Monday, October 22, 2012

Things and Stuff and Noodles

This is the weekend that HR hit a swimming lesson milestone: floating with the noodle, unassisted. Of course he didn't realize that Mike had let go, and is not quite aware of the significance of doing this by himself, since I don't think we're at the point where the concept of "swimming" goes beyond getting submerged and bopping around with whoever is holding him. Propelling himself is not an actual goal (if 2 1/2 year olds even have goals outside of finagling as many cake pops as possible in a given day). Still, his fan club is pleased. Once he gets around to being potty trained, I might just be one of those mamas who starts wishing he'd never do any more growing. Mostly kidding.

This age continues to be a delight in a lot of ways, but my generally sweet tempered boy is also going through one of those mysterious toddlery stages of not wanting to talk to people or have them talk to him. Or about him. Or look at him. Not all the time, but enough to make us feel a little cringe-y. I know our boy is just little still, and can't be held to an older, logical child's standards, and we are trying to handle it consistently and constructively. Right now him talking to family members is non-negotiable - Mike and I are both on the same page about that, and he is forced to speak to the people who love him, as much as he can be forced. And frankly he comes around to that on his own quickly, except for on the phone. But with strangers and some of our friends I'm content right now if he can just respond with a "no thanks" and not flip out or say "go away" when someone speaks to him (he succeeds with this roughly half the time). If we're still dealing with this a year from now it might be a problem, but for now, I assume that, like everything else, we've got to work with him until he outgrows it. And not focus on how it makes us look as parents, because let's face it, nobody can ever with that game. Ideally we'll get somewhere close to finding that balance between being strict disciplinarians who will produce a polite, thoughtful member of society and nurturing, respectful caregivers who take his feelings into account, because someday we're going to have to address stranger danger and personal boundaries. Teaching him that his body is his own is a whole fraught business, and there's a lot of room for confusion. I'll let you know if we conquer that sticky-tricky. In the meantime, we're emphasizing "no thank you," and apologies if my toddler has offended you.

What I really wanted to write about today was Chasing Amy, which Mike and I accidentally rewatched last night when we should have been getting some precious sleep. But I don't have the time necessary to properly produce that dissertation, so it'll have to wait. If I never get to come back to it, I just have this to say: I love this film, and I recognize it is flawed in lots of ways, but it succeeds wildly at being a time capsule of the mid-to-late 1990s. So many baby tees and indoor cigarette smoking scenes.

Onto another controversial filmmaker: say what you will about Quentin Tarantino (I'll say that Django Unchained is also on my "to see" list), but he's certainly done a service to the world of undeservedly obscure songcraft. I know a lot of purists are probably pissed off that he made "their" songs mainstream, but whatever, this particular ditty is so good I can almost hear it now without thinking about dismembered sexy ladies. Almost.

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