1/1/8: Janusz brought in the complete works of Proust’s two-book set. Julian: “One for me, one for you. Let’s read it!”
1/3/8: Second day at Julian’s new school. Mom likes it a lot, says the teachers are smart and good, and Julian appears to like it to.
As Mom pulled up to deliver Julian there, he exclaimed: “Oh boy! School!”
1/11/08: “Hey Juju, come upstairs.” “No, I want to hang out.”
1/19/8: As reported by his dad, “Julian performed his first arithmetic operation last Saturday. Three black figs plus three white figs...”
1/27/8: Mom says that Julian wants us to paint the house purple. “I want a purple house.”
1/29/8: (Julian quote of the day, supplied by Mom) While watching me apply makeup this morning, “You’re drawing your face?” “Yes.” “You have markers on your face?” “Yes, I suppose I do.” (pause) “I want some.”
2/1/8: “Don’t talk with your mouth full, Mama.”
2/08: A report from Mom on Julian’s singing at age 21/2:
He's singing up a storm. What’s he singing? Let's see, just off the top of my head:
Baa, baa, black sheep
Three Blind Mice
Hickory Dickory Dock
Row row row
This Old Man
Jack and Jill
Ring Around the Rosies
Plus, he makes up some stuff, too.
2/8/8: Mom reports: When my car surged forward, he yelled “Giddyup!” When I told him we were in San Anselmo, he said “Three Selmos!”
Nobody quite understands the “Three Selmos” comment, but we like it a lot anyway.
Tonight, Suzuki and Bebeto met with Rick Klein at Guayama’s in Tiburon for a flamenco dinner show. Bebeto was especially interested in the rice and black beans.
2/11/8: A late night! Suzuki and Bebeto saw Gregangelo’s circus show at the Marin Theatre Company in Mill Valley.
Mom: He was most interested in the part with live snakes (there were also belly dancers with swords, fire dancing, contortionists, and acrobats), but got very upset during the sword fight (we left until it was over). I explained that they were pretending, just playing, etc. He seemed to accept the explanation and was able to return for the rest of the show. He ate a lot of nuts.
2/13/08: Julian’s first official ice cream cone...sort of. He shared it with his mama, who ate the vast majority thereof. Location: The Scoop, Fairfax.
Suzuki: “We had a nice time tonight in downtown Fairfax.”
Julian: “Three downtowns. One downtown had a baby...”
What does Julian mean by that? Here’s Mom’s guess: “This is his imagination at work. He personifies things. I don’t know exactly, but it could relate to Three Selmos.”
2/14/8: Bebeto liked the valentine that Grandpa made for him. His mom reports that after she read it to him, he said, “Read it again! Read it again!” She says that the readings and re-readings would’ve gone on all night if it’d been up to Julian. “We had to turn him off!” she said.
2/15/8: He’s into joking:
“Peter Piper, eating rice and beans!” “Yankee Doodle went to town, eating rice and beans!”
2/16/8: (In the A.M. in bed) Juju: “I honk the horn. Baba, you Drive. You paddle, Mama.”
2/18/8: He is obsessively into singing and lyric memorization. He has a huge store already.
He’s been playing Mom’s violin.
At the local Tibetan store: “I found my necklace, Mama.” And, indeed he had. Picked out the finest one in the whole shop and was wearing it proudly. He had been wanting his own necklace for some time. Glad he found the right one, at last. (He did let Mom borrow it today, so “it wouldn’t get lonely” while he was at school—he can’t wear a necklace to school, you see.)
2/27/8: Mom reports:
Early this morn, I was awakened by Bebeto, who’d had a bad dream. He asked if I would stay and sleep with him. I said yes, but he was already too awake and feeling chatty and “singy,” so we just hung out like that, watching the daylight appear in his window. At some point he sat up and said, “I’ll button you!” And unbuttoned my top jammy button. So, I taught him how to hold the button in one hand, the button hole in the other, etc. and so on. He worked hard at it and he got this great, intensely-focused look on his face—almost gritting his teeth at one point—and then quietly sat back. I looked down and was amazed to see that he had done it! I verified that this had, indeed, been his first actual buttoning. I was there, baby! Then he did it again. It took him a while, but he has now joined the ranks of the buttoners. Congratulations, Misiu!
3/5/8: Mom reports that Julian has become obsessed with The Magic Flute. He listens to it once or twice a day. “That’s my music!” he says. Mom and Dad are trying to keep it down to one time a day.
3/08: Julian’s current obsessions (besides The Magic Flute): Sprinklers and Drip Systems (a publication) in which he can identify items such as “shut-off valve” and “timer.”
3/20/8: Except for nap time, when he wore a pullup, Julian wore underpants all day long.
3/21/8: In the living room, Julian has been listening to exerpts from The Magic Flute. Downstairs, in his dad’s office, when a complete version of the opera was played, Julian listened and proclaimed—upon hearing the overture which isn’t one of the exerpts he’s been listening to—that “This is not a Magic Flute!”
Throughout the opera, every time a piece of music was played that is not among the excerpts Julian repeats that announcement: “This is not a Magic Flute!”
4/4/8: First skinned knee. At school.
Also: Is currently very interested in his height and weight. Often goes up to where his height has been noted the see if he’s grown.
4/7/08: Mom: He grabbed our hands at the dinner table, turned to me and said, “Thank you for the LOV-E-LY apple sauce!” (using all three sylables).
4/15/08: Mom: He saw me coming into the house and, unprompted, opened the sliding glass patio door for me to pass through and then closed it after me. (He was staying outside.) He’s also been making ample use of “Thank you!” and practicing “May I have some (blank), please?” A gentleman in the making!
5/08: Mom & Dad and Julian are vacationing on Kauai for two weeks (again).
Here are some notes from Mom during that visit...
Julian’s Hawaiian name: Lulu Huwili Menehune.
Hoowili was a street we had to turn on and Juju/Lulu said, “Who’s Wili?” and later, “Where’s Huwili? He’s coming with us!” and pretended to hold his hand.
At the beach, while pouring sand into a bucket (“I’m making pancakes!”) “Here’s some flour, here’s some pancake sauce, here’s some pancakes, stir it up...”
While turning on the static-only radio at the rental house to hear it hiss: “I have to let some air out.”
His constant mantra for the past several months whenever having someone pull up his pull-ups diapers: “Can you be careful with my penis?” (with a big last-syllable inflection upward).
One example of a new trend: Me: “Time to put on your jammies.” Him: “No thank you!” with a big, sweet smile.
At bedtime, he said “I have to go get my ideas” and then fetched a book at random, brought it back to “read” to me. Something along the lines of “Today I went to shopping day...”
New trick: Changing first sound of each word in lyrics or phrases to create nonsense rhymes from the original words. Example: “Mank you merry much.” The response is, of course, “You’re melcome.”
5/11/08: A call from Mom on this Mother’s Day reports that Julian’s inquisitiveness has reached new levels.
Example: After Mom sang “Silent Night” to him, Julian wanted to know what the song is all about.
“Well,” said Mom, “it’s about this guy named Jesus and his Mom whose name was Mary—and the nighttime.”
Whatever the song is, he always wants to know what it’s about.
5/27/08: Mom reports: This morning, Julian noticed my shimmery silver dangle earrings (courtesy of Aunt Melody).
Me: Do you like them?
Him: Yes. I’m going to wear them when I’m you.
Also this AM, on route to school:
I see the moon. It’s driving with us!
And, from Mom: “I think it's official: Juju is potty-trained.”
6/08: KEEPING IT SAFE
Mom: Lately, he’s been wanting me to lay down with him as he gets ready to fall asleep. With his arm around me: “I will keep you safe, mama (pause...) so you won’t go.”
Me: “No, Honey, you can’t take your camera (necklace) to school.”
Juju: “Don’t worry, I’ll keep it safe.”
6/14/08: Drawing: Oh, I made an N! (And, indeed he had!)
SC: Can you make a J?
Juju: No. (But then he did.)
6/15/08 Julian: I’m big. I don’t need parents. (Pause) I don’t need grownups. I’m big enough!
6/19/08: Grandpa and Grandma are visiting for five days beginning today. While Janusz was driving through a parking lot, he steered around two pigeons. Julian: “Don’t squish them!”
This evening, Julian reported that “I’m chainsawing my poop!”
6/21/8: Julian has been inventing new food combinations lately.
6/22/8: While Grandpa was reading to him, Julian was examining Grandpa’s face very carefully. He took special interest in all the hair in Grandpa’s nose. Grandpa explained that when one gets very old, hair grows in all sorts of places. Julian, still concerned with the nose situation, had a question for Grandpa:
“How do your boogers come out?”
6/23/8: Winding up the trip to visit Julian & Friends, Grandma had this assessment of the young lad: “He is not one of your needier children. He has his moments, sure, but he entertains himself quite nicely for long periods of time.”
Grandpa sums up Julian in one word: “Why?”
Fathers’ Day 2008: Juju’s quote from the school’s “I love my Papa because” bulletin board: “...we eat eggs together!”
6/08: Holding up a cracker, after taking a bite out it to give it a certain shape: “That’s Silver’s house!” (Silver=preschool teacher)
6/08: Juju: “Aunt Melody lives in the state California.”
7/6/8: Julian rides his first Ferris Wheel. At the Marin County Fair. Even though he is 36 inches tall and is supposed to be 42 to ride it. He and Mom called Grandpa (in Central City) while on it for the log-in.
6/27/08 Juju is heavy on “available” and “provide:”
We have open face sandwiches. It’s not available to have a top on the bread. It’s not available!
Baba got a very small watermelon to provide room in the refrigerator.
No, don’t bring Stella a sweater. It provides cool. It’s too hot.
7/10/08 (in the garden): I’m going to move the tree to a better place. So it won’t get lost.
7/11/08: First Bed & Breakfast stay (at the Oval Door Inn in Eugene, OR, run by Scoop’s wife Melissa and her partner Nicole) during a road trip to Oregon with Mama
7/12/08: Attended the Oregon Country Fair (part burning man, part Renaissance Faire—without the Renaissance theme, just the pretty forested setting, part hippie/eco-fest, part healthy food fair, part music festival)
7/14/08 (in his room): I’m drilling a big hole so I can plant a tree in it.
Julian: Baba Horse!
Baba: Why are you calling me a horse?
Julian: Because I like you!
7/20/08 (Before leaving to go blackberry picking):
Julian: I want to go peanut butter picking.
Suzuki: I don’t think there are any peanut trees around here.
Jules: I want to make a peanut butter tree. The peanut butter can grow up. (He wanted to plant one on our deck.)
7/08: Julian has given us all new names. First I was Mooble, Janusz was Booble, and Julian was Jooble. Then he decided that he and I are both Zooble and Janusz is Baba Horse (prounced “Haas”).
7/21/08: Snuggled in bed with Mama: “I like you. You’re so pretty.” Later, he started asking me existential stuff: “Are the trees sleeping now? Do they die? Why do the trees die? When they die, the new ones grow? Why does everybody die?”
8/1/08: First sleepover away from home without parents. At Chance’s house. He and Chance slept together on the blow-up bed and everyone had light savers. There were no problems.
8/2/08: First ride on a bicycle. His new bicycle. Baba did the peddling.
8/3/08: "Those (kisses) are not available. Only hugs."
(Later): “Demahoyah.” That’s the name of my guitar.
(On the intercom to Janusz’s downstairs office): Baba, are you in your office playing work?
(Before bed): Mama, what if you fell down a big big hole and died? Don’t fall down a very deep hole and die.
8/8/08: Mama, why does your hair go up (motioning to the top of my head)? My hair is like an ice cream. (I recently gave him a haircut, and it really does kind of look like a scoop of ice cream now!)
8/9/08: I don’t like robots. I don’t want them to come over to our house. Only people.
Juju: What are those things called?
J: What are those things you hide in?...Elevators! You push the buttons. That’s what you do.
8/10/08: (While driving, at 7:30pm) "It’s not too late to ride my bike. The sky is still on."
Shortly after this, he may have saved a dog’s life by the name of Alana. Here’s what happened:
As we drove down Sir Francis Drake Blvd, we passed a dog running across this busy, dangerous street. We didn’t see an owner and I guess I just assumed she was running to an unseen owner on the other side.
Then I heard Julian saying from the back seat in a sort of wistful, very quiet voice: “We are already going home. That’s why we can’t help her.” I snapped out of my apathetic state and said, “You’re right! We should go back and see if we can help her.”
We turned around, and found her around a couple of corners from where we had originally seen her. She was all alone. I hopped out of the car, checked her tags and called Dee Mertz, her owner. It turns out she didn’t even know her dog was gone—she thought the dog was locked up tight. So, there was a reunion and I had Dee personally thank Julian for his good instincts. (I was extremely proud of him.)
8/11/08: Walking down the stairs to go to school, Julian was playing this game with his thumbs sticking out, hands close together. “One is the green light, one is the red light.” He was kind of rapping a cool theme song with a very funky beat. “That’s how they talk,” he explained.
(Then, in the car): “They could come in here because I made them with my thumbs.”
While getting ready for the afternoon hike behind the house:
Julian: “Why do you have to carry me?”
Janusz: “Because there is a very steep hill behind the house.”
Julian: “I can climb long, flat mountains.”
8/14/08: Mom reports:
In the book "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein, when the boy cuts down the tree to build a boat and sail away: "I don't like that one. It's sad. Maybe we could cut out that part."
The next time Mom read it and we got to that page he said, "No, don't do that one!"
Lately, we've been playing Baby Bird, and Bebeto and I take turns being either the baby or the big bird who feeds and takes care of the baby. It's been great for getting him to hurry up and get into his carseat if I say, "Fly up to your nest, baby bird." His seatbelts then become branches of the tree. Other times, when I am the baby and pretend to be hungry by opening and shutting my beak, he tries to find me some food (and will put it in my mouth) or else he gets this amazingly heart-broken expression on his face and says, "I'm sorry, there's no more food, baby bird!" (He is a sensitive soul.)
Juju's a food bouncer at an exclusive gastronomic club. We try to feed him excitingly healthy foods as part of the party-in-the-mouth game. The bite of food has to ask permission to come to the party. "My friends are already inside," etc. Julian either says OK or else he (the bite) has to wait for the elevator or escalator to get back up from his stomach.
8/15/08: "You need to feed me because I'm not available to have hands any more."
While taking the toilet paper off the holder: "I need to download it."
"I need to push the buttons (on the calculator) so I can see what time it is."
Mom: While we were driving, Bebeto invented a sort of personal landscape, first by nixing everything, then allowing just a few selected items (back) in:"No CARS! (Triumphantly, on the second word) No TREES! No STREETS! No STEERING WHEELS! No BLACKBERRIES! No STRAWBERRIES! No FOOD! No HOUSES! No TRAFFIC LIGHTS! No WINDOWS! No WHITE LINES! (on and on...then) No EVERYTHING!!!
Mom, getting in on the act, "No CARWASH! No CHURCH! No SKY"
JK: "No, don't say no sky! SKY! CLOUDS! Balloons are invited! Some TREES! PLANTS! FOOD! PARKING LOTS! (Mama: "Is that because you can skate in them?" YES.) The Golden Gate Park is invited to my party."
At bedtime he said, "I remember when I used to be your mama."
8/16/08: "Capasop" is when you break something.
8/17/08: “Yudon” is when you poke a window with your finger.
8/19/8: Julian turns three—and flies off with his dad on his third trip to Poland to see Babcia i Dziadek.
A call back to Grandpa is made, during which Julian asks: “Do you speak Polish?”
8/21/8: Julian made a strange face, the one wherein the face-maker pulls out the corners of his mouth with his fingers.
His dad asked him what it was. Here’s Dad’s report:
“One day we came back to the apartment and Julian made this face. I asked what it was and he said ‘furniture on the bicycle.’ I asked why, but could not understand the explanation. It was in his own language.
I asked him to show it to me again and took a picture.”
8/24/8: Aunt Danuta brought a new puzzle, trying to get Julian's attention.
Danuta: Juju, can you help me with this puzzle?
Danuta: It's difficult.
Julian: We have at home puzzles that are not so tricky. We can bring them for you next time.
9/5/08: Juju: Do you like chocolate, Mama?
J: What kind?
J: I like daylight chocolate.
9/28/08: Jules: (While (very gently) knocking on Mama’s head) Knock, knock.
SC: Who’s there?
J: Your BONES!
10/2/08: JK (wearing an oven mitt and hitting the wall with it): I’m Batman.
SC: Oh, really?
JK: Yeah. Who’s Batman?
SC: Well, I don’t really know too much about Batman. Did you hear of him at school?
SC: Well, we happen to have a book on bats here. Shall we read it?
The next day:
SC: Are you still Batman?
SC: Who is Batman?
JK: He’s a butterfly.
SC: Sure, why not?
10/10/08 (in Fort Bragg, Mendocino County)
SC: What was a highlight of your day, Julian?
JK: My highlight was when we were sleeping, my lowlight was when Baba chain-sawed the dead tree down (in his imagination) and my middlelight (!) was when we took the tent down.
SC: What was your highlight, Baba?
Baba: When Juju and I went down to see the “trabs” (Juju had a cold) and “sea enemies.”
10/07/2008 (A report from Dad): We've been having an ongoing discussion on the origin of some the foods consumed at our household. "Is this cow milk?", "Is this soy yogurt?", "I like cow yogurt." (as proof, I need to show a picture of the cow on the box).
And today, this question arose:
Julian, while making scrambled eggs with Dad, looking at the egg box: "Are these cow eggs?"
10/11/08 JK: You’re my belly button.
SC: OK, I’m your belly button. What are you my?
JK: I’m your Goji Berry.
(This keeps changing day to day to alligator, tent, etc. Mom seems to stay his belly button, though.)
10/31/8: First e-mail. To Grandpa. Here it is, in its entirety:
On Oct 31, 2008, at 6:10 PM, Mom wrote:
(While drawing) This is where the doctors live that are not alive. (?)
(He has some pennies saved in a box)
Juju: I have money.
Janusz: What are you going to buy with that money?
Janusz: What kind of books?
Juju: Flower books.
(While banging on the strings of a vertical guitar) See? It’s a moon-reacher. Wee pah doo, wee pah doo, wee pah doo!
We have hungry bat music. I brought it from my house. I got it at the store.
J: I’m going to be a spider for Christmas. What are you going to be?
S: What do you think I ought to be?
J: A giraffe.
S: And what about Baba?
J: Baba will be a tool. He will be a chainsaw.
(later, wielding a flashlight) I will delete your eyes! Pssssht!
(While looking at my pregnancy photos)
S: You were inside and so my tummy grew and got really big!
J: What happens if your tummy breaks?
S: Don’t worry, tummies are very strong.
(Later, while looking at the LKC’s Sporting House Girls centerfold page)
J: Read this one.
S: That’s not a story, it’s a picture only.
J: Why do they have those things on their backs (pointing to their breasts)?
S: Oh, you think those are their backs because their hats are covering their faces. I could see that. But, they are just holding hats over their faces.
S: They are hiding because some people get shocked when they see pictures of breasts. It’s kind of hard to explain.
S: They’re hiding because some people think it’s not appropriate.
J: But, I like when they do that!
JK: Phhhh! (into a hammer) I blew a wish! I wished that the lights would go off automatically.
(The big wicker chest in our bedroom has now become Juju’s spaceship. I happened to have a pad of paper and pen during this particular game):
JK: Let’s talk together. Come sit on this chair (points to rocking chair, next to spaceship). The flamingos are in my backpack in the bottom of the spaceship. This is my controller (holding our hi-tech timer).
SC: Why do we have flamingos?
JK: Because we’re going to Poland.
SC: Do they like it there?
JK: Yeah. They’re Polish people. (pause) I need to get a pair of clothes to bring. (goes to get stuff)
JK: (He’s back) Let’s talk about flamingos. I have some flamingos at my house that are English people. And I let them jump on my bed. They like to do that. Bye-bye, I’m going to Poland.
That’s your rocket ship, Mama (pointing to my rocking chair). I’m connecting our spaceships (suspends a pillow in between our ships). We say “do wizenia” (goodbye) when we’re going to Poland.
I’ll control our rocket ship. And I’m going to flash something that’s dark (uses flashlight). I’m lighting this up in Old Bombay.
Come on your spaceship, I’ll show you something. Blast-off! I blasted the spaceship off. Blast YOUR spaceship off. Mmmmmmmmmhhhhhhhhhhh (engine noises).
We’re here, we’re to the walkway. And I’m going to show you something in the walkway. There’s crabs in the walkway and they don’t hurt.
Let’s go! Let’s go see the flamingos. They’re at my house. We’re to my house. Come with me. There’s two flamingos. They are asleep. So you can’t wake them up. These ones are woke up and you can put your feet on them. They like when you put your feet on them.
I have some cords to connect our stove. I’m just going to charge it in our spaceship. Oh, I have a hole in my spaceship. (basket damage)
In my room there are “bloomies.”
SC: What’s a bloomie?
JK: It’s a duck that’s so big it can reach up in the sky. In Polish, it’s “flamingo.”
JK: (at school, from across the room, at drop-off time) Wait, Mama, I want to tell you something! (runs over) I love you. And I love Baba. And I love you. Goodbye...
S: Julian, you need to clean your room, it looks like a tornado happened in there.
J: There’s a tomato in my room. It went up the stairs and into my room.
S: Don’t be so loud. Baba is still trying to sleep.
J: But I turned my voice up louder.
S: You turned the volume up too loud. You have to turn it down.
J: But the volume turner got stuck.
Juju talking about a recipe that he made—"in a sunglasses case: I put a lot of ingredients. Lemon juice, and lemons, and some leaves, and I put some carrots in."
Janusz: Julian, if you’re as tired as you seem, we can’t go get a Christmas tree.
J: But, I’m not tired for THAT.
12/4/8: Grandma and Grandpa come to visit for four bedtimes and one special pre-Christmas Christmas.
One thing they noticed (and enjoyed): He refers to us and other groups of people as “you guys.”
(looking for a stapler): I have a big stapler, but it rolled outside. It’s an outside stapler. It’s for fixing cars.
12/7/8: “I’m going to do something that you don’t want to miss!”
12/7/8: In front of Fujiyama, the wonderful Japanese restaurant in San Rafael, Dad asked if he wanted to have dinner there.
“No,” said Julian.
Dad asked why not.
“I don’t like the shape.”
“You don’t like the shape of the restaurant?”
Julian to his dad: I am so strong. I have a big head, like you.
Janusz: Who told you so?
Julian: Mama did.
Juju (en route, while driving to Nancy, Michael, and Stella’s house): The duckies are taking us to Stella’s house. The duckies know the way to Stella’s house. The duckies are pulling us. We are in our boat.
(In the morning, Suzuki and Julian get in Janusz’s car to go to the doctor. S starts up the car and Janusz’s stereo goes on; beautiful classical music is playing):
Juju: You know, this is Mozart.
Suzuki: Oh, really?
Suzuki: OK. (thinking to self: Hmm, maybe Janusz was playing a Mozart CD in the car and Julian remembered?)
Then, a radio announcer came on: We just heard the Mozart Trio for Clarinet, Viola, and Piano.
(Later, I asked Janusz whether he’d ever played that for Juju. Nope! He just knows Mozart when he hears him.)
J (after peeing): Can I flush this?
S: Sure, you may.
J: But won’t it waste the water?
According to Juju, today (at various times) we were octopuses, aliens, alien octopuses, neighbors, birds, snakes, a stone, and a carrot. (The last two items were for our bathtub “soup.”)
Two notes from Mom:
Julian still likes to be a baby bird, fairly often,
Julian says “I love you” a lot, or “I need some love” or a forelorn “I lost my love.”
[Lately, aside from being particularly snuggly and demonstratively lovey-dovey, Juju has been telling us how much he loves us (I love you 97! I love you 93 97 97 31!)]
Favorite animal: Reindeer
Favorite friends: Janusz
Favorite color: “This color” (pointed to Mama’s lips)
Favorite music: The star song (twinkle, twinkle?)
Favorite book: The Christmas one (‘Twas the Night Before Christmas)
Tree: Banana Tree
Thing to do: Cook
Place: Going to the store
City: San Francisco
Country: “Where Dzadek lives.” (Presumably, the country house in Poland)
Movie: Rabbit movie (Peter Rabbit)
Toy: Right now, tripod
Game: Fire truck games (at school)
Day of week: “I haven’t invented it yet.”
J: You are a doggy. You don’t have to be tied up. You stay here. Don’t go anywhere. Because we don’t have a leash. (Brings laptop with lots of cords and things tucked inside.) Here’s a package for you, doggy. You are a nice doggy. (Pets me.) (Dangles cords off the bed.) I’m going to fish for fish. Here’s a fish for you, doggy. You can eat it.
J: Where are all our presents?
S: We already opened them all.
J: I want to open them again.
J: I love you. And I love me. (Mom: This made me, by far, the most happy!)
New favorite book: A Seed is Sleepy. Likes to pretend to be either a Japanese Maple Seed or a Strawberry Seed. Suzuki is a Hopseed and Janusz rotates (Texas Mountain Laurel, Earpod, Sunflower...)
I love all the people.
J: How are we designed?
S: Umm, uh, well, we’re designed to love.
J: But, HOW are we designed?
S: (Insert quick overview of big bang, single cell creatures, generational changes, apes, cavemen, and so-called modern man)
J: Tell that story again!
J: Let’s go downstairs and see if there are any more presents.
S: No more this year. You are my favorite present every day.
J: You are MY favorite present. (Then, pointing to both Janusz and Mom) You are all my favorite presents.
12/28/08 (When Mom got home):
J: I will share my toys with you. I was thinking about you. I’ve been thinking about you.
J: When will we die?
S: No one knows when we will die.
J: What are we made of?
12/28/09 (when Mom got home)
J: I will share my toys with you. I was thinking about you. I’ve been thinking about you.
J: I lost my kiss. So I need you to give me a new one. (smack.)
J: Our package arrived from the spaceship. It’s from the conveyor belt.
J: Another package arrived. Our speaker arrived. And that’s a stereo.
J: Another package arrived. It’s a big computer.
We’re doggies that don’t have to have any people, because we can buy our own food and feed ourselves. I’m the biggest one. You’re the mommy and I’m the daddy. We are going in our car—you drive. I have to start the engine. Vrrrooooom. We are at Alaska! (Turns car off) We have some chickens coming over to our doggy house. Because they are my friends. And they keep someone from stealing something from our house. That’s what the chickens do. We have to get there because they don’t have a car and we will have a dance party with them. So, I’ll put on the speakers, but the music won’t wake up Baba. OK, let’s start up the motor. (We go under the blankets) I’m going into the deep, dark forest. The car is very big. We’re going to the chicken house to get the chickens.
J: I’m doing the “slumby-slumby chicken dance.”
J: (pointing the raisins in his bowl of oatmeal) Those are the guys that tell us not to bonk each other. And we can eat them. And then they come out. We poop them out.
(when I got home from work, while attacking me with hugs at the door)
J: I don’t love you. I just love Baba. And the whole entire world.
(later, at the taqueria)
J: You are a shark. But you are a nice shark. We are nice sharks eating our burritos.
(later, at home)
J: I have a new baby.
S: Where’s your baby?
J: It’s in my belly.
S: It’s not born yet?
J: No. It will be born next Christmas. And when he’s taking the Christmas tree lights off, he doesn’t tip the tree over.
Janusz: What do you say?
Julian: Excuse me very much!
J: The moose brought a lot of presents for us. For our cars. And they’re bringing stuff to make spaceships. They are very nice.
(at the “spaceship”—the big wicker chest in my bedroom)
J: I’m going to pick up the aliens.
Janusz: Are they coming over for a playdate?
J: They are coming over for a playdate and for dinner.
Janusz: What are their names?
J: They don’t have names. They speak Polish. They can wipe their noses on their sleeve.
S: Tell them they can use this “nose wipe.”
J: They have a nose wipe on their sleeve.
I’m going to knit a crochet.
When I close my eyes, I see cinnamon dancing on trees.
(Before going to sleep) I like you so much. I like you!
S: We haven’t seen the deer in a while. I wonder where they’ve been going.
J: Maybe they’re having a play date or a sleepover.
Janusz: Why did the chicken cross the road?
Julian: He didn’t cross the road. He went up in the clouds.
Janusz: Why did he go up in the clouds?
Juju: He was going to visit his friend. His friend chicken.
Watch what I can do with the easel. Something magic. And kind of scary. “BLAST OFF! Brrrrrshhhhhhhh...” That’s the magic trick.
I made up a game and I won. It’s pretty tricky.
(Having recently been swept up in the reading of A Seed is Sleepy—great book) We are talking seeds. You’re a Dandelion seed, Baba is a Milkweed, and I am a Japanese Maple. I love you two seeds. And you two seeds love me!
I helped the earth because I love the earth. I helped it grow two plants. I planted some beans at school and they sprouted. They growed. Is that when they sprout—when they grow?
(After opening up the door for me when I got home) I thought that was you. How was your yoga? I have some love for you. Do you want some love? I have a hug and a kiss mixed together.
I want someone to sit next to me all the time.
Bebeto: We are fire truck bird kittens.
Janusz: I am the muffin man. (Poor thing was completely blown up and red with poison oak poisoning.)
(At the thrift store)
J: I want to buy something in a box. In a big box.
S: You mean that box with the plastic toys inside?
S: No, because that toy didn’t look very interesting, and we don’t want to buy plastic stuff. It’s bad for the earth and you love the earth, right?
J: I don’t love the earth anymore.
J (playing with the bamboo beaded “curtains”): I’m making a big hammock for little bugs. I’m making a big hammock for big bugs.
S: Did you say “bugs” or “birds”?
J: Bugs and birds. It’ll be so cool.
J: Now I’m hanging up hoses. Oh, there’s a fire. I‘ll have to turn them on.
NOTE: Lately, there have been lots of “Watch what I can do.” He also spends a lot of time making up games and he talks them through to himself, usually ending with “Ah, I won the game.” or “Ah, that was cool” or “Awesome! I won!”
Juju (after I asking Janusz to bring a lemon up from the garden): I can get a lemon. I am a lemon guy (with a proud grin).
S: I brought have Fred Bread from the store. You can have it for dessert.
J: I make “Blue Baby Bread.” It’s a paper bread.
As of today, Julian officially can spell his last name. (It only took me six months to learn how.) K-O-L-O-D-Z-I-E-J-C-Z-Y-K (We made up a song.)
J (in the context of my sprouting mung beans in a jar, involving much rinsing): My sprouts can squeeze themselves.
Julian: I’m going to blast off to go get the aliens. I’m going to bring them to California and show them how things work. One, two, three, ready or not, here I blast off! Where’s the key to my spaceship? Oh, it’s on your key ring.
Julian’s good friend Stella changed her name to “Rock and Roll” (a bad guy, an alter-ego to her pink-wearing, doll-hugging self). When Janusz asked Julian what he wanted to change his name to, he said “Suzuki. We’re two Suzukis.” (A few weeks later he decided to change is to “Whole World.” I think his self-esteem is intact.)
Julian: Ducks and foxes pulled us to and from Stella’s house. They were holding hands walking down the street.
2/26/09 (in the car)
Julian (from the back seat): What are these two buttons for?
Janusz (driving): You can investigate when we park the car.
Julian: Yeah! I am good in investigating what stuff do.
His good friend Stella (that he has sleepover playdates with) changed her name to “Rock and Roll.” So, Janusz asked Juju what he wanted to change his name to and he said “Suzuki. I’m Suzuki, Mama is Julian and Baba is Zubel.”
J: (strumming a roasting rack with a pen): This is a magic guitar. It can only do Jingle Bells.
J: My pizza has only dried fruit. And Jake is going to love it. (Jake was coming over for a playdate that night, I made pizza and Juju only wanted dried fruit on his part. It was actually very tasty!)
3/1 So much for Polish and Spanish. Lately, Bebeto (got to get back to his original name!) is obsessed with his “Learn to Speak Italian” cassette tape (thanks, Angie). He lies down beside it on the floor and sings along with the Italian kids’ songs for hours on end.
J: I want to write a card to Aunt Melody on my calculator. (presses buttons) This says the card is for Melody. Now, how can we send this on our calculator?
J: We were doing road construction at school. Me, Jacob and Henry. And we were saying “ROAD CONSTRUCTION UP AHEAD!”
(he brought home artwork from school)
S: People really like your art, Julian.
J: Maybe I could be a painting teacher. And I could teach people how to paint.
S: I love you so much!
J: I love you the WHOLE WORLD.
J: I’m going to make a map for Aunt Jane. So she can know how to get to San Francisco. Does she live in California?
S: No, she lives in Maine.
J: How can we get there?
J: I want to go to Aunt Jane’s house.
J: I want to listen to Kevin Burke (my new-ish Irish fiddle CD). Kevin Burke knows ALL the songs.
3/7-3/8 (We stayed the night at the Villa Palma, a rental house in Calistoga owned by a man named Al. It has it’s own private hot springs-fed pool that is half shallow (total decadence). Julian was in love with it and kept saying, “I’m having SO much FUN!”)
3/8 (back home)
J: How will Al take his house out of the ground?
S: What do you mean?
J: How will he sell it? (The Calistoga house. Sad to say, it is for sale.)
S: The people who buy it will buy the land it’s on, too. They won’t have to take it out of the ground.
J: I don’t want someone to buy this ground (pointing to our own floor). I really like this house. It’s so comfortable.
J: I want to go stay the night there (Calistoga) sometimes. I want to stay there a little longer next time.
Later, we celebrated the birthday of Janusz’s late grandma Francia with a candle and some singing and then said “thankfuls”
J: I’m thankful for the whole world.
S: OK, let’s go upstairs and get ready for bed.
J: But I have more thankfuls. I’m thankful for the food. I’m thankful for the houses. I’m thankful for the candles. I’m thankful for you. I’m thankful for my big easel and my little easel (thanks, Mom/Dad).
How do you make car glass (windshield, etc.)? Is it glued together?
I don’t get rocked any more at school. (before naptime)
Suzuki: What is your favorite color these days?
J: All the colors.
Julian received a letter from Aunt Melody’s kitties today.
We were seated in the front row (right next to the musicians) at the Wizard of Oz play. The (very) Wicked Witch of the West (with her frightening musical accompaniment) scared Julian something terrible. He quietly freaked out and the poor kid looked traumatized to me, but held out until the intermission. We were on our way out the door to go home, when Janusz asked him if he would like to stay if we would sit much further back in the audience. He said yes and ended up loving it. Janusz: “Would you like to see another show sometime?” [Janusz loved the show, finding the amateur streak in some of the performers endearing.] Julian: “I want to see that Toto every night.” [Toto was played by a kid.]
S: Do you want anchovy paste in your salad?
J: No, I only like it on a hot day.
S (after Julian trailed off mid-sentence): Finish your thought.
J: What’s a thought?
S: It’s an idea in your head.
J: I have lots of thoughts. They’re all from Poland. They’re only for Baba (Janusz).
S: What do you mean?
J: They’re a surprise for you both. They’re a secret surprise.
J: When it’s daytime here, it’s nighttime in Poland.
J (while cuddling): Don’t let anyone get us. I don’t want to hear any footsteps coming. I don’t want any bad guys to come.
S: Who are bad guys?
J: People who steal things and who steal us.
J (pointing to the ceiling fan): There’s a round dinosaur and he comes down on us and then the fan reaches down and picks him up and takes him back to his home.
J: I want to turn off the daytime in California.
J (holding his “babies” (teddy bears)): They’re brother and sister. They were born from their egg at the same time. They’re twin birds.
J (overhearing Janusz and I discussing nightshades): What are nightshades?
S: Potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, and I don’t know what else.
J: I will get a lot of umbrellas and put some vegetables on the top.
S: I like your joke. (Get it? Nightshades?)
J: And then I’ll make the world into a soup. An everybody soup.
J: I’m the greatest fisher ever! (We made a fishing pole out of a bamboo stick, dental floss, and a paper clip in a failed attempt to retrieve a fallen noisemaker from the ravine behind our house.)
J (later, at the kids’ mini-symphony concert, draped across Janusz and me): We’re connected. We’re like pipes. [Note: This concert devolved into a teaming mass of preschoolers gone wild, with one striking exception. One tiny little boy stood right in front of the musicians, in absolute communion with them, his face rapt, waving his arms—conducting—the entire time.]
J (placing some little electronic gadget on me): It’s an electric spider.
S: Oh good, now I have a spider pet!
J: Oh, I want a spider pet, too. Here are two spiders (holding a couple of stubby pencils). [“Norlian” (Norman and Julian combined) and “Janusz.”]
J (playing with his Magnetix building set): I’m making a Super Butterfly.
S: Now that’s a cool superhero!
A couple of days earlier, he held up one of the set’s ball-shaped magnets and said, “There’s a little alligator in there. I don’t want it around and I don't want to see it ever again.” Sometimes he asks me take “scary” things out of the house completely. So, I have a little collection going at work: a small plastic dinosaur with big open jaws and a plastic pirate with a hook arm.
J (regarding the friendship ankle bracelet he was wearing): I want another friendship bracelet for my hand. I want one for each hand and one for my other foot.
Julian: We’re birds. Oh—we’re chicken-rabbit-birds. We hop and eat carrots and do flying things. (pause) What do rabbits say? How do they talk?
J: I’m going to shoot some love to you.
J: I’m going to shoot some love into the house. From me.
S: To me?
J: No, I’m going to save it inside the house.
S: Do you want some Inca berries?
J: No, I only eat them on Sunday.
J: I made a love machine and I’m going to shoot the love to you (pssshhht!) There’s the love (both hands up, ta-da)!
J: I’m making you carrots. For your eyes. You have to blow on them because they’re really hot.
J: The five ducks have scissors and the foxes have chainsaws. One patch (batch) of the ducks’ scissors are for boys, another patch is for little kids, and another patch is for dogs. The patch of chainsaws is for everyone. They are for sharing.
J (Throwing Sue Ellen’s Gumby gift through the air): He’s a flyable spinnable no battery no control.
J (while driving): What if a blind person needs a car?
J (sitting): I lost my balance.
Janusz: We have to look for it.
J (standing): I found it!
J (shelling peas): I’m going to put them all in my mouth—like Grandpa. Grandpa stuffed a lot of peas in his mouth at the same time.
Today, Julian drew beautiful tattoos onto our arms.
S: I wish I didn’t have to ever wash this off. I like it so much.
J: Just don’t wash this part off.
S: But I don’t know if I should leave it on for work.
J: But, it’s a reindeer. You can show Aunt Melody. OH, it’s a cat!
S: Good morning, darling boy.
J: I’m not a boy any more. I’m a frog-boy.
S: You’re a “zhaba?” (Polish for frog)
J: Yes, and you’re my zhaba parents.
J: I don’t love Baba right now, I only love you right now. I love people one at a time.
J (running commentary on the drawing he was making for Janusz’s birthday card): All of this is a love street. See the love road? If you love someone, you can go on that road...This road can drive to San Francisco...This is a fence...You have to fly all the way across the ballgame to the bridge to got to the love street, where Nidia lives...That’s a shooting light in the sky for Baba...This is the birthday candle. The yellow will be the fire. More fire. Fire on the love road. The road is on fire.
Today, while he was in the bathroom, I overheard Julian practicing saying “refrigerator” to a) count the number of Rs, and b) work on the enunciation thereof.
He also told this joke: Excuse me, could you find my balance?
J: Read me the card Grandpa made for Janusz for his birthday. (I did.) I want to make a treasure hunt! (Grandpa’s signature game.)
J: I learned how to do the other way of going pee pee with the underwear on. You reach in the hold and grab out the penis through the hole.
J: Now I have to tie you up and lock you up on the couch.
J: Because you have to have a surgery. (I just had foot surgery two weeks ago.) I’m cutting your leg off (bzzzzt!) and now I’m taking all your bones out so you will have a flat leg. Now I’m grinding up all your bones. Now I’m eating them. (!)
J: What’s that?
S: Mail from the Children’s Chorale in Colorado. It was a singing group I used to be in. We traveled all over the world singing and sometimes dancing. Maybe someday you’ll want to do something like that.
J: No, I want to be a doctor and a road constructioner ONLY. And a cooker. (pause) Because I practiced all those things.
Juju has a new nickname that he takes rather seriously: Irish-soda-lipstick-monkey-love-muffin-big-loaf-of-bread-zhaba-star-zoobal.
S: We need to take the snowflake off the window.
J: NO! Why?
S: Because it’s not winter any more. It’s a seasonal thing.
J: No, I need to have it there!
S: For how long?
J: Until we die.
S: Until we die?
J: Until just before we die.
S: I need some love.
J: I don’t have any more love.
S: Where did it go?
J: I gave it all to you and Baba. (later) My love machine is making some love right now (psssht!) I have some love now! (pause) Oh, it’s gone. It’s for a treasure hunt. You have to make a treasure hunt if you want some love. So make a treasure hunt!
J: Artichokes are like people.
S: They are?
J: Yes, because they have hearts.
J: I’m shooting arrows at you.
S: Why are you shooting arrows at me?
J: So, you’ll know which way to go! The arrows are transparent.
S: How will I know which way to go if the arrows are transparent?
J: You will see through them. (of course)
J (Discussing dream catcher he made at school): When I had a bad dream, I break it in two. When I have good dreams, they go in here and I will remember them. They won’t get deleted.
I want one hundred eggs. I want the biggest plate of ever.
J: Let’s see if we can build a pole up to the sky. I want to make a fire up there, so I need a really big ladder that goes up to the sky.
J: I’m a real grown-up now because I have a stool and I can reach the big sink and wash my hands all by myself. I can do all the things except the stove.
We have to put our (stuffed bear) “babies” into our bellies (under our shirts) because they’re going to hatch. Our bellies are like eggs. We have to go to the hospital because our babies are going to hatch.
J (soon after, while applying cinnamon to oatmeal): I need a lot of spices because I had a baby.
J: Your yoga mat is warm, cozy, hot lava.
S: We’ve got to get ourselves moving this morning.
J: I’ve got to get the wagon out and connect it to the foxes. They’ll pull us out the door. The foxes don’t need shoes because animals don’t need them.
J: There’s a very big flashlight that turns on here when it’s daytime and turns off in Poland. And then it turns off when it’s nighttime here, and it turns on in Poland. I figured out that’s how the sun works.