February 2005: Today, Mom learned the gender of the yet-to-be-named-and/or-born child. It is—or will be—a boy.
So it is now a he.
3/1/5: Suzuki called nephew Hayden in Maine to tell him that she is going to have a baby boy.
Hayden’s response: “Oh.”
4/26/5: Mom relates the latest Januszism: “I was thumbing through the copy of ‘Baby Bargains’ that Dine got me, lamenting to Janusz the fact that I had never seen a bassinet and that I had no idea what a layette even was. He said, ‘We really don’t need all that crap they’re trying to sell us. If we desperately need a bayonet, I’ll just run out to the store and pick one up!’”
5/5: Lew and Leslie come to visit Suzuki’s abdomen to learn that the unborn child has a working title: Bebeto.
Also: Janusz is in Poland visiting his parents. At least four times he has talked with Suzuki on the phone in the last week or so and asked to speak to Bebeto. Phone goes on tummy in Petaluma and Janusz addresses the unborn kid from Poland.
5/26/5: Bebeto kicked Grandpa for the first time. (Hand on abdomen.)
5/27/5: Suzuki played some Nanas Flamencas to Bebeto by standing next to the speaker.
Also today: Janusz talked to Bebeto over the phone (pressed to mom-to-be’s abdomen) from Poland.
5/28/5: Aunt-to-be Jane spoke to Bebeto over the phone from Maine.
8/05: With the birth a week or so away, Grandpa observed that there wasn’t this much preparation for Normandy.
8/5: Mom does prenatal yoga at home before going to a staff picnic at Heart’s Desire Beach in Point Reyes, where she does a bit of salsa dancing (“We’re going to play this thing to get the baby out!” said Rolando M., the guitar playing head of the trio) before taking a mile-long hike to the Indian tee-pees (where she erroneously imagined it would be cool to give birth). Later that evening, she went to get a prenatal massage that ended up being an “induction massage.” She had to pull over on the drive home because a contraction was so strong...
Seven hours later, Julian is born.
The birth takes place at home. It is a water birth in a rented birthing tub in the dining room. It is reported that the Moon Child is tubby, with a lusty cry and reddish dark brown hair like Dad’s.
In attendance was midwife Pamela Hunt (probably the most respected home-birth midwife in the country)s. Soon, he is wrapped tightly and is called Burrito Boy.
Next: It is reported that, as yet, Julian’s head has not be measured, but “we do know how heavy he is and how cute he is.”
He is wrapped like a burrito and, in fact, is now sometimes referred to a Burrito Boy.
8/21/5: Cristina and her 6-week-old daughter Lena are Julian’s first visitors.
8/22/5: First visitor: Cristina with her little baby. She brought a ready-to-heat chicken dish and some frozen soup for later.
Kristen came to give Mom a massage.
8/24/5: Day five. First time left Howard Street, the building of his birth.
First trip to the outside world.
First car ride. First car seat. First time dressed up. As Mom put it: “He’s got extra everything.”
The trip: Mom and Dad took Julian to Petaluma Valley Hospital for a PKU test and to Santa Rosa to get a birth certificate.
Theoretically, on day five Julian should be at the lowest weight in his entire life, yet he’s up from his birth weight by one ounce. Mom: “He’s ahead of the curve!”
On the way home, a unscheduled stop was made in the parking lot in Rohnert Park for an emergency feeding.
Next week: Mom reports that when Julian was put on his stomach, he lifted his head and turned it from one side to the other.
Chris and Ikuko pay their first visit and bring Japanese food. While eating some with chopsticks while holding Julian, she drops some Japanese food on him.
9/12/5: Grandma and Grandpa visit Julian/Bebeto for the first time ever, hold him, cuddle with him, soothe him, change him, etc.
9/14/5: Mom and the Grandparents from Colorado take Julian in to be weighed: The answer: A whopping 8 lbs. 9 oz.
9/15/5: Julian met Wendy Gruber for the first time.
Also today: Julian chews on Grandpa’s beard.
For dinner, Japanese take-out is brought home. While eating some with chopsticks while holding Julian, Dad drops some Japanese food on him.
9/16/5: Grandpa describes the baby as “a gastrointestinal tract with a warning device at each end.” Which, of course, is a reasonable definition of any infant.
9/18/5: While holding Julian, Grandma comforted him thus: “Good dog.”
Also: Dad stated his belief that babies’ cries are so loud because of evolution. Only babies whose cries penetrate all kinds of walls and materials survive because babies that have loud, penetrating cries more effectively summon adults to care for them. In fact, Grandpa added, a baby’s cry to penetrate the wall of a cave.
Also: Grandpa commented on Mom and Dad’s use of the term, “puke,” for Julian’s periodic post-dining expulsions. “When Suzuki was a baby, she never puked. She spit up.”
Also: It has been revealed that the young man has multiple names his parents call him at various times:
Misiu (sweetheart or, literally, teddy bear in Polish).
Maly misiu (little teddy bear).
Next month: A first: Tears.
Another first (unrelated to the first first of the day): Mom hurt Julian. Not on purpose, of course. She squished one of his little fingers in the snap for the car seat.
Juju put on 14 ounces in six days.(At this rate, calucates Grandpa, by the time he is 18 Julian will weigh a little over 956 pounds.)
9/23/5: Julian consumed Mom’s milk for ten hours straight. Very hungry boy. Very exhausted mama.
9/29/5: Mom took Julian to a retirement party at her work. Julian cried the whole way there and the whole way back—but was a darling at the party.
10/9/5: First genuine smile. Prolonged. At Mom.
Later: First trip to the emergency room. Chronologically, the event unfolded like this: Mom left home for a trip to Whole Foods and Long’s Drugs, leaving Julian at home with Dad. After about 50 minutes, Dad called Mom and just held a frantically screaming baby to the phone. Mom rushed home to find Julian acting unwell and coughing. The on-call doc heard him and, suspecting the croup, Mom took Julian to the emergency room at Petaluma Valley Hospital. There it was determined that the young feller had lost his voice due to all that screaming and crying. He was otherwise thriving.
Also: At the hospital, Julian checked out at 25 inches long and weighs 11 pounds and 9 ounces with clothes.
10/15/5: Attended first Day of the Dead festival. Accompanied by Mom and Uncle Danny. First visit to a sidewalk cafe. Enjoyed the mariachi music.
10/17/5: First visit to San Francisco. First crossing of the Golden Gate Bridge. Accompanied Mom to a birthday party for Angie.
10/18/5: For the first time, Julian batted around the toys that hang over his crib. Used his right arm.
10/19/5: First shot. A vaccination against hepetitus and other stuff. Weighed in at 11' 9" without clothes this time.
10/20/5: Mom left Julian with Dad for five hours while she went to a special Ana Guerrero memorial flamenco show in San Francisco. This was the second time Mom left son with Dad. The first, on 10/9, didn’t turn out so well.
10/24/5: Baptism. By Rick Veit, an Episcopalian priest—and old friend of the family—visiting from Cheyenne, Wyoming. In the same room—the dining room—where Julian was born.
10/31/5: Halloween. Mom and Dad took Julian out trick-or-treating. He was dressed as a bug.
11/1/5: Julian’s first visit to a yoga class. Mom didn’t get much yoga in, however, since Julian decided he wanted to be fed almost the entire time.
Also today: Mom waved at Julian and, for the first time, Julian waved back.
11/2/5: Mom: “Every day, his eyes get bigger and he gets more hair—and gets more expressive.”
11/16/5: Julian now weighs in at 131⁄2 lbs.
11/26/5: Mom says that Julian says “Hi” and “I love you”—if you just know how to listen.
12/12/5: Julian can now almost sit up by himself.
12/16/5: Mom reports that Julian has become extremely squirmy.
12/21/5: A lot of firsts for Julian today.
First trip outside of California.
First plane ride.
First train ride (if you count the shuttle between the terminal and Concourse B as a train).
First visit to Colorado, Denver, to Bonnie Brae Blvd.
First meeting with Aunt Jane and Chip and cousins Hayden and Megan.
First visit to a Chinese restaurant (Little Shanghai).
12/22/5: Aunt Suzuki to Hayden: “When you get a little older, I hope you don’t forget about Julian.”
Hayden: “I don’t forget about my cousins.”
12/23/5: First solid food: Rice cereal.
Also: First Festivus. Grandpa tried to make everyone celebrate this faux holiday. There was an aluminum pole and everything (nothing else). There were some Airing of Grievances, mostly by Grandpa and mostly his complaining that nobody was airing grievances but him. The whole thing petered out before it proceeded on to the other official Festivus activity, Feats of Strength.
Also: First visit to a Chinese restaurant. Little Shanghai (Denver). (But didn’t eat solid food there; was fed by Mom.)
12/27/5: Today, Julian grabbed the spoon and expertly fed himself. Slurped the stuff right off the instrument.
1/4/06: After Suzuki scolded Janusz for talking and taking flash pictures of Julian in the middle of the night while the baby was nursing, Janusz said, "He needs to be seasoned for the harsh world!"
Back story: At about week three or four of Julian's life, whilst he was crying, Janusz sighed, "Awwwww, he's just not ready for this harsh world."
1/21/6: First time to spend a night apart from Mom. (She went off for a party/overnight with some lady pals and Julian got to stay with Dad.)
1/31/6: Mom took a bath with Julian and taught him a bit about water by blowing into his mouth then quickly putting his head under water, then pulling him out. This was done five times and he never cried.
2/1/6: Mom: “He’s an angel. And very happy. And very low maintenance.” He’s been sleeping five+ hours a night. And a couple of nights ago, he slept for seven hours!
2/2/6: (Groundhog Day) Tonight, Julian slept through the whole night. For the first time. And because Dad wasn’t awakened, he overslept and missed a meeting at work.
2/8/6: As sort of a test case, Julian enjoyed his first taste of day care. A four-hour sample of it. Perhaps “enjoyed” isn’t the right word. It was reported that he was distraught and cried the entire four hours.
2/15/5: Mom’s first day back at work after her lengthy maternity leave. Much fun for her at work (welcome back signs, etc.), but concern about whether Julian was having fun, too. Turns it he had been. Enjoyed his first full day of day care. Only cried once, when another kid did. And he slept 21⁄2 hours (an key fact is determining whether this is going to work). Mom is very happy today all the way around.
3/1/6: Julian was screaming with pain, so he went to the doc who diagnosed him with an ear infection and gave him antibiotics.
He sits up for long periods of time. When Mom asks “Are you done?”, he says “Duh.” Mom isn’t sure if he’s saying “done” are just mimicking the sound she’s just made.
3//6: Bad time for Julian. Now that he’s going to day care, he’s picking up things. So far, he’s gotten a cold, pinkeye, and the above-mentioned ear infection.
4/15/6: Mom and Julian fly to Denver to spend four days with Grandma and Grandpa and Jane and her kids, Hayden and Megan. Spent the night two doors down while Sandy and Mark were in Italy.
4/16/6: Julian’s first Easter, celebrated on Bonnie Brae Blvd.
4/17/6: Julian and his cousins are getting along wonderfully.
Tonight, Julian went to his first Moroccan restaurant, Casablanca, on S. University Blvd. (Also pooped in his first Moroccan restaurant.)
4/18/6: Sitting around the dinner table at Grandma and Grandpa’s, Hayden—out of nowhere—said, “I love Julian.”
Which brought upon responses from the other four people sitting around the table.
Megan: “I love Julian, too.”
Suzuki: “I love Julian three.”
Lew: “I love Julian four.”
Leslie: “I love Julian five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, and twelve.”
April: Julian is 2/3 of a year old today. To celebrate, a tiny cookie was served with 2/3 of a candle on it by his grandfather, who is 2/3 of a century old. And then some.
A few hours later, he was back with his dad.
On the plane returning to California, Julian sat next to a guy trying to study a calculus book—and repeatedly tried to grab it. Annoying, yes, but perhaps a sign of what’s ahead for the young fellow.
4/20/6: Mom and Julian returned to Petaluma yesterday morning. Things are calmer at Bonnie Brae Blvd now—and Grandpa thinks about his youngest grandchild.
At age 2/3, Julian is fascinated by everything, filled with smiles, super-responsive to people making eye contact with him, and fond of whomping things together. Also, he is a good kid and cries infrequently. Only problem is that he also sleeps infrequently. Which means his parents are continually sleep-deprived.
4/30/6: Mom reports that Julian appears to have three teeth coming in: One up and two down.
5/3/6: First trip outside the U.S. Went to Puerto Vallarta in Jalisco, Mexico.
Dad’s report: “Julian crossed the border of USofA for the first time on May 3rd, 11:12 am PST. On the same day Julian for the first time got in contact with ocean water. Latitude of 20°40'N was the farthest south either Julian or Janusz have ever been.”
Note: 20°40'N is the latitude of Puerto Vallarta.
Suzuki’s report follows:
He used his passport for the first time, but they didn't stamp it! He was basically a people magnet there. According to one guidebook, babies are national treasures in Mexico. He was treated accordingly; we got a warm reception everywhere we went—people stopped what they were doing and connected with Julian, touching him, talking to him, playing games with him. Much more hands-on affection than in El Norte. A truly great place for babies to receive ample attention. And, you know, people and attention are Julian's favorite things.
Our apartment was open-air style and we had to sleep in mosquito nets. There were iguanas living in the tree directly across from our balcony. Lizards and geckos were roommates. We heard roosters, chickens, donkeys, birds, etc. as well as rowdy mariachi music at all hours.
5/11/6: Mom put phone up to Julian’s ear to listen to words of Grandma which concluded with “Bye bye. I love you.” According to Mom, Julian paid very close attention to all of this and, at the very end, appeared to lick the phone.
5/17/6: Mom reports that Julian enjoys clowning and kidding around with people these days.
5/21/6: Mom reports: “Recently, Jules started something new. In the middle of eating lunch (or dinner)—spoon-fed by Mama "Eggy"—he will suddenly pick up his right foot and begin to nibble on his toes. I try not to take it as an insult to my cooking, but...”
5/31/6: First circus. A smallish one, “Circus Chimera” that came to Petaluma, but a circus nonetheless.
6/2/6: A report from Mom: “A couple weeks ago he uttered his first discernable (waking) word. I had been saying "good" and he said "guh" pronounced like "good" without the "d." Shortly thereafter he said "bah" like "bad" without the "d." I thought that was pretty weird. Next word, "ugly?"
“Last week he said his first Polish word. I was lifting him up off the changing table and he said "hote" in the absence of any other babble. I thought it sounded familiar and I suddenly realized that I usually say "hocz" (Eng. "come on") when I lift him up, but I had neglected to do so that time. A few days later, he said "hocz" perfectly (once).
“He's covering a lot of developmental ground right now. He's able to do finer and finer things with his hands. He's eating almost the same food as I am. He slept through the night last night (unfortunately, I had a painful ear infection and was up all night anyway!) And he's teetering on the verge of being able to crawl.
“Nidia (his wonderful daycare provider) said he has a new thing. Every time a certain boy there (a one-and-a-half year old named Garrett) cries, now he too bursts into tears. I guess he's really connected with him. I think it's nice that he is empathic. Too bad Garrett cries so much though!”
6/4/6: Julian’s really getting around these days. Today, he rolled himself out into the hall from his room.
6/5/6: An observation by Mom: “I keep thinking he is at his peak of cuteness and couldn't be any cuter...and then I wake up the next day and find that he is even cuter than before! How does he do that?”
“I finally figured out what he's been saying over and over. I thought it was just a babbling sound he was making and repeating, but I realize he is probably saying "esta, esta-ta-ta" ("esta"="this") because he says it when he points to something and I'm sure he hears that all day at Nidia's house (daycare).”
6/12/6: Mom reports that Hayden’s empathic crying (when Garrett at daycare cries, Juju cries) has expanded to all crying kids everywhere.
6/22/6: Mom reports: “Jules is starting to wave hi/goodbye and sign "more," "water," "all done"—actually, "ole-done." And he said "water" tonight when he wanted more water during dinner and "mo" when he wanted more food a few days ago.
“He is a joyful child who laughs and smiles all the time. He is getting cuter and more fun every day...
“And with the World Cup in full swing, Janusz just brought home a kiddie soccer ball and they've been playing catch.”
6/24/6: Mom reports: “Today Julian attended his first birthday party. Actually, it was a half-birthday party. That is, William Finke was turning 2 1/2. It's because it's no good to celebrate a birthday on December 23. Too close to Christmas, no one's around, it's cold, etc.
“It was at Heart's Desire Beach and party favors were a bucket and shovel beach kit. Also, Amy gave him a whiffle ball. So, Julu is all set. He had a blast. He also got passed around to all the moms because everyone fell in love and wanted a piece of him.”
6/27/6: Julian began crawling.
7/4/6: First Fourth of July—and first camping trip. Bullfrog Farm in Armstrong State Park in Sonoma County. He’ll have his warmest jammies and be inside a pile of blankets. In a tent. He heard bullfrogs and a coyote and saw horses, too.
7/6/6: Mom reports: “He’s been crawling for a couple weeks now. He also (finally!) says “mamama” and not just “dadadada.”
7/16/6: Mom reports: A couple days ago, Jules said ‘banana.’ It is almost his favorite food, after all (next to Nori sushi seaweed).
He also loves lychees.
He is crawling everywhere, and trying to do the downward dog asana.
I think he's going to have a great sense of humor. He sometimes cracks himself up and loves to laugh.
7/19/6: Today, Julian waved goodbye to Nidia and Nidia (mother/daughter at daycare).
Also, this week he's been placing his sippy cup into the cup holder on his highchair tray.
7/27/6: Today, when Mom picked Julian up from daycare, a ten-year-old stated that “If there was an award for the happiest baby, Julian would win it.”
Indeed, Mom says, “he’s just a dear kid.”
Early Aug/06: Julian’s first trip to Poleland. Purpose: To meet his dad’s parents.
Julian is now ONE.
8/24/6: Dad took a sick Julian to a doctor and is told that Julian has pneumonia. Probably picked it up in a germy airplane on his recent trip.
9/12/6: Julian is about to walk. He cruises around; first he’s here, then he’s there. Who knows, maybe he has slipped a little actual strolling in. Climbs up on everything. Got his finger caught in some drawers. Wants to feed himself (finger food). Likes ringing the bell. Drums on everything. Weaning at 13 months.
9/19/6: Mom reports: “The first time a mom hears her child say “I love you” is such a wonderful moment in life! Today was that day for me.
“Janusz was about to put him in the car to take him to daycare and hugged him and said, “Goodbye, Misiu. Have a nice day” and he said something that sounded suspiciously like “I love you.”
“WOW. Great way to start the day.”
9/20/6: Mom reports: “This week, Jules said ‘Bebeto’ and ‘puerta’ at daycare. (He’s been saying so many things at home, I can’t even keep track anymore.) Also this week, I saw him and his daycare buddy Garrett play together interactively for the first time (versus playing “parallel” next to each other).
“He is very observant and notices small details. He turns to look whenever a bird is singing in the distance or there’s a butterfly; he notices if I wear a new piece of jewelry, etc. Yesterday, he pointed out some small wood carvings I had hung earlier on the living room wall, even one that I placed way up high above the archway near the ceiling which was pretty well camouflaged.
“He loves his teddy ‘baby love’ and his doggy ‘cha cha.’ He plays with them, talking and laughing, and ‘wrestles’ with them.”
Julian’s one-year checkup revealed these numbers:
Length: 30.5" (50th percentile)
Weight: 23 lbs. 8 oz. (50th percentile)
Head: (75th percentile)
Cuteness: (100th percentile)
9/23/6: Julian has been working hard at working lately. Crawls up on everything. Parents think that he may have taken a step or two when they weren’t looking, but not for-sure walking sightings have taken place so far.
Mom: “Today I was surprised to discover Julu upstairs—he quietly had made it all the way up there himself. I'm just glad he didn't attempt to go down—cautious and measured that way. Nonetheless, we won't forget to use the gate at the bottom landing anymore!
9/24/6: Julian has been discovered using the bathroom scale as an extra step when reaching up to get things, something his mom and dad hadn’t counted on.
9/26/6: Mom noticed that Julian has chipped one of his front teeth. (A baby tooth, so it’s no problem.) Probably a result of his attempts to walk which often result in falling.
10/1/6: Mom pointed out that Julian has been saying, “blah blah blah blah” a lot of late.
10/6/6: First chili relleno. (In Sebastopol. At El Tarasco.)
Later, at home, had his first bite of pierogi (served by Janusz).
10/7/6: Grandpa’s observations about Julian after a five-day visit/observation:
He learns a skill every ten minutes it seems.
He loves riding his quadcycle (scooter). He steers it, backs up, turns around.
He’s so close to walking. Stands up a lot. Almost takes a step without holding on, but thinks better of it and gently lowers himself to the floor.
He eats like a grownup; doesn’t throw food or make a mess.
He stacks blocks and assembles plastic fit-together toys. Unlike many kids, he doesn’t glory in knocking everything over. He likes to build thinks, not destroy them.
He concentrates on one toy at a time; doesn’t jump from toy to toy as many kids do.
Most winning of all, a smile to him will get you a sweet smile back.
10/19/6: A report from Mom:
“Official walking hasn't happened yet, but the ‘leg work’ is well underway. He is standing up all the time and balancing standing (with no hands) pretty well (for a few seconds). He likes to practice walking while we hold one of his hands. He can do that for long stretches.”
10/24/6: A report from Mom:
“Within the past two weeks, Juju has suddenly become interested in small, cramped spaces that he has to squeeze his way into, like a mouse. I found him tucked away in a tiny wedge between the back of the glider chair and the wall reading a couple books he had brought with him.
“He's also going through a wonderfully cuddly stage where he leans his head in against you and holds your hand and stuff.”
10/30/6: Hayden’s first steps occurred at daycare. Nidia said he took three steps and then got this look on his face like, "Wait a minute. I'm not supposed to be able to do this!" and then sat down.
11/8/6: While yelling at Grandma over the phone in syllables of his own choosing, he was strumming (not hitting) the guitar.
He’s forceable in his talking—obviously eager to communicate—and skilled with the guitar.
11/11/6: A report from Mom:
“Learned how to latch himself into his high chair seatbelt. (He spent a lot of focused time on this project, which required a great deal of concentration and dexterity.)
“Tried walking a few steps, a few different times.”
11/12/6: Today, Julian has an ear infection and many teeth coming in. Not a totally happy young man. He “told” Grandpa all about it on the phone. More strident, forceful attempts at speech.
11/19/6: First visit to a church. St. John's Presbyterian in Berkeley. Mom took him there because there was a musical group there that she wanted to hear—New Life Band from Tanzania.
But while there, Julian was asked to play the baby Jesus in their upcoming holiday play on December 17. He accepted. That will be his first acting job!
11/30/6: Mom: “This week marks an exciting development: Julian is now definitely walking. The rite of passage has finally arrived! I am simply thrilled to be witnessing his fledgling toddling. It's amazing. He suddenly seems much more independent...”
12/17/6: Mom reported that the living nativity scene in St. John’s went well. Especially since Mom popped Julian into the manger along with his teddy bear and a bottle—and then stood alongside playing the role of an angel (complete with wings).
Funny thing: At one point, Julian took the bottle out of his month and put it in the teddy bear’s mouth.
Bottom line: Julian was a big hit.
Grandpa, however, finds Julian a bit old to play the baby Jesus. He was more of a toddler Jesus.
Mom also reports on Julian’s communication activities:
She says that he often says an approximation of “thank you” when he’s given things. And when he’s finished eating, he says “allduh.”
Also says “Where’s Dada?” When Mom informs him that Dad is staying at his work tonight and he won’t be home until tomorrow, Julian said something that Mom finally figured out: “Mañana.” Because when they leave the daycare, the woman always says that she’ll see him “mañana.” Which is why Julian says “hasta,” too.
When Julian leaves the room, he often waves goodbye.
When he wants to go out, he goes to the coat rack and tugs on his coat and/or comes up with shoes in hand.
He wants to know names of things: “What’s that? What’s that?”
When you hand him something, he studies it. He examines it and holds it and turns it this way and that and—as his mom says—marvels over it.
1/7/7: Mom reports: “Not only is Julian talking up a storm now, he started dancing this week. And he got super excited when I played the CD Nanas Flamencas yesterday. He put his arms up and was trying to snap his fingers!
“Also, we've been eating breakfast this morning and listening to Los Lobos playing Mexican music. After every number, he claps. He's really interested in music and listens very closely!”
1/14/7: First haircut. Mom did it by chasing Julian around from room to room upstairs, snipping a bit here and a bit there. When she was done, Mom had to vacuum the entire upstairs.
1/17/7: First taco. Mom made a stop at the taco truck between daycare and home. Gave a bite of her taco to Julian who immediately yelled, “¡Mas!” and then, after another bite, another “¡MAS!” A bit later, he uttered a tiny yelp when the spices kicked in.
Julian is calling his daycare provider, Nidia, by name, pretty much. Refers to her as “Midia.” Close enough.
1/19/7: Julian and Mom showered together. Julian busily mimicked his mom’s lathering up her hair.
1/20/7: Julian got a little bathtub duckie from Grandma and Grandpa some time ago. Today, Julian let the duckie swim in the toilet. He also put one of his books into the very same venue.
1/21/7: Mom was playing a game where she opened and closed a box. “Open, Close!” Julian: “¡Abierto!”
2/13/7: Dad reports that Julian is not colorblind. While the former was assembling a table-and-chairs set (with each of the chairs a different color), he asked the latter to bring him chair pieces by color. “Bring me red,” said Dad. And Julian would then bring a red chair part from the pile across the room. Same with blue and green, but Dad didn’t bother with brown. Too advanced for now, perhaps.
Dad also reports that after he’s gone for a couple of days due to business, when he’s delivering Julian to daycare the next day, Julian is very clingy and doesn’t want to let go of Dad.
3/4/7: Dad took Julian on his first hike. On Poopy Trail in Crane Creek Park. (Actually, it was Poppy Trail, but somebody had converted the first “p” into an “o.”
3/15/7: (A Thursday.) Grandma and Grandpa show up in Petaluma, unexpected by Julian’s mom and, presumably, Julian, to provide day-and-night care for him while his parents go off to Mendocino for the weekend. It was a wonderful surprise for Suzuki, masterminded by Janusz.
On Thursday and Friday morning, Mom and Dad provide seminars on Julian Care to prepare Grandma and Grandpa for their duties.
On Friday afternoon, Mom and Dad drive away, leaving Julian in the care of G & G until Sunday midday.
He likes to sit and “read” a book while you are reading a different book. He will pick up a book and hand you another one.
His bedtime favorites, currently, are two: Green Eggs and Ham in English and a book about wild animals in Polish. (Julian is good at pointing out the various animals which are grouped together on the flyleaf as Dad says their names in Polish.)
Whenever Dad puts on his CD of Vivaldi sacred music, Julian does an interpretive dance (which consists of mainly—but not entirely—of rocking back and forth to the beat).
Julian knows words in three languages. To him, it’s never “water.” It’s always “agua.” Open is “abierto.”
When Julian went to the park to slide down the slide, he discovered it was hot to the touch. Did he cry in pain like many kids his age would? No, he simply stated, “ow.”
Julian uses sign language. (A fourth language?) Hits his fists together and says “more” when he wants more of a food item—or more food in general.
Favorite toys include an old cell phone (“Hi! Hi! Hi!) and a short broom that his dad custom made for him. Here’s why: Julian loves to sweep (also vacuum, but that’s another story), but when Julian waved around the regular broom, he knocked things off high places.
He loves drawing, too. Or at least making crayon marks on paper. Generally, he will hand a crayon to any grown-up who’s nearby so that they can crayon together.
And he loves his two four-wheel foot-powered “tricycles.” One is outside in the back yard and one is inside. And he is a great steerer of them both. Guides the machines carefully around obstacles.
3/17/7: Julian’s first meeting with Brady, who comes by with his mom, Johanna, and grandmom, Pat on the day before his (Brady’s) first birthday.
3/19/7: Dad says that Julian’s favorite music is Mozart, specifically his Clarinet Concerto.
3/21/7: Dad says that Julian’s interest in the guitar has taken an interesting turn. Instead of playing it, he likes to open the case, take it out, and put it back. That pleases him.
3/30/7: Julian's first ride in an ambulance. Also: The first 911 call made for him. On the front porch while his mom was wrestling with the stroller, Julian decided to take drive his second-hand kiddie car down the wooden stairs in front of the Petaluma house and the whole thing tumbled down! Mom caught him before he tumbled too far, examined him, and pronounced him O.K. Not long after, she noted a huge lump had popped out of the middle of Julian’s forehead. Not wanting to make any mistakes with his well-being, Mom called 911 and an ambulance took them off to the hospital to be checked out. He was—and is—O.K.
4/7/7: Julian said “please” for the first time. Actually, Julian said “peez.”
4/20/7: When Grandpa visited about five weeks ago, he attached Julian’s pull-toy doggie to Julian’s noisy pull-toy thingie. That was fun for awhile, but Mom detached the two and they remained detached until...
Julian recently reattached doggie to follow other pull-toy. Apparently, he loves it like that.
5/1/7: Julian saw his first rainbow on his first real hike in Kauai May 1st. He hiked 1/2 mile today!
5/5/7: He rode his first mechanical horse today, a coin-operated one outside of Heebee Jeebees in Petaluma.
5/8/7: Mom Reports: Oh, and his first song is Jingle Bells.Way out of season, I noticed he was saying "jee-go bew, jee-go bew..." and didn't get what it was until I happened to hum the tune of Jingle Bells one day and he started saying it again and it clicked for me.
His first letter is "O" (he's been pointing it out for months).
He loves to say "oop" (oops) and "uh-oh!" and hundreds of words (suddenly).
He says "bye-bye" and waves to everything. Lamp posts, dirt, rocks, sticks,
hoses, shoes (he's kind of obsessed with shoes), oh yeah—-and people, too.
Tonight, he put all his toys (including balls, broom and kitchen items) away
in their respective homes/drawers.
He is totally cool.
5/14/7: Julian’s first night at his new house at in Fairfax.
Another first: It was a crib-free night.
5/15/7: Julian’s first day of school! Little Arrows School in San Anselmo.
He was already so into it, he didn't even look at Janusz when he was leaving!
5/21/7: Mom reports: Juju learned to hop today. He says “Hop! Hop! Hop!” and goes around in circles.
I think he likes his new school.
5/29/7: Mom reports that Julian has been taken to the local swimming pool (the family joined a neighborhood club to get access to same) a couple of times. Each timed, Julian gets in and promply announces: “Done!”
6/3/7: Julian hurts foot when he did something to it while falling down a couple of carpeted stairs. Parents worried, so they took him to the San Rafael Kaiser Hospital where he got his first X-ray. (No breaks.)
6/6/7: Mom reports that Julian is not shy. For one thing, he loves his new daycare and is crazy about Natasha, a young lady who goes there.
For another, Mom took his to the Farmer’s Market and he encountered some older boys playing and he wanted to get through their space, so he simply said, “Bop! Bop!” (Maybe his version of “Beep!”) In any case, it worked.
6/9/7: Julian climbs out of the bathtub by himself and goes to get his towel.
6/11/7: Mom reports that Julian has become extremely independent. Becomes very upset when some does something for him that he thinks he should be doing himself.
Today, he used the little potty and wanted to empty it into the toilet himself. Got quite angry when Mom insisted on doing it (to avoid spillage).
6/16/7: Saw his first musical: Hair at the Mountain Theater on Mt. Tam in Marin.
6/30/7: First time playing harmonica in the family band (with Janusz on guitar and Suzuki on fiddle). Mom: We rocked!
7/2/7: First time flying a kite (with Janusz) at Limantour Beach in Point Reyes.
7/4/7: Julian took his first potty poop.
Also: Went to his first county fair.
7/8/7: Mom: Our first family bath! We all crammed into our little bathtub and played with Juju’s new squirty fish that Lena gave him at her 2nd birthday party the day prior. It was FUN.
7/11/7: First said “rangutang” (orangutan) when he happened to see a picture of one, months after the last time he heard me say it. He has a good memory for names.
7/13/7: Mom reports that Julian has pretty much potty trained himself. When asked if he wants to go to the bathroom, he says “bathroom” to mean he does. Gotta lift him up to sit on the toilet. Plan is to buy him one of those set of stairs so he can get up there himself.
Also: Vacuuming is very important to Julian, but there’s something even more important these days: Watering plants.
Also: Julian blew his first bubble. And declared a taste for basil leaves (chives were last week—he picks his own). When asked whether his drawing was abstract or representational, he replied “yeah.” (Which is also what he says if you ask him “can you say, ‘I have an excellent vocabulary’”?)
7/15/7: Learned how to blow his nose.
P.S. He is a Potty Prodigy, according to Aunt Jane.
7/22/7: Wants to know the name of everything, including musical instruments that he hears on records. “What’s that?” “What is it?”
Loves playing fiddle band, or as he calls it, "feedle band."
Wants Mom to get out her violin and play it.
Whenever he sees a group with a violin in it, he exclaims: “Feedle band!”
According to Dad, he calls any musical group a feedle band.
8/07: Celebrated turning two at outdoor BBQ luau at Rancho Nicasio with 8 pint-sized friends and 17 middle aged people. Sat on front row blankets for the hula show and the two very good Hawaiian bands. Traditional luau food was enjoyed by all. Mom-baked, quince-filled cupcakes were served after The
Song and "blowing out" of candles was performed (too windy to be lighted). Bubbles were blown, grass was rolled on, and there was laughter. Julian had a fabulous time.
Juju received exquisite wool hat knitted by Michele (the second one from her).
Report from visit to doctor at age 2:
Head is 50 cm (20 inches). Weight is 28 pounds. Received a hepatitus A shot.
8/23/7: Leave for Poland.
Mom reports: “Several days ago, he was making this sort of scream noise, just for fun. I asked him, ‘How does it make you feel when you make that sound?’ He answered, ‘Loud. Vacuum. Big.’”
10/5/7: First visit to Maine. Belfast. A visit with cousins Hayden and Megan (also Jane and Chip and several dogs and cats).
10/7/7: Grandma and Grandpa join the throng in Belfast.
10/6or7/7: First said, “Janusz.” (At the dinner table, explaining who that was to his cousins.)
10/9/7: First pineapple eaten. At Chase’s in Belfast, Maine, of all places (for a kid who’s been to Hawaii and all).
10/9/7: First visit to the Penobscot Narrows Bridge & Observatory.
10/19–20/7: First true camping trip. With Dad. Two nights in a tent, plus hikes, getting cold, etc. Also first visit to Yosemite. Enthralled by cooking on the camp stove.
This resulted in Julian’s make-believe cooking on the stove when he got back at home.
This, in turn, resulted in his getting a stove from Aunt Melody earlier than Christmas (Dad assembled in in the week following the camping trip).
10/27/7: Talked to his grandfather while the latter was attending a World Series game. Julian is said to have said, “Good luck game.” But the crowd was so loud that grandpa could hardly hear anything people said on his phone.
10/28/7: Mom reports that Julian has become obsessed with peanut butter.
Mom reports that when she and Julian went on a half-mile hike, he held her finger so tightly that it became numb.
Mom reports that Julian’s got a new routine. He proclaims that his pants are too heavy to put on by himself and he needs help.
It even came to this: When handed his socks to put on, he said, “Too heavy. Mama help.”
Mom explains: Julian’s been using the “too heavy” routine “heavily” of late, to avoid having to do daily tasks such as help take off a piece of his clothing.
10/29/07: Mom: Julian drew on real pumpkin with marker and then said, “Hang it up, mama! Hang it up there.” while pointing to the rafter where the rest of his artwork is displayed. (He is often quick to finish and drawing and then insists we hang it up immediately.) I told him “It’s pretty heavy to hang up.” He replied, “Hang the stem!”
10/31/07: Mom: I asked him to brush his teeth and he said, “Mama do it!” So, I said, “Don’t you want to learn how to do it yourself? Do you always want someone else to have to do it for you?” He quickly said, “Yeah. Mama do it.”
11/7/7: Today, at daycare, Mom reports, “Julian pee-peed and poo-poohed in the potty.” This, she says, puts him in the genius category.
11//7: Inspired no doubt by the techniques of operatives of doctors’ offices who’ve weighed and measured him, Julian set a book on top of his mom’s head and asked, “How much do you weigh?”
12/5/7: Grandma & Grandpa are visiting Fairfax for five days of daycare and bonding and have made these observations:
Juju loves building tunnels and towers.
Juju loves the kitchen sink and stove unit that Melody gave him and plays with it often for a long time.
Juju has returned to diapers.
Juju can count to ten (and wildly above) but skips over the 4 from time to time.
Juju's Baba (as he calls father Janusz) says that he, Janusz, is great at making deals with Julian to get him to do things he doesn’t really want to do—like stop a favorite activity because it’s bedtime.
Today, while sitting on the deck out in the sunshine playing with the empty bottle of bubble-making solution and the bubble-making wand, Grandpa suggested that Julian blow an imaginary bubble. When he did, Grandpa watched the imaginary bubble float away and pop. Julian thought that was very funny. It was repeated many times and broke him up every one of them.
12/6/7: Mom and Grandma were off looking at stuff in some store in downtown Fairfax and left Grandpa in charge of Julian. Next thing you know, they’ve wandered into the BookBeat and: Julian has (part of) his first cookie and sips of his first root beer.
Tonight was early Christmas celebration for Juju's family.
Julian helped decorate the tree and had a swell time.
Julian received his main gift from Grandma and Grandpa: An easel. (Which Baba calls a weasel.) He drew on it and climbed inside it, claiming that that was his “office.”
It should be noted that Julian is going through his “why?” phase.
Example: “Don’t touch that—it’s hot.” “Why?” “It’s a heater.” “Why?”
Later: Grandma’s thoughts about Julian: “He really pays attention and he’s a pretty precise little kid.”
12/07: According to Bebeto, the rail cars in the book Freight Train are “holding hands.”
12/15/7: Julian asked to help wash the dishes, but was turned down. He insisted and insisted until Dad had a great idea: “Let’s take ‘em to the bathtub!” And so they did—the plastic, unbreakable dishes, that is.
Soon, Julian decided that now he wanted a bath.