Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Loud Noises!

I woke up last night to the coolest sound. No, I didn't fart myself awake or hear St. Nick on the roof, but Grady woke us up with his singing. At first it didn't seem so cool. My first thought was that Dylan was hollering because she'd crashed out of bed. Then I thought one of the dogs was trying to pass the coyote he'd eaten off our front lawn earlier that day. Regina must have seen my perplexed look (and my 3:00 AM perplexed look is a real doozy), because she grumbled, "It's the boy," and fell back asleep; I got the impression she'd heard the little man do this before.

He's a pretty mellow kid, even his giggles are laid-back and dude-ish, so to hear him singing out like Pavarotti from his crib was like spotting a white buffalo or finding a manure-free truck on our ranch. I couldn't go back to sleep and I didn't really want to. Grady talked, whirred, cooed, and babbled and I just listened, his sleepy audience of one.

Dylan has been making a few odd noises lately, too. She'll growl at us, usually when she's about to get in trouble (so cute!) and she's learned this horribly obnoxious hacking noise that she spits out like a cat coughing up a giant hair ball. Her favorite place to make this tommy-gun noise is three inches from Grady's face. We holler, Grady smiles, and Dylan growls.

Dylan used to wake up, reliably, at 6:00 AM, every morning. I blame daylight savings, but now she won't get out of bed without an okay from us first. Not that she ever needed one before, but we get a repeated, "Hey! Hey!" like a drunk getting your attention. When that doesn't work, she yells, "I have to go pee-pee!" That gets our attention.

She's also starting to name things. Before, every doll was either Macy Grace (a baby from daycare), or, simply, Baby. Our bummer calf: Baby Calf. The puppy: Baby Puppy. You probably notice a pattern. Now, when we ask for a name she either A) makes up a word, like Kiddle-buuuu, or B) gives us a weird sequence of words. I asked her what was the name of the mole behind her ear (don't ask why). She didn't hesitate, "Baby White Out Aim," she told me.

Dylan must think we make strange noises, also. Or, at least, she must think we mumble. On the trip up to the pediatrician's today, she saw a bird. "Look, a seagull," (it wasn't) she exclaimed. "Mommy, can you say, 'Seagull'?" "Seagull," Regina replied. "Good job, Mommy." Dylan quizzed me next, to see if I could pronounce Seagull correctly. I got it on the third try.

At the pediatrician's office, both kids got shots, so we were treated to some high decibel noises. But the crying ended quickly and soon Grady was back to cooing and Dylan was congratulating us on our correct pronunciation of Kiddle-buuuu.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Pink

When I met Regina in 1993, I was a sly Casanova who easily wooed her with tales of growing up in Scott Valley. She swooned when I whispered in her ear tales of rat-batting and jumping from bridges. But Regina was still unsure.
"Is he 'The One?'" she asked, accidently out loud.
"Who are you talking about?" I asked, then shrugged and continued, "You ever touch your friend's eye when he had pink eye, just so you'd get it too?"
"Marry me now," she replied.

Okay, it's amazing she married me. And, yes, pink eye was always the perfect excuse to get sent home from school. It's great; you're highly contagious and yet you feel fine. You aren't even allowed near a school and you can hang out with all of your friends who gave you pink eye in the first place.

The thought of dealing with her first case of pink eye freaked Regina out a little. So, when Dylan came home with gummy eyes last week, I wondered how she'd react. Like any good mother, she picked out the eye goobers, washed Dylan's face, and gave her eye drops. In a couple of days Dylan was back to being her usual bright-eyed self. Sort of ...

Dylan has a problem leaving our cats alone. She especially loves Alfonso, the fuzziest one. "Fonzie's" tolerance for being in a head-lock lasts a few seconds shorter than the other three cats', and he usually lets Dylan know by dropping the kitty hammer on her face. Last week Dylan had a perfect paw print, complete with claw punctures, on her left cheek. Then came the pink eye, then round 2 with Alfonso. Kitty: 2, Dylan: 0. He put a perfect puncture-constellation around her pinked-up right eye. She looked like the Big-Dipper landed on her face, or that she had a bad copy of Mike Tyson's face tattoo. The wound below her eye (the North Star in her constellation) was the worst one and even turned into a small bruise.

Dylan's brown eyes had turned pink, and then black. We woke up every morning giving ourselves eye-checks. Regina dreaded the possibility of pink eye. To her, it's one step above head lice. I worried about Grady -- but apparently a huge appetite and loud flatulence is the best defense against gooey eyes. And me, I still secretly wished I'd contracted it so I could stay home from work without really being sick.