a day in your life

To Paul: this is how you spent the day you turned 21 months old.

You signal your readiness for pick-up, so we hoist you out of your crib, help you into your outfit, and head downstairs for banana, yogurt, and toast. You eat with purpose, then turn to me: “ALL DONE!” After a quick napkin swipe of your sticky banana hands, you head to the couch to look out the window and do a little light bouncing.

We make our way into the stroller and head out for a walk. It’s 75 degrees at 8am, and 90% humidity. Summer is coming. We do our usual Saturday circuit: risk our lives jaywalking across Riverside (though today we see them cutting the curb for our new crosswalk!), about a mile on the boardwalk and trail, a little off-leash time for Sous, and then a stroll through the park for y’all.

Sous cools off with a swim.
Sous cools off with a swim.
I am a huge pushover for the hand-holding.
The hand-holding!
At some point you said, "Mom hand!" so I just barged on in.
At some point you say, “Mom hand!” so I barge on in. “Okay!!”

You feed toast crusts to the turtles and lie on your tummy to watch them eat. It’s a busy day on the pond. The sun is bright, the birds are chirping, and the grass and leaves are brightest green, in their full glory. You and Annie range around the park, and you only check in once or twice for some emotional support when you take a tumble or have your will denied.

We head up to El Mercado to meet our friends for brunch. You play hard on the playground, scoop a half-teaspoon of medium-spicy salsa into your mouth without flinching, and put away your weight in pancakes, bacon, and refried beans.


While Annie and I go to take in some theater, you head home with Dad and Doug, plus Riley in the second stroller seat. You play together with toys and boss Riley around until the families reunite and you go down for a late nap at 1.

Back up at 3ish, you get some solo parent attention as Annie naps on. You bring half a dozen books to read in my lap, then graduate to throwing the bouncy ball.

We get Sous to fetch the tennis ball when you throw it a few times, which delights you. You decide to go outside. “OWSHY! SHOES ON!” Yes, shoes, also, pants, also, hey, new diaper. For the record, you have two real, solid, human turds come out of you today, a major triumph after 21 months of sludge. Keep it up, kiddo.

Annie wakes at last, and she and Dad head to the grocery store while you and I stay at home. Your grief for the two of them—you wander around the yard, calling their names balefully—makes it clear I am third place in your heart, but you console yourself with an apple and milk on the front porch, and then by ringing the doorbell 40 times. Sous doesn’t mind so much, but our home automation system buzzes Dad’s phone every time, so eventually he calls us from the dairy aisle to make sure everything’s okay.

Headed back in, you finally realize our fears and close your hand in the front door, as I’m lunging toward it, yelling to be careful. The damage is minor, but boy it hurts. You fall into my arms, and I hold you and sing and pat your back until you’ve recovered enough to request some music to feel better. Kind of Blue chills us out. A few minutes of Totoro are also called for.

Annie and Dad arrive home, and you dive into dinner. Actually, I’m not sure what you eat other than dried cranberries picked out of a salad, and blueberry yogurt, but anyway, you do it with gusto. You and Annie maraud around a bit while Dad and I finish eating, and then we drag everyone through a shower because we. are. filthy.

clean Paul
clean Paul

You finish up the movie with Annie while I put away laundry and do a heavy audit of the clothes in your drawer, and Dad talks to his parents, looping you into the conversation now and then. At 7:20, we’re back in your room, dressed for bed and reading Mercy Pig. You require that we linger on the pictures of the cars, which you play at counting (“Wo-on, two-oo. Two!”), and on the firetruck (“Wee-oh-wee-oh!”)


Fan button pushed, stuffed dog secured, and police-car socks on, you’re a happy camper and ready to go to sleep. Just as soon as you and Annie finish kicking the wall.

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.


a day in your life

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.

You point to the phone and say, "Pah!"
For the record, you put the hat on yourself. Sorry about the booger.

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.

We will later feed Sous that cheese wheel in bits, in exchange for tricks, plus about 15 crackers that fall on the floor.
We will later feed Sous that cheese wheel in bits, in exchange for tricks, plus about 15 crackers that fall on the floor.

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.

a day in your life

To Paul: this is how you spent the day you turned 18 months old.

It’s an unusually quiet morning—you and Annie are typically yodeling by 7. Today, we head in at 7:35 to find you fast asleep in child’s pose, butt raised high. I pat you on the back, and you turn over, see us, and smile. You stand right up and present yourself to Dad to be lifted up.

Changed and dressed, you listen to me read another fabulous Mercy the Pig book while we get Annie in the same state. Then it’s a hustle through the freezing air to Dad’s warm car, where he’s loaded a cup full of banana, cheese, and toast, with a bonus chewable vitamin at the bottom. Win.

only one poop?!
only one poop?!

It’s a normal day. You sit down to a second breakfast with Shanna in the Sea Turtles. You nap. You play. You eat all the fruit within reach. At 5:30, Annie and I roll in to pick you up. She hands you a snack for the road—three saltines—and you call for your sweater.

Yeah, your onesie is unsnapped. It’s a look.

You identify all the pick-up trucks we pass on the way home: “SHRUHH??” You’re quite the enthusiast these days. For variety, we blow raspberries at each other, and you peruse Goodnight Moon, still a favorite. “Dah boo?” (The book. I think. “Boo” also means cow and moon.)


At 6, we’re walking in the house for dinner by Dad. There’s a lot to like: orange slices, cherry tomatoes, and a banana I’ve promised you and your sister to maintain peace in the car. You decline the lasagna until I play the game we’ve just developed and I’m not sure how I feel about. (I call it “baby bird”: I offer you food on a fork. You shake your head no. I put it in my mouth. You yell in demand. I remove it from my mouth, offer it to you again, and you eat it enthusiastically. I could also call it “poison tester.”) Anyway, you end up eating your lasagna.

No episode of lasagna ends without a good bath! Dad gets you in there and clean. You play cheerfully for a few minutes, then announce your readiness for pick-up. Dad towels you dry, and you march your naked butt over to me with a book to read. Determined to finish the job, Dad scoops you up and gets you diapered and shirted, and you march around while we hang a coat rack on your wall. I help you through a few shoe changes, just for fun.

You also deliver me MY shoes.
You also deliver me MY shoes. “SHEW-EW??”

We gather coats and hats to try out the new rack. You have serious qualms about hanging your beloved bear hat in a new location. I take you back downstairs to return it to its accustomed spot, but after some processing, you make your peace with its new home.

You and Annie squeeze into my lap for I Stink and, sweet Jesus, Mercy Pig again. You’re awfully cuddly, though, so I don’t really mind.


Dad scoops you up as the lullaby begins, and zips you into your sleep sack. “Love you love you love you,” he says, and scoots out the door. I give you a little tummy rub and follow. Night night, Mr. Paul!

a day in your life

To Paul: This is how you spent the day you turned 17 months old.

I open the door to your room at 7:30, and you roll over and greet me with a smile. I lift you up and lay you on the changing table while you point and inquire about the features on the ceiling. “Staaa?” “Nuuu?”

Freshened and dressed, you’re not thrilled to be left while I attend to Annie, but make your peace. You’ve been keen to practice your stair-descent, so you hold my hand and the banister bars, and step your way down while I carry your sister. We hit the vitamin cabinet, then head for the car, where once again I’ve preloaded breakfast in your cupholder.

You dig past the toast and cheese for the orange slices and tuck in with appetite. I hear you munching for most of the car ride, and all the food is gone when I unbuckle you at school. We head in.


You become increasingly clingy as drop-off approaches—it’s your second week in the Sea Turtles, and you’re still adjusting. We cuddle for a moment as I catch up with Shanna, then I set you down in your little chair. Betrayed and abandoned, you scream, and follow it up with the long silence that means an even BIGGER, LOUDER scream is coming. The tsunami of your distress follows Annie and I down the hall.

When I pass the room on my way out, you are quiet and sucking your thumb in front of a second breakfast of apple slice and a biscuit. It’s a normal day at school: playground, a nap on your mat, circle time that you occasionally deign to join.

Fresh from California, Dad picks you up, and by 5:15, you’re all at home, cooking together. There is some contention about whether you or Annie will have the privilege of feeding Sous. Annie wins the honor, so Dad announces you will help give her water. Carrying a full pitcher is a little beyond your capability, however, so he helps, and Annie decides to as well. The three of you shuffle in a group, everyone with a hand on the pitcher, from the sink to Sous’ bowl, and back again.


I come home from my last-day-of-work celebration to find you getting ready for your bath. Annie is requesting a jungle belt, and no one is screaming at all. I think you’re excited to have your Dad back.

cropped for posterity
cropped for posterity

Annie persuades Dad to join you in the bath and washes his nose with a sponge while you try on your bath hat. All are scrubbed, rinsed, and dried.

In a fresh diaper, you make a beeline for Goodnight Moon, which we’ve rediscovered after a long hiatus. We read it a few times, and you drag it into our bedroom, where Annie and Dad are folding clothes and watching a few minutes of Totoro. TV can engage you for up to 90 seconds, and I seize the opportunity to trim your toe claws.

Not crazy about how I look in this picture, but I love your face.
Not crazy about how I look in this picture, but I love your face.

Before we know it, it’s 7:00. We read Goodnight Moon one last time, and Dad carries you to your crib, singing our lullaby. Goodnight, Paul.

a day in your life

To Paul: this is how you spent the day you turned 16 months old.


I hear from you at 6:45, a plaintive keen, but I’m still working on breakfast so let you sit. You seize the opportunity for another sleep cycle, and when I come in at 7:15 to retrieve a singing Annie, you sleep through the whole production. I pick you up at 7:30 when she’s already tucking into breakfast. We discuss your new socks for the day—frogs, ribbit—and get you into some pants for the cold weather.


You eat all your grapes and covet Annie’s, reaching toward her and squawking angrily. You are perfectly capable of signing “more” and “please,” but I have no luck prompting you, so I wash another handful of grapes and engage in what feels exactly like a dog-training exercise. “Please,” I help you sign, and then hand you a grape. You eat it and grin. “Please,” we sign again, and you get another one. It does the trick.

You have a small meltdown when I can’t fit your sweater over your head—you want it, badly, but either it’s shrunk in the wash or your 95th-percentile head has grown even larger. You have a thing for all adornments right now, even if socks and shoes still come first in your heart. We persevere, however, and head out. A backhoe digging a hole in the neighbor’s yard provides unanticipated entertainment, and we all watch wide-eyed while it demolishes part of the sidewalk. Then it’s into the car with our cups full of toast, and off to school.

Outside the Bumblebees class, I set you in a chair, and Annie takes off your shoes and puts them in the drawer. We walk you into class and leave you with Ms. Leah on the mat. She helps you take off the hard-won sweater as we say goodbye.

You unfortunately have a very rough morning at school. Leah calls me at 9 to ask about the state of your ear infection (you’re on Day 8 of a second course of antibiotics) because you are crying inconsolably, thrashing too hard for a temperature reading, and tugging at your ears. I talk with Jennifer at 10, who says you’ve had ups and downs but only really calmed down when she walked around with you outside the class. Poor fellow. I authorize ibuprofen and ask to stay in touch.

You cheer up substantially; enjoy a full lunch of sloppy joe, oranges, and broccoli; poop; and nap for two hours. Perhaps this combination turns around your mood—your afternoon is normal and happy.

Ms. Shanna picks you up and brings you home for dinner, playtime, and a bath. When I arrive at 6:30, you run to me and back your butt up into my lap for a cuddle. I sit on the mat by the front door while you bring me tubs of play-doh and ask me to roll it between my hand to make balls. This causes you to chuckle in delight.

You abscond with some of Annie's markers and try to eat them.
You abscond with some of Annie’s markers and try to eat them.

At 7:15, we mosey upstairs, where you immediately apply yourself to some legos but are lured into my lap again by the promise of books. We name all the pictures in 100 First Animals and speed-read Pete the Cat and his Cool, Blue, Magic Sunglasses. I thread your arms into your sleep sack, sing the song, lay you in your crib, and tell you I love you. Night night, Mr. Paul!

a day in your life

To Paul: this is how you spent the day you turned 15 months old.

We are surprised to find you sound asleep when we enter your room at 7:30, so liberate Annie but leave you to snooze for another 45 minutes. Dad retrieves you when you do wake up, endures your screams while he gets you in a new diaper, and brings you downstairs for breakfast.


You amaze us again by pounding three sippy-cupfuls of milk. It’s a wonder you have any room in your belly for hot buttered toast, but you manage some of that, too, and then Dad buckles you into the stroller for a jog up to St. Edwards with Doug.

Back home, we play together in the front yard as Aunt Peanut rolls up with her luggage—she and Dan have spent the weekend with us but leave today. You help the lawn flamingos get a better view of passing traffic.

Annie will later take this flamingo into her crib to nap with her. You have better sense.

Back inside, you stand in your tower in the kitchen and eat Cheerios for a morning snack, then push your toys across the house. You poop, twice. Dad notices an abundance of dog hair and brings out the brooms; you help.


Lunch is apple slices (you chew the apple off of the peel) and chicken nugget-y things (you ignore them until I let you nibble them out of my fingers, one tiny bite at a time). Also more milk.

You take a great nap, sleeping through quite a bit of caterwauling from your sister, and straight through her extraction. Noon to 2:15 is the final tally—very solid.

About half an hour later, Charly arrives to find you snacking at the table. Dad and I say goodbye (we’re going to see art at EAST), and you hang out in your room, listening to kids songs and trying to take apart the humidifier.

You enjoy a walk around the neighborhood in the wagon and work up an appetite. On your way to the dinner table, you face-plant into the chair leg and raise a goose egg on your forehead that will be fun to explain to the doctor at your well-child check-up tomorrow. Undeterred, you eat a pile of ravioli. Then it’s bathtime, books, and bedtime. Night night, Mister Paul!

You guys are sweet together.

a day in your life

To Paul: this is how you spent the day you turned 14 months old.

You and Annie gradually escalate your volume until Dad decides to liberate you from your crib at 7:10. He gets you swaddled in a fresh diaper and carries you downstairs to your standard breakfast: banana and some nibbles of toast. You eat fast and are ready to get up and ride around on his hip while we finish getting ready for the day.


I drive you to school. You listen as Annie tests her knowledge about what is and is not the highway, and when and why we put on our blinkers, occasionally chiming in with a query of your own. “Daaaaaahh????”

At school, we open the door to your classroom, and your teachers, Leah, Susan, and Jennifer, smile at us from a room littered with babies, and remark on how grown-up you look in your shirt and pants. I leave you in Jennifer’s arms.

You tuck into a second breakfast and move your bowels. You take particular delight in reading a version of Brown Bear, Brown Bear with a little peekaboo window to see what animal comes next. Lunch is turkey tacos, carrots, and pears, and produces another poop. You take a healthy nap from noon until 1:30.

Your daily report indicates that you enjoyed the following: blocks, listening to stories, looking at books, outside play, and balls. Sounds about right. Dad picks you up at 4:45; you all survive some terrible traffic driving home.

Of this meal, you eat all the pears and 2 beans.
Of this meal, you eat all the pears and 2 beans.

After dinner, you make a few laps around the house pushing your elephant, and then we proceed upstairs. You and Annie romp around, playing with pill bottles and slamming doors with finger-severing strength. #goodparenting

(The next morning we will find that bottle in the washing machine.)


Dad scrubs you down in the bathtub, and you stick around to play with your stacking cups and duckies. Then it’s up, out, dry, dressed, and onto Duplo construction.


You build towers, and cars, and towers on cars, then back your way into Dad’s lap for a last book or three. A few minutes after 7, well, it’s dark outside and it’s time to go to sleep. We zip you into your sack, give you a pat, and say goodnight. We love you, Paul.

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.

a day in your life

To Paul: this is how you spent the day you turned 1 year old.


You sleep in, more or less, until 7:30, and then hoot that you are ready for pick-up. Normally we give you a bottle immediately, but you are one now, and we are DONE WITH BOTTLES. So I plop you in Annie’s crib, where she tickles you to distract you from your hunger while I remove your sleep sacks, then change your diapers. Dad scoops you up, and we head downstairs for breakfast.

You devour your strawberries and cheese, then play with your tortilla with peanut butter and cup of milk. We open a birthday present from Aunt Peanut and Uncle Dan: it’s balls. You love them. “Ba! Ba! Ba!” you say, and squeal with delight when I toss one your way.

a little more breakfast for the road
a little more breakfast for the road

We roll out the stroller, and you toddle to it and request a buckle. Dad gears up and takes you out for a morning jog. You and Annie and Sous and Dad all trot down to the river and do a loop on the trail with Kalia and the Crowder kids. So many strollers.

Your interest in the phone screen is growing.
Your interest in the phone screen is growing.

Back at home, you play with Annie and I in your room while Dad takes a shower. Sous starts barking up a storm, so we make our laborious way downstairs to meet the grocery delivery.

You walk around the house and have a merry time playing catch. When Annie and I take off for a baby shower, you and Dad head back upstairs for a long game of legos. You push buttons on the talking-puppy toy and boogy along to his songs. At noon, Dad zips you into your sleep sack for a nap.

IMG_20170812_153001 (1)

Around 2:30, you’re ready for action again. You start with a snack of leftover frittata, grated cheese, and milk. Our friends Emily (mom) and Luisa (kid) come over, and you throw balls with the girls while we assemble all our gear and prep for a trip to the pool.

You have the absolute time of your life at the wading pool. It’s the first time you’ve been to this pool since you started to walk, and you delight in trying out this new skill in the water. Unfortunately, you are not calibrated for underwater walking, and your top half tends to outpace your bottom half. So after 3-4 steps, you pitch forward into the water and end up completely submerged until we fish you out, coughing and laughing. You find it hilarious. I almost have a stroke. This happens 15 times, or more.


The lifeguard orders us all out of the pool due to low chlorine levels, so we bounce to the playground. You sit in Dad’s lap and swing for a long time, then romp barefoot around the playground with Annie and Luisa. (We are not in the habit of shoeing you yet.)

You poop, and we lack new diapers, and also it’s 100 degrees, so we head home. You toddle around like mad; at one point we find you industriously scooping water out of Sous’s bowl with a cup and dumping it on the floor. At 5:30 or so, I sit you down to bean and cheese tacos and banana. Annie sings you happy birthday, sort of, rehearsing for your party tomorrow.

We all get in the shower to wash off the pool water and a layer of bean cement from your face. Then it’s into clean diapers, and we half-watch Finding Nemo while you fling yourself around the bed and lure us into general roughhousing.

You like to do a little work on your core while we watch.
You like to work in a few abdominal sets.

By 7:20, you’re pretty sleepy, sucking your thumb and holding still for a blessed minute. We move into the bedroom, and Annie reads us Dog Goes to Nursery School. We sing the goodnight song, and Dad bundles you into your crib. Good night, Paul. Happy Birthday.