Marcus turned 21 months old the day we got back from India, which also happened to be my parents' 50th wedding anniversary. We got to spend a couple days in NY visiting with them and Aunt Mary (and eating good food--yummy Korean fried chicken, Filipino barbeque, and homemade lamb chops with bok choy and a lemon custard cake with strawberries) before heading back to Boston, school, daycare, and work.
This month Marcus got much better at jumping--in place, off curbs, off bottom steps, etc.--and also discovered the joys of walking on those low walls around planters, playgrounds, and other places. He'll jump off a wall or a high bench if you hold his hands--he sways, bends his knees, and really leans into the jump, and then he has a great, Olympic-worthy landing stance. We had a lot of nice playground days, including one Turkish kebab picnic in a Brookline one, and a really fun afternoon at Carter's playground, the closest to our house at half a block away. They even have a (basic) sprinkler in the summer--we will definitely be going back.
We also managed to survive the crazy three-day-long boil-water order in Boston after a water main in the area broke; for us, the order meant no baths for baby, since he always drinks the tub water, and what Robert called my pioneer-woman-will-provide-for-her-family mode for me, with pitchers and containers of boiled water at the ready. I thought it was kind of fun, really, though a lot of other people panicked and stressed about it (and ironically, tests taken during the emergency but not confirmed until later revealed that the water was indeed just as safe to drink, all along, as it normally is).
On the first Sunday in May, we spent a lovely long day at the Harvard Square Mayfair Festival with Bob--Marcus spent part of the time up in my linen mei tai, but he walked around on his own whenever it wasn't crowded. I don't know how those stroller-babies sleep at night--our excellent walking baby burns energy, gets exercise, and is never going to be fat. Plus, he has more fun moving under his own power, and he listens when we tell him not to go into the street alone and to hold our hands when crossing.
I treated the week after classes ended as a little bit of a vacation week for me. On Tuesday of that week, I took Marcus to the Arnold Arboretum with the Isis babies; we sat in the shade on a grassy hill near the lilacs and let the babies run down the hill, play ball, and draw on the path with sidewalk chalk. While we picnicked, a busload of Russian senior citizens came by to admire the lilacs, and instead ended up ignoring the trees in favor of our babies, who definitely made a big hit. Then on Wednesday, I went to my first-ever La Leche League meeting, near Davis Square, and then met Natalie and Frankie and Maria and Isabelle at the fountain at the Christian Science Pavilion for the kids to sit and splash around a little. There were two Berklee School of Music students near us, enjoying the sun and playing their guitars and singing, and it was just a gorgeous day. On Thursday, I took Marcus on the 450 bus ("Bus! Bus!" Marcus kept yelling, as he spotted yet another bus around us) from Haymarket to Lynn to see Robert's grandmother; the bus doesn't run frequently (every hour or less often during the middle of the day), but it was shockingly convenient even given the sparing schedule--it really goes to just four blocks from Helena's house, and the whole trip there--including walking to the subway, taking the Orange Line to Haymarket, arriving in enough time to wait for the bus, jumping off benches while waiting for the bus, riding the bus, then walking from the bus to her house--took just about an hour and a half exactly. There was enough variety in it that Marcus had fun on the way over and slept on the way back. It's good he got his rest then, though, because Thursday afternoon was my department's end-of-the-year party. Marcus had a great time. There was a big baby who was just nine months ("Baby! Baby!" Marcus kept informing us, while pointing), one who was sixteen months, Marcus, and then a little girl who had just turned three. Marcus mostly followed her around, adoringly--he loves slightly older children, especially girls--and occasionally tried to feed cheese duck crackers to her.
At right, you see Marcus and Daddy being silly on a suitcase in the dining room. Robert thinks they'd make a killer bobsled team.
Marcus is learning multiple new words a day. In New York, Pop-Pop (his favorite player there, for sure--he loves going with him to take out the trash or walk down to the lobby, and his first word every morning as soon as he wakes up is "Bop-Bop!") said Marcus had stinky feet--Marcus giggled and repeated "stinky!" He also informs us when he has a dirty diaper, by pulling at his pants and saying "dirty!" and when he's tired, by signing "sleep" and saying "bed? bed?" and taking us by the hand and leading us over to his bed if we don't move quickly enough. Robert says it's only a matter of time until Marcus is a better listener and conversationalist than he is.
Marcus also got his first haircut this month. His hair wasn't long so much as out-of-control curly/knotted, so fine it was hard to keep it neat, so we broke down and had it cut. While we were in NY, before leaving for India, we went to Ella's Unisex Hair Salon on Main Street in Flushing (over near Queens College), where the haircut cost $8 and no one batted an eye over cutting the hair of a sleeping (and I do mean soundly sleeping) baby in a sling. Below you see two before and two during shots.
Finally, here are two movies for you--a long one of the haircut (the full nine minutes--Robert got super sentimental about the occasion and couldn't stop documenting it) and a short one of Marcus playing with Pop-pop.