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July 20, 2002
two years ago
three years ago
five years ago

Party in the Woods

11:03 pm: Poor Jet. On the way home from the party he hugged a bag of soft dinner rolls for comfort as he was grumbling, kicking, and scratching like crazy at his mosquito bites. He had a bunch from the Lake Wenatchee trip and collected a few more from Steve and Candy's backyard. The one on his right thigh and the one behind his right ear were the ones that were bugging him the most, though, on the way home, and he was grabbing at them and scratching away.

I played Little Piggies with him and distracted him for a little while. But then he started yelling and scratching again. I thought he was too busy for that to care about the dinner rolls anymore. He had a big bag of them in his lap. I tried to take them off his lap and he cried and reached for them. I gave them back to him and he hugged them close before whimpering about his bites again.

I guess the soft rolls were a comfort to him. I had been very surprised when he'd traded the Play-Doh press machine for a bag of dinner rolls, but we'd tried it when it looked like there was nothing that would pry that machine from Jet's hands without making a huge uproar. Candy suggested the rolls when we picked them up to take them home, and surprised by the suggestion, we tried it. Jet immediately gave up the machine and hugged the six soft rolls to his chest.

We'd been there since four. It was nine-thirty, way past Pumpkin Time, but Jet had been having a blast with all of Jeffery and Rebecca's toys. He'd been quiet, cheerful, and played hard with all the toys. Both Jeffery and Matt had outdone him, tremendously, in the destruction, noise, and misbehavior departments, so I'd mostly just let him do what he wanted all evening. He'd had a blast, I didn't worry, and John had a great time, too.

Jet had eaten tremendously, again. He ate careful bites off of John's first shishkabob. They were precise little bites of steak, mushroom, red peppers, and more steak. He'd avoided the onions after the first bite of one of those. He ate part of one of the dinner rolls. Then Candy and Steve had made him a hot dog, and he ate half the toasted bun before finding the hot dog behind it. He promptly did a chipmunk imitation and stuffed as much of it as he could into his mouth and cheeks. He ate the whole thing.

I'd predicted that he would, but even I was surprised when he did it after all the rest and a bit of corn off the cob as well. When the blackberry cake came out, John let Jet have first dibs on his slice. Jet wielded the plastic fork with ease and ate half of the piece of cake. When John tried to take the rest, Jet got very vocal when John tried to take the fork as well. So John let Jet have the fork. Jet then proceeded to show John just how well he could use a fork by stabbing pieces of cake from John's plate and eating those, too. Jet then drank two glasses of water on his own.

After having drunk an entire glass juice glass of apple juice at lunch, that wasn't quite the surprise it seemed to be to everyone else at the party. Somehow, Jet figured out how to drink out of a normal glass and he's going to town with the ability. Just today he hasn't poured anything onto himself, just drunk a lot at once out of a normal glass, and enjoyed it.

Rebecca is just two, and she's smaller than Jet, has walked for just about as long as he has, and she's very tentative about anything new. Jeffrey is even more fearful about new things; but comfortable at home with the toys and people he knows. That was cool.

I think that little Amber is comfortable anywhere. She's as straightforward about new places and situations as her dad, Dave. It was really good to see them again.

This is the dinner group we used to belong to, and since we moved away, they've only met whenever we're in town and say that we're going to be around. It's pretty funny that they only meet, now, when we're in town, but so it is. It was fun to see the three other families, their kids, and get to talk and catch up on how life ahs been since we've last seen them. Each family brings certain portions of the dinner, while the host does the main course. We were told to bring bread.

There's a Great Harvest shop near John's parents' house. It's one of those chains that is owner operated, and I've always liked the quality of some of their breads. There are a few standard ones; and then each outlet has their own specialties, much like the local Toshi's teriyaki joints. I'll have to really look into how to do a Toshi's franchise, as the variations I've seen are rather marvelous. I'm not brave enough to do a bread franchise were I have to get up at 4:30 in the morning just to start work. Ugh.

But we knew there was a local Great Harvest, and we'd gotten a call to get the photos from Target, as their processing was done. We were brave and went out to get all that and left Jet with his grandparents. It was brave because Jet had only had a half an hour nap and was mildly out of sorts. I don't want to wear our Jet's welcome here. As if I could...

But we went out on our errands, and got rolls at Great Harvest after tasting their Dakota bread. John loved the texture, so we got half a dozen of those rolls. The poor guy at the register kept ringing up $200+ totals for our little buy. He finally had to go back and talk with someone else to get it all cleared up. I'm glad he did. The place smelled wonderful, and after we bought our bread, I asked for a slice of the cinnamon chip that was also there. He gave me a thick wedge. I buttered it and chewed it while we waited in line at the Starbucks next door.

John and I heard a rather bemusing conversation about how Indianapolis is a little Podunk Mid-west town with only 200 Starbucks outlets... only... Given that the strip mall that we were standing in had two Starbucks stores in it, it seemed weirdly appropriate. Both of the shops here were doing well, too.

One thing I really liked about the barista working here was that she asked me if I wanted my caramel sauce on top or on the bottom. I said, firmly, that I wanted it on top. This is in a huge contrast to the stupid man in Boulder who insisted that his pouring the sauce in to the bottom of the cup was the same thing. I guess the folks here understand that coffee preferences are an orientation, not something that's logical, but something that is supposed to be emotionally satisfying. I have no argument that having the sauce on top may in any way affect the taste or consistency of the drink. I do, however, know that I like it better on top. Yes. I know that can mean many things, too.

And she gave it to me on top of my double tall split-shot latte. In the pretty lattice work I like, with the standard, small-holed squirt bottle, and it kissed the foam with its sweetness before settling through my drink to be swirled in as I unconsciously swirled my cup as it gradually emptied.

As I said, it's not logical. It's purely emotional.

From there we hit Target, and got a huge stack of pictures in neat yellow envelopes with a card stamped with nine neat, star-shaped holes. The tenth roll will be free, just as the first one was. It's Target's Memory Card deal. You buy a card for ten dollars. You get a dollar off each roll, and the first and last ones free. Plus a ten percent discount on half a dozen other items. It's a neat deal. We took all those home to Isabel and George and they sorted through them all, found the pictures they liked and we'll be making CD's in the morning. We may even make a web site as there are only thirty-six pictures.

We were greeted by, "We didn't mean to make him go to sleep..." They'd taken him for a walk, and he'd willingly gone in the stroller with his cap on. He fell asleep on the way, and he slept in the front foyer of the house. He woke up just enough to cry and fuss and writhe to the floor while George tried to get him out of the stroller. Seeing him that unhappy and tired, I picked him up and nursed him and he went back to sleep until we left for the party. We even managed to keep him asleep for the ride to the party, and he only woke up when we stopped to get out.

I decided not to nap because I got to sleep in late this morning. John had actually gotten Jet when Jet woke up screaming, "Owie!!" at midnight. Jet kept screaming even after John picked him up, so he knew something was wrong. So he gave Jet some Tylenol, expecting that it was teething. It took Jet about half an hour to get back to sleep, after some more crying, a sip of milk, and a good belch.

Jet woke up at 4:30, to nurse and got back to sleep on the floor. Then he got up again at 6:30. John got him, handed him to me still in my bed. I nursed him while lying there, and then Jet curled up against me and went back to sleep. He then started his roll and kick. He kept doing it until he was perpendicular to me on my twin bed. I finally wrapped one hand around his thigh and went to sleep wondering if Jet would kick hard enough to go over the edge, onto his head, or if I'd catch him. I never got to find out.

He didn't wake up again until 8 am. I woke up when he stretched and kicked, and when he started making more noise, John got up. I hung onto the lunging Jet long enough for John to get dressed, and then John took Jet upstairs with him. I slept in. Until 9:30, and got to eat some of the Scottish oatmeal that George was cleaning up. That was a great breakfast.

The rest of the morning was quiet. I read some Smithsonian magazines, and really enjoyed an article on arborists, who just climb trees for fun. They even use high tech climbing gear to create suspended platforms that they can rope themselves into and sleep under a giant tree's canopy. That sounds wonderful. Maybe I'll do that someday.

One of the things I realized as we were driving to Steve and Candy's is that there's a fundamental difference between living in a place where humans planted all the trees and took care of them to get them to grow as ornamentation and this place where the trees were here first. Where it's obvious that the trees were here first, and they're older than the houses, the streets, or the buildings. I miss that.

I also realized at the dinner, that Jet is a very brave little guy. He tries things. He isn't afraid. He climbed a wood-slat wall to get to the top of a slide in Rebecca's backyard. After watching Rebecca slide down it once, he watched her hesitate on another trip down, so he got down on the top of the slide and went for it. He ran after the big boys to play with them, and wasn't scared when he toppled on a hill, came down a really steep incline, and got bopped with a ball. He just kept going and defended himself when one of the boys got a bit too rough. Jet's fierce and brave enough to defend himself against someone at least twice his size. That's something.

I am glad he is the way he is. After finding that both Fezzik and Jet share characteristics of strong-willed independence, bravery, flexibility in new situations, willingness to play well with others, and ability to defend themselves, I am starting to be willing to concede that John and I may have something to do with engendering those characteristics. I still need to see how Jet turns out, in the long run, but in the short there is some evidence that he's going the right direction.

We had lunch while I was reading the article. Jet had eaten three dried bananas in a row by going to the pantry he knew they were in and banging on the doors until someone gave him a dried banana. They were smallish bananas from Thailand. By the third one Isabel was asking if we shouldn't feed him some lunch. So we did. Four baby carrots, a quarter of a grilled cheese sandwich, three sections of an orange, a chunk of shredded celery, three Cajun potato chips (one of which had all the hot stuff licked off the surface before it was carefully given back), and two nearly drunk glasses of apple juice later Jet smiled at everyone and asked to be let down. It's good to have a more vocal boy.

Jet was also just as vocal about his bug bites in the car. Since he was still awake when we got back home, we gave him a cool bath with baking soda when he got home. He also got clean with baby cleanser (no soap) and lots and lots of pour water. He loved watching the water pour out of his bucket. He liked putting the shovel into the stream and seeing how different parts of the shovel affected the stream. He tried the inside of the scoop, the outside, the two sides, and then both sides of the handle. I poured lots and lots of water. I found that being sweaty and sticky aggravated my bites, and he seemed to be much happier after the bath.

He very calmly nursed and went to sleep. John pulled the plastic from the baby mattress, and when I put Jet on it, tonight, he didn't fight it at all. He just snuggled in and went right to sleep. Yay!

It's good when he is vocal about pains and problems and we can actually do something about them. I think I'm really going to enjoy when Jet can tell us more.

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