A month or two ago--maybe more now--I realized that both Barak and Iyyar do much better with a 6 pm bedtime, not the 7 pm bedtime that had been in place for a very long time. They go to bed more easily, they fall asleep more easily, there are fewer evening meltdowns. They even wake up later in the morning, and generally in better moods. The drawback to all this improvement, of course, is that with a 6 pm bedtime they barely see Abba during the week. He leaves just as they are waking up (he usually gets an Iyyar diaper change in before he leaves and that's it) and comes home to kids who are either already in bed or in the last stages of bedtime.
So we try, a couple times a week, to visit Abba at work. He teaches till early afternoon and then he's in the school's beit medrash, where it's considered acceptable for abbas to spend half an hour here and there learning aleph-beis with their kids. So, when the weather is nice and Barak is having a good listening day, that's what we do. Barak sits and learns with Abba for a while, and I follow Iyyar around the halls and try to keep him out of the gym (the gym! the gym! there are balls in there! I can HEAR THEM BOUNCING!)
This afternoon, we went to learn with Abba. On the way out the backyard, Iyyar starting saying "Dai dai dai" in the stroller. I, of course, started singing "Dayeinu" to him. Barak stopped me.
"Imma, what are you singing?"
"I'm singing Dayeinu." I sang a few more verses.
"What's that song?"
"It's a Pesach song, sweetie. You'll sing it at Pesach. You'll probably learn it in school before Pesach and then we'll sing it after the Seder."
Barak looked up me, mildly indignant. "Imma, I don't know that song now. I didn't grow up yet."
* * *
I don't know why exactly but I find it hard to remember the sounds that both Barak and Iyyar have made at various stages of baby- and toddlerhood. Right now, Iyyar is just starting to say words and realize the utility of saying words. He'll come into his room, where one of the all-exciting balls is stuck under the armoire. "Bah!" he'll inform me, and I will promptly pull the ball out and give it to him. He will cackle with delight at his success ("Heh heh heh,") lift the ball over his head, drop it ("Dah pih!") and watch it go bounce, bounce, bounce. Then, of course, he'll chase after it, and repeat from step 1. He'll stand up and say "up!" and then sit down and say "dowww." He says thank you ("ta taw!") and Abba and Barak, sort of ("Ah yah!") Imma? No, not so much. He does, of course, say Bamba, every time he sees it and whenever we go into the Bamba-carrying store. Bamba, as I may have mentioned, is big around here (although neither Grandma E or I really see the appeal.)
He also, of course, carries on long soliloquies in Iyyar-ese. "Ai dai, dai dai dai. Ai dai, dai. Ai dai." And then. "Aye bai bee ba bee! Ah bee! Ah bee bee bee!" Then, when he sees that I am eating something that may look identical to what's right in front of him on a plate but he knows full well is vastly superior, "Ah bee bee be AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!" When he wants to come out of his high chair, if I've taken off the tray but been too slow to remove the actual child, he'll point at his seatbelted tummy with both hands. "Diss! Diss!" Take THIS off, Imma, and LET ME OUT NOW.
If I ask him for his bowl or cup, so as to refill it, he'll usually hand me the requested item. If he's playing with a toy car or bus, he'll say so, with a strangely Bostonian accent. "Cah," he intones. "Buh. Buh." And for some reason, whenever I take him out of his crib, he wails piteously for something on top of the bookshelf (which is next to his crib). But then I can hold him right up next to it and he's not sure what it is he wanted--I think it's just that he was in his crib looking up at that out-of-reach top shelf, the contents of which seemed so much more appealing from a little bit farther away.