I always told myself, I wouldn’t call it a first word until I knew it was HIS word – not him echoing something back, even if he only did it in the “right” circumstances. It had to be clear, and obvious. Definite.
Sitting in his high chair, Danny was playing with his empty plate, something he often does. Over the edge it spilled, clattering to the floor. He peered over at it. I gasped and gave him a shocked look, not saying a thing.
He met my gaze and said, “uh oh!”
I haven’t said uh oh all day. It may have been days. Danny’s said it plenty today though, whenever he drops something on the floor.
I’m resisting the urge to start dropping things myself.
It wasn’t too long before bed on Easter Sunday, and as is quickly becoming the norm, the boys were up in the living room playing together. Seriously, these two are becoming inseparable. I worried that Danny’s language delays would hinder their relationship, but with the pure acceptance that only children can manage, neither of them notices or cares. (Eric is actually taking to talking for Danny lately – “Mommy, Danny says he needs milk.” “Mommy, Danny says he wants to come too.” – but that’s a whole other issue.) They are best friends.
They start to race around and chase each other, one of their favorite things to do. Eric gave a mighty roar, which set Danny off squealing and laughing. Then the laughter trails off and Danny roars, and Eric cracks up laughing. Back and forth they went, feet thumping up and down stairs and around corners, boys echoing roars back and forth.
I just stood there for a moment, soaking it in.
No, Danny’s language delays aren’t effecting the boys’ relationship one bit. They always find the common ground, and my deaf son chases my hearing son around the house, both of them roaring and laughing. It was like a balm, a reassurance that even though we are in the hard days right now, we’ll all get through. John is right. We are strong together.
“Mommy!” Eric rushed down the stairs and through the gate to the office, slamming it shut as Danny got to his stomach and slid down after him. “Danny’s scaring me!”
Turning 2 is a big deal! There’s a simple recipe that’ll lead to a perfect second birthday!
Step 1: Wake up (but not too quickly!) and greet whoever is at the door, typically your Mommy.
Be nice to them, and they’ll spring you from your
Step 2: Get dressed for success! If you’re super cute, you might even get some naked morning kisses in the process.
Those kisses are just the thing to help you wake up happy!
Step 3: Have a wicked awesome day, including your friends, lots of loving from all your favorite grownups, and a trip to the park with your family.
(Unfortunately, no matter how hard you try, you just can’t get “Happy Birthday” right on the keyboard at the park… You’re only 2, after all.)
Step 4: Enjoy all the birthday necessities: cupcakes…
Step 5: Go out for a nice supper (aka noodles, your favorite!) and a fancy restaurant (aka a pizza buffet).
Don’t be afraid to dig in with your hands; not only will it get the food into your mouth faster, but you can make a great mess that way!
Step 6: Tummy full, playing accomplished, and Mommy & Daddy suitably loved on, get into your big boy jammies and take a well deserved rest.
…and all that before you actually turn 2 at 8:12pm! (That is, after all, way past your bed time.) Does that mean we can do it all again tomorrow?
Happy birthday, Danny!
Yes, it’s true: we love spring. Fall is pretty good too, any of those days where the weather is truly nice and not either miserable cold or miserable hot. Summer is not a favorite, because the heat makes it SO hard to do anything outside for very long! But in the spring – oh, the spring! – we can easily lose an hour or more at the park.
That’s where we’ve been…a lot. We spent a good while there Saturday, and then on Sunday I just had to go back and we went for another stretch. Weather’s nice on Wednesday? Sure, an hour at the park after work sounds perfect! I’m afraid we’re getting terribly spoiled here, and when the rain rolls in that we’re supposed to get, certain boys are going to be quite sad.
The best thing about the whole situation can be seen in the photo above: Danny can hear! We’re not only enjoying the heck out of the nice weather, but we’re doing it with cochlear implants on. That may not seem like a huge thing, but it truly is because of the inherent danger of parks in the spring time: the dreaded
plastic static slides. You know the ones, where the kids get to the bottom and their hair is standing in all directions looking all crazy. That’s great for the cute factor, but not so great for expensive electronic devices.
But that’s all right, because this park?
It’s got metal slides. Yes, a brand new and shiny park with metal slides. I don’t know why they did it… I’m just glad they did. It may not be great in the height of summer, but honestly, we don’t enjoy the park much when it’s 100 degrees out anyway. There is something beautiful about watching Eric call to Danny to chase him on the playground and having Danny spin and chase. Or calling Danny back into the park (which is also completely fenced in except for a single entrance/exit – awesome!) by spinning a wheel that clacks and having him turn around and come back.
As it happens every so often, Eric was grumpy Thursday morning. “No!” you say, “Not Eric!”
Yes, yes Eric, and he does grumpy with a vengeance.
It took much coercing to even get him to have some cereal, brush his teeth (properly), and get his clothes on. The pants were a particular struggle as I sent him upstairs to fetch them and he came down with Danny’s pants the first time, a pair of too small jammy-pants the second time, and a pillow sack – a pillow sack – the third time. (“This pants is for jumping!”)
Finally dressed, we got upstairs and it was time to put coats on. He rushed to the kitchen and hid in the corner, grunting his disapproval. I told him it was time for his coat, and he gave a long and mumbling, “weeeeeeh!” Not quite a cry, but certainly not words, and completely full of disdain.
Danny wandered over and stared at him for a moment. “Eeeeeeh!” he announced at his brother’s back.
“Mmf! Weh!” Eric grunted into his corner, tucking himself further into it. Danny giggled.
They went back and forth like this a couple times, Eric getting more and more frustrated and upset, Danny laughing the whole time. Finally, Eric spun and ran from the room with a final, “Weeeeeeeeeh!!!”
Sure enough, Danny gives a cackling laugh and follows at a wobbling run.
I’m sure Danny was just trying to make his brother feel better. Yeah, that’s it…
I’m starting to get excited for Danny’s birthday for none of the reasons most moms look forward to a second birthday: I can’t wait to see what he does with his birthday cake this year.
Last year, of course, he barely touched it. He didn’t like to get his hands messy, he didn’t really explore things much with his hands, and he didn’t eat anything that didn’t come pureed. This year, well, a lot has changed.
My wonderful, incredible, fabulous husband let me sleep in Saturday morning while he and Eric snuck out to get donut holes. Eric nibbled on his as he always does, eating the outsides with all their sugar and glaze while trying to leave the insides sit. I offered one to Danny not really sure how he’d handle it, urging him to take a bite.
I didn’t mean he should eat the thing in one bite.
However, he thought that would be the best way to do it. I fished it out and broke it in two, after doing what all good parents do and snapping some awesome pictures.
And to think, not 6 months ago we were so excited because he would pick up and eat tiny little nearly-crumb-sized pieces of muffins and a bowl of Jello. Silly kid.