Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Thursday, January 27, 2005


I’m sick. That awful, soul-sucking, mind-robbing kind of sick. A cough, stuffiness, aches. But none of them so severe as to be incapacitating. Just completely and totally annoying.

It started on Monday; we were out at dinner for my birthday, and I suddenly just wanted to go home. I was in a crappy mood, and there was absolutely no reason for it. By the time we got home, it was clear that my head was filling up with mucus, so I went to bed, and woke up, Tuesday, feeling like I hadn’t slept a wink. That was it. I called in sick, and have been home—except for having to do about a bazillion chores and deal with child issues, etc., etc., etc.—since.

Yesterday, the cold moved into its second phase: laryngitis. Which was very weird, because yesterday was N’s fourth birthday. And four years ago, yesterday, I also had a cold. And laryngitis. A terrifying combination when your baby’s heartbeat suddenly disappears altogether just as you’re about to start pushing, and you’re rolled into an OR, prepped for a c-section and opened up in about five minutes tops, because you realize that you’re flat on your back, you can’t breathe, you’re not sure the epidural has taken completely, they’ve tied your arms down and they’re starting to operate on you with sharp knives and other implements of torture, and YOU CAN NOT SPEAK! No matter what is about to happen—if you drown in your own snot or you pass out from unanesthetized pain—you can’t tell anyone. And your husband, ostensibly there to hold your hand, is of no use, because he’s open-mouthedly watching them eviscerate you in an attempt to bring your son into the world alive. Can’t blame him, really, but still. I’ve never felt so helpless in my entire life.

Of course, none of what I most feared came to pass. N was born at 3-something in the afternoon that Friday—despite the fact that Baroy told the moyel he was born after 5, so that we could have the bris on a Saturday...hopefully, only Baroy will pay for that one when the religious retribution comes down, since I was completely out of it for all that stuff. And he was fine, and he was healthy, and he was absolutely beautiful. And he still is, today. With a very large dose of Personality on top of it all.

What can I tell you about N at four years of age?

He has a passel of imaginary friends. At least a dozen, though I can’t name them all. I do know about Baaa, Baby Baaa, This, That, Little Bit, Silly, Meow, Ruff and Tweak. They each have their own voice, and they ‘speak’ through N. I keep having to remind myself that imaginary friends are good, imaginary friends are normal, my son is not turning into Sybil. But it’s hard to keep in mind when you ask a question like, “How about we go to the park to play?” and the response you get is, “OK!” “Yep!” “I like that!” “Me too!” “Yay!” etc., etc., etc., each said in a different voice.

And the scary thing? He never gets them mixed up. He knows that This talks in a baby voice, while That talks in a whisper. He knows that Little Bit has a high voice and that Silly mostly just giggles maniacally. Come on. That would freak you out a little bit, too, right?

He’s really very smart, much smarter than I’ve given him credit for. He’s starting to recognize certain words. And he has a very strong number sense. He can read all his numbers, is learning to read a digital clock, can do simple arithmetic on his fingers, can count as high as he wants in English (though he refuses to admit to the existence of a number 15), can count to 13 in Spanish. Yesterday, he was watching Dora the Explorer, and they were counting stars in Spanish. He counted along: uno, dos, tres, plato (quatro), cinco, seis, siete, then turned to us and said, “Seven. That means seven stars.” Didn’t have to recount in English, mind you. Just knew that there were seven. I thought that was pretty cool.

He has very obvious crushes on girls, in particular on several of Em’s friends. They love it, and totally play into it. Baroy and I keep commenting that he’d better enjoy it now, because when he’s 13 and they’re 17, they’ll treat him like pond scum, if they bother to acknowledge his existence at all.

He is one of the best natural ball players I’ve ever seen, a fact made ironic by the also-fact that he’s the size of a small two-year-old. He can reliably hit a pitched ball, throws a football in a perfect spiral, loves to use a golf club to hit balls at targets around the yard. We’ve never taught him ANY of that. He just picked up a bat, correctly, the very first time he saw one, and started swinging away. He can accurately dribble a soccer ball, and is working on dribbling a basketball. I can’t wait to get him into t-ball or soccer. He’s going to love it.

And he’s just such a loving kid. Mama’s boy, for sure. He brings me flowers to put in my hair so I can be pretty. He rubs my back when it hurts. He gives hugs, and still likes to be carried, and kisses me all the time. And he likes to cuddle up inside my arms every night, until we (all too often) both fall asleep. I am totally smitten by him...when I’m not about to tear my hair out over how annoying he can be. But that’s a post for another day, not for his birthday post. For today, he’s all sweetness and light and Bambi-eyed adorableness. Which he is.

I love that kid.

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