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     I thought that a good bonding experience with my daughter would be to include her in a girl's night out. This, however, did not go over well with my 6-year-old son, who felt that it was quite unfair to exclude boys from this event. So, I promised him a trip to the pet shop, just me and him, in order to stop his tears. Meanwhile, Little Miss Rub-It-In almost lost her special night by teasing her brother with the fact that he wasn't a girl and therefore couldn't come (well, that and the fact that she got into my hair products and decided that she'd put just about all of them into the back of her hair.... and then have the nerve to tell me that her hair "accidentally dragged in the spaghetti". Um, the BACK of your head dragged into a meal that we didn't even eat that day?? Very interesting.)
     But, after some much needed room time (for both of us), we left for our girl's night out, accompanied by one of my good friends. The three of us gals went to a castle for dinner.... because, let's be honest, what little kid wouldn't like to feel like they were in Cinderella's home, right? WRONG. My kid couldn't have cared less about armored knights, high ceilings, or gargoyle door knobs... What did Taylor like? The "cute baby high chairs" and the "magical bathroom". Obviously this bathroom does not have special powers.... but it absolutely made her night to be able to utilize the automatic flusher on the toilet (over and over and over) and to experience the luxuries of the automatic paper towel dispenser. In fact, I'm thinking of installing one in my own home... anything that will remind her to actually wash her hands after she pees is something worth the investment.
     Thoroughly worn out from her joyful bathroom experience, coloring on the kid's menu, and filling up on her spaghetti and french fries (yes, she finally got that mystery spaghetti I heard tell about), we arrived at home and I gratefully tucked two sleepy children into bed before beginning my evening routine with the little guy. Although I'm generally beat like a rug by this time of my day, I adore the fact that Isaac is wide awake and anxious to stare at my face, play with his limbs, and give me an occasional smile (you gotta work for these smiles, by the way... this kid don't give them away for free, that's for sure!). But this night, I was in for something special. Because Buggie is only 5 weeks old, he doesn't do a whole lot of talking yet (you know what I mean: babbling... it's not like I'm expecting Shakespearean monologues or anything). So, when I get the random coo from him, my heart skips a beat! That's why I spend a lot of our time together talking to him and using silly sounds to get his attention. I decided to take his hands and put them on his cheeks while saying "Isaac"... and then I would take his hands and rub them on my cheeks and say "Mama". I did this about 10 times with him, just staring into his little face, him staring back at me in full amusement. I completed this new game one last time, saying "Isaac" and putting his hands on his cheeks.... and just as I put his hands on my face, baby boy tightened up his body and belted out a very distinctive "MA!"
     Now, my head completely understands that, as a 5-week-old, my baby has no understanding of what he just said... but my heart TOTALLY didn't care. I jumped up so quickly that I startled him and almost made him cry (assuring that he will probably never do this again, due to my impulsive and accidental negative reinforcement!). But I was just so excited! And I decided that even though he probably doesn't register me as having a name or even being a person, just that crazy figure that talks weirdly to him and gives him food, I still think he's smart as the dickens for being able to mimic my language. However, my joy was short-lived, as Isaac promptly took a crap that required BOTH of us to need a bath... but the memory of him saying "Ma" will get me through even the crappiest of moments.

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