slept ten hours

Read that again. I slept ten hours last night. That’s what chasing Ryker for a day did to me, so picture my smile. A thousand words of grandson goo follows YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. ONLY TEN PEOPLE READ THIS AND ONE OF THEM IS MY MOTHER SO OFF WIT YE IF DAT’S A HASSLE

Ryker is my grandson. By all the standards of the ‘normative’ lives of people in families, I should love and praise my grandson because that quarter purchase of DNA is something I’m supposed to find reasons to be nice to. Unfortunately I must here reproduce the stunned praise of every granny who ever went on and on about how miraculous her second gen is; Ryker is such a remarkable baby that I am actually having trouble reconciling some of the stuff I observed yesterday with the fact that he’s fifteen months old.

Please be thankful that I didn’t check the battery on my camera. I should have. But I would have been taking pictures rather than chasing him. And he needs to be chased. Until he goes into his playroom voluntarily and sits down with some of the interactive stuff for twenty minutes, babbling to himself the entire time.

He’s already saying ‘up’ (funnily one of the words I’m teaching Buster) and he’s a microt away from saying, ‘Alex’. I suspect he will be a rapid and fluent talker. He signs for ‘food’ and ‘more’ (which is adorable). But it’s not his ‘spoken’ speech that freaks me out. It’s the fact that he has a received vocabulary of at least a thousand words. He understands everything you say to him. If you mention an item, he will glance at it. If you ask him if he wants to come back into the living room and sit in his car, he maybe won’t do it but he’ll look at the car and trot closer to it to look at it. Other than that the preverbal babble is constant and lets you know his mood from minute to minute, for he is a mercurial creature.

He declares his personal autonomy constantly; we got into a contest of wills in which he demonstrated both that he knew he was supposed to stay in his play area and that he would prefer to have the living room side left open. He gave the Rihanna side-eye, conveying this to me. He has extremely clear ideas of what he wants and is impossible to dissuade without noise.

He will eat anything. After legions of family kids with food foibles, having a child in the family that will steal tea out of your mug and free food off your plate is amazing. He feeds himself if he can.

He’s unbelievably tall and strong (another couple of weeks and he’ll be tall enough to open door handles.) He’s four pounds heavier than the average boy his age. His acrobatic skills are incredible and his ability to tolerate discomfort as he extricates himself from chair backs and the other pieces of furniture he’s jammed his legs into is better than most adults. I thought he was either going to wrench his knee or pop a hip into a dislocation but no, he shifted his weight and slowly elevated his foot into his face (which was funny). If there’s a ladder he will climb it. He spent most of the day climbing into and out of chairs. TO THE POINT THAT HE GOT A SORE TUMMY FROM THE SCRAPING OVERTOP HIS CLOTHES AND WAS GRUNTING IN PAIN WHEN HE WAS LETTING HIMSELF DOWN. And then he’d run off, not crying. He jams a soother in his own mouth when he’s feeling rocky. In fact, he self-soothes more than any other baby I’ve ever seen.

His baby babbles are just like Keith’s used to be. I wasn’t expecting to remember any of that but it was striking.

He watches Alex play minecraft really intently. It was strange to watch.

He has a couple of places that he really likes to look outside the apartment at the world. The kitchen window onto the deck is floor to ceiling (yeah…. not optimal for safety but very nice.) He stands on the sill and tells stories and waits for his people (after three pm he went to wait for his mother a couple of times.) In the livingroom, he has a favourite overstuffed white fake leather armchair that he watches the sunrise in. It’s funny watching him tip his head so he can have the warmth of the sun in his head and then lift his face and squinch his eyes so he doesn’t have to look directly at it. He climbed into and out of that chair at least thirty times; the chair in Alex’s room, before and after he went to school, at leats twenty times; the coffee table at least ten times. The sofa in the playroom LOTS especially when I was trying to entertain him with a mandolin (hulk smash).

He prefers men to women, and men he knows to women he knows. I saw both Dax and Keith comfort him in ways that I couldn’t, and got told by both Katie and Keith that Suzanne (who is well enough today to help) also has to deal with that too. Dax adores him. Their interactions were exactly what I’d want to see from any man interacting with our family. That sentiment is clearly returned; Ryker wanted to fling himself into Dax’s arms (Dax was too sick to work) or play with him at every opportunity.

Keith is so good with Ryker that I felt like my brain was going to overheat and explode from smashing assumptions. Any time I’d seen them interact it was with Katie present so it was a big shift to see him being quietly and affectionately competent.  When Katie got home Ryker was asleep in his arms WHILE KEITH WAS GAMING and there’s a photo of it which I will share when I get it.

Anyway, if it takes a village to raise a child, Katie’s got it wired. I am not looking forward to feeling this exhausted again but I’ll go help out any time I’m needed. I was so engaged I didn’t eat the lunch Keith cooked for me (sadface)


katie sent the pics whoo hoo Herewith “Gamer Uncle” and “Ryker Sleeping on Keith”

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Born when atmospheric carbon was 316 PPM. Settled on MST country since 1997. Parent, grandparent.

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