Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Adventures at Storytime

Oh man.

I had one of those moments this morning. One of those moments when I think, with utter conviction, that I am never going to take my child out in public again.

Yes, we went to storytime again today. What is it with our downtown library? Does it just attract really docile children, or do the parents self-select? Anyway, once again, I had the wild man in the room.

It wasn't too terrible when he flung a fistful of graham crackers around the room, thus provoking looks of alarm from nearby mothers. And at least he didn't do anything bad when the little girl next to us kept stealing his hat from the top of our diaper bag. And he smiled nicely and said "hi!" to the little new-walker who kept toddling over to look at us during the songs and stories.

But oh, when it was time to go sit on the edge of the stage, he managed to push the much-smaller, new-walking toddler next to him. The little guy staggered, and of course since it was up front, EVERYONE SAW. And the storytime lady even picked the little fellow up. And his mom gasped and ran up there. William darted back toward me, but what could I do? I scolded him and told him not to do that anymore, and I apologized to the mother, who said it was okay and that her son hadn't even fallen down.

But still! What can I do? I can't have a kid who pushes other kids like that. I always correct him when he does that sort of thing, but he still does it. Not all the time but he still does it. I'm almost to the point where I'd rather only take him around much older children because he can take care of himself--and the other kids can certainly take care of themselves. I don't have to worry about him pushing a four-year-old down and possibly hurting him. If an older kid pushes him down, he usually gets right back up and keeps going, no problem. And at least I can comfort him if he's hurt, which he usually isn't, and not have to worry about all the other parents glaring at me and my child.

The thing is, William is two. I think he's a pretty typical two-year-old. He shares...sometimes. He gets territorial...sometimes. He gets grouchy or restless...sometimes. Sometimes he hugs and kisses other kids, and other times, he shoves them. The rational part of me knows that this is all a learning process. He's learning how to behave around other children, and all I can reasonably do is expose him to other children and correct any misbehavior. And that there will be failures and triumphs, both.

But it's easy to get discouraged when it seems like all the other kids in the room are these docile little kids who are content to sit in Mama's lap or right next to her and never do anything that would warrant a correction at all. Aren't there other rambunctious two-year-old boys out there? Do I need to start frequenting monster truck ralleys or something instead of storytime?

And here's another thing: William genuinely likes storytime. He responds well. He loves the song about rainbows, and he loves the puppets. He gets a huge kick out of watching the storytime guy juggle, and he even pays attention to the books at least half the time. It's not fair to keep him away from something like that, where he seems to be both actively learning and enjoying himself. I just need to find some way to manage him better.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Halloween in April

William is currently, weirdly, obsessed with Halloween. I tried to explain that Halloween only comes once a year, and we have a long time and lots of other stuff to do before it comes around again. But he's not convinced. It's not like he understands months of the year yet, so it's kind of a tough argument to make.

So lately he's been talking about Halloween almost all the time. And we've been reading as many Halloween books as William can get his hands on: "Corduroy's Trick or Treat," "Who Said Boo?" and so on. At the downtown library the other day, I told him he could pick any book to check out, and what does he pick but some random book called "Trick or Treat on Milton Street." Too bad that Richard Scarry never did a Halloween book. William would be in heaven.

I have no idea why he suddenly has gotten hooked on Halloween again! I guess that's just another item for the "Toddlers are Weird" file.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Happy Birthday, William! (A day late)

On my birthday each year when I was a little girl, my mom would always say the same thing. "(X) years ago today, I was in the hospital, waiting for you to be born..." she'd start. And I'd hear about the hot July night when I made my entrance into the world.

Oh, heck, she still does it, and I'm 33 years old! But I still love it. It's warm and familiar and comforting. It makes me feel loved to hear my mama tell me that story every year on my birthday.

And now I'm doing it for William. Yesterday morning when I went into his room to get him out of his crib, I kissed him and said, "Two years ago this morning, I was holding you in my arms for the first time, and you were brand new and tiny, with these big blue eyes and these tiny perfect little fingernails..."

William's so different now from that tiny little baby that it's hard to believe he's the same person. The quick temper's the same, and the blue eyes, of course, but not much else. He's even different than he was a year ago, on his first birthday.

April 22, 2006: William David Wyckoff is born at 6:35 a.m. at the Robert E. Bush Naval Medical Center in Twentynine Palms, California.

April 22, 2007: William David Wyckoff cheers on the Los Angeles Angels at Angels Stadium in Anaheim, CA:

April 22, 2008: William David Wyckoff eats yet another cupcake with strawberry ice cream as his mom, dad, Dee Dee, Grandaddy Aaron and Uncle Mark look on:

He's had a busy year. He learned to walk, grew a mouthful of teeth, moved to Tennessee, started "school," started Kindermusik, met lots of new friends, learned to count, learned the ABC song, and learned to really, really talk. Sometimes I look at him and I think, "I just never imagined, when he was a little pink seven pounder lying on my chest in the hospital that morning two years ago, that he'd become this complex little person, running around with his shoes untied and chattering on about doughnuts and choo choo trains." It's just amazing. I feel like I can't even do the feeling justice with my words.

Sometimes I feel this weird dichotomy. I fret that time passes too fast, and he's growing up before I'm ready for him to grow up. Then I think, "Okay, he's only two years old. It's way too early to get nostalgic like this! He hasn't even started kindergarten yet." And I remember those long nights when I was nursing off and on all night long, only to have to get up when the sun rose and nurse off and on all day, too. And I think, "Oh, I don't miss that." Not that I love the temper tantrums of a two-year-old, but it's also nice to have William actually be able to tell me that he would like a banana in addition to his strawberries and yoguht, taaannk yuuuu, mama.

Speaking of eating, here's a photo of William eating, circa early May 2006:

And here's a photo of him eating yesterday:

Notice that he got his beloved "cheeburger and fire fries" for his birthday lunch.

It's been a good year, William Bear! Let's have another, okay, sweetie pie?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Birthday party pictures at long last!

William's birthday party pictures! Of course, it seems like half the pictures I took turned out blurry. I may try to clean some up and post them later, if they look better. I'll post any good ones that anyone emails to me, too.

Look how much fun he had!

Monday, April 21, 2008

The party, revisited

You know the old adage about how a really disastrous dress rehearsal bodes well for a mishap-free opening night? You don't? Okay, well, trust me. It's a well-established convention in the theater, just like you should never ever say Macbeth's name aloud in the theater.

Well, I think the same principle must be at work when it comes to birthday parties.

In the week leading up to William's birthday party on Saturday, it started to seem like the party was just not going to happen. Or at least it wasn't going to happen the way we'd hoped.

I got sick one day, William threw up another day, David started to feel sick one evening toward the end of the week, the weather looked ominous for Saturday and so on. William's friend Leland's mom emailed me to say that Leland had gotten sick and she might not make it. My dad had surgery so he and my mom couldn't come up for the party. My father-in-law got sick, and so his appearance was doubtful. The gloom descended on me. I asked myself why I had thought it was a good idea to plan a big party for a two-year-old. I even, yes, moped around about it.

Then there was the whole patio furniture debacle. We were supposed to have a "let the kids run amok in the backyard" party, but the forecasts all were predicting rain. Then, when the weather reports started looking more positive, we realized that we still didn't have any patio furniture. I won't get into the details here, but let's just say that somehow or another, all the efforts to move Mark's old patio furniture from his former roommate's house were thwarted. Mark called me early Saturday morning with despair in his voice. Neither of us could figure out what to do. I half-heartedly proposed that one of us buy a folding table at Target. Mark wondered aloud if we should try to find someone, anyone, who owned a truck. It seemed like the outdoor part of the party was just Not Going to Happen.

Then a miracle happened. His old roommate had managed to borrow a truck after all, and the two moved the furniture over just before noon. They hosed it down, and it was ready to go! Ready for platters of toddler snacks! Hurrah!

Except then it started raining again.

Then I managed to bump into my mother-in-law's car when I was backing my car out of the garage on my last errand to Publix.

And then the balloon that I bought to put on the mailbox--to distinguish our house from the other three houses in our little area that were also having birthday parties--managed to somehow get away from me in the Publix parking lot. And I didn't realize it 'til I got home.

Oh yes, and William refused to nap before the party. He stood in his crib and sang. Loudly. So that we could not miss the fact that no, he was not napping.

And my hair looked frizzy, but well, that's an everyday occurence, and so probably it shouldn't be on the list.

But you know what? Despite all that, despite all the insanity leading up to it, the party turned out just fine. Better than just fine, in fact.

Just a bunch of old and new friends laughing and eating and hanging out. Plenty of food and drinks. Thrilled with all the attention, William was in his element. I got to actually talk to everyone who was there. And weirdly, when everyone finally left to go home, we looked around and realized, "There really isn't that much to clean up." Except for the typical scattering of William's toys, the house was remarkably clean!

As my friend Mary Clare said, there were no melt-downs, no big tantrums, no accidents and no blood spilled. And that, my friends, is the definition of a successful birthday party for a two-year-old.

More pictures to come.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Birthday party preview

Six dozen cupcakes later, thirty-odd people, and one rainy Saturday later, I can say that we successfully lived through William's second birthday party. And I think we all had a terrific time. I know I did. And given that William had a huge smile on his face all afternoon AND got to drink about four juice boxes AND eat a gazillion cherry tomatoes and a cupcake AND hang out with all his peeps...I'd say he was pretty happy, too!

I'll post more pictures later! In the meantime, the photo above should give you a brief taste. An unqualified hearty thanks to all the people who made the party possible, including but not limited to Mark (for making spinach dip), Diane (for everything, especially William wrangling and diaper-changing), Phuong and Eric (for set-up, cupcake-decorating, ice-cream scooping, tear-down and a bunch of other stufff), and Jaclyn (for loaning chairs and a cooler). Y'all are awesome.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Potholder William

William "helped" me make cupcakes for his birthday party tomorrow. Just so you know, he had them on the right hands for every other picture, but this picture was the best so I posted it anyway.

He is a very good "helper." He also likes to "help" me unload the dishwasher, and he always volunteers to "help" me load the washing machine or transfer laundry to the dryer. If I can just keep him motivated for another 15 years or so, we'll be all set!

Thursday, April 17, 2008


I had to write this down because it was so funny. This happened on Tuesday.

From William, in his carseat, as we approached McDonald's on the right:

"Cheeburger! SOOOOOOOO good!"


"Fire fries! SOOOOOOOO good!"


"Yoguht! SOOOOOOOOO good!"

I guess he was hoping to convince me to pull over and drive through the drive-thru at McDonald's and get him some treats. And he was using the hard sell.

Monday, April 14, 2008

If Only I'd Known Then...

Do you ever have those moments where you think, "Hmmm. In retrospect, I wouldn't have done that"?

I've had two of those moments recently. Actually I should clarify. I've had two of those moments over and over again recently.

You can learn from my mistakes.

Case No. 1: The Case of Too Many Blankets.

I put a couple of soft Gymboree blankets in William's crib last fall when it started to cool down. I figured he was old enough for us not to worry about him smothering under blankets in his crib anymore. When it got cold, I started covering him up with the frog blanket....and later, on even colder nights, I started adding the dinosaur blanket, too. And the train blanket.

The problem? William came to expect me covering him up with a series of blankets. And now that it's starting to warm up, he doesn't understand why I don't want to weigh him down with three blankets anymore. He objects. Loudly. This makes bedtime...er, complicated.

The alternative is also a problem. If I capitulate and layer the three blankets on top of him, William is happy. Until he kicks them off in his sleep because he's too warm. Then he wakes up and is unhappy about the blanket situation.

For the record, David thought of suggesting that we cover up his stuffed animals with two of the blankets, while telling William that "Mimi and Elmo need blankies, too." Sometimes that works. And sometimes, it doesn't.


Case No. 2: (I feel very Nancy Drew with these subtitles.) The Case of the Wrong Yogurt.

I've been buying six-packs of mini-yogurt containers for months now, and he often eats one for lunch. A couple of weeks ago, we were out of William's yogurt. So I offered him one of his father's full-sized Yoplait yogurts. I figured, they're the same brand, they're probably the exact same yogurt. And since William loves blueberry yogurt, but it's very hard to find in mini-containers, I thought a full-sized blueberry yogurt would be a fun treat for him.

Sure enough, William was delighted. He polished off the whole thing in about five minutes. I was suitably impressed. And I didn't think much of it.

The complications arose...a few days ago when I pulled a nice little strawberry yogurt out of the fridge for William's lunch. He saw the friendly little Dora the Explorer container, which he normally adores, and threw a Donald Duck-style hissy fit. Under no circumstances was he going to eat THAT yogurt! (I'm translating here.) Oh no. He wanted some of Daddy's yogurt. David and I looked at each other and shrugged. David fished out a full-sized container and handed it to William, and the crisis was averted.

The real problem: Today William turned his nose up at his own mini-container of blueberry yogurt and insisted on one of Daddy's yogurts again. Again, he threw a temper tantrum. David even tried to show him that the yogurt in both containers was the exact same kind. No dice. William was not convinced. Finally, after a frustrating struggle, David just gave up and put both open containers of yogurt on the high chair tray. William contentedly ate one bite of yogurt from the big container, then one bite from the small container, then another bite from the big container, and another bite from the small container. And so on, until he was stuffed full of blueberry yogurt. Now I'm all worried that he's only going to want David's yogurt and won't eat all the kid's yogurt that I just bought for him.

All together now, folks: "If only I'd known then..."

Please, please let this be a phase.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A quick trip to the zoo

William at the zoo today:

If you look just to the right of William's head, you can see the giraffes:

No, he's not supposed to stand up in the stroller, but sometimes he does anyway. He stood up right as I took the picture here.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The terrible twos

A few weeks ago, I took William over to "play choo-choos" at Davis-Kidd, a local bookstore with a really terrific children's area. As he studiously pushed a set of worn Thomas the Tank Engines along a wooden drawbridge, I eavesdropped on a couple of young mothers sitting in rocking chairs a few feet away.

One was watching her son, who was probably about William's age, play across the train table from William. She also held an infant girl who I supposed was eight or nine months old. The other woman had a son who was probably about a year old, toddling uncertainly around the play area.

The first woman said that her daughter was giving her fits. "My pediatrician said, 'oh, she may only be eight months old, but she's just got the terrible twos really early,'" the woman told her companion, who clucked sympathetically. (Really, I always thought that was just a figure of speech but something about the way this woman clicked her tongue really sounded like a cluck.)

Dubiously, I glanced over at the baby girl. She seemed to be a total angel. She was sitting in her mother's lap, bouncing gently, and smiling around a handful of drool-covered fingers. I didn't see any evidence of terribleness at all. But I know that looks can be oh-so-deceiving. One minute a child can be beautiful, clean and smiling beatifically. The next minute he or she can be a raging red-faced maniac. One minute, you're proud of your angelic child, and the next minute, you want to drop through the floor when all eyes are suddenly on your child, melting down in an ear-splitting puddle because you are out of graham crackers. Oh yes, looks can be deceiving.

William may not be terrible, but he'll be two in exactly two weeks. In the past 24 hours, he's managed to pull down and spill the following all over the floor: an open box of uncooked spaghetti, a half-full bag of taco chips and crumbs and a neatly packed diaper bag full of stuff like tubes of ointment and cups of Goldfish. He's stood up in his high chair countless times, despite my countless admonitions to stop, STOP doing that. He's pried open the pantry doors and plunged his fist into a box of graham crackers even though I had just told him that we were about to eat dinner. He's punched all the buttons on the television and DVD player in the family room. He's rubbed spaghetti, yogurt, applesauce, and apple-cinnamon cereal in his hair. He managed to get blueberry muffin stains on the back of his t-shirt. He wiggled out of my lap and ran out of the storytime room today in about a quarter of a nanosecond, and I had to chase him down, not once but three times. And he's cried indignantly because we put him in pajamas with feet one night and then pajamas without feet the next.

In short, I'm tired. Man, I'm tired. If this is what two is like, I am going to need some vitamins.

Of course, I should say that two also seems to be bringing me a glimpse of the divine, a reminder of the angel who's still there, under the yogurt-covered hair and crumb-covered t-shirt.

William came over to me while I was getting dressed and gently reached out to touch two large freckles on my back. "Boo-boo," he said, softly, with sympathy. "Boo-boo." Then he leaned over and carefully smacked a kiss on each freckle. Then he pulled back and looked around at me and smiled the sweetest smile.

And that, I think, is why I love him so much.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Knock knock

William's Dee Dee recently taught him a joke. So behold, I present William Wyckoff's very first joke.

William: Knock knock.

Me: Who's there? (Sometimes you have to beat him out to say it, because he likes to answer his own joke.)

William, with much glee: Nobody!

And laughter ensues. Yes, it may be a case of "you had to be there," but I swear, it really is funny!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Early to bed

We just put William to bed about 45 minutes earlier than usual because he was just impossible. Strangely, he seemed to understand what we were doing, and he didn't fight it. He didn't even object to the fact that we told him we weren't reading any bedtime stories tonight. He just calmly collected his babies, lay down and stuck his little padded bottom in the air, and waited patiently for his daddy to cover him up with the requisite three blankets.

Weird, huh? He's coming down with a bit of a cold, so he may just be a little more worn out than usual. Plus, it's Friday, and we've had a busy week. We've been out of the house every single day for a good part of the day. And today he had school.

I'm pretty tired myself. I actually managed to walk on our treadmill while William roamed around the upstairs before dinner. He played on the floor in front of me for awhile, then he wandered into my room where I had "Sesame Street" playing on the television, and he went back and forth. I even let him get up on the treadmill when I finished so he could "walk" on the treadmill, too. That's Big Fun, in case you didn't know. Maybe that was just enough exercise to wear him out, too.

Oh God. I hope this doesn't mean he'll be up at dawn tomorrow, though.

* * * * *

A random observation, apropos of nothing: Isn't it funny how the dressing room rules change so radically from lower-end stores to higher-end stores?

I mean, at Target (and I dearly love Target, so this is not a slam), they absolutely won't let me go back into a fitting room if I have more than the limit of six items. They make me leave them behind on a rack. I can't take anything else back there with me. And no one will guarantee that the left-behinds will be there when I get back. If there's an inexpensive clothing rapture while I'm in the narrow red closet, well, too bad for me.

And at the low-end teen store Charlotte Russe, where the clothes are practically disposable, the (bored teenaged) salesgirls have to come unlock the rickety little plastic cubicles where you try on clothes, and you have to proffer your clothes so they can rifle through them, count them and give you a number. Same thing at Express, although at least the clothes aren't as see-through. Sometimes the Gap counts your stuff, sometimes not. Their fitting rooms are nicer, though, and you usually get a bench to put all your stuff on.

On up the scale at Ann Taylor, no one cares if you take three items or 33 items back into their dressing rooms. Sometimes you even get a padded chair in your dressing room, which always has a nice large, sometimes triple-paneled, mirror. And then there's Harolds. The salespeople always offer me a cold drink--bottled water or mini cans of Diet Coke or Coke--and then hang the clothes on the sturdy pegs in the fitting rooms which are cordoned off with heavy velvet curtains. Again, no one cares what you have in your arms or if you're violating some number. The larger fitting room area has what's practically a small well-lit runway with a little box at the end in front of a large mirror, so you can see how terrific (or terrible) you look.

I just think it's interesting because I know the lower-end stores do a lot of what they do in an attempt to reduce shoplifting. But it's not like the higher-end stores don't have that problem, too. We had a couple of suspected shoplifters who frequented a Talbot's where I worked in college, and we always had to watch them like hawks. You'd think the higher-end stores would be more rigid, though, since their merchandise costs more--they have more to lose, I guess.

But you know what? Any dressing room works for me when I don't have William in a stroller with me! Ah, the bliss of not having to wedge myself and him into a three-foot-wide fitting room!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Trader Joe's comes to Nashville at long last!

We're getting a Trader Joe's!


Bring on the dried Rainier cherries, the gourmet cheeses, the frozen lemon-pepper shrimp stirfry. Bring on the blueberry scones, the cinnamon swirl bread, the frozen ravioli. Bring on the Pilgrim Joe products at Thanksgiving, the Ming Joe Asian foods, the Trader Giotto Italian foods.

It's going to open this fall over in Green Hills. And it's not an April Fool.

I am so happy.

I realize that this doesn't have a lot to do with William, but who cares? Actually, it does have a lot to do with William. I'll be able to get a whole host of new healthy snack foods for him...cheaper than places like Whole Foods and Publix.

Can I get another wooohoooo?

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The sock problem

We're still having the sock problem.

The sock problem, in case you're curious, is a strange phenomenon that started last week. It goes a little like this:

David puts William's pajamas on him.
David puts socks on William's feet.
David reads stories to William.
David puts William in his crib.
David and I kiss William good night, turn off the lights and shut the door.
Minutes pass.
William wails in abject agony.
I rush into his room, convinced that he has fallen out of his crib or gotten an arm or leg somehow stuck between the slats.
William stands up, sobbing and holding a sock.
He tells me, in rambling toddler language, mixed with tears, that he needs the sock back on or the world as he knows it will end.
I put the sock back on him.
He lies back down, ostensibly to go to sleep.
Minutes, perhaps hours pass.
It happens again.

The only thing that varies is the time at which the wailing commences. Sometimes it's around midnight. Sometimes it's 3:30 a.m. Sometimes it's both. And he almost always removes only one sock: the right sock. For months, months now! we have laughed at the way that William would often take off both socks and either lay them neatly next to him in the crib or drop them over the railing. But never has it seemed to bother him that the socks were no longer on his feet, not even on the chilliest nights. I mean, there were mornings when I would pick him up out of the crib and cringe when I felt the little blocks of ice that were formerly his feet. But somehow, now, a missing sock is a Big Problem.

Now. I know what you're going to say. You're going to say, "You fool. Why do you keep putting the socks on his feet to begin with?

And I will answer, "Because he looks at me with those big wide eyes and says, 'My feet cold. Need socks!' You try to resist that. You stand there and tell your poor little toddler with cold feet that you're not going to put nice warm socks on his little frozen tootsies. Go ahead. I'll stand over here and watch you do it. Go on."

The other obvious solution would be, "Put footy pajamas on the kid." Yes, that would be an easy solution IF we still had enough footy pajamas that fit him. His Christmas jammies strain at the neck, the light blue pair are dirty from two nights ago, and the remaining footy pairs either 1) don't fit anymore or 2) are heavy fleece for really cold winter nights. And it's not so easy to find nice soft footy pajamas in larger sizes. For some reason, the pajama makers assume that bigger kids shun any jammies with feet in them and, oh yes, that they love nice slick polyester, too.

I remember when we were "helping" William learn how to sleep through the night. Do you know how many experts and so-called experts have written books on how to get your baby to sleep at night? Do an Amazon search and let your eyes glaze over. I owned at least three myself, some more useful than others. But to my knowlege, no one has addressed the Toddler Middle-of-the-Night Sock Problem in print yet. Except, er, me now. And I don't even have much of a solution formulated yet, other than to buy new pajamas. I hate it when "throw money at the problem" is the best answer. But if it will buy me a full night's sleep again, well, then here's my checkbook.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Peanut, peanut butter. And jelly!

Yesterday I was talking to a woman at church who has a son William's age. She was trying to convince some of us to take home a batch of banana nut muffins because her son is allergic to peanuts. He had two episodes where he broke out into severe hives and got all swollen up when coming into accidental contact with nuts, and the resulting allergy tests confirmed it. She has to carry around an epi pen in case anything ever happens again.

Yikes. Thank God William doesn't have any food allergies. That we know of, anyway. Do you know how many things have nuts or "traces of nuts" in them? It's insane. We bought a big bag of dried blueberries at Costco, and written in menacing type on the bag of the back was "May contain nuts or nut products." Dried blueberries! It never even would have occurred to me that I'd need to keep a child away from dried blueberries for food-allergy reasons.

We have a no-nuts policy here at our house until William turns three. David says that the literature suggests a link between several autoimmune conditions--eczema and asthma and some food allergies--so it's better to just be proactive about it and limit his diet until then. And William has mild asthma and mild eczema, so the possibility of also having a food allergy is very real. But neither of us have any family history of food allergies, including tree nut allergies, and we've both speculated that William has come into contact with or accidentally eaten nuts in the past anyway. So at this point, it's mostly just a "better safe than sorry" policy. His school has a "no nuts" policy, too, so it's just as easy to keep all aspects of his life officially nut-free.

Still. I always ask about nuts when people offer him food. And I don't even bother to buy things or make things with nuts in them. It's just not worth the hassle of trying to keep them away from William. If he saw me eating, say, almonds or peanuts or banana nut muffins, he would want some too. That's how it always goes. But David realized about eight months ago that Chick-Fil-A fries its food in peanut oil, and well, we all know how I feel about Chick-Fil-A so it almost goes without saying that William has eaten there pretty regularly since we moved to Nashville. And he's eaten other foods that we only belatedly realized may have contained "traces of nuts or nut products."

So I can't wait for the day when William turns three and we can (hopefully) be a little less cautious. I cant' wait 'til I can finally start giving him peanut butter crackers. They're so easy to carry around. And honestly, I would be sad if my son missed out on peanut-butter sandwiches. I think that, done right, a PBJ or PBB (peanut butter with banana) is one of the great small joys in life. You know, really good whole-wheat bread lightly toasted, some thick blackberry jelly or preserves, a nice chunky layer of crunchy peanut butter. Mmmm. Strawberry preserves would be okay, too. And if I really had to, I'd settle for creamy peanut butter. Ah. Sometimes, that just hits the spot like almost nothing else.

In fact, I may have to go fix myself one now. William's napping. It's okay.