Wednesday, October 05, 2005


Things have been extremely busy at work these past six weeks or so, and I’ve also been finalizing the editing work on North of Infinity II which is due to the publisher by mid November and I’ve been ramping up on my self-promotion activities by doing readings, book signings and standing on random street corners waving my book at people driving by and saying “look at me, look at me, look at me.”

Currently, time spent with Francine and Alexander is short and precious. I’m looking forward to the drive up to Levack (Sudbury) for Thanksgiving weekend, as it means that I get to spend between 6 and 7 hours with the two most important people in my life -- then, on the way back, I get to do it again. That’s good. It’s like a treatment that my soul needs.

One of the things that I think is keeping me sane and grounded during this buzz of non-stop personal and work activity are the little moments with Alexander. He’ll be 15 months old in a few days, and he’s a joyous bundle of energy and activity. The world is his to explore, and explore it he does, with an unbridled enthusiasm and vigor. It’s inspiring. And often hilarious.

He does things that I’m often tempted to do myself but don’t, likely due to some adult training I eventually succumbed to. Like his need to stop and stick his hands into the toilet water every time he passes a bathroom, the way he stands at the front window and just yells at the people walking past the house (he’s not yelling for them to get out of his yard or anything like that, it’s just a raw and passionate “hey” sort of sound as if he’s excited to see them and greeting them at the same time), or the way, when he spots Mister Bunny, he gets this huge grin on his face and then plops himself on his butt beside the rabbit, just happy to sit quietly for a moment beside his little buddy.

While he does blurt out the occasional actual word (such as “book” or “ball” or, yes, my personal favorite “Daad”), he still speaks in this wonderfully simple yet complex language of babies. While I was giving him his bath last night, he launched into a very loud round of two of his recent favorite streams of vowel sounds:


...and there’s also his other favorite...

beeeyaw beeeyaw beeeyaw

...and of course, the old classic from months back that he still uses from time to time...


He usually does this while he’s concentrating on something, like when he’s trying to fit the little circle, star and triangle shapes into the similarly shaped "windows" on his bathtub boat, sometimes reminding me of a muppet the way he opens his mouth by lifting the top of his head up and back as he belts out his stream of baby talk. It never fails to bring a smile to my face or make me laugh, the same sort of balm that hearing him laugh offers me.

I know that soon the fun and experimental babble is going to evolve into words and strings of words -- that’s when his exploration of the world will take on a new form: verbal. And endless questions. While I look forward to watching him master verbal adult language, I know I’m going to miss those baby babble days just for the sheer raw power and explorative nature of baby speech.

For now, though, when stuck at a long and seemingly endless meeting, I have to desperately fight off this burning impulse I have to break the monotony of it all and just stand up, my head flapping around like a muppet and yell out: “Oh for God’s sake. Why don’t we just egobbledygobbledygobbledy or maybe even beeeeyaw beeeyaw beeeyaw!”

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