Wednesday, September 13, 2006


We received a note yesterday from Arlo's doctor, reporting that no lead was detected in Arlo's blood. That is all.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

His is bigger than those of 97% of his peers.

His head, that is. Arlo went to the doctor today for his 2-year-old check-up--since that's what he is now, a 2-year-old---and he got rave reviews from all the critics.

Vital stats:
Head circumference: 97th percentile
Height (3 feet): 90th percentile
Weight (29.5 lbs.): 75th percentile

Basically, his proportions make him sort of like a bowling ball perched on top of a broomstick. Or maybe a hot dog. He's not a total stringbean, but he's definitely more tall than he is broad. Hmmmm, come to think of it, that makes him something of a Ted In Miniature. Tell me something I didn't know.

The child is apparently a shining example of health, and the only thing Dr. Thomas had to say with even a shadow of negativity was that I really need to get his blood tested for lead, seeing as how we lived in a 1920s bungalow when he was a baby, and we've never had him tested just to be sure. She's been telling me to take him in for this blood test for at least a year. So--even though it meant I had to take another hour off from work and go to a different clinic location altogether--I finally did it.

Here's what blew me away and prompted a friend to refer to Arlo as "supernatural."

Arlo didn't cry. Not even a whimper.

He sat in my lap, and I held his arm straight as he proceeded to not squirm. He watched as they tied the tourniquet around his doughy little arm. He watched as they put the needle in his vein, and he watched the blood come out of his arm, through an itty-bitty tube, and into a vial. The phlebotomist was efficient and quick, and Arlo got a blue crayon-shaped Band-aid when all was said and done. As I oohed and aaahed over what a good boy! he had been, he simply folded his hands together, and looked up earnestly at the phlebotomist who had drawn his blood.

"Sticker?" he said. "Please?"

You may send condolences to Ted at our home address because I think I died from sheer pride when he said that. Thanks for playing, all you other parents! I officially have living in my home the Greatest Kid on the Planet.

Fun for Kids of All Ages

Sunday night, we hosted a potluck party in celebration of Arlo's second birthday. We ALL partied hearty. Arlo stayed up two hours past his bedtime, and was still being nice to the little gals (Lucy and Nora) who came to party with him--even going so far as to sweetly say "please" about 13 times to Nora to get her to give back his Pooh.

The best dollar I spent on Arlo's birthday (maybe the best dollar I spent all month, honestly) was for the bag of three punchball balloons at the Dollar Tree store. Three kids, three punchballs, one dollar: that's my kind of math! Therefore, no child actually becomes a punchball. They played together beautifully, and we were all very proud and relaxed that our children were behaving so nicely.

The adults? Not so much.

When I was younger, I never would've guessed that you could still have a rip-roaring good time, dirty jokes and all, at the birthday party of a two-year-old. But there we were, drinking responsibly and looking down each other's shirts with absolute serenity while our lovely children got on famously with the toys and each other. I'm pretty sure I have more fun now than I ever did before having Arlo. It's like I try harder. You give me the opportunity to mix motherhood with mayhem, and boy-oh-boy, I am up to the challenge. Sir, yesSIR!

We're very lucky to have a loyal tribe of good friends who are still our friends when we haven't called them in a month. Or three. We feel incredibly fortunate that people still come to our parties when we invite them, even though most of the time we are caught up in the life that we've made with our little boy and our full-time jobs and our house and our yard and the persistent and unavoidable fact that someone has to make dinner and someone has to do the dishes and the laundry. Thanks, everyone, for Arlo's best birthday yet! Check out more pictures at Mara's flickr page:

Friday, September 01, 2006

Hot and Free

Discovered this morning by the coffee maker at work:

Yesssssssssss. Something to aspire to.

Bye, Pooh!

This is just further proof that A) children do not need fancy toys with lots of electronic gewgaws and whizbangs; and B) they do not care a-tall if their toys have been played with by children before them.

Exhibit A:

This toy, which we generally refer to as "Pooh" at our house, was given to Ted and me at our baby shower by our friend Beth, whose kids had loved it and outgrown it. Sometimes Arlo calls it a "lawnmower" because, you know, you walk behind it and push it just like you're mowing the lawn. Pooh spins around in place when you push it. That's all. (Well, okay, I happen to know that Beth disabled the clicking mechanism that was original to the toy, but we do not wish for more noise in the house so that's good.) Anyway,

Arlo LOVES it.

It's a fail-safe approach to getting him out the door to walk to day care in the morning, and a sure-fire way to not have to carry him all the way there. Arlo zooms along, pushing Pooh, stops and squats to look for cars before crossing the street (see Appendix to post below) and pushes Pooh right up to the spot in Tata's driveway where she parks the stroller. He parks Pooh, and wiggles up the steps to the door.

Yesterday, when we reached the top of the stairs, I opened the door and put my hand on the top of his head to guide him through it. Breathlessly, he reached up and pushed my hand away, and backed up a few steps to the threshold at the top of the front steps. He grabbed on to the rail, leeeeeeeaned out over the top step, and yelled "BYE, POOH!" while frantically waving his hand at the toy on the driveway.

And then--only then-- he was ready to start his day.

Appendix: When I first started talking to Arlo about looking both ways for cars before crossing the street, I would squat next to where he was standing, to get down on his level while we looked for cars together. The idea, of course, was that he would remain standing. How naive of me! Of COURSE he's gonna squat. And point. Because that's how Mommy does it, duh!