Ian must not have taken kindly to the doctor's assessment last week that he had dropped from the 90th percentile in weight to the 75th. The doctor gave us permission to experiment with feeding Ian rice cereal at meal times. I'm sure his motives weren't geared toward's getting Ian back in that 90th percentile, but doctor motives aren't always aligned with the patient's. Ian has embraced the experiment with the fervor of Ben Franklin running around in a thunderstorm with a kite and a key. He ate a cup of the cereal at dinner Sunday night; he ate four cups on Monday night. In his eyes, which appear to be scanning the distance betwen his bowl of rice cereal and the 90th percentile, the experiment has been fulfilling.
It could be my imagination, but seeing Ian on rice cereal for two days has made Popeye re-consider his devotion to spinach. When I left Ian on the floor at grandma and grandpa's this morning, he looked like a turtle with his head extended as far out of his shell as physically possible, slowly rotating around the room just to show that he could. His look of surprise at his new found strength quickly turned to a proud smile. We of course returned the favor.
Our weather this past weekend was worthy of many smiles. I'm not sure I've seen a bigger weather difference over consecutive weekends. Major snowstorm and upper 20's last weekend, bright sunshine and low 80's this weekend. The weather abbreviated the yard life of the second coming of Frosty the Snowman. And where the first Frosty trickled his way out of the yard; the second one simply evaporated. I think Elliott has come to accept the transient nature of a snowman. He processed the disappearance of the first Frosty like one might process a good friend moving to the other side of the country. The second one was treated more like a lawn ornament stolen in the night, a theft he didn't care to report to the police.
It is fun watching their minds develop and witnessing how they process different things. One night last week Elliott was messing with things in the cabinet under the bathroom sink while I was getting his bath water ready. He picked something up and asked "what's this daddy?"
"That's a Breathe Right strip," I answered.
"Breathe White strip," he attempted to repeat through his laughter. "What's it for?"
"It's to help me breathe better," I answered, certain that was not going to satisfy the line of questioning.
He didn't respond. He just stared, like he was patiently waiting for my answer. I knew what had to be done. I took the strip out of its wrapper, peeled the backing off the sticky side, and centered it on my nose. Throughout the entire bath he just pointed at my nose saying "breathe white strip." At the time, I didn't consider this experience against Elliott's growing need for structure and consistency. But the next night, before I could finish filling the tub, Elliott presented me with another Breathe Right strip, already unwrapped and peeled, ready for application. I placed it on my nose, as I have every night since. The real irony - I've slept very well the past week. Thanks Elliott.
Make sure to check out the photos of Elliott at the park this weekend. His gets braver with each visit. We thank God for such beautiful weather this past weekend and our time together. I read a great article lately in the Washington Post that talked about the hidden values of a recession. One of them is the increased time families are spending together. When you see a park as full as we saw Sunday, it is hard to minimize that value, even in the hardest of times.
Recession's Hidden Virtues