one-word exclamations

Well, my mom has come and gone. Despite the stress of Friday’s cancelled flight and subsequent rescheduling, I think we managed to have an OK time.

From a grandparental point of view, this was a good time for a visit. Abby’s colic is stabilizing and she’s just beginning to smile and gurgle; Esther is a little chatterbox, speaking in one-word exclamations and laughing a lot. So both children were at their best and cutest. Mom really enjoyed spending time with them, I think.

On Sunday, we all went to the City Museum, an incredible interactive museum/playground in a huge old loft. Callie and I visited on one of our previous trips, and we’d been waiting for an excuse to visit ever since. On Sunday we got our excuse – the museum was offering free admission in connection with a new book on St. Louis parenting. At first Esther wasn’t so sure about the place: it was very loud, and she started crying on more than one occasion. Then we stumbled across “Toddler Town,” which was more her speed. She had a lot of fun going down the slides, wheeling around in the little plastic cars, and seeing a painting of a dog (“Pup-PEE! Pup-PEE!,” she exclaimed), but she really loved the big table full of wooden blocks. She must have spent a hour at that table. She’s carrying around the blocks in every picture we have.

When we got home, I asked her, “Did you have fun at the museum today?” Her reply, “Bock! Pup-pee! EIEIO!” In adult English, this means: “Yes, Dad, I did have fun. I played with blocks, saw a picture of a dog and heard some music.” It’s so cool that her brain has progressed to the point where she can remember and discuss her experiences.

I got see more of this on Monday morning, when I took Esther to storytime at one of the local libraries. Mom slept in and Callie was busy with Abby, so it was a daddy-daughter kind of morning. Led by the cheerful and venerable Mrs. W, the kids sang songs (including Esther’s favorite, “Old McDonald Had A Farm”), and listened to stories about zoo animals. The older kids ran around and got a little rambunctious. Esther just sat there quietly on my lap, taking it all in, not singing along or reacting. When she got home, though, we again asked her what she did. Her response: “‘EIO!

I never thought parenthood would be this fascinating. And I never knew that kids could be this funny. Different when they’re yours, I guess.

Now I have about 24 hours to prepare for my New York trip. All I really need to do is throw some clothes and toiletries in a suitcase, make sure the iPod is updated, and get to the airport in time. I guess I’m not going to get much studying done before spring break ends.

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