Well, I'm back home from two weeks in Chicago, visiting my sis and her husband and their now-two boys. It's good to be home, and the cats clearly were happy to see me, but it's sad to be away from them. Kind of breaks the heart. Such a sweet family my sister has now. My older nephew's still the Whirling Dervish he's always been, and the new baby seems to sleep best when his brother's rushing around his bassinet. Two peas in a pod, they seem.
There was family galore - a neverending stream of grandparents, aunts, one uncle and the neighbors... But still it did not seem to phase the brothers.
The baby is beautiful - and big! at 9 pounds, 14 ounces - and loves to be held, to be in the midst of the action. He's a little sleepy still, and hates to be wet - and apparently is most wide awake between midnight and 3 a.m., when he stares up at his dad holding him....
My main job for the two weeks was to entertain my older nephew. What a blast. Okay, so - you don't have to believe me but - he is reading and writing. At 2 1/2 years old. His favorite words to spell are violin, elephant and rainbow. I swear I am not making this up. And he spells words randomly, wherever he happens to be. It's like being at a spelling bee all day long - "BROTHER. B-R-O-T-H-E-R, BROTHER." (And yes, I got him to spell BETH - just a little self-promotion there....)
And in case you're wondering if he's just a memory machine ... he wrote, on his own, "nock" on the door of the little cardboard playhouse my mom gave him, which imitated her saying "knock, knock" when she knocked on the door to "look" for him there. He just wrote it on his own, sounding it out, without asking anyone for help. Amazing.
A week ago, on July 5, my mom and I decided to take him to a town parade a few miles away from my sister's house. He darted while we waited for the parade to begin, and then stood mesmerized as the parade began. Well, mesmerized with occasional darts. In fact, he tried to join the parade a couple of times - like when the navy band, all in white, marched by playing their brass instruments... "TUBA - T-U-B-A, TUBA!" he said as they went. And then he tried to join the boy scouts too, as they walked by. He must have figured they'd let him join. When we brought him home, wondering if the day had been too overwhelming, he rushed in and re-enacted the parade for his parents. "One, two, one, two," he said, showing what the marchers looked like, so excited. And when he said something about a "frog," I thought - oh, yeah, there was a stuffed frog on one of the remote-controlled cars, wasn't there?
A few days ago, we went for a walk to the nearby park. (He loves it - "Walk?" he'll ask...) We went to that park a few times... His newest habit is picking up rocks and washing them in his mouth. ("Yuck, yuck," I tried to emphasize, as I took them from his mouth. "Speak for yourself, lady," is the look I got back.)
So then yesterday, right before I left, we were playing with a computer game that has I-can-read style books on it, and suddenly he read the page in front of us: "Pete can not sleep," he said in sync with where I moved the cursor. Then he looked up at me, waiting for me to flip to the next screen for the next page of the book. "Uh huh," I said to him, and then looked at my sister, wide-eyed. (Did he just read that??) He kept going with the next pages, reading virtually all of that book, missing a few "the"s and "and"s, but otherwise reading the words accurately. Wow. When we tried to get it on camera later, though, he was mute. So we have no proof. Ah well. Tomorrow's another day.
When it was time for me to go to the airport - oh, just so sad. I'm going to miss them all, so much. My sis and I got a little teary - I had sworn I wouldn't cry until after I left! - and my sweet nephew looked up and smiled and said hopefully (as I reached for the door), "Walk?" Oh no, honey. I have to go home now...