|Andy with Daddy Mark|
First clear evidence of sin nature: At 28 months, Grandma let him water the potted roses on her balcony with a trickle from the hose. He liked to drink out of the hose, too, but since he would poke the hose into the dirt first, she told him, "No drinking." In response, he ordered, "Marge, go in the house!" and when she went inside and peeked out, he was drinking from the hose!
At restaurants, family gatherings and concerts in the park, Andy liked to go from person to person, offering them cookies or toys--he liked to make others happy. If I tried to turn the tables, giving back the cookie, for instance, he'd insist, "No, Deth-ka'th (Jessica's) cookie!"
He was always sensitive. On Ben's birthday, Grandpa tried to get up a little too fast and fainted. Andy saw him lying on the living room floor and ran to kneel beside him and inquire anxiously, "Thee-thil (Cecil) okay?"
Once when he was in our family room by the bookcases, he started poking the books out of alignment. I chided him gently, "No, no, Andy! Don't push the books in." He stood still so long I finally peered around at his face. His lip was out and quivering; he looked stricken and burst into sobs. He wouldn't be comforted for a long time--in fact, until I had rocked him to sleep.
He loved mimicking faces and didn't mind if people laughed at his attempts. He'd join the laughter. He loved horsey rides and whenever I came to visit he would climb up behind me and try to push me forward so he could climb on my back; I wouldn't move once he was there until he said, "Ready--set--GO!"
When he was a little over two he said something to me and I said, "I can't understand you with your pacifier in your mouth"--so he took it out and repeated what he had said!
He wasn't scared of being pushed in his swing so far and so high (It was on a long rope from the tall, shady tree in their back yard in Long Beach, California) that it made the rest of us dizzy.
He loved playing with other children; when he started attending the nursery at church, he'd say happily, "Kids!" and trot in without a backward look. He would try to get other kids or his dog Chris to obey him. He'd say, "Chris! Come!" or "Kids, come!" They'd ignore him but it didn't bother him. He didn't mind who he was left with or who was leaving him; he accepted it all with equanimity and anticipation. If Mom and Dad left, that was fine. If a stranger was baby-sitting, he'd take his favorite books and trucks to share with her. If he was right in the middle of playing and Mom and Dad scooped him up and said it was time to leave, that was fine, too.
Grandma Marge told us a delightful story about Andy's innocence back in pre-school, when he was still in diapers. He reported to his parents and grandmother one day that his teachers said he had "private parts" and no one had a right to see them but Mommy and Daddy.
"And Grandma," Linda modified.
Andy absorbed that readily, turning to Grandma with a cheerful, "Wanna see?"
He has tried having a few tantrums--he lies down carefully on his back first--and he won't eat or sit still at restaurants. (He screws up his whole face and shivers all over when presented with a new food.) He was scared of the noise made by a rat caught in a trap it dragged all over the attic over Andy's crib--Andy wouldn't sleep there for three nights. Just to show he's normal.
Today I am thankful for calligraphy pens.
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