hide and seek with Annie

Here are your instructions.

  1. Count to 10 while Annie hides in the closet with Mom. When you get to 10, pretend to look for her, until she gets so excited she runs out of the closet squealing.
  2. Now it’s your turn to hide. Hide anywhere while Annie stays in the closet and counts to 10 with Mom. And by “anywhere,” I mean, “somewhere in her immediate field of vision,” or she may never find you.
  3. Annie’s turn again. You sit in the closet and count to 10 while she hides, except when you get to 9, she’s so excited she just runs into the closet.
  4. Try again. Count to 10 while Annie—no, there she is at 5. Squeeee!
  5. Try again. Count to 10 while Mom tells Annie to go hide in her bathroom. Start looking. When you’re about to open the door to her room, she flings it open, and squeals.

It’s actually a really fun game.

a day in your life

To Paul: this is how you spent the day you turned 13 months old.

You sleep until 7:38. After living through your 3rd-6th month, we are still pinching ourselves that you sleep so well and late, especially since we’ve ratcheted your bedtime back to 7. But sleep you do, giving us time to prepare a magnificent breakfast of banana—your absolute favorite in the whole wide world—wheat bread, and milk. I crack open the door of your room and rub your back while Annie informs us she wants to stay asleep. I lift you up, give you a hug, and hand you over to Dad for a fresh diaper and a new outfit. Then it’s downstairs for that meal.

You tuck in cheerfully and entertain us blowing raspberries. As usual, you show Sous the food in your hand and she uses up her morning’s allotment of willpower not taking it. When you finish, we wipe down your sticky hands with a wet paper towel, pinch the worst bits of banana mush off your clothes—you continue to yank off any bib we try to put on you—and head to the car. Dad buckles you in and says goodbye, and we’re off to school by 8.


On the drive, you say things like “Doh??” and Annie and I interpret this as “dog,” and we woof. You say “Dis??” and “SSSSSSSS,” so I hiss back. Annie says, “No, he don’t wanna say SSSSS.” “What does he want to say?” “He wanna say MOOOO.” So we moo (you do too).

You and Annie keep chattering. She points out busses to you, and you laugh. We sing The Ants Go Marching. We arrive at school.

At the door to the Bumblebees, I hand you over to Ms. Susan, the former assistant teacher who is back today to substitute. You maintain equanimity and enjoy a morning snack of applesauce and Cheerios, then poop. You lunch on quiche and oranges, probably not in that order, and nap from 12-1:45. You tromp up to your teachers and present them with books to read, but only stick around for a couple of pages. Your favorite involves dogs and flowers.

You snack again (cheese crackers) and poop again. This is the life. Dad picks you up at 5. You listen to music and sing songs all the way home, where you find me cooking. I pick up Annie for a hug as she runs in, and you lean toward me, so I end up with one of you on each hip.

I swear I didn't realize I had a dimple until about a month ago.
You seem to be rethinking your choice.
Unwisely, I let you look at my phone in the doctor's office yesterday (flu shot), and now YOU WANT IT.
Unwisely, I let you look at my phone in the doctor’s office yesterday (flu shot), and now YOU WANT IT.

Back in the kitchen, I placate you with strawberries and peaches while I finish cooking, and we sit down to perfect, toddler-sized hamburgers, kale, and cherry tomatoes. You eat all the tomatoes and about two bites of beef and bun. Here you are at the table, pretending to say hello into a phone, then dancing to Annie’s nonsense song:

After the meal, I gingerly remove your tomato-and-milk-soaked onesie, and you stomp around the house in your diaper. You climb into your chair, spike your milk cup on the ground, pat Sous, throw me a ball, and generally conduct important baby business. When Dad finishes cleaning up the kitchen, he reads you the book about dinosaur pirates. It has buttons that make noises. You reward him by placing a sticker on his chest, like a merit badge.

At about 6:30, we head upstairs for a bath. You get a bit screamy going in but enjoy it once you’re there. You like drinking bathwater out of all the cup toys, and banging them on the tub.


Dad scoops you up into a towel and gets you pajama-ed. You motor around the bedroom, delivering him books to read, saying bye-bye and closing them, trying to mount Rabumpus and falling off in spectacular ways. At 7, you are dragging around your sleep sack, which in Paul means, “I’m ready for bed.” We start the lullaby. Dad zips up your sleep sack and tells you he loves you, and we turn off the lights.


Annie, age 2 1/2

I know, I just posted this in her monthly log, but I love this photo of Annie so much I had to call it out. I was holding her in my arms and leaning back to get a picture, hoping she’d keep looking away so I could record the way her hair was stuck to the side of her face. I didn’t say anything, but she knew what I was doing somehow, and turned to me and smiled. She said, sweetly, “Are you taking a picture of me? Because I’m so cute with my hair?”

a day in your life

To Annie: this is how you spent the day you turned 2 years and 5 months old.

At 7:30 or so, I open your door and turn on the light. You and Paul are both awake but curled up on your tummies, and you are quite content to stay that way. I coax you out of bed and into a new diaper with promises of yogurt with banana, and we proceed downstairs for breakfast. You devour your yogurt, declare you’re all done, and leave strawberries and bread on the table. You are not pleased when we award your leftover strawberries to Paul, and protest vigorously while you climb back into your chair. “I’m NOT all done. I’m NOT all done!” Dad responds, “Annie, there are some things you can’t un-say.” Life lessons.


We head back upstairs, and you cozy up in the nook with your current favorite book—thanks, Aunt Lisa—Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride. It’s a long read I’m surprised you have the patience for. You are fascinated by the part where Mercy, not wearing her seat belt, goes flying out of the car. I appreciate the moral. We talk a lot about the expressions on the characters’ faces and what they’re feeling. Mercy, for example, looks very scared and worried when she’s flying through the air.


We gather our things together and load up in the car for a little morning adventure—we’re meeting the Crowders and Smid-Saidis for a morning walk and brunch. Sous squashes into the backseat with you. We arrive and assemble our all-terrain vehicle: two sippy cups of milk, one blanket, one diaper bag, one leash, two baggies of emergency crackers, two toddlers, one dog. Our friends roll up a few minutes later, and we’re off through the cool, sunny day.


There’s a playground at the end of the trail; you spend most of the time on the swings. “I want to go fast!” you tell me. “You want to go fast?” “I DOOooo.”

At 10:30 we drive up to Karen and Ali’s. Isaac starts his nap, and the dads start cooking pancakes and bacon and cutting up strawberries while you and Eleanor and Paul roam around the living room, playing with Isaac’s treasure trove of unfamiliar toys.

For brunch, you eat berries with vanilla yogurt, a little piece of bacon, and a few bites of pancake before Sous snatches the rest out of your lap. Treacherous dog! We grieve your pancake for the duration of the morning.

We straggle homeward, clearly ready for naps, and get you both into bed by noon. At 2, you’re up but Paul sleeps on, so I extract you, still in your sleep sack, and tiptoe downstairs.

Trying to capture the cute way your hair was stuck to your cheek with drool, I accidentally achieve this amazing portrait.
Trying to capture the cute way your hair is stuck to your cheek with drool, I accidentally achieve this amazing portrait.

Dad is playing video games in the dark. You visit him for a few minutes and comment on the strange-looking characters; then you come back to me for cuddles and books in the arm chair. Paul wakes up about a half-hour later, and you snack on bananas and grapes.

It’s a pretty, warm afternoon, so we head to the backyard and fill up the water table. I dab Deet on you to ward off the hungry mosquitos—with broad coverage as you insist on total nudity. When I step away to write on the deck with chalk, you follow me like a shadow and want to write, too. “Wanna lift me up, Mom? Want to hold me? Wanna help me write?” You make these requests with eyes wide and voice rising precipitously. It’s a winning formula.

You request a “balloon party.” (Who knows?) Dad interprets liberally and inflates five balloons. Paul chews a hole in one, but the rest you both gleefully wash in the water table and squeal when they blow across the yard.

It’s time to start cooking dinner, so I take Paul inside while you hang out with Dad in the yard for a little longer. He hoses the bug spray off you and gets you re-diapered, wrapped in a towel, and stuffed with more banana. Then it’s time for Mercy Watson on the couch…three times. Your interest in this book survives his weariest and most deadpan rendition.

Upstairs with Paul, you fuss and issue a series of demands, as though you can’t figure out what you want except to test Dad’s response rate. You execute a small meltdown as he puts a shirt on you and returns downstairs.

I barely cook anymore, so when I do, it's cause for photography.
I barely cook anymore, so when I do, it’s cause for photography.

The Drehers arrive at 5:30, and we all hit the chili buffet. (You eat your grapes and nibble the corn bread; hard pass on the chili.) Lyla sits next to you, and you are on your best big-girl behavior. After dinner, the two of you push your grocery cart and lawn mower across the house.


You have a squealing good time playing bye-bye/hello with Paul and our bedroom door while Miles and Lyla build Duplo towers in your room. Informed it’s bathtime, you let me take off your shirt, remove your own diaper, and walk yourself over to Dad to lift you into the bath. This behavior is remarkable—I can only assume you’re still angling to impress Lyla.

After a quick bath, you emerge in your baby bunny towel, which now barely reaches your butt. (Sigh.) To Lisa, you chirp, “Wanna carry me to the changing table?” She does! She snuggles you dry and gets you a fresh diaper. You agree to let her pick your dress. She strikes out twice before knocking it out of the park with—surprise!—your pineapple dress.

We say goodnight to the Drehers and settle in for our last book (anything but Mercy Pig, pray your parents). You give us a break and select the Sesame Street ABCs, which we linger over. Then, well, it’s dark outside, metaphorically, so I pick you up and lay you in your crib, thread your arms through your sleep sack and zip it up, then tuck your blanket around you as you flip onto your tummy. Dad says, “Goodnight Annie, I love you.” And you say, “I love you, Dad!”