Contact Daniel

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Note (or Warning) to the Babysitters

Me basking in the love

When Mimi and GongGong are here, mommy and abba become chopped liver. Not only do Mimi and GongGong forget they exist, but so do Lucas and I. In fact, Lucas who can say and correctly identify "mommy" now, will unabashedly spurn her in favor of GongGong when they retrieve Lucas from school. When she tried to take him, Lucas says "No, no, no" and shakes his head emphatically while smacking her outstretched arms.

This is something that GongGong brags about incessantly and with great - almost insufferable - pride. I also use this time to bask in grandparental attention, taking full of advantage of Mimi and GongGong's presence. Ice cream - bring it on! Extra Veggie Tales time - yes! Twelve-course meals - bon appetit to us! And all sorts of other spoilers.

Of course we still lavish our attention upon mommy and abba at late-night and pre-dawn hours, so that they don't feel left out.

But this sense of favoritism for our grandparents has inspired our parents that they can just leave! Accordingly they are fully confident we will be safe and sound with MM and GG while they flit off to a foreign land. Hmph!


...and never proven guilty!

So while mommy compiled a list of phone numbers and instructions for MM&GG, I too created my own list for the babysitters - The Baby's Lists of Warnings for Wary Babysitters.

In no particular order (and certainly not comprehensive!):
  1. Lucas is fast - faster than you think. Lose sight of him for a split second and shelves will be emptied or items will be tossed into the toilet bowl.
  2. I have reverted to a stage in life where I must lick everything in sight. So be careful where you sit - it might be wet. 
  3. Hunger sets in fast and furious. Be prepared for sudden and unreasonable meltdowns when the food isn't instantly ready.
  4. Do not wear white.
  5. Remember, a one-on-one or two-on-two ratio of adult to baby gives the baby an unfair advantage. One adult to two babies stands not a chance. Try to keep the odds in your favor.
  6. Try to learn to read minds. We prefer that you anticipate our needs beforehand and that you interpret our desires expressed in the form of crying and whining.
  7. We do not play with toys, but nice try getting us interested. 
  8. Lucas has only two speeds: zero and full throttle. I have only two volumes: loud and louder.
  9. We like all foods except when we are picky. Picky seasons occur at our whim, are unpredictable and sometimes change within the day itself.
  10. In the morning, do not be surprised if our room looks like a war zone, with all of our bedding flung onto the floor. That only indicated a good night sleep and an exuberant wake up!
We've already been breaking them in. MM&GG have been privy to our erratic meltdowns and our destructive tendencies including the following photos: Mimi's ripped necklace by yours truly and a broken shelf courtesy of Lucas. 

Example of Destruction 1: Ripped necklace 
Example of Destruction 2: Broken shelf
Buon viaggio, abba and mommy! Good luck Mimi and GongGong!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Return of Mimi and GongGong - and Larry and Bob!

They're baaaack!

And I was there to greet them!

Lucas was in shock as MM&GG emerged from the iPad!

And with the return of Mimi and GongGong came many other fun items. For example, the best bedsheets EVER!! 

A life-size Larry!

I will sleep in peace - and joy!

Sheer ecstacy

We couldn't contain ourselves

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Who's That Girl?

As we spoke about in the previous post, Lucas has a lot of words that he throws out there on a regular basis. He correctly recognizes most of the significant people in his life including GongGong and Mimi, Nanni (which he frequently chants as well, we don't know why). He even started pointing out Uncle Matt after just one day in the same state of the same country! He has been calling abba for months now. And of course he knows Yours Truly as well, and affectionately calls me Nyeh-nyeh.

But there is one whom he fails to call anything. One has to wonder if Lucas thinks to himself, who is this random woman in my life who arrives crib side when I cry at ungodly hours of the morning. And who is this random woman who feeds me on demand when I whine?

I watch with awe as Lucas ticks off vegetable characters and distant relatives with ease, but he can't even figure out who "mommy" is! And she is, without a doubt, a significant part of his life. So why does he name everything else, but she remains nameless?

In fact, its not that he can't say "mommy" or "ima" (mom in Hebrew) or "mama" - or anything remotely related with a maternal figure. He readily says "mam-mam" which means "FEED ME NOW! I AM HUNGRY!" And he spent a few weeks calling balloons "mama" for some unknown reason, even though the "b" sound is not a challenge for him.

So he can say mama.

Its just that he has no idea what "that woman's" name is when it comes to our very own mommy! Now how does it happen that the person he sees most in his life and looks to for comfort and food - and when he is about to do something naughty - is the only one he hasn't labeled? Even though he recognizes her across a room, he draws a blank when it comes to her name.

"GongGong" - check!

"Nanni" - check!

"Uncle Matt" & "Aunt Majda" - check!

"Daniel" - check!
Mommy tries not to take it personally, but it is a tad baffling that smarty pants can't find something to call his own mother. Maybe someday soon. Sorry mommy!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

To-MAY-to vs. To-MAH-to

Here's how it goes around here as we babies continue to strive to replace our own secret language and learn yours.

Up until now, my motto has been taken directly - and wisely I believe - from the holy scriptures: "Let your words be few" (Ecclesiastes 5:2). And so I abide by that command and limit my actual words while still managing to get my point across with all the emotions a baby can muster. My holiness obviously rivals my humility.

Lucas, being less spiritual than I, speaks about a million words. He is a copycat through and through. He mimics words and sounds and even makes up new ones while he is at it such as dehdoodah. What does it even mean?

Such a copycat is Lucas that when I had to take antibiotics (via a syringe) last week, mommy and abba had to administer "placebo antibiotics" (ie apple juice) to Lucas at the same time otherwise he threw a fit supposing he was missing out on the best thing ever in the world.

As if it is hard enough to spit out words forward, Lucas speaks them backwards as well! For instance, "hug" is "guh"! Brilliant, little brother!

As we move from our secret baby language, where only Lucas and I truly understood one another, to attempt acceptable human speech in a smattering of languages, we still get confused with our own personal definitions of words.

Daniel: Cat = anything with four legs and fur, usually said in double - catcat

Lucas: Puppy = anything with four legs and fur (except for "panda" which he walks around chanting at times fore reasons we know not

Lucas also roams the home chanting "Larry, Larry" (which actually sounds like "Rarry") in honor of Veggie Tales. For that, and that only, he suddenly takes on a falsetto voice. Again, reasons unknown.

Here are some videos of my doing some King's Speech therapy. Be prepared to be impressed.

"Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few."
Ecclesiastes 5:2

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Laughter = Best Medicine

My smile and I - still ticking

Two years and counting! Today is the second anniversary of my heart surgery. I'm a dazzling success story with a scar as a trophy to prove it. Kudos to my esteemed surgeon, Erez Eldad, who also secured the bright futures of my friends Hallel and Ephraim. You can read about those gory moments here and here and here.

Mommy and abba also claim to have scars from that day and actually celebrated the two-year mark with a bottle of Moscato this evening. I didn't get any though!

Pretty in pink? Lucas doesn't think so!

Purple belly shirt. Hm, not my color (or size)

What is the secret to my success and my healthy heart? Laughter! That's why moments such as these wardrobe malfunctions in the photos above keep us ticking. Both of them illustrate what happens when mommy doesn't provide the people at day care with a change of clothes in the event of mishaps.

And the following videos (take your pick or watch all 5, it is up to  you) show Lucas and I in our daily regimen of laughter/screamfests. I guarantee an upswing in your own health after you watch these - you'll probably be laughing too!