Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Starting Young

There was a boy, around 9 or 10 years old, playing basketball at the park this evening. He was a good shot, making some reverse layups and ten-footers. John was intrigued and came onto the court. Immediately, John threw up his hands as if to guard him, with a big smile on his face. He crouched and stood up again several times, as if he were trying to jump. John always wants to play basketball with the older boys.

Giving Chase

When John was still crawling, he used to like to chase balls across the floor. At first, I thought it was by accident. He would crawl into a ball and it would shoot ahead of him and then he would crawl into it again. After a while, I realized that he was doing it on purpose.

These days, John is still chasing balls, but now he runs after them. Tonight we went to the park after dinner and took a ball along with us. John ran onto the tennis court and threw the ball down and kicked it and ran after it. Kristi and I spent the next few minutes following after John as he kicked and ran after the ball. Sometimes we kicked it as well or picked it up and threw it. No matter where the ball went, John chased after it

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Growing Things

Some of the corn and beans have sprouted up in John's garden. I say his garden, even though I have to sometimes keep him from stomping on it.

Today I filled up the watering can and watered our plants on the front porch. Then I went back into the backyard, where John was, and filled it up again. I handed it to John and he walked right over to his garden and started to water it. We went back to the hose and filled the can up with some more water. I carried it back (it was too heavy for him this time) and then he watered his garden some more and also the marigolds next to it.

A Sticky Situation

John likes tape.

Yestderday, after he tore a limb off my pepper plant, John pulled out a long strip of Scotch tape. I wasn't happy about that either.

This morning, he got a hold of the tape dispenser again, but this time I let him play with it. When he pulled out the tape a little, I tore some off and left it stuck to his hand. John went to the middle of the kitchen and started throwing his hand up in the air, the way he does when he's throwing a ball straight up. He was trying to get the tape to fly off his hand, but of course it wouldn't go. He was smiling as his hand went up three or four times and then he gave up.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Death of a Pepper Plant

John had a hard day today. Kristi said that he whined a lot and that he fell in the kitchen and hit his head. Maybe he was tired from not sleeping enough yesterday (he didn't get a morning nap because he was in the nursery at church).

To make matters worse, while John and I were in the back yard, I noticed that he had broken off a limb of a cayenne pepper plant I am growing in the back yard. There were a good four or five peppers starting to grown on that limb and when he started poking at the plant again I got angry at him. The poor little guy looked at me with such a confused look on his face. He's not used to me speaking to him in that way.

The pepper plant only cost $2.49 so it's not worth getting angry about and it's certainly not worth hurting my son's feelings about. I'm glad that I'll get another chance to treat John well in the morning.

(I just remembered something else: when we went to the park after dinner, we forgot to bring a ball with us. There were some boys and a young man playing on the basketball court and there was a ball lying on the side. John wanted to pick it up and play with it, but we wouldn't let him. This time, none of the boys told John it was ok to play with their ball. We went to the tennis court, where John loves to throw and kick around a ball, but there was nothing for him to do. So he went back to the ball, but we told him again that he couldn't play with it. Again, none of the boys offered to let John use his ball. This was just one of those days when nothing seemed to go John's way. I guess even little boys have some of those too.)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

A Rubber Band for Blanky's Nose

John got up a littler earlier than usual this morning. I was already up and reading and eating my breakfast.

We got John a booster seat yesterday, so I pulled a chair up to the table where I was sitting and sat him down in it with some Cheerios and soy milk (he has a milk allergy) and the latest J. Peterman catalogue (lots of pictures).

Before or after that (I can't remember which), John took a little blue rubber band and balanced it right in the center of the nose of the dog on his favorite blanket, Blanky. He balanced it like a ring on the pillow at a wedding and came and showed it to me.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Precious Cargo

John loves to transport cargo in his trucks. As I walk around the kitchen, I see:

1. A red truck with a long yellow bed, in which John placed a jar of meat sticks.

2. A big yellow school bus with a small tupperware cup inside.

3. A big yellow dump truck with a small tube of hand cream in the dumper.

Yesterday, as we were coming home from the park, John walked on a bleacher step and then stepped down inside of the bleachers and found an empy cardboard gum container. It went into the carrying compartment of the stroller.

Also, John has a car that Kristi's parents gave him that is big enough to ride. It has a front hood that lifts up and serves as a storage compartment. We never know what we are going to find in it.

What's the point of having trucks and carriages with places to put things if you don't put something in them?

Update: I just checked the front hood of the car and was surprised to find that there was nothing in it this morning.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Two Tennis Balls

My father took John to the park a few days ago and John kept running out onto the tennis court. There was a man playing tennis with his son--I think they may be Ethiopian--and he gave John a tennis ball to get him to stop interrupting their game.

Yesterday evening, Kristi and I took John to the park after dinner and saw the same man playing with his son. "Was this boy here the other day with his grandfather?" We told him he was. The man gave John another tennis ball. (After a few minutes, John threw the ball back onto the court and I darted after it and barely missed getting hit by a ball the man's son just hit.)

Yesterday before dinner, a girl let John play with her basketball: once he saw it he lost all interest in his little inflated rubber ball.

Today, Kristi took John to the park and a nine-year old boy showed John how to catch and throw. There are a lot of friendly people at that park...and not a few of them are willing to share or give away their balls.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Planting Seeds

John planted his own garden today. It was my mother's idea and it was a good one. John has seen me digging up dirt and planting herbs, potatoes, tomatoes, and onions, but I haven't let him touch anything. But today he got to use a little spade and put seeds in the ground (corn and string beans) and then he watered them with a watering can. It's hard to believe that he's only a year and a half.

The idea is that he will know that this is his garden and he can do what he wants in it. I hope that he'll enjoy seeing his little seeds grow.