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Conversation Highlights

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Gareth aka Buddy (When he was born Emmie couldn’t say Gareth so we all called him Buddy and it stuck): 

He’s going through a superhero phase right now, and he’s an especially big fan of Batman (thanks in part to his Batman t-shirt and his Batman Little People toy). So when I correct him for disobeying, I usually say, “Gareth, Batman wouldn’t hit/bite/steal toys/etc.” It always works because Gareth wants to be just like Batman. Yesterday he was hitting Emmie with a stick, so I (Gently!) Poked him with it a few times to show him how it felt.

I told him, “See, Gareth, it hurts when you hit Sissy with the stick.”

Gareth frowned really big and said, “Mommy, Batman wouldn’t hit Buddy!”

I stand corrected.


Emmie and I like to look at the dresses on ModCloth. I’ve never ordered anything from there, but it’s fun to dream. We like to play, “Pick out a dress for Mommy.” The winner is usually something pink. I know you’re shocked!

Last night, Emmie’s favorite was this frothy confection. I told her, “That’s cute, Emmie. I bet your Daddy would like it too.”

And she replied, “Yeah, Mommy, I bet Daddy would take it from you!”

I had to do a double take. Did I just get bedroom advice from my four-year-old? I’m confident she didn’t know what she was saying. At least I think I am. Either that or she thinks her Daddy likes to dress up in pink polka-dot party dresses. I’m not sure which one worries me more.

One thing’s for sure, life is never dull when you have a very precocious child. We try hard to keep things innocent in front of Emmie, and still she understands things way beyond her years. I wish I could have a nickel for every time someone has asked me, “What are you saying to this child?!” My answer is always, “I have no idea!”

One time we were giving a college-aged church member and his dad a ride somewhere, and Emmeline told them a pretty accurate story of how she was born. Thankfully the dad just thought it was hilarious! I tried changing the subject, but Emmie was determined to finish her story. When we got home she and I had a talk about what are appropriate stories to tell people. Someone asked me where she got her information from, and I told them, “She asks a lot of questions, so we try to give her an honest answer but one that is innocent and age-appropriate.” She’s a verbal processor, and when she wants to understand something, she’ll ask you about it nonstop until she understands. Evidently she reads more into our answers then we’re telling her. We’re in trouble with this kid!

I’m just hoping this fascination with how things work, math, and body parts means that she’s going to grow up to be rich, successful scientist who can support Josh and me in our old age. We’ll have earned it after raising this crazy (more like crazy-smart) girl.


Gareth and other people

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Josh and I are both loud, strong-willed people, so it’s only natural that we would have spirited children. For better or worse, at least life is never dull in this house. I consider myself an introvert, even though I’m not a quiet person. I’d just rather spend time with you one-on-one than in a huge group of people. And even though I love parties, I also think they’re exhausting. I see some of that in Gareth. He loves people, but he seems to prefer being with one person at a time. He’s either playing with me, or Sissy, or Daddy, but he rarely plays with all of us at once. He loves following Pop or Uncle Nathan around, and is content to just be near one of his favorite people. Sometimes I take him to the store with me by himself, and he’s like a different child — relaxed, content, and more peaceful (as “peaceful” as a busy 2-year-old boy can be).

Gareth is very loving. I think part of this is having Emmeline for a big sister. She has always been a tenderhearted child, and I think it wore off on Gareth. But ever since he was a baby, he’s always been a cuddler. He loves rocking, and giving hugs, and as a baby he was all about the skin to skin. On the day he was born, he came out crying — as babies are supposed to — but then they laid him on my chest, and he immediately relaxed and stopped crying completely. He was a little too calm for the midwife’s liking, but he had his Mommy, and he was content. As soon as she picked him and jostled him around a little bit, Gareth let us all know that his lungs worked just fine. As an infant, if Gareth was crying, usually all I had to do was lay him on my chest and he’d calm down. Days when he was extra fussy I remember just taking my shirt off and wearing him in the Ergo for hours at a time so he could be right up against me.

He’s still a typical 2-year-old boy, so he gets busy playing and isn’t aware of other people. But if he hurts someone, he feels so bad about it. Just yesterday he was swinging his toy drum around and bashed me on the eye with it. I of course screamed out in pain. Gareth realized he had hurt me, so he immediately started crying, then he hit himself on the eye with his toy drum and lay down next to me crying and holding his own eye. Afterward he patted my head and gave me kisses.

Also, Gareth loves the ladies. At his young age, he’s already gotten little crushes on baby girls his own age. And I know that’s what it is, because he’s never held a picture of a baby boy and just wanted to hold it and stare at the picture. Last week I was struggling to get Gareth dressed for church. For whatever reason, he did not want to put clothes on. We were running late, and I was desperate for anything that might work, so I asked him, “Gareth, don’t you want to put on these handsome clothes, so you can be handsome for Vada?” (Vada is a little girl in the nursery. Gareth likes to bring her trucks.)

Gareth looked up at me, as sincere as could be, and answered, “Yeah.” He then proceeded to put on the entire outfit I’d picked for him, and he walked out to the car without another word about his clothes. When Josh asked him if he was being handsome for Vada, Gareth smiled mischievously and said, “Uh-huh!” At some point I should probably apologize to Vada’s poor parents for encouraging Gareth, but at the time I was just so relieved I’d finally been able to get him dressed.

The other night I was rocking and cuddling with Gareth, and I asked him, “Gareth, would you like it if Mommy had another baby?”

*Note: This was a purely hypothetical conversation. I am not pregnant at the moment. But we do want to have more children, so unless it’s not God’s will for us, there will be a baby #3 at some point. Also, Gareth is fascinated with babies right now. He’s just completely in awe of them and loves to share his trucks with them, and pat them, and– if there aren’t any grownups to stop him–give them kisses.

Gareth answered me, “Uh-huh!”

“Would you love the baby?”

Gareth smiled really big, “Uh-huh!”

“But Gareth, what if Mommy had to rock the other baby on her lap? What if Mommy couldn’t rock you because I was holding the other baby?”

Gareth frowned, “No!”

“So you would love the baby, but I couldn’t rock it?”


Later Josh came in, and I repeated the conversation for his amusement.

Gareth was sitting on Josh’s lap, and I asked him, “Gareth, what if Mommy had to rock the new baby, and I couldn’t rock you?”

He thought for a second and answered, “Daddy.”

“Daddy could rock you?”

“No. (Pats himself) Mommy. (Points to nothing) Daddy.”

“Oh, so Daddy could rock the new baby and Mommy could rock you?”

With a self-satisfied smile, he replied, “Yeah.”

Gareth loves to snuggle up to his big sister. They are so close, and I love it.

Gareth loves to snuggle up to his big sister. They are so close, and I love it.One of Gareth’s infamous hugs. He runs up to you in the middle of playing, gives you a big hug around your legs, then runs off.

A Gareth-English dictionary

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Gareth will be 2 on Saturday! I can’t believe it. He’s joyful, strong-willed, charming, and full of personality. I thought over the next couple of days it might be fun to do a series of posts about our sweet little buddy.

Gareth’s words

  • Mommy
  • Daddy
  • Sissy
  • ball!
  • oo-oo (trains)
  • ee-ee (trucks — because of the noise big trucks make when they’re backing up)
  • lellow (yellow. Only this doesn’t refer to the color, but to sugary sweets like fruit snacks and popsicles. I don’t know why.)
  • ‘ock now! (rock me now.)
  • in tee-tees! (a joyous exclamation of his own nakedness.)
  • boat! (can refer to either boats or boots. Again, don’t ask me why.)
  • pho’ (not the vietnamese food, but phones. Anything with a button on it is a pretend phone, and he will happily chat away. He’s usually talking to his Pop about Pop’s boat.)
  • iney (his blankie.)
  • juice
  • shoes
  • caw wide! (car ride. Whenever I have to make a quick run to the store for something, he goes with me. We love these little dates together.)
  • ‘ide? (can we play outside?)
  • doo, nah, doh! (two, one, go! — a count down, usually to some kind of crash)
  • ‘ay… (Okay. Usually said with a tone of sad resignation, because Mommy has outlasted him and he didn’t get whatever he wanted.)
  • Eww! (self-explanatory. Usually referring to a poopy diaper.)
  • ho’ (not a garden tool or a lady of ill-repute, but “home.” If Gareth feels like his Mommy and Daddy are being unreasonable about something, he’ll often demand that we go home.)
  • go! (He usually says this when I’m trying to put him to bed and he wants Daddy instead.)
  • out! (He’s been known to try and put Mommy in time-out before. In the church nursery I dared to hold another baby, and he felt I needed to be punished for that.)

And that’s just about every word in his vocabulary right now, although he loves to imitate new words. Yesterday I caught him trying to say “regular,” and it came out sounding kind of like “eh-loo-law.”