Friday, November 30, 2007

Light, light, light!

I knew that having a child would make certain things like Halloween and Christmas seem brand new and exciting again. It was one of the things I looked forward to, especially once William was born. I anticipated the day when he would be able to appreciate all those things that I loved as a child, and I looked forward to experiencing them all over again. And tonight proved again that it was worth the wait.

I bundled William up in his coat, hat and mittens***, and we took a stroll around the neighborhood to look at all the Christmas lights. David's not big on the whole Christmas light decorating thing, and I don't do ladders, so we almost never hang our own lights. But I still love to look at everyone else's. And the gaudier, the more festive, the better. Not that I can't appreciate a house tastefully decorated with the requisite strings of white lights and tailored holly garlands and wreaths, but there's something so fun about a house with lots and lots of colored lights draped over the eaves and shrubs and fake candy canes lining the sidewalk. It's like the state fair: tacky, maybe, but mesmerizing and captivating all the same.

And my child, well, he likes them all. Christmas lights equals love. It's so simple and nice, isn't it? He pointed happily at the animated reindeer in our neighbor's yard and chirped "deer! deer!" He said, "Wow!" at the green and white explosion of lights three houses down. And he stretched his little mittened hand out to respectfully touch a net of white lights on the mailbox at yet another house. He didn't want to come back inside the house, even though it was below 40 degrees outside (I'm sure our neighbors were a little skeptical about the crazy lady taking her toddler for a brisk walk after dark in the frigid cold).

"William," I said, trying to reason with my son even though I know how silly that is. "William, we can come back out here tomorrow night and look at the lights again." He considered that, but he wasn't going for it. Finally, I had to pick him up and bodily carry him inside, as he kicked at me and howled for "light, light, light"!

Tomorrow night, kiddo. Tomorrow night. I promise. I know. I love them, too.


Please note that William is actually wearing mittens in this picture. And he hates mittens. Hates 'em. Hates anything covering his hands. And he was so excited about going out to see the Christmas lights that he grudgingly consented to wear them. And he even left them on the entire time we were outside. I was shocked. I guess it's all about how you, talk to them.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

My knee

You know how you don't think about your feet when you're wearing comfortable shoes? But the minute you get a blister or your feet are cold, it's all you can think about. You take your feet for granted.

Well, that's apparently how I was about my knees. Until a few days ago. One day last week, I noticed that it hurt a bit to kneel on my right knee. I figured that, in my absentmindedness, I must have bumped into something and bruised it. I'm always running around after William or crawling around and picking up toys/food/sippy cups/etc.

But when I woke up yesterday morning, my knee was sore and swollen. And it felt warm to the touch. I compared it to my left knee and immediately noticed a difference. The right knee was swollen up in an arc, while the left knee was still relatively flat. Uh oh. Of course, in a classic example of worst-case-scenarioism, I immediately diagnosed myself with a fast-growing knee tumor. It's cancer, I concluded. I'll have to get chemotherapy and radiation. Or they're going to have to take off my leg. How could this have happened? I won't be able to have any more children. I'll never find a wig that looks anything close to this hair of mine at all. (Of course, would that be so bad, really?) The saner, more rational side of me thought about how William's had MRSA a couple times this year, and I hoped it wasn't that kind of infection plaguing my knee.

I texted David, and he helped me find a doctor to call. Luckily for me, the stars must have all been aligned properly because my new doctor immediately fit me in for an appointment yesterday afternoon. I couldn't believe it. I wonder if that's a world record? Anyway. The doctor graciously fit me in, and he decided that I have an infection of the soft tissue surrounding my knee. The exam form says bursitis/cellulitis. Man, the things I've suffered through for this child. Professional-strength nausea, Bell's Palsy, tendonitis of the wrist, a big old swollen knee. It's a good thing he's so cute, I tell you what.

I told the doctor about our family's little experiences with MRSA and said that's why I wanted to be seen so quickly, that I was worried about having a serious infection, especially since the knee was warm. (I didn't mention the cancer thing, of course. No reason to immediately tip the guy off that I have a very small, tiny tendency to overreact from time to time, right?) He prescribed a shot of Rocephin, two oral antibiotics and told me to keep a close eye on my knee and make sure it doesn't get any worse. David had ominiously warned me about possibly needing to have it drained, which sounds pretty freaking horrible to me, but we didn't really get into that at the visit.

So then Dr. Anderson asked me, in that rhetorical tone of voice as he looked at William in his stroller, "You probably spend a lot of time down on your hands and knees, right?"

You think?

You never miss your nice unsore capable knee until you try to kneel down on the mat at Gymboree and hoist your toddler into your lap for bubbles and parachute time. Ow ow ow.

So I'm grimly taking my horse pills--seriously, they are bigger than those monstrous prenatal vitamins that I used to choke down--and I'm trying to figure out if my knee looks more swollen today than yesterday. I reported in my phone call to the doctor's assistant that I think it's the same. Of course, as soon as I hung up the phone, I started second-guessing that statement. Oh well.

I think I'll go lie down and put my knee up for awhile. It put on a good show for Gymboree today, and I think it's earned a little rest and relaxation.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Santa hat revisited

It is so hard to get a really good photo of William these days. He's nearly always in motion. And it's hard to coax a smile while he's standing or sitting still enough for me to get the whole thing on camera. He's like a little blur. I really want to get some good pictures of him wearing his Christmas outfits, but man, it's a challenge. And I'm used to crawling around on the floor and taking dozens of shots to get just one final picture that's worth something.

This one was a lucky break!

I'd like to get a good photo of him to use for a Christmas card, but I am experienced enough at this to know that I may need multiple opportunities to wind up with anything worth using.

Here are some of the other pictures I took this afternoon:

Playing with the new Little People nativity set (read: unbreakable! yeah!):

This is pretty typical of a picture of William smiling. Hilarious and accurate, but maybe not so great for a Christmas card, eh?

Last Christmas, I plunked a darling little Santa hat on my dear son's head every time we left the house. In fact, I started doing that the second Thanksgiving was over because I had the little "Baby's first Christmas" hat and I wanted to get as much use as possible out of it. Here, remember it now?

I won't be so lucky this year with the new, bigger Santa hat. It was a fight to get even a few snapshots of him wearing it. And he's usually pretty good about wearing a hat. Oh well. I'll keep trying.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanksgiving revisited

William says, "I'm thankful for Richard Scarry books."

Well, Thanksgiving has come and gone again, and we ate, drank and were merry and thankful. At our first Thanksgiving in our new home, we had Mark, Diane, Aaron, Mom, Daddy, William, David and me. The only one missing was my brother John. The adults stuffed themselves with turkey, broccoli casserole, stuffing, sweet and mashed potatoes and oh I don't even know all what else. Meanwhile, William, now that he's become a toddler, was a little pickier. He ate mostly his Mama Dee's sweet potatoes and cranberry-orange relish, the Sister Schubert rolls, and a few bites of corn pudding. No turkey for him, thanks. Ah well, the more for the rest of us.

We couldn't talk him into eating any pumpkin pie, either. But he did soak up all the extra attention like a sponge. Four grandparents and an uncle all at once! Here he is with his Uncle Mark and his stuffed pig and his turkle. Yes, a turkle. My father started calling that stuffed turkey a "turkle" because he says it looks like a combination of a turkey and a turtle. And well, it kinda does!

And William enjoyed playing with his balloon. Mom and I learned that the good folks at Harris Teeter are sneaky. They offer free balloons and cookies to kids to get them to lure their parents into the store. Mom and I just stopped in there to pick up a few small things during our pre-Thanksgiving dinner drive around town to look at all the leaves. And William got the last balloon in the store, since they were fixing to close for the day.

So anyway. Now that Thanksgiving is over, and now that I've been thankful and I've stuffed myself with turkey and the like, I say now you can bring on Christmas.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Time to be thankful

Since I have no idea if I'll be able to scrounge up enough time to do this on the actual day, I thought I'd go ahead and post some of the things I'm thankful for this year. We've had a crazy busy year, but as we coast into Thanksgiving, I am realizing how much happier I am this year at Thanksgiving than I was last year. I have a lot to be thankful for.

So, with that said, I am extemely thankful for:

*My husband David. He works long crazy hours, but he always gives me a kiss before he leaves the house each morning and tells me he loves me before he goes to sleep. He works hard so that I can stay home and supervise William, and he never complains that I should be bringing home the bacon, too.

*Our son William. He's active and healthy and bright and funny and huge and inquisitive and opinionated and stubborn and hilarious. When I ask him who loves him, he says, "Mama!" And when I ask him who else loves him, he says, "Dada!" Yep.

*My parents and brother. My brother John is a graduate student at the University of Southern Mississippi this year, and for that, I am deeply profoundly grateful. And I'm so proud of him. And my wonderful parents love me and support me even though I was once a teenager. And they've put me and William up at their house for visits a LOT this past year, even though it's entailed lots and lots of noise, toys, and special foods. I am so lucky to have had the chance to spend so much time with them this past year.

*My inlaws. Aaron and Diane have graciously welcomed me into their family and always make me feel warm and special. And they never ever complain about how often I make them babysit William. And William loves nothing more than to get together with his Uncle Mark and pretend to be a monkey. Some people complain about their in-laws, but I am incredibly grateful for mine.

*My grandparents. I am 33 years old and have three living grandparents. All three have spent time with my son. And I will have the pictures to cherish when they are no longer with us.

*The fact that we are now living in Nashville. Everyone knows how much I wanted to get out of the desert! And now I'm here in Nashville. I woke up this morning and thought about that. How this year, I don't have to travel to see family on Thanksgiving. How this year, I don't have to think wistfully about next year. How this year, I know exactly how lucky I am to be here, in our house, just a few minutes down the road from my in-laws and just a day's drive from my parents. And I've already had more company stay with us in our new house than I did in four years of living in Twentynine Palms!

*My friends. I'm always thankful for my people. You know who you are.

And while I won't necessarily put them in bold font, I am also grateful for a lot of other things: the autumn leaves that are blazing around Nashville right now, the new friends I'm meeting, my Monday morning group at church, the music class that William and I are taking together on Tuesday afternoons, the plethora of good places to eat around here, the fact that I can always find a good bookstore when I need one. I'm thankful that William loves going to Mother's Day Out on Fridays, and I'm thankful that David's had the chance to go to several big sporting events here recently. I'm thankful that I never have to worry that the lone grocery store will run out of meat or that the only KFC will run out of chicken.

So that's my list. I know I'll be adding to it. I'm trying to really be conscious of all the blessings in my life. I feel that I need to acknowledge them more often, so that I don't take them for granted. And for me, that means writing them down. Or at least saying them out loud.

I wonder what William would say he's thankful for? His parents and grandparents? His "school"? Cheese? Blocks? Trick or treating? Natty and his blanky? Spider-Man?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Turkey Boy

The moral of this post is: don't turn Diane and me loose in Pottery Barn Kids. Because look how William ends up:

Now the monkey boy is a turkey!

But hey, at least I managed to resist buying him a smocked turkey T-shirt at the little chichi children's boutique that I poked my head into on Friday. Even at 40 percent off, I just couldn't justify it. Even if it would have been incredibly cute with the turkey headband. Aren't I virtuous?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Count

I meant to post about this earlier this week, but we were having keyboard technical difficulties. That is, the wireless keyboard's batteries were gasping their last few breaths, but Luddite Jennifer couldn't figure out how to open the battery chamber and install new ones. Which is especially funny when you consider how many thousands of times I've had to wrench dead batteries out of William's toys and stuff and stuff new ones in. I practically have a PhD in Philips Head Screwdriver Usage, but the keyboard didn't need one, so it kinda of threw me. But, as usual, I digress.

William has started counting! Okay, so he's just imitating us, but still, it's pretty amusing to heard him "count" his way down the staircase. He doesn't put much stock in "one." So he always starts with "two" and almost always adds "feeeee," "fooooo," "fiiiii," and sometimes "siiiiih." Apparently, "seven" is the big bugaboo for him, but a few times, we've prompted him, and he's added, "aaaaa" and "niiiiiii," and even "ten" (like maybe three times). Also, he sometimes studies his fingers while we're changing his diaper, and he'll "count" his fingers--again, always starting with "two" and usually skipping "seven." This is especially hilarious to watch because he gets that David-like look of concentration on his face as he touches his fingers together. Hee hee hee. I wish I had a picture of that, but it's fleeting so I can't make any promises.

Again, he's not really counting. He just memorized what we do when we give him his air chamber of FloVent or albuterol each morning and evening. We count out loud to fifteen for every puff of medicine he's taking at the time, which varies between one and four. Over the months, he's heard us do it so many times that I guess it made an impression. I guess asthma's good for something after all! And hey, it's got to be a good start, right?

Is the Count still on Sesame Street? Remember him? Has anyone watched it recently? Did it ever strike anyone else as an adult how weird it was that a children's puppet show featured a vampire puppet? But hey, no matter what his lifestyle entailed, the Count loved counting. And William apparently does, too, now. Maybe we need to TiVo some old episodes and introduce William to the Count.

Monday, November 12, 2007

All in favor of Thanksgiving, say Aye!

Thanksgiving is next week! I can't believe it. I love Thanksgiving but man, is it really almost here again?

Thanksgiving is a lovely lovely idea for a holiday. Here's what you're expected to do: eat good food, surround yourself with people you care about, and be thankful for all your blessings. Usually there is some lazing around on the sofa while a football game plays on the TV and a big plate of leftovers lurking to look forward to, as well. No major decorating required. No shopping for perfect presents or desperate last minute dashes to Target for stocking stuffers. That sounds just about perfect to me.

But...and you knew it was is what is rapidly becoming my standard pre-Thanksgiving rant. Thanksgiving barely seems to exist anymore in the minds of many people (read: retailers) except for, of course, the grocery store people.

Case in point: I wanted to buy some Thanksgiving books to read to William, so I made a happy little trip to a couple of the (very large) chain bookstores here in Nashville, but I couldn't find much of anything! What I found was a piddling little pile of Thanksgiving books for children, nearly an afterthought on a small table or crammed up on one high shelf, nearly completely obscured by the hundreds of sparkly Christmas books. This must be what it feels like to celebrate Chanukah. The Chanukah kids' books get a tiny little afterthought display, with a few defiant titles, while the Christmas books are piled into huge mounds all around them. Sigh. I finally found a boardbook copy of "Corduroy's Thanksgiving," so I bought that. So now we have "Spot's First Thanksgiving" and "Corduroy's Thanksgiving," and that's it. And sadly, that's nearly all there seems to be. I wanted something sort of meaningful, but that was a big strikeout. W is too young for historical books about pilgrims and Indians, but would it be too much to ask to have more than a couple of Thanksgiving books for children for sale this time of year?

I could go on for days about how Macy's hung up its glittery red balls and white lights two weeks before Halloween. Heck, my own subdivision hired people to put up wreaths and garlands on the neighborhood entrance! Why can't we celebrate Thanksgiving first and then worry about Christmas? Why does everyone have to gloss over Thanksgiving? But it's so inevitable that I am having an increasingly harder time even working up enough energy for a spirited rant, really.

Well, I'm going to eat turkey and put a turkey headband on my toddler and read our (few) Thanksgiving books and then I'll think about Christmas stuff. We're going to do autumn and Thanksgiving first. I know that I am reveling in every drive I take around Nashville right now. The trees are blazing with orange and yellow and even purple and red leaves, and I feel like I have stars in my eyes as I gaze upon the first real autumn that I've seen in person in seven years. I took William out into our back yard today and picked a glorious red leaf from a bottom branch of one of our brave little trees. He was fascinated by it, kept saying, "Leaf? Leaf?" That's right, sweetie. Let's enjoy all this beauty outside while we can, and then let's say our prayers and be grateful for all that we have. And then, only then, will we start making our Christmas list and checking it twice.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

William's 18 month doctor's visit

Get ready for this news, campers: I'm growing a giant!

As of 2:30 p.m. today, William weighed 28 pounds, which puts him in the 75th percentile for his age group and gender. And he is 34 inches tall, which puts him in the whopping 90th percentile. I was like, "Get out! Are you serious?" when Dr. Keown laid those stats on us. William is huge! It's not just our imaginations!

For those of you keeping track at home, by the time David was that size, he was almost two-and-a-half years old! While I was sputtering in amazement by how big William is getting, David pointed out that I do have some tall genes on my side of the family. Daddy is well over six feet tall, my uncles both top 6'4", and my brother is about six feet tall. And David's brother Mark is over six feet as well. So it's not that crazy that William could grow up to be tall, too. David said he'd be delighted for that to be the case.

But you know, it's funny. I'm just used to William being bigger-than-average. A mother at the mall today asked me how old he was, and when I told her, she said, "My, he's so tall!" And I really didn't think much about that. It didn't occur to me that he really might be that tall. But you know, now that I think about it...a mother with her toddler in Old Navy last night was asking me how a coat fit William, and she said that she figured she'd better buy the next size up because her 21-month-old son was "so tall." And I looked at the little boy and thought, "He doesn't really look that tall. In fact, I bet William's at least his height." And maybe he was.

Anyway, William checked out just fine overall at his 18 month well baby visit. He's eating and sleeping pretty normally (most of the time), but he's getting to be a pickier eater, which is normal. They asked if William could say 15-20 words, and David immediately was like, "Oh yeah." And I said, "Really?" Because I didn't really know for sure if some of his words counted, because he often leaves the consonant on the end off some of his words. But David said that it counts if he uses the same word consistently for something and that we understand it. So we started counting them up. Yes, no, hi, bye-bye, mama, dada, duck, dog, moon, cheese, please ("peees?"), thank you, cat, car, bus (buhhh), milk, water (which sounds like waaa, but we know what he means), pumpkin (which technically is "puhhhh" but he always uses it when he sees a pumpkin, so it apparently gets to count), school (skooooo), church (chuuuuhch), fish (faaaah), feet, toes, ball, socks, shoes, hat, choo-choo, wow, go, tree, bird, banana ("baaahh"), belly button (which, again, is really "bellbo"), and truck (which sounds like "truuuhhhh"). And occasionally monkey ("mon-mon"). And there are a couple of other words that we think we've heard him say, like door and sheep and watch, but he hasn't used them enough times that I'm completely ready to add them to the list. So not bad.

Oh yes, and David just reminded me that he also says bear, light, fan, and boo-boo. And supposedly he says chair and rock, according to his father.

William knows and can point to at least four different body parts, and he can scribble (when I let him). And walk and run and all that good stuff. He eats with utensils sometimes, and he drinks from a cup, and he doesn't use a bottle, and yes, we brush his teeth twice a day. And often, he helps us brush his teeth, although his technique could use some refining. He can open and close things (gah, like doors and drawers all the time). And he has lots and lots of opinions. Okay, so that last one wasn't an official measurement. :)

And he got his Hep A shot and his flu shot. And in solidarity with my big kid, I got a flu shot, too. Owie. But we have matching fluorescent orange band-aids now, so hey, there you go.

And now, William is fast asleep in his little bed, completely worn out from his big day, which oh yeah, started out with another haircut. I'm not sure I have the energy to fully describe that little experience except to say two things: 1) He screamed so loudly that dogs were cringing and wincing three blocks away, and 2) David had to stand up and hold him while I kept up a silly running monologue over his shoulders to distract him while the hairstylist darted in and out with her scissors. But it is done.

Whew. I'm tired, too. Maybe I should go sleep in my own little bed.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Oh so stubborn

Do you ever remember your mom saying to you, in a moment of supreme frustration when you were your most obstinate stubborn self, "I hope you have a child just like you when you grow up!"

Or was that just me?

Anyway, Mom, just so you know: I think your wish was fulfilled. I have a child who is just as stubborn as I

Ever since William learned to say "No," he's been even more determined than ever to Get What He Wants. See, sometimes when he doesn't want to do something, he just says "No," and toddles off. But sometimes he also uses his pre-No skills to bolster his point. This typically involves one of two things: the locking of knees and the arching of the back, or the wild thrashing of arms and the frantic kicking of legs. So instead of just doing one of those things, he does one of those things AND shouts "No! No! No!"

When does William like to perform this type of stunt? Okay, to be fair, he is a really cheerful delightful kid most of the time. But he's still a toddler. And he's still my child, as we've established. So the big shows tend to happen when I'm trying to do something truly horrible like buckle him into his carseat to take him home from Gymboree or church, or put him in the stroller so we can run into Target and pick a few things up for the house. You know, when I'm trying to restrain him so he'll be safe. He laughs at safe; he spits in the eye of safe. And he bucks around and shouts, "No! No! No!"

Ah, good times. Somewhere, my mom is laughing.

Now, just in case you thought that I have changed since I grew up and would mildly defer to the wishes of my stubborn toddler, let me just lay that little fear to rest. He may be stubborn, but I am the Master of Stubborn. The Grand Emperor of Stubborn. The Sultan of Stubborn. I've had nearly 32 years more practice being stubborn, in fact. He may be stubborn--and freakishly strong, I might add--but I am bigger and older. He puts up a good fight, but I Always Win. It might take me awhile, but he will ride in his carseat.

And yes, I am also smart enough to know that I'm not always going to win, and that there will be times when I realize I have to pick my battles. In fact, already there are times when he gets upset and behaves like the toddler he is. Sometimes I just let him do it. But when I really need to win, I win. When it's good for him and his well-being for me to win, I win. Sometimes I am bruised afterward, but I do what I have to do.

Now. When he gets to be as tall as I am, we may have some trouble.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

The end of DST for now

Witches, ghosts, vampires, nothing. Here's what I'm really afraid of: the end of Daylight Savings Time.

I remember when I used to love the "fall back" half of the "fall back, spring forward" occasions. Spring forward was lousy because you lost an hour of sleep, which was particularly painful when I was in college and needed my extra hour of sleep on Sunday morning to make up for Saturday night. (And for my fellow Rhodents: why did it always seem to happen during Rites of Spring? Could someone not have seen that coming and done something about it?) But, fall back = sleeping late! What could possibly be bad about that, right? Yeah, then I had a baby, a baby who doesn't really care what time it is when he wakes up. 7 a.m., 8 a.m., 6 a.m. Who cares when you're in diapers? William may own a wristwatch, but as anyone who's ever seen it knows, it doesn't really work. His little internal bioclock isn't subject to the whims of Congress.

So, we just put William to be an hour later than usual in the (probably vain) hope that he'll sleep in an extra hour tomorrow and not wake up at his customary time. Which would still be better than the 5:45 wakeup call we got today, right as I was blearily stumbling around, trying to get out of the house so I could volunteer at the local Race for the Cure. Who knows what that was all about. I am hoping it was just a strange freakout that will never happen again.

I guess we'll see. I know that David and I could really use the extra sleep. We had a busy day today, what with the Race for the Cure and a birthday party for our little friend Leland. Leland's party was terrific. Too bad I was sort of a zombie from stumbling around since o'dark-thirty.

Speaking of Leland, here's a photo from her party today:

William made his daddy take him down the slide. A lot.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Trick or Treat, the 2007 installment

Trootree. That's Williamese for "trick or treat." It sounds very similar to his word for "choo choo." An alternate pronunciation is "tricktroo." But in context, you can tell exactly what it means. It helps when he's either dumping handfuls of miniature candy bars in your lap or holding his trick or treat pumpkin up and gesturing to the front door.

Yes, William had a terrific time last night. Althought I don't know: Mark and David and Diane and I may have had just as much fun as William. I was so impatient for the afternoon to end so the evening--and the fun--could begin; it was like being a small child all over again! Diane manned the front door while the boys and I hit the sidewalks for some hard-core trick or treating. We let William see the first few children to come to our door, as the sun was setting, and then we quickly stuffed him into in his frog costume and went outside.

Our street looked like a Hollywood vision of Halloween. The sunset was a blaze of orange and pink to the west, and as the streetlamps flickered on, the tots in their bright costumes began to toddle down the sidewalks with their parents in tow. At first, it was just a few, and then the numbers began to grow. And we added to them.

Our goal was to take William to about six houses, and we ended up hitting about eight. He toddled along gleefully in his frog outfit, swinging his pumpkin and pointing to all the lighted pumpkins he saw.

All our neighbors graciously cooed over William and his costume, and one man even invited him to pet his (small) dog. One lady leaned over and let William select all the candy he wanted from her overflowing bowl, which he loved. He has no concept of candy, but he loves to put things in and take things out, so that was right up his alley. We had to tell him to stop and say "thank you."

And several times, he did manage a very polite "dank yu," so we were proud. He cried and turned away from only one house, but the rest of the time, he was giggly and happy. I think he got a big kick out of being outside after dark as all these other children were milling around. And of course, he loooooved seeing all the pumpkins. It was not uncommon for him to struggle up the steps to a house and coo "puh!" to the pumpkins while the amused homeowner held out his bowl of candy and waited for him to discover it. I guess that's the Halloween equivalent to the baby who excitedly plays with the wrapping paper and empty box but ignores the toy on Christmas.

Then, it was time to go home. William was so excited to see his grandmother greet him at the door with a big bucket of candy! He started immediately grabbing handfuls of her candy and putting them in his little pumpkin. Put in, take out. Put in, take out. Put in, take out. You know the drill. The rest of the night, he delighted in moving candy from one source to another, particularly to a person, namely his Uncle Mark. If you sat down long enough, William would toddle over to you and hand you a Butterfinger or some Starburst and then wander off to make sure all his other patrons were taken care of. Before long, everyone had a lapful of candy, which is usually when William would start taking the candy back. It's all about the putting in and taking out at this age.

William also handed out candy a few times--for real. We had a group of small children ring our doorbell not long after we arrived home, and William was clutching a tiny Snickers bar in each hand ( purloined from our stash ). I guided him to the open door and asked him to put the candy bars in the little girl's pumpkin, and he did! It was so cute that I'm afraid just describing it doesn't do it much justice. Just take my word for it.

And after that, there was no stopping him. He kept a close watch on the front door, and every time he saw a batch of children stomping up the front yard, he made a mad dash for the door. David said that he was still hopefully watching the front door and saying "trootree?" this morning. Now, how do you explain to a toddler than Halloween only comes once a year and that he won't get to trick or treat or hand out candy again for 365 more days?