Wow, what a week. The majority of it, though, was spent sans Samantha as Geralyn and I trekked halfway across the continent with our last carload of possessions while Sam stayed safely stuffed away at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. Spending six days without Sam was kind of weird after all this time, and it struck me odd every time I’d omit a request for a high chair at a restaurant or shout a question to Geralyn in another room after 8:00 p.m. I was still able, however, to learn something new about my daughter despite the great gulf between us: She’s not a phone person. We’d call almost every night, and most conversations with Sam went like this:
GRANDMA: Here, I’ll put Sam on the line.
ME: Hi, Sammy!
[A loud “Ker-THUNK” sound from the other end]
GRANDMA: Well, she dropped the phone. Now she’s in the other room.
ME: Oh. Well, how many times has she pooped since we left?
Still, once we arrived at the end of our six day absence, I had the camera ready and Sam’s reaction was heartfelt and gleeful. It was kind of funny, really. She just kept saying “It’s Mommy! It’s Daddy!” between bouts of bubbling laughter. Soon we were all doing it together.
Here’s some pictures:
Even in the small amount of time we were apart, I swear Sam has grown and changed noticeably. For one, she’s much more loquacious. I was just sitting with her while she did her business in the bathroom and she erupted into this huge, rambling talk about the toy train Ger’s parents had dug up from the basement for her.
“It has a red train and a blue train and a red train and a green train,” she said, staring me right in the eyes and furrowing her brow like she was imparting vital information necessary for the safety of all mankind. Then, as an afterthought, she added “The train goes ‘Toot Toot’ when I press the button.”
“Wow,” I said. “Is there a yellow train car, too?”
Sam looked at me like I had just asked the stupidest question imaginable. “NO. It has a red train and a blue train and a red train and a blue train. And green train.” Again, she was making direct eye contact throughout, but this time I just decided to sit there and listen to her thesis while nodding at what I hoped were the appropriate points.
Finally after repeating all this about five times, she fixed me with one more stern look and said. “It goes ‘Toot toot’ when I press it.” That was good enough for me.
So, excited as we are to encourage Sam’s verbal development, there are times when we wish she’d keep it down a little. To wit: in church. We went to the grandparents’ church this morning. It’s nice place cut out of stone with lots of marble and other hard surfaces that produce an impressive echo chamber (yes, I’m aware of the irony here, thank you). In an effort to keep Sam quiet, we had brought her one of her new favorite books, How Mother Animals Love their Babies. Each page has a different animal and the baby creatures talk about how their mommies take care of them.
Thing is, Sam has gotten to the point where she’s memorizing the words for each page, and will say them out loud, often at the highest volume her diminutive frame will allow. So we had the following impromptu exchange during the church service:
PRIEST: As we prepare to contemplate the divine mystery, let us call to mind our sins…
SAMANTHA: MY MOMMY IS A BEAVER!
Honestly, I wasn’t aware that such a thing was really a sin, but I grew up Southern Baptist and they berated me for stranger things, so what the heck.