Thursday, May 19, 2011

Month 21: Take it OAF!

Dear Jordan,

You say this approximately 57 million times per day. What you mean, vehemently, is "Take it off!" But it comes out as "Take it OAF!"

This applies to shirts, pants, socks. You're generally OK with your socks and your fake crocs. You usually calm down after the initial trying to get your just-put-on-clothes off.

And I envision it as a derisive command. "Take it, OAF!"

Hats enrage you, however. On you, on me, on Nana, whoever. "Mama, take it OAF hat!"

What I'm constantly floored by is your language development. I wish I'd payed more attention in grad school, because I remember thinking The Language Instinct was very interesting. But Chomsky kind of bogged me down.

But it's pretty amazing to see you use grammar correctly. Like, possessives. You say "Mama's shoes" rather than "Mama shoes" - you get it. And adjectives - you put them before the noun, even if it's a combination you haven't heard before. Your sentences get more complex from week to week.

I just find it so interesting that all of this falls into place, and you build, hour by hour. Seriously. You take a nap and wake up saying new things.

You're very much in observe and report mode. One of your favorite things to report on is the state of the neighbors. You like to peer out the window and say things like, "Greg not outside." and "Bruno eating flowers."

Poor old Bruno, who you caught eating flowers once (although he apparently does it on a regular basis) is like Hector Big Wood - he's going to be a flower eater for the rest of his doggie life.

While so many of these things are completely charming, you've gotten a little challenging as of late, which is the opposite of charming. I try to remind myself that you're figuring out your personality and your boundaries and trying to see what the limits are for everything.

But it is exhausting, and I don't always have the patience I need. I'm sorry about that. I do try, you know.

You and Nana have great times together, and go on all kinds of outings. It turns out that you are both milkshake fiends, and you now suggest heading over to the Diner for a milkshake on quite a regular basis. "Milkshake?" you'll say, very casually.

One night I was putting dinner in front of you and you said, "The Diner?" Sorry, pal, but it's a broccoli and pasta night for you.

You still miss your little friend David and you talk about him and going to his house regularly, hopefully, wistfully. I once said, "David's all gone" - which then made it sound like he's dead, which of course he's not. So now I say, "October! We'll see David in October!"

I know this means nothing to you, but it is true.

We still love you like crazy, and you're the best thing in our world, even if sometimes we gnash our teeth and pull at our hair and talk about selling you on the street corner.

OK, we don't really talk about it. I just think it sometimes. But not very often. And your dad is going to be horrified when he reads this. In other words: you're totally safe. And stuck with us for life.

Love you love you love you,



  1. this is getting ridiculous: just this morning on our way out we played a rousing game of "mommy's sooos". and he does take it oo-aaff, too, but his new one is instead of "get up", as in from a seat, he says "take oo-aaff", so i feel like he's constantly telling me to go fuck myself, when really he just wants my spot on the couch...

    the best part is i know 'actual' (as opposed to imaginary friends, which is what the huz calls you ;-)) people who have kids our kids' exact ages, but yours and mine are EXACTLY the same.

    (these two are totally going to have to meet someday, if it's six or so years from now when we drag him to d.c. for a "fun family vacation" that will only be fun for the history-nerd parental unit!)

  2. love this :)
    when my baby brother was wee, his command was "REET NOW!" Everything was REET NOW (right now.) Twenty years later, it still sends my family into fits of giggles when one of us says something must be done REET NOW.

  3. (oh, and you may deign to call me by my name; i only changed it on my profile thingy in case i ever do get around to starting an interweblog)

  4. I love reading these. What's funny to me is, I could write many of them and my daughter is nearly 6. I guess kids are continuously testing boundries. And don't worry, as long as you don't ACTUALLY sell him, you're good!

  5. i also love reading these letters to jordan! it's insane to me how quickly he is growing up, since i remember watching your tummy grow with the pregnancy posts. these letters will be amazing for you to look back on when jordan is older and for him to one day read.

  6. Great photo! That's a face to melt your heart for sure. It is amazing how fast they learn and change from day to day - especially when they start talking. Someday he'll so appreciate these letters.

  7. I love this post!!! Isn't the language development process just absolutely fun and amazing to watch. I am in awe of their little growing brains. Total and complete awe. Can't wait to see you SOON!

  8. It sounds like I may write a similar blog post to this (well, minus "Hector Big Wood") in about 18 months!

  9. Please s'cuse while I get some paper towels to mop my heart up off the floor cause it just melted everywhere. Your boy is just adorable and so are you. This post brings back memories of my nearly 18 yr old and the things he used to say when he was a baby. One was when he finished eating something or when he was younger finished his bottle it was "All gone nownow" in a singsong voice, I loved that and we still say it occasionally. He also used to say aside instead of beside and tofa instead of sofa so it was "I will sit aside you on a tofa ahy mum" lol I can still picture his little chubbiness perched beside me on the couch as he said this to me. Damn my heart just melted all over my keyboard now. Have a spectacular weekend Guys. Be wellxxx

  10. I just had to let you know that I didn't realize, until the 3rd time I looked at the photo here, that J is wearing your shoes, and his feet aren't that big.

    Though that *would* be adorable.

  11. Coleen - I'm very happy to be your imaginary friend. We and our boys must meet one of these days. It's funny and reassuring to know that these things are happening to other kids of the same age - they're just going through steps that everyone else takes as well.

    Hillary - REET NOW is very cute. And exactly the kind of thing that you say for the rest of your life, and the family knows the precise reference, and it's just so special.

    cla517 - Thank you! Gosh, I suppose it's just going to keep happening for the rest of our lives. As for the selling, no, not actual. And really, only occasionally imagined. :)

    carly - Thank you! You know, I love having these, because my recollections are so fuzzy. And I know I blur things together. I love being able to look back and know what he was up to and what was new, month by month.

    Kate - I just can't believe how fast he changes. I can't believe how I can leave for work and when I come home, he's saying new things. He was just my baby and now he's my big boy.

    Jane - It is just amazing to see in action. I didn't understand how incredible it is. Turns out theoretical linguistics does overlap with everyday life, huh? Can't wait to see you!

    Sean - Oh, you've got a little baby! How fun! Enjoy!

    Go-Betty - Oh, that is sweet. Aside you on the tofa. Cute cute cute. I love these little expressions, and they seem so fleeting that I can't bear it. Like, we've already gone from "hutta" to "hacopter" and I'm sure he'll be saying the word correctly very soon. I am going to miss all these babyisms.

    Jessica - He really likes getting into our shoes - particularly mine. Cracks me up.

    And yes, I guess it could be adorable if he had clown feet...

  12. Excuse me while I'm distracted by something shiny, but... is that tile behind him?? Did you make that? I love the design.

  13. Andie - Isn't that wall great? I would love to take credit, but they were there when we bought the house.


Tell me about it.