Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Yes, I know that Joel is a baby and can't talk yet. It certainly does not stop him from communicating.

When Joel wants something, he has learned that nothing gets the message out quicker than a shriek that sounds like a succubus emerging from the pits of hell. It's that loud and piercing. It's also that effective.

I'll be feeding him something...pureed, and will be distracted by Owen, or the newspaper, or "Oh look, that squirrel is sitting on my deck chair again," or God knows what else is more important than just sitting down and FEEDING MY POOR KID. Joel eventually becomes weary of my inattention and shrieks.

My ears are ringing, but I've heard the message, "Feed me, you miserable bitch. That I love more than life itself. But feed me, already."

Thankfully, Joel communicates other feelings besides INCREDIBLY PISSED OFF. Another common emotion is Insanely Joyful.

When Joel successfully pulls himself up, or finally scoots to the most awesome toy EVER--Owen's Tonka Fork Lift---the heavens part, a chorus of angels fills the air, and Joel's eyes light up as he laughs to himself. "Look what I did," he says, "I am the most amazing person ever. Life is so fantastic. Oh, the JOY!!!"

If only I could approach life with the same attitude. Loading up two kids and the trash---one of my least favorite jobs, could become, "Look what I did! I got the kids and the trash loaded up without any tears or threats, and I didn't sell either kid on the side of the road! I am the most amazing person ever. Life is so fantastic. Oh, the JOY!!!"

Joel knows how to say "I love you." When I pick him up in the morning, he laughs out loud and twists from side to side. It's his own little happy dance, because he's so excited to see his mommy.

Owen apparently thinks that it is his duty as a big brother to train Joel for a future career in the WWE. He'll take any opportunity to roll on him, body slam him, grab him from behind, or in one frightening occurrence, pick him up and drag him from place to place. Joel thinks this is the funnest, most hilarious thing in the world. It's hard to say, "Owen, be nice to your brother," when Joel is shaking with laughter. Every so often, though, Owen will take it one step too far. Joel will then let off his succubus shriek, saying, "It's time for you to STEP OFF!" When Owen hears this, he stops what he is doing, and hides behind the kitchen curtain. Go, Joel, Go!

I know that Joel has stories to tell. Right now, they are mostly cries, shrieks, squeals, and giggles, but it's only a matter of time before they are words, than phrases, than paragraphs.

My kid has something to say. I have no doubt he'll get our attention.

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