Monday, October 16, 2006

Tiny Footsteps

Did I mention that the Monkey has started walking?

And that's only scratching the surface of the cute things he does.

The situation is parallel to his baby sign language. He knows 30 or 40 signs, but he recognizes 300 or 400 distinct word-object connections (or more!). But there aren't enough signs to illustrate everything that he knows.

Likewise, there aren't enough words on this blog to describe all the ways he delights his parents.

Man, we love our little Monkey.

Porchblogging: Bated Breath Edition

The contractor was over this afternoon; construction is apparently slated to resume tomorrow.

Wild, Wonderful

Last weekend was the first night in 16 months that I have left the Monkey to stay overnight somewhere. But for a brief spell when the Monkey Mama took him to her parents about a year ago, it's the only time we've been apart. It was not an altogether unwelcome respite, and I enjoyed my time, a reminder of some of the things I have learned to enjoy in life that are difficult to integrate into the family life and career path I have chosen.

I went camping and kayaking on the Gauley River in West Virginia. It was great to see friends, get out in nature, and get my paddle on.

Unfortunately I don't have the time to write a long post, but the trip had a little of everything. Extra spicy rapids thanks to a dam release and a recent rainfall. Fall colors. A nearly empty river -- I've never had so much time to play at the best surf spots on the river. Bourbon. Sleeping outdoors.

And Columbus Day to regroup with the family when I got back. (We snuck in some housework and a visit to Tarara Winery.)

Sunday, October 01, 2006

What's Up, Moon?

The Monkey and I were out a bit late tonight. Some nap shenanigans had him waking up at 3:45 pm. A quick lunch, and then off to visit our friends' brand new baby. (Cute as can be.) Then we were a hop skip and a jump away from Adams Morgan, so we headed over.

The local arts & crafts fair ("Crafty Bastards '06") was already closing down by the time we got there. Then we found parking...very close to a sports bar. Very close. Sports bar. During the live broadcast of a Patriots game. Patriots.

Even though the Monkey Mama is still out of town, and the sports bar was very close, we didn't go in. Well, we ducked in so I could check the score (Patriots up 14-13 midway through the 3rd quarter) but it was loud, crowded, and not a good place for the Monkey to roam whilst the Monkey Daddy grabbed a quick pint.

Instead, we walked across the Duke Ellington Bridge. It's a great stone thing that spans high above Rock Creek and connects Adams Morgan and Woodley Park. There were nice row houses to point out, flowers, and birds. And when we were in the middle, I pointed out the river and trees below, and birds, and planes taking off from National, and similar stuff. I pointed out the Taft Bridge across a gulf of about 80 yards. That place really does have a remarkable view. It's one of favorite places in the fall: seeing the trees turn colors below you, with happy foot traffic passing by, and even the spire of a nearby minaret adding nice visual interest.

Then I pointed out the moon rising in the east. A nice, waxing moon, just past half. A clear blue sky, a brilliant white moon.

The Monkey was intrigued. He even made a word that sounded like "MOOOooon."

We walked across the bridge, said "W'sup" to the lions guarding the Taft bridge, and mosied back on the other side of the street.

On the way back, we saw some billious pink and purple clouds. I taught the Monkey about clouds yesterday, so that was some exciting reinforcement. Incidentally, I've always felt that Washington DC cloudscapes are heavily underrated.

We walked past a dog park, some guys playing basketball, and then a kids park. Even though it was getting late, we dallied at the kids park for a short time. We ducked in to check the Patriots score (absolutely murdering the Bengals, 31-13 late in the 4th) and beat a hasty retreat to home and bed.

I felt a little bit like I was rushing the bedtime ritual. But even now I realize that my thoracic vertebrae feel completely fushed from holding, rocking, and bouncing the Monkey four hours and hours today. I guess I'm pretty patient after all.