Our Little Retriever
Cole is nearly 14 months old. And it appears he understands English. Even though his vocabulary consists of only "Mama", "Dada", "Uppy", "Woo-woo" and "Uh-Oh!", it seems he comprehends more than we'd been giving him credit for. That seems a completely expected developmental progression, but for a first-time parent of a baby who, for the past year has seemed a lot like an observer (read: nursing, crying, pooping lump), it's a terrificly shocking discovery.
Everyone with toddlers knows they love to take their socks off. Cole is no exception. Although, I guess he got distracted halfway through because he spent the entire afternoon running around with one navy blue sock on his right foot and a bare left foot. And socks are always appearing in one place or another, in this room or that room, but never in the room where you need them. Like there's a gray sock in the kitchen and an orange striped sock that's been in the living room for ages and you never remember it's there until you're up in the bedroom, staring into the top drawer of your kid's dresser at the lonely orange striped sock mate and then it's two baby-gates away and too much work to retrieve. In the morning, you'll forget where you saw it.
So as we were preparing to go out for the afternoon to run some errands, I looked in despair at my son's bare left foot and my heart just fell at the prospect of rooting through the house trying to find the other navy blue sock. OR, I could lug him up the stairs and get a brand new set of socks. A waste. That's why we're doing so much laundry! I was standing at the kitchen sink finishing up some dishes and feeling somewhat adventurous, so I said to him, "Cole, go find your other sock."
He looked up at me, eyes wide with wonder. Then he toddled off (as toddlers do) into the living room. A minute later, he returned to my side clutching the other dark blue sock. I was dumbstruck. But I had no doubt that this was no coincidence.
This evening, my husband was getting ready to go out for the evening and neither of us could locate his car keys. Sadly, we both knew that Cole had been the last one seen with them. But we'd been busy running around preparing supper and neither of us could remember where he'd last been seen with them. So we got down on our knees and looked under couches. Mark checked in the bedroom and in his office. I turned to Cole, who was watching in wonder, and I said, "Cole, can you help us find Daddy's keys?" He just stared at us while we overturned cushion after cushion. Then, after a minute or two, I looked up and he was running off to the kitchen. Mark was downstairs and sometimes Cole thinks he can call him from the back stairs, so I figured he was there by the baby gate. But when I went into the kitchen, I didn't seem him by the baby gate. I didn't see him at all. "Mark, where's Cole?!" Mark came into the kitchen. We both turned at a movement in the corner. Cole was hunkered down under a kitchen chair and immediately I remembered this was the last place I'd seen him playing with the keys. He held them up with a questioning look and walked over to his dad.
Seeing is believing.
That's our little retriever.
Now if we can only get him to retrieve himself a bottle at 5 a.m., we'll be set!