To Paul: this is how you spent the day you turned 19 months old.
The time changed yesterday, so you sleep peacefully until 8. Dad gets you diapered and dressed, and we head down for breakfast. It’s Monday, but a professional-development day for your teachers, so we’re all home together for a bonus long weekend.
When I come downstairs with a book to read, you say clear as day, “My Mercy book!” and Dad and I goggle at each other. Your language skills are exploding—only yesterday did we first hear you say “book” with the K sound.
We buckle into the stroller for a walk. The weather is chilly but gorgeous, and SXSW is in full swing. We share the bridge with folks in badges walking to downtown, but the trail is abandoned as all the locals take cover.
We make a loop down to the river and stroll back through the park as usual. You are very interested in looking for turtles and—a recent addition—the family of Nutria.
We roll to Mellizos for breakfast tacos, and you eat your eggs by the handful. The weather is so nice we tack on a playground visit. I help you climb the ladder, which delights you, and you and Annie chase each other down the slide and back around, again and again and again.
Swings and time on the stone turtle cap our visit, and we head home via the creek tunnel, where you yell and poke sticks into the water. Back at home, we have a quick snack of berries and milk. I give you an open cup, and you blow bubbles in it. Classic.
You and Annie jump and squeal in your cribs for a solid hour before going to sleep, and Dad comes in to admonish you and stays to change a horrific diaper.
At 2, you’re awake. I release you and Annie from your
crates cribs, and we head downstairs to set up a picnic in the perfect afternoon sunshine. We eat pears and crackers in the front yard, and you push the toy lawnmower and stroller around. Dad returns from the grocery store and joins us. We migrate into recliners and lounge with books and magazines. You page through a Mercy book quietly, with undivided attention. I tell your dad I always imagined our whole family reading together but didn’t picture it happening so soon.
You and Annie are obsessed with each other and carefully monitor what the other is doing in case it involves a scarce resource you need to demand for yourself. Your parents grow weary enforcing turn-taking.
George joins us for a lounge, and an hour later, so do Kalia, Doug, Eleanor, and Riley. You run around with Annie and Eleanor, nearly independent of adult supervision. A feast of grilled meats and veggies appears; you eat half a hot dog bun and resume your romp.
Twenty minutes of Totoro calm us all; then we say goodbye to our friends and head upstairs for a jungle bath. It’s not pleasant for anyone, but we get ‘er done and read a final Mercy book to cross the finish line. At 7:30, you’re snug in bed, pooped out, and headed for sleep. Phew.