Drowning in Laughter

I have not documented milestones well for Eleanor. I can’t even recall if I did it that well for Benjamin when I was actually home with him for his first year (though I guess I did blog about his babyhood quite a bit…) Gone are the days of the baby book where each of the little minion’s feats are meticulously recorded in ink. Do some parents still do that?

Despite not being good about tracking these, the milestone of laughter is one that I take extra pause to savor. It happened three nights ago (Nora is 5.5 months now). It was a moment of such joy in our house that everything else important in life was forgotten.

I’m constantly guilty of multi-tasking–even during times of relaxation–my brain rarely stops running, but the thing I love about laughter is that it catches you off guard, stops you in your tracks, and then it’s impossible to focus on anything else. It forces you to just go in whatever direction it leads. And then, when you laugh for so long and can’t catch your breath, and you your cheek muscles start to hurt, and you discover new abdominal muscles that you forgot existed….it just feels like the meat of life.

Raising tiny humanoids often feels like its demands will outpace all reserves… For a rather dramatic analogy, it’s like treading water in a vast ocean that seems to have no beginning or end, with your head barely above the crashing waves, and at all times you are gasping with your last breath: “Where will more energy come from?” But then there is always a life preserver…an unexpected moment of laughter, a hug, a new word, a silly moment. They materialize from nowhere amidst the chaotic storm and give you rest and confidence to ride out the next storm.

And you also remember that drowning in laughter (or cuddles and kisses) would be the sweetest,  most satisfying of deaths anyhow.



Conversations with a 3.5 year old

Benjamin is our non-stop talker…always has been. He says some pretty hilarious things these days. I’ve been keeping a list of quotes on my phone…so here goes:


While helping dad unload groceries, Ben takes out a 2-Liter of soda and exclaims: “Whoa, a giiiiant beer.”


We read a book on the body one night and Ben learned about the heart and blood. The next morning, he noticed the veins in my feet were bulging. With eyes the size of saucers and a look of sheer horror mixed with fascination and said, “Whooooa!!!! There are blood vessels in your feet!??”


At bedtime, “Mommy when I grow up can I be a Michigan football player AND a lifeguard like the ones at Goldfish Swim School AND a pilot too?”


At dinner, “Whoa dad, this is the heaviest cup of milk in the WHOLE WORLD.”


At snacktime I said, ” Eleanor wants to know, what is applesauce made out of?” Ben paused, thinking carefully, and then replied in a voice that was totally like 0h-I-got-this-one…….. “Softness.”


One morning, “Daddy I had this many dreams (counted out 6 on his fingers)…. and one of them was bad.”

Another morning… “Mom, in my dreams sometimes there are WILD bumblebees.”


At bedtime, Ben says: “If I wake up in the middle of the night can I come snuggle in bed with you and dad?”



(In the locker room at the pool):

Ben: “Hey, what are these?” (pointing to his chest)
Me: “Those are called nipples.”
Ben: “Oh, I thought they were freckles.”


….Reading a book on animals earlier in the fall:
John: “That’s a mosquito.”
Ben: “So that’s what they look like” (as if he had been wondering for quite a while)

….Watching out the window last week…pictured above.)     “Hey Mom, look at all those MOSQUITOS!” (…it was the first snow.)


Another hilarious thing about having a toddler around is the frequent mistakes with words. Ben has had a few good ones in the past….

-The Victors, “Hail to the CONCRETE heroes” instead of CONQUERING.

-Passing McDonald’s and hearing him call it “Old MacDonalds” because of the song.

-We pointed out the Sears Tower once when we were in Chicago. (John occasionally works there when he travels to Chicago.) Last time we visited the Windy City and approached the skyline Ben points to it and says, “Look! The Serious Tower.”

-Ben’s favorite TV show Fireman Sam has a theme song which really ends with, “Sam is the hero next doooooor” but Ben is convinced that it goes “Sam is the heeyomixdaaa.” Despite trying many times to persuade him that heeyomixdaaa is not actually a word and that ‘hero next door’ is quite a logical alternative, he cannot be convinced. We often hear him humming it and quietly singing that line, “heeyomixdaaa” over and over as if puzzling over the mystery of such a cool, fantastical word. It’s simply hilarious.

His latest is a pretty funny one…caught in the video below: