The Tobin Times #9

Filed under: — Aprille @ 3:42 pm

My squishy puppy,

Maybe it was from watching your brother.  Maybe it’s from all the blueberries and crud from the floor you eat.  Maybe it’s the abundant fresh air and sunshine we’ve been enjoying this spring.  I’m not sure exactly how, but this month you turned into a big boy.

Many small things contribute to this status.  You talk all the time, a lot of dada and the occasional mama, not really directed at us in particular, but clearly nonetheless.  This afternoon, after an excretory situation that got pretty outrageous, I told you you needed a bath, and you repeated “ba” right back to me.  Oh, how you love baths.  Last night, you were hanging out in the bathroom while Miles took a bath, and it was all your dad could do to keep you from crawling right in there with him.  You’ve taken one bath together so far, and you’ll probably do it again once I regain my strength from managing all those slippery little limbs and tummies.

The biggest indicator of your big-boy status is how well you pull yourself up to standing.  You started doing it a week or two ago, and you haven’t slowed down a bit.  Your dad had you in your crib for safe storage for a few minutes, and when he turned around, you had grabbed onto the edge and pulled yourself up.  You were so, so proud.  We were so, so freaked out.  We lowered your crib mattress, and I’m pretty sure you can’t get out, but it seems like you might have a bit of a daredevil streak in you.

Since then, you’ve wanted to scramble around as much as possible.  You’ve mastered the all-fours crawl, which is a shame in a way because you’re no longer dusting the floors with your tummy.  You crawl between furniture pieces, pulling up and surveying the landscape.  You gave the stairs a try today while we waited for Miles to get done at school.  You didn’t make it past the first one, but it’s not going to be long.  You transition easily between crawling, standing, and sitting.  You take funny little high-knee steps if I hold your hands.  You will be walking before long, I’m proud and terrified to say.

We’ve been spending a lot of time outside, watching your brother play with various water toys.  You like it when he sprinkles your toes, and you like pulling grass and clover out of the ground and putting them in your mouth.  There’s not much that you don’t like in your mouth, really.  You love squash, blueberries, yogurt, peas, bits of popcorn your brother drops, scraps of paper, your own feet, and especially shoes.  Your dad suggested that we bring a clean shoe to occupy you on our upcoming plane ride.

You have a wonderfully expressive face, which makes you fun to photograph.  You have this one particular look that you get when you’re really thrilled about something, a raised eyebrow and lowered mouth kind of thing.  When you see someone you’re excited to see, you wiggle your arms and legs so fast that you’d be gone in a flash if you were in a swimming pool.  Mostly, though, you’re happy and calm.  You have four teeth, and we’ve been in a blissful hiatus from new tooth growth, so you’ve been sleeping pretty well.  You still don’t take very long naps most of the time, but that’s the way it goes.  You have many other good qualities.  You recognize lots of words and phrases, such as the names of your favorite foods, and “Shall we go get big brother Miles?”  That one always elicits the extreme excitement face.

Your eyes are the light, blazing blue of a Madrid sky.  Your hair is still blondey-blond, and you have the pale skin of your progenitors.  You’re getting a slight trucker tan, though, because of the way you like to dangle your right arm out the side of the stroller.

This month, I got to celebrate my first Mothers Day with you (or, as Miles puts it, as a “two-kid mom”).  You have made me so happy, my little Tobin.  You’re so generous with your smiles, and I’m so greedy with tickling you and making stupid faces and singing silly songs (e.g., “Shortenin’ Bread”) to elicit them.

Well, you just climbed onto the treadmill.  I believe I have an Adventure-Baby living at my house.  No stitches yet, please.

Five seconds later…

Unlike a normal baby, who would have found himself stuck on the treadmill and cried for help, you started crawling head-first off the edge.  It’s a good thing I can type without looking at the keyboard, or you might have done a face-plant.

You crazy guy.  I love your butt-wiggles and chubby legs and curiosity.  I love having you around.  I love you.



Ask Mr. Know-It-All

Filed under: — Aprille @ 7:01 pm

I was explaining to Miles what was going to happen on Saturday.

A:  We’ll go see Grammy, and Mubby and Skittergramps will be there too.  Then we’ll all come back to our house.

M:  But they started at their house, not at our house.

A:  Well, yeah.

M:  So they won’t come back.

A:  Oh, right.  I meant that when we’re done at Grammy’s, we’ll get into our car and they’ll get into their car and we’ll all go to our house.

M:  Actually, they have a van.


Creepy crawlies

Filed under: — Aprille @ 6:52 pm

Tobin ate a bug (I know, I know).  After fishing as much of it as he could out of Tobin’s mouth, Denny tried to calm everybody down.

D:  It’s not really so bad to eat bugs.  In some parts of the world, people eat bugs all the time.

M:  You mean shish-ka-bugs?


You give me fever

Filed under: — Aprille @ 7:03 pm

Miles and I were getting ready to watch a movie together in the basement while Tobin napped in his crib upstairs.

M:  Be sure to turn on the baby thermometer so you can hear him if he wakes up.


Monthly Miles Memo #52

Filed under: — Aprille @ 4:23 pm

My dear Miles,

What do you know?  You turned sweet again.  I think last month’s memo happened to catch you at a time when you were coming down with a cold, and you weren’t exhibiting any symptoms besides grouchiness.  That has now passed, and you’re suddenly a pleasant person once again.  Hallelujah.

The weather has been nice lately, so we’ve been getting outside a lot.  This helps my sanity as we find ways to pass the afternoons, and you love going to the Faraway Playground.  Mostly you love taking off your shoes and socks and playing in the sand, which is fine if a bit messy.  However, you also enjoy playing in the wood chip area, which you don’t want to do barefoot.  Why do you always want to do the sand area first?  Do you know how difficult it is to help you get socks and shoes onto sand-covered feet while pushing a baby in a swing?

But that’s okay.  I’m glad you’re getting out and having fun.  I have to invent excuses to drag you away from the computer a lot of days, and a trip to the Faraway Playground is a good one.  You also enjoy taking trips to Hy-Vee for a treat, or even better, a sno-cone (or a Flavor-Ice, as they somehow got named in our household).

A couple of weeks ago, you chose rainbow, which is stripes of various flavors.  I had my usual, cherry margarita.  You took a break from eating yours and took a bite of mine.  “Yours is more tastier,” you said.

The next time we went to the Flavor Ice stand, I ordered a cherry margarita flavored sno-cone for my four-year-old.  It’s non-alcoholic, of course, but geez.  I can’t blame you, though.  It is a delicious combination.

Once recent trip to the Flavor Ice stand was to celebrate your school music concert.  The video I got of it wasn’t great, because you were hidden behind other kids a lot of the time, but it was still exciting to be in the audience.  You were so psyched about it.  Your music teacher, Mr. David, did a good job preparing you and your friends.  You talked about the concert for weeks before the actual event.  You sang us all the songs.  You did the actions.  Your dad and I know “A Sailor Went to Sea,” “Aiken Drum,” “Mother Goony Bird,” and “The Horse Stood Around” better than we ever thought we would.  You’ve come to really love music class at school, despite being suspicious of Mr. David at first (“I don’t like guy teachers,” you told us).  Now you are thrilled when I tell you it’s a music day at school, and you swoon when we mention Mr. David’s name.

Another exciting school event this month was V.I.P. day.  You chose Skittergramps as your special person, and despite being camera-shy, you had a lot of fun with him.  He was proud to be there with you, and he did get a few good pictures of you and your friends working and playing together.

Photo by Gary Clarke

His name-tag said “Gary Clarke, or Miles’s Skittergramps.”  Naturally, you made him add a couple more names, since you only rarely answer to Miles these days.  He had to add Marcus and Nemo to satisfy you.  I think he’s going to keep that name-tag for a long time.

It’s been rainy lately, and you’ve come to enjoy sleeping with the sound of the rain on the roof.  You’ve been cuddly at bedtime, enjoying “family sandwiches” and stories.  When I was a little girl, Skittergramps often used to fall asleep telling me bedtime stories, which annoyed me at the time, because I had to finish the story on my own.  Now I completely understand.  Most nights I awake with a start then look over to find you snoozing beside me.  Sometimes I fall asleep, wake up, check on you, and find you still awake.  Sometimes I wake up to find your face two inches from mine, peering at me.

You see, I’m tired pretty much all the time.  Taking care of two wiggly boys full-time is exhausting.  It’s not as hard as working a coal mine or something, but it certainly takes a lot of energy.  And you know what?  I’ve watched your friends at school.  You are not the wiggliest 4-year-old in Iowa City.

You might be the sweetest, though.

Most of the time.

I love you every minute of every day.


Gender confusion

Filed under: — Aprille @ 9:54 am

We’re having the house painted, and the painter took our house number down so he could paint that area.  Miles has been concerned about that, and after coming home from a walk, he held one of the numbers back in its position.  When he let go, it fell down.

M:  Why didn’t the number stay up?

A:  I think it needs a nail.

M:  But I am a male.


I Have to Go

Filed under: — Aprille @ 12:54 pm

Some Robert Munsch books have videos based on them, but one of Miles’s favorites, I Have to Go, doesn’t.  We decided to make our own.


Filed under: — Aprille @ 7:51 am

Tobin has been putting things in his mouth that he finds on the floor all the time lately.  It’s been driving everybody crazy.

A:  Oh, no.  What did Tobin just put in his mouth?

M:  I think it’s…(pausing to consider) crap.


Yeah boooooyyeeee

Filed under: — Aprille @ 7:51 am

Tobin eats these little cereal bite things we call poofs (in homage to Cartman’s Cheesy Poofs).  He has white ones (banana) and purple ones (blueberry/purple sweet potato).  I scattered a few of each on his tray.

M:  The purple ones are more flavorish.



Filed under: — Aprille @ 6:59 pm

We were at the playground, and I was getting ready to push Miles on the merry-go-round.

A:  Do you want to go fast or slow?

M:  Slow.

After a few slow spins, he got braver.

M:  Now fasten up!

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