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Sunday, June 12, 2005

In case you hadn’t figured it out already, I’m extremely impressed with my one-year-old great nephew. Aiden might not be Superbaby, but the fact is that every time I see him he’s discovered new powers. That’s a pretty steep learning curve, considering the fact that I see him at least once a week (including just yesterday).

This afternoon as I was languishing in my midday doldrums, Tammy called to let me know that they had got Aiden his first wading pool. Well, you can imagine that I was out of the house (and out of the doldrums) like a shot. I know he loves his bath, and water is one of his favorite things, so I wanted to see how he liked his pool.

He liked it just fine, thanks. He liked it better before he slipped and bounced off the bottom of it, but then he liked it again after he forgot all about that little adventure, which didn’t take long. When encouraged to “sit” in the pool, he would squat down on his haunches and then look around to see if that compromise was going to be accepted.

But hey, anybody can squat in a pool and mess with his parents’ heads. What I saw him do today with a cup (which he calls, quite clearly, “cup”) was nothing short of astonishing. Yesterday was the first time I’d seen him drinking from a sippy cup, and the concept of gravity had somehow escaped him. He was fine when the cup was full, but he got frustrated when he sucked and sucked and nothing came out.

Today, though, he was drinking out of a regular plastic cup, as if he’d been doing it all his life. In fact, there are some adults who don’t do much better with a cup. Like Aiden, a lot of what’s in the cup ends up down their front and on the patio deck. Don’t tell me it doesn’t happen like that, because I’ve seen it.

He started with a splash of fruit drink in the bottom of the cup. A little at a time was all he was challenged with, and he was slamming that stuff down before anybody realized he even knew how. As Yogi said, “You can observe a lot just by watching,” and not much escapes Aiden’s keen eyes.

Sure, he was a little careless with the cup between sips, but that only meant that he got to get it filled up more often. This might even have been his favorite part, standing there patiently with the cup held out while someone drizzled some kind of liquid into the bottom of it. Between fillings, he would make a round trip tour of the deck, in that stumbling, wobbly way he has of getting around.

In the end, he wore and spilled as much as he drank. Another dip in the wading pool took care of most of the stickiness on his little body. Titus followed him around and lapped up some of what got spilled, but he also kept a close watch on his baby to make sure none of this daring exploration took him into harm’s way. That’s a good dog, when you can depend on him to anticipate possible dangers like that.

As always, Aiden loved putting on a show and trying out all his new words and concepts for his audience. The barbecue grill, by the way, is known as “hot.” And he not only knows how to say “splash, splash,” but he also knows how to perform the act those words represent. When you’re one year old, every day there’s another miracle.

12 June 2005

Aiden in the new pool.

And I guess I was wrong when I said yesterday that Aiden doesn’t care about clothes. He got another new outfit today, and he proudly carried it around the house, hanger and all, for a good long time before I left. Tammy tells me he’s very into clothes. I don’t want to reveal any family secrets, but I think he gets that from both sides.

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Today’s game followed the recent pattern where the Giants get behind early and then almost (but not quite) catch up. This 5-3 Indians win completed a series sweep and ended a 1-5 homestand for the Giants, but they’re not going to take it without trying to change their luck. After the game the team released veteran relief pitcher Jim Brower, and the management says that more deals are in the works, possibly before their next game, Tuesday in Minneapolis. It’s going to take more than patchwork to salvage this season, but right now all they’re looking for are victories.

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