Toddler

June 12th, 2020

Weston is asleep. So are Gabby and Hans. The sun isn’t up yet, but the sky in the east is just starting to get light. I let the three dogs outside when I got up half an hour ago. Then they started howling and scratching at the door, so I let them back inside. They immediately burst into the bathroom and started drinking water from from the toilet. I tried to move them, but they would not be deterred. Now they are back in the yard, and I am sitting at the kitchen table with a large cup of coffee. Thank God for Keurig.

I spent most of yesterday with Gabby and Weston. Hans worked a long, ugly shift, so I didn’t see very much of him. I had plenty of time to learn more about Weston, my 18-month-old grandson. Gabby fed Weston and changed him, but the little guy did come to me occasionally when he was feeling unappreciated. He crawled up in my lap, and then he left when he realized that I wasn’t appreciating him either.

Weston is a toddler. He walks all around the house, but his motor skills are not yet finely tuned. He keeps his right arm raised when he walks in order to maintain his balance. He still tumbles occasionally. Weston tends to break his falls with his forehead, which leads to unpleasant scenes of pain and sorrow.

Weston is solidly built. Nobody would accuse him of being fragile. The young man is remarkably strong for his age, both in body and will. An uncharitable person might say that Weston is stubborn. Of course, I would never say that.

The lad is inquisitive. He likes to explore, and that can sometimes be a hazardous activity. Gabby and Hans have done their best to child-proof their apartment, but that is impossible to do completely. Weston loves to open cabinets and doors. Nothing is safe and nothing is sacred. The whole world is new to him, and he plans on seeing all of it.

The little guy takes food very seriously. That is a family trait. Gabby makes him a hearty breakfast: fruit, pancakes, juice, bacon. Yesterday Weston was shoveling pieces of pancake into his face with both hands. He couldn’t eat fast enough. When the pancakes ran low, he grabbed slices of banana. For Weston dining is a messy process, conducted more with gusto than precision. At the end of the meal, it is not unusual for his face to be smeared with fragments of food. I can tell what was on the menu by picking through his tangled, reddish-blond hair.

When Weston is not hungry, and that does occasionally happen, he carefully picks through his food and casually drops it all, piece by piece, from his high chair on to the floor. As I mentioned, there are three dogs, so clean up is efficient and thorough.

Weston is a Lausbub. That is a German term for “rascal”. He has a clever and agile mind. He can’t use words yet, but he is quite capable of expressing himself.  He does not deal well with disappointment. He cries out in a high pitched voice, and his face gets beet red. A small vein in his forehead pulses ominously. That lasts for about five seconds. Then he notices that Mickey Mouse is doing something funny on the TV, and life goes on. His mood swings are blindingly fast. He is not one to wallow in melancholy. There is simply too much to see and do.

Weston would be a good Zen master. He is always in the moment. He moves from one thing to another rapidly, but he doesn’t forget much either. He loves to play with cell phones, computers, and other electronic devices with buttons. Gabby and Hans bought him a toy cell phone, but Weston knows the difference between the baby toy and a real cell phone. He can be discouraged from fooling around with somebody’s cell or the TV remote…for a while. Eventually, stealthily, he comes back to the scene of the crime and tries to grab the magical play thing. He tries to be all cute and innocent, and then, when you aren’t looking, his little hand grabs the prize. So far, he hasn’t dialed 911.

Sometimes, when Weston is tired or frustrated, he sighs. It is always a deep sigh that wells up from the depths of his soul. When is doing some physical activity, something that requires brute strength, he grunts and groans like he is a weight lifter going for the Olympic gold medal. He occasionally growls with a surprisingly low, feral voice. It sounds vaguely reminiscent of “The Exorcist”. I find it a bit disturbing. Then he smiles and toddles away.

He has a very expressive face. He can smile sweetly. That doesn’t happen often. He can also give the death stare. When he is unhappy, he looks at you with cold, unblinking, grey eyes. The message is clear: “Don’t fuck with me”. The Sith energy is all in his eyes. Darth Weston.

Oh well, he will be up soon. Maybe, I’ll take him outside before it gets hot. After all, we are in Texas and it is summer.

I wonder what he will teach me today.

 

 

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