The house is very quiet except for the hum of the dehydrator, which runs day and night now drying out all the peppers your dad grew this summer. It is quiet because you started day care a few weeks ago and seem to be loving it. I was quite weepy the first day I dropped you off, which surprised me considering how excited I was to have some time to myself. But I dropped you off fearing the worst, hovering on the edge of the room waiting to see you start to cry and it never happened. I should have known better. So I told you I loved you and headed back out to the car where Buddy was waiting. He accompanies us to and from day care and you start laughing every time I carry you out to the car and you see him sitting patiently in the front seat waiting for us to go home. But I sat in the car that day and cried. And then I went home and my ears rang in the silence.
But you seem to, by all accounts, love day care. When we walk in all of the teachers say, “Hi Lukey!” in their soft lilting Spanish accents and you smile at everyone. When I pick you up in the afternoon – and discover yet again that you have failed to nap or taken another 45 minute nap in the span of seven hours – you come crawling across the floor towards me as fast as you possibly can laughing and gasping to tell me all about your day. I can hardly wait for the day when you can actually tell me about it. I suppose by then you will not be nearly as excited and your answers will be more like, “Nothing,” “I don’t know,” and “Maybe.”
It is the first day of fall here so I am a few days late on getting this post up. The air turned cool on Monday and the leaves are turning in the mountains. I remember how fall came while I was in the hospital having you last year and now here we are staring down the last month until your birthday. In the meantime, we have many other birthdays to attend since it seems that all of your friends in play group and Little Gym were born within a week of one another, with a few outliers in August and then of course you, bringing up the rear as the baby of the group.
In the spirit of fall, we have taught you how to throw your hands up in the air when we yell, “Touchdown!” It is one of the first things we have attempted to teach you that you have actually done. So much of your learning comes from you going at it alone. You have figured out how to roll over, crawl, stand up, side step along the side of the couch, pull all of your books out of their boxes, throw your food on the floor and pull it out of your mouth, climb the stairs, push your walker, pull the night light out of the wall, slip your arm through a sleeve (the cutest thing in the world), pull wipe after wipe out of the dispenser, and hold your bottle all by yourself. But this is something we taught you and it clearly delights you to see us laugh so we are hoping you will thrown your arms in the air when we go to the Utah football game this Saturday and not cry when an entire stadium roars.
You and I headed to California again at the end of August when your dad left for his long-awaited and much-anticipated trip to Alaska to fish. Someday he will tell you all about the beautiful river he fished and all the fish he caught and someday we will all go fishing by the ocean in Alaska. But this trip he took with friends so we headed to California to see Avery and Birch, Emelie and Isaiah and Nan and Charlie. We went to the California State Fair and had corn dogs and saw lots of livestock and maybe in a few years we’ll go back and you can go on some rides. You had a wonderful time playing with your cousins, each day you all played a little more together although a lot of your time was spent looking in awe at these big kids running around while you played in the Fisher Price mecca that is Nan and Charlie’s family room.
You are starting to put things together now, which is so incredible to watch. You can stack blocks on top of one another, something that a month ago you still hadn’t really mastered. When the blocks fall down, as they invariably do, you say, “ee-ah,” which I think is a pre-cursor to “Uh-Oh.” You really like the sound of it because you often crawl around saying “ee-ah, ee-ah, ee-ah,” over and over. You can also now sometimes line up the holes on the blocks with the pegs on your wooden train. When you cannot, you get really frustrated and try to push the blocks onto the pegs without regard for where the holes are. Your frustration also manifests itself whenever I take something away from you that you want. You sit and bow your head and push your hands into the floor so that your back bows out and you yell or cry and throw a little fit because suddenly you cannot do what you really wanted to do. It is exasperating and humorous all at once.
You babble and talk a lot of the time, but you are particularly chatty in the mornings after you have had your bottle. You lie in my arms and stare out the window and whisper your talking sounds and I respond and you consider the changing leaves out the window and talk a little more and this goes on until you are ready to wiggle off my lap and start another day.