Happy Birthday, Tristan!

How is it possible that you are three already? How is it possible that my life has changed SO much in three short years?

We had a birthday party for you yesterday, your first real party with friends and presents and chaos, and I don’t know whether it was you, your friends or the grown-ups who had the better time. Since our house is barely big enough for two boys let alone eight, we had your party at Cosmic Adventures, where you and your crazy boy brethren could run your little hearts out. And run you did!

I knew you were having a good time, because you were glowing and grinning and your eyes were just dancing with glee as you led a little pack of preschoolers through the maze of tubes, tunnels and slides. Since you are not quite old enough to run off on your own, or perhaps because your mother hasn’t quite gotten over the fact that you are a big boy now, either your daddy or I or one of the other grown-ups tried to keep up with you and your pals as you raced through tubes. Tried to keep up, because you little guys sure move quickly! My bruised knees and aching hips are a testament to the fact that I’m not as young as I used to be!

I think you and your brother both liked the ball pits the best. Leaping and throwing and making a mess are all perfectly acceptable in the ball pit, so what’s not to love?

After calming down just a little bit for cake and presents, you were off and running again. I knew you were tired, though, by the glaze in your eyes as you started to open your presents, and the fact that when you went to say thank you for the presents (which you did sometimes even without me prompting you, you gracious little man, you!) you scanned the crowd of adult faces with incomprehension, unable to pick out the person you were looking for in a sea of familiar faces.

Happy birthday, my gorgeous, smart, sweet and lovable Tristan. You make my world a wonderful place in a thousand ways every day. You make me happy, you make me crazy, you make me cry, and you make me proud to be your mommy. I love you!


Hedgehogs and jingle bells

I love words. I love to talk, to write, to read. I could spend hours playing in the reference books – dictionary, thesaurus, encyclopedia, I love them all. I have to make a conscious effort not to go to get sucked into the many online reference tools I have bookmarked, as I could easily spend an entire day just following one link or another through words, etymologies, linguistic histories. Words rock!

And now, in my very own house I have two living language projects that I find even more interesting (is it possible?) than the online reference tools. Watching the boys learn to speak and to use language fascinates me. Tristan was an early talker, Simon not so much… but then, it’s hard to get a word in edgewise between Tristan and I! Tristan has been talking so well and for so long, it’s very strange to go back and watch the videos of him at 11 and 12 months when he was nonverbal. A Tristan who doesn’t talk? Inconceivable!

He still has a couple of language peccadillos that make us laugh. He inverts words occassionally, so when we walk the dog he tells me, “You have to pick up the poop dogs, mommy. Poop dogs, look at those poop dogs.” Actually, I think he’s onto something there!

Last fall, we were at the park and we found some pinecones. “Do you know what these are?” I asked.

“Hot dogs,” Tristan replied, to my surprise. He knows very well what hot dogs are (a little too well, perhaps, but that’s a blog for another day), and although I’m not the world’s greatest chef, and my hot dogs really don’t resemble pinecones. It was only many days later, and after many trips to the park where he repeatedly told me they were in fact hot dogs that I realized he was saying “hedgehogs.” Ahhhhh! Well, at least that makes more sense than hot dogs.

The one that really tickles me is the fact that he calls Homer Simpson “jingle bells.” I have not even the faintest clue as to why. Since well before Christmas, every time he sees a picture of Homer, he says, “Look Mommy, jingle bells.” We don’t watch the Simpsons regularly anymore, and certainly don’t watch it with him around. I can only imagine what was in his head the myriad times we sang “Jingle Bells” in over the holidays.