Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Clark: (almost) 21 months

Clark the Shark is about to be 21 months old and there are so many things he does and says that I never want to forget. In fact, there are so many things I want to remember that for the past two weeks I've been writing things down as they popped in my head, and that makes blogging so much easier. How unusually organized of me. What I've realized is that each little phase he goes through tends to be too short lived. For example, do you remember the game face? Gone. Vanished. That game face made us laugh so hard and we loved finding ways to make him do it, and now all we have are the videos we took and the blog post I wrote about it. Fortunately, this realization has motivated me to start documenting every single thing because, in the words of my friend Steven Tyler, I don't want to miss a thing.

Here are some of my favorites:

He has developed the cutest accent and I love hearing the words that leave his mouth. Milk is pronounced muk. You haven't lived until you've heard Clark say the word cookie or horsie. For some reason I absolutely cannot figure out, when he says fish, it comes out as shoe. But when he says the word shoe, it clearly sounds like shoe. So in Clark's world, shoe and fish mean two different things but are pronounced the exact same way. It's cute, and I'm only a little worried about it. My favorite Clark words are door, floor, four, and more. The reason I like those specific words is because if you heard them, you would think he was raised in the most northern inch of the United States as possible. Somehow we managed to raise a very Yankee sounding little boy. The word more comes out of his mouth as mo-wa and door is do-wa. It's really cute and I love it.

When we are in public or if there is even one human being in our presence, Clark loves to repeatedly point me (mama) out to everybody within earshot. He will look at another person and point to me and say mama about 400 times in a row. It is as if he is really, really proud to show me off as his mother. He wants everybody to know I am his mama. He does the same thing when Aaron is in the room, and I've recently learned he does it with his Geez as well. He thinks everybody needs to know who these people are. I am sure this will be a short phase, and this is definitely not something I want to forget.

I love the way he dances and sings. Anytime he hears music he immediately goes to dancing, and especially when you ask him to. He stands there and sways back and forth and shakes his head and sometimes he will get to moving his arms up and down. And when you ask him to sing, he usually hums or belts out a tune that sounds like this: aahhhhhhhh. But it is definitely a song in his head and it is priceless.

I love the way he eats oatmeal in the mornings. He has become very proficient with a spoon, and when I see him sitting at the table (not in a high chair) in the morning in his jam jams eating oatmeal, he looks like a 14 year old. This should make me sad, but something about seeing a sneak peak into his future just makes me smile. He's a dadgum cute kid.

It is probably no secret to anybody now that Jake (the dog) and I don't get along very well anymore. The day we brought Clark home from the hospital was the day Jake decided to throw any and all potty training abilities out the doggie door. He barks at butterflies and wakes Clark up from naps. He poops and pees everywhere. Every morning before I go in to get Clark, I have to walk through the house picking up his nightly bowel movements because he refuses to go to the bathroom when I let him outside for the sole purpose of going to the bathroom. He's become a royal pain in my bum. Having said that, watching him and Clark interact is one of my top three favorite things in life. Clark simply adores that dog and that dog loves to play with Clark. They entertain each other for hours. Clark loves to chase him around the house squeaking and squealing and loves even more to be chased around the house. I don't know if this is a phase or not, but either way, I don't want to forget it.

Clark loves to help me clean up, and in all honesty, he's pretty good at it. When I'm unloading the dishwasher, he hands me each dish to put up and when its time to put the silverware up, he grabs a handful of spoons (or forks or knives), walks over to the drawer where the silverware goes, opens it and chunks it all in the drawer. When it's time to switch the clothes from the washer to the dryer, I hand him each item of clothing one by one and he throws it in the dryer. And I can give him almost anything and ask him to please put it in his room, and that is exactly what he does. He loves throwing trash away and putting his dirty clothes in his hamper and he's a huge fan of sweeping. I am confident this is a phase.

At 21 months old, he knows and recognizes the letters A, I, O, E, K, and J. He loves to repeat the entire alphabet after me, and on a good day, he can say abcde. Thank you, Melmo, for teaching this kid some letters before he's two.

He loves when I roll all the windows down in the car. But because my car is a piece of doodoo, the window next to his car seat doesn't roll down and I can only roll down the other three. He loves the wind to blow in his face, and 80% of the time it puts him to sleep. Rolling the windows down and turning the music up loud makes him light up like a light bulb. I love it too so it works out great for everybody.

Some of my all time favorite things he does right now is hug, kiss, and be nice. This all started when I was trying to teach him how to be nice to the baby by rubbing my belly. (Before this he had a tendency to hit the crap out of my stomach.) This explains why now when I ask him to be nice to somebody (or Jake), he immediately goes to rubbing their belly or their head or their arm. This has led to several awkward moments when strangers are involved. But he loves being nice to kids his own age and petting their heads. He also loves to hug and kiss other kids and always enjoys hugging and kissing the baby. But nothing compares to Clark locating his reflection in a mirror or window and leaning in to give himself a hug and kiss. It's really quite cute. I'm sure if you are around Clark for any extended amount of time you will either get hugged, kissed, or your belly rubbed. I sincerely hope this one is not a short phase.

Over Labor Day weekend, Clark and I road tripped to Montgomery, AL to visit some great family friends. We've been doing this for a couple of years, and it is true that every time we go Clark gets sick. Not kidding, he gets sick once a year and it is when we go to Montgomery. It's very unfortunate, and this last time was no different. He had some strange symptoms and I attributed it to teething, although no new teeth have risen since then. But anyway, out of the three nights we were there, two of them were pretty rough. Clark got a really high fever, broke out in a horrible sweat and looked plain miserable. He was really upset and looked super uncomfortable when I tried to put him in the pack n' play at bed time. I caved and for the first time in his little lifetime, I put him in my bed to sleep with me for the night. I cooled him off with a wet rag and put fans around us and he quickly calmed down and fell asleep. This happened two nights in a row and by the third night he started feeling better so he slept in the pack n' play. The reason I'm writing about this is because for those two nights, even though I got a combined 14 seconds of sleep both nights, they might be labeled as my two favorite nights ever. For those two nights, Clark slept in my arms and I got to stare at him and listen to him breathe (and snort, grunt, snore, etc.) all night long. He has never been a super affectionate baby, so moments of snuggling and cuddling are very few and far between. This is why I labeled those two particular nights some of the best and I never want to forget them.

Clark recently started a Mothers Morning Out program at a church in town and he goes two days a week for about five hours. I knew I needed some time throughout the week to myself so I can actually do things besides watch Elmo and play hide and go seek, but I had no idea how much I could benefit from that time. As it turns out, five hours is an eternity when you don’t have to work around naps, snacks, toddler woes, and poop diapers. I confess that my original motive in enrolling him in “school” is so I could come home and take a 4 hour and 45 minute nap. Well, the marathon nap hasn’t happened yet, unfortunately, but I am getting to grocery shop in peace, eat lunch with adult human beings without ever saying the words don’t throw your mac and cheese, and even clean my house, which rarely happens when the toddler man is toddling around. The good part about it all is that Clark absolutely loves going to cool. On school days, he wakes up repeating cool over and over and spends the entire morning lugging around his backpack and lunchbox. When I drop him off, he sprints toward his classroom and turns around and waves bye bye to me, and it’s really one of the sweetest things he does at this point in his life. I honestly don’t know if the MMO program is more beneficial to me or to Clark, but either way, I’m sticking with it.

And finally, one of my favorite things he does right now is when he prays for his family and friends by name. Every night when he lays down he folds his hands together and we ask him who he wants to pray for. We proceed to thank Jesus for every single member of our families and all of his friends and the four wheeler and Melmo and doors and ears. He’s getting so good at praying in that he doesn’t get distracted .5 seconds into it anymore. He will actually sit there and wait for me (or Aaron) to say Amen, and then he finishes with a loud, booming Amen! It’s a sweet, sweet time and perfect way to end our days with him. I also gave him a piggy bank and every time he puts money in it I tell him we are going to give our money to Jesus when we fill it up. He loves finding coins lying around the house because he’ll run over to me and say “Jesus, Jesus!” It makes me smile every time.

So there are a few of my favorite things at 21 months old. I am 29 weeks pregnant right now, which makes pretty much anything difficult, especially chasing around the most active almost two year old I’ve ever seen. I panic just a little bit when I think about the fact that in only two and a half months, I will have another little person to keep alive while keeping Clark happy and entertained. But I’m pretty sure I’m not the first woman on earth to do this, so I’m sure it will be fine. But in the meantime, I’m making a very concerted effort to cherish and savor these last days with just me and the Dark Shark before Griffin gets here, because if I remember correctly, newborns can be somewhat time consuming and Clark probably will not understand at first why this new little baby thing is stealing his mama away. As always, advice is always appreciated, and your prayers are very welcomed.

It’s time to go now, because Clark and Jake are being a little too rowdy right now. I need to intervene before somebody or something gets hurt. I have a feeling it is more likely to be the latter.


Haley said...

Sweet boy! He is getting so big. We miss y'all.

The Square Cupboard said...

Love it!

The Square Cupboard said...

Oops! It's me...Megan. Forgot to sign out of work blog! Ha!