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Summer is almost over. School begins next week. Simon is nearly three. And yet, I have a whole list of stuff I meant to get to¬†over the last six months that for reasons of laziness or writer’s block I did not. The backlog is killing me, and I see no way out other than to abbreviate. I’m thinking that if it took 32 short films to fully elucidate the genius of Glenn Gould, that maybe I can manage to capture some odd bits of life with Simon over the past year with 32 (or however many) short blogs.

Here goes the first installment:

Scuzziness (1)

People talk about babies being a mess. They are wrong. Babies are neat. They may be incontinent or spit up profusely, but the careful application of bibs and diapers does much to alleviate the mess at both ends.

But toddlers? Oh my God! Simon will pick up anything. Then he ends up running all over the house and getting whatever he’s touched/stepped in all over the place. Over the course of the past year, off the top of my head, I can remember scrubbing chalk off of walls, pencil off of the table top, yogurt off of the couch, chocolate off of the couch, fruit bar crumbs off of the couch, and goldfish crackers off of the couch.

So ok, maybe we need to stop eating on the couch. But what about his person? It’s easing up a bit now that he approaches three, but we have seen and dealt with all of these items being smeared all over Simon’s face, hands, hair and body. As well as finger paint, dirt, mud, frosting, peanut butter and other food items, and bubble solution. Some days I feel like the best way to assess how good a day Simon has had is to lean in and see how dirty he is.

Filth equals fun.

Master Whitworth’s Affirmations (2)

Yes!

For a while there, I could write a dissertation on the different way Simon said “no.” Wait. That’s right. I did. Then, ever so briefly, he got excited about “yes” and said it as though he were making an earthshaking decision or affirming his faith in the universe. He reminded me quite a bit of George Emerson in A Room with a View, up a tree and calling out his affirmations of truth and beauty.

Cool Like Fonzi (3)

Simon came home from camp nearly every day with a new crafts project. He made everything from pet frames to a real Mr. Potato Head. One day, while walking from the living room to the kitchen, Simon passed a table where one of his objects d’art was sitting. At which point he looked up at Matt and announced proudly:

“I made that at camp. I so cool.”

Next up, the double thumbs-up.

Pretty! (4)

Simon also went through a “pretty” phase this year. It was swiftly followed by a “cute” phase. Things that were pretty included my hair (the first utterance of pretty), my ring, his blue diaper, his new blue shoes, and (inexplicably) a tunnel or two. He now declares himself “cute” all the time. I am also cute if I’m wearing anything with lace or a tie on it. Which is to say, according to Simon, I’m cute in my pajamas and in my swim-suit. I find this development…well…cute.

Tunnel Vision (5)

Boy is obsessed with tunnels. He has a tunnel that’s part of his Thomas and Friends train set, when we walk through park trails he runs from one tunnel to another, and he sees tunnels everywhere. The big park shelter at Hogan’s Fountain is a tunnel. All bridges that cross bodies of water are tunnels, “water tunnels” to be precise. Holes in trees are tunnels. Sewer drains are tunnels. The animal school in The Kissing Hand is a tunnel. The bunnies’ house in The Runaway Bunny is a tunnel. When Simon tents a piece of cloth or props a pillow to run a car under it, it’s a tunnel. The most interesting thing about his interest in tunnels is watching his imagination grow and hearing him use the word for anything that is, to his mind, tunnel-like.

In their own way, all toddlers are poets.

A Haiku about Rock Throwing (6)

Speaking of poetry, Simon’s love of throwing rocks is so deep and pure that it¬†deserves a poem:

Pebble interred on path.

Soars above in August sky.

Simon let it fly.

Momentary Schizophrenia (7)

One night Simon leaned over Percy, pressed his ear against the cat’s side, and reported,

“There’s no people in it.”

I think that’s probably a good thing.

Monk (8)

Symptoms of toddler OCD began to emerge in December. As of this summer, the disease is raging out of control. The following catastrophes result in tears and have to be corrected immediately. Sometimes “correcting” means throwing out and starting all over again, or changing clothes, or changing plans. These issues are:

  • Any bit of cheese that spills over the edge of a grilled cheese sandwich;
  • Any bit of cheese that extends past the tortilla in a quesadilla;
  • Any amount of white material on an orange (I share this aversion and can easily spend half an hour peeling an orange.);
  • A cookie that crumbles;
  • A cracker that cracks;
  • A slice of American cheese that does not lift up from the plate perfectly intact;
  • A button that is unbuttoned (his only);
  • A zipper that is unzipped (his and mine-no open jackets this spring);
  • Vents on shirts (Simon thinks the exposed corners or ends should be “tied” and collapses into a heap when he cannot do it.);
  • Any thread sticking out of any item of clothing.

So there you have the first 8. More to follow. I feel better already.

One Response to “32 Short Blogs about Simon”

  1. goldsteinrita says:

    Any obsession with clothing, the folding, tying, buttoning or anything else is clearly genetic.

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