(Very) Short Stories from the Life of Spencer

Chapter 1: The Month of February

Running (literally running) past his ring stacking toy, noticing that the top ring was only partly on and partly sticking up to one side, spinning back around towards the toy, tweaking the top ring so that it was on as it should be, and then running away towards his original destination. All of this happened in about 3 seconds--max.

Jumping off the ground with both feet while dancing to his movie. This, in between his "twirling." It's quite a site to see.

Finding a book that I asked him to find by name, immediately. First, he walked directly to the shelf where it was. This detail is pertinent because there are multiple places where we keep his books, both in his room and throughout the house, but I do keep certain ones in certain places-- because I like it that way. Then he moved the 3 or 4 books sitting on top of the one in question (they are piled on this shelf, spine facing outwards), grabbed the requested "Rhino" book, turned around, and handed it to his Aunt Natalie. I'd originally asked him to get his Rhino book for Aunt Natalie to read it to him--yeah, I break the one-step command rule for toddlers, what can I say? I'm a maverick--As his Aunt Hillary would say, "They have to learn."

When someone who shall remain nameless passed a little gas, Spencer immediately repeated the sound with his mouth. Then, a few seconds later, it happened again; and Spencer answered with his shockingly accurate impersonation. Partly funny and partly horrifying. O, the joys to come.

Spencer now finds it entertaining to pull up my shirt to expose my tummy. He then proceeds to poke on my tummy. This, in and of itself is not that big of a deal, but somehow he has figured out that it's much more fun to do this when other people are around, particularly when we are not at our own home.

While playing with all things plastic in the kitchen that I've strategically put in all the cabinets he is obsessed with opening (that cannot be locked with child-locks, or where he has already broken the child-lock or the actual cabinet door--yeah, he's broken 1.5 cabinet doors so far), he managed to break a 2" piece of plastic out of the bottom of one of my turquoise cuisinart mixing bowls. I have no idea. My hypothesis is that he placed the bowl into another bowl that was smaller, and then stepped in it. I won't bore you with how I came to this hypothesis, but it's not a real one because we will not be testing it by doing repeatable experiments.

He loves to hop onto the swinging arm of the child gates for a little ride. I guess it's time to take them down.

He pulled his plate of scrambled eggs off the kitchen counter. I hate that he can reach things like that now. I just need a few surfaces to myself. He also slams shut any drawers I open when I'm trying to function in the kitchen (drawers well over his head). Whenever I attempt to thwart this behavior, much screaming ensues.

I offered to get Spencer some yogurt, and his response (while not "yes," nor nodding "yes") was emphatically enthusiastic. So, I got a Gerber yogurt out of the refrigerator. We have 2 flavors of this yogurt right now, both are packaged in identical, opaque, white containers. There's probably some number or code on the bottom that means something to someone, but nothing is immediately obvious along the lines of differentiation. He followed me while I opened it and stuck the spoon in--still very excited. Then, I moved the spoon to his mouth. He saw that it was the peach yogurt (light orange colored) as opposed to the banana yogurt (cream colored) and simultaneously put his fingers over his mouth, grimaced, and started quickly backing away. I took a few bites (to see if it was disgusting--it wasn't--and to tempt him to eat it), and he couldn't have cared less. Eventually, I got another container of yogurt (banana), and he ate it right away. Also interesting, he has eaten the peach multiple times with no seeming abhorrence. Apparently, it just wasn't what he had in mind.

Enough sad excuses of vignettes for now. Another installment of (Very) Short Stories to come in March, barring some unforeseen plague or the advent of full-fledged cabinet and furniture climbing.


Bruises, Basketball, and (Not) Buying Dinner

Spencer banged his head twice today. Hard. Within about fifteen minutes of each other. He'd "outgrown" this for a while, but apparently he is back into self-mutiliation mode full-force. These are the sort of accidents where he screams for one or two minutes, then pauses, looks around the room at the sympathetic eyes, relives it all over again, and screams for a few more minutes. Large, red, shiny, swollen spots provide clues for exactly what part of his face must have landed on which particular hard surface to produce those marks. Much holding. Much coddling. Bless.

Jonathan survived another weekend full of Upward Basketball. The people at our church really help him out a lot, and for that I am exceedingly grateful. Unfortunately we still live in a fallen world, and this weekend someone decided to remind us all of that. Disappointing. However, just an hour or so later, we went out to dinner and someone else from church picked up our check. So sweet. Definitely redeemed the day a little bit.

Meanwhile, Spencer was at Kid's Night Out beautifully managed by Todd and his wife Jenny (the woman Spencer not-so-secretly wants to adopt as his mommy--her son has mainly negative feelings about this). When we went to pick him up, he was in the "big kid room" (with the 2's and maybe some 3's?). He was loving it. As we walked in, he was trying to take a toy airplane away from another boy.

We were informed that at dinner time he out ate every other child. The pizza must have been particularly tasty last night. The only child who even came close in terms of competitors was the sole female of the group--an adorable blonde whose parents happen to be the people who paid for our dinner that night.

Even funnier, we were planning on using a gift certificate given to us at Christmas by the little blonde's grandparents (also members of our church). That whole family, it seems, is determined to buy our dinner at that restaurant!

Spencer was loved on quite thoroughly by friends and family alike this Valentine's Day weekend, but for him this is status quo. Even though this weekend included a family birthday party; visits with both sets of grandparents; presents from said grandparents; undivided attention from aunts, uncles, great-aunts, and second cousins; and multiple offerings of chocolate cake and cupcakes (both of which were adamantly turned down---hey, it's no pizza) I'm pretty certain he couldn't tell this weekend was any different than any other one.

The sugary treat that he did embrace this weekend: 3 Musketeers Dark Chocolate Cherry Filled bite sized candy. It was a real hit. Each time he finished passing out Valentines to those around him, he got to have one. He also got to have one Friday morning when he caught me eating them after breakfast with my Diet Coke while furiously getting the Valentine's ready.

You gotta be quick.

He usually catches me eating Dove Dark Chocolate with my Diet Coke after breakfast--maybe he did know something was different this weekend. . .

Spencer's Valentine's present to his Mommy? He graciously allowed me to shower during his waking hours and only protested mildly with (very) minimal fussing while running back and forth between my shower and his movie. I will always remember this gift. (Hopefully not for its uniqueness, but that's what I'm postulating).