First, kiddo pictures of our first two and a half months here:
This is at the Air Power Park, and it turns out that they get really upset when you let your kids do this:
But this is okay:
Over this past weekend we found ourselves in Our Nation's Capital visiting with Jeff's old friend Will (and the family he's acquired in the decade and a half since they last met). For background, here's a picture of Jeff and Will in high school (sent to me by Will's utterly cool bride, Brie):
As of this writing, Jeff's hair is much longer than in this picture and Will's is much shorter, and they both carry fewer guns.
Will and Brie have two young kids, and Maria took to them immediately. Their son Liam was pretty much Maria's main baby sitter at the National Zoo. (Thank goodness somebody was watching her.) They also have a new baby that had to stop myself from kissing literally a dozen times. (Germs, you know. I kissed his feet and held him. Actually, I ate his feet. They were yummy. Where was I?)
Kurt had a tougher time, but more on that in a minute.
We also visited with cousins Chris and Kai and their daughter Grace, whose quiet, calm demeanor put Kurt oddly at ease:
And I got to see dinosaur bones. Because they just never, ever stop being cool.
Anyway, this seems like as good a time as any to talk about some of the ways that Kurt is and is not making progress as a developing human. For instance, he has a lot of language. A LOT. If you had told me five years ago to imagine a kid who can talk a lot and yet not be able to make more than a two sentence coherent conversation, I would not have been able to visualize it. But that's Kurt. He asks trusted adults for things he wants or needs, on occasion even asks me where some missing object is, and can make a comment about something he sees or remembers. But that's about it. He can't converse.
Yet he chatters out loud to himself, coherently, all day long. So because of this, I know the names of his classmates at school, and that they have circle time on a blue square rug. I know he has a special chair and that he's not allowed to sit in his teacher's chair. I know he thinks about his cousins and Max and Danielle's kids often. I know he remembers that his grandfather drives a silver car. I know he misses his favorite exhibit at the nearby museum that closed because of flooding last month. I know his life is a never ending quest to pet our cats. He loves airplanes and trains and trucks and chocolate waffles and a kid at school named Sebastian.
So, it's not like he can't form sentences. But because he can't really talk to anyone, he can't make friends. Faced with a kid who is innocently trying to befriend him, he will 1) run away 2) babble incoherently and THEN run away 3) push said kid.
It's painful and frustrating to watch him push kids on the playground, but he does it almost once a day. Sometimes I have no idea what the antecedent was. Maybe he just wanted the kid's attention, who knows? I can't ask him and he can't tell me.
So, when Kurt and Maria met Will and Brie's sharp, bubbly kids in the middle of the National Zoo, Maria was delighted and Kurt freaked out, running all over the place and making me chase him, having random crying jags, and then, in what is becoming his signature move, pushing Liam down the stairs. (Liam got a scraped knee and I was mortified.)
The vast majority of Kurt's habits are quite charming. I can take meltdowns and the world's longest, most epic potty training, and I can definitely take his habit of repeating phrases over and over again to random strangers. (Last month's loud "Give Maria a loan!" has ceased and we've moved on to "Okay, Mommy has to go pee-pee!" whispered to whomever whenever he finds himself in a quiet place. ) Apologising for your kid's violence is taxing, however, and I hope I get to stop soon.
Halloween is in a week! I've already had too much candy.