Janet Hommel Mangas: Update from a guest columnist

Hey paper readers,

It’s me again — GranJan’s favorite and currently only grandson, John Steven Tillman. I turned 8-months-old today, so I figured I would scoot my rear-end over to GranJan’s old Smith-Corona and type up a little update.

It’s only been nine days since my first Thanksgiving, but wow, that was a big day. It seems family is highly entertained by babies my age. When I was at the Tillmans’ Thanksgiving morning, those adults had their camera-phones out for a “photo opp” when I reached over to pull the beanie off the top of my 1-month-old cousin’s head. Hey, Carson Brian’s head was getting warm — I was doing the kid a favor.

Later that afternoon, we headed to the Hommels. More cameras and more adult making sounds like, “Awww, they’re so sweet” and “Look, John’s holding Miller’s little hand.” Miller is my girl-cousin, who was born exactly six days after me. She has two older brothers, so she knows how to roughhouse around. Which is why I do not understand when those same adoring adults were taking pictures of Miller and I sitting on great-grandmas bed, and I pushed her face they began making different sounds like, “Oops, John, you gotta be nice to sweet Miller.”

I was being nice — and then I pushed her shoulder. I figure a girl-cousin with two older brothers needs to have some space — so I was making space.

Lots has happened in the last eight months. I have two lower teeth. I scoot around on my butt. I began eating stuff like avocados, carrots, apples and peas. I stand with assistance, balancing on the hassock with Mom and Dad. Mom has me pooping and peeing in the little potty chair at home and even bought little Baby Bjorn potty chairs for GranJan and Grand Denise. They seem quite impressed with me — even when I leaned back and peed over the reflector onto GranJan’s bathroom closet-door mirror.

I sense we have another upcoming holiday and I’m not going to lie, it seems kinda weird to have big sparkly trees in the middle of everyone’s living rooms where I play. GranJan even bought a little green outfit with a red-scalloped collar and wide black belt, with coordinating red and white striped pants and pointy green hat with red trim.

I don’t mind posing in front of the sparkly indoor tree with a suit and bowtie, but I am not wearing that outfit. I may only be 8-months-old, and considered a baby — but I still have a sense of good taste.

Already, I have an anti-elf-looking-suit plan. If she tries to put that horrid thing on me, I’m going to squirm like I always do — but with a vengeance. And IF she tries to sit me next to the tree, I’m going to hurl myself backwards and purposely hit my head on the floor so she says, “Oh, John, I’m so sorry, no more photos — let’s get you changed into something more comfy.”

Remember to enjoy yourself and count your blessings as you prepare for Christmas. It’s naptime.

Janet Hommel Mangas grew up on the east side of Greenwood. The Center Grove area resident and her husband are the parents of three daughters. Send comments to [email protected]