The intellectual equivalent of a ham sandwich.

Posts tagged ‘toddler’

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.

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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.

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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