Elliott’s personality takes shape more each day. It is defined mostly by the development of his verbal skills, which are in constant use. I heard him chattering in the kitchen this weekend. When I investigated the commotion, I found Elliott reciting the various letters that spelled out the various settings and cycles of the dishwasher. I can’t wait until he shows as much enthusiasm for operating this piece of equipment as he does spell checking it.
Elliott has also begun to discover his emotions. We’ve already discussed his displays of a very mild temper when things don’t go his way. For the most part, these spells are infrequent and short lived. Nonetheless, it is clear that anger does have at least a temporary residence inside him.
The new emotions in town are the unlikeliest of partners, unbridled excitement and disgust. Shortly after he was playing name that letter on the dishwasher, he noticed some soggy food particles on the inside of the door. He sucked in the corners of his mouth and presented me with my first “ooh!” Later in the day we stepped outside and it was raining. The rain hit Elliott and he was surprisingly unhappy about it. So he said “ooh”. On the other hand, there have been many things lately that have pleased Elliott and he communicates that with frequent “wows!” I like the wows better than the oohs.
What I don’t like is sad. Elliott has a frog named Tad. At least I think Tad is a frog. Whatever he is he sings songs and talks. If you push one of his hands, or whatever you call a frog hand, it plays a nighttime lullaby. Well Elliott pushed this hand this weekend and once the lullaby started, Elliott pushed his bottom lip out as far as it could go and remain part of his mouth, and then started crying. His response to the song was heartbreaking. Katie and I took Tad and made him play a happier song. Elliott immediately took him back, pushed the lullaby hand and ripped our hearts out again with the big lip and bigger tears. We never did quite figure out the sad connection, but I’ve temporarily hidden Tad beneath a lily pad on a far away pond.
Grandma and Grandpa Almond kept Elliott for us last night. Katie’s birthday is tomorrow so we went out for a nice lunch and watched a couple of movies. I gave her the gift of a quiet house. I think she appreciated the opportunity to sleep in this morning most. She said it gave her an opportunity to slow down long enough to “remember who she is”. I told her we signed away our rights to be who we think we are when we decided to have kids. We are now officially who Elliott wants us to be. She agreed, but finds it unfortunate that most days Elliott wants her to fill the role of Bob the Builder, his constant block building assistant. I guess that is a far cry from who she remembers being.
Say a prayer tonight that Elliott will have a positive response to his first day of “school” tomorrow. We’ve spent the day getting him excited about it, I just don’t believe he knows exactly what it is he’s excited about.