The intellectual equivalent of a ham sandwich.

Posts tagged ‘parenthood’

20 Months, Or … AW NUTS!

Well friends it’s that time again. An update on the little monster. He is now clocking in at about 2.5 feet tall (it’s just funny to say that) and … whatever he weighs … and he’s a big 20 month old. At this point I think people are staring at me a little confused when I say his age, as though they’re saying, ‘wait … what’s that mean?’ Maybe after 18 months you’re supposed to just say ‘a little over a year and a half’ until it’s ‘almost two.’ Come on, people. It’s math. Just do it.

I mentioned to my wife the other day that I thought my lists of fun ‘new’ stuff or noteworthy things has seemed to ebb and flow in recent months. One month the list will have twenty things, the next month just ten. Things are apparently happening in more of a spurt fashion these days. And this month was a packed one. LOTS of fun new language stuff for the most part, but also some physical things, too.

Let’s split it up into language, physical, and other.

My wife and I have been pretty good about reading to the kiddo and it is helping with language I think. The kiddo loves looking at a few magazines we have (my wife gets some psychology related ones due to her work) so we will look at the pictures and ask him to point stuff out. Lately I have been trying to get him to point to a picture and I say what it is … but that isn’t too predictable. Anyway, it is so fun to have him name things. I am generally a chatterbox when I am doing something with him, narrating or naming things like the world’s least interesting documentary. It’s been like this since he was born. And now, all the sudden, I say, ‘can you point to the pen?’ and boom, he points to a pen a lady is holding in a picture. HE KNOWS PEN! It’s just crazy because I have no concept for what he does and does not know and now I finally get a little insight into his knowledge.

Beyond being able to identify things he is also trying a LOT more with language now. The other night I said a bunch of friend’s names to see if he could say them all and he tried, one after one, to say each name. It was adorable and impressive. Two words that are especially cute and enjoyable to hear are yes (almost a yesh) and turtle. Although the poor kiddo has picked up on old mom and dad’s habit of yeah instead of yes, and yeah is unquestionably much less cute to hear.

He’s also doing a lot more random babbling with words mixed in. He picked up my phone and said, ‘hello? buzza buzza buja ba? ja ba?’ Or … something. It’s some impression of a native English speaker that he’s doing. It’s a pretty bad impression, but getting better day by day.

Outside of words he had a sudden uptick in sign language, too. ‘More’ was suddenly used for more than just asking for more food … it is also showing up at the playground. I would be pushing him on the swing when he’d sign to me, and say, ‘more? more?’ Buddy. I’m already pushing. You don’t need to ask for more.

One funny thing that he has been doing for a while is nodding yes which seems to also cover good? I hope at least. ‘How was school?’ Nods yes. ‘Did you sleep well?’ Nods yes. The yes nod sure can be an answer for a lot more things than I had ever been using it for. Maybe it’s time I up my communication game at work.

One fantastic and delightful new language thing is singing! I was singing frere jacques one day to him (or at least the first two lines, because that’s all I know) and then HE started SINGING IT BACK! He really has the jacques part down but the rest is sort of babble, but it’s all to the tune. ‘Bah rah jacques bah du da da jacques.’ Actually as I was writing that I’m realizing he throws in jacques a lot … but he’s got the beat of the first line mastered.

Last but not least on the language side of things was some education for dear old dad. You see, I learned this past month that I say ‘aw nuts’ a lot. How do I know this? Because my son now says ‘aw nuts’ a lot. I looked in the fridge for some milk and didn’t spot any so I said, ‘aw nuts’ and my son, in my arms at that moment, repeated it. I thought, ‘that’s funny … I’ll have to try to get him to do that for [my wife].’ Well, try not, friendo, it is readily available. Walking up to a grocery store I forgot something and said, ‘aw nuts’ and so in the three of us marched, the kiddo chanting, ‘aw nuts! aw nuts! aw nuts!’ all the while. And one morning this past week the little guy woke up a little early, sat in bed jabbering to himself, which included several minutes of yelling, ‘AW NUTS! AW NUTS! AW NUTS!’ Little pitchers indeed have big ears.

Now on to the Olivia Newton-John segment.

A very sweet new M.O. for reading books is the kiddo climbing into your lap. A less sweet, more demanding side to this is that if I am laying flat on the ground he will walk up by my head, grab my shirt and pull upwards while saying either ‘up’ or ‘move’ over and over. He isn’t satisfied til I am sitting where he has a lap to sit on, and then we may begin the ‘boop’ which is the new word for book (I swear he said that word more correctly two or three months ago).

A less ideal habit the little monster had for a while (we came up with a good solution) was really enjoying getting any box or container out of the food pantry and wandering while shoving his dirty little hands deep inside to fish out a few snacks. This was bad for a few reasons but boy was the dog a fan. My wife had the bright realization that he just enjoyed being able to fish his own snacks out. So we took to buying those little boxes of raisins or little goldfish packages, and we’ve since graduated onto some reusable snack cups that are kid friendly. It’s the munchkin snack catcher, and I’d recommend it.

Another big and exciting step forward is with drinking. The kiddo now occasionally drinks out of a ‘grown up’ cup all by himself. This usually ends up in a fairly wet dog below, and a soaked shirt, but hey – progress! The day I get to stop cleaning those annoying little sippy cups with all their little parts will be a happy day.

Lately we have had a great post-work routine going which involves the Mrs. and I getting home and taking a walk (sometimes my wife goes for a jog) and hitting the nearby park. I decided it was imperative the kiddo had a dump truck (because I am a little child and will buy him toys that I too want) so the dump truck and rocks or sand have been pretty consistent companions since the day that truck was purchased. I am currently saying ‘excavator’ or ‘digger’ a lot to really push my wife to say ‘hey I went ahead and bought an excavator toy to go with the dump truck.’ (We spoil him with toys, and I bought the dump truck so … I’m going to let my wife make the next purchase there since how can I complain about us spoiling him when I’m 50% of the problem?)

One day recently I noticed something very sweet with the kiddo. There’s an area near us with some good little incline/decline walking (which is great exercise and walking practice for the fella). I had squatted down taking a video of the little guy exploring and enjoying the day when he stuck his right arm up clear in the air as though raising his hand to ask a question … I realized, ‘oh, he wants me to pop my finger in there to hold his hand.’ After a few seconds of walking like that he stopped and looked around to find me. I thought oh geez, this kid is clearly spoiled. He is so used to raising a hand and my hand appearing in his almost instantaneously. I told my mom about how this kid gets too much constant hovering attention from me and she reframed it as he gets to feel very secure. Phew, good save mom. But … yeah … he is showered with attention.

Now onto the other portion.

This one could qualify as a physical I suppose but I think of it more as a mental jump that is pretty fun. Normally I do daycare drop-off and my wife does the pickup. One day I was doing pickup but instead of coming over to me he looked up, saw me, stood up and walked over to his cubby. I stared, surprised, because normally he’s excited to see me but that day he seemed indifferent. But wait! He was just one step ahead of me! He grabbed a mitten, his jacket, and then immediately sat down and started trying to put his jacket on (he can’t actually do that yet). It was amazing! Go kiddo! He knew the routine and wanted to get a jump on it. One of the daycare folks also said he will often go and sit by the door around the time my wife arrives and start to say ‘mama’ a bunch. Smart fella.

Thinking back to the mimic stuff with language of all sorts … that also extends to behavior, too. One day the kiddo and I were at Target and I was looking for something specific for him. I was holding him and walking along patting different clothes, or pointing to them, saying ‘nope … nope … nope.’ The kiddo started squirming so I set him on the ground only to see him continue the routine … walking around the clothing, patting it, and saying ‘nope! nope! nope!’ Oh my funny little circus house mirror.

Lately the kiddo is fulfilling ‘stereotypical little boy practice #2704a – a LOVE of trucks.’ He and I went and parked by something so I could take some pictures of him and let him roam (it is a pretty spot). It also happens to be near a big road which proved to be the real winner that day. He stood and stared at the road for a little bit, taking it all in, before he stood up and decided to make it interactive. Around that time a few 18 wheeler trucks and maybe some construction vehicles drove by because he started going NUTS! Waving frantically, trying to greet all these vehicles, standing and dancing with joy (this funny sort of shaking dance he does), blowing kisses … just overwhelmed with delight at all these cars. It was hysterical.

Ok. Now from stereotypical little boy stuff to some thoughts on that.

We have a really nice neighborhood park and some nights there’s a flag football team that practices there. The boys all look like 3rd graders (or so?) and I imagine they all live near here which makes the team incredibly convenient for the parents. Watching some of the boys it makes me think of myself at that age. Not as in I would’ve been on that team, but as in those would’ve been the boys I made fun of quietly with my friends, while they made fun of my friends and me out loud, in front of everyone. The age old nerd vs jock. This made sense … but it also surprised me a little. Part of me feels like there is more awareness of how awful bullies are and the impact of them, and there are more ‘new age’ kinds of parents who let their boys play with ‘girl toys’ and things like that. But boy, watching these kids interact it reminds me that while there may be more awareness, knowledge and execution using said knowledge are two different things. The coach is especially representative of the type of guy I would like to see disappear. He makes fun of the boys to ‘motivate’ them. Asks who let a girl on the team, that kind of stupidity. And the boys themselves are quick to pick up on machismo … walking up to practice ‘adjusting’ themselves. Boy. Please. What do you have to adjust, child? It just strikes me as a bunch of boys pretending to be men who never got stable or comfortable enough with themselves to be anything but a series of stereotypical cliches.

On that note, we bought a pink shopping cart for the kiddo (full of fun foods to shop for). Why the hell is grocery shopping pink? Boys don’t grocery shop?

Oh, society.

Anywho, our little fella will hopefully embrace and be comfortable with a much less rigid look at what it is to be male vs female. Because, frankly, it’s pretty easy to be a stereotypical male, and I’d like him to do better than that.

19th Month, Or A Pooping, Walking, Talking Machine

I’m not going to wait on this one, the kiddo did enough of that, the big highlight of the month was … WALKING! He had a few bouts of solo walking last month but boy it really came alive this month. The month started with a little trip my wife took to visit a friend, and my mom came and spent the weekend with the kiddo and I. Saturday night, after a day full of activities including swimming, we were hanging around in the family room and bedtime was fast approaching. Suddenly a switch flipped because he started walking. And walking. And walking. He’d go back and forth between my mom and I, ping-ponging the four or so feet between where the two of us were sitting. All the while holding baby.

Yes, my mom brought baby when she came to visit and the kiddo was delighted. He held on to her during all of her initial walking. Maybe he just needed someone’s hand to hold, and if it was an inanimate hand … so be it.

Aside from walking, it was a good visit with my mom and it’s nice to see that the kiddo is more playful and interactive with others these days (not just clinging to mom or dad out of a stranger danger reaction). Although the kiddo does still like to cling to me, and his climbing me like a tree seemed to amuse my mom. (When I’ve got him in my arms he’ll sort of reach up and climb around on my shoulder/head … I’ve got him supported the whole time but he just sort of monkeys around up there.)

My mom left, but thankfully she left baby behind. Baby has continued to be a hit all this month. Baby and Dido (our robot vacuum) are the two most requested names in the house. When the kiddo wakes up he and I often have breakfast together, and walking downstairs he’ll excitedly greet Dido by saying Dido’s name over and over. Then, around breakfast wrapping up, ‘baby! … baby! … baby!’ is the name of the game.

Baby has helped us out a few times, too. For example, the kiddo was sick at some point this month and he refused his medicine. So I got out a tiny syringe and had the kiddo give baby medicine, then boom, he took his with grace! Whala! Another time he was refusing to eat so baby fed him (which was a trick, I tell you, navigating baby ‘holding a spoon’ and feeding the kid with that). So, thanks baby, for the help. He has also put a diaper on baby a few times which is either very telling in that the kid things we aren’t gentle at all … or, perhaps more logically, his motor skills aren’t quite 100%. The diaper gets unfolded and put on the ground. Then baby is picked up and sort of smashed on top of the diaper. Then … sometimes, that’s it. All done. Other times the diaper is aggressively smashed on top of baby and then he works for quite a while to try to secure it with the straps. Whatever form it takes, that diaper business is aggressive.

I mentioned a sickness and we had two bouts of it this month. The first round was a wicked cough and maybe a fever … but the cough led to bad sleep which meant cuddling up with mom or dad through the course of the night. My wife ended up missing a day of work, and we had a weird hours day one day where I was home some, my wife some, and our sitter some. Spread the love! Thankfully he bounced back from that fairly quickly and we managed to catch up on sleep … Probably. Maybe. I don’t know. I still always feel like I could go to bed at around 7pm.

One thing we allow when the kiddo is sick is TV. Normally we have 0 TV going when the kiddo is awake and boy is it crazy how much he loves it. Just the littlest taste and he can’t get enough. After that round of sickness he kept pointing at the TV and saying, ‘me-me … me-me’ which was educational because who knew he had a word for TV? Thankfully that has since dropped off because he’s been TV free for a few weeks now.

Another new word this month was … ‘a poop.’ It was amazing. My wife and I were hanging out in the family room one day, or maybe it was just me, and the kiddo said, ‘a poop.’ I said, ‘do you have a poop?’ and he responded, very helpfully, with, ‘a poop.’ I looked and holy smokes … he’s right! He has a poop! He is starting to figure out bathroom stuff! Later that day or the next the same thing happened and my wife and I were so pleased, and adoring of his smarts, and really applauding him and … that backfired. Because then he just started saying ‘a poop’ all the time for no reason. It was still an entertaining little phrase for him to say but much less accurate. Our adoration died off and I think he’s now slowly sliding back into accurate territory.

Another fun weekend this past month was when my wife’s folks came into town. They were here for a long weekend and my wife and I had a nice outing of just the two of us, and we all headed to the mountains to go sledding together. That was a strange day because of a sudden bit of sickness. I drove the kiddo in my car, and my wife and her folks rode in the other. The idea was that the kiddo would nap in a quiet car with me. We arrived and I got out of the car only to find my son looking very out of it and with a chest covered in puke. Not great. I wasn’t sure when during the drive he threw up but oh he was looking pretty sad. We decided to walk around for a while and be low key to get a read on the kiddo and he perked up nicely with whatever it was out of his belly. We ended up doing some sledding with him mostly watching (he is greatly amused by ol’ mom and dad sledding) but it was clear he was still a bit off. The next morning that was confirmed when he threw up on me about a half dozen times or so. My wife gave him some medicine which thankfully settled his little belly and the road to recovery began. It was a short stomach bug but it worked its magic because it managed to transfer to my wife, my wife’s mom, and myself. That seems to be an unfortunate ritual we have had the last two visits with my wife’s folks. You get a stomach bug, and YOU get a stomach bug, and YOUUUUU get a stomach bug! And, strangely, my wife and I’s pattern tends to always be first the kiddo, then my wife, then me. And it’s always a slightly different form for each of us.

We ended up having a day where we stayed home with the kiddo … but not for some lame stomach bug nonsense. No, no, no. It was for a BLIZZARD! We had some classic bonkers Colorado weather where we went to the park one afternoon, 50s or maybe low 60s out, and then the next day … blizzard. The bad weather didn’t arrive til about 10 so my wife went out and got us some ‘blizzard provisions’ which included junk food for us grown ups for lunch (while the kiddo napped) and donuts. This included donut holes for the kiddo which was very entertaining. For some reason he thought it was an apple so we kept hearing ‘apple?’ the rest of the day. Yeah kid, we know, you want another.

And speaking of requests … the kiddo’s language has kicked on again. For a while I think he was so focused on walking that the language subsided (the PT helper had suggested that would happen) but it has come on again. It’s especially fun reading to him and seeing what he knows in books. Although, it’s a real crap shoot. You can look at a page and he’ll identify grapes, shoes, a baby, fish, pencils, and a bird. And then you ask again and he points to a baby when you ask where a cat is … But, but, you KNOW what cats are! So, who knows. It’s all a mystery inside that tiny, crazy brain.

Another fun thing, and cause of guilt at the moment, are new swimming lessons! We missed a bunch in his last class because of illness and visitors. When I went to sign him up for the 18 month to 3 year old class (meaning he’d now be the runt) we were put on the wait list. Eventually the teacher called my wife and we got in! Hooray! And my wife said sorry he was sick so much last time, we’ll be there more next time and what do you know, of the 3 classes so far this round we’ve only made one of them. DOH! Hopefully we’ll have a clean attendance record from here on out.

I mentioned above the kiddo and I often have breakfast together. On work days I swim on Tuesdays and Thursdays, come home and shower, then have breakfast with the kiddo. (Although lately he wakes up wanting to eat PRONTO so I’ve missed some.) He is getting better and better with the spoon which is really neat to see. And I don’t have my hand constantly on the bowl (he was inclined to flip the bowl for a while). He doesn’t just use the spoon to get stuff, he seems to seek out cheerios (or whatever) to get on the spoon and scoops much more! The scooping is often combined with him saying ‘scoop’ which is fun, too. That was a big effort of my wife’s to get him to learn scooping, and she would say the word over and over so … now we have this.

And, great news, I finally finished reading the book about raising a 12-24 month old. That’s right. Finished right before he turned 19 months. Impressive, right? Now I’m on to reading The Happiest Toddler on the Block. Hopefully this time I make better progress.

February 2019 Haiku

February 1 (Friday)
Kid’s fever broken!
Hurray for feeling better!
(And, I pray, good sleep.)

February 2 (Saturday)
Beautiful day out
Playing at park with kiddo
Soaking up the sun

February 3 (Sunday)
Wife’s birthday ‘today’
Cake, gifts, and calling her old!
Fun was had by all!

February 4 (Monday)
‘Innovation’ work
Get to code what I want to
Looks cool … works awful!

February 5 (Tuesday)
Donuts out? Yes please.
Later that day – still donuts?
Fine. Yes. (No control.)

February 6 (Wednesday)
Signed basement contract
We’ll have a finished basement!
It’s gonna be sweet

February 7 (Thursday)
Next level cold temps
Sniffle, and my snot freezes
Jealous, Phoenix fam?!

February 8 (Friday)
Another week done
And what do we have to show?
Seven so-so tweets!

February 9 (Saturday)
Note to future self
When someone talks to my son …
Don’t answer for him!

February 10 (Sunday)
Home Depot morning
Picking stuff for the basement
Surprisingly fun

February 11 (Monday)
This code should be fun …
Teammate’s territorial
And we’re on same task

February 12 (Tuesday)
Storyboarding time
South Park references abound
(“Step three: profit” jokes)

February 13 (Wednesday)
Gave a speech today
Did it go over well? Not so much.
Is it over? Yes.

February 14 (Thursday)
Happy Valentine’s
May you have candy and love
Or, some GREAT candy

February 15 (Friday)
Dad and son trip time!
Kid and my first solo trip
Flying to Phoenix

February 16 (Saturday)
Hanging with cousins
Kiddo eats up all the fun
Happy times for all

February 17 (Sunday)
Ostrich farm today
Strange, smelly, and lots of fun
Kiddo fed a goat!

February 18 (Monday)
On the flight back home
Sat by kid seeing first snow
(Poor desert child)

February 19 (Tuesday)
Back at work today
And hey! Guess what! Hard problem …
Still a hard problem

February 20 (Wednesday)
Approached with idea
It would be fun and scary
(For now, it’s an IF)

February 21 (Thursday)
Read about toy fair
How can I convince my wife
That I should attend

February 22 (Friday)
Weeks with no Monday
Always somehow feel longer
Black magic work stuff

February 23 (Saturday)
Sleepy little boy
No swimming for us today
Instead: more nap time

February 24 (Sunday)
Basement clean up time
Prep for it getting finished
Where to put this STUFF

February 25 (Monday)
PT for kiddo
Neat how they take household stuff
To make kid ‘workouts’

February 26 (Tuesday)
Kiddo shrieks at me
I shriek back in faux surprise
Laugh, laugh, laugh … Repeat.

February 27 (Wednesday)
Kiddo took some steps!
Real, honest to goodness steps!!
Go little monster!

February 28 (Thursday)
Imagine, please, a world
A world without violence. Strife.
A world that’s … BORING.

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