2010: The Year We Make Contact

(I always start posts and then neglect to finish them, so this top part is weeks and weeks old, from when we were visiting my parents.)

I have a baby milestone to report, and I am totally excited about it, but I’m having trouble explaining WHY IT IS SO AWESOME. But here goes:

Henry and I had our first moment of bonafide communication last night.

PEANUT GALLERY
Oh, he said his first word?

ELANA
Um, no.

PEANUT GALLERY
He recognized one of the signs you guys use?!?

ELANA
…no.

PEANUT GALLERY
…he pointed at a cat? He pointed at a cat, right?

ELANA
HE BANGED ON THE TABLE, GET OFF MY CASE.

It was like making contact with alien species! Instead of all of us just making sounds at each other and then intuiting what the other person wanted, we had a moment of formal communication. About banging on the table.

…hush.

He slaps the table! You slap the table! He squeals with delight – FINALLY THE TALLPEOPLE UNDERSTAND THAT HE’S TRYING TO COMMUNICATE! – and slaps the table again!

Good times.

Also, there is much in the way of upheaval in the Fighting Commies family:

We have returned to LA. And found an apartment. And are moving in. And I am starting Dream Job* in a week. Also, Seth is in Hawaii for Army.

“I’m in Hawaii for Army stuff” sounds like a joke, right? That’s totally what I thought, but then I sternly told myself: “Elana, Seth is going off to protect YOUR FREEDOM …or keep you safe from pineapple bandits, something like that. Anyway, I bet the chairs they sit on there are uncomfortable and he probably has to do a lot of situps.”

But after a few days, he called and said that he had to head out to go snorkeling. To which I said: “Fuck you, sir.” and then the next day he called and I said “what are you up to today?” and he said “…I don’t want to tell you OKAY OKAY I AM GOING TO COMMUNE WITH SEA TURTLES.” and then just last night he emailed from a barbecue on the beach. To which I responded “I HOPE YOU GET SAND IN YOUR BURGER.” because I am very mature.

I am mostly kidding – I don’t actually begrudge him awesome Army good times (…much) but the previous times I have played temporarily single parent, there were other adults around. It is totally amazing to me that there are people who are single parents all the time. There’s no way I could handle that. My hat is off to you, moms and dads.

Baby development: Henry is trying to learn to crawl. He keeps getting up on his hands and knees and looking thoughtful. And rocking back and forth. But his actual movement is still army-crawling, often backwards. He gets stuck in corners a lot.

Also, at night, he often has a hard time settling into sleep. He clearly wants to sleep, but he has Restless Baby Syndrome, and twirls and scoots around the bed. And I wake up in the middle of the night with his butt in my face. And sometimes he shrieks angrily for no reason without waking up! It’s pretty funny.

(Ugh, does this whole post make me sound like a huge jerk?)

*I am going to be a writer-in-residence at Studio X. This is super exciting. I feel like I won the lottery. Seth is going to be the stay-at-home parent for a while, which I’m sure is going to be both cool and post-modern and also sometimes kind of tough. I am, of course, really happy to get this job (boy howdy) but I must admit that it’s weird to be leaving my kid.

Even though these past two weeks of faux single-parenting have been… just unrelenting. Still. I will miss our bear.

However, being able to afford to do frivolous things like “fund retirement accounts” and “buy a couch” will probably ease the sting a tad.

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3 responses to “2010: The Year We Make Contact

  1. maybe you don’t begrudge him cool Army time, but those of us who sweated out 15 months in Iraq when he was supposed to be safe in Hawaii have a different opinion. We were all supposed to go visit there and do awesome beach stuff and buy cool Hawaiian shirts while he was safe.
    WE maybe just a little bit begrudge him Army time in Hawaii. At least it is summer here. It was much more grudgey when he went in February.

    And yes, table banging is communication.
    And fun.

    • thehandsomecamel

      A little background, maybe: back when I was doing my initial entry training, I originally had orders to go to Hawaii after training. They were later amended to send me to a cavalry unit in Washington instead. I’m pretty sure I would have ended up deploying no matter what, but there’s no denying Hawaii would have been a nice place to bring my parents out for a visit.

  2. I feel for you. My husband has been in Belgium for a week. He called me from Aachen, Germany, this morning, about to take the train to Amsterdam. Later this week he’ll go to some random place in France, then Vienna. After that it will be a week in Beijing. Sure, he’s traveling for “work,” but that doesn’t change the fact that I’m home for three weeks faux-single-parenting two children. “Unrelenting” is the perfect word for it; I find I need to pace myself carefully to avoid burning out.

    On the bright side, I love the table banging! I remember being so excited when my son finally started copying us at ten months or so, and he echoed my brother’s annoying habit of drumming at the dining table. Communication is truly thrilling.

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