Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Boy's Got Skilz

A couple of weekends ago, in a moment of somewhat selfish parenting, Neal and I took Charlie to a University of Memphis basketball game. The game started at 7:00 p.m. (Charlie’s bedtime is at 7:30 or sometime soon thereafter). In an effort to do something fun outside of our domestic walls, we decided to take the chance and hoped for the best. Besides, it was Saturday – we could all sleep in the next morning. And it was our son who stayed up until 10:00 p.m. at the Chockley’s Christmas party, wasn’t it? I swear he just WOULD NOT go to sleep. I think he was afraid that we would find one forgotten present that needed to be gummed and he would miss out on the opportunity.

So, back to the game. We arrived at FedEx Forum just in time to watch the Tigers introduction. I love the grandeur of it all – a pitch-black FedEx Forum, the unreasonably loud PA, the player’s brief intros on the BIG screen, screaming fans, etc. Charlie was also in a state of wonder, soaking it all in. It is so adorable to watch him watch everything that is going on around him. In the excitement of it all, the boy displayed two new developmental landmarks – he clapped and waved. He clapped while we clapped (such a conformist!) and waved at the ladies in front of us and behind us who could not resist waving and making silly faces at him. We were so proud! Charlie even managed to stay awake for most of the game and was happy the entire time. I guess he wanted to get out of the house, too!

Since the game, these two skills are progressing nicely. The waving has gotten even more adorable because he just looks so proud of himself whenever he decides to flop his hand and fingers around in an attempt at a wave. He gets that gleam in his eye and a slight smile that says, “Wow! Look at me!” It couldn’t be any cuter.

Another skill that Charlie continues to practice is speaking. He continues to babble and mutter, “mmmaammmaa” and “daaadaa” throughout the day, in addition to other unrecognizable sounds. We try to encourage him to speak by responding to his utterances, but I’ve been told that we also need to relish this somewhat mute phase because once they really begin to talk, it never stops.

I’m guessing his next skill will be walking or crawling. He’s seems to be as close to one as he is the other. When we put him on his stomach and try to motivate him to crawl, it seems as if the upper part of his body is disjointed from the lower half. He’ll push up on his arms OR push up on his knees with his cute little butt in the air – but not both. One day, the connection will happen and I’m sure he’ll be off in a proud moment of mobility. He is also happy to stand up on his own while holding onto a table, chair, or person. He’ll even take a couple of assisted steps when prodded. I am nervously looking forward to the day when he can move on his own. I just hope I’ll be able to keep up with him (and keep him from putting dog hair/dog ears/dog tails, etc. into his mouth).

A Day with CZP

This past Monday, I took the day off. Charlie and I spent the day together hanging around the house and visiting the Memphis Zoo with the Chockleys. It was a perfect day partially because the weather was great and I was not at work, but mostly because Charlie was so much fun to be around. He was in a great mood after his slumber party with Nana. We spent part of the late morning in my bed – he convinced me he needed a nap but then refused to go to sleep. Instead, he just stared at me in wonder. He poked at my face, stuck his fingers in my mouth, grabbed my nose, kicked at the covers, and made me smile.

Eventually, he began to doze off. I watched him fight falling asleep for an entire 10 minutes until he finally drifted off. He looked so peaceful and content. I could have stayed in that moment forever.
I wish I could have more days like that with Charlie. It’s nice to have time to just savor a moment rather than feel pressure to squeeze everything into an increasingly smaller amount of time.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

They Let Us Stay Home For This?

Okay, so maybe I’m being a little hard on the way Memphians completely freak out at the tiniest particle of snow. I am certainly not complaining about getting a free day! Having lived in the Great White North in a city on Lake Ontario, though, I feel confident in saying that I know what real snow is. And this isn’t even close! But like I said, I’m not complaining.
I sometimes miss the often relentless snow of Rochester, the continuous blanket of white throughout the winter, the sound of its muffled crunch under my boots, and the perfect excuse to drink hot chocolate on a daily basis. On the other hand, I am extremely grateful that I don’t have to scrape it off of my car at least 3 times per day while my hands are freezing inside my soaked gloves.

While recovering from a terribly icky illness (which I am still not over), the free day was just what I needed. Neal woke me up by saying two glorious words, “snow day!” I was so ecstatic that I actually rolled over and went back to sleep. A short while later, I decided that we absolutely had to take Charlie out in the snow before it all melted. His first snow ever and I almost slept through it!
We harnessed up the dogs, bundled ourselves, strapped Charlie to Neal and headed out for a morning stroll in the “snow.” Charlie was mesmerized by that cold white fluffy stuff. The dogs enjoyed romping and poking their noses in the snow. I enjoyed watching Charlie and seeing our neighborhood covered (or lightly dusted) with snow. And of course, when we returned to the house, I drank hot chocolate.