Archive | May 2011

Happy Birthday Sam

Among my many regrets of parenting, perhaps the biggest (although most superficial) is what a horrible memory-keeper I am. Unlike his cousins Jack and Tommy (who have calendars which chronicle the first time they made eye contact, drank from a sippy cup, and got their nose wiped, etc. etc), one day poor Sam will have to grapple with the severely poor job his mother did in capturing his momentous events in photos or journals. I do really feel bad about it, and I’m going to blame my mom for the bad example. (Probably her only mistake as a mom.:) And also I will comfort myself with the fact that I am living proof that one’s ego can survive without a baby book. Anyway, the real tragedy of this whole thing is that everyday I think at least two hundred times, “Sam. You are hysterical. I really need to write that down.” And I rarely do.
So today, Sam, two days after your second birthday, I want to make myself stop eating potato chips, cleaning breast pump parts, and stalking random people’s facebook pages to figure out what is actually in style (because I have no clue), and I want to try to remember.

Sam, it has been the greatest joy of my life to be your mom. We are so similar, from the big hazel eyes and round cheeks of your face, to the tantrums you throw when you don’t get your way, from your passion for tornadoes and french fries and reading and animals and parties and cooking and life.
You love people.I know this because of how bored and miserable you are at 3:30 when all you’ve seen is lame old mom, how you tell random people, “Hi” on walks, and ask me, “His name iiiiiisssssss….” whenever you want to know who is mowing our lawn or serving our fries. When you someone you love comes to visit, you turn around and jump like a bunny away from them. It looks funny, but I know it is because you are so happy they came. You love your daddy, every one of your grandparents, big driver “cyubs” and pretend cooking, pretend drumming, pretend driving the car.
You remember everything. You told me my phone number, you know more lines from the truck book than I do, and you will always tell me “I don’t want to” because that one time you saw a bratty kid say it on TV. Nothing makes you laugh as much as Samules, paps, and big doggie. Now you poop on the potty all the time, because you get “a whole bowl of marshme-yos and to hold dad’s cyubs.” Really, your pronunciation is impeccable, except for a few words which are so incorrectly adorable we will never, ever correct you. Sometimes I say them wrong, too, because I don’t want you to stop. Like computader, banananana, piananano, a-nogger, or every word with an “L” like yook, yove, and yike. We yove YOU, Sam. Also I’m not going to correct that you call breasts “hearts.” It’s probably better that way for now. 🙂
People are continually amazed at your flawless golf swing, your speaking in paragraphs, and that you always seem to do whatever Jack tells you to, even though you have at least three inches and five pounds on him.
You say the FUNNIEST things. Just in the last week, you named a turtle “Doug Smartt,” said a garden worm was doing his exercises, prayed you would ride a bulldozer, told Aunt Julie she was a pretty cool guy, and frequently asked Ty, “what’s going on, baby Ty, how you been?”
You are such a dreamer. I can’t wait to see what you become, whether you do end up riding a jet plane, playing golf on TV, driving a car and winning a trophy, or riding the moon, like you’ve told us you would.
I hope you never stop talking yourself to sleep, pulling up chairs to help me cook dinner, asking to “go Grammy’s house,” or loving to play the fifth hole of the Peninsula from start to finish with me as your caddie.
God already has answered so many prayers for you. Frequently, we look at you, and marvel. You will forever be my living, breathing, laughing, gabbing, squealing example that, as your name means, “God hears.”
Sam, you are the best little boy. We love you always! Love, mom and dad


The Velveeteen Samule

My parents tell the story over and over about how they left my stuffed lamb (or rather, unstuffed, as he was a puppet) at my Grammy’s house when I was little. Three or so hours from home, they elected not to go back for “Lambsly” (creative name, right?), although apparently that decision was greatly deliberated upon. This story is definitely in the “top ten stories told most by my parents” category. I always liked hearing this story, as it emphasizes both my dedication to stuffed animals and my steadfast, unforgetful nature (as I cried relentlessly, apparently, until he showed up in Fed-ex box two days later). But never did I really see how the whole thing was that big of a deal. Until now.

Enter: Samule. Samule is a stuffed mule (yup), and Sam’s closest, funniest, most intimate friend. It was love at first sight. There are only about three strands of black horsey hair left on his tail, because Sam rubs his tail (or what remains) between his two chubby fingers to fall asleep every night. Samule has been golfing, swimming, pooped on the potty, buried his “toes” in the sand, received albuterol through the nebulizer, been thrown up on, covered in poop (don’t ask), eaten oatmeal, gotten his hair dried, helped to make Jesus his birthday cake, and, needless to say, been through more cycles of the washing machine than anything with stuffing should. Around month 6 of his life Todd and I came to the unmistakable conclusion that we could all go to sleep much easier if there were a Backup Samule on hand.

Here is where we went wrong. First, I ordered a mini-Samule, accidentally. Who reads the fine print of dimensions on stuffed animal orders anyway? I am embarassed to admit I actually thought it might make due in case of emergency. Rookie mistake. When Sam saw him he literally started laughing outloud. Mini Samule was returned.

Then arrived Backup Samule. When he arrived it immediately became obvious exactly how loved (read: disgusting) the real Samule had become. He was a shadow of his former self now. This Samule was also promptly identified as an imposter. We tried to use him once as a backup, and Sam named him “comfortable Samule,” repeatedly asking for “real Samule.” And I know what you’re thinking, but all attemps to make him look disheveled have failed. No matter how many times I wash him, somehow comfortable Samule comes out looking more fluffy and comfortable, and real Samule more ratty and gnarled. Apparently, there is no substitute for the loving, snotty, sweaty hands of a two-year-old.

So tonight, Velveeteen Samule was missing, and two grown adults – two full-grown exhausted, busy adults – searched obediently for a good 25 minutes for a 10 inch stuffed mule while Sam moaned for him in his crib, imposter Samule in hand. It should be funny, but I assure you, at 7:53 on a Monday night it was not. Eventually we did find him, by the way, jammed between two sofa cushions. of course.

So I don’t know what the moral of this story is. I was so proud of myself for my proactive preemptive ordering of the backup, now evidently in vain. I guess, if I do it again, I should keep #2 Stuffed Friend completely a secret, sneaking him out during intervals of naptime to run him through the dishwasher, jam him in the garbage disposal, and suck him up in the vacuum. Yes, that’s a good plan. We will have to try that with Ty-ger. 🙂