March 2011


He can sort of sing the alphabet these days--it takes him longer than almost everyone else, and he still abridges it somewhat, but it resembles the real thing: ABCD 123 NOMP QRS double-vee S Y and Z, now ABCs, next won't you sing them with me. He can also pick lots of letters out on signs; he'll proudly point out "his" letter ("That one my M!") but can do lots of others too. Linguistically, he still avoids the copula but he's starting to get do-support: he uses "don't" often, "do" in wh-questions, and sometimes an emphatic do ("I DO see it!"); he sometimes gets the tags wrong (I'll say, "I'm sorry, I don't have that," and he'll respond, "Yes, you are!"); he uses the word "people" as both singular and plural ("Mommy, why that people sit there next you?"); he uses "way" as an intensifer, as in "No way!" but in other contexts too (if we say, "Marcus, do you want a banana?" he'll answer emphatically, "Yes, WAY!"); he's a master of contrastive stress ("That one URS [yours, pronounced like the first syllable in Ursa Major], that one not MINE!"); he tends to use "maybe" as a marker of the future tense rather than to show a certain degree of probability ("Maybe Mommy go take the laundry out there next.") and "last night" as a marker of any day or night in the past ("Last night see that that car almost bump that fence and school bus trying get by!"); he makes most verbs transitive ("Look that, Mommy!"; "Wait me, Daddy!"), except for "think," which has become a phrasal verb ("Think so that baby wa-wa his mommy?" he narrates while watching the movie Babies); and he makes really long, complicated utterances, carries on normal conversations with other two-year-olds, and will answer any question put to him with absolute certainty ("Guess what, Marcus?" we say; "Yes!" he says).

We had some fun times this month--brunch at Sugar in Roslindale (super tasty; Marcus loved the waffle and cranberry juice) plus the Roslindale train museum spring open house (er, they should call it the spring MAD HOUSE--it was crazy crowded, almost to the point of claustrophobia, and Marcus wouldn't have been able to see a thing without the sling. Babywearing saves the day!) plus playtime at Sean and Sarah's house afterward.

A couple weeks later it was Sarah's birthday, and we celebrated with a potluck brunch at our place. She got some "help" blowing out her candles from G. and Marcus. Debbie brought an athletic spirit to the event by arriving after having run an actual (St. Patrick's-day-themed) race. Marcus napped on my lap for almost two hour while Sarah and Debbie and I talked ("How can he sleep through the three of you yelling?" Robert asked incredulously, but yeah, my baby's a good sleeper), and then after the nap, Marcus, Sean, and Robert paid homage to Debbie's athleticism by playing a little soccer at Titus Sparrow Park since it was a gorgeously sunny day.

We also went to Arlington (exciting 87 and 77 bus lines) for O's fifth birthday party at a fun local gym. It was an amazing dinosaur-themed party with cake crumbles ("dirt," below) that the kids got to eat ("excavate") with spoons ("shovels"). Big Joe the storyteller was there, and Marcus had a great time laughing along with the four- and five-year-olds. On the way to the party, Robert and I got a rare lunch date, at the Indian buffet at Diva in Davis Square--Marcus zonked out as soon as we got on the T, slept through the trip to Somerville and all of lunch, and woke up just in time for the party.

Another day, on our way from seeing Helena in Lynn to Burlington for a trip to the H-Mart, we stopped off at Tim and Christine's to see their gorgeous new baby M. just when she was two weeks old. Marcus loved seeing the baby ("That one baby sister?" he asked) and was very gently stroking the top of her hair until Tim said, "Hey, you can just grab her hand!" Marcus, surprised, looked at him for a split second to see if he was serious (he was, though he perhaps wasn't aware of how literal two-year-olds are), and then did actually "grab" at her hand while Robert and I yelled "Nooooooo!" and lunged at him. No lasting harm was done, and Tim might have even learned something for the future! While I chatted with Christine, Marcus then played with Tim's toys, including a great remote-controlled robot (below).

Toward the end of the month, we got to see Dr. Wiseman (an amazingly cool woman in science who works on the Hubble Project, and who was the inspiration for the professor character in the "Curious George" books) preach on science and worship at Park Street. Afterwards, we had brunch with Sarah and Sean (scrambled eggs with ketchup? how had we hidden this vehicle for ketchup from Marcus for so long?), then hung out in Coolidge Corner while Marcus napped in a sling, and then went to Valentina's baby shower. Marcus played with Lukas for most of the time quite happily, but there was also a month-old baby in attendance, and Marcus did get to "help" when the baby's mom changed his diaper ("He's just sitting on the floor next to them saying, 'Whatcha doin, baby?" Olga reported in wonder).

Even though the middle of the month was warming up, the end of March brought more cold, sunny days. On one of them, we took the bus into JP to meet an online friend and her 3.5-year-old and three-month-old daughters. Marcus really liked playing with the big girl's dollhouse, and we all got lunch from El Oriental de Cuba (cubanos for the moms, rice and beans for the toddlers).

The low point of this month at first seemed to be a hasty mid-day trip to the doctor when he fell off the jungle gym at school and cut his lip both from the inside (teeth) and the outside (ground) and the daycare was worried he'd need stitches (he didn't--in fact, the nurse on call almost laughed us out of her office when she saw Marcus playing and chatting happily while we waited). But no, the real low point of the month turned out to be when he got what we eventually determined to be poison ivy/oak/sumac/variant on our only sunny, warm-ish day (during my spring break) all over his left leg (inner and outer thigh and knee) and back above his diaper; the itchiness made him not his normal happy self for a few days, but he has since bounced back.

Robert's been out of town a lot for work in the past month or so, so all Daddy-time has been precious. Here they frolic in the bath, eat donuts at a Polish-donut-shop in Salem, watch TV, play on the giant ball, and play baseball together. Marcus is getting to be quite the little sportsman, though wood bread-knife hockey, with pieces of Melissa and Doug fruit, and plastic frying pan ball (he holds the tennis ball and hits it himself) are also spontaneous around-the-house hits.

Last week he started the next level of swimming class, "Twos in Training," which starts with Robert in the pool with him and then weans him off Robert and just into a group lesson with the instructor. We figured since he's been great about taking directions when swimming in the bathtub that this would be a good time to start "real" swimming lessons. When he's three he can take private lessons, just him and an instructor, one afternoon a week at the pool, and since it's literally just across the street from his daycare and I won't have to change into a bathing suit or actually get into the pool, I think they'll be a hit. The lesson this week went well, though at first he wasn't thrilled with the idea of his bathing suit being wet. He waded in, felt it get wet, lifted it up like a skirt and waded back out. No crying, just determination. Robert was at a loss until a little girl came up, took Marcus's hand, and announced that they were walking in together--Izzy, from school, just happened to be in the same class! After this, the lesson went well.

During my spring break he stayed at the daycare while I got some work done, but I did take Wednesday off for us to go to the Boston Babywearers at MIT. Marcus kept tabs on everyone ("Mommy, why that baby crying in her stroller?" Uh, maybe because the mom doesn't know how to pick her up and wear her yet, honey. . .) and played a pretty raucous game of ball with a four-year-old boy there; the four-year-old wasn't thrilled at playing with Marcus, but since it was Marcus, an eighteen-month-old girl, an eleven-month-old crawler, or a bunch of newborns, he lived with it. We had lunch at the Middle Eastern place in the food court on the second floor of the student center, Marcus devouring a whole kebob.

Toward the end of the month, Asma came to Boston for a day to both guest-lecture in one of my classes and visit and chat, and we got to go to Cane's with her for a late lunch and order Thai take-out for dinner. "More noodle please!"

Alphabet singing, first on his own (partial) and then with me (full):

Playing baseball with Sean pitching, and playing at O's party:


Playing basketball and then soccer with Robert and Sean:


Eats some cake batter and vacuums up spilled raw rice for me:

Playing with J.:


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Created: 3/29/11. Last Modified: 3/29/11.