Archive for December, 2005

Cute Ian Stories

22 December 2005 at 7:01 pm
by Jonah

So my sister and her husband and one-and-a-half year old visited us for Thanksgiving. Having never been an aunt before, having a nephew is quite a novelty for me. By the time they left, I was getting the feeling my sister was getting tired of my constant reporting of whatever adorable new action Ian had taken. I know my husband was.

When Berck had had about as much toddler chatter and squealing as he could take, he would retire to the study, which was also the only room Ian wasn’t allowed to be in by himself. There were all manner of interesting things in there, like cordless drills lying around and computers on the floor with buttons all over them. There were also three items of extreme interest to a toddler: the betta in his bowl on a desk, the geodesic ball hanging from the ceiling, and the poster of a Canadian Regional Jet, on which Berck used to work, placed just at eye level for a very small person. Ian would climb up on the couch to have a look at the fish (“Ish!”), point to the hanging globe (“By-ball!” which I can only imagine is a cross between “big ball” and “my ball”), and then stare at the picture of the jet (“Ah-mah!”). I thought “ah-mah” might mean airplane, but then Ian started saying it for other things too. “Airplane,” I’d say. “Ah-mah!” he’d insist.

A one-and-a-half year old can’t say much in the way of the spoken English language, but Ian’s parents have circumvented this communication difficulty by teaching him sign-language. Babies can gesture with their hands before they can make their mouths do much. When Ian started crying at one point and was asked what was the matter, he touched the tips of index fingers together (the sign for hurt) and then pointed to his head. He’d bumped his head. That took the guesswork out of that mystery pretty quickly. Instead of us just having to guess what was wrong, he let everyone know up front, something he just wouldn’t be able to do in English.

At one point, I picked up an apple and took it into the kitchen to wash and cut. Ian trotted in after me and started twisting his fist next to his cheek. I suddenly felt like I have many a time in a foreign country: completely stupid for not knowing another person’s language. “I don’t know what that means,” I said apologetically. “What is this?” I imitated the hand gesture. Ian immediately pointed emphatically at the apple in my hand. “Apple?” He nodded. My nephew who can’t even put two words together yet had just taught me a new word! I happily cut him a piece.

Well, he can put two words together if you count “Whas diss!” which, as far as I can tell is a cross between “What’s this” and “Watch this” because he seems to use it in both contexts. There are a few more words in his Engish vocabulary. While we were eating at the dining table, Ian wandered into the forbidden study, then came running out carrying a new wad of Sticky Tack still in its wrapper. “Gee! Gee!” he exclaimed, heading straight for Mama.

“That’s not cheese,” Stephanie corrected him, taking it away. “Ew, it’s all wet.”

Steph tried to teach him my name. “Can you say Aunt Joanna? Can you say JoJo?”

“Gah-gah!”

“Jojo.”

“Gah-gah!” Mostly he just called me “mama,” which, apparently, is what he was calling everyone until recently.

While they were here, we spent a lot of time over at our friends’ the Bremers. Their oldest Max and his wife Tamsey have two kids now, J.B., who’s turning three in a couple days, and Gloria, who is five months younger than Ian but just as big as he is. Ian’s faster on his feet, though. He would try to give Gloria hugs, which she readily accepted, in order to distract her long enough to steal whatever toy she was playing with. But having a big brother, Gloria didn’t let Ian get away with it more than once.

There were a lot more toys at the Bremers’ house than there are at my house. There’s no question in my mind about nature verses nurture, or that Ian was born naturally all boy, because of his obsession with toy cars. He can make anything a road, the floor, the table, a chair arm, a person’s arm… He’s got the weirdest car noise, though. “Ewwwwwww…. ewwwwww…”

He had to share the cars with J.B., though, along with other things. We came over one day, and J.B. was playing with a stick. “Pkow!” he pointed it at Ian, play making a rifle. “Pkow! Pkow!” Ian had a look on his face like he was trying very hard to figure out what to do. Being shot at certainly demanded his attention. And that stick looked fun to play with. “Pkow! Pkow!” Finally, he approached J.B., and I got ready to intervene in case Ian tried to take the stick away. But he didn’t. He just gave J.B. a big hug. It’s difficult to shoot someone who’s hugging you!

J.B. showed Ian the best place in the house to watch the freight trains go by. Later, they were looking at something out the glass door to the back yard. Ian said something in unintelligible babytalk. J.B., who is perfectly capable of talking in complete English sentances, answered, “No. Bahgeedahlahbeenah.”

Ian loved visiting all the animals at the Bremers’ house. Stephanie has taught him well how to be gentle with animals. He approached every living thing with his hand outstretched and making kissing noises with his mouth. That worked for the kittens, but the sheep (“bah”) just ran away. And the “guck-gucks” (geese) bit him when he tried to make friends. The horses liked it when he fed them hay. And the rabbit couldn’t understand why Ian kept trying to feed him cat food.

The sign for horse is to make an H (hold your index and middle finger up) and hold your thumb next to your temple. Then you bend and unbend your two fingers, like a horse’s ear. Ian can’t quite manage that, so he pokes himself with his index finger in the side of his head. He did that a lot around the horses. And every time he saw Kitty or Grungie, the Bremers’ two dogs, he would say, “Uff-uff” (“Arf arf”).

He said that a lot in my kitchen too. He was fascinated by a Zip-Lock of dried chili peppers on our pantry shelf. He’d pick them up and say, “Uff-uff!”

“No, those aren’t dog treats,” Stephanie said, taking the baggie away from him. “I keep the dog treats in a Zip-Lock like that at home,” she explained to me.

Even if Ian can’t speak English very well, he seems to understand it just fine. He came back into the kitchen later when Stephanie was in the other room. “Uff-uff!” he said, picking up the bag of chili peppers, then losing interest in them and putting them on the floor.

“Ian!” I told him, “Don’t leave those there. Put them back on the shelf.” And he did, immediately.

Ian is starting toilet training but still wearing a diaper. When Stephanie went to the bathroom and shut the door, Ian went into don’t-abandon-me mode. He ran to the door, shouting, “Mama!” and hanging from the door knob. He couldn’t open door knobs yet.

“Ian,” I said, “Don’t worry. Mama is just going to the potty. Can you go to the potty?”

Ian sqatted right where he was and grunted, “Mmmmrrrrg!”

The best part about being an aunt is you can have fun with a neice or nephew and then let Mama clean him up.

Good Aunt

Oh deer.

17 December 2005 at 8:06 pm
by Berck

Notary Private

15 December 2005 at 8:52 pm
by Jonah

So I’m a notary public now. Although I can’t notarize anything until I get a stamp.

My commision expires 12/5/09.

Carménère

14 December 2005 at 7:39 pm
by Jonah

Berck got off early today, so he cooked me dinner. Peas and fried potatoes and roast beef. Yum!

We opened a positively amazingly smooth Carménère tonight. And for under $10, that’s a bargain you can’t beat. If you come across it, snatch some up.

Parque

Bremer Associates, Inc.

14 December 2005 at 11:18 am
by Jonah

So. This is the headhunting website I put up. I didn’t design it… just took the pages my brother made for the old company and brought them up to date.