Luke & Dad’s First Year and a Half
Before you were conceived, an emerging cult among my friends dashed any hope that peer pressure eroded with age. The Cult of Parents was on a mission to convert the unwary by exploiting guilt, the fear of lost youth, and the sense your kind was dying off. “When are you going to have children? It’s a blessing! You’re not getting any younger!”
I was suspicious. Claims of parental utopia were always expressed through tired, weary faces. Was it reaffirmation that demanded our conversion into parents? I loved my weekends and from what I could tell, parents didn’t have weekends. Every waking moment was spent chasing their blessings around!
But I miscalculated. When I first saw the spark of recognition in your eyes, I was flooded by the rush of a first crush and the gripping love of a sibling and the yearning for a parent all mashed together. It was a new awareness, a new sensation that upset my emotional balance of power, recasting my priorities anew.
Ok now, don’t get me wrong. I haven’t transformed into a hear-no-evil/see-no-evil fundamentalist parent who has never seen a tough day with their child. (Luke, those folks are the worst.) However, I look forward to weekends like never before. I get to hang with my new best friend!
I particularly look forward to Saturdays. Every Saturday morning, you and I hit the town for breakfast and some activity. Rachel stays home to get a little extra sleep and a nice unencumbered workout. I should note that parenting coupled with pregnancy is incredibly tiring work and Rachel has coped with grace. You seem into it too; you occasionally point at her belly and shout “babeee!”
You and I have a reasonably consistent pattern on Saturdays. To give you a flavor, I’ll take you through this past Saturday, January 26th, 2008:
-- I wake to the sound of you fussing and take you out of your crib after asking you to hand me your pacifier (you are only allowed to have your “papee” when in bed). You oblige after some careful consideration. You then chant “Chuuch-hill, Chuuch-hill!” who comes crashing in.
-- I change your diapers while you stick your feet in my face. I used to feign smelling your feet to distract you while changing your diapers; I’d scream “smelly feet!” and now it’s become entertainment for you and required duty for me.
-- We dress you in your room and then move to the guest room where I pull on clothes while you pull out clothes from the drawers.
-- We go downstairs and you open the fridge babbling about your “ba ba.” You climb in my lap and down the bottle of milk.
-- We go to the basement for a 20 minute free weight workout. You basically hang out playing with the weights saying “weets” over and over. I count my reps as loud as I can in the hopes I am teaching you numbers.
-- We jump in the Toyota FJ Cruiser to our favorite Georgetown breakfast haunt, Furin's, where you’ve become a local celebrity. You say “hi” to Pat and Nancy, a retired couple who are always there at 8 am. They brought up three sons and love giving me tips. The young waitress, Uyanda, fawns all over you.
-- You scarf down pancakes and a piece of toast. I eat two eggs, bacon and toast.
-- We hunt around Georgetown for cars, buses and trucks to look at. As I’ve said before, you like all moving objects, the bigger the better. Today, you surprised me with a newly acquired word, “taxschi!”
-- The auto show is in town so we hit the Reagan National Convention Center and look at new cars. Your favorite is a red Nissan and you walk around and around it. My favorite is a Lexus ISF 2008 that I somehow talk myself out of buying.
-- We start the drive home to see Rachel. We both scream “Blaaah” stick our tongues and make like the Maori War chant. I have no idea how this got started but we do it all the time when we are driving.
-- We get home and you run in screaming “Mommy, Mommy!” I go on a run. Rachel gives you lunch and a nap.
As you can see, our relationship has evolved from babysitting to hanging with you. Watching your perception bloom has been an exhilarating experience of rocketing progress, sometimes more than I grasp.
You are now stringing together words in a very sophisticated but unintelligible way spattered here and there with recognizable words. If one were not listening closely, your tone and pace would sound downright professorial. I tell everyone you speak Lukanese.
If not speaking Lukanese, I have to watch what I say. You understand more than you let on. For example, I was talking on the phone with Grangie as you were playing. She wanted to say hi so I put the phone to your ear. You listened momentarily and turned back to your toys seemingly uninterested. A couple moments later, you bolted out of the room and then returned flashing a picture of you and Grangie from your bedroom. I was shocked. Grangie was overwhelmed with glee!
Speaking of Grandparents, we spent your second Christmas in Grand Junction with Grandma and Grandpa Moore and Keara. Their house was designed and built by Grandpa Steve and it is packed full of books. You were a one man wrecking crew, snatching and reshuffling books all over the house, with an intensity that suggested there was a method to the madness. I wonder if there was ...
Here is a picture of the two of us goofing off there.
I got an unusual treat a couple days ago. Your very first voicemail to me! Here is the recording from my mobile phone.
Before I sign off, we got some surprising news this quarter. You are going to have a brother! Here's a picture capturing his butt and the proof:
Boy are the two of you going to have fun! I'm not sure what to think of two sons running around. I'm accustomed to sisters.