Gentle

Written November 10, 2012

Timothy is like a Golden Retriever around socks.  You turn your head for a minute and socks just disappear. One minute he’s tugging on one of his tiny socks, and the next he’s got a mouthful of cotton, with just a bit of the sock sticking out of his mouth like he’s a trapped spy trying to eat a message. And he gets the funniest look on his face.  It’s neither angry nor surprised, but mostly casual and non chalant, like he’s wondering why your mouth isn’t full of an article of clothing as well.

The big dog has had more fussy spells in the last few weeks.  Timothy’s not screaming, but just crabby more often and tougher to calm him down.  Like all good parents, we’re blaming it on ‘teething’,though in this case it does look like a few new choppers may be coming in on the bottom of his mouth.

Laura took him to the doctor and confirmed that he didn’t have an ear infection, which is good because he sees the ear nose and throat doctor next week about his ears.  His hearing seems better since he had ear tubes put in back in the Spring, and we fully expect that it’s normal.  Still, he’s never gotten a ‘passing’ hearing test on both ears, and it’s hard to feel confident until we see that report card.  It’s a big deal because good hearing is important for developing speech, which is critical for his development (and is a non-negotiable in a house of opinions and wisecracks).

‘Gentle’ has become the most used word in our household.  When you pick up not-so-tiny T, he sometimes looks at you and then grabs at your hair or takes a swipe at your glasses, occasionally throwing in a bite for good measure.  For the moment, in an effort to not overreact, we are responding to the hand offensives by redirecting his hand and saying ‘gentle’ (though talk to me in a month if this continues, because this sounds pretty silly as I’m typing this).

Although I am always a candidate for being nibbled at, I have neither long hair nor glasses and so I must be a constant foil for him in that department.

Until last week.

On Thursday, we were scheduled to hold our annual event for Outward Bound, in which I was going to spend a good portion of the evening speaking in front of an audience and also planned to record some video interviews.

So in the days before the event, I was trying to look my best — a haircut, moisturizing cream and getting plenty of beauty sleep.

All was good until two days before the event.  I was holding Timothy, looking him in the eye, when Mr. Scissorhands took a swipe with his right hand down the left side of my face.

“Ow”, I thought, and hoped that he didn’t leave a mark.

I ran to the mirror, worried like a teenage boy with a pimple before prom. But all that I saw was a tiny scratch. Barely noticeable.

A close call.

Until the next day, when I told a friend the story and she said, “Wow, I wondered where you got that gash.

I repeated my mirror run and found a clear red, Frankenstein-looking cut along the left side of my forehead.  I suggested covering it up with a little make up, but Laura was afraid that it would make me look like a Halloween mask.  So I decided that having a little scar there was okay, and it balances off the actual scar I have on the right side.  Plus, it probably makes me look tougher – until someone finds out that it’s the handiwork of a 14 month old boy who forgot to remind us to cut his finger nails.

I can’t say I’m angry at Timothy for leaving his mark, but I was a little surprised that he faked with a left jab before cutting me with the right. I’ll blame it on all of that teething and the sock eating.

I attended a memorial service today for a fine gentleman, Verne Johnson.  We’ve been busy recently and I almost didn’t make it to the service, but I’m really glad I did. Verne was 87 years old and spent his life helping others and always kept a positive attitude and strong faith, especially as his health worsened in recent years.  He is a shining example of a person who got the most out of life because he always found ways to help others.  The pastor said, “ ‘Johnson’ is a very ordinary name, but Verne was an extraordinary man.”  Quite a guy.

So many reasons to be grateful,

The Lees

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