The intellectual equivalent of a ham sandwich.

Posts tagged ‘son’

22 Months, Or … The Tiny Talker

The delinquent dad here with another update – this time for a great big 22 month old. At this point I baffle strangers when they ask, ‘how old is he?’ and I say 22 months. I can almost see them doing math in their head. Following my wife’s lead I have adopted a simpler answer of, ‘none of your business.’ Just kidding. I say a bit shy of 2. And then I say, ‘now get off my lawn.’ This is especially effective for making people scatter when I’m at Target.

I am deep into 23 month land so I can hardly remember 22 months, so this may … for once … be a relatively short update. But we’ll see. I bet I can manage to be long-winded.

The kiddo is all about words. Man oh man he is a good little communicator and mimic. I made a note of every word I heard him say over the course of an afternoon, plus what I knew from memory … but I bet I missed some. Here is what my chatty little 21.5 month old was saying:

animals
dog
cat
elephant
mouse
donkey
horse
fish
whale
bunny
dinosaur
lion
cow
moose
animals
turtle
vehicles
boat
airplane
truck
jeep
car
helicopter
dump truck
food
banana
apple
cheese
yogurt
mac & cheese
treat
cookie
juice
water
milk
spoon
cup
gummies
pouch

clothes
socks
shoes
shirt
shorts
jeans
boots

body parts
foot
toe
knee
elbow
nose
mouth
ears
hair
face
belly
teeth
fingers

other
bicycle
mom
dad
house
lake
book
george
tv
remote
phone
nap
night night
school
dido
vacuum
weed whacker
lawn mower
flower
kayak
more
ball
outside
inside
street
close
trash can
wheel
hi
hat
that way
park
eyeglasses
door
tickle
bright
splash
bubbles
rock
fast
blanket
high five
please
thank you
pocket
bonk
better
all done
Velcro

verbs
up
help
move
walk
push
sit
come
race
eat
hop
walk
wash
swing
slide
turn
kick
kiss
hug
help
open
close
wash
From a thing I read online two year olds should be able to say 50 or more words by the time they turn two, and our kiddo’s chatty style is clearly a point of pride for ol mom and dad.

The kiddo continued to add more words and phrases to his repertoire with his mimic style. Sometimes when my wife or I are pushing him on the swing he begins to demand that WE swing too. ‘Swing?’ or ‘Dada swing?!’ over and over til you take a seat. When I do this I pump my legs in an exaggerated style and ask him to do the same saying, ‘up … and dooooown’ repeatedly. He doesn’t quite get the instruction, but he does repeat what I’m saying. So that’s nice?

An exciting observationt I heard the kiddo put together for the first time was noticing (or being lucky in timing) when we are almost home. Generally I am pretty chatty when driving with the kiddo, asking him things, talking about things, just whatever. One of the my typical observations is when we are almost home I say … surprise … ‘almost home!’ And now the kiddo has taken up the mantle and says the same! Hurray observational prowess!

Likewise when leaving for daycare he often says goodbye to just about everything. ‘Bye bunnies! … Bye house! … Bye neighbors … Bye car … Bye lake … Bye park … Bye truck.’ (And then that one is repeated a lot. We have a lot of trucks around us.)

A very sweet thing that showed up this month is kissing injuries. If the kiddo falls or has a minor injury, ie not tear-inducing, he will come over mildly upset and say ‘kiss?’ A kiss is promptly delivered. Mom or dad will then say, ‘is that better?’ and he would say ‘yeahhhhh.’ That evolved over the month to optimize the conversation. Instead of waiting for a question from mom or dad he would ask for a kiss, get a kiss, then state ‘better’ before running off.

In general a lot of things lead to either high fives or kisses. Threw out some trash? That’s a high five. Bumped into the couch? That’s a kiss. One day my wife, the kiddo and I were hanging out in the backyard when the kiddo found a dead bug. My wife said, ‘oh leave him alone he’s hurt’ and the kiddo said, ‘owwie?’ and she said ‘yes, he has an owwie’ so he promptly got down on his hands and knees and began to go in for a magical, restorative kiss. We quickly picked him up.

I had two heartbreaking things this month with the sweet little guy. The kiddo has a high chair that is sort of mounted on our kitchen table. He ran up to it excited for some food and tried to hang … this is especially worrisome because that hard floor under him is only too ready to greet him if he should fall. I told him no very sternly which earned me the saddest, sweetest little upset face I’d run across in a while. He looked up at me sad as could be, lips turned down but trying not to cry, and he went to his mama. I came around to the couch where they were sitting and he turned away from me, still trying not to cry (why kiddo, let it out man!). The trying not to cry made it even worse. But he was upset with me, and wouldn’t let me comfort him, which was a first. Poor little fella.

The other new heartbreaker, which is only getting stronger, is words mixed in with crying at bedtime. We had ourselves a recent stretch of bad sleep so he wouldn’t go down easy like he had for a long stretch. One night we put him down and instead of going to sleep he began to cry. And in between those cries he managed to say, ‘help me dada.’ Lord have mercy child, you’ll kill me one way or another with those heartstrings you own.

I know it might not sound like much, dear reader, but I’m a light weight.

Another language step that was a bit of a sad arrival was a change in his responses to questions like, ‘how was your day?’ and ‘how did you sleep?’ Previously either of those questions, or ones like them, got a very sincere nod yes. Suddenly the word ‘good’ showed up and now that’s the standard answer.

One thing I enjoy doing with the kiddo is what I refer to as a ‘tickle test.’ I’ll move him so he is flat on his back, and then I say let’s check the left armpit … then I tickle, the neck … then I tickle, etc. He especially loses it at the neck so I usually save that for last. Tickling at a certain age is a harrowing experience to undergo because you laugh so much you can’t breathe and you just sort of writhe around like a snake. So I thought, is this a form of delightful torture? But the thought was dispelled because the kiddo came up to me one afternoon and said, ‘tickle test?’ Buddy, you got it.

The kiddo can be a real stinker. A goose. A moose goose, as I call him. He will say no to many things with absolute delight. When he’s tired he really likes to test the waters and do things he knows he shouldn’t. I’ll be holding him and he’ll hit me very gently and then look at me, really focusing and watching, to see what I’ll do. Generally the first hit leads me to saying, ‘hey, be nice.’  This has led to a hobby which would make a stranger look askance where he will hit himself (not hard) and then shake his head no and say, ‘nice.’  Sometimes he’ll even do that and then pet himself as he says nice. It’s great.

Now we’ll end on a classic little boy story. The kiddo was getting some good naked time in one night, running around happy as could be. He ran into his bedroom and began peeing on the floor. He stared in fascination (as I scrambled for a towel). The urine ran out which prompted a big laugh and a pause, then, ‘again!?’

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June 2019 Haiku

June 1 (Saturday)
Rainy days call for
Waterproof boots, a rain coat
And running around

June 2 (Sunday)
Playing at a park
That mom’s here with like 10 kids
You poor, poor woman

June 3 (Monday)
Intern’s hairdo says
‘I am very good at code.’
(Pssst. That means bad hair.)

June 4 (Tuesday)
Every chance I get
I’m scouting toys for my son
………. That I also want

June 5 (Wednesday)
Teammate shows idea
All: INTENSE TECHNICAL Q’s
(Nerd speak for: love it!)

June 6 (Thursday)
‘You Got Those Weird Poops’
It’s my new restaurant idea
All you can eat, obvs

June 7 (Friday)
Dad, son … Doing what?
Standing by a major road
Saying: ‘truck!’, ‘woahhhhh!’, ‘jeep!!’

June 8 (Saturday)
Dad’s day gift making
Impressive just how quickly
‘Art’ can become food

June 9 (Sunday)
Exploring new parks
My new favorite thing to do
With my little pal

June 10 (Monday)
Driving down defects
Writing tests can be painful
But mostly cathartic

June 11 (Tuesday)
USWNT
Out there like Alabama
vs South Vermont Prep

June 12 (Wednesday)
Car back from the shop
‘How’d it go?’ … ‘They called me gross.’
*Looks at car* … *Nods* … *Shrugs*

June 13 (Thursday)
Kid pet a bunny!
His lifelong (well, week-plus long)
Goal has been achieved!

June 14 (Friday)
Counting with my son
‘1’ “One!” ‘2 …’ “Twooooo!” ‘3!’ “FIVE!” ‘No,
Not yet doll it’s – ‘ “FIVE!”

June 15 (Saturday)
My new age track star
He gets ‘ready,’ ‘set,’ and ‘go’
… Runs to random spot

June 16 (Sunday)
Happy father’s day
What age will my son realize
Sealed fate of nerdness?

June 17 (Monday)
Colleague has fish lunch
You are to the microwave
What Trump is to States

June 18 (Tuesday)
Big sleep step for kid
No more sleep sack! (Which leads to …
Nighttime gymnastics)

June 19 (Wednesday)
No sleep sack update
Calmly reading bedtime book …
While son chants ‘sleep sack!’

June 20 (Thursday)
Lounging in backyard
Kiddo plays and talks to self
Life is just plain good

June 21 (Friday)
Costco trip with kid
Picky eater at home. Here?
Wolfs down the samples.

June 22 (Saturday)
Wife makes kid ‘coffee’
Milk, plus one part chocolate milk
Sit, and sip, as fam

June 23 (Sunday)
Raise shirt, slap belly
At a park later that day
Kid mimics me … Great …

June 24 (Monday)
Kid crawls into car
Spots, snags an old gummy bear
“Gummy!!” said with JOY

June 25 (Tuesday)
Got called ‘hip’ today
I’m not hip. At all. Trust me.
It’s just ‘young’ in disguise

June 26 (Wednesday)
Three word phrases! Whoo!
‘Not the hands’ kid says, doing …
… What I said not to …

June 27 (Thursday)
You know what I like?
Every bad movie out there
Has one “it’s good!!!” fan

June 28 (Friday)
Heading to Houston
Heat, humidity, and fam
(Fam time gets first place)

June 29 (Saturday)
Wife’s grandma’s birthday
Wife gets up to say something
Me: ‘look!’ Son: ‘OUTSIDE?!?’

June 30 (Sunday)
Toy weed wacker gift.l
It. Is. A. HIT. Kid patrols
Backyard, weed wacking

21 Months, Or Look at the Words on that Boy!

I’ll start with something that happened at some point, I have no idea when, but it wasn’t during this month. One day the kiddo and I were heading home from swim lessons and we were stopped at a red light. I looked over and there was a cop giving me this weird little wave. I am sure my eyebrows danced a bit but I thought, ok, rolled down my window and began to return the same weird little silly wave and the MOMENT I began I realized … this is exactly how I wave to little kids. This cop is not waving at me. It was a good time.

Now on to the 21st month. This is the month of the little chatter. The kiddo has consistently been behind on gross motor, but great with language, and it really came alive so much more this month which is a blast for ol’ mom and dad. One change that ol’ mom and dad need to embrace as a result of this is no longer talking about the kiddo like he’s not right there. Because now when we’re relaying a story of some funny thing … he’s listening, and he’s paying attention, and he’s taking notes.

The kiddo and I had developed a pattern.

Kiddo: Spoon?
Me: You want a spoon?
Kiddo: Yes

Kiddo: Yogurt?
Me: You want yogurt?
Kiddo: Yes

But, smart little fella he is, he decided to optimize me out. Here’s how it goes now.

Kiddo (begins walking toward the park): Swing? Swing? Yes.

Does dad happen to want to go to the park at that moment? Irrelevant!

Another exciting language development has been the arrival of a lot more two word phrases. We have some two word things he says that he probably thinks of as one word. For example, there was a perioed where the word truck was replaced with BIG TRUCK because we started trying to add adjectives. But it didn’t quite take. Instead it was just that every vehicle became BIG. BIG CAR. No, dad’s car is actually kinda … BIG TRUUUUUUCK (as an actual big truck drives by), yeah, yeah, that is a big truck! But dad’s car is … BUNDY! (Because a bunny ran by. It’s tough to have a conversation with this guy sometimes.)

BUT! Now we have actual two word phrases. I believe it started with a bye bye car, but then quickly expanded to bye bye truck, bye bye airplane, and one sweet morning a bye bye mama which was adorable to hear. But it’s grown so much past bye byes now. We’ve got open door, close door, lock door (he likes opening and closing doors), baby bunny … I can’t even think of them all.

A special category of two word phrases are two word bossing dad around phrases. Dada sit! Dada come! It’s good to be wanted.

But you want to know a terrible first? A terrible time to be wanted? The kiddo unlocked a new form of torture when we put him to bed one night (which goes swimmingly more often than not) and I was downstairs and thought I heard him crying. I went to the staircase to listen and heard, *sniffle, sniffle … cry … dada? … cry … dadaaaaa* Oh man. Brutal. How fast was I in that room? Very fast.

Speaking of fast (dig those transitions) … The kiddo’s most impressive phrases have been inspired by the bunnies that live under our back patio / our neighbors back patios. He LOVES them, and we have a few baby ones out there now. The kid just plain loves being outside and will go, window to window, door to door, saying ‘outside! outsiiiiide!’ And all the while he is looking for bunnies, or bundy as he calls them. Just the other morning he stood at a window saying hi, hi, hi … bunnnyyyyyy … baby! … baby! Hi! When we let him loose in the backyard to hunt bunnies he’ll sometimes run up to them screaming, sometimes approach them with his finger on his lips saying ‘shhhh’ very loudly and then giving out a loud squawk/laugh. It’s a mix of emotions when hunting bunnies. One day the impressive phrasing was said while approaching a bunny, ‘hop hop hop …’ then the bunny ran away because this tiny, loud, crazy person was coming at it, ‘wait wait wait!’ (which is what I often say to him) and then after the bunny had successfully sprinted off to an insurmountable distance away (the other side of the yard) ‘FASSSSSSST!’

And speaking of hops … The kiddo had another PT appointment for his gross motor skills and we will have one or two more before he turns two. The PT person is thinking he is doing fine but she wants to check in to make sure he makes progressing on jumping/hopping in place. He gets the concept. He’ll say ‘hop!’ and go up on his tippy toes … but there is no leaving the ground. At swim lessons too he has an opportunity to jump when the kids crawl out of the water (he’s stellar at that) and then turn around and jump into mom or dad’s arms but my dear sweet boy instead sits and wiggles his way back to the water and my arms. One day, kiddo!

And before we leave the lawn it would be a great personal failure to forget to mention the heroes of the month – lawn mower, weed whacker. My. Gosh. These two. The kiddo LOVES the lawn mower and the weed whacker. It has thankfully simmered but there was a stretch where these were literally the first words out of his mouth when he woke up. You’d hear some little noises that let you know he was waking and then, ‘weed whack! … lawn … lawn … lawn … weed WHACK.’ He watches me mow the lawn and weed whack with rapt, undivided attention, and if I look over at him and wave or make a silly face he eats it up (which I am quite fond of). My wife’s mom visited for mother’s day weekend and she had the fun task of sitting outside and holding him while I mowed and weed whacked. She decided that night that the kiddo really needed a brand new toy … a toy lawn mower! He would love it! It arrived a few days after she left, we took the kiddo and the lawn mower outside and what did he do? He sat down, said watch, and looked at me. Kid. No. I am not going to use a one foot tall lawn mower to … ok, fine, I’ll humor you. He has since done some indoor lawn mowing but I don’t think he’s truly embraced his lawn mower just yet. One day! We did, however, say good morning and goodnight to his lawn mower, my lawn mower, and the weed whacker every day for about a week.

Mother’s Day weekend was a nice time with my mother-in-law, aka Granny, too! She watched the kiddo for a big chunk one day while my wife and I furniture shopped (hooray?). The sweet little boy cried as we were leaving but then smart Granny said, ‘you want to go to the park?’ and he said, in a half-cry voice, ‘yeah …’ and then ol mom and dad were forgotten about and outdoor adventures were the order of the day.

It was a nice weekend, and great to see the kiddo getting comfortable with his grandma sooner as time is going on. The kiddo is always reluctant with a new face, and reluctant with a repeat face that he doesn’t see very frequently … so it’s great that he is beginning to enjoy the company faster and faster.

We also spent a weekend in Minnesota to visit other family (my wife’s dad’s side) and a few of those folks he seemed to take to pretty quickly. One day one of my wife’s cousins swooped the kiddo up to give us a break, and she distracted him with … yep, going to the garage to say hi to the weed whacker and lawn mower. And my wife’s uncle went ahead and fired up the weed whacker which probably really delighted the kiddo.

The weekend was very relaxed and fun, and the only downside was sleep. The kiddo did NOT sleep well, and in fact slept in bed with mom and dad two different nights. And somehow when he sleeps in bed with us, he always manages to find me and snuggle up so close that he sort of wedges himself slightly underneath me. It’s very sweet, and I love it, but man do I sleep horribly. I woke up at one point and his head was wedged into my armpit, I pitied how he would smell the next day. And each time I’d wake I’d squirm away a few inches, only to wake up again later with this tiny fella smushed against me. It inevitably gets to the point where I have no more space to squirm away, and I just have to accept my tiny space heater friend.

One thing that was a lot of fun to see in Minnesota were the kiddo’s cousins (well, second cousins? whatever they are). One of them is I think 7 and really enjoyed playing den mother to the kiddo. And he loved it too. I’d finish telling the 7 year old, ‘no let him just wander, you don’t need to pick him up’ when he’d walk up to her, raise his arms and say, ‘up!’ United front, please, kid? The kiddo LOVES ‘playing’ with other kids, though most times I see this happening they are older so it’s him running along and trying to keep up. There were two girls at a playground playing and they very sweetly included my son, and he was I think the monster in their game so they ran away about 50 yards and then he ‘ran’ (he’s just learning to run) about 5 yards toward them in the same time it took them to do 50 and just laughed hysterically the whole time. Then they ran back and flew by him and he turned and chased them some more, continuing the delighted laughter.

Now for a number of small things.

My wife was switching clothes from the washer to dryer one day when she said something to the effect of, ‘I feel like a typical boy’s mom. I keep having to fish rocks out of the washer because [kiddo] always puts them in his pockets.’ And it’s true, once he discovered pockets it caused a real wave of delight, and now they are the perfect place to store rocks.

Any parent, aunt, uncle, babysitter, or person around kids knows they like to read the same books over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over again. It is mildly mind-numbing. For fun I like to give just about everyone an accent. Did you know Babar was German? Did you know the Pout Pout Fish was French? Did you know the Man in the Yellow Hat has a Cockney accent? It’s a little spice. But here’s some tragedy. My wife was on the sidelines during a ‘dada!’ phase and every book picked up was taken to me, the kid would seat himself on my lap (pulling me up and saying ‘move!’ if I was laying down) and then I would begin to read. But wait, what’s this!? Every time I started an accent the kid would say, ‘no no no’ until I would stop and use my normal voice. Now every character sounds the same and there goes my little side-game. Oh, child, why!?

The kiddo very adorably said ‘yes!’ (often more of a ‘yesh!’) … but we lost that this month. It has been replaced with ‘yeah.’ A tragedy because it’s less cute, but one that is not surprising because both my wife and I say yeah. Goodbye yesh, hello yeah (and nope).

One day the kiddo was trapped inside, likely the highest possible tragedy in his mind, because it was raining outside. He sang out, ‘rain rain go way.’ I was dumbstruck. He KNOWS THAT SONG!? That’s AMAZING! I’ve said this before but it is really just crazy to have this tiny person developing alongside you, figuring out language and movements and only a few months ago all he said was babbling gibberish and now he’s got words, phrases, and a whole line of a song! And it was context-appropriate! It’s incredible.

Now a few things that maybe started happening earlier I just don’t remember.

Over the winter months before daycare my son and I developed the following routine. I’d put him in the carseat and he would lift up his baba (pacifier) for me and I’d ‘warm’ it because it would’ve gotten cold overnight. I’d pop it in my mouth and suck on it for a second then hand it back over. Now it’s beautiful out, no more cold baba in the morning but the kiddo still hands me the baba and says ‘warm.’ Every morning. ‘Warm’ and I suck on it for a second. I’ve switched my language and now try to ‘charge’ the pacifier and I announce this and say it’s charged with love. But a week or so into this I still get, ‘warm!?’ when he gets plopped in the car seat.

Something that came from daycare was a funny learned behavior that likely isn’t quite what daycare is going for. The kiddo will scream/shriek/shout/whatever word you want for ear-piercing or just generally loud noise … and then quickly put his finger up to his mouth and say ‘shhhhh.’ Buddy. It’s not a combo move, it’s one or the other.

Speaking of not quite there the kiddo has a number of times pinched my face quite hard and then said either ‘ouch!’ or ‘no no’ and then he pets my face while saying ‘nice … nice.’

That’s it for the rambling dad. Off to more adventures with my favorite 2.5 foot tall person.

April 2019 Haiku

April 1 (Monday)
April Fool’s Day tricks
Read some nonsense and bought it
(Felt like Donald Trump)

April 2 (Tuesday)
First jog in long time
And holy cow this is tough
Jog … Why? What’d I do?

April 3 (Wednesday)
Daycare ‘incident’
Description always says ‘friend’
Friends don’t scratch friends, man!

April 4 (Thursday)
Basement progressing
Now when I’m at stores I stare
Awed at new TVs

April 5 (Friday)
Work self-assessment
How am I doing? Oh, fine.
But, Dickens word count …

April 6 (Saturday)
Swim lessons with son
He mostly just stares in awe
…Sometimes blows bubbles

April 7 (Sunday)
Beautiful day out
Bought a dump truck toy for kid
So watch yourself, dirt.

April 8 (Monday)
My bosses last week
Goodbye drinks, and they’re her treat?
Don’t mind if I do!

April 9 (Tuesday)
70 plus out
Jogging with shorts and tshirt
Tomorrow: blizzard

April 10 (Wednesday)
Snow coming down fast
Beautiful to admire
Dreading the drive home

April 11 (Thursday)
Nature’s snow coated
Can’t help but take a deep breath
And appreciate

April 12 (Friday)
Basement work going
Kid thinks it’s me making noise
Keeps calling “dada!!”

April 13 (Saturday)
The spring tradition
Hunker down in the winter
Meet neighbors in spring

April 14 (Sunday)
Walking up to store
Forgot something. Say ‘aw nuts’
Son starts chant: ‘aw nuts’

April 15 (Monday)
Boss has now moved on
Now I’m the team’s scrum master
Ah! What … non-power

April 16 (Tuesday)
Walk with the toddler
He plants himself and says ‘NO!’
Aw! Darling! … Tough break

April 17 (Wednesday)
18 year old girl
Denver schools shut down for fear
So … Gun laws talk time?

April 18 (Thursday)
To be a young lad
Son and I sat by big road
He *LOVED* all big trucks

April 19 (Friday)
Kids egged park by house
Egg something better! Like pans …
Maybe add cheese, too.

April 20 (Saturday)
Kid’s into singing
The words are so so at best
But the boy has soul!

April 21 (Sunday)
Afternoon storm hits
Quick! Time to try out rain boots!
(Dad loves photo ops)

April 22 (Monday)
Tough bug I’m working
Also stumped by side project
My old friend: defeat

April 23 (Tuesday)
Teammates are in town
Today lunch AND brewery
Productive? Work? Huh?

April 24 (Wednesday)
Co-worker told me
Phone as good as in person
My face said: uh, no

April 25 (Thursday)
Kiddo tried chili
‘Hot, hot.’ Small dance. Licks his lips.
Then … Another bite.

April 26 (Friday)
Short notice meeting
Says: ‘new work, starting Monday’
Well … That’s calming news

April 27 (Saturday)
Great treat recently
Kid is waking up slowly
And babbles a lot

April 28 (Sunday)
Big aquarium
Applause, woahhs, pointing, dancing
The kid. Is. A. Fan.

April 29 (Monday)
More details on work
Less dramatic than Friday
(Kinda fun stuff, too)

April 30 (Tuesday)
Ignore the new work!
Finish up our dull testing!
… Yeah … That’ll work out

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.

March 2019 Haiku

March 1 (Friday)
Wife gone for weekend
My mom’s flying in to help
And freeze (temp’s ZERO)

March 2 (Saturday)
Swim lesson today
Big windows show snow falling
While we play in pool

March 3 (Sunday)
Kiddo is WALKING
He BEAMS as he takes some steps
He’s so pleased! (Us, too!)

March 4 (Monday)
My mom brought ‘baby’
Kid walks holding baby doll
Happiness abounds

March 5 (Tuesday)
Kiddo has new cough
The little disease magnet
Please sleep despite cough?!

March 6 (Wednesday)
Babysitter time
Kid and sitter snuggle up
Rest up, lil cougher

March 7 (Thursday)
Wife stays home with son
Low key day with hopes of sleep
Emphasis on hope

March 8 (Friday)
Dear sleep gods … THANK YOU
Kid and I snuggled some, then …
He slept 10 straight hours!

March 9 (Saturday)
New swim class begins …
Class goes up to 3 year olds
(Runt of litter here!)

March 10 (Sunday)
Kid’s vocab grows on
Wish he’d say them in a row
For record keeping

March 11 (Monday)
Meeting to find out
Just how lost/confused are we?
Lead’s way late (not great)

March 12 (Tuesday)
Tomorrow: blizzard
Today: playing at the park
60 degrees out!

March 13 (Wednesday)
‘Blizzard provisions’
Includes donut holes for kid
Surprise: he LOVES them

March 14 (Thursday)
Kid demands: ‘apple!’
Healthy? No. That’s what he called
Donut hole he had

March 15 (Friday)
Grandparents in town
Kid eats up all eyes on him
Playing peek-a-boo

March 16 (Saturday)
Sledding adventure
Kid feels off, sits and watches
Silly mom and dad

March 17 (Sunday)
Grandparents watch kid
While he takes FOUR HOUR NAP
Boring gig for them

March 18 (Monday)
Basement starts today!
Noise, strangers for many weeks
Will be great when done!

March 19 (Tuesday)
Why’s it called Tuesday?
Cause it’s twice the fun of Monday!
…I’ll see myself out

March 20 (Wednesday)
FAST basement progress
In the same time I would have
Hammered in one board

March 21 (Thursday)
Kid sick this weekend
Then, per our pattern, mom’s turn
Now it is my turn

March 22 (Friday)
Stomach says ‘I’m fine!’
No food last night so I EAT
Stomach says, ‘uh … sooo …’

March 23 (Saturday)
Minimal movement
Plus having a toddler means
Wife does all the work

March 24 (Sunday)
A bit better now
Museum with the kiddo
Fun stuff to see/do

March 25 (Monday)
After rough weekend
Monday is no spot of joy
Here we go, long week

March 26 (Tuesday)
Sweet – ran those commands!
Now we get to the hard part
What did I just do?

March 27 (Wednesday)
Post-work walk with son
Key step is: stop, pick up dirt
And just stare at it

March 28 (Thursday)
Kid’s spoon skills are great!
Can eat cereal solo*!
*Sans random bowl flips …

March 29 (Friday)
Kid woke up crying
‘Want to come cuddle with dad?’
Aggressive nod yes

March 30 (Saturday)
Date day with Mrs.
Enjoying nature’s splendor
Then, belly’s splendor

March 31 (Sunday)
Kid, wife at playdate
So it’s mini donuts and
Action flick for me

18 Months or, FIRST STEPS!

You know what, friendos? I’ve been bamboozled. Today is the time change day and my wife and I were straight up tricked by our surprising little offspring. We woke up to a cry and I looked at my phone, it was 530. Uh. The kiddo woke up a little earlier than we wanted but not too bad. My wife said, ‘is it Sunday or Monday?’ I answered it’s Sunday and she said ‘ok, I’ll get him.’ About an hour later I get up to let the dog out and look at the time on the stove … 530? 530? But. I …

Turns out the kiddo woke up at FOUR THIRTY, but with the time change that registered as 530 on my phone.

First of all, he shouldn’t have woken up so dang early. And second, for him to wake up at a time where we would ordinarily just go in and say, ‘shhhh, sleep little crazy, sleep’ but instead the kid conspired with stupid daylight savings to bamboozle us.

Well done, trickster.

Anywho, it’s now 1030 (aka 930 if it was yesterday) and the kiddo has been napping about an hour and a half and I’m finally sitting down to do this to do list item that has been on my list for about two weeks. So of course (OF COURSE) all thoughts are on this month but I have to block those out and go to last month, which is basically all of the month of February.

The 18th month.

Last month, the 17th month, we finally made an appointment with early intervention to find out more about his delayed walking. The doc had scared us at our 15th month appointment saying he’s way behind, get thee to a doc (a different doc). My wife called for an appointment and they said, basically, call back later because your son is a preemie so that sort of throws off timing. On the month or two later callback they went ahead and booked the appointment. It was a pretty fascinating experience, and we are very fortunate to live in a city that has such great resources.

We went to a school district building and into a room with four women. One of them was our case worker, and then the other three each had a specialty with little kiddos: one was gross and fine motor skills, one was social (?), and one was language I think. We all sat down and made ourselves relaxed and comfy right away which, by the way, is more of an art than one might expect. They each had such an unassuming and quiet presence that the kiddo just took to playing with the toys in the room straight away. Had they been ‘big’ presences I’m sure our son would have gone to my wife or I for comfort, but instead he seemed to feel right at home. One of the women (the motor skills one) would hand the kiddo various toys and watch how he played with them, trying to get him to do one thing or another. Meanwhile the other two ladies asked my wife and I questions about how he plays, interacts, how many words he knows. (Including the distinction of, ‘how many words does he know that only mom or dad would recognize?’ … His word for banana comes to mind, because banana is, no joke, ‘lalala.’) The ladies seemed to enjoy how at ease and comfortable the kiddo was, including crawling over one of them on the way to a toy they asked him to get. (Which continues to impress and amaze me.)

After a while they must have communicated with each other in some little nods because they had their assessment. The kiddo, was rated right on for this, that and the other, and even older than his age for language, but for gross motor he was ranked as at least 25% behind his age. This meant he qualified for assistance. Both a good thing to have, but a blow. 25% behind? That’s just … so much.

My wife and I left and processed things on our own. It would be a good thing to hear from a PT person the how and what to do, but boy … he just seems so close to walking and he’s not even 18 months and he was almost born two months early and just … 25%!

The next week we had our first appointment with a PT person and it was great. He’s now had I think two appointments and it is just so impressive how smart and crafty the PT person is. She comes to our house and looks around and comes up with ways to exercise the kiddo using things we already have. For example, his right leg is weaker than his left so she suggested we take this one noise-making toy and strap it around his right ankle so that it’ll be fun for him to stomp with his right foot. Clever and impressive stuff. We got some good tips from her and began using those right away.

The tips plus the natural progression of development played well together and before the end of the month we had our first steps! Hooray! (Which he can repeat, by the way.) My wife was witness to the first time or two of steps but then we really got cranking a few days into the next month. But shhh, that is next month’s thunder so we won’t steal.

The weekend after the initial assessment the kiddo and I had our first solo trip – party! We went to Phoenix from a Friday to Monday, and it all went pretty darn well. The flight out he took himself a nice nap, and a woman seated behind me on the plane commented on what a good traveler he was. Sure. Yes. True. But hey man, give me some credit for not moving a muscle while he napped on me too. Ol’ dad worked a little magic too, LADY. And the kiddo enjoyed the flight because we were surrounded by people who engaged, waved, smiled, all that good stuff with him when he wasn’t napping.

The kiddo had a blast playing with cousins in Phoenix, which is definitely fun to see, and we went to an ostrich farm (yep, you read that right). The ostrich farm involved looking at various farm animals and feeding them. And in a little bird area one of the birds landed on my head and  just hung out there for a while, and the kiddo didn’t even bat an eye which I found surprising and disappointing. Come on kid, this is funny!

One of the really fun things to see while there was how much my son LOVED ‘baby.’ Baby was a doll my parents had at their house which the kiddo enjoyed holding while scooting around. And baby would elicit many a happy ‘baby!’ being said by the kiddo which was fun to see, too.

Most of the time was spent hanging out with his almost three year old cousin and the two of them have a very strange and adorable relationship of enjoying staring at each other. My sister propsed the idea of some matching PJs so many a cute picture was also taken, you can be sure of that.

One of the best new things this month was kissing: the kiddo gives little kisses now! They are basically him making a little noise (sort of a ‘mmmmmah’) while holding his mouth open slightly and then gently pressing his face against you. So, most of the ingredients of a kiss. I don’t remember how those started, but once we realized he could do that we jumped in. The funny thing too is that at first he would only kiss our lips, which my wife and I both had not intended to do that but you know … whatever. Now he has moved on to kissing cheeks, shoulders, and even the dog (which we try to prevent because blech). He also stepped up his kissing game later in the month by adding blowing kisses, which takes you a second to know that is what is happening but once you see it it’s obvious.

The best is when you get a kiss unprompted. I don’t know why the kiddo decides to deal those out, but it makes you feel pretty good to be sitting there and up crawls this tiny crazy person and plants his little lips on your cheek for a kiss.

And now to do a 180, one of the most unfortunate parts of the month was a multiple day really high fever the kiddo rocked. My wife and I did a good job of trading off with missing work to be able to stay home with the kiddo, and thankfully he was in decent spirits aside from the fever. I think that week he was home three days. It’s funny how deviations in my normal routine really wipe me out these days. Before if I was sick, or some things came up that caused schedule shifts it was annoying but ok. Now I feel five times more wiped out by the time I get to the weekend if I’m sick, my wife or kiddo are sick, work is weird, or I can’t work out … basically if the big parts of the routine get disrupted then I get disrupted. But if I can still work out and go to work like normal I feel more ok even if I’m sleeping less with a sick kiddo. Funny how impacted I get these days. Whenever my son is sick the idea of a second child (which we want) becomes more daunting and scary.

I decided to start keeping track of when the kiddo is sick to the point daycare is impacted (the lingering cough would be tracked seemingly forever …) because I realized I have no concept of time. I learned this when my boss was out sick and I said to her, ‘oh that’s awful, and you had the flu last week too!’ and she said, ‘last week? That was a month or two ago.’

A very fun new game (for us) this month is what I call the ‘smelly game.’ It started with me holding my son up to my wife and saying, ‘smell his hand and pretend it smells awful.’ He LOVED it. The bigger, more dramatic reaction, the bigger the laugh. It’s also a fun way to learn what body parts he knows. ‘Have mama smell your knee!’ ‘Have mama smell your elbow! … No? Ok, foot!’ I think the most fun I had with this game was when I flopped my whole body on the ground reacting to, apparently, what must have been the world’s smelliest foot. But oh was he laughing.

One thought I have started to have creep in my head more is how much of my son is ‘typical boy’ kind of behavior. For example, I’ve read that boys are three times more likely to bang their heads to relieve stress (babies are fun, eh?). The things that make me think about this are when the kiddo head butts my chest with the back of his head (I’m holding him, he leans forward a bit, then boom, back with a bit of force) or when he sort of tackles and wrestles with stuffed animals or pillows.

Something that I find funny is the kiddo picked up a new skill which *I* found very exciting and entertaining but he didn’t really care about at all. He can now give raspberries! I had him give me a few on my belly and I wriggled and squirmed and laughed a bunch just like he does but his reaction was akin to, ‘ok whatever dad, back to my toy trains.’

And speaking of trains … boy, what a transition … When the kiddo and I were off galivanting in the greater Phoenix area, hanging out with weird alien birds and such, the Mrs. put together our Christmas gift for the kiddo! (Yes, it was a Christmas gift that we didn’t bother busting out til February because the kid has more toys than he knows what to do with.) When we got back home he immediately took to the table and loved banging the little knock-off Brio trains on the table. After a few days he also figure out how to plop a train inside a bridge and then push it down where it inevitably flies off the track which always elicits a quiet little, ‘wheeeee!’

Here’s a dilemma … do I waste space and text by apologizing for how long something already is, thereby making it even longer? Oh, a quandary!

The kiddo has really stepped up (EH!?) his walking game, and as a result he got less chatty for a while. But! When he does talk he has more and more things he is saying where he repeats himself over and over, and I just have to stare befuddled and sorry because I have no idea what ‘ah-do’ means. And then he says it more emphatically, and his little eyebrows furrow and his brow knits and oh he feels so passionately about pointing in that direction (or that direction, or that direction) while repeating ‘ah-do.’ Buddy, I’m sorry.

On the plus side with communication he is now helping (ish) with clothes. Often when he is getting pajamas on he has one pacifier (aka baba) in his mouth and one in his hand. He’ll switch the baba from one hand to the other to make it so you can actually put sleeves on, which is helpful. And he’ll kick his little feet up to help with pants, socks and shoes. He even tries to put shoes on, too, but I think he somehow gets the  wrong shoe on his foot 100% of the time. How is he so consistently wrong?, statistics shouldn’t allow this!

Anywho, the ol’ rambler … OUT.

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