All About Leelo and Iz

Oh, those kiddlings. Too funny. Too cute. Maddening. Crazy-making. And, finally, asleep--which is when we love them the most.

Leelo is, as always, a study in dual pathways. One fork leads to cheering cognitive leaps, language, and affection. The other to frustratingly intangible roadblocks.

Happy examples: He's really been more of the world lately, trying to figure out things such as what happens if I twist this dial, oh, wait, my toy shark flaps his fins! Holy shit! Cause and effect--how come no one told me about this? Let's see what effect results from tossing my sister's favorite books down the stairs. My mom put bars on my fort to prevent me from trying additional death-defying acrobatics--but I bet I can climb around them! What happens if I push this plastic slide underneath the trapeze bar like my sister and her friends do--hey, I can climb on the trapeze bar and give my mom another heart attack!

His language has been surprising. "Want to sit on the couch with Mommy" is the ring-a-ding-dinger for today, expressively. Also today, he pointed at a poster in our pediatrician's office and declared "balloons!" Spontaneous pointing and declaring are rare, rare, count-them-on-one-hand instances.

Receptively (responding to language), he's finally started listening to us when we yell at him to stop running away and come back. Praise be--he is one fast little fucker, and I have nightmares about him getting away in crowded malls, etc. He's really getting two-step directions such as "pick up your diaper and put it in the trash." Hopefully soon we'll be able to turn this into "Go get Mommy a beer from the fridge and bring it over to me on the couch."

He continues to be an affectionate little sweetums. Loves to engage in any sort of hide-and-go-seeky, tickly, roughhousing sort of deal. Great peals of laughter, requests for more of the same. Big hugs, lots and lots and lots and lots of kisses. Sometimes his enthusiasm is a bit pain-inducing, but overall we're just grateful that he loves to show us how much he loves us.

Bad examples: He still refuses to eat most anything we put in front of him. His Bi0Set practicioner has cleared him to go back on dairy and legumes, but I think we'll wait until this cold (two weeks and still going strong) finally goes away. Although I am finally getting hep to that whole "grate it and bake it in" school of culinary subterfuge. Today he had [apple] pancakes [made with eggs], and was none the wiser about ingesting two foods he usually throws on the floor.

Seymour and I both think he's lapsing more frequently into crazy gibbering little nutball mode. He can be so remote. He almost never stops chattering--especially when he's at home, but increasingly wherever we are if there are insufficient distractions. He's "passing" less often. We've had so many fucking consults with so many fucking experts, but I still don't think we've met anyone who knows fuck-all about what this behavior of his is all about. The Stanfford folks think it will go away eventually. Fine, but how do we deal with it NOW?

His language and responsiveness are still so limited. My friend JM brought her 14-month old Annah over on Monday, and my heart sank in realizing that a Annah knows and responds to far more social cues than our boy does. She engages. She waves. She responds appropriately. And she doesn't even talk. He doesn't know what a sentence as simple as "Do you want that?" means without considerable physical prompts.

And, not in any way related to his condition, his D'Artagnan duck feet mean that the only brown velcro boots in the whole store that fit him have lame-ass little flashing lights all over them. Gaaaaah!

I'll just give a list of Iz bits, as I'm tired and it's getting late and this is getting long. It's a brag-fest; you don't have to read it.

-She's really enjoying crossword puzzles. Don't even try to help her.

-Today she got her first-ever nightgown. I'd forgotten that girls can wear such items, as I favor man-jammies myself. She looks like Wendy, and so is floating on a cloud of pure joy.

-She got really frustrated watching me try to peel a hard-boiled egg yesterday (perhaps the second one I've ever peeled). "Mommy, you need to put in on a spoon and run it under warm water first! Didn't you read that How To Do Everything book that Badger loaned me?"

-She charmed the pants off her pediatrician today, especially in asking him about the relative sizes of red and white blood cells. He even got one of his medical textbooks so she could see what they look like "without an microscope." She got extra points and a high five from her mom in knowing that blood cells are made "in the middle of bones." Although her dad would like to dock those points for her then telling Dr. G that "my dad likes to suck the middle out of bones when he's eating."

-She's been debating her teacher over the fact that glue has historically been made from casein (a milk protein) and that that is why Elmer's glue has a bovine logo even though it's not made from milk anymore.

-It warmed the cockles of my Anglophilic little heart to hear her exclaim, after a certain undisclosed frustration, "Oh, bother!"

She is an absolute delight. As is her brother. I want time to slow down so we can enjoy more of them, exactly the way they are right now.

But, instead, to bed. Seymour's stomach flu has ceded this territory to Leelo's cold. ("Mommy, you've been sick since before we drove to L.A.") Illness combined with having given up coffee cold turkey two weeks ago (only one medicinal lapse on the road trip, I am STRONG) means my soft, sweet bed is whispering to me much earlier these days.

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