June 2011

Ya, it pretty much went like this:

Outdoor pool + a week of on and off again sunshine + morning of rain and 60* temps = an unhappy little man….and a trooper of a dad—Grant did great despite being mad at me for making him them get in even though the water was seriously so cold.  “This is unhealthy!” is what Grant said.  The lesson was 30 min, but after being in for 20, we both thought it was best for Donovan to get out.  Other kids in his class were shivering, but still happy singing the songs with the instructors and playing in the water with their parent.  Not Donovan.  He was like, “Get. Me. OUT.”  So we did and once he was warm again, he was back to his normal happy, talkative self.

Prayers every night are being said, and we are including a request for warm weather all week, no rain, and a warm pool for Saturday.  Thank you.  Amen.

I’ve been observing Donovan these last few days, and it’s amazing to see how he functions in this world.  The way he thinks and decides things.  The way he is perceived and how he reacts to others.  Seeing how a person goes from being born into this world not knowing how to do anything, to teaching him about everything and seeing how he takes it all in and applies it is pretty amazing.  It’s a big responsibility, but it’s been so much fun.  Teaching him to roll over, to crawl, walk, say “bye-bye,” to remind him to look where he’s going, slow down, and so many other things.  In the midst of growing up way too fast, comes his need/want for independence. 

Example 1: The daily pick-up.  Every day when his dad or I pick him up from daycare, he sees us and doesn’t greet us with a hug anymore (“Oh Mommy! Daddy! I’ve missed you soo much today! Please take me home!!!!”). Instead he stops what he’s playing with, gets up and walks straight to the fridge.  He eagerly waits for us to open it, then he grabs his lunchbox (he knows which one is his), hooks it over his shoulder and says, “bye-bye” while waving to everybody and goes right out the door.  Of course, I’m talking to his teacher, asking about his day and have to tell him to wait for mommy as he anxiously waits at the door.  The lunchbox, almost as big as he is, stays in his hands as we walk together out to the car. 

Example 2: His way.  Time spent at the dinner table can be a fun family time for us.  Other times, if Donovan is given something he’s not too thrilled with then sees us eating a slight, adult version of the same thing he has, he wants what we have.  And trying to just scoop and feed it to him is no good anymore.  HE wants to use his spoon and put it in his own mouth.  Same thing with changing his diaper.  We fold up his dirty one and he is so eager to put it in the trash.  If we don’t let him, tears will quickly stream down his face accompanied with screams as if to be saying, “HOW COULD YOU!?! YOU’RE SO MEAN!!!” 

Example 3: Godzilla.  Forget picking things up with his hands and examining it intently.  Stepping on it—repeatedly— is how he sees whether something anything is hard, soft, slippery, crinkly…. this method often results in him falling.  Falling on his bottom, his face, or ending up in the splits from the object sliding out from under him.  The latter happening more often than the first two. 

Example 4: Older kids are awesome.  It doesn’t matter what they are doing.  Running around the playground.  Playing on the basketball court.  Standing, waiting for their parents to finish buying something at the mall.  I find him not only watching them, studying them, but he’s wanting to play with them.  Some kids who looked to be about 7 or 8 were playing basketball and Donovan walks right up to them, fearless, asking to play with them.  The older kids let him and within minutes, Donovan is hugging them.  And my heart melts.  What a sweet, sweet little man. 

I’m constantly trying to figure you out, Donovan.  And just when I think I have, you throw us another curve ball.  But I love it.  Every day is an adventure.

When Donovan was first born, his pediatrician said he was “tongue-tied.” Meaning: his frenulum (the thingy that attaches under your tongue to the bottom of your mouth) was further forward than it should be.  He reassured us that it was no big deal and said many lactation consultants insist that you snip it (because babies that are tongue-tied can have problems nursing).  He told us not to, so we didn’t.  And yes, Donovan had trouble latching on for about a month, but that was the only evidence of this slight imperfection. 

Until I noticed a baby at daycare that was sticking their tongue out.  I watched this baby in amazement (and honestly, slight disgust) as it’s tongue stuck in and out of it’s mouth, trying to lick at, what? The air? Seeing a baby stick their tongue out like this was so foreign to me–until I realized that it struck me as being so odd because my own baby never stuck his tongue out. Ever.  Will he be able to?  Will he ever do simple things like lick an ice cream cone?  Or will we need to get his frenulum snipped?

Turns out he’ll be able to lick an ice cream cone!  He’s always been able to stick it out, but just didn’t know how.  One of the teachers at daycare was playfully sticking her tongue out at him and he thought it was hilarious and realized he could do it too.  We were so happy to see him do this… probably just as excited as when he rolled over for the first time, it was that momentous. 

No snipping needed.  But now comes teaching him to keep it in his mouth 99% of the time….. I’m starting to understand why our pediatrician told us not to encourage this kind of behavior……

On my birthday this year, my boss asked me if I wanted to run a leg of the Vermont City Marathon.  “Why would I do that?” I asked. “Because I’m organizing a team, and it will be fun,” he said. In my slightly drunken stooper, I tried recalling the furthest I’d run since Donovan was born.  I think my mind came to the number 2.  Yup, that sounded right.  2 miles.  “Ok, I’ll do it, but I got dibs on the shortest leg.  How long is the shortest leg?”  3.10 miles.  Ok, if I push myself, I can do that by Memorial Day weekend.

And I did. 

I ended up running my 3 miles in 35 minutes, which is about 5 minutes faster than expected.  I underestimated the power of the cheers heard along my route… people standing outside their houses, people all over downtown, just to watch and cheer runners going by.  “Good job!” “You can do it!” “Keep it up!”  That plus the tunes bumpin’ in my headphones was enough to get me to the end.  Afterwards, I felt I really could’ve run a longer leg. 

Did I train for this?  Um, not really.  Since the end of March, I would try to run about 2-3 miles a couple times a week.  Until May.  Then I practically didn’t run at all until the week before the race.  I was nervous.  Thought I’d take forever, or that I might slip and fall, end up with a broken ankle, or a leg cramp.  But I was energized and looking forward to the rest of the day to see how our 5 person relay team ended.

We were all tired and exhausted, but our team finished in 5 hrs 10 min.  Would I ever run a full marathon?  Hell no.  A half?  Maybe.  If I keep up with my running and get into better shape, maybe by next May I’ll have my act together enough to accomplish that.  And if I don’t, oh well.  As our team motto says, “Honey badger don’t care!”