February 26: Stakeout

"Mommy! We're gonna have a stakeout!"

"Really? What are we staking out?"

"We're gonna watch for the monster when he brings back the magnifying glass"


January 28: Applied mathematics

"Jake, I'm going downstairs to get another cup of tea."


"Jake, how many cups of tea has Mommy had this morning?"


"Jake, how many cups of tea does Mommy need?"


"Is one less than or more than two?"

"Less than."

"Right! I'm going to get another cup of tea."

October 29: Team player

"Mommy, you're on my team."

"Really? Is Daddy on the team too?"


"Who else is on your team?"

"Tobi. And my Great Aunt. And Opa. And Omi."

May 24: More tee-ball

Well. He went back the next week to another indoor practice, with earplugs and a promise he could quit if he didn't like that week, but he had to try, and was happily playing by the end. The format is practice at various stations (throwing/catching, fielding, batting, running the bases) then a one or two-inning game. Some of it was a bit boring, but overall OK.

The next week, no dice, "boring," even though they'd be outside, but I told him we were there and he was going, and it was fun at the end. This week, Jorj and I discussed it the night before and that morning, and he was even looking forward to it, and had a great hit (hitting off the tee is harder than it looks). There are no "outs" or "doubles" and no score is kept, and one game I ran the bases with him, but he's still playing.

Baseball at home is MUCH more fun. Pitching and strikes and outs and scoring. You didn't know there was one-on-one baseball, did you? He's miserable if anyone else scores, but we're working on that. Then we played catch today, and he was annoyed I won't throw the hard ball to him. Annoyed until I hit his leg with the soft-core ball.

May 3: My boy is just like me

Watching Jake act (well react) just as I did is a top contender for "worst everyday parenting moment." Jake's just as unsocial as I am, and I'd hoped we could teach/train/encourage/force him out of it by now.

Yesterday was the second Saturday of tee-ball. The first had been okay, but was all practice, so a bit boring when he waited his turn for the coach to hit him a grounder that he could throw back. This time, it had rained, and the kids were meeting in the gym for team pictures before practice. I didn't know if they would play inside or out.

A gym full of fifty excited pre-schoolers is an experience to be missed. Jake liked it less than any of my child-free friends would have. He refused to wear his team shirt, refused to get in the picture, nearly refused to enter the gym. Even Nate's presence wasn't enough to draw him in. Nate, son of one my most introverted friends, was having a blast running around.

It's not just the new people, new situation, new place combination that scares him. Class birthday party at The Little Gym (fourth birthday party of a classmate there)? He clings to me through all of the guided activity part, letting go only for the last five minutes of free play.

I want to scream.

I want to scream: don't do what I did!

I want to scream: don't let your fear keep you from doing something you want to do!


He's agreed to give tee-ball another try next week. I hope it's outside. I hope they just start playing from the get-go. I hope he sees lots of action on the field and hits a home run. I hope one good tee-ball experience will fix the whole social fear problem for the rest of his life.

March 23:

"Spider-Man doesn't have a winky," he announced while pulling on his Spider-Man underwear (size 4).

"Spider-Man's a boy," I said. "I'm pretty sure he has a winky."

"No. He doesn't. Peter Parker does though." He's absolutely certain.

"What happens when Peter Parker puts on his Spider-Man suit?"

"I don't know. But he doesn't have a winky!" He smiles.

March 16: Video

This one's actually pretty recent, although he's not four yet in the video.

And Sarah's in there too!

March 15: Afternoon

"Jake, if you want, you can play with your stick in the puddle!"

"No, I want to play with my feet!"

Then he took his wet shoes off in the yard, not the house.

March 15: Morning

[Jake building a
tree of Legos. (c) 2009 Susan J. Talbutt, all rights reserved]He told me, "It's a tree with branches to climb and a top to sit on. He [his hand] can climb up because he's a superhero! Then he flies off!" He picked up the superhero fascination from Sam and the other boys in his class. His favorites are Batman and Spider-Man. He sleeps in his black Spider-Man costume.

This creation is actually a daring break from the "tall tower of bricks" he'd made before now. All those interesting shapes had been made by Mommy or Daddy up until now.

Note the 50's hairstyle. He went to the barber yesterday. This is a bit what my father looked like as a child, a bit how I would have looked as a boy. He loves the cut and has been ruffling the back because "it tickles."

cat with a box of tissues on her back. (c) 2009 Susan J. Talbutt, all rights
reserved]This is exactly how Kraftie reacts to everything Jake does, mostly with indifference. He's very gentle with her, and helps feed her and brush her. Kraftie is 17 and completely blind. She sleeps and eats, and is happy to be petted and brushed.

Jake wants to type something. He's snuggled next to me and wants to participate!


Now he wants me to type: Jakob Emanuel Talbutt-Bauer

February 3: Now he is four

For his fourth birthday, we taught Jake the theme song of the Spider-Man television series. He promptly made a version for Batman:

Batman, Batman
In his Batmobile
Zooming along
The road so fast
Going high
and flying past
Here comes the BATMOBILE.

Which he happily sang at top volume for me (thank goodness his top volume is really fairly quiet). Then he told me that Batman, Superman and Spider-Man were coming for a sleep-over.

Jakob Emanuel's photos More of Jakob Emanuel's photos

What he's likes`

Baseball: Phillies, Harry Kalas, Ryan Howard, batting, pitching, catching. (When I grow up, I'm going to be a pitcher, a batter and a catcher.) He has a real bat, ball and glove, and bats about .300

Television: Ugh. Limited to a couple hours on the weekend or as a potty-training reward. Dora, Diego, Ruby and Max, Wonder Pets. Movies are usually too scary or loud.

Reading: Richard Scarry, Berenstain Bears, Dr. Seuss, Petzi (a German comic), Runny Babbit ("the silly book") is a new favorite, anything with words and pictures. He'll look through books and ignore everything you say.

Building: Legos, Lincoln logs (he and Sam build intricate towers and houses at school), Tinkertoys, blocks.

Climb: everything. Stairs, jungle gyms, short walls.

Everything I learned about Motherhood is on the Internet

Ask Moxie


Year 4: thrilling three, or where did this baseball obssession come from

Year 3: terrific two, or so what if he argues, at least we can have a conversation

Year 2: toddlerhood!, or we survived the first year!

Year 1: now what, or that's a lot of attention for something that doesn't move.

Pregnant and loving it. Sometimes. When I wasn't queasy, tired, large, in pain or diabetic. That might have been one day in September. No, really, a very easy pregnancy with only the gestational diabetes to complicate things.