a day in your life

To Paul: this is how you spent the day you turned 20 months old.

We hear you starting to talk with Annie, and roll into your room at 7:20. You’re happy to see us, bounce up and raise your window shade to see what kind of day it’s going to be.


You’re less excited to get dressed, preferring instead to get a book to read. (“BooKh-Kh,” you say, hitting that terminal consonant twice, with vigorous back-of-the-throat CCHHH that would have served you well as a native German speaker.) Dad talks you into some pants and shoes, and eventually you get into the spirit.

Breakfast is a typical yogurt, banana, and toast. You do a decent job of keeping the yogurt off your shirt, and chew on a toothbrush before we head out the door. On the way to school, you gleefully point out the trucks (SHRUCK-CK!) and busses (BUTS!).

We walk into school—you walk yourself now more often than I carry you—and you sit right down at the table in the Sea Turtles. As I sign you in, you get back up to give Annie a hug. Hearts melt.


Your day is a mystery. I arrive back at school too late for a report from your teachers. Clearly you took a tumble on the playground, though, because your knee is grubby and your face is a little scraped. When I open the door to the class, you’re the last one there, and you run joyfully into my arms.

You and Annie visit Ms. Stephanie for to-go snack (three saltines), do a little playing in the stump garden outside the school, and then climb into the car through the front seat, so you can press the button that starts the electric system. (I don’t know why we let you start doing this—it’s a problem.) Strapped into your carseat at last, you find the crusts of your morning toast, and get back to eating it. (MAH TUTS!) En route, you pull off your shoes and socks, and play a little of the game where you call my name and I call yours. (Ma! Paul! Ma! Paul! Mamamamamama. Paul paul paul paul paul.)


You march through the door at home and make a beeline for the milk (probably all that stale toast). “Mah NULK!” You do a pretty credible job with a regular cup now, when you’re not reaching your whole fist into it or accidently elbowing it across the table. For dinner, you eat all the berries off your plate and spend the rest of our time together crying for more. We decline to provide them. You eat nothing else.


You push the stroller and shopping cart around the house while your sister spends some minutes on the time-out step for failures in compliance. (You may also appreciate this unusual view through the walls under our stairs. We’re having some work done.)

It’s time to wind down, so we head upstairs, wash face and hands, and pick out some books.

We don’t so much read Goodnight Moon as gleefully hunt for the mouse on every page. “DEEES!” you crow, which I interpret as either “There he is!” and/or “Squeak!”

It’s after 7, so we start singing the song. I carry you to the light switches where you perform your task: turning the fan switch off and on again. I lay you in your crib, and you hold your dog up to me, “DOCK,” for a kiss. As I’m tucking Annie in, you pop back up holding your blanket, apparently asking to get tucked in, too—a first. I do, and you push your blanket right off and return to cuddling with your dog and sucking your thumb.

Night night, my Paul.


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