Monday, May 18, 2009

We're On The Downslope!

Our Internet will be set up on Thursday, so in the meantime I'll be posting from Jeremy's lap top in the apartment complex office, which has wireless Internet. No pictures 'till I have my own computer back, though. Sorry!

The U-Haul move went well, except for a couple of snags, such as the fact that my table was completely scratched up because we forgot to use the furniture pads. I wasn't very happy about that. Otherwise, we got all of the big pieces moved in and are just finishing up the small stuff. Hopefully we'll be completely done by Thursday or so.

The cats are doing okay. Well, half the cats are doing okay. Loki, our fuzzy bounding optimistic ball of enthusiasm, had no problems. A move is an ADVENTURE! It might involve new people with good things to EAT! New exciting cabinets to explore! New blinds to shred! The possibilities are endless!

Cricket, on the other hand, is another story. I was unaware that our cat knew so many swear works, but despite the language barrier we're pretty sure she has a larger obscene vocabulary than many of Jer's military buddies, and she's been using the full repertoire for the last two days. This move was NOT her idea, and she would have been much happier had we left her back at the old house and just stopped by every day to drop off food. The cats are locked in our bedroom at the moment while we get the rest of the house set up, and Cricket has responded to this indignity by completely cutting off access to all of our clean clothes. She's set herself up in the middle of the closet and responded with a hissing, spitting, screaming denial whenever we attempt to get anything out of there. Oh-- and Loki isn't allowed within ten feet of her without her going for his face. She's slowly calming down and actually is allowing me to pet her now, but she still is spending most of her time in the back of the closet. Poor cat.

Connor has adjusted remarkably well-- he slept through the night Saturday and last night, and he seems to be largely unaffected by the move. We're really happy about that.

Oh, and that gigantic pile of books? I've spent the last two days alphabetizing the whole giant pile and further dividing it by subject, so we may not have any pictures on the walls or any lighting in our bedroom, but by golly we've got a library, which is the important thing, right? Glad we've got our priorities straight.


Friday, May 15, 2009


The house is slowly, slowly starting to come together. There are a number of things I've realized about our family over the past two weeks as we've gone through the moving process, and I thought I would share three of them with you.

1) We have too much stuff. Way, waaaaay too much stuff. I don't know where it came from. Some of it I don't even recognize. I think the previous tenants in this house had household items that held our home dear to their hearts, and when discarded or lost these items followed some mysterious homing signal and dragged themselves hundreds of miles across wilderness and dusty roads to collapse, happy, in the back of our closet. You know, kind of like those animals in Homeward Bound, only not nearly as cuddly. Either that, or the stuff is reproducing at night by binary fission. I mean, what else could explain three irons sitting next to one another in my cabinet. Three. Who buys three irons?

2) Books do or do not count as stuff, depending on who in the family you ask. We have a lot of books. Our office at the new apartment currently has a pile in the middle of the floor that is about eight feet wide and about chest high. If you ask Jeremy what we should do with the books, he says that we should go sell some at the used bookstore. If you ask me what we should do with them, I say that we should build more bookshelves. In order to prevent the destruction of our marriage we've compromised. Jeremy is allowed to sell his and only his books back to the bookstore, but I get to go through the pile first and put back everything I want to keep. As a result we don't sell many books to the bookstore, but we do have an intact marriage, so this is good. Apparently book hoarding is written into the genetic code of my family-- my brother has a conversation with his wife on a regular basis that follows almost these exact same lines.

3) Once we got rid of a bunch of stuff (but no books), I developed this crazy compulsion to get new, better stuff to fill the apartment with. I've managed to mostly curb this urge, though I did get us a new shower curtain (needed) kitchen towels (also needed) un-shredded hand towels (very needed-- thanks cats) and this awesome squid lamp, which technically wasn't needed but was way, way too cool to pass up. And a couple of ceramic bowls that look like barnacles, also because they are cool. I found a new workbench, as my old one, a giant Formica table, won't fit in the office without removing a significant number of books. The old table is going into our storage unit, along with a good number of our other things. I'm still looking for a couple new end tables, too, and then there's curtains to find. In the meantime, I really need to stay far, far away from Etsy. It's bad for me.

So we'll pick up our U-Haul tomorrow and move the big furniture to our new place. That's when we'll officially start living there instead of in the house. I'm not sure when my Internet will be up and running, but I'll try to steal Jer's lap top and haul it down to the work center in the apartment complex office to keep up while we're waiting.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Signs of Greatness

Today Connor had two doctor's appointments: one with GI and one with the developmental clinic. Our GI doc took a look at the horrible knotty mess that is Connor's g-tube site, and said that he couldn't really do much in the way of cleaning to it without risking pulling out the stitches. He said that other than being kind of gunky and messy it looked pretty good, though-- not infected or anything-- so it should be okay until we change the Malecot tube out with a Mic-Key here in a couple of weeks. I'm looking forward to having my very own boy with a cute little beach-ball plug instead of a crazy ugly Tubie alien parasite.

That book still gives me the creeps.

The appointment with the developmental pediatrician also went well. Connor showed off his sign language, standing skills, and infectious laugh, and our doctor declared herself delighted with his progress. When we saw her a year ago (shortly before this picture was taken) he was just learning to sit with support, used about ten signs (he has 45 now) and spent a lot of time staring at his hands and pretending the people around him didn't exist. She was amazed at how far he's come. We know he's doing an incredible job, but it's always nice to hear it from one of the experts!

She put in an order for Connor to get a hip x-ray, as his PT has expressed the suspicion that he might have shallow hip sockets. We went and got this done right after the appointment, and had to strip Connor completely naked for it, as the diaper was in the way. I put Jer in the line of fire, but luckily Connor was polite and even though he didn't care for the way we were holding his arms and legs down, he didn't use the "nakee time" as an excuse to pee on his Dad.

She also made arrangements for an OT to come to our home and take a look at both it and our vehicle to see what kind of modifications we can perform or equipment we can get in order to make them more accessible for Connor. He'll be making three home visits. This is really exciting-- we can't wait to see what he comes up with!

Finally the good doc set us on the road to getting a handicapped parking sticker. Jer and I haven't bothered thus far because Connor was pretty small and easy to carry, but now that we're putting him in a wheelchair it would be really nice to be able to park close to the ramp. We're going to turn some paperwork in to her and then drop it off at the DMV office. Voila! Handicapped parking placards. Who knew it was so easy?
All in all, it was a very productive day!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Cleaning For The Cleaners

I spent about eight hours cleaning today, which is about eight hours more than I wanted to spend cleaning today, but that's how it goes sometimes. A man from our housing office was coming out to take a look at the state of the house and how many repairs would need to be done before they could rent it out to someone else, and I had this idea that the chest-high piles of random things in the middle of our living room, piled dishes in the sink, carpet that hadn't been vacuumed since I could last see it (three weeks ago, maybe) and mounds of dirty laundry were going to get us some sort of bad score. So I did a Pre-Move Cleaning. This is not to be confused with the Pre-Post-Move Cleaning, which will be when I clean the house from top to bottom after we move all our stuff out in preparation for the professional cleaners we will hire to actually clean everything. I have inherited the "clean for the maid" gene directly from my mother, and it's impossible to shut off.

I was picturing the housing representative as some sort of icy woman with bushy eyebrows and hair slicked back in a bun who would be there three hours. She would open all of the cabinets and look under the sink, glare at everything, say "Hmmm" in a disapproving tone, and scribble things on a clipboard in red pen. Periodically she would raise her eyebrows in a look of disbelieving horror whenever she found some particularly noxious transgression.

The person who showed up was a very friendly elderly gentleman who had very reasonable eyebrows. Not only did he not use a red pen, but didn't even say "Hmmm" once. It's lucky that he was a cat person, as Loki made instant friends with him and followed him around the house demanding to be scratched behind the ears. No doubt it was Loki's influence that got us our good report. He told me to weed the garden and replace the cat-chewed blinds, but otherwise things looked fine. So long story short I spent eight hours cleaning and then the guy was in my house for maybe five minutes. It was rather anti-climatic after all that fuss. Oh well.

We'll be moving all of the big stuff over this weekend, and then we should have another week or so to get everything ready for the final walkthrough. Right now I'm trying to figure out exactly how to talk to Connor about Saturday, as I want it to be as easy for him as possible. He doesn't adapt to change very easily, and after the notorious Wedding Freak Out I'm a little nervous about the whole thing. We've kept everything around and above his crib exactly the same to make sure that he's not freaked out beforehand, but I'm sure that he'll be a little nervous sleeping in a strange house the first few nights. Luckily he seems pretty acclimated to the apartment-- goodness knows he's been there enough. Does anyone have any tips for making the move with as little stress as possible for the boy?


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Escape Artist

After only two and a half years living in this house, Loki has discovered the front door.

Our genius cat used to believe that while both of the side doors opened onto a wondrous cat paradise in which he would reign sovereign forever if only he could breach our defenses and escape, the front door opened onto some alternate dimension of horrors. Suffice it to say that while he would sprint out either of the side doors at the earliest opportunity, you could leave the front door standing wide open and he would act as if an invisible barrier existed there that he couldn't possibly penetrate. Also if I took Cricket outside the house for a veterinary visit and brought her back in one of the side doors he was fine with her, but if I brought her in the front door she was an Evil Cat Demon and he would spend the next three days attempting to exorcise her with his teeth.

Don't ask me why this was. I have no idea.

Well, no longer. Sometime in the past week Loki had a major revelation-- some sort of kitty Eureka-- and he realized that all of the doors lead to Paradise. Now I have to lock the darn cat in the bathroom every time I want to get something wider than just myself out the door, because he hides behind the wall dividing the kitchen from the entryway and then lunges for freedom every chance he gets. Either that or I must do the Great Foot Dance of The Cat Thwarter every time I wish to enter or leave the house, which consists of squeezing myself and Connor out the door sideways in the shortest possible amount of time while wiggling one foot directly in front of the cat's nose to prevent him from leaving as he darts first one way and then the other. This works about half of the time.

Connor thinks the whole thing is hilarious. Every time the cat wins and shoots past me, jerking me off balance and causing me to do a frantic one-footed jig in order to avoid plummeting down our front steps, he claps his hands in glee. I'm glad I provide such wonderful entertainment.

Our new place has the advantage of having only two doors, one of which has a very fast rebound-- it slams itself shut when you let go. I'm sure that getting whacked in the nose a couple of times will probably deter the cat pretty effectively from venturing out that way. The problem is that the other door is a sliding screen door. I shudder to think what our cat could do to a sliding screen door-- I'll have to rig up some sort of solid protective cover for the bottom half. I mean, he already went through a window in this house. I keep picturing a giant cat-shaped hole in the middle of the screen, like you see in the cartoons. This would probably not help us get our deposit back in a few years when we move out. At any rate, I'll either have to rig something up or we will never, ever be able to use that door, which in an apartment with no air conditioning, would be Very Sad.

Crazy cat.


Monday, May 11, 2009

I Live!

I'm am feeling much, MUCH better today, thankfully. Yesterday's food poisoning incident has left me none the worse for wear, though I will not be going anywhere near pork carnitas for a long, long time.


Connor had physical therapy today, and he's got some new shoes! The little guy's feet are tilted out, and so he wears ankle-foot orthoses (AFOs) to help correct the problem. Today we got some shoes to fit over his AFOs so he can wear them around town instead of just while standing. These shoes are pretty cool-- they hinge open at the back so you can get the stiff AFO inside. We hadn't bought any ourselves because they are seriously expensive-- especially for something he's going to outgrow in fairly short order-- but Connor's therapy had a donation of a pair, and they fit the little guy perfectly! Their only downside is that they make Connor's feet look enormous. Also he refuses to stand up while they are on, which kind of defeats the purpose. He'll get used to them eventually.

We've also decided that once Connor has his g-tube replaced with the sleeker and closer to his body Mic-Key, we'll be getting him a walker! This is a seriously exciting development. Today Connor stood and supported himself at a table on his arms with no help for several minutes: an incredible achievement for a kid with his kinds of physical challenges, and far beyond original expectations for him. We'll start off with a walker that gives him a lot of support, and slowly get him used to the idea of moving himself. It's a fantasy of mine that when Jeremy gets back from deployment, Connor and I will be able to walk up together to meet him. It's a dream that once seemed completely out of reach, but now it doesn't seem so impossible.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

I recieved the ultimate gift for Mother's Day today: food poisoning.

I would write more, but my waste paper basket is calling. Again.


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Where's My Mary Poppins?

I received a huge box full of packing material earlier this week in the mail; here's a cat for scale. It contained exactly half of my order from Pottery Barn: one washcloth. The other washcloth arrived in a similar package a few days before. No doubt all of that plastic packaging was so that my fragile washcloth would not shatter during the mailing process. Yeesh.

We spent today hauling things to the new apartment and also interviewing respite care workers, which is kind of weird. I mean, I never quite know what to ask, other than the usual about references and background checks. Other than the obvious question given my son, which is: "You do feel really, really comfortable doing CPR, right?" After confirming all of those things, then we're left to figure out which care giver would be the best based on some sort of gut instinct. This is difficult. I'd kind of hoped that someone would come flying up, Mary Poppins style, and wow with their sheer awesomeness, but that has yet to happen, so we're stuck. Even worse, since a giant wind didn't blow away all of the other candidates, once we've made our decision we're left with the problem of telling the other applicants that we've picked somebody else.

I will attempt to foist this off on Jeremy, as I find it horribly difficult to disappoint anyone and find myself trying to come up with reasons why we need three respite care workers instead of just one so I don't have to tell anybody that they "lost" to someone else. I mean, when you think about it, the respite care workers who made it as far as the interview process are all more than qualified to take care of Connor, so it becomes a personality contest, and this is awkward for me. Jer is much better at using the word "no" than I am. I think it's my Southern upbringing that makes that word such a hard one to say. While I learned that it is perfectly acceptable to say horrible things about a person as long as it is prefaced with "bless their heart," and I can guilt-trip with the best of them, there's no passive-aggressive way to tell someone they didn't get a job-- at least not that I can think of. I may be out of practice, as living in the Pacific Northwest has forced me to set aside many of my former Texan habits, such as calling everyone older than me "sir" or "ma'am," everyone younger than me "sweetheart" regardless of gender, and waving hello to every person I pass on the street. Those actions get you weird looks here. As a sidenote, I haven't had a decent glass of sweet tea since I went back to Texas for Christmas. Nobody can make it here. They actually put artificial sweetener in it-- can you believe it? Where I'm from, that sort of thing would get you shot. Oh well.

We'll finish up our interviews tomorrow and make a carefully thought-out decision; possibly by flipping a coin. Then it'll be back to the business of moving.


Friday, May 8, 2009


We spent most of today hauling loads to the new apartment. I ran a couple of errands, including dropping off a couple of Connor's finger-painting masterpieces to be professionally framed. Call it a Mother's Day gift to myself. Jeremy purchased a new computer in preparation for his upcoming deployment, which has caused a bit of conflict as he's trying to set it up at the same time I want to blog, and we only have one chair left in the house. I won.

The biggest development today, however-- and you have no idea how incredibly relieved and excited to be able to say this-- but today marks the third consecutive day of no GI issues for Connor. Perhaps our long, long, LONG saga of troubles in that area is at an end.

I am beyond ecstatic about this-- a solid uninterrupted six weeks of parenting a toddler with explosive diarrhea will do that to you. I even, because I am totally weird, composed a spontaneous rhyming poem in very bad taste. Here you go.

An Ode To A Regular Toddler

If I never ever ever see
Another diaper of the liquidy
Kind I will eternally
Be overjoyed.

My son has single-handedly
Kept a diaper company
Afloat in this economy
And well employed.

Dung in my hair unbalanced me
I've lost hold of my sanity
Composing poopy poetry
My carpet is destroyed.

I dance about in giddy glee
A return to regularity!
I'll record it for posterity
My son will be annoyed.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Tired Little Guy

What happens when you get your son up at five in the morning, he refuses to take a nap, you spend the whole day shopping, and then you take him out to an army function in the evening?

Total overtired hyperactivity, followed by him falling asleep in the middle of playing with his lights. We have them rigged so he can turn his overheads on and off himself. Evidently taking his hand off the switch was too much effort.

We'll let the little guy sleep in tomorrow. He's earned it.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


See how helpful my cats are? They personally inspect each and every item as I attempt to move it out of the house.

Speaking of cats: I'll be holding a press conference soon, as I've solved one of the greatest physics paradoxes of all time. I have discovered once and for all what happens to Schrödinger's cat. When you close the box, instead of remaining in a dead-and-alive state, he disappears and rematerializes in my new kitchen.

When I drove to the apartment today, my upstairs neighbor appeared on the balcony. We'd talked about the mysterious origins of my uninvited guest yesterday. Apparently she's a softer touch than I am.

"Have you seen the cat today?" she asked me anxiously. "I went out and got him some food and a brush and everything but I haven't seen him at all. I've been watching for him for hours!" I looked up and down the apartment complex, which is completely devoid of structures with spaces underneath them, unpruned shrubs, or anything a cat could possibly be hiding under. I even bent down and glanced under the cars. No cat was
to be found.

I told her I hadn't seen him, but then I hadn't been at the apartment all day either. I then went inside with my load of things, leaving the screen door open. When I came back from the back bedroom thirty seconds later, the cat was sitting in my kitchen, casually washing himself as if this was absolutely nothing out of the ordinary and he hadn't just instantly reassembled himself from billions of tiny particles. Possibly my opening the screen door causes this; perhaps it triggers a dimensional portal. Getting out the can opener might have the same effect-- remind me to experiment.

I took the fuzzy interdimensional traveler upstairs to my neighbor. When I left the apartment she was still up there cooing over him while he stuffed himself. If he's smart he'll start materializing up there instead.

In other news, Connor had his neurology appointment today. As expected, his doctor bumped up his medication dosage. He's almost (but not quite) at the maximum dosage for his weight of this medicine, so if he has more seizures any time in the near future we may have to try switching to another medicine. Also discovered today was the fact that Keppra, the medicine he is currently on, is apparently cleared through the kidneys, and now the doctor is worried that if Connor's kidney function is less than stellar that it could be building up in there. Since Keppra overdoses can put you in a coma, this would not be so good. I still haven't heard from the urologist, and I'm assuming that if Connor's kidney was in some sort of dire state we would have heard back by now, but at any rate we'll go in on Monday and have Connor's blood checked to see what his Keppra levels look like. Sounds like a job for evil, evil Mommy, who is always there when they're sticking him for something. Oh well.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Unexpected Guest

No seizures again today, thankfully.

We'll go in tomorrow to see Connor's neurologist, and he'll put together a plan that probably involves upping his medication by a good bit and, if he continues to have seizures, sending him back down to Children's for another video EEG so they figure out what the heck is going on. Hopefully the meds will do the trick.

Connor had his sedated ABR this morning, and it went pretty well. He's had about a 10 decibel hearing loss across the board, which isn't terrible-- we didn't even have to adjust his hearing aids. We'll continue to keep an eye on his hearing as there's a good chance it will continue to deteriorate as he gets older.

I was moving a load of things into the new apartment today, and I had the screen door open while I walked back and forth from the trunk of my car to the back bedroom. After one of my trips back to the bedroom, I emerged into the living room to see a huge brown tabby cat sitting in the middle of the floor.

This was not my cat.

I had never seen this cat before in my entire life, and here he was, calmly surveying the interior of my apartment like he owned the place. I called him, and he came bounding up immediately, head-butting my ankles a couple of times and then running to the kitchen, where I'm assuming his food bowl was kept at one point. He has a ridge of fur pressed down on his neck where there used to be a collar.

Poor cat.

I think the people who lived here before us dumped him when they moved. I picked him up, and gently carried the huge purring bundle of fur back outside, where I deposited him and closed the screen. I thought about calling animal control, but it was after five o'clock at this point. I didn't have a cat carrier with me, and there's no litter box or cat food in the house right now, so I couldn't keep him there overnight. He seems like an incredibly sweet cat, but I already have two completely insane cats and adding a third cat and a move at the same time is a recipe for disaster. Besides which, I'm not sure I could handle having two brown tabbies the size of small ponies. If they tried to lay on my lap at the same time I'd probably never get up again.

The rest of the time spent at the apartment was one giant guilt trip. The cat hung out at the screen door, butting his head against it and every once in a while stretching the full length of the door to gently bat at the handle. Every time I came outside, he'd frantically run over and begin weaving in and out of my legs, making moving the furniture I'd brought with me especially exciting. When I left the apartment he was camped out on the porch, looking at me pitifully with huge gold eyes.

Anybody need a cat?


Monday, May 4, 2009


No seizures today, thank goodness. Thanks everybody, for the prayers and well-wishes. Hopefully Connor stays seizure free!

The little guy had his renal ultrasound today. I got to watch up on the screen. I've seen a good portion of the insides of my son through ultrasounds, CT scans, MRIs, etc, and while these things have become pretty routine, every once in a while I'm struck by the sheer beauty of the human body. The blood flow through a kidney looks like the spreading branches of a tree. It's pretty neat to watch.

Anyway, we won't know the results of that scan until the doctors take a look at it. Thus far we've determined that the kidney hasn't, I don't know, exploded or something. This is good.

One other piece of good news-- I got a call from the hospital this afternoon. They had a cancellation in their ABR schedule, and since I'd put Connor on the cancellation waiting list, our ABR has been bumped up from June 30 to tomorrow morning! We should have some answers about whether or not Connor's hearing has deteriorated further by the end of that test. I must admit I'm a little bit paranoid about putting him under sedation while he's having his seizures, but if he's going to have them anyway, he might as well have them in the hospital. They just barely put him under for the ABRs-- it takes about ten minutes total to wear off, so the risk isn't very great, and if he does have one, the anesthesiologist is right there, and I'll let someone else do the rescue breathing for a change.


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Another Seizure-- Please Keep Connor In Your Prayers

I had intended to write a cheery little post today about how our cats, Loki and Cricket, have been helping us in our moving efforts. Late this afternoon I'd gone so far as to get the camera prepared, and I took one picture-- this one-- of Loki "helping" me organize our DVDs. Then I looked over at Connor, who had been sitting in his chair playing, and saw he was unconscious, limp and blue.

He was having another seizure.

Jer got Connor's oxygen ready while I worked on getting him breathing again. This seizure lasted about a minute and ten seconds or so-- at least what I caught of it. I'm not sure how long he wasn't breathing before I looked over, but it couldn't have been very long. He came out of it just fine; he didn't even go to sleep afterwards, and was pretty cheery for the rest of the day, so that's a blessing.

This seizure comes only five days after his last one, and after we upped his medication again, so that's very worrisome. They seem to be getting longer and closer together. They seem thus far to be following the pattern that happened last spring before we figured out what was going on: a pattern that culminated in a five day stay in the ICU and fourteen seizures during that period. He has to be resuscitated during each seizure.

We already have a neurologist appointment scheduled for Wednesday, so we'll discuss treatment options then.Please keep the little guy in your thoughts and prayers this week as we try to get his seizures back under control.


Saturday, May 2, 2009

Lazy Day

This afternoon, in between running loads of stuff to the apartment, I sat in a chair reading a new book with a cat on my lap and listening to my husband sing a twenty-minute rendition of Beethoven's 1812 Overture to Connor entirely in chicken noises.

This, in my opinion, is perhaps the perfect way to spend late afternoon on a Sunday. I also got to eat chocolate ice cream after dinner-- the kind with the thick swirls of fudge in the middle. How could the day possibly get any better?

The 1812 Overture converts very well to chicken noises, by the way. Try it.


Friday, May 1, 2009

The Newt Says...What?

So Connor has this spinning ball toy-- the Spin and Sing Alphabet Zoo, by Leapfrog. It's one of his current favorites. This ball is covered in animals: one for each letter of the alphabet. It works kind of like that wheel on Wheel of Fortune, in that it has these little arrows that light up when you spin it, and then whatever letter the arrows end up on, that's the animal that the ball names and makes the sound of, provided you have it on the animal setting, of course (there's also a music and alphabet setting-- it's a ball of many talents).

Now, this is all well and good in theory, and is pretty useful for teaching the sounds of the more conventional animals, such as the cat, horse, lion, etc. The problem is that in order to have all of the letters matched with an animal, they started throwing in animals that apparently make very creative noises.

Such as the jellyfish, for example. Apparently jellyfish say "bloop bloop bloop." Who knew? The inchworm sounds just like a squeaky door. Toss in the newt (piano music), kangaroo (boing boing), rabbit (slightly higher pitched boing boing boing) umbrella bird (more piano music) and x-ray fish (ZOT!!) and you've got to wonder just how confused the poor tyke is going to be after playing with this for a while. I mean on trips to the zoo the elephant is right, and the horse is right, and the goat is making appropriately goaty noises, so why when we go to the aquarium is the jellyfish suspiciously silent?

There's also the fact that apparently in order to make the ball the right circumference, the manufacturers needed to add another letter to the alphabet. They decided to throw in some nice multicolored spirals. Maybe they're supposed to be pictographs or something-- educational, right? At any rate, whenever the arrows land on that "letter" you just get high-pitched giggling. Creepy.

I've taken the time to wax eloquent on this ball because I have had a lot of time to learn each and every sound these animals make. Connor now has a sign for "ball," and as a result we have this conversation somewhere around 200 times a day:

Connor: Ah ah ah AH AH AH AH!!!!
Me: What is it, sweetheart?
Connor: Ball! (he has pushed it onto the floor)
Me: How about a different toy? How about your keyboard?
Connor: No! Ball!
Me: How about I read you a book?
Connor: No! Ball!
Me: How about-
Me: (rolls eyes and gives him the ball)
Ball: The animals have something to say...jellyfish! Bloop bloop bloop! (falls on the floor)
Connor: Ah ah ah AH AH AH AH!!!!
Me: (bangs head against wall)

When I was a kid, I had this book by a guy named Al Perkins, called Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb. It was about monkeys who drum on drums, and it contained the memorable lines:

"Goodbye, Jake!"
"Goodbye, Jack!"
"Dum ditty, dum ditty, WHACK WHACK WHACK!"

No doubt I owe my love of good poetry to this book. I made my parents read it every night for about two years, so I recognize exactly what's going with Connor right now. Revenge, that's what. My parents probably took my son aside and had a little chat with him over Christmas, and now I'm getting my just desserts. By this point I have a pretty good idea of why they kept trying to get me to read a different book-- as intriguing as those monkeys with drums were. I bet my parents are at home snickering about this right now. That's right, Granny and Papa. You can call him off. Or for pete's sake, at least switch him over to a toy that doesn't say "bloop bloop bloop." I'm hearing jellyfish in my dreams.


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