1. We've been away, visiting my in-laws while staying with some good friends who live nearby. I have not gotten to have a good visit with the friends in question--a former housemate and her new husband--in years and years, so this was something I was really looking forward to. It also solved a slightly sticky issue with visiting my husband's parents. Staying in my in-laws' home is difficult for a number of reasons, mainly related to fire safety concerns. My friends' home has no such issues--she is a firefighter and there are smoke detectors (or, as Barak calls them, "Smoke tatector! Go beep beep!") in abundance. However, since they are newlyweds they have no kids. They've also just moved into the house, and didn't have time to childproof. As a result, the first ten minutes there were spent removing the matches, Sharpies, nails, scissors, and, oh yes, axe from the floor and low shelves. ("If you're looking for anything sharp, deadly, indelible, or self-igniting, we've probably relocated it.") They also have two very large, friendly, and extremely well-trained dogs (they are working search and rescue dogs) who delighted Barak no end. "Issa doggie! Hi doggie!" My friend wanted me to go for a wander in the woods with Barak and let the dogs track us, but we didn't get around to it. Maybe next time.
2. When packing for the trip, I considered packing the potty seat. I did. But we already had so much stuff, and I thought, he'll be fine with the toilet for a few days. What was I thinking? The child has a tush that is about six inches wide. Of course he wasn't going to be fine.
Ten minutes after we got there, after a morning of traveling that began at 5 am, Barak got That Look on his face, stopped what he was doing, and said, "Imma, poop potty please!" I took him down to the bathroom. He looked at the toilet, and back up at me, horrified. "I can't poop. Iss too big." One Target run later, he had his potty seat, but the inclination had passed.
Fast-forward to the following night, when we were getting off the train after a dinner out. "Imma, poop potty please!" It was easily a twenty-minute walk home, and we were waiting for the bus. But he was hysterical, tears rolling down his face. "Poop potty!" And I realized that wait a minute, it's Monday night and he hasn't pooped since--oh no, not since Friday night! Three days! The poor kid. So MHH picked him up and ran with him all the way back to the house, while telling him the whole way it was okay if he couldn't hold it. He did, though, and after some understandably massive explosions politely requested ice cream. Oh no--do they have ice cream?! They did--Ben and Jerry's chocolate chip cookie dough, so all was well.
I was pretty impressed by the intensity of his desire to make it to the bathroom. He always has a wet diaper at the end of the day, and sometimes poops during the night, but hasn't had a dirty diaper in the middle of the day for weeks now. (Please don't remind me that I thought I'd have him out of diapers for good by the end of the summer. Just don't.)
3. Iyyar is still saying "ah da da da," and nothing else. I don't think he feels he needs anything else to say, because he's pretty expressive with just that. It's his word, and he says it for everything, with great thought and feeling. It's very cute. We'll be sitting there nursing and every so often he'll think of something he needs to tell me, pull off, look up and inform me, "Ah da da da da!" and I'll say, "Really?" He'll agree, "da!" and get back to nursing.
4. Barak was pretty pleased to get back home on Thursday night. A few minutes after we got in, I was in our room changing Iyyar and Emese the cat appeared from under the bed. Barak was delighted. "Emese! Emese so cute! Like a bunny rabbit!"
5. I've been trying very hard to avoid sugar and white flour for the last few weeks, with the result that I've actually dropped a few pounds. I knew it wasn't going to be that easy to be good about diet while traveling, but the discovery of a full tub of Godiva Belgian dark chocolate ice cream in the freezer--well. My friend is kind of like me when it comes to feeding people, and once I had actually been encouraged to eat the ice cream resistance was pretty much futile. Our last day there, there was only about an inch left in the tub and I decided to just finish it off with a spoon. Barak sniffed this out instantly. "I want it ice cream!" "Barak, I think you can ask a little more nicely than that." "I want it ice cream please!" We took turns with the spoon until it was gone. "I like it! I like it chocolate ice cream!" Don't we all.
6. Aged eight months, Iyyar is 29 inches tall and 3 inches past the cutoff for his infant car seat. This means that he is in the stage of rear-facing convertible car seats--absolutely the hardest to install well. And I did it five times in five days, in addition to putting in Barak's (which is much easier). I've got bruises like you wouldn't believe.
7. In the category of things you don't think you're teaching your kids: one phrase that Barak hears regularly is "not for you." He usually hears this in connection with an off-limits can of Diet Coke. "Dass Imma's? Dass Imma's Diecoke? Ca'I have it?" "No, Barak. That's not for you. You can't have Diet Coke. It's just for Imma." Reasonable enough. That's my poison.
So. My friend's two dogs are both in the 80-lb neighborhood--close to three times Barak's weight. Our last day there, Barak was walking around the house with a Puffins cereal bar. One of the dogs got interested and started sniffing around it, politely requesting that he share. Barak wasn't anywhere near either of us, but didn't need any interference. "No! Iss my Puffins! Iss not for you! You can't have that!" And the dog understood that the answer was no, and didn't ask again. Now if we could only get Barak to figure out that lesson...
8. I may have mentioned on this blog that Barak snores. He doesn't just snore a little; he snores like a little old fat man after a very good meal. You can hear him across the apartment. Iyyar does not normally snore, but right now he has a cold, so he sounds about the same. MHH doesn't snore much ordinarily, but like the rest of us he--you guessed it--has cold. All of last week, the four of us were sleeping in the same room. Being in there at night was like being surrounded by three occupied park benches, each with an empty flask of Thunderbird tossed underneath.