10 November 2009


tom waits has a song about it.
many significant, life changing events have occurred for me, in the month of november. one year, my apartment caught on fire, and i had to move out. oh, and four years ago, in november, i had a baby! this november, i'm writing 50,000 words in thirty days. i have my doubts that the collection of letters, arranged into words, placed together haphazardly into sentences, over the next few weeks, is going to resemble anything close to what anyone would call a novel, but at least i'll have something to work with. i'll have 50k words that i didn't have before. and, i must say, i love nanowrimo. it's just the kick in the pants i needed to get this crazy story onto the page. i am writing every day, over 2000 words, and i am not editing. i am not reading what i have written. ahhh. it is so freeing.

cosmo had fun trick-or-treating, but seems to enjoy, even more, playing with the candy. he likes to sort it, arrange it, catapult it with a yard stick, move it from one container to another, build with boxes of dots and milk duds, toss laffy-taffy into a cut-out flap in a card board box, count hershey's kisses, and make letters out of skinny tootsie rolls. he never eats any without permission, and when he is allowed to have a piece or two, he just can't. decide. which. one. he wants. so, we showed him how to do "eeny meeny miney mo," "bubble gum, bubble gum, in a dish," and "engine engine number nine," so that the decision making is left to chance. he loves this process, and will line up six (or nine, or thirty-seven) pieces of halloween candy, and then, through a long, arduous process of elimination, pick the one piece he will have. he alternates between the three rhymes, and says, "the one that wins, i will eat." he is always thrilled with the winner, even if a milkyway gets eliminated in the first round, and the piece left standing is one, solitary dot. i love the way he says, "MY mother says to pick the VERY best one, and YOU are not IT!"

speaking of tootsie rolls, cosmo looked better in my borrowed costume than i did, but he couldn't walk in it-- just roll. i loved the costume though, for its ease. no make up, no wig, no special clothes, just put it on, and you have an instant, and rather impressive, costume. "cheers!" to whomever crafted it, and "thanks!" to my good neighbors for letting me wear it. cosmo's ghostly cheesecloth kept drifting off his hoodie, but he didn't seem to care, one way or another. the costume was incidental to him. he still can't get over the fact that one day a year, you go out at night, knock on people's doors, they open them, and hand you candy. how can this be? he doesn't run around excitedly, but rather wanders from house to house, sort of stunned, and amazed. he says his obligatory "thank-you," but no smiles. carl called his own, last-minute costume "the haunted shepherd," he was wearing a sheep-herder's hat, from kyrgyzstan.

back at home, we were greeted by these jack-o-lanterns that cosmo and i made out of plastic water bottles. i hope to do a tutorial on those, in another post.

we checked out an awesome book from the library called "applesauce season." it's all about making applesauce, which is something carl especially loves to do. so this time, we got cosmo involved in it from start to finish, including picking out the apples at the farmer's market, and running the cooked apples through the food mill. he really got into it, in part, i suspect, because it is one of his favorite foods.

cosmo has been surprising us, on a regular basis, with his reading skills. i catch myself saying, "you can read that? so, you're a reader? you read now? okay then..." and, i have been saying this for months and months. i guess i have to face the fact that he's learning to read! very exciting. i have even seen him in his room, quietly turning the pages, and reading simple books, all the way through. gasp! he seems to get a lot of satisfaction from it, and tries to read words everywhere we go. he also made a huge leap last week, in his grasp of addition and subtraction. it started with one of the pbs kids games he plays online, but he needed help. i grabbed 5 pens, and showed him how to figure out the answer to a simple addition problem, using the pens, and counting. he was absolutely giddy when he got it. witnessing his little brain grow and expand is one of the greatest pleasures of my life.

(that's 813 words, FYI)


Anonymous said...

Sweetness!!! God's gift to the good people :)

Abby said...

early readers who just seem to 'get it' without any instruction are wonderous creatures. their minds work in mysterious ways. avery's brain is incredible to me...so unlike my own. get used to other parents giving you disbelieving looks, or thinking you are doing flashcards at home. ;)

enjoy watching cosmo grow leaps and bounds. he seems like such an amazing little boy. and i know you and carl are amazing parents.

happy nov.

Anonymous said...

Cosmo cracks me up with his candy choosing method. Abby is so right about him being an amazing child and you and Carl being amazing parents!

Did you know that you are heads and shoulders in word count over all my NaNo buddies and me? That reminds me...I need to go write. :}

mep said...

I smiled from ear to ear reading about the candy sorting as that is a favorite activity around these parts as well. I'll have to teach Bub those methods for actually choosing a piece because some times I feel like I am aging as I wait for him to decide!

I love that you are writing a novel. Totally inspiring. The fact that Cosmo is on his way to being able to read that novel . . . even more inspiring.

What a wonderful life!

bethany said...

you are s-o a-w-e-s-o-m-e.. i just cannot get over it. sigh. in every way, wow.

and thanks for the eeny meeny miney mo, et al. reminders! its been too long since i was a kid i guess.

and by the way, cheers to you and your whole family this holiday season.