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School Boy

I hope it’s not confirmation bias or simply the effect of his new haircut, but I think Matt and I are already beginning to see the effects of KIP on Simon. He seems older all of a sudden, possessed both of more understanding and more independence. The changes have been in the works since he began to walk nearly three months ago, but the overall effect remains revolutionary. What’s more, as I have traveled twice in a short span, it almost seems as though I left a baby behind to get on plane one day, only to return to find a familiar looking little boy waiting for me the next.

A few months ago, I’d be using this space to lament how fast time has gone by and to mourn the loss of my (likely only) baby. But I’m not feeling the loss at present. Somehow this transformation seems wholly positive. In no small part, this is because Simon has been in a terrific mood for the last three days, and I’ve greatly enjoyed his company. The larger truth is that, after nearly two years, Simon no longer feels like an extension of me. The first all-consuming months of motherhood ended long ago, my heart and mind have at last caught up to this reality, and I can now see Simon as an individual and cheer his budding independence.

So what’s new? Well, mainly what’s new is that he tries to do more things for himself and he follows instructions better. If I ask to hold his hand to go down a sidewalk or across a parking lot, he’ll grab my hand with his and (mostly) follow along. There’s been much less carrying going on of late. He’s also understood me and complied when I’ve asked him to do things like put his clothes in his hamper or go get a toy from another room. Just yesterday I half jokingly asked Simon to draw me a picture, and then watched and cheered as he marched over to his easel, picked up his chalk, and began to scribble away.

He’s also discovered two restaurant tricks that equally delighted the two of us. At Just Fresh yesterday, I asked him to put his high chair away after lunch. It had wheels on it, but I was still surprised when he pushed it all the way to the back of the restaurant and down a short hall. A few fellow diners looked up and cheered his efforts, too. We’ll be going back there just for the movable chairs.

At Heine Brothers later that day, Simon discovered that if he gets on his tip-toes he can just about reach a small stack of cups and the water dispenser they sit beside. It’s enough of a stretch that I had to re-align his cup and pour the water for him, but he was insistent on getting the cup down, shoving it as close to the dispenser’s spout as possible, and then carrying the drink back to his table. The smile on his face lit up the whole room.

Unfortunately, he’s also approaching two. So along with all these cute and helpful tricks, he’s picked up a few less than cute, not-so helpful ones. Like reaching into his diaper pail to take diapers out (yuck!), tumping cups over once he’s had enough to drink, un-spooling toilet paper rolls, and trying to push out the window screens.

As I’m feeling generous, I’ve decided to credit KIP with all these positive developments and chalk up the annoyances to age.

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