Thursday, December 26, 2013

Written on Christmas Eve:

At six months old, we figured Wesley was still small enough to watch us assemble his Christmas present and then put it under the tree. He mostly slept while we snapped the brightly colored plastic pieces together, but when we put his new "bike" under the tree next to his sister's new green bicycle, it was the most beautiful object he'd ever seen. We let him play with it a little, and he was delighted that it was so big and yet -- because of its wheels -- he could move it around, shoving it backward and forward. He was so excited, he nearly started to crawl for the first time.

Now, at three in the morning, he's looking at me, swaddled in bed, as if to say, "Why would I sleep? I have a new bike downstairs."

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

When Elaine has trouble sleeping, she comes downstairs to ask for a dream.  Her dad or I then tell her a brief sketch of a story, a starting place for something to dream about.  Once I told her that she had a basket of puppies, and each of the puppies had an amazing skill -- one played beautiful music on the piano while another one whipped up a delicious meal.  Lately, though, all of the dreams feature a set of characters that her dad introduced:  the space moose.

The space moose came down in a giant spaceship, each of them wearing a helmet large enough to cover its entire head, including antlers.  Every night, the space moose, Elaine, and her closest companion Hobbes go on grand adventures together.  They took a road trip to a glittering, diamond city, and at the top of the tallest building all the birds flying around could talk to them.  Another time, the space moose made Elaine her own giant helmet with antlers in it, and they all played a game much like Calvin Ball.  And once the space moose asked Elaine to help them build an ice cream sundae as big as a planet.

Tonight, Elaine's dad told her that the space moose plan to take her to a space restaurant where you can order anything, even a sock-and-ice-cream sandwich, followed by a trip to the space zoo.

I asked Elaine what she planned to order at the space restaurant.

After some thought, she said, "A jacket-and-computer lasagna.  And a tuna-sock-and-fork sandwich for Hobbes."

I asked what animal she was most excited to see at the space zoo.

Without hesitation, she said something with a lot of 's' sounds in it.  When I asked what that creature looked like, she said that she didn't know.

"Then, you'd better hurry off to bed," I said, "so that you can find out."