Rrrraaaaaaawwwwwwrrrr! (Photo credit: Julie Miesionczek)
Week 13 finds us in Seattle, staying amongst family and long-time friends, at the tail end of our summer-long trek. We’re here for another couple of days, enjoying the Pacific Northwest’s amazing sunny, cool summer. For touring, we’ve been to Discovery Park, Pike Place Market, the Chihuly Art Museum and the Central branch of the Seattle Public Library—all of which are great (except that Pike Place Market, which was a bit infested with tourists at the moment, but is probably great on a grey October day).
In the world of Gabe, you don’t have to be his primary parent to know that this is the week that he discovered his voice. And that he can be loud. And soft. But mostly loud. Fun!
Gabe manages to spread his food everywhere. Notice the lack of rice on his face.
Greetings from Leavenworth, WA, for those of you keeping track of our whereabouts on your Rand McNally US Atlas and/or Google Map. It’s a quaint, German-themed touristy town about two-ish hours East of Seattle, nestled in a small valley in the Cascades. It’s gorgeous and warm (highs in the 90s-100s). We’re at another theater-based retreat, on the grounds of the lovely Icicle Creek Center for the Arts. Unfortunately, I have little or no babysitting help out here, so I am the de facto parent all day. And this week Gabe has made some spectacular developmental leaps—mostly in the psychological sphere.
And by “psychological sphere,” I mean he’s either been deliberately sabotaging my efforts to keep things somewhat clean/orderly or he’s really hitting his stride as a toddler. I think, based on the smirk and twinkle in his eyes and the cackling laugh, it’s the former and not the ladder. Also, I’m basing this on the fact that he’s now got some opinions and is being “difficult” at times, generally about what he wants to eat and when. The answer to this week’s question What does Gabe want to eat? is: berries. Of only the blue-, straw-, or rasp- varieties. And everything else might as well be poison or a toy. In any case, these two facts point to what I’m fairly sure is a growing craftiness of the practical joke variety—which I would normally wholeheartedly endorse. But it’s been a long week and it’s only Friday. How long of a week?
Here’s an incomplete list of Gabe’s exploits in the last 24-hours, complete with attempted silver linings:
Gabe enjoying some fresh-picked, Maine raspberries.
We wrapped up a week at the Jenny’s parent’s house, sadly departing our lovely lakeside retreat in Maine. Which is all to say, we’re on the road again, this time to NYC and then Seattle for almost two weeks. But the time in Maine was relaxing, as Gabe’s schedule was split between three adults (a great ratio for childcare), and I reflected a bit on my time being the primary parent.
One of the best parts about being the primary parent is that you get to witness, and sometime be the agent of, the small changes in your child’s behaviors and actions. They might start using a spoon as a tool (like, to eat) instead a toy (like, a yogurt catapult). Or maybe they learn to close a door or can identify their head (shoulders, knees, and/or toes).
And for some reason, I really love these small moments. I find them precious. And I mean “precious” in the literal meaning, “of great value,” not like how some creepy adults say it, He’s just so precious!, with its Gollem-like undertone of I’m-going-to-steal-your-baby-now. In any case, these small moments are the most special to me because they’re all around and constantly happening with young kids, if you keep your eyes open. The problem is that they’re so fleeting and near impossible to grasp and hold on to in any meaningful way.