I snapped this photo of Anselm’s upside-down-smile during his last monthly update (nineteen months). It’s a face that Clive used to make on occasion, too. Seems like these guys share more than just an aversion to walking!
I enjoyed Pisa more than I thought I would–mostly because I was completely ignorant of the other structures present in the square with the famous leaning tower. It was nice to see that iconic landmark, but the baptistry was my very favorite; hence the baptistry has the most pictures. I think it was the simplicity of the white marble and black stripes that I liked the most.
Nineteen months for Mr. Anselm!
Guess who’s walking? Not Anselm! He is close, though, getting braver (because that seems to be the major obstacle.) He spends a lot of time on our bed, standing and holding his balance for as long as he can. On solid floor, he tests himself by letting go of whatever he’s holding onto, then quickly checks to see if I’ve noticed.
Clive was 19, nearly 20 months before he walked, so Mr. Mo is right on target with his brother. But unlike Clive, Anselm seems to really, really want to walk. Here’s hoping that he’ll be a walker by his next monthly update.
He suddenly became enamored with saying “bye-bye” this month and, when before he had to be cajoled a bit, he will now say it to anyone and everyone, whether the situation calls for a farewell or not. He tells his reflection “bye-bye” when we leave the bathroom after washing his hands; he waves and murmurs it to the cars leaving the cul-de-sac. Every morning, when I go to get him up, he drops his blanket and bear out of the crib, wishing them a fond farewell as they hit the floor.
He is also fond of car trips (“Go go, go go?”) and punctuates his request for his “my” with a sweet little lilting hum. (“Ma-ma? Hmmm. Ma-ma? Hmmm.) That one’s hard to describe; I need to get a video of it before he stops doing it.
And yes, he still calls the blanket “mama”, and no, he doesn’t call me that (he doesn’t call me anything.) He DID give me a kiss today, so I’ll call that progress. Of course, everyone else continues to have names.
He is preoccupied with imitating his brothers. Whatever they are doing, Anselm must be involved as well. If they are playing cars, he must play cars. If they are finished eating, he is finished eating (whether he’s actually finished or not.) If they are reading, he must also sit and read. If they go outside, he must go outside, or else a full-on hissy fit is bound to ensue. He does fairly well on keeping up with them, and I’m sure that, once he’s walking, they’ll find it excessively difficult to keep him out of their games and activities. They are good with him, but he of course has a knack for disrupting their intentions without knowing it. It’s the privilege of being The Baby.
He has a serious love of the washer and dryer. The laundry closet is just outside his room and across the hall, so that when his door is open he can see the machines from his crib. He likes to tell you that they go “round and round” (he has a sign for this) and loves to help me put clothes in and push the buttons to make it go. It’s his special little chore, and he’s not too bad at it.
He finally had his haircut this month, but folks still ask if he’s a girl. I noticed while taking these pictures that he’s already due for another (crazy bangs!) This child and his hair. He seems to have grown a year in the last month.
Slow down, Mr. Mo, while I still have the right to call you “The Baby”.
I put chocolate chips on my shopping list a few weeks ago. It was my intention to make them with Ephraim, who is seriously interested in helping in the kitchen right now.
Yesterday, while the younger boys napped, we got started. I measured out ingredients for him to pour into the mixer, one by one. (next time I’ll let him take on that part, too). He broke the eggs into the mixture, and we only lost one tiny piece of eggshell which I couldn’t dig out.
I had wanted to take pictures of the whole thing, mostly because I very rarely am able to get pictures of my firstborn at all, but I needed to closely supervise the process and really didn’t have a chance to take the camera out. I figured that was OK, that there would be more cookie-making in the future, and that I could document then.
There is a dogma circulating the parenting world that we are too quick to document, instagram, photograph or what-have-you a moment that we should instead just sit back and soak in, enjoy. I disagree with this hypothesis. Of course, as the cliche goes, there must be a balance–but there have been many, many moments that I reached for my camera but hesitated, and decided to “soak in the moment” instead, and do you know what happened? I forgot it. I remember the decision not to document, but that’s all I can recall of that fleeting experience.
Of course, let us be wise; let us not allow our children to go their whole lives seeing us only behind a phone or camera. But I have never looked at a photograph a week, month, year after it was taken and thought, “Man, I wish I hadn’t taken the time to take that picture.” Instead, I almost always am surprised at how much I have forgotten. My days here fly by like the tornados that Ephraim is currently obsessed with.
So I missed the making of the cookies, but today when we sat down to enjoy them, I photographed it. Not much–I only took these pictures before sitting down and having a cookie myself. But I wanted to remember it–being able to compliment Ephraim on a job well done. His serving his two brothers their cookies before sitting down to receive one himself. Anselm wearing almost as much cookie as he got in his mouth. Clive thinking he is smiling for the camera when he actually isn’t. Today they were 4, 3, and eighteen months. Today is almost gone. This memory will remain.
Our bus arrived at our Tyrol hotel just in time for golden hour. We rushed off, found our rooms, then rushed back outside to enjoy the breathtaking view before we were called in for dinner. Some of the girls in my group used the time to collect flowers and make crowns; I used the opportunity to take pictures of something other than tourist attractions and buildings. We only spent one night in Austria, but I would return in a heartbeat.