At the beginning of this month, Judah celebrated his 11th birthday.
The first part of the day was spent on location with Surly Urchin Studios (Ryan and Allison Rehnborg, Meg Rehnborg, Scott Crain, Derrick Minyard, and several others) and Fable Cry (Zach Ferrin and friends) filming The Rat King, a short film based on the Pied Piper in which Judah plays a child king for the 54-Hour Film Festival.
Among the Murfreesboro submissions, Judah took home the award for "Best Child Actor" while his sister Miriam was awarded "Best Child Actress." Overall in Middle Tennessee (Murfreesboro, Franklin, and Nashville), Judah won "Best Child Actor."
I nearly came unglued.
Just a few minutes ago, I happened upon an e-mail I sent out when Judah was two and I was 7.5 months pregnant with Miriam (see below). I used to capture his conversations in this blog. He still says some pretty hilarious things, but I rarely write them down anymore.
Happy Birthday, kiddo. I'm so, so proud of you.
In case you're interested, here's what Judah was up to at age 2:
More Conversations with JudahThis one happened moments after I told Judah that drawing on his body wasn't good for him. We had since moved from the kitchen to the living room.JUDAH: Mommy, I want you to go bye-bye.ME: You don't want me to go bye-bye?JUDAH: No, I DO want you to go bye-bye. I want you to go over there. (Judah points to the hallway.)ME: Why do you want me to go over there?
JUDAH: Because I want to draw on my legs.______________________________
______________________________ ___One day after Judah had spent all morning running around naked and going potty on his own, I put a diaper on him and put him in the car.JUDAH: Mommy, I going pee pee.ME: You are? Is your diaper catching it?JUDAH: Yes.ME: Good job, diaper.JUDAH (in his deepest toddler voice): You're welcome.ME: Did the diaper just talk? What a smart diaper!JUDAH (in the deep voice again): Thank you.______________________________ ______________________________ ___In an effort to distract him from "helping" me wash dishes, I sat down on the couch with him in my lap and started asking him questions:ME: What's your name?JUDAH: Judah.ME: How old are you?JUDAH: Two. (He has to hold his other fingers down to make two stand up.)ME: Do you have a groundhog?JUDAH: Yes.ME: What's his name?JUDAH: Joonk. (He came up with a name for the groundhog that frequently visits us.)ME: Do you have a daddy?JUDAH: Yes.ME: What's his name?JUDAH: Daddy.ME: Do you have a mommy?JUDAH: Yes.ME: What's her name?JUDAH: Princess.I promise he came up with that one one his own. We were in a restaurant when a man asked him if his mommy was a nice lady, and he said, "No. She's a nice princess." Who wouldn't want to spend their days with this kid?______________________________ ______________________________ ___If you spend any time at all with Judah, you're going to end up telling stories and role-playing. Here are some sample story requests:Mommy, tell me a story about...DavidDavid and GoliathDavid and the BearRobbers (a.k.a. The Good Samaritan)SamuelDanielThe Lions' DenAbrahamJonahJonah and the Fish (or Jonah and the Whale)JesusThe Leopard Seal and The Doggies (from the movie 8 Below)Two Brothers (from the movie Two Brothers)JudahYouor whatever he happens to see in the room or in a picture...______________________________ ______________________________ ___He always asks, "What is ____________ saying?" Then you have to make up whatever you think the person or animal or object is saying. If you say, "I don't know." Judah will reply, "NO! No say that! What is it saying?"______________________________ ______________________________ ___He's been introducing other children his age to "pretend" play. Poor Thomas Wiles in Virginia didn't know Judah was pretending when Judah said, "A bear is coming!" Thomas ran screaming and crying to his parents. He didn't know that the appropriate response is to get out your sling and hit the bear with a rock.He even likes to pretend to play ball. Whether it's in the car or outside or in the house, we pretend to throw and catch a ball. Sometimes he'll give me a play by play about the direction of the ball:It's up high!It's coming down, down, down...I got it!Mommy, throw it to me!Good job!______________________________ ______________________________ ___Judah seems to have a running commentary or a song for everything he does.Speaking of songs, his favorites are:Twinkle, Twinkle Little StarJesus Loves MeBaa, Baa Black SheepHappy Birthday to YouAnd all of the animal lullabies from his "bunny book" except one.______________________________ ______________________________ ___He has the story of David and Goliath down. If you don't know what to say, he'll tell you. A typical role-playing exercise goes something like this:JUDAH/GOLIATH: Mommy, you be David. I be Goliath. Okay? "Give me a man to fight!"ME/DAVID: I will fight Goliath.SAUL/JUDAH: How you will fight Goliath? You are only a boy.ME/DAVID: God will help me.JUDAH/GOLIATH: I am a dog that you come to me with sticks? (Instead of Am I a dog?)ME/DAVID: You come to me with a sword and a shield, but I come to you in the name of God. This battle is the Lord's!Then, I pretend to put the stone in my sling and hit Goliath in the forehead. (If you don't know what to do at this point, he'll tell you.)Goliath (Judah) falls down. He's really good at falling down. He dives onto the floor. As soon as he gets up, we reverse roles.When Judah is playing David, he says, "Cereal wins! Praise the Lord!" and he does a happy dance. (cereal =Israel)______________________________ ______________________________ ___Judah also likes to pretend he's David when David rescues his sheep from the lion or the bear.JUDAH: "Mommy, you be the bear. Get my sheep."ME: I roar, and pretend to get his sheep.JUDAH: He takes a pretend rock and puts it in his sling. He hits me with a "Pow!"ME: I fall down.JUDAH: He takes the sheep, moves it down the hall, and says, "Now you're safe."______________________________ ______________________________ ___He likes to role play Jonah and the whale, too. I'm almost always the whale and he's Jonah. After he gets thrown into the sea, I gobble him up. He says, "God, save me!" So I spit him out on the couch. Then, he runs down the hall and tells the people of Ninevah, "Stop being bad and start being good. This is a message from the Lord." If he's the whale, he says, "Mommy, pray and pray for three days, nights."______________________________ ______________________________ ___If you leave Judah alone for any length of time, you'll probably come back to something being put in order. He likes to line up his blocks and place his bears on each one. All bears face forward and sit in the middle of each block.This week, I came downstairs to find playing cards leaning against the living room window, with all of his Noah's ark animals on the corner of the windowsill. Sometimes he'll lean books against the windows or place old Scrabble letters in a line or in squares on the floor.______________________________ ______________________________ ___I've been battling a relentless sty on my left eyelid for months, so I've been using hot compresses. Last week, I laid down with the hot compress and fell asleep. Judah was still up, and when I woke up about an hour later, he had crawled in bed with me, but not before he placed two bears between us, covered himself with a baby blanket, and placed another bear to his right.The next day, I fell asleep again, and when I woke up, I didn't see him or hear him. So I walked into his room, where all of his toys were in his lego blocks bin and a little wooden block creation had been made on the floor in front of his changing table. The lego blocks and a few wooden blocks were aligned on his windowsill. When he was done playing, he had climbed into his crib and fallen asleep. I couldn't believe it.______________________________ ______________________________ ___Sometimes, we'll lay down for a nap together, and I'll whisper, "I love you." Judah will whisper back, "Thank you."One morning, I didn't think he'd ever wake up. After I ate breakfast, took a shower, and got dressed, I heard his little voice from the other side of his door saying, "Mommy, is that you?"______________________________ ______________________________ ___Typical Judah sayings:I working so hard.I did it!I will help you!I can do it myself.No, no, no. No say that.Come and find me!Here me are!I'm a big big boy.I'm a big boy to do that.Let's play swordfight!My belly's full.Silly mommy/daddy! (In his deep toddler voice.)______________________________ ______________________________ ___Yesterday, I took Judah and his friend Finley to storytime at the main library downtown. By the time we got back to the van, I was exhausted. I had lost our parking ticket, and Judahhad a poopy diaper. He pulled the plastic cover off of the back of the van (where the jumper cables and other emergency things are kept), and I said, "Oh, Jesus." Judah replied,"Are you healing me? Why are you healing me?"______________________________ ______________________________ ___A few weeks ago, we were in a hurry to get somewhere, and James told Judah to run down the stairs. Judah said, "I can't run down the stairs. I maybe fall down."______________________________ ______________________________ ___Regular questions Judah asks:Why?What happened?What is that sound?What is it called?
How does it work?Where did it come from?Who gave it to me?Who made it?See what I made?Can I touch the doggy?Can I ask?Can I try?Can I eat it?Can I drink it?You want to...go downstairs?go outside?play with me?read me a story?eat a pocs-sil-lil? (popsicle)______________________________
______________________________ ___Judah often gives me pretend popsicles to eat (we love popsicles from Las Paletas). They're usually blueberry peach. When he returned from a two-day trip to Nana's house, he started offering to make me cookie dough. Hmmmmm...Love,Lori