September 2008


Since I’m really only invited places with my child, these things of which I speak pertain mostly to him. I’m sure there are things that you should know about me, embarrassing breaches of etiquette and good taste that I almost certainly — albeit unknowingly — make. However. I am not blogging about those things today. No! Today, I am blogging about the things you should know about my child.

And so, I begin with the one that happens most frequently: At some point during our visit together, my child will crawl over your child on his way to get one of your child’s shiny toys. He will not say, “Excuse me,” or even, “Sorry for sticking my knee in your belly, but I really would like to play with that tambourine over there. I live an otherwise tambourine-free life and I have a strong desire to break out of my doldrums!” No. He will say none of this. He will crawl with purpose (even though he could easily walk). He may even crawl back over your child once he has grabbed up his toy of choice.

Which leads me to the next thing you should know. If my child spends any amount of time lounging in a comfy chair with your child, absent-mindedly playing with your child’s foot, that does not preclude him from later whacking your child on the head with a coaster (or a plastic hammer, or Lego block). It will not be done out of malice. But it will happen. Please be warned.

In addition, my child has been known to spill his crackers and chips. And shove many yummy corn muffins in his mouth with such force that the crumbs spray not only around his mouth and down his shirt, but all over your floor as well.

And my child can be a little indecisive. One minute he’s begging for water, the next minute you’d swear that sippy cup contained evil poison.

Now, if you know all these things, and you invite me over anyway, and once these things happen you counter my every apology with a believable, “Don’t worry about it,” I will be grateful. My child will be grateful. He will have a happy time playing with his friends, running around, getting in to everything. I will have a happy time chatting with my friends. Laughing, eating too much, and generally feeling re-invigorated.

Chez Jobber just became a bit more musical.

We had been planning to get the piano from my parents’ house for months and today we did. Owen called the movers, scheduled the move and now we have the piano, the one that I played as a girl, in our living room:

Conal has already started enjoying it.

  • I can’t get this song out of my head:
  • Now that the Yankees are out of the playoff race, Conal wants to wear his Yankees cap all the time.
  • He has two big boy birthday parties to go this weekend. He will probably beg to wear his Yankees cap to both.
  • Did you know it is International Talk Like a Pirate Day today? Aaaaar!
  • I posted the Vegetarian 100 over at my other site, if you are interested.
  • The screaming has not abated. If anything, it has picked up. In both volume and frequency.
  • I’m hoping it’s, “Feed a cold, starve a fever” because Conal has been shoveling it in, Michael Phelps-style.
  • Um, I have nothing else. So, we’re done. Have a nice weekend!

I don’t mind the screaming all that much. It is not that bad. I know that it is, as Mellor states, “primal and necessary.” It is also loud, which is part of the definition of screaming so why, you may ask, am I surprised?

I’m not surprised at all. It’s just — OK, remember this? Yeah, I haven’t forgotten either because it plays over and over. As in: All. Day. Long. Coupled with screams. Screams usually of joy, which makes them cute and sweet and all, but screams nevertheless.

Screams, screams and more screams. It is LOUD over here at Chez L’il Jobber.

During the day, that is. In the evening, that little guy has been known to kick it and just chill. Lucky Daddy.

Because she seems to write about him, as evidenced by this*:

I have a dear friend whose child of fifteen months screams. Screams with a fervor forgotten by those grown-ups not undergoing electroshock therapy. Screams when breakfast is not placed before him fast enough. Screams when, finished with his breakfast, he wishes to be freed from his high-chair restraints, so that he might roam about and possibly bang on the piano. Screams when his tired mama attempts to wrest him from the piano keys, screams in joy at breaking from her grasp, screams as he runs out the door headlong into sharp objects and pits of mud. Screaming is often a fact of life for a fifteen-month-old child, and it must be tolerated, to a point, for it is primal and necessary.

*From The Three-Martini Playdate: A Practical Guide to Happy Parenting. Yes, I’m reading it. No, I didn’t buy it; it was a gift. Yes, it is funny. V. funny, in fact. No, I do not indulge in three martinis during my playdates. I have thought about it, however. Especially now that we have entered the fifteenth month and Conal has decided to channel Nigel Tufnel and turn his inner amp up to 11.

Conal has this puzzle that he loves. It’s a wooden board puzzle, with 8 or so zoo animals on it. If you ask him where the zebra goes, he will point to the zebra’s space. Same for the lion. And the elephant, and the giraffe, and all the rest.

I think this is cute.

As I learned tonight, so does my family. Which leads me to my confession:

I confess that I made my child perform tonight.

It is true. I have become that person.

We were sitting out on the screened-in porch and I asked Conal to get his puzzle. He trotted off to his playroom and then I realized that the puzzle was up on the shelf so I followed him, took the puzzle off the shelf and handed it to him. He took it and went back out to the porch where he promptly sat down in front of Grandma and dumped the pieces on the floor.

I then proceeded to sit next to him and ask, “Where does the panda go?” He pointed correctly. My mom praised him lavishly. So I kept it up. “Where does the tiger go?” Same result. “Where does the parrot go?” Again, same result.

And so it went.

We all clapped and cheered and Conal smiled and laughed. I was a proud mama because, you know, he’s so smart! So able to identify the animals! And show us where they go! And he follows direction! And tells us all that the cow says, “Moo!”

I’m exhausted just thinking about it. And I’m planning on getting a grip. Planning on NOT making Conal perform. At least not on a regular basis. After all, he’s just a little jobber.

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