mommy had her first hemp yesterday. it does not seem to be friends with coffee, preferring, instead, to sequester itself to the lower layer of the mug and only coming to the surface with vigorous and creative swirling.
oliver's been engaged for about a month now in some kind of baby renaissance. i can't even keep track of all the fancy things he comes up with these days. he's finally started saying an indisputable "daddy". he'll even say "hi daddy" when brian comes home from work. my name is usually something like "moooom" when he feels he's being tortured in one of the many ways he feels we torture him. i'm still not completely convinced it's me he's referring to, especially since he's been accidentally saying "mama" off and on since four months. i'm just omnipresent like some kind of maternal god, thereby requiring no name. i just am.
anyway, he learned two especially fancy tricks yesterday. he had managed to pull himself up on to the couch a couple of times last week by hanging on to my pants. yesterday, i came out of the kitchen to see him sitting on the middle of the couch playing with his booster chair. it was one of those "hooray! oh nooooo" moments because babies have this tendency to figure out how to get themselves into situations a bit before figuring out how to get themselves out of situations safely. fast forward a couple of hours to the thud i heard from the kitchen created, brian said, from oliver unsafely dismounting from the couch.
trick #2 consists of figuring out how to unlatch and then open the living room window. this is the same window that is one foot off the floor, two stories off the ground, and married to a window screen that is prepared to divorce with no more provocation than a cat sitting next to it. that bitch already has one of her four feet sticking out the door. that's what i get for moving the baby pen from in front of the window (thereby keeping him away from it) over to the other side of LR1 so that we're not quite as dominated by babytown. he immediately took that as his cue to begin standing on the windowsill. i tried wedging a little wooden dowel on top of the window so that he couldn't push it open, but he just climbed up on the windowsill and started troubleshooting until he discovered it. fortunately, he hasn't figured out how to work it free yet, but all he really has to do is swivel it until it disappears into some mysterious alternative window dimension like i managed to do with another wooden dowel. poof. gone.
bonus trick #3: saturday, i was walking with him to the car to get out his stroller for a quick walk. brian was off in carrollton with my old lover acquired at the age of 19, my television (the one that died january of 2006 after many long, hard hours of devoted service). he was at a special recycling event at a high school because no one anywhere wants to recycle your tv for you. a student standing next to a television mountain told him it costs $20 to recycle. brian was peeved because it wasn't on their website and he drove away to find an ATM. when he came back, he tried to give his $20 to an adult only to hear it costs nothing to recycle the tv. busted! what a little bastard. so oliver and i came out the foyer door into the courtyard and, instead of turning left down the sidewalk, he took off straight across the grass and didn't stop until he reached joann's porch step at which point he began waving and saying "hi". i knew joann would tear her face off to know she had missed it. but oliver was feeling generous and upon our return, he did a repeat performance and joann ran out with a cardboard egg carton and started inventing the egg carton hat game and the egg carton acorn holder game. and then brian showed up so we could go away and look for nonexistent shoes for me and clothes for the baby at old navy.
yesterday, oliver did it again and joann and robert both ran out and robert said things we didn't understand, per the usual. he might have asked again if "she" likes dogs, because that's his new question every time we run into him. we peeled ourselves away to go targetting and to try to go to victory park, but we couldn't locate the greenspace we thought was supposed to be there and all the new buildings which have sprung from the virgin ground in the last several years were kind of freaking me out like we had driven straight off the dallas map and into who-knows-where town. anyway, i'm starting to get the impression that our leaving the house ritual is about to get a lot more involved than the marionette-like baby dance down the stairs and the where's-mommy-'s-car scavenger hunt leg of the trip.
i don't think i can ever go back to the duck pond. we went twice last week and it was awesome because oliver would just nap the whole time and i could sit on that bench overlooking the pond and the fountain and a thousand inhabitants of duck city. but, as i sat there reading, something caught my peripheral vision. i looked up and there, at the edge of the water, was A SNAKE slithering through the water and i sat up immediately as if preparing to flee, but instead found myself bolted down thinking it might be wiser to hold out and gather more information so i can fight smarter in the future and it kept swimming out and got to the middle of a leg of the pond and paused and i thought "oh shit it's coming back!" and it looked around and then continued on its trajectory to this low-hanging tree whereupon it tried to raise itself out of the water and i saw the yellow streak of its slithering underbelly and i almost passed out and maybe it went up into the tree, i don't know. and then i hightailed it out of there thinking everything i saw was one of its brethren or sistren and i'm totally surprised i didn't have a million nightmares and brian was no help when i got a hold of him on my cell in order to regurgitate my fear out of me because i forgot he's one of those freak snake lovers. but he won't touch one of his son's own boogers.
then, the next day, i was walking with the baby through the Grand Hall of the condos to my car and we were almost to the end when i saw what i thought was one of the stray cats and i was working up the breath to say "look oliver there's a cat" when i met its eyes and realized it was that possum again and for a second, i said "oh shit" and the possum looked at me and it said "oh shit" and it turned immediately and hightailed it back into some bushes.
it's practically animal kingdom around here.