Saturday, March 2, 2013

Pardon the Interlude

We went through the same thing this time last year, didn't we? Around November I disappear, and after the new year I resolve to update regularly (but I never keep that resolution), the few of you that check the blog regularly nudge me to update (but I lose track of time), and then I reappear months later with a huge recap of what we've been doing.

Same old stuff; different year.

I can't entirely fault the holidays for my absence this year. Part of it coincided with going back to work. Even though it's only part-time, as expected, I've had a tough time limiting myself to part-time hours. Let's face it, I'm an all-or-nothing kind of gal. The work/life balance is... challenging. Good challenging, but challenging still. Most nights I come home, cook dinner, play with Hank, do the bedtime routine, and by the time I'm walking out of Hank's room at 9:00, I'm too brain-dead to think about writing. Most nights I'm too brain-dead to even veg on the couch and watch TV with Brad. Is that even possible?

Enough excuses. Let's get on to what you came here for--Hank updates!

Terrible twos? We're in the thick of it. But honestly, despite the occasional tantrums, senseless badgering (why? WHY? whyyyy?) and I-do-it-by-myself moments, two is pretty fun. Since Hank started daycare, his language skills have exploded. BAM! We went from stringing two to three words together somewhat reluctantly, to full-blown conversations. Practically overnight.

He blows my mind with conversations like this:

(sitting in the truck listening to the radio. He's in his car seat  facing backward, and I'm in the driver seat facing forward.)

Hank: What's that, Mama?
Me: Can you describe "that"? We're not looking in the same direction.
Hank: THAT.
Me: (craning my neck to see what's behind us) What? You have to describe it. I'm not facing the same way
(this is a regular debate in our car. If ever there were a reason I'll turn him to face forward, it would be to escape this endless battle.)
Hank: On the radio.
Me: Oh, it's a commercial.
Hank: No, it's a intalude.
Me: (Internal dialog: "a intalude"? What the heck is that? What is he trying to say?)

And then the light bulb went off. We were listening to a commercial and there was a little jingle in the middle of the ad. An interlude. I'm dumbfounded.

Me: You mean an interlude?

Hank: Yeah!

I call Brad, completely floored by the sheer genius of our son. 

Me: You are never going to guess what Hank just said! (relay the story to Brad)

Brad: (belting laughter) Ha! I can't believe he remembered!
Me: What the heck are you talking about?

Apparently, everyday when Brad and Hank are in the car on the way to school, they listen to NPR. You know how NPR always plays those little jingles in between their spots? Well, apparently every day Hank pesters him about the name of the song, and Brad finally just told him that it doesn't have a name, it's just and interlude.

I still think my kid is pretty brilliant. How many two-year-olds know what a musical interlude is and can correctly identify one out of sequence? 

He's also the most polite two-year-old I've run across. Examples?

He says "bless you" to the cats when they sneeze.
If you hand him something, he says "thank you"
If he does something for you and you say "thank you," he says "you're welcome"

And then he says things like this:

Me: Would you like to have a grilled cheese for dinner?
Hank: No, I don't want that, but thank you anyway

What? But thank you anyway? Who says that? Oh wait. I do. That's my standard answer to him when he offers me a piece of food that he's slobbered on, or wants me to "play cars" for the umpteenth time, or tries to dictate what shoes I should wear. I guess he picked up on that one. But hey, I'm not complaining! At least it wasn't a four-letter word he picked up on.

Although, he does say "dang it" sometimes. We're working on that one.

Don't get me wrong, he has his difficult and flat-out not polite moments. Visit our house any given morning, and you'll find two sweaty, beleaguered parents, one toddler half-dressed and screaming, and his discarded (and adamantly refused!) wardrobe scattered on the living room floor. Check in with us at bedtime, and you'll find lots of bargaining, lots of stall tactics, and plenty of tears -- none of which are limited to Hank. If you have the honor of dining out with us... well, I'll just pray you catch us on a good day. Otherwise, get your food to-go!

Despite his typical mercurial two-year-old personality, I'm enjoying my time with Hank more so at this age than any other so far. Talk to me this time next year, and hopefully I'll say the same about three!

Here are some pictures from back in December. We were doing a Christmas craft together. I promise to have more updated pictures soon! Just need to get the camera card downloaded.

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