On Thursday, I took Ezra to a belated Valentine's Day party at Noah's school. He sat at one of the little tables, clearly impressed with himself, hanging out with the big kids. He ate a plateful of cantaloupe chunks with a fork. When he was done, he carefully placed the fork on the plate and carefully toddled over to the classroom's play kitchen. He then placed his dishes in the little sink and fiddled with the faucet for a bit before going back to his seat.
I couldn't believe it. I pointed and jabbed in his direction just in case anybody else was watching. No one was, though I insisted on telling everybody about it anyway. Who taught him that? I didn't teach him that. Who is this kid, this mimic? What different species of toddler did I produce this time? Wow.
On Saturday, we took Noah ice skating. We bribed him, of course: If he tried ice skating for awhile we'd go to the toy store and let him pick out anything he wanted. Jason laced up his skates -- my heart clenched up in preparation for a Big Fight about New Things On His Feet, but he was perfectly calm -- and took him onto the ice while Ezra and I hung on the bleachers. I aimed the video camera at them, zooming in on the tiny skates on his feet, ON HIS FEET, WHERE HE LET US PUT THEM, and away from his shrieking, terrified little face.
It was Jason's turn to be the Patient Ocean this time, first picking him up, then moving him to the wall, somehow distracting him from the dozens of other unsteady little skaters wiping out all over the rink. By the time they came back around to where Ezra and I waited, Noah was smiling, cautiously plunking across the ice while holding onto Jason's hands for dear life. "OH WOW, NOAH," I shouted over the din of the crowded rink.
Ezra, meanwhile, found a slightly elevated, slightly slippery metal bleacher that he was determined to walk across. He stepped up and toddled for a bit before his foot slid off and he went down...while I dove after him to protect him from whatever terrible injury a four-inch stumble off a bleacher seat could inflict. And he would get back up, and try again. Soon I stopped helping him up or offering my hand. He wanted to do it by himself anyway. When he finally made it all the way down to the end without falling, he looked back at me and beamed. "OH WOW, ZAH," I shouted again, and clapped for him.
Later, at the toy store, Noah picked out a Build-a-Road set. Jason and I were so impressed with the ice skating we likely could have been talked into the expensive Playmobil set he's already requested for next Christmas, but he was adamant. Road. He wanted the Road.
Ezra took advantage of a slight miscommunication between Jason and I and attempted to walk out of the store while we weren't looking. A salesclerk brought him (and the personalized "Brooke" mug that he'd tried to abscond with) back to me, more than slightly annoyed at our carelessness. "Is this yours?" she asked. I sheepishly said he was and pretended to be all kinds of shocked at my fearless, daredevil child.
Later, at home, he evaded us again.
Noah and I assembled his new road and bridge, and when we were done, I turned on one of the battery-powered cars and set it loose on the track. Noah screamed. He howled. He grabbed the car and switched it off. After he calmed down, I asked him why he didn't like it. The noise, he said. The noise was too gray.
I looked at Jason, like, OH, WOW. DID YOU JUST HEAR THAT? He nodded. We know about the blue songs, the green songs, the red and yellow
and purple songs. But we've never heard him describe anything as gray
That night, Ezra just happened to walk into the room right when the
skier on the TV fell down. He pointed at the screen and burst into
tears. He shook his head, nonononono, and covered his eyes. I picked
him up and he buried his head in my shoulder. Nononononono, he said,
out loud this time.
On Sunday, Jason made the questionable decision to put on our DVD of Star Trek: The New Lens-Flarish One Without a Semicolon & Subtitle Which Just Feels Kind of Wrong while Noah was in the room. I clucked and chided but couldn't find the remote. Noah positioned himself on the arm of the couch, a look of increasing curiosity on his face while everything on the TV started exploding and zooming and shwoooom vroooom bang blasting.
He stayed there, frozen, throughout the entire opening scene. His eyes were like saucers, but he wasn't scared. He was FASCINATED. He was clearly watching the GREATEST THING EVER, this space opera explode-y movie, this crazy rocket-airplane-boom-thing.
Right as the movie title and Star Trek logo revealed themselves on the screen, his jaw dropped, he leaned forward and...gasped. "Oh. Wow." he whispered. "Oh. Wow."