Thursday, August 8, 2013

18 and 3/4 months.

He is 18 months, and change.  18 and 3/4 months.  The fractions matter.

I walked into daycare, and he happened to be looking out the window of his classroom.  He waves.  I see him saying “da-da!” before I can hear him.
Out we go to the car, saying “bye bye” to everyone he sees.  He waves with the palm slightly curled, twisting at the wrist from side to side.  It’s very regal.
It’s Chinatown with his father, like innumerable Jews before him.  Rice gets everywhere.  We tip well.  Fish filet!  Dumplings are torn into Rubin sized bites without the innards.
As we left Lao Hunan, and slowly wandered the enclosed carless length of the strip, that kid was in one of the best moods I’ve ever seen in a human. He takes big steps, chattering away, making games out of everything he can touch, greeting all with a smile and a “Hi.”  I learn so much about people as they respond, or don’t. 
He’s the mayor of wherever he goes.

We come home, and play in his room.  “Book?” he usually brings me a small assortment, so he can then get in Official Daddy And Rubin Reading Position and have some choices.
This time he brought me every single book on his shelf.  I kept accepting them, piling them on my lap, laughing, as he stomped back and forth.  It was bath time before we even read anything.
In the tub, the erasable multi-colored crayon is king.  “Star!”  “Cir-el!” Square is hit and miss. Triangle is still too hard.
He lets me brush about ¾ of his teeth.  I shouldn’t keep leaving the upper left for last.
He’s all giggles on the table as I towel him off.  I become a human hair dryer, and he blows air right back at me. 
In his green shorts jammies, it’s time for just one book.  I hold up the index finger, trying to make the point clear.  He goes and grabs “Goodnight Moon.”
That’s your grandson and namesake, mom.  He chose your favorite children's book, and go-to gift.
We read the whole thing.  He likes the little old lady whispering hush.
Lights out.  “Stars!” on his wall have to be touched before he can lie down.
He chatters himself soothed, as he always does, and is just now quiet as I try to not forget a minute.


I’ve been busy living life with him, and fulfilling so many other responsibilities.  Writing this blog has faded from priority.
Some things I never want to forget:
·        Our trip to New York for Grampa Herb’s 80th birthday.  His NYC cousins were so loving, their homes so welcoming.  It strikes me that he’s slowly realizing it’s not just home that can feel this way.  The world might be full of hugs, safety, and joy.  What a gift to have family.  There were a lot of good role models there.  Herb is the goods.  I didn’t know about 1/3 of the people at his party, because he has an active, vibrant, full life with Joan.  Here’s to not quitting, and allowing misery or grief to rule.  His kids are so proud of him.

·        When we go to a park, and there is grass to roam; options abound.  We might play with a “ball!” He might flip-flop on a hill, happily falling over and over.  If the stroller is on its back, the wheels and mechanisms fascinate.  And the best is this.  If I lie down and throw my arms open calling his name, he usually stops whatever he’s doing, grins, and walks/stumbles towards me.  He throws his body against mine, and I roll back and forth, holding him up, spinning him around.  We laugh and holler.  What’s better than that?
·        The farm with his Gramma Ruthie, Pops, and mama-side cousins is really healthy for our downtown boy.  He ate berries right off the plant.  “YOU CAN DO THAT?” Sometimes, kid. He loves cousin Shelby; wants her to hold him all the time.  He took a first golf cart ride with cousin Mason driving, daddy holding Rubin absurdly tight.  It rained on us, and we got soaked and filthy like boys should.  The payoff was the giant rainbow, visible for miles around with not a single city building to block ROY G. BIV. 
·        The other night, he won.  He was in bed, soothing himself with chatter.  30 minutes.  An hour.  At about an hour and 15, it was a touch more whiny and I decided to weaken and bring him a drink.  I walk in, and he says with a cocky tone “Yeah…milk!”  Suck it, dad, I just made you my milk bitch.  How does that feel, dad?  You lost a stand-off.  Get used to it. 

Every day he seems to show a sense of pure joy at getting to live another one.
Our job is to make that lasts as long as possible.


  1. I love this, Matt! The whole thing, but maybe especially this: "He lets me brush about ¾ of his teeth. I shouldn’t keep leaving the upper left for last." Happiness.

  2. My son is now three. I'm still his Milk Bitch.

  3. The goodnight Moon book . Wow! Reminds me of my ten year old daughter and takes me to that sentimental daddy place.

  4. I have 2 daughters 1 1/2 and 3 3/4 years old. They both love goodnight moon. Makes me smile just reading that. line in your blog. Keep up the good work here and on the score.