Grandma June came to town earlier in the month and stayed with you two while your mom and I took a vacation up to Northern California to go camping at Big Sur National Forest. While we drove up the coast we ate sunflower seeds, spoke about you, drank apple juice, spoke about you, ate crackers with summer sausage and spoke about you. That evening we slept in our car in the parking lot of a skate park in Paso Robles and fell asleep wondering if Grandma June had kept you up to play with you. In the early afternoon we arrived at Big Sur, unpacked and went hiking….at which point we promptly walked off the beaten path, got lost, the sun went down, the rain picked up and all we could do was think about you. FOOLS! We were going to get eaten by a pack of wolves while you two were being snuggled into ducky robes and robot pajamas back home!
Once we found our car we drove to a really nice restaurant and went inside looking like we’d just fallen in a lake. Casually hanging my soaking jacket off the back of my chair where a puddle began to collect, I ordered the soup du jour – roasted potato and garlic. It tasted flat and disgusting and salt wouldn’t fix it. I ate it anyway because (FACT) after you almost die, you’re usually hungry. I also drank a full glass of water, which is also strange, considering how wet I was.
The point being this; we took a vacation to get away from work and the city and responsibilities but while we were away all we thought about were the two important things we’d left behind. There’s irony in behind a parent.
Fast forward a few weeks and Jade and I are staring into Rory’s mouth, sticking our fingers inside, poking him and saying things like, “Hmmm” and “Is that one?”. This is one of the craziest things about having kids – you need to check something out and you just do it. There are no social standards. Do you have a dirty diaper? Let me just yank your pants off and take a looksie. Oh, you DO! Well let me just rip your clothes off in front of everyone and shame you. How many teeth do you have? Allow me to hold you while your mom props your mouth open with one hand and counts on the other. That said, Rory, you actually have three new teeth coming in…..right now AT THE SAME TIME! (to say “right now” and “at the same time” is a bit repetitive and I understand that but I really wanted to stress how intense it must be for you considering that two of them are MOLARS – OUCH!)
Quinn, I don’t want to panic you but I’ve caught your mom perusing BabyWigs.com twice now. All of the other babies we know have long, flowing locks – beautiful manes that can be ribboned, braided, twirled and CUT. You, on the other hand, are making your own path, starting your own fashion. You’ve opted to grow a rat tail – this beautiful fat thicket that dangles from the nob of your neck. B-E-A-utiful.
With teeth come words and we’re beginning to hear a few. Quinn says, “Dah-dee”, “Ducky”, “Book”, and Mama”. Rory says, “Dah-dah”, “Ducky” “Mama” and “AAAHHHH!!!”. Quinn, you are still very delicate. You examine and peruse. Rory, you are still…..less delicate….and I’ll just sort of leave it at that.
This month has been a BIG MONTH in change. You’re both exiting another phase and entering a new one; genuinely becoming toddlers….or maybe even something after that….you don’t really “toddle” as much as you just move and bounce from room to room. Your personalities are growing, changing, developing along with your faces and motor skills. You’re learning to share things – toys, time, food, milk, books, lap space. Watching you grow is something spectacular. You’ve gotten to the point where we can show you something, “Use the hair brush like this,” or “the toy works like this” and then you’ll do it. You’re beginning to understand concepts and practices. You understand that when we bring out the high chair that it’s time to eat. You understand what “arms up” means – we’re about to take off your shirt. And you know what “Come here, let’s change your diaper” means because you turn around and run away.
I come home from work and spend my evenings crawling around on the floor and wrestling, exploring with you, examining toys and chasing you from room to room, making animal noises and it’s in these few short hours – from about 6:30pm – 8:30pm that I get to escape the city and the responsibility and forget about work and just remember what it’s like to be a kid…but these moments are rare. They’re like watching a bald eagle fly through a solar eclipse.