Literary breakthrough

I’m sorely aware that I don’t blog nearly as much about Isaac as I should. I suspect it has something to do with language, and with the complexities that language brings. Isaac is talking up a storm these days — I recently tried to make a list of his words and stopped counting at 50 — but he is not, say, telling stories. Mostly, he is emptying cupboards of pots and stacking empty yogurt containers on top of each other and harassing you to lift him higher so that he can set a final one on top. He is repeating the phrase, “Good job!” over and over, patting his own self on the back each time he makes a move, leaving us confident in his burgeoning self-esteem. He is obsessed with all things tea-related, particularly teapots, proving that he truly is Rachel’s boy. “Tea!” can also mean, however, that he wants to brush his teeth, and we also occasionally mistake it for cheese. Which can also mean the camera. And so on. For all his words, he is still a bit of a shriekyhead, a habit I am trying to discourage by telling him to — what else? — use his words. To which he responds, sweetly, “Beep beep!”, an approximation of, “Up, please!”

But Isaac is definitely becoming more complex, language and all. And one of the ways that’s becoming apparent is that he will actually permit us to read him a few pages at a time of a book these days.

Which is a kind of exciting. Unlike his brother, who loved being read to from Day One, Isaac has never been interested in books. I would describe his attitude towards reading as, perhaps, hostile. He shut books if you tried to open them in his presence. Pushed them away. Occasionally threw.

But maybe, just maybe, he’s on track to discover the joys of classics like Harold and the Purple Crayon and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (which is even funnier once you’ve grown up and see just how exhausted and put-upon the parents look). In any case, last Thursday, I think I even managed to get through three quarters of the abridged version of Hands, Hands, Fingers, Thumb. And, this morning, he actually pulled a book off the shelf (My First Shabbat), carried it over to the couch, climbed up, and began leaf through it — if “leafing” is a term one can apply to board books.

(There have been other milestones of late, which I will duly note here for posterity’s sake: the Sleeping Until 7 AM. The Sitting in a Chair at the Dinner Table. The Gradual, Self-Imposed Weaning. The Fourth Molar. The Cuddling of Rachel in My Presence. The Beginning of Imaginative Play — on Sunday, we spent a good half-hour ferrying stuffed animals into his crib; he kissed each one and told it, "Night night!”)

All of which is by way of saying: Internet, I expect you'll be seeing a lot more of Isaac in the next little while.