a day in your life

To Annie: this is how you spent the day you turned 19 months old.

At 7:40, you notify us that you are ready for pick-up. I find you standing in your crib in the tie-dye shirt we’ve termed “pajamas” since you graduated from your sleep sack last weekend. We head downstairs to breakfast, and you tuck in to some banana chunks. I pour myself another cup of coffee and delicately set aside the front page of the paper (headline: TRUMP’S AMERICA) so we can look for hats, cars, and shoes in safer sections. You burble about various topics, pet Sous with your feet, and pass out strawberry chunks for Dad and I to either eat or feed you.

When you finish breakfast, we head upstairs. You sit on the bathroom counter, eating a little toothpaste and splashing around in the sink, while I blow-dry my hair, then romp around the bedrooms as I finish getting ready.

You make the bugs dance for the amusement of Baby Paul (Baw Paw).
You make the bugs dance for the amusement of Baby Paul (Baw Paw).

I encourage you to pick out your outfit for the day to preclude the grand mal tantrums you have been throwing this week when we get you dressed, but you are more interested in toys. I get a shirt on you without incident, but you collapse in a screaming heap when it comes time to pant you. Limp is vastly preferable to thrashing, though, and your dad and I manage to slide all the rest of your clothes on you with only our eardrums damaged.

Then it’s off to school! I strap you into your car seat, and you roar at the little toy lion that lives in your cup holder. We point at cars and trees, and you suck your thumb while I listen to the news on the radio. A dozen chubby faces smile up at us when we walk into your class, and I drop you in the play kitchen, where some of your classmates are busily pretending. I wave bye-bye and slip out.

A few minutes later, you line up and head to the playground, where it’s a beautiful, cool fall day after a week of dreary rain. You talk shapes and colors during circle time, eat lunch, and nap. The afternoon is more books and playtime outside.

At 5, you are sitting at a table, eating pretzels with your friends, when Dad arrives to take you home. Instead of your usual mad dash to a parent’s embrace, you leisurely finish your pretzel and saunter over. You’re very mature and sophisticated now. Traffic is terrible on the way home, and you pass the time babbling and trading words with Dad. (“Burr?” “Bird.” “Burr?” “Bird.”) At home, you say hello to Charly and romp around while Dad holds Baby Paul.

Uncle Doug and Aunt Kalia arrive. It’s Thursday, when the grown-ups go out and do grown-up things. You raid Charly’s wallet and pass the contents out to everyone in the house. Uncle Doug plays a game with you where he pretends his hand is a spider. You’re a fan.

The grown-ups need to leave and placate you with half a banana. You flirt with a tantrum but think better of it when you see that Eleanor is taking the transition like a pro. You settle at the table for dinner with Charly, Eleanor, and Paul on his pillow.

You eat dinner (the noodles out of some delicious beef stew, but no stew, and 15 tiny, toast-shaped crackers) by placing each bite in the pocket of your bib and then fishing it out with your face. Always innovating, you. By the time you finish this production, it’s bedtime. Charly cleans you up, puts you in your Supergirl tank top, reads you a book, sings Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and says goodnight.

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