It’s just 9:30am and Jonah’s already on a long stretch of quiet time, earned by throwing a heavy laptop toy (and his juice) at me as we were getting in the car to go see train. And yesterday he launched himself, kicking and scratching, at our awesome babysitter; luckily she had been taught a “hold” to keep them both safe. Andy knows these holds too, having worked for more than a decade as a teacher at a small school for emotionally disturbed kids. I don’t know the holds and need to learn them.
It is Monday, the first day of my week-long vacation from work; tomorrow morning we leave for Cape Cod, back on Friday. I am frightened and tired and numb – oh my – and feeling like the only good thing is Jonah’s in his room safely and I can write a little bit to ease myself out of this state of mind where nothing about this feels like vacation.
But I don’t want to talk about these things – not here, not today. I believe what you focus on expands and so I will focus on something else; I will tell you about Jonah’s adventures yesterday, pre-flip-out-on-the-babysitter.
He asked for Russro Park, which has trails and woods behind it. I knew he wanted to run into the woods and toward a big mound of dirt where he likes to play. Andy and I both took him, which is kind of rare – usually only one of us takes him out, so the other one can have a break. As I predicted, Jonah wanted the forest. While he played on and around his dirt mound, Andy and I fashioned spears from small branches and played javelin-throw into a sandy area. We goofed off, Andy channeling Thundarr the Barbarian, shaking two branch-spears and grunting cave-man style. Me teach you, woman, how to kill bear. My wussily-thrown spears clunked horizontally to the ground, killing only my ego and maybe an ant or two.
Jonah, in the meantime, had discovered a small embankment where he could slide down the dirt to a level of forest maybe 5 feet lower. This dirt-slide became his own personal woodland playground for the next half hour or so. He tossed great handfuls of sappy pine cones and moss-covered sticks about, laughing the whole time. He rolled in the dirt; bathed in the dirt; became one with the dirt – until he was completely layered in it, brown flour coating the baking-sheet of his body. “Okay, boo, 5 minutes!” I called over to him.
“More stay here!” he shouted back, panic in his voice. Andy shrugged. We stayed a while longer. Jonah came over to where I was playing with sticks and stones in the dirt and asked for my bottle of water, which I let him take to his play-spot. Minutes later I realized my mistake. He’d taken the top off and poured the water over himself and the ground, making a big, fat, muddy mess of himself. Now it was really time to leave…do not pass go…directly to the bathtub. “More stay here!” he protested again…but even he must have known it was time to get cleaned up, for he capitulated nicely and we returned home for a marathon bath session.
When he was dry he came to me, asking “camwa? camwa?” I thought he wanted to see this train video I’d taken – so I set it up, started the video, and handed the camera to him. But he handed it back to me and said “say cheese!” Maybe he wants to take a picture or two.
I grossly underestimated his interest. He took probably 200 pictures, in rapid succession, giggling “say cheese!” to me, to the dresser, to the mirror, to the bed, to the ceiling. Here are my favorites:
So maybe his new thing is photography. I’ll be damned if I’ll let him break my camera, though, so I’ll set him up with the Fisher-Price digital camera my mom gave him a year or two ago.
I am continually frustrated by my inability to photograph anything with success, but I like taking pictures too. If you really want to see some kick-ass photography, just check out my cousin’s photo blog. (She’s got some pics of Jonah there too).
So maybe we’ll have lots of beach pictures taken by Jonah when I post next, probably on Friday. And maybe I’ll have good news to report – maybe we had fun, maybe the weather was perfect, maybe the beaches were open for business — and maybe Jonah got through it all without attacking anybody or screaming penis! to the sunbathing beauties and leather-tanned fishermen and screeching seagulls.