Joy and Pain. Sunshine and Rain.

Life with Gus is to me what I imagine a safari might feel like. It is sometimes very quiet and serene, lulling me with the most peaceful feelings of contentment. It’s often heartbreakingly beautiful. Out of this calm then comes a huge burst of intensity, often surprising and sometimes scary. A toddler’s uncontrollable takemetocrazytown rollercoaster of emotions. Whew! If it wears me out this much, I can only imagine what it does to him. No wonder he still takes naps.

Gusisms for today:                                                                    

On a nighttime walk, I suggest we bring the flashlight for Gus. He uses it to look for poop on the sidewalks. When he sees something that looks promising, he shines his light, saying, “Is that poop? Nope, it’s a pinecone.”

On same walk, we were looking at the stars, JJ was carrying Gus, and Gus asked me to sing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” This led to all of us singing and walking and viola! One of those moments that are so perfect you will always remember. I point out the lights of the city visible ahead and Gus says, “I’m going to sing to the lights.”

Gus is playing with toys in the evening. I start a little game we often play in which we recite part of one of his favorite books back and forth to each other. It goes:

Me: Whatcha doin’? Gus: Cleanin’ up. Me: Why? Gus: ‘Cause it’s bedtime.

So I said, “Watcha doin?” Gus replied, “Pickin’ my butt and eating it.” Completely deadpan. Then he walked over to his kitchen, ignoring me, and proceeded to “cook” while I laughed hysterically for five minutes straight. I wondered for a minute if I should be worried about his penchant for gross language. For a minute. No longer. 🙂

Gus goes up to Big Mama (our tiny chihuahua), kisses her on the head, and says, ” I love her.” He does that often these days. I think he just fell in love with her recently.

This morning, we cuddled on the couch under a blanket, Big Mama on one side of me, Gus on the other. He pats the blanket: “Where’s Big Mama?” I lift it to show him her little form curled up against me. He says, ” She is such a cute little dog.”

Gus is full of sweetness. He is also full of little boy energy and sometimes aggression. He runs around the house screaming, plays soccer or football endlessly, jumps on the trampoline or couch for hours, throws himself around like a daredevil, tries to climb everything, jumps on us, runs and tackles us, climbs on us, sometimes tries to topple the dog from her perch,  throws fits when he does not want to do something (“Please, no! Please, no!” or just “No! I don’t want to ____!”), cries when we don’t let him flush the toilet no matter who used it, etc, etc, etc…

He’s awesome.

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Stories

At bedtime in our house, we usually read some books and then, once the lights are out, we tell stories. Gus has a thing for this character named Tyrone, a boy-moose from the cartoon Backyardigans. So he always asks, “Do you wanna tell a story ’bout Tyrone?” This has been going on for months. Sometimes he asks for a specific storyline that I previously invented, as in, “Do you wanna tell the story ’bout Tyrone and the circus?” In our stories Tyrone has a best friend named Gus.

I used to hate making up stories – before Gus. I always thought I wasn’t good at it, that I lacked the imagination or inspiration needed to come up with something worth listening to. But somehow with Gus, it’s easy for me to just let go and let my imagination take us wherever. He is so good at not judging the quality of the plot, or the believability of the characters. Together, we can go on journeys through space, on a picnic, to a farm, or to the circus.

It is a special thing to have someone believe in you as much as a child does.

Elephant & Piggie

Our New Love

On our recent Portland trip, we spent quite a bit of time at Powell’s Bookstore. We try to always stay in the Mark Spencer Hotel when visiting PDX (home of my heart), in part because it is a block from Powell’s (and also 1 1/2 blks from Whole Foods, which is doubly great ’cause the hotel features kitchenettes).

On this trip, we discovered Elephant & Piggie. We got the book featured here and I am sure we’ll be getting more. Gus is hooked. By which I mean he has to have me or his daddy read the book three or more times in a row.
And he recites the lines afterwards. The book and Gus are waaayyy cute, so this is great fun for me. Also, Gus has a thing with books where he asks for more than what is written. As in, “Do you want to tell a story ’bout the food?” He maybe picked up this habit because I try to elaborate on the books we read, naming the items in the pictures, and proposing sort of “back stories” or having behind-the-scenes type discussions. So, for Gus, the story can change and develop over time, as we read the book, and speculate on what the characters are thinking, or doing, or, in the case of this book, where they got the food for their picnic.

A New Blog

I have a blog. I never use it. This is my new blog. I hope I use it. I began a blog a couple of years ago with the best of intentions…you know how that goes.

Now, though, I find I have a lot to say – or at least I have a lot of things on my mind – about parenting a toddler. About parenting in general. And about boys. And raising them.

I hope to get some of those thoughts down. And also to share all of (or some of) the amusing and amazing things my son does without driving my Facebook friends crazy. I am sort of obsessed with wanting to relate every cute thing he says. Like most first-time parents, I guess. Only I am an ONLY time parent. This is it for me. And I want it to last. So I think recording every moment may help. It’ll be kind of like I have someone out there who is just as interested in my son as I am – and his father is. I guess his Aunt Rachie, and maybe a couple of other people are, too.

But, in my mind, Gus deserves a wide audience, because he is just that entertaining. So this is his blog as much as mine.