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January 13, 2002
a year ago
three years ago
four years ago

Jet Goes Swimming

8:15 pm: Jet has three new things he's doing, one more consistently then before. Jet actually can take the little, plastic walker and lift it and turn it in the direction he really wants to go. The funny thing is that he tries to do exactly the same thing with the Radio Flyer wagon, which is about ten time heavier, filled with toys and has a wheel base that is four times longer, which means it's much harder for him to change its direction. He figured out that with the walker if he rams it against an obstacle pretty hard in the direction he wants it to go it can change directions, sometimes. So he's taken to ramming the wagon into whatever he runs into. It's really funny and a little destructive, so we try to help him turn the wagon when he wants to turn it.

The second thing is that he's started standing for a few moments without any support whatsoever. It's when he really wants to do something and just forgets to hang onto something. When he realizes he's let go, he falls onto his butt as quickly as possible. We think he's learning how to stand on his own, and that's pretty cool.

The 'gentle hands' corrections seem to finally be taking some affect. It also helps to praise him whenever he is gentle with the same words, and it's important to be aware of when he does something well, like that. I am very glad that he's getting it, though some of it might have been him just taking the time to test the boundaries of it, and not really knowing what his strength is.

Jet got up at 4, ate, and then didn't go back to sleep with me, so I handed him to John this morning, instead of taking him again. John and I talked and he said he felt bad when I did all the night duties for a night, so that made it very easy to ask for help. They did fine, and actually slept for a while in the livingroom themselves this morning. So they were both pretty cheerful when I got up, and the three of us went to the Coffee Urn, the diner at I-25 and Colorado 52.

It was pretty busy, but we got a booth near the entrance. The service was pretty quick, and breakfast, as always, was excellent. My corned beef has was crisp and savory, the pancakes tender and chewy, the eggs perfectly cooked, the coffee endless, and the hash browns crisp and flavorful. I really enjoyed them. Jet also showed he'd really improved his eating abilities. He got pieces of pancake and ate them happily. Big chunks of pancake that he pulled apart as he saw fit and started just chowing down on. I was pretty impressed. Jet ate pancake bits, some pieces of my corned beef hash, and he got sips of water and even stole a few chunks of ice.

Jet also caught the attention of the waitress, who called him 'pumpkin' and she gave him a pat or a smile whenever she went by him and he whipped his head around to watch her go by. There was also a little boy who had fun making faces at Jet and Jet laughed, chortled, and grinned back. Jet has, now, what I call a Robin William's face. It's probably inherited from the Rostykus side of the family in Jet's face structure, the cheeks and the way his eyes crinkle when he really smiles big. It looks a lot like when Robin squints his whole face up in the smile of all smiles.

Jet flashed that face at the little boy and got delighted laughter. A woman watched Jet from her table and when she was done with her breakfast came by to tell him that she'd been watching him and he'd been so quiet and so busy she had to tell him that she had admired him. She cooed at him and then smiled, and he gave her that Robin Williams grin back. They were both delighted by the encounter.

It was a very enjoyable breakfast.

After that John took another way home, which swung by a new development. The development was out in the plains. Each house had at least an acre, each was fully customized, and they were fairly high priced. The builders were a little desperate to sell the houses that were already built. It was pretty when we first drove through it, there was plenty of room between houses that weren't too big for the lots. When we'd gone around the block once we saw an open house, so we parked and went in to look. Just to look, we weren't really looking to move, but it's always nice to get an idea of what we like in concrete terms.

It was a very nice, big ranch-style house, with three bedrooms and an office. The layout of the kitchen, livingroom, and diningroom was all really nice, though the kitchen had a tile floor and I knew that if I dropped anything breakable on it it was pretty much doomed. There was a bench in the mud room between the garage and the rest of the house, and there was a really nice owners' suite and a cool Jack and Jill bathroom between two of the smaller bedrooms.

Jet had a great time crawling around on the carpets, just cruising through the empty house. We then looked at four more houses that, it turned out, were all open at the time, and even talked the real estate agent who was in charge of all this to open another house for us. So we got to see one other ranch house, and three houses with two stories. The last house was really, really neat, with crossing staircases, one that started in the kitchen, the other in the formal areas, and they ended at the master suite, and, at the opposite side of the upstairs, amid the kids' rooms.

The crossing staircases made for a bridge across the really open space of the livingroom below, so it was pretty much a bridge. The whole thing made the house wide open and we could see into any of the areas downstairs from upstairs. I was really amazed. It was a really light house with lots of space and open ceilings. The kitchen was huge and beautiful with marble counters and cherry cabinets. Far more than we'd need, but it was very interesting to dream and think and wonder.

After all those houses, playing with some toys the agent had set up in case children did some with their parents, and having a lot of crawling everywhere he could go, Jet fell asleep on the way home. He napped for a good hour and a half and when he woke, I fed him and we all went to the Fredrick recreation center to try swimming. On the way over, John and I talked about strategies to get to the pool with minimal fuss, given that we had Jet, the diaper bag, the video camera, and all our stuff plus Jet and only one locker lock.

We managed it. I had the camera bag and my suit and towel. I changed, showered, and left my stuff in an unsecured locker. The video camera bag went with me, and came out into the pool area with me. John and Jet arrived soon after, wet from their shower.

We started with Jet in one of the life jackets. Sadly, the smallest jacket was for a kid that was 30-40 pounds, so it was a bit too large for Jet. It actually went up around his ears, and since it covered so much of his body the buoyancy left him unstable. If it had only covered him from the waist up, it would have made his head stay out of the water. As it was, it wasn't making it easier for him to keep his head out of the water.

There were, however, two different baby rafts. I was looking them over when a mother asked me which one I was going to use, so I just picked one. Sadly, it kept more than half of Jet's body out of the water, and he got pretty cold. The other mother gave up on the other 'raft' and handed it over to us, as her girl was actually big enough for one of the lift jackets, and the raft was too restrictive for her.

Jet took to the second raft really well. It let him further into the water, but had two concentric rings, one with him suspended in the center and an outer one that suspended the other within it. The two of them were extremely stable, so Jet's head was supported well above the surface of the water. His arms were on the inner ring, and his legs were through two quarters of the ring that were split by two straps. We started with his legs through the front two quarters, as he seemed to want to sit up.

Jet had been very uncertain of the life jacket, and the whole new situation he was finding himself in. He wasn't happy, and he was almost crying at moments when the lifejacket went up to his ears and he wasn't sure if he was going to get water in his face or not. After getting pretty cold in the first raft, he was happier with the additional stability, but shivering. In the second raft he started bouncing in the 'seat' and splashing and wiggling and kicking his legs and having a *much* better time.

He started watching everyone around us, and vigorously bouncing towards things. He'd kick with both legs, really hard, and would, with a little help, move forward. He also was good at twisting his body in the water so he could look in the direction he wanted to look. So if he was pointed right, he could actually move in the direction he was interested in. When we figured that out, and moved his legs to the back quarters of the raft, he was leaning a bit forward onto the rings, and when he bounced and kicked his legs, he'd move forward all that much more quickly. He really liked that.

There was another ten-month-old baby in the pool, and Jet was fascinated by the other baby. The other baby, Forrest, was also fascinated by Jet, but he didn't know how to kick or move, he only knew how to splash and he cheerfully splashed Jet in the face a few times in greeting. Jet didn't like that too much. He did, however, give Forrest's grandfather a big smile, and his mom and dad, too.

Jet then had fun going between John and I for a while, whomever caught his interest. There were two loud teen-age boys that Jet watched cautiously. He was very interested in them, but also wary as they caused big waves and big sounds. Jet mostly, though, was just happy, bouncy and loved kick, kick, kicking like crazy and as he got more used to the water, he got happier and happier about being in it. He was moving so hard and fast that he was splashing himself in the face occasionally, but it didn't seem to faze him at all.

By the time he was really tired, we'd been in the pool for more than forty minutes. Both John and I took a little time to swim a lap or two now and again, and that felt good in and of itself. By the time Jet was tired, we were all tired, and John went to rinse Jet off as I went to rinse myself off. John figured he'd get Jet rinsed, dried, and dressed in the time it would take me to do the same. He was right. so I held Jet in the lobby and gave him water to drink while John rinsed off.

Jet loved being in the middle of the lobby and watching all the people that traveled through. He just watched everyone and everything, and drank a little water. I needed real water to clear the chlorine out of my mouth. John soon appeared and we headed out. All of us were tired, happy, and well moisturized. A very good deal for $3.50, and much, much better than sitting at home and just watching TV

We were all starving when we got home. John fed Jet solids while I showered and used soap to get all the chlorine off me. Then I nursed Jet, who was too tired to eat any more solids, while John showered. When John was done, Jet was eating while asleep, and I took him off and put him in his car seat, and he got another short nap. I decided that since we weren't really getting any good patterns out of my night records that I might as well stop using them any more, and stop recording all of Jet's naps, meals, and sleep times at night. One less thing I feel I need to do is a good thing.

While Jet napped, I ate a snack of half a bagel with some of the duck pate. There is a lot of pate. I really don't need *that* much fat on a regular basis, but, for today it was a nice snack when I really needed the energy. Then I made dinner while John baked peanut butter cookies and Jet was destructo-boy, as he ought to be.

Jet has a habit of climbing my folding table and trying to pull things off it. He likes playing with the ribbons, books, nail clipper, my atomic clock, and anything else he can get his hands on. I had been drinking a raspberry Hansen's while nursing him because I really needed the blood sugar, and I hadn't finished it. John saw a seltzer on the table and had put that somewhere safe, but he hadn't seen the pop. So when Jet went to pull the clock off the table, he tipped the pop onto the sofa. It spilled on the couch and the floor.

Oops.

John was upset because he really hates having to clean up sugar stuff, but he wasn't mad about it, really. It wasn't a danger or anything, just a bother. I didn't get the last part of that until we talked about it during dinner. I was glad we talked it through. I was feeling bad about having left a pop on the table. I was also feeling bad about letting Jet climb the folding table because it isn't the most stable thing in the world and he's getting big enough it could be a real hazard.

So John took the table down into the guest bedroom, as a good side table down there. We then took one of the more solid side tables, moved the plant so that it would be completely out of Jet's reach, and then put that where I could use it, instead. Much safer.

It's good to talk things through with John because we figure things out. Then he used the mini carpet cleaner we have and he cleaned both the carpet and the couch. Then I vacuumed around, including where the maids had put the splat mat where it wouldn't catch things that Jet missed eating. We put the mat in the more useful place after that. I also made hwoa tsai/mu shu chicken and ate it with tortillas and hoisin sauce. It was a satisfying meal.

Jet ate the innards happily. We scooped some into his suction cupped bowl and he cheerfully ate out of the bowl with his hands. The finely chopped elements of the dish were really good baby finger food, and he had a blast.

John and Jet played after dinner while I wrote some. Jet had fun getting undressed again, and a blast crawling about naked. The only problem was that he got his fishing pool and in the course of swinging the magnet around, Jet whacked himself with the magnet. Owie. He cried and cried, but wouldn't let go of the pole or stop swinging it as he didn't connect the action with getting whacked. Poor kid. Finally John was able to wrestle it away from him and comfort him for a while.

Jet fell deep asleep while nursing. We were watching the pilot episodes of The Next Generation, and when Jet went to sleep, I made the fermented rice soup with black sesame mochi balls and we enjoyed that late night snack. I could feel the heat with my aching teeth, but the soup was good enough to be well worth the doing. I have my filling tomorrow, and I hope it'll go well. It scares me a little, too, but I'll get through it, too.

I was scared that I was backsliding into being depressive, scared of everything and everyone, and not being myself anymore. I am, however, doing the things that matter, and trying the things that scare me and getting stuff to work out. That's not backsliding. I can't help my emotions, and I can't help my feelings, especially the ones that are just wrong about how they perceive reality, but I can try and do the more constructive and useful thing.

I can go swimming. I can get dental work done. I can talk things through with John when I'm sad and depressed and want to just give up. I can figure out what isn't useful to do and what is useful and how to go about it. So that's good in deed.

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