We have recently returned from another weekend stay at our vacation home in northern Ohio. I have decided to christen this place the Canton Chalet. The staff here (I believe I wrote in my last post they have self-titled themselves “Grandma” and “Grandpa”) assumed responsibility for our care from Friday evening until Sunday afternoon.

Visits to the Canton Chalet generally involve lots of cooing and toothy smiles. From them. Not us. I hope I need not clarify. They have recently purchased a pair of hobby horses for us. I eagerly look forward to a brisk morning trot across the grounds before my morning bottle.

My motor skills continue to improve. When I am not staring at them intently and marching my feet in excitement, I enjoy thrusting my right fist at toys. I suspect the long things on my fist can open to touch the items independently, but I have not confirmed this yet. I confess to small tantrums of frustration when I have been trying in vain for too long to touch the items.

There is a fascinating thing I can do with my mouth. If one opens the lips and inhales very rapidly, it makes a loud, funny sound. I do this repeatedly in the morning when I am ready to be released from the cage (see below). I find it quite entertaining. The ensuing hiccups I give myself, less so.

The fist I have been bopping things with apparently comes with a built-in pacifier. I am still deciding what I think of this. I have sucked on it frequently the last two days. It confuses the Woman terribly because heretofore I only sucked on my fist when I was hungry. 

My response to this is I cannot be bothered to remember in exacting detail if I have used a particular cue to signal a different need in the past. It is her job to read my mind and know my every need, after all. What else are we paying her for? 

…. Ah. Jayce has just informed me that we do not, in fact, pay her.

Well. Then she must do it for the innate sense of joy and fulfillment it brings her.

Also! I have discovered a most interesting thing! There is an entire perspective on my tummy?! I was reposing in the cage, minding my own business and enjoying a good giggle with my feet in the air…when, quite suddenly, I was upside down! Face first! On my tummy! What witchcraft is this?

Poor Jayce had a difficult week. I thought he was on the cusp of succumbing to my persuasion that he should maintain his own record of events. Alas, last week was not the week to do it. My ears fairly rang with the echoes of his wails on the rare occasion he was not crying. He tells me his derriere is raw. I retort that if he would not violate diapers at such a rapid rate, perhaps his skin would be less chapped.

 Yesterday we took him to the physician to consult on the problem. She recommends a premium diaper brand, making his demand for all things high-priced complete. From food to diapers to rump protection cream, he will have only the best. I cannot discount such taste but protest that it leaves me with generic brands.

When he’s not carrying on like the world will end, Jayce has also discovered the joys of bopping toys. He needs more practice if he is to ascend to my level. He does not enjoy standing as much as I. I keep telling him to exercise his neck more.

Our nighttime environment has changed. Whereas before we were nestled in a cozy, rocking structure, now we are imprisoned. They tell me this is for my own safety now that I am unintentionally rolling over. I have done it once, for heaven’s sake! No need to become hysterical. 

The cage is comfortable enough for a cage; the bottom is nicely cushioned and there is a spinning dangly thing I love to look at. However, when I look sideways I am still looking through bars and therefore am imprisoned against my will. Send help. 

Naturally we exacted revenge by demanding attention frequently the first few nights of our imprisonment. Unfortunately, this deleteriously effects our own sleep. We have begun to accept the new arrangements, I’m ashamed to say. After all, if I want attention all I need do is let lose a glorious blast from these hearty lungs and help comes—quite literally—running.

I have heard the Man and the Woman discussing an event at the end of this week referred to as “going back to work.” I am shocked to understand the Man intends to devote his business hours to something other than the care and nourishment of my worthy self. (Of course, Jayce too). His services will still be required at night and he full well knows this, so I expect to hear nary a word of complaint from his lips.

The Woman seems particularly distressed about this “work” plan. I hope it is understood I will suffer no decrease in the timeliness or thoroughness of my care. How she intends to cater to us both at once, I’ve no idea—I fancy she neither—but standards must and WILL be maintained.

My final contemplation: I have been observing the comings and goings of the Man and the Woman (also discovered to be called “Mom” and “Dad in the last post. Strange titles, but I will allow it). Do you know I suspect there is some manner of carrying on between the two of them? I have been warned of such scandalous behavior among the staff from other members of the peerage, yet I must say I am shocked. Jayce and I will investigate further.

To date, my evidence is as follows:

Item 1: Every night they endeavor to disappear together into the same bedroom. Initially my brother and I prevented this by demanding one’s presence around the clock, but even we must sleep sometime.

Item 2: The Man seems overly familiar with the Woman. Such effrontery as sitting side by side with shoulders or even hands—hands!—touching. They do an awful lot of strange whispering which seems to confuse the other person’s mouth for their ear. Jayce does not think this is called whispering but what else could it be. I am, after all, four minutes older and therefore understand the ways of the world much better than he.

Item 3: We are always told our weekends at the Canton Chalet are for the home staff to train for better service. I am beginning to doubt the veracity of this. Nothing specific has improved in our absence save their general disposition. They look far too happy as we depart and stand close together. In the days immediately preceding our departure, they fairly prance about the house in good cheer. What exactly goes on when I am not keeping an eye on things?

Item 4: I have witnessed many a longing look on their countenance on the occasions I wake suddenly from my afternoon nap to find them tiptoeing up the stairs. Intending to shirk their duties while unobserved, no doubt.

Further investigation is necessary. I can only hope our efforts are enough to keep shenanigans from developing.