Monday, September 24, 2007

Seriously, you could just snap his nose off at any moment

from Carolyn

When Pete really really wants something, and wants you to know he's really serious about his request, he'll come over and in a low voice state his request very firmly right into your mouth. It's sort of the equivalent of getting in someone's face and looking right in their eyes, except several inches lower. Sometimes he holds your cheeks in his hands to make sure he has your attention. Although such moments are very serious to Pete, they always make me laugh. In part because they tickle.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Blog updaKA-BEEP!

Recently, Pete has reached the point of altering the routines he
has mastered to create jokes. For instance, if we ask him a language
question to which he knows the answer, he will often replace part or
all of the answer with "ka-BEEP." So if we ask him the color
of a purple car, he'll say "Purpaka-BEEP" and laugh. And
after learning how to steer one of his cars along the sidewalk when we
push him, he now sometimes steers it suddenly into the grass to shake
things up, again with much laughter.

What they ARE!

Within the standard big developments--picking up language and
movement and such--we see the oddest little developments. A few weeks
ago, Pete started asking about things he saw by saying waving his hands
excitedly, drawing his breath in sharply, and saying "Oooh! What
HAPPENED what they ARE?" The same phrasing would apply for
singular or plural referents, and often remarkably unexciting ones--for
one of many examples, we were walking downtown and had this exchange:

Pete: Oooh! What HAPPENED what they ARE?
Erik: Well, that's a door.

This kind of conversation happened all the time for about ten days,
and poof, no more.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Preparation for The Waste Land

from Carolyn

Pete Takes after His Parents:

Pete is obsessed with his first literary allusion. It's the framed picture on the wall in Goodnight Moon that reproduces in black and white a colorful illustration from Runaway Bunny. He holds both books in his lap, both open to the correct pages, and looks back and forth. He wouldn't hand them over, last night, and I left him in his crib, in a room too dark for him to really see the illustrations, still marveling at seeing a picture long-familiar in once context (the oft-read Goodnight Moon, newly discovered in another (the more-recently-added-to-our-collection Runaway Bunny).

Speaking of Goodnight Moon, Pete is obsessed with the "old lady whispering hush." When I used to read this book to him every night, he never noticed her. But now that we're reading it regularly again, she's the main focus for him. When we're looking at the pages where she doesn't appear, he always (ALWAYS) asks where she is. In some cases, where the picture depicts the room in such a way that she is simply out of the range of the illustration, I point to a place off of the page where she would appear if the illustration were larger. He's started to do that, too. But he's still unnerved about where she is when the book begins (and her chair is vacant) and ends (when it is vacant again). We talk about how she's probably doing the dishes at the end (since that's what I do after I put Pete to bed), and he'll sometimes suggest that's where she is, but I don't think he's convinced. Her comings and goings really seems to puzzle him. Goodnight nobody, indeed.

I think I should write an essay about all the disturbing things about the books we read to Pete. Like Harold and the Purple Crayon. Being and Nothingness for the toddler set is what that is.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I'm just axing!

In today's raised eyebrow category:

Pete's been testing the limits of being aggressive. He knows he's not supposed to hit, but when he's upset at us, he'll form a little fist and press it against, say, one of our arms, with a little push. He'll see if he can get away with that, and then try pushing a little harder, or pressing a little more suddenly. What is hitting, what isn't?

So the other day, he was doing this with (to?) me, and I said: "No, Pete. We don't hit."

He responded: "I not hit. [pause] I drum. [pause] With my ax."

More like it

from Carolyn

Making up for all the axing, Pete, for the first time completely unbidden, said, "I love you, Mama."