Summer's Finally Here!

Marcus has been entirely out of diapers for three weeks now. I get a bit nervous about extended playground jaunts, but everything has been great. At home, he even gets offended if we offer to go to the bathroom with him--"I go pee all by myself! I big boy! I don't need any help!"--and no, he doesn't need any help at all. He sometimes doesn't remember to put his pants back on afterward, though (underwear, yes, always; pants, no, it's hit or miss), so he might run out to greet Robert at the end of the day without pants. "Where are your pants?" Robert asks. Marcus seems surprised, and has to think about this one: "Maybe probably I take them off. Actually yes, I take them off!" he says, thinking it through.

He had his end-of-the-year evaluation and parent-teacher conference at daycare, where they informed me that he is getting better at hopping on one foot, though he still isn't confident enough to want to do it on his own; that he can recognize some letters and numbers but is very insistent on how they're formed (he prefers the number "1" with the tip and foot, for example, vs. a plain line, and will argue that the simple line is not a "1" at all); that he is very comfortable at the center and very interested when the routine changes, asking lots of "why" questions because he's genuinely curious; that he's very empathetic and always concerned if another child hurts him or herself, and really wants to bond with other children in general, and is getting really good at going up to another child and joining in his or her play; and that he's getting better at verbalizing his needs and wants, and will now say, "I don't like that!" if someone else pushes him or takes a toy, and cross his arms and frown to back up his words with body language. None of this is news to us, of course, but it's very cute and funny to sit there in a conference and hear.

We had a fabulous Memorial Day weekend. First we spent a very hot, sticky Friday at the Children's Museum with Sarah, Sean, and their friends E., N., A., and L. Marcus loved playing with A. (5 years old) and L. (2 years old), and all of them had a good time at dim sum afterward. Then on Saturday, after seeing Helena and stopping at the H-Mart for a case of mangoes and a $3 watermelon (which I was very tempted to put in my sling, since Robert was sitting in the car with sleeping Marcus while I ran in), we joined Sarah, Sean, and the gang at Kimball Farm for Sean's birthday celebration. We tried out hands at bumper boats, which Marcus had a ball at; batting cages, where Marcus even tried his hand at the super slow pitch; and mini-golf, where I had to abandon the course in a mosquito-bite-induced panic midway through, but since three small boys were running around our holes moving everyone's balls, it's not like we were really playing competitively anyway. Below you can see that even the small helmet was, sadly, a bit too big for baby. . . .

Robert, Marcus, and I split a hot dog plate, fried shrimp plate, and side of corn on the cob for dinner, and Marcus ate about eight fried shrimp--all before ice cream, mind you. We had a great evening. Below you see A. and Marcus climbing up on a big rock near the picnic table we ate at; A., as the son of a photographer, knows how to pose. Marcus took a cue from him.

On Sunday, Stu and Rachel came over, since they were visiting Boston for the weekend from NY, and we had a nice dinner and then sat around and talked on the deck until midnight. On Monday, Marcus got to play with his good friend Alex ("and her mommy and her daddy and her baby sister!"), and they spent ages at the sand and water table on the roof, getting soaked and removing various articles of wet clothing, until at last we came down into the air conditioning for the rest of the day.

This weekend, we had a going away party for Tim and Christine, who are heading out to Ohio in the near future. We will miss them so much! I actually got all of our old Bible study who is still local to come--Sarah (and Sean), Debbie (and Chris), Ben (and Ruthie and kids), David (and Jing Jing), and Karen. We had a really nice sunny Sunday afternoon. Ben Swilling grilled for me on the roof, since Robert--on a train back from NY at his 20th Hunter reunion--was delayed by a broken train, tow train, replacement train, etc. Marcus loved playing with L. (who taught him how to "pose"--he's shirtless again, by the way, because he spilled something on his shirt and then fastidiously refused to put it or a replacement on) and petting Tim and Christine's baby's head.

We also had some nice days out together, just quietly around the city--church, nursery (Marcus loves the bathroom in the nursery room), subways, buses (once we got on a 1 bus and were serenaded by a guy who pulled a muted trumpet out from his jacket; Marcus yelled, "HE HAS AN INSTRUMENT!" and cheered wildly after "When the Saints" and "What a Wonderful World," before sadly it was our stop all too soon). Now, ahead of us, June holds so many more exciting things--a visit this week from cousins John and Emmy, Aunt Jen, and Grandma Judy, and then a trip to Minnesota to celebrate Angelina's wedding!

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Created: 6/5/11. Last Modified: 6/5/11.