Like most parents, I’m constantly wondering what the world looks like through my child’s eyes. Our Little Dude currently inhabits a particularly exciting environment, and he never knows what kind of adventure is coming his way. He’s taken to inquiring each morning when he wakes up, “Where’s M going today?”
It cracks us up without fail (not least because he refers to himself in the 3rd person). With all of the travel we’re being spoiled by during our year abroad, the kid thinks that every day he’ll be boarding a plane, train, or automobile. Now that we’re city folk again, there are even buses and subways in his daily life. This weekend we’re going to check out Macau, and he’ll get to take the ferry there and back. Let the good times roll.
Sometimes I’m hard on myself for not being a craftier stay-at-home parent. I don’t take on many art projects, bake cookies, or plan a lot of play dates. Our week lacks the organized activities that we engaged in back in San Diego. But our routine is pretty active, and it’s clear that my sidekick is rarely bored by our life in China. Last night as I prepared him for bed, he asked, referring to the park near our apartment building, “Daddy, can we go up the mountain again tomorrow?”
I’m afraid I’m going to have a lot to live up to when we get home to California. And he’s going to have to get used to his car seat again.
As I continue to stumble my way through basic Chinese lessons twice-weekly, I’m constantly amazed by the feats of linguistic prowess that Little Dude is displaying at home. Kids his age seriously are sponges, and as my small sidekick grows more confident about expressing himself verbally, nothing is more fun than watching him develop a sense of humor.
The other evening, he was playing with his toy kitchen as I began preparing dinner nearby. He placed a piece of plastic pizza in his pretend microwave and stated, “Micah cooking for Daddy. Micah make pizza in the microwave!”
“You mean the Micahwave?” I asked him, repeating one of my favorite puns.
He smiled, padded over to me, and pointed to the real microwave, where I was defrosting vegetables. “Daddy cooking too,” he said. “That one is a Daddywave!”
Wifey and I looked at each other and burst into laughter. We couldn’t believe it – 2 years and 2 months old, and he’s already cracking jokes. This kid is going places. When he’s not driving me totally crazy, he really is a hell of a lot of fun to be around.
Little Dude’s new creative writing project is proving to be lots of fun for both of us, so it’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to write in my own voice. Things are as hectic as ever over here in stay-at-home dad land; Wifey’s back to weekly travel, and, well, HOLY SHIT WE’RE MOVING TO CHINA IN SIX WEEKS!
So yes, there’s that.
None of this, however, seems to have had much of a dampening effect on the miniature boss man who rules my world. Just this morning, in fact, we hit a new milestone. While siting there enjoying breakfast, he looked at me and quite clearly spoke his own name.
“Wait a minute… did you just say your name??” He grinned from ear to ear, and repeated it. I grabbed my iPhone and immediately started shooting video.
“Hey, little guy, what’s your name?” There it was again, with another face-splitting smirk. Yup, he knows his own name. And words have meaning at this age – he’s no longer just trying out new sounds. So it’s both exciting and scary to witness; as his self-identity begins to develop, I can only imagine how it’s going to affect his (already hearty) sense of independence.
Now I’m really in for it.
More big news this week: in preparation for our upcoming adventures, Little Dude has recently launched his own blog, Trailing Toddler.
Given who he hangs around with, I suppose it may have been inevitable. The content, however, is probably not what you’re expecting. As it turns out, my international toddler of mystery has his own take on things, and he’s even wilier than previously suspected. The little guy is a super spy!
Check it out over at trailingtoddler.com, and please do let me know what you think. This is very much a work in progress, and I’ll be sure to pass along your feedback myself.
I’ll admit it: my son’s first glass of wine was Mogen David.
Despite having some fun on his first night home with a bottle of my favorite Etna Rosso (from Le Metro Volume IV, of course) it wasn’t until we held his “Brit Milah” (circumcision ceremony) last week that we were really ready to test out his wooden leg.
Wine geekiness aside, I’ll be the first to admit that there is a time and place for ritual and that it usually falls when both family and religion are present. After all, the Jewish people have been circumcising their sons for roughly 5,000 years; while Concord grapes haven’t been around for nearly that long, they’re sure to have been the main variety in the wine that my immediate ancestors and I each partook of on our own respective eighth days. (It’s also what I caught my first buzz off of at that long-ago Passover seder – sorry Mom and Dad.)
I did feel a little bad drinking my father-in-law’s grower champagne while Little Dude was sucking Mogen David off a napkin, but it seemed appropriate for each of us to take the edge off in our own way. Although it’s been years now since I finally won the great kosher wine debate with my father, sometimes you’ve just got to follow the lead of the man holding the scalpel to your son.