entertainment, especially the bunny toss. This evening, he showed a gentler side as he carefully arranged the bunnies and other stuffed animals around the perimeter of his crib. He now has a more organized nighttime environment, and his creatures can observe our little boy better than ever.

Another Ethan first: He used a walking stick.

Ethan had fun today with his latest imitation of Daddy: belly sliding down the sled hill. Later at the top of the hill, he found a big stick that came up to his chin, and he used it to steady himself as he walked down the hill a little way. The stick has a large, blunt end, about an inch in diameter. Still, we heard his mother say, “Don’t poke your eye out.”

Monday, February 1, 2010

Another Ethan first: He scolded Julius.

Our cat Julius is thirteen and has long known where he can safely push his limits with us. Now, he has a more energetic patrol to deal with. When Ethan saw Julius jump onto the dining room table, he did his best imitation of Mommy saying, “Julius, get down!” It didn’t matter to Julius that Ethan couldn’t articulate the words; he got the message!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Another Ethan first: He jumped off the porch.

We call him our little froggy. Ethan jumped up as high as he could as he leapt from the porch onto the snowy ground below.

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Another Ethan first: He walked in Daddy’s shoes.

They may be a bit big, but that didn’t stop him from taking them out of the closet and shuffling around. A few days later, he found it fun to go around in Mommy’s shoes, too.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Another Ethan first: He put on his boots.

What better way to let us know that he wanted to go outside?

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Another Ethan first: He popped the weasel.

I’ve been waiting a long time for this one, trying on many occasions to teach Ethan to turn the crank on his jack-in-the-box. He discovered a while ago that he could short circuit the process by pulling back the latch, but turning the knob all the way through the song remained illusive. I wish I could have been there to see it. While I was at work, Beth got to enjoy to enjoy watching Ethan play the whole tune, including the dramatic ending, “pop goes the weasel”.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Ethan is catching on.

Ethan’s skill in catching a ball is coming along nicely. He holds he hands out, keeps his eye on the ball, and usually ends up successful.

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Another Ethan first: He searched for a matching shape.

Ethan has a shape sorter that looks like an elephant. The body of the elephant is a wheel that turns to reveal holes for various shapes. Ethan has been matching the pegs with their holes for a while, but today for the first time, he rotated the wheel to search for a hole whose shape matched the shape of  his peg.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Another Ethan first: He popped up all his animals.

Slider, toggles, button, and knob,
Ethan can do them all—good job!

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