January 2009


Yesterday was one of those days that makes me imagine the future.

We were snowed in.

We built a pillow fort. Read books. Played with puzzles. We hit golf balls. Rolled on the floor. Made a hearty veggie soup. We danced. Made up silly songs. And sillier hats.

We had a terrific day.

Pretty soon, Conal will be two. Then, in no time, he’ll be off to school. There will be fewer and fewer days like yesterday. I imagine myself looking forward to snow days once he’s in school so we can again share the types of moments we’re fortunate to share now.

I love our time together.

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One year ago.

For a while, Conal has been very good about runny noses. When he’d have one, he’d let us know that it needed to be wiped by pointing to his nose. I’ve been glad that he’s more or less allowed us to wipe his nose with no problem.

Today, he changed. He’s certainly not resisting the nose wipe (this is, after all, a child who really likes to have his hands washed). Instead, he’s doing it by himself. His new thing is to notice his runny nose, trot into the bathroom to grab a tissue, walk over to Owen or me, wipe his nose, smile, and then throw the tissue in the trash.

He is quite proud of his nose-wiping skills.

The other day, I caught Conal in the midst of some very serious business:

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By the time he was done, he’d pretty much emptyed his playroom and built quite the wall of toys. Why? I haven’t the slightest idea.

Though I may not post all the time, that in no way represents a lack of action here at Chez Jobber. To the contrary, the Little Jobber is so much action, so much of the time, that I have a hard time keeping up. To be honest, there’s a lot of stuff that goes on that is simply not blog-worthy. But then, there’s also a lot of funny, blog-worthy things that happen that I just sometimes forget by the time I get a free moment at the computer.

So, since Conal is now sleeping the peaceful sleep of a peaceful toddler, I’ll take this opportunity to share two of the day’s highlights with you.

This morning, on our way to the library, Conal not only was car-seat dancing along with Coco Tea, but he was also trying his best to sing along.

I watched him in the rear-view mirror and it was pretty cute. He was proud of himself; singing and shaking his head back and forth, moving his lips to the beat.

He also has a new trick, this Little Jobber. When I put him in his crib for his nap, he goes down with no problem. About 5 minutes later, though, the shaking begins. Yeah. Conal has taken to shaking the side of his crib as hard as he possibly can. And that is pretty hard. It sounds, from where I stand on the first floor, as if the crib is bouncing across the floor in his bedroom.

When I go upstairs and open his door, he immediately stops and drops to the mattress, burying his face in Blue Bear. He doesn’t make a sound. I say, “No more shaking. It’s nap time.” Then I cover him up and leave the room. And that’s it. He doesn’t shake the crib anymore, he just goes to sleep.

Right, it isn’t the most exciting trick in the book. But, I guess his trick does get me up to his room one last time before he heads to sleep. He’s very crafty, that one. Very crafty.

Conal’s social life has extended to the evening. He went to his first hockey game last night, where he met up with his pal, Ethan*.

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Unfortunately, RPI lost but Conal had a great time! He was all charged up when he got home (at 9:30!) and he was still charged up when he woke up this morning (at 7:45 — shouldn’t he have slept in?).

I think he’s already looking forward to future hockey games and nights out with the guys.

*Don’t worry, he didn’t go alone. The dads were there, too.

You know, whenever I write the word separate, I think, “there’s a rat in separate.” It’s a mnemonic that I included in the spelling book I just finished and it’s worked. I can’t get it out of my head. I’ll never spell that word incorrectly, that’s for sure.

Anyway, rats or no rats, we’ve got issues. Well, one issue, actually: Separation anxiety. It’s happening. Full-on.

Tuesday, I brought Conal over to Jen’s to spend the morning there, playing with Maddie and Cameron. I put my coat on and was saying good-bye when Conal burst into tears and grabbed me tightly. Jen picked him up and encouraged me to leave (we’d already discussed how these mornings without me are good for Conal), so I did. I felt pretty crummy but I do think it is good for him.

Fast-forward to this morning. We had a trip to the State Museum planned with Bridget and Robin. Bridget offered me a ride so I drove over to her house and, as I did, I told Conal that we were going to the museum and that he was going to ride in Maddie Graber’s car seat and wouldn’t that be fun! At Bridget’s house, I put Conal in the car seat, buckled him up and by the time I walked around to the front passenger seat, he had started weeping. He calmed down when he realized that we were all going together but, jeez!

And then, once we were at the museum, I had to leave him for a minute with Bridget while I ran to get change for a dollar. When I walked back over, he was crying. Loudly.

So, that’s what we have going on. Separation anxiety. Yes, I’ve read that it peaks at this age. It doesn’t make it any easier.

The golf clubs. Golf balls. Magnetic letters. Oatmeal containers. Socks. My cell phone. A water bottle. A small book. Many, many cat toys.

Shoved through the cat door, they bounce down the basement steps and end up in poor Chili’s food. Sometimes they land in his water dish, splattering his water all around.

How many times have I told Conal not to put things through the cat door? Millions. Maybe billions. I’ve lost count.

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