Vacuum

Arlo said his first curse word today. Shit. No, I’m not saying shit because he said a curse word- I’m kinda proud actually- but that’s what he said- “shit”- with fantastic pronunciation by the way. I could blame it on his weekend away in Idaho visiting his grandparents- but I think he and I both know it came from an incident this morning- he was starting to fuss and wanted out of his highchair. I told him “Just a minute buddy, I have to clean up all this shit that you threw on the floor.” And then he said “shit”.

It’s a pretty clear cause and effect. I have nobody to blame but myself. It’s funny, a month or two ago I stopped listening to rap around him unless I could find edited versions- I didn’t want Kendrick and Mac to influence his speech- and they didn’t- I did. I’ve been trying to tone it down around him and I don’t really curse too much in front of him- actually, I only realize I do when Kylie is around and her eyes meet mine after I slip- her eyes can say a whole lot- her eyes can curse.

As you might have gathered, Arlo is repeating words now. I wouldn’t call it talking- it’s more like commanding. He points and says “water” (wah wah or awah). Or he points to the fridge and says “cheese” (sheezz). Or he points to the cabinet and says “cracker” (Krah Kah). He says “dada”, “mama”, and “mamee” for Mazzy. He recently started pointing at the moon (Mmnn) and stars (staahs) in the night sky or when noticing them in books. He seems to understand almost everything. I ask him, “Arlo, where’s does the poop go?” “Potty,” he replies, pronouncing it, “pah-yee”. I can tell him to put his diaper in the trash and he either takes it to the bathroom trash can or to the kitchen where it has a 50/50 chance of going into the trash or the recycling. I guess he doesn’t understand everything though- he still throws food on the floor when I tell him not to.

Anyway, he has a whole slew of words and seems to learn ten more everyday- like I said, today we started with four letter words. But he does have a very favorite word right now. That word is “Vacuum”. He says “AcK uUUuum”. And I have to write about it because this one has been around for almost a month now- that’s right- a month. And it’s not just the word that he’s obsessed with- it’s the actual vacuum.

At this point, every morning, just after waking up in his crib he says “Ack uUUuum” and points to the hallway. Our vacuum lives in a tiny closet in the hallway, and since Arlo can’t reach doorknobs yet, he enlists our height to open the door for him. Sometimes he nudges the vacuum out of the closet himself but usually he directs one of us to roll the vacuum to the living room where he can admire it throughout the course of the day. At some point during the day he likes to have it moved into the kitchen, or into his room.

He calls it by name every time he walks by. He might stop and press some buttons or flip some levers. Sometimes he hits it with its own accessories like the brush attachment. But if you tell him to give it a hug he blushes and shyly walks up to it- he sticks out his butt and puts the vacuum between his hands and rests his cheek on the dust reservoir. If we are out and about and and I tell him it’s time to go home he automatically says “Ack uUUuum”- sometimes he follows it with “Mama,” but not always.

Today I walked into his room and he was pretend vacuuming Mazzy with the wand attachment- making the vacuum noise with his mouth. IMG_7203Mazzy didn’t look too appreciative- Arlo does get a little aggressive with that wand sometimes. What’s ironic is that Arlo is actually scared of the vacuum when it is running- so much so that he needs to be picked up or worn in a backpack. Even if I just start walking the power cord over to the outlet he will freak out. It’s quite the complicated relationship.

I don’t know what Arlo’s attraction is to it. Maybe it’s because without the towering handle it’s about the same size as Arlo- it’s short, round, and a little bulky. It does almost look like a robot- kinda like a white R2D2- but Arlo doesn’t even know the concept of a robot yet. I don’t know, maybe Arlo yearns for a sibling so bad he has made up an imaginary one. Hmm… I guess while we are on this topic what a great time to make an announcement…

 

Arlo met his new cousin Desi in September! He was born August 30th. We made the trip to California to meet him when he was about six weeks old. Up until Arlo’s vacuum infatuation he had an infatuation with babies- It took Arlo a few days to warm up to Desi- he was a little scared of him- but very concerned- if Desi was in the same house with Arlo then Arlo would make sure to check on him multiple times to see where he was laying, and then usually just point at him and say “baby”- actually, just like he does with the vacuum. Hmm. I didn’t get permission from Desi’s parents to post a picture of him so I’ll just post a picture that portrays the love between Arlo and his uncle…

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Well, that’s it, just a quick one today- my new goal is to write more posts- but shorter ones- ones that I can start and finish in a nap time. This one fell close to that, but then he woke up, and then I couldn’t get back to it for two days. So we’ll see how it goes.

I was planning to end this post by sharing a lesson I learned recently- I’m not going to tell you what the lesson was now, but I will say it had an accompanying photo of a wall in Arlo’s bedroom. The wall had a three foot vertical streak of poop that led down to a full diaper sitting on the floor. I will spare you the details and the actual image only because I would feel like I have cheated you if I left you with a disturbing picture like that instead of a more relevant one like this…

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Time

Arlo turned fifteen months old yesterday- that’s right, fifteen- One Five. Which isn’t really all that old-  but if you ask me it feels like he’s been around a lot longer. In fact, I honestly don’t remember what my life was like before he was around. I do remember I used to drink a cup of coffee for the first two hours of my morning while looking out the window as the neighbor mowed his lawn (Routine). But what else did I do with my time? Really! What did I do with my time? I used to have a lot of it- like an abundance of it- truckloads of it- like if time was money, then I used to make it rain all day and all night.

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I honestly wish I could go back in time and arrest myself for time mismanagement- or at least punch myself in the throat and tell myself not to be such an idiot with my time. And what’s up with the gold chains I used to wear- what ever happen to those?

Time feels different now- it goes by so fast… but so slow just the same. The day to day seems somewhat monotonous with not much happening but then I look back a week or two and all of a sudden I have a kid that is walking- full on walking and running away from me- Often I look up to see a poop-smeared-bare-ass running away from me in the middle of a diaper change. When did that happen? He used to just lay there and enjoy a change- now he flips and hees and haws and I have to perform a diaper change like I’m a championship midget wrestler- I mean I have to be- the kid is semi-professional now- which makes me a super proud Papa.

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Don’t worry, the tattoo is not real- he just uses it for the show. (No real tattoos until he’s 12 years old- I’m strict on that)

So… um… yeah… thanks for letting me pull you into my gutter fantasy for a moment… but, yeah, he’s walking now- full tilt. I think last time I wrote he was dragging himself around like a sloth- he went from that to some fancy knee crawling for a moment- but then we took him out of town and away from his wheelie bug walkers for a weekend and he just started walking- that was Father’s Day weekend. Now he’s unstoppable- no holds bar.

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Last week I unknowingly gave him his last bottle ever- which I am super sad about. Apparently you are supposed to ween kids off the bottle sometime around now for the sake of their growing teeth. Anyway, we went out of town for a long weekend and disrupted our usual bottle routine so he didn’t have one for a few days- which meant it was a good time to just continue the absence of the bottle. Unfortunately, for me, it was my favorite time of the day (except for nap time). It was the one time that him and I could curl up together on the couch- He’d calm down and we’d quietly cuddle while he drank his warm bottle before nap time. Sometimes if I was lucky he would fall asleep on me. Gone now are those days and I didn’t even get to say goodbye. (Insert tear here)

He’s just growing up so fast! (insert another tear here)

He’s even actively communicating now. We’ve been teaching him American Sign Language since he was around nine months old and in the past couple months he has started signing back. He started out saying “more” (which for him just means ‘I want’). His signing vocabulary has expanded to water, airplane, milk, strawberry, cheese, bird, nap time, food/eat, and he signed “dog” today. He signs fishy to me when he wants sardines- his all time favorite food. If prompted, he can also point to his belly, his noggin and Mazzy- and if he’s hanging out with his pants off he can point to his peener- I don’t know who taught him that.

Don’t worry though, he’s not any kind of super child though. He still shits his pants on a regular basis- often twice a day. He also has a terribly annoying scream when he is not getting what he wants. He is horrible at car rides and he turns into a bowed wooden plank when I am trying to put him in his carseat. When he has a tooth coming in he can be a real whiney pain in the ass. And to top it off, sometimes he wakes up with boogers stuck to his forehead. So he still has some work to do.

IMG_5541-ANIMATION.gifI don’t know what else to say. His favorite thing to do right now is to walk through the garden and pick ripe strawberries and raspberries- in fact, we were just visiting his grandparents in Idaho and he had a wonderful time picking huckleberries with them. He also loves to terrorize Mazzy. He likes to hang out and look at books- His favorite right now is Cuddly Dudley. He likes to dance to music and clap his hands. He’s becoming something real now, not just a baby that does baby things, but a toddler that does toddler things. He’s becoming a real boy… and it’s happening so fast.

 

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