Yet another installment of the Here's and There's of Lucas's Life.
While I wouldn't say that Lucas's vocabulary has exploded or anything so gusto-filled, I think it's fair [and exciting] to say that he is now much more gung-ho about randomly trying out new words and sounds. And by randomly, I mean truly, truly randomly. For instance, words that we have said probably thousands of times by now [cat! Puma! love! bird! stinkypants!], he's got nothing. And words that would be helpful and useful in daily life, [food! diaper! want! bed! all-I-want-is-for-you-to-touch-Fao-Bear's-nose-to-the-color-wheel-and-I-won't-be-sad-anymore!], zilch. He doesn't even contemplate trying to say the word. He pretends he has no idea what all of our coaxing and prodding and "c-aaaaaa-t/foooooooooood"-ing could mean. But you point out a tuba in a new book? Suddenly, it's all, "Tu-bah! Tu-bah!" And that little blue monster you offhandedly introduce as Grover? "Go-vah! Go-vah!" It's pretty awesome. Sometimes he'll put considerable effort into forming the word. He gets all still, purses his lips [you can even watch the little muscles around his mouth twitching], and then proudly bursts out some sound that usually isn't even close to the right one.
I never realized how difficult words are, how talking and understanding speech at all is a massive accomplishment. So many words sound similar to each other but mean something different. Or the words are the same but they mean something different. Or there are fifty words that all mean the same thing. It's all quite confusing. A recent example of this would be his latest verbal aquisitions, Grover and Zoe [the little yellow Sesame Street character]. Did you know that Grover and clover are virtually identical to a 20-month-old with sandwich in his mouth? You probably did. BUT, did you know that Zoe and sewer also sound the same, even minus the sandwich? Yeah, me either. But they do. So you just have to figure out by context that when you're outside, "Zu-ah" is sewer, and when you're inside, "Zo-ah" is a yellow monster. Got it? Okay.
I also feel the need to mention how ridiculous it is that the words ball, bowl, book, bye, blue, and a large assortment of others sound nearly the same and yet somehow distinctly different. It makes me feel like a supermom every time I win at the "What Did You Say?" game with Lucas. Skills, yo. [And when in doubt, just say, "tu-bah!" and he'll giggle and hopefully forget whatever B word you were unable to identify.]
Oh! I absolutely cannot write on and on about Lucas's words without quickly mentioning his most recent accomplishment, one that will undoubtedly catapult him to the top of the 2016 Cutest Kid Ever rankings: Lucas has discovered "Uh oh." I'm not sure I've ever heard anything so cute in my life. I know millions of kids discovered uh-oh way before they were as old as Lucas and it's old hat to every parent out there, but I don't even care. It is the most adorable sound in the world. Mr. Frumble lost his hat again? Hand gets dramatically placed on the side of his head and the clearest little "uh-oh!" comes tumbling out. The pig falls into the water? "Uh oh!" You go for a bike ride and pass by a fire hydrant? "Uh oh. Uh oh. Uh oh!" It's excellent. I love this kid.
Ok, moving on. So! We recently got back from a pretty awesome Vermette family vacation. We took a 7-day cruise down to the eastern Caribbean islands and Lucas had a blast. He carousal-ed on bears and tigers and frogs and deer. He mini-golfed with gophers and turtles. He beached it like a pro and fell in love with sunscreen. He ate bananas like they were going out of style. Reggae music became his jam. He made grumpy people happy and 10-floor elevator rides packed with strangers less awkward. And, to top it off, right before the cruise, he finally decided to sleep through the night. We're talking nearly 12 hours straight every night [with one exception] for the past two and a half weeks. It has been glorious.
Jason and I had resigned ourselves to the fact that Lucas would always wake up in the middle of the night. He would be 14 years old and wake up for a 3 am snack. We told ourselves we were okay with this, we could totally handle one wake-up a night, as long as it was only one. I think we had forgotten what it was like to actually sleep from night to morning without interruption. But now we remember. And boy are we loving it. It took just over 20 months for Lucas to figure out this whole sleeping thing, but he did figure it out. Take note, Future kpluBlet #2! You need to beat Lucas's time. Thanks!
As one last note about the cruise, here's a riddle: What can make Jason sad, impressed, and jealous all at once? Lucas's magic tanning genes. We slathered that kid with sunscreen; kept him shaded with clothes, hats, stroller sun shades, and our own shadows; and really only let him outside in the heat for very limited amounts of time, but somehow still Lucas came home with pretty defined tan lines. How can tan lines be cute? How? Somehow they are. It's ridiculous.
And thus ends my ramblings. Life has been filled with fun times and exciting new developments. We will soon be heading off for our second vacation of the summer, a week in Branson. It will be our first family vacation with just the three of us. I'm looking forward to it muchly. Jason has grand plans for his garage organization. Puma is as fluffy as ever, if not fluffier. Lucas will no doubt be starting up his own Nature Treasures gift shop soon [expect a lot of clover and dandelion stems]. And I have high hopes to finish my research on the vast field of construction vehicles. By the end of the summer I will be able to distinguish between a skid steer, a front loader, and a bulldozer. Just watch.