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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Do you like Thursdays as much as I do? Thursdays I usually have at least some contact with the rest of the family, so I hardly ever write about work or politics or any of the other topics that seem to wind up with me saying the same thing over and over (but hopefully in different ways).

On the other hand, dinner tonight at Tammy and David’s was chaotic (as usual), and the kids were cute (as always), and D.J. was in trouble (shocker!). There were some variations on the theme. That’s not surprising, since with four children six and under, things are always changing, every day in almost every way.

Tonight, for example, Aiden called me by name. Well, sort of. He didn’t say, “Hi, Uncle Mike.” He said, “Uncle Mike’s pizza,” because he wanted me to share it with him. Since he had his own pizza (and several other finger-friendly food items), and the house rules clearly state that he’s not allowed to steal food off other people’s plates (a habit worth learning to avoid), he didn’t get any of my pizza. But he was cool with that and still wanted to share his own with me. After it was well chewed, of course.

Kylie looked me in the eye tonight for the first time. At least, I’m pretty sure she was looking me in the eye. I know that she was following my face as I moved back and forth in front of her, and she seemed to be staring at me for, oh, at least thirty seconds before she started crying. I call that a milestone. And to be honest, that was the closest I heard to a cry from her the whole time I was there. She has come to terms with being out in the world and now seems content to sit in her baby seat and let everyone admire her beauty. Which, of course, everyone does.

I checked in on D.J. when I got there. He was confined to his room, unjustly in his opinion. His side of the story was that just because he was holding Dakota down and cocking his fist doesn’t mean he intended to punch him. He said, “Dakota was fighting with me, and I just wanted to make him stop.” That story played better with me than it did with his mom, but she’s the one who metes out discipline. She’s also the one who has to live with his imaginative version of the truth on a daily basis, so I kept out of it, except for listening sympathetically.

Dakota and I invented a new game. I love it when I can engage him in some activity, because sometimes he’s a little distant. Tonight he was playing with his newest toy dinosaur, and I started making sound effects. I know that he loves to watch dinosaur movies, and he knew exactly what I was doing. So he would repeat the same actions, and I’d repeat the sounds, and every time I made the dinosaur splash into the lake, he’d giggle. That pleased me enormously. We could have probably gone on all night with the game, but we stopped when it was time for him to go to bed.

27 October 2005

David and Kylie.

Thursdays are great, because sometimes it’s the only day of the week that I can register all the new and different ways these children have of relating to the world. D.J. is probably still into cheetahs and ocelots, but tonight he really, really wanted to tell me about the mako shark. Aiden has more words (and more tricks) every time I see him. I never know what to expect from Dakota, and Kylie is at the stage where every day she’s a new person, or at least a more fully defined version of herself. David and Tammy are lucky that they get to see their family evolve as it happens, every day. I’ll just take whatever glimpses I can get.

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I guess the ballpark originally known as Pacific Bell Park and now called SBC Park is due for another name change, what with SBC deciding to change its name to AT&T, once it completes acquisition of the original Ma Bell. There’s only one more step backwards, but there has already been a park known as Edison Field (forever known as the Big A around here, just as what is now Monster Park will always be the ’Stick).

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