Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Jesse James, perpetual cowboy

Get a load of Jesse rocking out on the Wii guitar. This little dude is into everything, and verbalizes himself remarkably clearly.

Yesterday when I went to wake Maren for school, I must have roused Jesse from a dream. He stirred, stretched, and with eyes closed declared loudly and clearly, "I just saw the cow jumping over the moon! The black one and the white one, with spots! Asky (actually), not a black one. A white one. The spots are black." Whereupon he rolled over and went back to sleep for another ten minutes.

I love the ways this little boy is different from my little girl. Today we went to visit Aunt Whit and cousin Angus the kitten. At the same age, Maren would have been tying ribbons around the cat's neck, or trying to tie a hat on its head, or simply putting a leash on him. Not so with Jesse. He was following the cat around roaring at it, showing how scary he could be.

Jesse is independent to a fiercer degree than Maren was. She has her own strength of character, but he has been completely feeding himself since he was nine months old. He is also fearless, a trait he does share with his sister. Jesse hasn't gotten the hang of swimming yet, but he motors around the pool quite well with his arm floats. Last week, though, he got fed up with the arm floats and took them off. He proudly walked around on the moon shelf, grinning from ear to ear. I knew what was coming, but bided my time in order to make a point.

Soon enough, he walked off the edge of the shelf and sank like a rock. I saw the top of his little head, and arms splashing feebly in the water. Of course I leapt in the pool fully clothed to haul him out, then just held him for a moment. He hadn't been under more than three to five seconds, but I hoped it was long enough to make an impression.

That night, he was subdued at dinner. He kept telling us he didn't want to go back to the bottom of the pool, that was a scary place.

But do you think he learned any respect for the water? I think maybe a little, but he still keeps trying to take off those arm floats. Now that he has tasted danger and survived, I think he is fascinated to go back and flaunt his courage again.

As you can see, Jesse is growing every day. It's spooky how this two-year old already has such a knowing look in his eye. And the curls, wherever they came from, add a significant degree of impishness to even the most serious of expressions.

I have no idea how to style boyish curls, so I pretty much just leave them alone. Justin gets hair duty on Sunday mornings and other special occasions. He sprays on a little detangler, then smooths the hair across the top, leaving the glorious blond locks behind. Justin calls the style "business up front, party in the back."

The other day I was trimming my own bangs. Nothing too exotic, just trying to trim the mane so I can see out, and so I can actually feel a little breeze on my face! It suddenly dawned on me that Jesse was right there bearing witness to my self-cut, so I took the opportunity to verbalize that "Haircutting is a mommy job, not a Jesse job." I was immediately reassured by his bored response: "Oh, no, mommy, Jesse doesn't want to cut his hair. Jesse is growing his hair out."

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