Our new hometown, Ashland, Virginia is referred to as the “Center of the Universe”. I’m not sure anyone outside of Ashland knows they’ve been to the center of the universe when they pass through, but folks here know it. I’m not even sure how it came to get this distinction, but I’ve come up with my own theory. It’s because every train that travels the eastern seaboard does so through this town. Why is any of this important? Two reasons. One, every train that blows through here, literally, does so within yards of our house. And if the whistle of a train isn’t enough, we now have a warning whistle from Elliott just moments BEFORE the trains arrive. Whether its vibration or sixth sense, he stops what he is doing, gives us a loud hoo hoo and points at the front door. A few seconds later, right on cue, a conductor is answering Elliott with a house shaking hoo hoo of his own. I had adjusted to the train whistles. I hope the adjustment to Elliott whistles comes as quickly.
Hoo hoo, quack quack and bird are his favorite words right now. He went to the doctor last week and they were very impressed with how well he was pointing, talking and walking. He didn’t demonstrate his ability to climb up on his rocker and do a front summersault onto the floor, his most impressive trick to date. Elliott’s grin says even he’s impressed with that one. The doctor also said he’s still in the 10-25% range in every physical growth category; he’s short and one cup of oatmeal away from 21 pounds. The doctor assured us he’s developing fine, so the size is not concerning.
Mom has incorporated teeth brushing into his routine. After his last cup of milk for the night his teeth get scrubbed. He’s actually quite fond of it. His favorite part is rinsing his mouth out with water using his little silver cup he got from his great grandma Ducey for his birthday. When he sees the cup coming, he breaks into a grin.
His previous babysitter is due to have a baby this month, so we’ve moved him to a new daycare. It has been a difficult transition for all. Elliott hates more than ever to be away from mom and dad; I drop him off and leave to a “why are you abandoning me” look. It makes for a fun drive down town. In addition, there are some minor concerns with the daycare itself, an uneasy feeling really. So he’s given his two week notice there and has decided to spend his days with Grandma and Grandpa Almond. Katie and I gave him our blessing on this decision. This also is cause for uneasiness, but I’d rather worry about the effects of a spoiling overdose than attention deprivation.
Our neighbor told us tonight that their little boy has had to see a neurologist the past couple of weeks. He’s about Elliott’s age. He’s had some seizure-like episodes and they’re working to identify the source of the problem. So far the news has been more comforting than concerning, but a burden nonetheless. When I heard that, I immediately asked God to protect Max and his mom and dad. Then I couldn't help but thank God for the many blessings of health and comfort he has poured on Elliott and his mom and dad.