07 August 2007
what's new in cosmo's world?
cosmo has turned into a pretty good traveler this summer. he and i drove to san antonio to visit with his relatives a few weeks ago and he did great in the car, with no one to entertain him. after he napped for a couple of hours, we pulled into a rest stop and had a little picnic. he adjusted well to hotel living, and especially loved using the elevator several times a day. we stuck as closely as possible to his schedule for naps and meals and bedtime, and that seemed to really help him feel secure. he's not used so sleeping on a high bed (his futon is on the floor at home) and he flops around a lot in his sleep. after one fall of the bed, i ended up improvising the bedding arrangement in the hotel room. the beds themselves wouldn't move, but the top mattresses did, so i bridged the gap between the beds by pushing one over the edge of the box spring a little, and then dragging the other mattress over to make one giant bed. i had to be careful not to get on the part that was bridging, it would have sank under my weight, but it worked great for cosmo, and he did not fall out of bed again.
i think he enjoyed sea world (not my idea) and had some fun chasing pigeons in downtown san antonio.
less than a week later, the three of us flew to bloomington. carl has been hired to teach at IU in the history and philosophy of science department, so we are moving there in about a week (!) we went to find a place to live. we love the town and think we'll have a lot of fun there. we look forward to cleaner air to breathe and four seasons of distinct weather to enjoy. it is a small crunchy college town surrounded by state parks, national forest and nature preserves. cosmo was a real trooper throughout all the running around getting in and out of the car, looking at crappy student housing, and gorgeous historic homes we ended up not renting for one reason or another. we ended up with a very practical (if not terribly charming) house with a big yard on a quiet street close to the university, but more importantly, 3 blocks from the best park in town. there is even a heated/insulated workshop/studio in the back for all my projects, and a great place for cosmo to get messy. the best thing about the house (besides the washer and dryer in the kitchen) is that the floor plan includes an open loop of doors through the rooms, facilitating endless games of chase indoors. we had a chance to drive out to a nature preserve about 5 minutes from town with a lake and hiking trails in the woods. cosmo had a great time throwing stones in the water, picking wild blackberries and running along the wooded paths.
i hope his recent travel experiences prepared him for our three day road trip. we decided on a u-pack moving system, where we pack the trailer and someone else drives the truck to our destination. that way we'll all be in the same car for the drive. as excited as i am about moving to a new place, it breaks my heart to leave our beautiful community of loved ones...there's going to be plenty of tears.
ok. in other news, cosmo had his first haircut, which looks pretty smart, if i do say so myself. he's mastered the summersault, and has a scary-good throwing arm. carl and i worry that we won't be able to keep up with his athleticism. that's what coaches are for, right? he can't quite jump yet, but he tries so hard every day, he's bound to get it soon.
he's had a verbal explosion lately, and seems ready to try almost any new word we ask him to. at night, when he's trying to fall asleep, he practices all the sounds he can make. i guess it's babble, but it seems to me more like a singer doing scales. he still signs a lot, learns new signs instantly, and he even made up a sign for fiddle, which he makes when he hears fiddle music. we got some ASL books so that we can continue to teach him sign language, even when he no longer needs it. i figure it is one way for him to become somewhat bilingual, since he's not regularly hearing a foreign language in our house.
one of the things that most amazes me about cosmo at this age is the amount of empathy he expresses. if he hears another baby crying, he will stop what he's doing, make the sign for hurt, with a worried expression on his face, and kind of moan. he got so upset one night when he saw some injured pets being cared for on TV that carl had to turn it off. he reacts to the picture in our mother goose book, of jack (of jack and jill) falling down and hurting his head. he is terribly worried about humpty dumpty and even seems to be concerned about a spot of flaking paint on a doorway in our house. he is convinced it is a boo-boo, and that the wood is somehow suffering and needs to be acknowledged. of course, he fusses over his own minor scrapes, and bug bites, and ours too. he has only recently become aware of mosquitoes as they bite him, and wants to scratch them afterwards. good timing for moving to a place where mosquitoes are few and far between.
he still shares pretty well and is generally gentle with other kids. i am sure that possessive stage is coming soon enough, but for now i appreciate his kindness. he throws minor fits now and then, if he's tired, or when he's taken away from something he likes (such as the full drum kit we saw at the salvation army the other day) but they are not outrageous (yet) and are very short lived. i treasure this rare and precious time, savor every moment.