Wednesday, October 29, 2008

6" and counting

That's right, my friends. C, Wild Man, and I woke up to 6 inches of snow on the ground this morning. Wild Man was in utter awe of the snow, and he couldn't wait to go out in it. Of course, by the time he was all bundled up in his brand new snow suit (courtesy of Yetta), he didn't seem to know what to do. He waddled around like a big navy blue snow man. We slowly made our way to school, leaving a bit later than usual. We saw lots of limbs down and a few down power lines. This early snow storm did a fair amount of damage it seems; most of the leaves had not yet fallen, so the trees couldn't take the weight of the snow and their leaves. When we got to Wild Man's school, all the kids in his class were bundled up and playing outside. Our snow bunny eagerly went to play with his friends, happily waving good-bye to us. While neither C nor I was prepared for snow this early in the fall, we're both happy to see Wild Man enjoying it so much!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Snow in October

That's right it is snowing in October. We're supposed to have between 3 and 6 inches on the ground by tomorrow morning. I think fall may be over.


Wild Man has entered a scared phase--everything scares him. Thus, the last few nights have been rough as he has been waking up at least twice and needs reassurance that there are no monsters or "scary Pooh bears" (I can't explain that one) in his room. Needless to say, I'm a bit tired. I have to finish prepping to teach in 2 hours, but I'd really rather go back to bed.

*I realize now that he is saying the Pooh Bears are scared too, not that the Pooh Bears are scary.

Friday, October 24, 2008

A long talk

Yesterday afternoon, C and I had a long talk about the plans for today. I carefully explained how I felt about the situation, and he listened. I offered up several possibilities, and he was open to every one of them. At dinner, we talked to Yetta, and she said she'd really like to drive along the border and see some of the towns there. When C explained that wouldn't be particularly easy to do with Wild Man, she seemed to understand. She asked me point blank what I wanted to do, and I explained that I really didn't want to lose an entire day of work. I said I'd like to work for part of the day, and that way you and C can do whatever you'd like in CU Land (C had already pointed out that there is actually quite a lot to do here). She asked about Wild Man. I said you can take Wild Man with you, or we can take him to school. She visibly blanched at the idea of having to manage Wild Man while C drove her from one place to another, and said, "I think he'd do better at school. That way he won't miss his nap." So that is precisely what happened. C and Yetta dropped me and Wild Man off at the library and his school, respectively, and they are planning to pick us up around 2:30 or 3:00. Then we will head to Mid-west City, where we will have a nice dinner and spend the evening together in the hotel.

My conversation with C was productive for another reason: I think I've finally made him understand why I just don't enjoy going to Home State anymore. Traveling to visit our parents, who live about 30 minutes apart, has been stressful for me for years. It's been difficult for me to articulate why, and I think I have finally been able to do so in a way that C understands. First, as I've said before, our families are just different. His celebrates every single holiday, even Memorial Day and Labor Day; holidays are a big production with lots of people, lots of food, and lots of plans. My family is much more low-key. My parents don't have a lot of friends, and they aren't into entertaining. Holidays (and we only really celebrated Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and 4th of July along with our birthdays) were just us. We had our own traditions, but unless we traveled to see family, holidays didn't include anyone but the 5 of us. Second, Yetta plans ahead; for example, she's already planning her Christmas dinner and it's only late-October. My family decides what to do and what to eat about a week before. Third, Yetta wants to be the center of attention; she wants all of her family and her friends around her because she truly does love them and want to spend time with them. To achieve this, she makes plans early, making it difficult for my laid-back parents to make any plans at all (not that they would in the first place). And my parents just want things quiet. They are happy to be included in any holiday plans C's family has, but it honestly doesn't occur to them to make similar plans. Yetta thinks this means my family is rude as they rarely reciprocate by inviting her to their home; it doesn't. They just don't think that way. All of these things make holidays when we're in Home State stressful.

On top of this, there have been some major changes in my family's dynamic in the past few years--changes I'm not comfortable blogging about. Suffice to say, my parents are essentially hermits. They go to work, they run what errands need to be done, and they stay home. When at home, my dad reads, and my mom watches TV while she sews. When we visit, this routine changes only if I make plans for us to do something specific. Otherwise, we just do the things they do everyday, which is hard for me because my parents weren't always like this. At Yetta's, I'm expected to go along with her plans, which usually means we're visiting or shopping. None of this is my idea of fun. Most of my friends have moved away, as has my sister, so I don't really have anyone to see in Home State aside from family. This means that I have no way to escape the tedium of life at my parents or the constant demands of Yetta. C, as I pointed out, has an escape: he goes hunting with his brother. So while he's gone for 6 or 7 hours at a time, I'm stuck trying to keep Wild Man from breaking the innumerable knick-knacks at Yetta's or trying to amuse him at my parents. I emphasized to C that I do not begrudge him the time he spends hunting. This is something he truly loves to do, and he only gets to do it once a year at most. I'm happy for him to spend time with his brother doing something they love. As I said all of this, he looked at me and said, "I get it, M. It just isn't fun for you anymore. It was a lot better before your sister moved away because you could do things with her and her kids, but it's harder now with all the changes that have happened." And he hugged me. Suddenly all the anger and frustration slipped away as I realized that he understands.

All of this means we have a new plan if we do go to Home State in December. We will be traveling before Christmas and back in CU Land, in our own home by Christmas Eve at the latest. We will map out some things that we want to do in Home State with Wild Man, tell our families about these plans, invite them to join us, and go. Since we're planning on driving (a nightmare in itself, I know, but Wild Man doesn't fly free anymore), I will have a means of escape if life at my parents or at Yetta's becomes too much for me. I'm so thankful that I was able to explain all of this to C and that he was so willing to listen. Now I feel like we have a plan that will not leave me feeling stressed and isolated in Home State.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I'm trying really hard . . .

not to be annoyed with either C or his mom right now, I really am. This visit has gone well, aside from the requisite passive-aggressive comments, and I don't want to be the one who ends it on a bad note. That said, I would like to strangle my husband, something that I don't often want to do. Why do you ask? For once, I'd like him to stand up to his mother and say no.

Before Yetta even arrived we had planned to take Friday off, take Wild Man out of school, and drive down to Mid-west City for the day. Our primary motivation is doing this is that Yetta's flies out of MW City on Saturday morning at 9:00 am, necessitating that we either stay overnight in MW City or she and C get up at 4 in the morning to leave. She offered to pay for a hotel room, so we decided to stay overnight. When this was originally planned we decided we'd either go to the Science Center or the zoo in MW City, both things Wild Man will enjoy. Since Yetta has been here, however, she has mentioned (rather passively-aggressively) that she'd like to explore some of the towns on the border. Here is how she does this: "Those little towns look so quaint. I wonder what they are like. Do you know?" or "I'd really like to see some of the area. But I don't guess it would be much fun for Wild Man to just drive around, now would it?" At which point, I am supposed to say, "Sure, we'll just strap him into the car for 10 hours while we wander all over and you can tell us when you want to stop. Then when you want to get out and look at antique shops I'll stay in the car with him so he doesn't destroy the store. We are here to serve you, Yetta." But I haven't; in fact, I haven't said a damn thing. If she wants to be passive-aggressive, I figure I will be to. I've just smiled and ignored her.

Last night as C and I were getting Wild Man ready for bed, I asked him if we had a definite plan for Friday. He said, "Well, I think Mom wants to drive around some of the border towns for a while before we head into MW City for the night. I guess that is what we'll do." I wanted to strangle him. I said "I thought we'd talked about the zoo or the Science Center, since those are things Wild Man will like. I don't want to strap him into the car all day long, C." He responded "I know, M, but Mom really can't walk that far, and if we go to those places, we'll end up chasing Wild Man while she sits on a bench somewhere. I want to spend some time with her before she leaves." And I said, "Fine, then we'll just stay in CU Land for most of the day. You can take me to the library so I can work, and we can take Wild Man to school. We can leave for MW City around 3:30, have a nice dinner, and hang out in the hotel room for the evening. That gives you and your mom all day to hang out and do whatever you'd like." He said nothing, but his body language made it clear that this wasn't want either he or his mom had in mind. Am I being a bit unreasonable? Sure. Wild Man would survive a day in the car, although he'd be really cranky by the end of it.

But here's the thing that gets me so irritated: I feel like C never tells his mother no. NEVER. Sure, he tells her "no, Wild Man can't eat that," or "no, Wild Man doesn't need another toy." But he never says, "I'm sorry, Mom, but M and I have already made our plans and we're not going to change them because you've changed your mind." Instead he says to me, "It's just easier to go along with her than to fight her," which is why she feels like she can dictate whatever she wants. I cannot even count how many times I have had to change plans with my family or my friends because Yetta has decided she has to be in control. Holiday dinners are always at her house, and if we're in town, we're expected to be there. My family may or may not be invited, and if they aren't invited, they are expected to make their plans around Yetta's plans, ensuring we attend both dinners. She has never once waited to find out what my family is going to do before she plans her various holiday extravaganzas; she has never once given my parents the opportunity to host a holiday dinner. On the few occasions we've traveled to my grandparents (who are in the 80s and in poor health) for a holiday, she has tried to invite herself to those events, saying things like "M's mother is going to be there; why can't I?" To which I, not C, say, "Well, of course, my mom's is going to be there; they are her parents!" And really, I'm not angry at Yetta. I'm angry at C because he lets her do it. There are no consequences for her at all. When she acts like a spoiled child, which she can do, he gives in--something he never, never does with Wild Man, I might add. And frankly, I'm tired of it.

What happens tomorrow remains to be seen, and apparently I have more built up anger about this particular issue than I realized. I just want C and Yetta to understand that it is a bit unreasonable to expect a 2-year-old to be happy to spend the day driving around, looking at fall foliage, and antiquing. I'd also like C to understand that the world won't come to an end if he says no to his mother, and I'd like her to know the same thing.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Just for fun

While eating my lunch, I took a quiz to determine which "Mad Men" era woman I am most like. And apparently, I am most like Bette Davis, and oddly enough the characteristics are fairly on target. . . Who are you most like?

You Are a Bette!


You are a Bette -- "I must be strong"

Bettes are direct, self-reliant, self-confident, and protective.

How to Get Along with Me

  • * Stand up for yourself... and me.

  • * Be confident, strong, and direct.

  • * Don't gossip about me or betray my trust.

  • * Be vulnerable and share your feelings. See and acknowledge my tender, vulnerable side.

  • * Give me space to be alone.

  • * Acknowledge the contributions I make, but don't flatter me.

  • * I often speak in an assertive way. Don't automatically assume it's a personal attack.

  • * When I scream, curse, and stomp around, try to remember that's just the way I am.

What I Like About Being a Bette

  • * being independent and self-reliant

  • * being able to take charge and meet challenges head on

  • * being courageous, straightforward, and honest

  • * getting all the enjoyment I can out of life

  • * supporting, empowering, and protecting those close to me

  • * upholding just causes

What's Hard About Being a Bette

  • * overwhelming people with my bluntness; scaring them away when I don't intend to

  • * being restless and impatient with others' incompetence

  • * sticking my neck out for people and receiving no appreciation for it

  • * never forgetting injuries or injustices

  • * putting too much pressure on myself

  • * getting high blood pressure when people don't obey the rules or when things don't go right

Bettes as Children Often

  • * are independent; have an inner strength and a fighting spirit

  • * are sometimes loners

  • * seize control so they won't be controlled

  • * figure out others' weaknesses

  • * attack verbally or physically when provoked

  • * take charge in the family because they perceive themselves as the strongest, or grow up in difficult or abusive surroundings

Bettes as Parents

  • * are often loyal, caring, involved, and devoted

  • * are sometimes overprotective

  • * can be demanding, controlling, and rigid

Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz at HelloQuizzy

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A little sad

I have to say, I was a little sad yesterday. Sad that it was Wild Man's second birthday, sad that time seems to be flying by with him, sad that he seems to be just a little less interested in snuggling with me, and sad that he is quite pleased to do things for himself. In fact, the new mantra around our home is "I do myself, Mommy!" or "No help, Daddy! I big boy." It is a strange sense of sadness though, as it is mixed with equal parts of pride and awe. I'm proud that C and I have managed to help Wild Man become an independent little guy, who asks the toughest questions and expects answers, and I'm proud of the person he is becoming--thoughtful, stubborn, considerate, and funny. I remain in awe of the fact that we made him, yet he is figuring out, at a relatively young age, how to negotiate the world on his own. When I'm putting him to bed and he tells me "Mommy, today was good," I feel like we're doing something right.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Birthday wishes to my boy

I can hardly believe my wonderful boy is two years old today. It seems impossible that it was two years ago that I held him for the first time. Almost overnight he has transformed from a squirmy, cuddly red-faced little baby into a thoughtful, energetic, independent little boy. Here are two pictures that demonstrate just how much he has changed in a relatively short period of time. The first was taken just moments after he was born, and the second C took yesterday while Wild Man enjoyed a large slice of birthday cake. Happy, happy birthday my sweet boy!

*Keeping with my promise to C, I removed the second picture. Despite C's protest, I'm leaving the first one up because Wild Man looks absolutely nothing like this anymore.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Family Visit

C left at 11:00 this morning to pick up Yetta and Pita, who are visiting for Wild Man's birthday, at the nearest major U.S. airport. Their flight arrived at 2:15, so after he picked them up, they stopped for lunch, did some "quick" shopping at Target (there is one about 5 miles from said airport), and headed back to CU Land at 4:40! If you think you detect some annoyance in this post, you're correct! Given the fact that it typically takes a minimum of 45 minutes to cross the border, they won't be back until about 7:30 at the latest, or 15 minutes before Wild Man's bedtime. This already bodes well for trying to keep him on any sort of schedule during their visit.

Friday, October 17, 2008

And we finally . . .

. . . have a doctor's appointment for Wild Man. But only after 4 unreturned phone calls (3 made by me, and 1 made by C), which included a fairly irritated message that I left yesterday. We will finally be a part of the Canadian health care system, and Wild Man can get his 2-year check-up.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wild Man, Dinosaurs, and Pearlie

Here's part of a conversation I had with Wild Man this morning.

WM: Mommy, see dinosaurs? (He was wearing his dinosaur pjs).
Me: I do see them.
WM: Pearlie (one of our cats, the one that permits Wild Man to touch her), see dinosaurs? Mommy, dinosaurs eat Pearlie.
Me: The dinosaurs are eating Pearlie? What should we do?
WM: Dinosaurs, stop biting Pearlie. Leave my kitty alone! Pearlie, I love you.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

So it won't take . . .

3 weeks. I just received a phone call from the university health center at CU. Our paperwork has been processed, and we can now make an appointment to meet with the doctor, which we do as a family. It seems as though my doctor frustrations may be coming to an end. . .

Um, seriously. . .

I've spent the last half an hour calling various doctor's offices that have been recommended to us in an attempt to get Wild Man an appointment for his 2-year check up. So far, I've had zero luck finding a doctor who is accepting new patients. We've been warned this was an issue, so we do have a back-up plan: the University Health Clinic. There is apparently a really great pediatrician there, and as a plus, there is a separate clinic for faculty and their families. We don't have to wait in the lobby surrounded by sick students. But I can't get an appointment for 3 weeks because they just received our registration paperwork last week. In all the myriad of forms we've had to complete and take to various university office and government agencies since we moved to CU Land, somehow we forgot to complete our registration forms for the University Health Clinic. We realized our mistake last week, filled out the forms, and dropped them off. But it seems it takes 3 weeks to process this paperwork. Um, seriously. . . 3 weeks? The forms had our names, our address, our phone numbers, and really, that was it. How long does it take to put that in the system so we can take our kid to the doctor? Luckily, Wild Man isn't in dire need of of this check-up as his doctor in the States was kind enough to give him his 2-year vaccinations before we left Southwest College Town, but what if he really was sick? I asked the not-so-kind receptionist this, and she said "You could take him to anyone of the walk-in clinics around town." Yes, I've heard about these clinics--they are like walk-in clinics in the states, and they operate on a first-come, first-serve basis. Precisely where I'd want to take my sick toddler.

And a lot of this is to blame on the rampant doctor shortage in our province. Apparently a lot of newly graduated Canadian doctors prefer to find jobs in the States, where they can make a lot more money than they can in their own country. It seems that the U.S. healthcare system is also screwing up the Canadian healthcare system.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Thanksgiving: To Give Thanks or Not to Give Thanks

Monday is Thanksgiving in Canada. C and I have yet to decide if we will do anything to celebrate. I have learned that Thanksgiving in Canada is vastly similar to Thanksgiving in the U.S., including the menu. It is based on the same principles, without any false stories about the Pilgrims and the American Indians happily sharing a dinner together. It falls earlier, I've learned, to reflect the earlier Canadian harvest. I realize that today is Thursday, and if we, in fact, do want to celebrate in a traditional way, I need to buy a turkey tomorrow. . .

*Edited to add: I went shopping today (Friday, Oct. 10th), and I visited 3 grocery stores. It seems that one can only buy 30-plus pound turkeys in CU Land, and thus, C, Wild Man, and I will not be partaking of a traditional Canadian Thanksgiving. Instead, we're having tacos.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

A book review

For months I've been eying a cookbook called Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld and one written on a similar premise called The Sneaky Chef. Both include techniques and recipes for "hiding" pureed veggies in your food in an attempt to get kids to eat vegetables. When both books initially came out, I thought "I already do that." And I do indeed sneak vegetables in all kids of food: carrots and celery in marinara, spinach in meatloaf and turkey burgers, and zucchini in chili. I also put bananas and apples in my pancakes, various muffins, and cakes (when I actually bake). My reasoning behind this: neither C nor I have the best family medical history. I figure the healthier I can make meals the better. Plus, while C will eat just about anything I put in front of him (yes, following traditional gendered roles I do almost all of the cooking in our house!), but he will not seek out fruit or vegetables for a snack. So I figured any way I could get more vegetables in our diet was a good thing. As attractive as both of these cookbooks was to me, I figured I didn't need another cookbook, especially to teach me a technique I already use. I briefly reconsidered purchasing one of these when Academama wrote a review for Deceptively Delicious, but as we were in the middle of moving, I soon forgot about both.

Flash forward to the last few weeks. Now that we live in CU Land, we have all sorts of produce available to us that we couldn't purchase in Southwest College Town, and it is remarkably cheap. During a recent trip to the local farmer's market, I bought a butternut squash for 50 cents. I had no idea how to cook it, but I figured for 50 cents I could experiment. When C saw the squash he was aghast. He hates squash of any kind, with the exception of zucchini, which he has only recently started to eat. I think he assumed the squash would go bad before I could figure out how to get him to eat it. Then we visited some friends who had Deceptively Delicious, and I took the opportunity to read the cookbook.

My first reaction was that the text itself was incredibly annoying. Seriously, Jessica Seinfeld, Jerry's wife, includes cartoon images of herself and her children on each recipe and their comments. While the kids' comments are marginally cute, Seinfeld's comments are annoying and border on condescending. Here's an example: the cartoon Sasha, the Seinfelds' oldest child, says "I don't like avocado," to which the cartoon Jessica responds "Shhh, don't tell her it is in her quesadillas." I mean really, is that necessary? And this cutesy sort of thing is on almost every recipe. It makes me want to openly mock her. But I've got to admit, she's creative. And after flipping through the recipes I had about 15 different uses for that butternut squash that had been sitting on my counter for a week. Not only that, I learned I could make chocolate chip cookies with garbanzo beans, chocolate cake with pumpkin, and cauliflower in just about everything. Thus, I bought Seinfeld's book (as an aside, I chose this one over the other cookbook for only one reason: I like a cookbook that has photographs of the food accompanying each recipe.). With this cookbook's help, I feel like I have an easy way to make use of the fantastic (and way cheap!) produce that is now available to me. And, in my opinion, the best thing about this was that Wild Man and I spent Monday morning in the kitchen cooking and pureeing squash, sweet potatoes, and cauliflower. So I would recommend the book for the recipes, urging you to realize you can do all of this on your own and to ignore the annoying cartoon images and their commentary.

Dissertation Changes

In the past week I have been experiencing a lot of anxiety over my dissertation. I've become really concerned that one of the chapters I planned to write just wasn't going to work. On top of that, I'm having a hard time getting resources in CU Land (for some reason, CU has a relatively limited selection of critical sources on 19th-century American literature), necessitating that I spend some money on books I access regularly. I've also started to wonder if I could, in fact, finish 2 whole chapters, an introduction, and revisions by late May. Last week, I used C as a sounding board for some changes I wanted to make, namely reorganizing the dissertation, dropping an author and a chapter, combining two authors that were previously not linked, and changing the focus of that chapter a bit. C was for some of the changes, but he thought dropping one author was a bad idea. He argued that this author made my project more rounded and articulated the point that the spatial constructions I'm considering aren't limited to America. I think his points were valid, but they didn't ease any of my frustrations. So I scheduled a phone date with my advisor, which I just finished.

The result of the conversation is 100% positive as far as I'm concerned. I articulated my concerns about two of the five authors I'm dealing with as well as my concerns about organization. First, we tackled organization. I had planned to organize chronologically, but ultimately that doesn't make sense since I'm not making a chronological argument, i.e. arguing that history affects the way these women view the types of spaces I'm talking about. In turns out I'm making a thematic argument, and so now my project is organized to reflect that. I move from actual physical spaces to a discussion of metaphoric spaces, concluding with a chapter and a novel that deals with both. Then, we considered my concerns about Harriet Wilson and Fanny Kemble. Now, combining these two women in one chapter has always been sort of odd to everyone on my committee, but they all gave me the opportunity to work through this myself. In fact, Kemble's presence in the project has always presented complications--she's British, she comes from a position of privilege, and her work is published 30 years after she writes it. But I still think my points about Kemble are valid. So I explained that I wanted to keep Kemble, but not discuss her in conjunction with Wilson. I then would combine Wilson with Harriet Jacobs. My advisor's response: cut Kemble altogether. I was surprised, but on some level, I was hoping she'd say this. Her reasoning: I no longer have to argue why Kemble is in the project in the first place, and a comparison of Jacobs and Wilson just makes more sense.

So I now have a 4 chapter dissertation, including the introduction. I will, obviously, have a conclusion, but I'm not yet sure if that will be a chapter unto itself or if it will be at the end of the 3rd chapter. This means that I only have 1 chapter to draft in its entirety. I still have to revise Wharton signficantly and write the introduction, but somehow that all seems manageable. A late-May defense is looking more and more possible.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

My Wild Man . . .

. . . is rapidly becoming a little boy. Everyday he looks more and more like a little boy. Here are some recent pictures of him, showing just how much of a little boy he is.

Here is he demonstrating his independent streak on two recent trips to the park.

And, he is clearly his father's son as he demonstrates his profound love for ice cream.

*Keeping with my promise to C I only left these photos that showed Wild Man's face up for a few days.

Thursday, October 02, 2008


I'm having trouble staying motivated to work on my dissertation again, and there are a variety of reasons why. I don't feel like going into the reasons, though, because I don't feel like that will accomplish much. I have lots of reasons to be motivated, and I am managing to get work done. I am not, however, getting as much work done as I think I should be. At any given point in the day I can thing of 10 things I could be doing rather than working on my dissertation, and generally, I'd rather be doing at least 5 of those other things. That seems to be the nature of dissertation work for me.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Milk and Butter

During our trip this past weekend, C and I did a little shopping for Wild Man. We bought all of his birthday presents, including a countertop kitchen, a set of wooden pots and pans, and 3 sets of wooden food. We had planned to by the countertop kitchen and pots and pans, but the wooden food was not a planned purchase. I found it at a toy store we visited and was amazed to see that it was about 15 dollars cheaper than any similar sets I've seen in CU Land. I pointed it out to C, who made the executive decision to purchase 3 of the 4 sets the toy store had. We've decided to put 2 sets aside for his birthday, and we gave him one set yesterday. He loves it. He played with it all yesterday evening while I made dinner and C finished unpacking. This morning he made C "steak and eggs." In fact, he was so engrossed in playing with the food this morning that both C and I had to tell him to stop playing so we could all get out the door. Wild Man said "Wait!" He took his play milk and butter over to the refrigerator, and said "Please open, Daddy! Food go in the refrigerator." He then placed the milk and butter in the refrigerator and said, "Ok, ready to go." As C said, it was rather difficult to argue with Wild Man's logic.

Vocabulary Explosion

Since our arrival in CU Land, Wild Man's vocabulary has exploded. He gains several new phrases a day, and it is quite easy to have a conversation with him. As many of my Southwest College Town readers have been asking for updates, I want to share a conversation that he and I had this weekend during our visit with Solon and Megs. During an afternoon out, C and Solon stopped in a store to shop while Megs and I amused Sweet Toddler J, Lion Cub, and Wild Man on the sidewalk. As we chatted, a police car zoomed by, and Wild Man reached for my hand and pulled me down to his stroller, and here is the conversation that ensued.
  • Mommy, look!
  • I'm looking. What do you see?
  • I see a horse.
  • You do?
  • And I see a cow, and I see sheeps. Lots of sheeps.
  • Really, sheeps on the street? What else do you see?
  • I see octopus.
  • An octopus?
  • Yes, right there. I see octopus.
  • What does an octopus say?
  • Um, (long pause) I don't know, Mommy. (very loudly) Octopus, what do you say?
So not only is my kid able to carry on a conversation now, he also has quite an imagination!