We are less than two weeks away from Ian's arrival and Elliott is more determined each day to make sure our attention stays focused squarely on him. I'm sure he doesn't understand the degree of the family dynamic changes coming our way, but he does sense something big is coming and has begun to provide noticeable enhancements to the show we know as Elliott's hour (which conveniently has several showings a day dependent on where you live or work.) It is not unlike a television drama series adding unexpected plot twists late in the season to fend off competition from the launch of the fall's new shows.
One possible twist, one that will always gain attention if not additional viewers, is the incorporation of nudity into your show. Elliott has discovered how easily his diapers come off. When you are fortunate enough to be present when he makes such a discovery and you witness the big grin that blankets his face afterward, you know right away you might be in trouble depending on the exact implications of his actions. When he has just found a way to become a spontaneous strip show, one without discrimination of audience or location, the implications are concerning at best. I changed his diaper earlier this week and then went to spend some time on the computer. Moments later, I heard Elliott standing next to me. I looked down at him he was standing in nothing but a t-shirt. I rushed to put a diaper back on him, a move that was more self-serving than it was an act of imposed modesty. I had no desire to clean up after a child that decided it would be cool to pee on the floor.
Maybe Elliott would find it more entertaining to not be Elliott anymore. Maybe his audience would find him more entertaining if he was a pelican. Elliott loves playing with straws. When we take him to Pizza Hut on Wednesday evenings for the buffet - I suppose Elliott goes for the pizza and I go for the buffet - we allow him to unwrap the paper covered straws which keeps him perfectly content long enough for Katie and I to fill up our plates. I keep telling him I am going to get him a box of straws for Christmas. This past weekend he decided he could make use of the straws even after they were unwrapped. He stuck one in his mouth and held it tight between his teeth allowing it to stick straight out away from his face. He then walked around with it saying "pelican bird". I have attached a couple of pictures of the new bird in our family.
If none of that makes your show more entertaining, you can always fall back on an old standby - music. Elliott can singTwinkle Twinkle Little Star all the way through now. But even more impressive, Elliott can sing it all the way through repeating as often is necessary to amuse himself on the ride from grandma and grandpa's house to our house, about a 40 minute drive. We picked him up from their house Sunday after we did a tour of the hospital where Ian will be born (in 13 days). It was after 7:00 PM and tiresomely close to his bedtime. Katie had grandma give him a bath so he'd be ready to fall asleep in the car on the ride home and set him up for an easy transfer from car-seat to bed once we got home. Grandma did her part. He was bathed, sent out the door with a full cup of milk and nestled comfortably in his seat to doze off in a matter of seconds. All the planning in the world didn't account for a clear and gorgeous night, one where you can see every star in the sky, especially if you're Elliott who looks for the stars and the moon every time he leaves the house day or night. When he was done with his milk, he pointed at the sky, said "stars" and proceeded to sing Twinkle Twinkle for the next 30 minutes, catching not one moment of sleep on the way home. Ironically, I didn't catch much either as I listened to that song in my head through the night. Oh there are days to be grateful for the clouds.
I went with Elliott and his class to the pumpkin patch yesterday. I was riding beside Elliott on the hay ride when he began to sing the Itsy Bitsy Spider. His teacher looked over at me and said "you know he is quite the entertainer." I gave her an acknowledging smile, shook my head and thought to myself - you don't say. He was a joy to be with. There is nothing like the joy you feel while sharing in the joy of your child. Whether watching him run up to the baby cows while screaming "moo" or shouting "up the hill" as the tractor climbed the trail to the pumpkin patch, there was no better way to spend a morning.
We can't wait to have our joy doubled and thank God every day for the blessing and privilege of being parents.