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Friday, April 22, 2005

I had a highly interactive experience last night. Parents go through it all the time. Those with three children six and under, like Tammy and David, have it all day, every day. Sometimes they have even more if it than they want, or more of it than they can easily deal with. I donít get a lot of chances, so itís a special treat for me.

As always, even if I walk into that house feeling a little down, I donít stay down for long. The first thing D.J. wanted to do was use my camera. Since I knew I wasnít up to chasing kids around and trying to snap photos, I gave him the camera and just watched. I also read his new book with him and listened while he showed me his newfound ability to whistle. Heís, you know, six.

At one point when D.J. was being quiet (he must have been upstairs) and Aiden was otherwise occupied (but carefully watched), I had Dakota to myself for a few minutes. He invented a game where he brought his toy telephone to my chair, sat next to me, and had a conversation (with someone who speaks his unique language). Then heíd go off for a minute and come back to make another call.

Later on he repeatedly went to where Aidenís baby things were stored, pretended to put some ointment on his hands, and then planted himself in front of the mirror and rubbed the stuff on his face, grinning at his own reflection. I learned that he had seen Home Alone, so obviously we know where he was going with that little scenario.

When the big boys went to bed, I spent some floor time rompiní with Aiden. He loves to push himself up to his feet in the middle of the room, but heís still not walking, just balancing. Iím told heís taken steps, but without realizing it. He pushes his little lawnmower-shaped walker around, and once he took my hand and carefully put it on the handle next to his, so that I had to scramble around on my knees to keep up with him as he raced with it across the room.

He has a few words, but I canít wait to hear him talk, so he can explain the complex way his mind works. Hereís an example. Iím sitting on the floor and he crawls over and uses my knee to pull himself up to a standing position. Then he takes one of my hands in each of his. He claps my hands together for me exactly half the time. Every so often heíll deliberately lower his head so that it gets caught (gently) between claps.

The other half of the time, he holds my hands wide apart and does a little dance where he twitches his shoulders back and forth. And he does this all with a smile on his face and an occasional giggle. Something is going on inside that little head, thatís for sure.

Most of this was happening long after the first time they tried to get him to sleep. He gets very close when he takes the bottle, but as soon as heís had his fill, heís up and rompiní again. I know he sleeps some time, but I donít see it very often.

21 April 2005

Titus and Dakota would like to play outside.
(Photo by D.J. More of his photos here.)

The only time he really, truly cried during the whole three hours I was there last night was when he pulled the plastic baby gate down on himself. He was shocked but not hurt, and he let out a little high-pitched complaint. But it was over in two minutes, and in five minutes he was back down on the floor, rompiní.

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Itís funny how a game that had been a tight, taut pitcherís duel for eight innings turned into a rout as soon as Felipe Alou went to the bullpen. By the time the Brewers had taken a 6-1 lead, and the way the Giantsí offense was going, there wasnít much chance they could overcome the deficit in what was left of the game. The Brewers won, and the Giants failed to take advantage of another Dodger loss to gain ground in the division.

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"Life is a rugby match, and lately I've been the ball."

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