(Very) Short Stories from the Life of Spencer

Chapter 2: The Month of March

I know most parents are convinced that their child is brilliant, talented, supremely creative, and the most beautiful ever created. I am no exception. However, Spencer has garnered quite a following of people, all who believe the same as I do and only 1 of them also happens to be his parent. All the more amazing is how he manages to keep me enamored amidst his most "challenging" days.

Every time I begin to fear that my delicate psyche will not tolerate one more increasingly loud demand or devastatingly hard bonk life begins to plateau. Spencer's health has been good this past week, which makes a world of difference in his demeanor! Who among us is any different?

Spencer has added another dance step to his repertoire, it's a hard to describe but hilarious to experience little stompy run. He has reserved it, for the most part, for celebratory stomping; but he has pulled it out a time or two in order to exaggeratedly display his displeasure. More blonde, crazy curls have made their debut this month, particularly after a nice, long (sweaty) nap--just a head full of craziness! The curls really do seem indicative of his personality right now, which makes them even more precious, but enough about his dancing prowess and beauty

As far as his unparalleled intelligence, I'll let you be the judge. I walked into the living room one day and saw his magnetic Leapfrog toy (intended to be used on the refrigerator) stuck to our fiberglass door, along with all the accompanying pieces. I automatically assumed Jonathan or my mom had figured out it would work on the door and put it their to see if that would entice Spencer to actually play with it. I mentioned it to Jonathan, and he said he thought Spencer did it. I seriously doubted that, especially because ALL the pieces were on the door.

I could imagine a scenario where Spencer randomly stuck one or two pieces up there, but I couldn't imagine him carrying them from the kitchen, one by one into the living room and placing each one, individually on the door. We're talking 8 small pieces and 1 large, music playing piece--9 things in all. Toddlers are supposed to have short attention spans, and from the way he begs me to change out his DVD's every 3 minutes, I have regarded this a truism.

In the past, I've only ever seen him knock the pieces off of the refrigerator with large sweeping arm motions and then walk away, leaving them all over the floor. His play with this toy had been solely destructive. And, even if he had decided to add a constructive twist to the day, I'd first have to be convinced that he was the one who figured out the door was magnetic. I mean, I think he's smart and all, but that's quite a stretch. So, the next time I talked to my mom I asked her when she had showed him that little trick. She says she didn't have anything to do with it. Should we call MENSA yet?

Now, in order to present you with a fair and balanced picture of Spencer during his fifteenth month, I feel compelled to include this little gem. He is convinced that the covers of his board books (both front and back) are somehow adhered to currently un-viewable pages. This inexplicable adhesion has really angered him this month. He sits there and tries desperately to peel the front cover apart (it is thicker than the other pages), and then, if I can convince him to go on and give the subsequent pages a chance, once we make it to the last page and the back cover, he gets angry all over again. He is positive that the world is conspiring to hide from him all those pages that are attached to the front and back covers of his books. Much screaming, peeling, and crying has resulted from this unfounded paranoia. Needless to say, I haven't really pushed the books this month. I may have been doing the opposite.

As was discussed in my previous post, the first part of March gave us the opportunity to play host to a hitherto unexperienced variation of the GI virus. I knew something was wrong with Spencer when he ran into my room in the morning after Jonathan got him out of bed. (That part was normal). I pulled him up on the bed, where he usually gives me a tiny snuggle and then demands I assume my role of his personal servant for the remainder of the day. Instead he wanted to play with the remote control on my bedside table. (This wasn't totally out of the ordinary). He proceeded to turn on my "mmmmm mmmmm" (movie) and watched it, completely motionless for a full 5-7 minutes. This is not normal. Funnier still, it was Gilmore Girls. I had a little guilt, since that show "is not for babies," but the whole situation was so strange I had no intention of putting it to an end. I had to see how long he'd watch it (you know, for the book I will someday write that will be filled with rock solid data and spine tingling analysis such as this).

Spencer did hit a particularly golden milestone this month--he let his Nana put him to bed at night. Yes, this was the first time. And he slept 'til morning. He has let his Gigi put him to bed a few times, but he would usually wake up a few hours later (for a mommy check?). I was disproportionately ecstatic about this occurrence. It's exhausting to feel like you are the only one who can put your child to bed at night. Now, he will let Jonathan put him to bed, but this occurs infrequently and usually involves something akin to the aforementioned GI virus. Plus, it's not much help if you are attempting a date night and the only other person your child will go to bed for is your husband (unless your date nights feature people other than your husband--but this isn't that sort of blog).

Spencer's passion for toilet bowl water has certainly blossomed this month. I am hoping to channel it into a love for playing in a plastic pool in the backyard for hours upon end this summer. But, meanwhile, I'm trying to keep all valuables up high and the bathroom doors continually closed. Last night I realized that he had put my hair brush in the toilet the day before (along with his passy, which I caught him trying to fish out) and then I'd set it on the bathroom counter to sanitize. Instead of following through with my plan the next morning, I jumped out of bed, hopped in the shower, and then used the brush to fix my hair. And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why I should never shower first thing in the morning. I'm just not all there yet. Try back around 10 am. Lesson we learn from this: clean all potty items immediately (I tossed the passy).

Well, we haven't even touched on Spencer's disposal of Jonathan's Ipod (we're guessing trash, but it could have fallen victim to the toilet as well) or his impressive 60 second record for ingesting entire mini bananas, but I feel as if I might be losing momentum. Always stop while they're still interested, right?


  1. I love reading your blog:)

  2. i had not heard all those stories- you relate them so well to the reader! loved it! i just told levi about you brushing your hair with the toilet brush...i'm going to start calling you potty head.

  3. your blog is one of the few things that keeps me going in this life. mallory, your blog and possibly mallory's father.

  4. We do that with our board books. It's infuriating. And it must be a (shockingly-intelligent) boy thing.

  5. I do that with board books. Seriously--why do the fronts and backs have to be so thick?

    It's fun to read about your Spencer--he's only a month younger than our Lucy, and they're doing all the same sorts of shenanigans. We, too, are keeping the bathrooms closed (toilet lids DOWN).

    Having taught your two younger sisters, I am convinced that genius runs in your family. You are a lovely writer, and I will enjoy reading your blog!


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