"Did you cook an entire onion for lunch and parade it through the house, Catholic priest style?"
I love her.
"Did you cook an entire onion for lunch and parade it through the house, Catholic priest style?"
I hold some--what I believe to be--absolute truths:
Posted by Katie at 12:58 PM
You still had to consume some form of breakfast, and seemed pleased enough with my waffling talents.
Fortunately, your self-expression extends beyond random violence against canines. Lately, you've been wearing two different shoes to school/the grocery store/anywhere we'll let you. Which is everywhere. Because, hey, personal style.
You also got a new pair of flip-flops to wear to swimming lessons and are so fond of them that you pleaded to nap in them. That went about as well as the day you were convinced you could put your booster seat in bed and sleep draped over the top of it.
Mommy got a new pair of noise-canceling headphones and gifted you her old ones. You're delighted to sit down beside her and "work" while also yelling at the same decibel output as a jet, "I LOVE YOU!"
But you don't require the headphones to amp up the volume. Last week you were wandering around just hollering "POCO! MARCO!" Perhaps at swimming lessons we can get you squared away on how you actually say/play that. Or perhaps your brain will just keep doing what it does, like when you're telling a story about how "Momma was in a neighborhood and she got 'pletely-com' lost!"
Many moons ago, you picked up the knack of saying "ya" (yuh) instead of "you" with certain phrases. It's not quite Minnesotan. It's definitely not Canadian. It's certainly Merritt. You showed up the other day complaining about being itchy where your underwear had been in its Magnificent Wad™ position, and so I fetched some lotion. (Sidenote: Some kids do Band-Aids. You do lotion. You like a Band-Aid just fine, but lotion is your go-to healing device.) So I was preparing to apply the lotion when I discovered the crease in your skin where your mangled underwear had been cutting into you for an undetermined amount of time and you announced, "See? I warned ya."
And when we tell you we love you, you like to tack on the addendum, "But sometimes I frustrate ya."
Oh, Merritt. I realize it can seem that way. When Super Grover's helmet "somehow" breaks and while fixing it I accidentally super glue myself to it and then end up covered in glue and blue fur and then I give up and wrap the break in masking tape and color it silver, I can see how you might sense some frustration. Or when Mommy says, "All that noise is unnecessary," and you respond with, "YOU'RE unnecessary," yeah, that's grounds for some genuine frustration.
But when it's five minutes until bedtime and you sweetly ask, "Can I watch some baseball with you guys?" and then you snuggle up with us and get into the game, that's not even a little frustrating. And when you think hunting for dinosaur eggs is infinitely cooler than hunting for plain-old-Easter-eggs, and then you give all your new dinosaurs awesomely adorable names (Scot, Nipper, Cookie, Backpack, and Turtle), that's totally not frustrating. When you wake up from a nap a bit early and stumble in to find me watching Chopped and you want to know all about the rules of the show and what "mystery basket ingredients" are, and then you ask, "Can you pause Chopped while I go potty? I don't want to miss anything..." that is the very opposite of frustrating.
No. All of that is perfect. Seriously.
It's not frustrating that your vocabulary is bigger than the dictionary, and that you are smarter than a fifth grader, and that you love harder than anyone we know.
What you need to understand more than anything else in the world is that we love "ya." Period.
Posted by Katie at 11:59 PM
I was born a Lary, the name my grandfather had to take when joining the Navy. His father was a Lary, but died when Granddaddy was two. His adopted name--the name he was given by the man who raised him--was never made official, and thus wasn't sufficient for the Navy. I should have been a Godwin. Instead, I'm a Lary.
And I'm not even sure what that means. I mean, I know I come from a line of kind of awkward noses and even awkwarder family ties. But my last name doesn't carry any "That's so Lary" traits with it. At least not any to which I'm clinging or claiming.
I like being a Lary, but it hasn't defined me. Perhaps because I didn't choose to become a Lary; I was just born one.
But in the last several years, a few experiences have defined me.
I came out.
I became a mother to the best person I know.
I married my true north. My only home. The love of my life.
Those experiences deserve a defining name.
And yet, I fill out the first line of my return address as "La Casa de Tres Nombres," because until now, we've been The House of Three Names. A family. Three fools in love. But without a common name to unite us.
That all changes tomorrow.
We've long talked about names and their importance and what "taking a name means" and so on. About nine months ago, Erin was doing some of her best thinking in the shower, and she beckoned me and mentioned a possible new last name. Since then, we've talked about it and marinated in it, we've discussed it with Merritt, practiced signing it, practiced saying it. We've slept on it. We've nurtured it. We've given it time. Y'all, we basically gestated a surname.
Tomorrow morning, we will go before a judge for a legal name change. And because we haven't chosen "Bananahammock" as our new family name, we're pretty sure that when court adjourns, we will officially be Katie & Erin Scot.
And that's not because we've got a weird thing for Tartan plaids. Or because I think it would be awesome for people to start referring to me exclusively as KATE SCOT! (Great Scott!). Or because I just really feel it necessary to trade in one should-be-five-letter last name for another.
Merritt's middle name is Scot. So we'll be doing what my great-grandfather was unable to: we'll be sharing a name with the child we're raising.
While the Scot family name is merely a newborn at this point, it already means something to be one. It means anxious eyes and rain-speckled hair. It means "fruit and cheese night" and too many made-up games to count. It means baseball, and snuggling, and taking bites all together. It means traditions and rituals that already exist, like flossing every night and making cupcakes each year on October 24th. And creating new ones as time goes on and conditions call for them. It means the answer Merritt gives when you ask him to tell you his favorite thing: "family."
And while I'll still have my misshapen nose and Erin will still boast the ol' Wilson butt and thighs and Merritt will still have his own surname, we will all forever be connected by name. We will all be Scots.
Posted by Katie at 8:08 AM
We're going to keep this one short. Like you. Even though you regularly bonk your head on the underside of the kitchen counter's overhang because you're not used to being taller than it. We're not used to you being "tall" either, Bud.
In the last couple of months, you learned "Down Down Baby" at school and now experience outbursts of, "Let's get the 'ribbon' of the head - ding dong" at random.
You've also fallen in love with Macklemore's "Thrift Shop," a tune you request every time we get in the car, always sure to point out that you "love when the back trumpets come in." Because you know your backbeats. Especially of the brass variety. And when they begin, you shimmy like you're fulfilling your life's mission.
This month, Tinker Bell has your heart. We were walking to the park the other day, holding hands and swinging arms, when you took a big breath and said, "I wish I could tell someone I love fairies." It was such a sweet, sincere, and genuinely YOU moment. I told you that I was all ears, and you spent a few sentences enthusiastically explaining your adoration: basically that you love them because they are tiny and help other people. I watch you watch all the movies in the Tinker Bell series and I see the way your eyes light up, the way you care for the characters, the way you're inspired by all their tinkering, the way you constantly tinker and bring us joy. I can honestly say I wasn't a fairy fan until I saw them through your eyes. Now I'm all "Faith, trust, and pixie dust." For life.
Sometimes we tell you something about yourself and you deny it. And so we back it up with having read it in the newspaper, or seen it on a billboard, or watched it in a movie, or clicked on a link about it on the internet, and you just keep denying and we just keep making up sources. The other day, I mentioned something about you being "crazytown," a word we have long used to describe bats-in-the-belfry-type situations. Without missing a beat, you said, "No. I read in the newspaper that you're crazytown." And we were so proud that you chose that instance to show how adept you are at learning a game and then waiting until the perfect moment to play it.
You have invented your own brand of cussing. It's a religious experience to hear you express yourself with the likes of "holy shoot" and "oh my jangit." You are nothing if not loquacious, and that includes the made-up expletives department. We are delighted that you're able to articulate your feelings, even if it means cultivating your own vernacular. We may need to do the same, because it seems impossible to describe how we feel about you with just ordinary words, Merritt Scot.
We love you so jang much.
Momma & Mommy
Posted by Katie at 11:39 PM
Also, that every show should have a Christmas episode.
Aside from being unapologetically left-handed, you also have a neat quirk of counting tokens on your LeapPad2 from right to left. Perhaps this touch of Hebrew is what inspired an invisible "directions" scroll you have on your person at all times. We'll ask you to do something and, with great ceremony, you'll unfurl the scroll and begin ticking off the steps you will use to complete the task, yelling "CHECK!" after each made-up directive.
When we're in public and your need to "go" strikes, I encourage you to "hold it" while I figure out the closest restroom and our plan of attack. Inevitably, you grab your crotch and then I have to explain the difference between physically holding it and holding it with your mind.
Recently, Gilmore Girl had an accident inside and Mommy and I swiftly responded to the clean-up measures and putting Gil outside. When she returned, you began to fuss at her about peeing in the house and we explained that it was an accident and that she was already nervous and that we needed to treat her with kindness. And you got down on all fours and very quietly coached sweet Gilligan: "Hold your mind, Gilmore Girl. You have to hold your mind."
You seem to have grasped what a conscience is without us having ever explained the "shoulder angel" concept, or sung you a song about letting it be your guide. But forget Jiminy Cricket. Your tummy is your guide and often speaks for you, even on matters unrelated to hunger. "My tummy thinks we should go to OMSI today." "My tummy said I could watch a show."
And speaking of tummies. Recently you were jabbering and your string of incoherent statements ended with "Octover firteen." I mentioned that I was familiar with that date and you asked why. I explained that on October 13th, I birthed my whole world. And in disbelief, you asked, "DA EARF WAS IN YOUR TUMMY?"
And speaking of earfs. During a middle of the night wake-up-to-pee a few early mornings ago, you finished your business and out of nowhere woke up enough to ask, "Do you know 'grabity'?" And I answered, "I know graVity, yes." And there, in the darkness, with your pants and underwear around your knees, you explained, "It makes the apples fall ... and da earf does something." And, I guess because it was 2:20 and I was so proud of your smarts and I was also half-asleep and is there ever really a wrong time to teach science?, I gave you a mini physics lecture on the way back to bed. Because this is how we do.
Merritt. You are the best person we know. Even when you call us "bossy." Or when you complainingly whine, "Why are you always telling me about when I was a tiny baby?" You are the best person we know when you're suffering from the flu and all you want to watch is Barbie: The Princess and the Popstar. And when you're not suffering from the flu and all you want to watch is Barbie: The Princess and the Popstar. And then sing all of the songs from it with every ounce of your soul and being. You're the best person we know when you insist on saying "'gratulations" when someone wins. And when you say "it scuttled off" when a toy gets away from you. And for the pride you take in the things we make for you like "Gingerbread" (your tiny llama), your favorite technicolor dream blanket, and our happy home. You're the best person we know when you're working so hard to chew with your mouth closed and, when you swallow a bite, announce "MY CHOMPIES ARE LOUD," because of all that masticating you were hearing inside your head. And for calling yourself "Bob the Merritt" a la "Bob the Builder." And for making up stories in the style of If You Give A Mouse A Cookie. You know, like, If You Give A Duck A Broccoli and If You Give A Lamp A Pancake. Both classics. You are the best person we know when I point to Mommy and say, "She's my wife," and before I can finish what I was going to say, you point to yourself and assert, "And I'm your life."
You are currently obsessed with bath fizzies. Just little balls of sodium bicarbonate and citric acid that fizz away in the tub. You keep track of how many you have at any given point and are aware when the supply begins to diminish. During a bath a couple of weeks ago, I pulled out your last two fizzies and offered them to you. You accepted one, but insisted that we keep the last one for your next bath. I was floored by your willpower and ability to put future fulfillment ahead of instant gratification. This is NOT what three-year-olds do. But you're not the average three-year-old.
The next day we were getting off the interstate and it was rainy and very cold and I saw a man standing on the corner with a sign. I dug through the purse and grabbed all the cash we had and handed it off. This isn't an unusual occurrence, but on that day, you decided to ask why we do it. So I explained that the man on the corner probably didn't have a home or a bed or much to keep him warm or a steady supply of food, so we gave him what we had to help him out. You were puzzled. You thought it over. And then you asked, "Why don't we just bring him to our house? He can share my bed. He can sleep on my side. We can make him food. He can have our house!" It took me a minute to catch my breath, to fully absorb your wisdom. If only babes ran the world. But before I could respond or wrap my head around the size of your heart, you uttered, "He can have my last bath fizzy. He can take a warm bath and have my last bath fizzy!" And then I wept because I couldn't make words.
Seriously. You are the best person we know.
Momma & Mommy
Posted by Katie at 8:32 AM
I hope I'm not giving too much away by the title.
I've finally processed and healed and grieved enough to be able to talk about a meal I prepared back in August 2012.
Mock Tuna Salad. Those three little words held so much hope and promise for this vegetarian. The kind of hope and promise that led me to hold off on making this recipe the moment I found it and instead marinate in the thought of it for a few days. Mouth fantasies and whatnot. And then gather the perfect ingredients. And then leave myself a note on the refrigerator that said "Soak nuts and seeds tonight or regret it forever."
Yep. Nuts and seeds masquerading as fish. This can't possibly go wrong.
Spoiler alert: I soaked the nuts and seeds that night AND will probably live to regret it forever.
I took special care to dice the celery and purple onion and red pepper. Merritt sensed the excitement and got in on the action. We pulled the skins off the soaked almonds and loaded it all into the food processor. I should have taken note of the look of concern on Merritt's face: it might have spared me some disappointment.
No, seriously. It was awful. And calling it MOCK Tuna Salad is mocking my intelligence and my taste buds. Imagine someone tells you they're taking you to Disneyland. And you love Disneyland. And you get there and the only ride is an old riding lawn mower seat that is not attached to anything. THAT is what this mock tuna salad tasted like. Lawn mower seat and lies and defeat and celery.
Posted by Katie at 4:05 PM
Posted by Katie at 7:36 PM
Daily I say, "I love you, you know." And recently you tried to reciprocate: "I love you, I know."
Not this nutrition:
... Like when we were strolling through Zoo Lights recently and you came to a juncture where we had five different options on directions to go. "OH MY GRACIOUS! There are so many path-es!" Your ability to pluralize words is as precious as your reverence for expressing polite surprise.
Zoo Lights is a spectacular luminescent celebration of the winter holiday season. I last wrote on your birthday. Two months ago. Not during the winter holiday season. So here are a few of the events I have yet to document:
-Halloween. I made you a mime costume, like, with my hands. See, it's funny because there's no such thing as a silent three-year-old. Also, I made it with my hands. Then I bribed you with candy to do some mime poses for the camera. Signifying the end of our photo shoot, you removed your vest, threw it down on the ground, and then announced with words, not mimicry, "I'M AN ANGRY MIME!"
-There was an election. Kind of a huge one. The day before the election, you spotted a double rainbow and called it out (you are seriously the best rainbow hunter). And Mommy and I were all, "What does it mean??" And we held our breath and hOped it meant something awesome. Then we passed an Obama bumper sticker and I shouted, "Go, Obama!" And then Mommy shouted, "GObama!" And then you shouted, "GO, MERRITT!" And that's the story of how you became our nation's 55th president. And also, how your rainbow-spotting tipped us off to Obama being reelected the following day.
-Illness. Over the span of about three weeks, you've dealt with croup. And a stomach bug. And now pink eye. And between the whole closing-throat-need-epinephrine bit and the vomiting-forty-gallons-onto-random-dining-tables-and-parents bit and the surprise-attack-ointmentings-for-ye-olde-pink-eyes bit, you're kind of a champ. The kind of champ who knows how to work an angle. "I think ice cream will make my throat feel better," he said, for all meal requests during every illness.
Mommy has been working on teaching you to tie your shoes, despite the fact that you don't own any shoes with laces, only velcro and crazy toggle technology. So you guys sit down and practice on hers. She's careful to say and do the same thing every time so you can learn the pattern. And you have. Sort of. The other day she asked you what the first step was. You said, "Make an 'x,'" so she did. And then she asked about the second step. Your instruction? "Tie it." And scene.
Lately, you've been really "feeling" music, and you let us know by demanding that we watch you "sing this song with my head!" And then you bob along to the lyrics, eyes closed, serene, with a hint of goofball. When the backbeat of a song kicks in, we know that a half-beat later we'll be met with the request, "Watch me play the drums with my whole body!" Which looks an awful lot like singing a song with your head, just with more (and sometimes less) rhythm.
You've had a couple of months to marinate in "being three." And you're pretty excited about this whole aging process. You constantly explain that you're three now, and then you rattle off some of the other ages you plan to be. You think you'd like to try six next. We're not so keen on this.
We're sure it will feel like a mere matter of seconds that pass between now and blowing out the candles on your sixth birthday cake and then moving you into the dorms and then your presidential inauguration. The only thing that will change between now and then is that every day--every single second--we will love you more than the one before it. Which, just like you being three years and two months old, seems impossible. How could our hearts be any fuller? How can you keep growing up?
But our certainty will never stray. We love you, WE KNOW.
Momma & Mommy
Posted by Katie at 11:59 PM
You have an affinity for frozen bread products. A fondness for naming everything "Merritt Scot." And a penchant for detecting baked goods: "My nose smells cupcakes." Brownies. But, yes, you may have one.
PBS may be picking up a new show that you and Mommy created. It's "Ask This Old House" meets "NOVA" meets a three-year-old's perpetual "Why?" A typical episode includes you asking why bridges are bumpy. Or what a wire is. Or how toilets flush. Mommy and/or I give you a full-on scientific explanation, and you respond with "Oh, that's how it works." The show's title.
The other day I watched you pile Wheat Chex into a miniature dump truck and then back it up to your mouth and dump load after load as you chewed with a level of reverie only achievable by you. It fits right in with the fervor with which you squeal "woo-hoo!" and the way you shout "hee-haw, cowboy!" while rocking on your beloved moose. You have definitely figured out how to carpe a freakin' diem.
To indulge that point, you often ask more than thrice a day, "What we did today? Tell me!" Because you thrive just as much from hearing what you did, as you did doing it.
You timestamp everything, mostly terribly inaccurately. "Last year ago, when I was a tiny baby, I rode my bike without training wheels." "Last night, when I was born, I'm going to kindergarten." These are the regular sorts of things that come out of your mouth. It's like we're living with a time traveler.
Other sorts of things that come out of your mouth:
"You need to go to sleep. And not talk rudely." - to Mommy, when you joined us in our bed BEFORE DAWN and insisted on voicing your every thought and Mommy laid down the law about being silent or going back to your own bed.
"POS Truck!" - every time you see a UPS truck pass and your brain betrays you.
"I'm struggling." - to us at dinner one night. We're still unclear about what you were struggling with, but it was precious to hear you grunt that line.
"All the tree parts are falling!" - your succinct explanation of autumn.
"Water, kefir, milkmilkmilk." - you singing a beverage-inspired made-up song to (of course) the tune of the ABCs.
"Actually." - sometimes you lead with it, sometimes you punctuate with it, sometimes you use it to indicate agreement. ALWAYS, it is awesome.
"I'm a lucky boy." - your immediate response to a friendly cashier when she learned that you have two mommies. I'm not sure that anything could have prepared me for the rush of pride I experienced in that instant.
Merritt, we are so thrilled that you feel like a lucky boy. We need you to know that we are the luckiest mommas in the universe. We are so fortunate to be raising such a benevolent and altruistic little boy; so charmed to have you for our son. We love sharing fruit and cheese night and road trips and hide-n-seek and dental hygiene and dog-poop-scooping and cereal and showers and good movies and stories and life with you.
The other day, you called for a family hug and then gathered us, your little arms clutched around our knees, and said, "If we do it in a circle, that would be good." We scooped you up and we stood there, "doing it in a circle." Hugging. And my mind drifted back to a few mornings prior, when during a sweet snuggle, you put your hands on my cheeks, pulled my face to yours, and in the darkness of the new day whispered, "Keep me forever." A promise we've made to you every day of your life, whether spoken or not.
You don't know yet that you put us in a shape that has no beginning or end, the place where we will keep you forever.
Happy birthday to the best gift either one of us has ever received.
Momma & Mommy
Posted by Katie at 7:52 PM