Archive for September, 2007

My Smarty Pants Boy

One of these days I’m going to learn to stop underestimating my son. Mark and I have been trying this thing we read (ok, skimmed over) in The Happiest Toddler on the Block. Dr. Karp suggests one way to teach your child patience is to count to three before giving him something he wants. So whenever Noah wants to be picked up, I usually say, “Ok Noah. Count to three first and then I’ll pick you up.” Well, I’m not sure how well the patience lesson is working, but the opportunity seemed right for a counting lesson as well, so I started out asking him to count to three and then I worked my way up to five (we had a few weeks regression when his counting went “1…8…9…10!”).

A few days ago my brother noticed what I was doing and before giving Noah a toy he was reaching for my brother told him “Count to ten first.” I interrupted with “Oh, we only go up to five. He can’t count to ten yet.” To my complete shock, Noah then proceeded to count from 1 to 10…correctly, I might add. Then, just to rub it in my face, he followed it up by counting to five in Japanese. Holy crap! Who is this child?!!

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September 25, 2007 at 11:29 pm Leave a comment

I’m In Complete Awe of My Son

(Because I’m a first time mom, these things do fascinate me, so please forgive my naïve ramblings and the mushy gushing.)

Noah will be two this coming Sunday and when I think back on how far he’s come in such a short time, I’m just completely blown away. Less than two short years ago, he was just an oversized newborn, completely dependent on me for everything with no ability to communicate his needs except through crying, and today?

• He feeds himself. Granted, he doesn’t cook (yet), but the boy sure knows how to stuff an entire cookie in his mouth.

• He has food preferences! No, he is not content with whatever I happen to pull out of the fridge anymore and I definitely can’t make him eat something just because it’s good for him (bye bye veggies!). He actually has cravings that I’m expected to cater to.

• He’s not potty-trained yet, but he signals me when he’s going potty. And he always flushes and leaves the seat down.

• He talks. A lot! AND he’s perceptive. A hilarious combination. Case in point, my sister was playing with Noah when her cell phone rang. She said, “It’s Jeff. I should take this.” Jeff is her boyfriend, who she playfully calls “Monkey.” When Noah saw the cell phone, he reached for it. She gave it to him and Noah immediately said into the mouthpiece, “Hi Uncle Monkey.”

• He talks and has enough comprehension to actually hold a discussion with. Yesterday I noticed him walking around chewing something. I asked him what he was eating and he replied, “Donut.” I was a little surprised given that it was 30 minutes until dinnertime. “Who gave you the donut?” “Lola (my mom)” he replied. I was too amused that he ratted out his own grandmother to be mad.

• Not only does he talk, but he also sings! At what point did he grow up enough to sing and how did I miss that?!

• He kisses! Not just on demand, but there are times when he will randomly go up to someone and plant a sweet kiss on their cheek, arm, leg, or whatever happens to be available. His latest favorite way to get my attention is to plant kisses on my arm. How can I say no to that?

Obviously there are a million more things that have changed in these two years and naturally, we have our issues too, like his temper tantrums, my temper tantrums, his picky eating, etc. But overall it’s been really great. He’s so smart, so outgoing, so sweet, so funny, and just so not like me, it has been the greatest honor to have him in my life and to be able to watch him grow and develop into the ham that he is today.

There are times when I think back and miss the baby that he was and how much easier things were then, but all that pales in comparison to the little man I have now. When people told me back then that it would only get better, I didn’t really believe it (how could tantrums be better than sweet little babies?), but it so is. I don’t know how it’s possible, but I am filled with so much love for this little man and not a day goes by that I don’t pause to thank my lucky stars for him.

September 19, 2007 at 11:31 pm Leave a comment

Remembering 9/11

I woke up on 9/11 like any other day. I was an assistant on the trading floor at J.P. Morgan in San Francisco which meant I worked market hours and had to be in by 6:30 am. Mark was still asleep as I got up at 5:30 am to get ready for work — groggy as usual. I had the radio on NPR as I put on my makeup and I remember the announcer saying a plane had flown into the World Trade Center. I didn’t get it. I maybe had an inkling of what had happened, but I could only picture a small private jet maybe clipping its wing on one of the buildings. I couldn’t fathom the enormity of what had occurred.

I made my way to the casual carpool and as I got into the car, the driver turned around and said that a second plane had hit the towers. Again, very strange, but I don’t think the significance of it really occurred to anyone in the car. The driver and the person in the front seat chatted casually the rest of the way into the city while I gazed out of the window trying to wake up.

It wasn’t until I walked into work that I realized what had actually happened. I stepped onto the trading floor and stopped, frozen at the door. The trading floor walls were lined with flat screen tvs and scenes of the World Trade Center, smoke billowing out of its towers, greeted me everywhere I looked. I felt numb and frightened. A little stupid that I didn’t get it earlier. I had never witnessed the floor so quiet at that time of day. Everyone was standing at their desks, glued to the tv screens. Two of the female traders were huddled in the corner, holding one another and crying into each other’s shoulders. My boss, Joe, broke the silence. “Go home,” he said. “Everybody just go home.” I remained where I was for a moment — still numb, still scared, still unsettled — and finally joined the trickle of people making their way toward the elevators. On my way to the bus station I called Mark. He had just woken up. I told him I was coming home, that the twin towers had been hit, and that’s when the numbness left me. I started crying and the best that I could manage was to tell him to turn on the tv. He stayed on the phone with me until I could calm down a little and I made him promise not to go in to work that day. I remember on the bus ride home, one of the other passengers tried to hit on me, and I thought how strange it was that life could still go on even while this was happening.

The rest of the day and the next few days went by in a haze. I don’t remember what I did so much as how I felt. The numbness melting into overwhelming sadness replaced by fear and then rage. I returned to work a few days later and I remember being relieved at the normalcy of the action and feeling more at home with my co-workers for having shared that event with them and us seeing each other at our most vulnerable.

Today when I think back on what happened on 9/11, it’s not fear or anger that comes to me. Always I will think about the tragedy of the lives lost, but also the hope, the feeling of solidarity I felt — not just with other Americans, but how the world came to our support — and the pride I felt — in the heroes at ground zero, that we as Americans had experienced this attack and our strength and conviction that we would survive and move on had prevailed.

September 11, 2007 at 11:35 pm Leave a comment


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