Getting to Know Him


I just realized this morning that I’ve been blogging now for TEN YEARS. That is insane.

Now, here’s a list of things you should know if you choose to hang out with Henry:

  • There will be Cheerios. Everywhere. In the couch, in his diaper, in your hair, on the floor. In places where you could never imagine Cheerios to live, they will appear. In some places, they will cluster in mountains like a treasure trove. You will have to vacuum them every day, because otherwise they become a fine, gritty, sand-like covering to your floor.
  • Speaking of Cheerios, you must never leave an open box within his reach. Unless you enjoy taking brand new food and immediately throwing it in the garbage. If you leave a box unattended & open, he will attempt to serve himself. This will result in the entire box being dumped onto the floor where he will proceed to dance & spin in it.
  • If you are not adept at Dodgeball, I suggest you brush up. Living with Henry is a constant exercise in avoiding flying obstacles. And it doesn’t matter if you think you’ve removed everything of throwing temptation. He’ll make do with anything in his path. Shoes, books, toys, food, dishes. If it’s within reach, he’ll throw it. Don’t misunderstand – there’s no malice in what he’s doing. To him, it’s just fun. Fun in the wind-up. Fun watching things fly. Plus it gives him some sensory input.
  • When you get right down to it, being in close proximity to Henry can be a risky proposition. You see, Henry feels things HARD. Therefore, he will share it with you just as hard. As you sit next to him, he will occasionally reach out with a foot and give you an unexpected heel strike in the kidneys. Or, perhaps, without any warning, he’ll leap at you and give you the violentest of hugs. Or turn around and assault you with his butt. Whatever way he chooses to batter you with his love, know that it IS love he’s proffering. Even if it hurts.
  •  Henry’s favorite thing in the world is his tablet. Right now, he has an old Kindle Fire & an old Samsung Galaxy tablet. Since neither one has a battery life of more than 4 hours, we switch them off. There’s “blue one” – the Kindle Fire and “tab-let” the Samsung. When one is being used, the other is charging. At least that’s the idea. That’s what we strive for. Because if both of them are dead? It’s a miserable day in our house. You see, if we won’t give it to him, he thinks he’s being punished. He’ll walk around whining for it, saying he’s sorry, and crying. When he realizes that won’t work, he’ll start trashing things. He’ll walk around, knocking things off tables & other surfaces. He’ll amuse himself by throwing shoes at the piano. Or the pictures on the wall. He’ll come to where I am and start chucking whatever he can in my direction. Or at William. Sometimes I can distract him with some books or going outside or listening to music or something. But usually not until he’s spent about 30-40 minutes physically expressing his displeasure around the house. It’s unpleasant. But there you are.
  • On the more pleasant side, if Henry likes you, he’ll invite you to sit next to him. He’ll sing his songs to you. He’ll tell you to sing. (Note I didn’t say “ask”. It’s an order) He’ll assault you. With love. He’ll tell you about all the animals you could imagine. If the music is interesting enough to him, he’ll dance and ask you to join him. Mostly he’ll sit close and suddenly be RIGHTINTYOURFACE and then he’ll move farther away. And then he’ll be RIGHTTHEREINYOURFACE again. As strange as it is, and sometimes disconcerting, it’s still pretty amazing.

It’s a challenge to be close to Henry. But you know what? It’s amazing. It fills your heart to overflowing. It’s wonderous. But if you see this mischievous look in his eye? Make sure you’re prepared.